Bleats

2009 Was The Last Great Year For Indie Rock Bangers

We're long overdue for another year like 2009.

Ah 2009, that was a different time. Obama was still in the White House, Marvel had yet to overtake Avatar as the biggest film ever, and Tarantino’s schtick was to rewrite WWII history rather than Hollywood history. But perhaps the thing that most defined 2009 was the ridiculous slew of indie rock tunes that came out over the course of those magical 12 months.

We’ve had some banging indie rock tunes over the past decade, but in terms of sheer quality and quantity, nothing in recent memory comes even close to touching what 2009 had on offer.

From the get go we were treated to an immediate classic by Animal Collective, who dropped their greatest album, Merriweather Post Pavilion, upon the world and gave us the trippy odyssey that is ‘My Girls.’

The quality didn’t let up as we got some seriously good stuff from both sides of the pond in rapid succession, Hell you could make a playlist just from the great stuff that was put out in 2009 by artists from the UK.

Just from the top of my head, we got:

  • ‘Zero’ – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • ‘Crying Lightning’ – Arctic Monkeys
  • ‘No You Girls’ – Franz Ferdinand
  • ‘Who Can Say’ – The Horrors
  • ‘Islands’ – The xx
  • ‘1901’ – Phoenix
  • And of course, ‘Little Lion Man’ from Mumford & Sons

The indie and alternative rock scene in America was also flourishing at the same time and the output just as equally impressive. Let’s just scratch the surface of what was released that year:

  • ‘Two Weeks’ – Grizzly Bear
  • ‘Panic Switch’ – Silversun Pickups
  • ‘The Rake’s Song’ – The Decemberists
  • ’11th Dimension’ – Julian Casablancas
  • ‘Lust for Life’ – Girls
  • ‘Young Hearts Spark Fire’ – Japandroids

All while this was happening, Australia was in its own little musical bubble thanks to Short Stack and all the mania that surround them. Seriously, it was almost impossible to go anywhere in 2009 and not be smacked in the face with quality tunes.

I’ve definitely forgotten a heap of other 2009 bangers in trying to compile this list, which speaks to just how good of a year it was for indie rock. But just as it seemed like the genre was about to take a leap forward, it sort of just… stalled.

Sure there have been great songs released from aforementioned artists like the Arctic Monkeys and The Decemberists since 2009, as well as the rise of newer artists like Mitski, but nothing has come close to reaching the heights of that year in terms of sustained brilliance.

And that’s the big question right here: where have all the indie bangers disappeared to?

Is it because budgets are shrinking? Tastes have changed? Bands failing to capitalise on the momentum? Someone made a deal with the devil and indie rock had to pay the price?

Answering that question properly is another story for another day so let’s just celebrate that magical 12 month period in 2009 when indie rock reached new heights.

From Animal Collective to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, you all gave us a playlist that still holds up as well today as it did 10 years ago and we’re hoping lightning will strike again soon because it’s long overdue.

Never Forget: Elvis Presley Died On The Bog Because He Really Struggled To Poop

A big hunk o' love and... something else.

It’s been 42 years since Elvis Presley died and the circumstances of his death is still baffling even today. Some believe he’s still alive, others think it was drugs, and then there are some who have wild conspiracies that are creepier than the man’s personal life.

If we’re to take the word of his then-girlfriend, Ginger Alden, who found the King of Rock and Roll’s unresponsive body on August 16, 1977, he “looked as if his entire body had completely frozen in a seated position while using the [toilet] and then had fallen forward, in that fixed position, directly in front of it.”

Yikes.

So what caused Elvis to get unceremoniously shuffled off this mortal coil while sitting on the bog?

Well according to the autopsy and various analyses, Elvis Presley died of a heart attack, hence why he fell forward when he was on the toilet. But there’s more to the story than his heart exploding because he also had pretty awful constipation and really struggled to take a dump during the best of times.

According to the report (via Snopes) by the four doctors who performed the post-mortem exam on the singer, his colon was “at least three and a half inches in diameter in some places and as large as four and half to five inches in diameter in others.” For comparison, normal sized colons are only around two inches in diameter.

