The wonderful Ian Wolfendale distributed multiple copies of the Piccadilly Records End of Year Review around the office on Monday. There's a link to the web version here. It is a lovingly produced and, in places, a brilliantly written piece of musical history worth savouring. I regret to say I hardly recognised anything. Music can really pass me by these days. I enjoy what I've got, often rediscovering old favourites and classics.
In the spirit of discovery I've dipped into the free CDs I get with The Word and tested out some of the Piccadilly recommendations.
Camera Obscura, My Maudlin Career - very good, then realised I still haven't given the last album a proper spin yet.
Grizzly Bear, Veckatimest - I've got some of their older ones, yes, a bit like Fleet Foxes.
The Phantom Band, Checkmate Savage - yes, good. Worth exploring, slight hint of Violent Femmes.
Then there are the Word recommendations:
Richard Hawley - yes, I like him. He's very good. Reminds me of Roy Orbison.
I've also just put Midlake's The Trials of Van Occupanther on. It's lovely, but it's from 2006. And do I need another Radiohead like band to get to know when I've slipped so behind with the real thing?
And all this in a year when two of my favourite ever bands have released new albums that I've not even listened to: Prefab Sprout and Flaming Lips. I've also been told I must check out the new Madness effort The Liberty of Norton Folgate. I've heard one track - Idiot Child - and yes, it's great.
I simply don't have the dedication, or time, for all of this music hunting, if I'm brutally honest. Should I just give up?