There are a few pretty great bands I passed up in 2005: Paper Airplanes, The Clientele, and Phil.
Phil (who has also been playing in the cleverly-named 76 Trombones) makes warm, comfortable alt.country in the vein of Jim Guthrie. He released his debut, Whatever Happened To Your Loving Heart on Achord Recordings. Ryan Vanderhoof of Akron/Family co-produced the album, and all four members of AK AK show up somewhere along the line. While not quite the bizarro world experience Akron/Family is, their talents are well-used.
Four of the album’s nine songs are available on Phil’s site, but here’s a little preview. “Left Coast” would’ve been in my top songs of the year list had I heard it in time.
Phil – “Left Coast”: mp3
Phil – “Joke’s On Me”: mp3
Also: A totally surreal Valentine’s Day interview with the recently engaged (!) Rivers Cuomo in the Harvard Crimson. Rivers is apparently finally finishing off his collegiate career and getting married.
As far as I’m concerned, River’s band Weezer crossed the rock music Rubicon last year by putting out their third bad record in a row. Congrats to them and Dave Matthews Band for continuing to make my ’90s childhood more and more irrelevant.