Throw in the copious amounts of unnatural “white, chalklike fecal material” found in Elvis’ colon and it’s pretty clear that the dude had some misbehaving bowels.

Years of stuffing cheeseburgers down his throat, poor health habits and the widely documented drug use (which causes constipation) all contributed to the sorry state of Elvis’ clogged up bowels.

As described by one of the autopsy doctors, “When you take downer-type drugs, depressants, narcotics, a lot of them, most of them, have the concomitant effect of slowing down the digestive system.”

In other words, Elvis’ body was wrecked due to years of drugs and he was more clogged than a third world sewage pipe.

This brings us to the fateful day of Elvis’ death. While we’ll never know what exactly happened in the bathroom, there’s enough pieces of the puzzle for doctors to put together a reasonable picture of how the King of Rock and Roll got visited by the Grim Reaper.

Dr. Dan Warlick, who was present at Elvis’ autopsy, believes that the singer died to something called the “Valsalva maneuver,” which is basically when someone strains so hard when trying to take a dump they get a heart attack.

So in summary: Elvis’ health was poor, his bowels had seen far better days due to years of poor dieting and drugs, which in turn gave him some pretty nasty constipation, and it is likely that he died while sitting on the bog because he was struggling to squeeze a number two out and his heart gave out from all the strain.

It’s a bit of an ungraceful exit for one of rock’s most iconic entertainers, though it seems kind of fitting that the King should die while sitting on a throne.

One thing’s for sure, it’ll be interesting to see how Baz Luhrmann handles the King’s death in his big Elvis Presley biopic project. Austin Butler’s going to have big shoes – and pants – to fill.

Jack Black Is What Happens When Your Childhood Fantasies Actually Comes True

Jack Black is like a real life Peter Pan without the character's jerkass parts.

We all have wild, fantastical dreams when we were children. Some want to be a wildly famous movie star while others want to be a rock music god of sorts. There are also a worrying number of kids who want to be *shudder* YouTube stars but hey, might as well let your dreams go crazy when you’re a kid.

In 99.99% of these cases, those childhood dreams end up unrealised because it’s all a crazy long shot. But there are of course exceptions to the rule and there’s no bigger exception than the one and only Jack Black.

The man has carved out quite a career in the movie and music biz over the the last three decades. With the opening of his YouTube channel, Jack can add “YouTuber” to his CV and with that, he’s gone beyond all our regular labels for a regular celebrity.

What he’s become is the embodiment of every person’s childhood fantasy if they all actually come true.

Just think about it. He’s somehow carved out a critically and commercially successful movie career that appeals to nearly every demographic despite not being your traditional Hollywood leading man.

Kids love him because of films like Kung Fu Panda, School of Rock and Jumanji; and adults love him because he’s shown some great comedic and dramatic work in stuff like Bernie and Tropic Thunder.

It’s crazy how surprisingly versatile Jack is when it comes to his movie work.

When he’s not starring in movies, Jack is off being a rock star with his buddy Kyle Glass as part of the wildly – and surprisingly – successful Tenacious D.

Performing raunchy comedic rock songs that you wrote with your best mate while high isn’t the usual recipe for success when you want to be a famous music star, and yet Jack somehow carved out his own niche within the music space.

When you’re rubbing shoulders with rock royalty like Dave Grohl, talented folks like Jack White lining up to work with you, and you’ve sang the greatest song in the world to a demon, you’re doing something right.

You’d think Jack would’ve been satisfied after conquering the movie and music worlds but he somehow managed to break through the final frontier of being a celebrity by becoming a famous video game YouTube star.

After originally starting his channel as a project with his son in 2018, it’s since taken off like wildfire and currently has over 4.2 million subscribers.

But perhaps what makes Jack’s YouTube channel stand out the raw, unedited approach he takes to his content. There’s no “WASSUP GUYZ!” intros or “LIKE AND SUBSCRIBE TO MY CHANNEL!” call to actions, it’s all just Jack playing games and being his usual goofy self.

Your childhood dreams are probably just mere fantasy at this point but rather than think of it with a “what if” mentality, you might as well live out those dreams vicariously through Jack Black because he’s fulfilling them right now by doing nothing more than living his best life.

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