Apparently, the top CD of 2009 already has been crowned by the blogosphere. Animal Collective's "Merriweather" Post Pavilion already has garnered a 9.6 (out of 10) rating from Pitchfork as well as a boatload of other praise from music blogs. It doesn't come out for another two weeks, so I'll hold back in jumping on the bandwagon. But one thing is for sure in that Northwest bands dominate the early pack of releases for the year.
Pearl Jam is doing a massive reissue of their seminal album "Ten." Here's what pearljam.com says about it: " 'Ten,' the debut album that sold 12 million copies and introduced the world to Pearl Jam in 1991, will be reissued in four new and expanded editions. All four editions will be available for purchase on March 24. The reissue of 'Ten' serves as the launch of a planned two-year catalog re-release campaign leading up to the band's 20th anniversary in 2011."
Album extras include: Remaster of original "Ten" album, plus a remix by producer Brendan O’Brien; DVD of previously unreleased 1992 "Pearl Jam MTV Unplugged" performance with 5.1 surround sound audio remix, LP of the band’s 1992 "Drop in the Park" concert; replica of Pearl Jam three-song demo cassette with Eddie Vedder's original vocal dubs; re-creation of Eddie Vedder composition notebook; never before seen memorabilia; bonus tracks and more.
The four editions assuredly will feature various pricing scales, the most expensive being the "Super Deluxe Edition" with a 2-disc set plus DVD, four LPs and replica cassette in a linen-covered, slip-cased clamshell box. Wow.
So that's the big news, but after scouring Pitchfork's comprehensive list of winter 2009 releases there's some other bright spots to look forward to from our region’s best. March and April will usher in new CDs from Neko Case (originally from Tacoma), and Portland artists Mirah, the Decemberists and The Thermals. Keep track of these, and if past progress is any indication, they'll end up on a number of year-end best lists.