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Year in releases 

The list of every album released locally in 2005

When I left Little Brother and the Justus League entourage in Boston at 4 a.m. on the morning of Sept. 18, I stumbled through security at Logan International Airport and found a clean spot on the floor in front of my gate. I slept for three hours, woke up and stumbled again onto the plane. I planned on the same routine for my layover in New York, but I didn't stop to think that I may need to be somewhat convivial on the trip's penultimate stop.

If you have ever met Christina Rentz, the tour publicist and radio handler for Merge Records, you know exactly what I mean: I think we'd had the same amount of sleep, and I'm sure my exhaustion was written all over my face and unkempt clothes. But there she was, sitting with Merge intern Lindsey Kronmiller, smiling and laughing as I strained to recognize her, rubbing the sleep remaining from the plane ride from my eyes. Within 10 minutes, the North Carolina Record Label Convocation, as I'm dubbing it now, started to assemble for Flight 3109 at 10:25 a.m. Glenn Dicker was there, along with a couple of people from the label he co-founded, Yep Roc. So was Martin Hall, who, along with Christina, constantly helps remind just how good Merge's output--this year, The Rosebuds, Dinosaur Jr., Portastatic, Tenement Halls, Destroyer, The Clientele, Lambchop and Spoon--actually is. Most of them had been up all night or close to it, simultaneously working and partying during the last night of their College Music Journal Music Marathon stay before returning to work Monday morning.

To say North Carolina represented this year is more than valid. Take the marathon: Besides the Merge and Yep Roc bands that made the bills, a slew of local bands were invited as well. By all reports, Bellafea played a cramped, albeit dead-on set, and The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers were late for their coveted spot on KEXP's CMJ broadcast from The Museum of TV and Radio (for reference's sake, The Arcade Fire played the same slot 364 days before). That same night, Little Brother played B.B. King's in Times Square, selling the place out and bringing its own marathon for a crowd that included Atlantic Records moneybags, T.I. and most of the North Carolina hip-hop crew (Kaze, Forge & Amen, Shelly B and Shaw Hargett) that had performed for CMJ the day before at The Lion's Den.

Chatham County Line toured Europe (they return for round two on Christmas Day) and recorded for the BBC, and Tift Merritt was nominated for a Grammy. The Rosebuds started to steal the hearts and minds of indie pop-rock enthusiasts with their pretty, troubled second LP, Birds Make Good Neighbors.

But that doesn't mean it's easy. For every be-all, end-all (as far as about half of its sales goes) Pitchfork review that deems The Rosebuds "uncomfortable in a good way," there's another that myopically deems Little Brother's concept of The Minstrel Show theoretically null and void ever since Kanye West decided he could rap commercially about God. For every sold-out show, there may be a half-dozen in-store performances, meet-and-greet handgrabs and same-questions, different-dude radio interviews. As Akrobatik, emcee for Definitive Jux's The Perceptionists, told Chris Parker in an interview with the Independent: "If Little Brother went gold or platinum, I would be crying tears of joy. You hear what I'm saying? But they're going to struggle to sell 60,000. That's the reality. 'Cause they're too real."

The state of the artist in 2005 is still tough, and the "famous" Triangle bands have it no easier than the bar band still trying to find someone to put out their record. They're just that much closer to the chance to make their passion their career. And then it's really time to get to work.
--Grayson Currin

  • Alesana, Try This With Your Eyes Closed (Tragic Hero Records)
  • Alvarez Painting, Forecastle Helm (Trekky Records)
  • Terry Anderson and the Olympic Ass Kickin' Team, Terry Anderson & the Olympic Ass Kickin' Team (self-released)
  • Nathan Asher & The Infantry, Sex Without Love (self-released)
  • Audubon Park, EP3 (self-released)
  • The Avett Brothers, Live Vol. 2 (Ramseur Records)
  • The Away Team, National Anthem (6 Hole Records)
  • Bellafea, Family Tree EP (Pidgeon English)
  • Between The Buried & Me, Alaska (Victory Records)
  • Big Pretty & The Red Rockets, See What You Can Find (self-released)
  • Black Socks, Blue Chaplain (self-released)
  • Black Taj, Black Taj (Amish Records)
  • Boxbomb, Boxbomb (self-released)
  • Bringerer, Trink! Sink! Tanz! EP (Hypnovista)
  • Brooks Wood Band, Today's the First Day (self-released)
  • Brother Seeker, Brother Seeke r (self-released)
  • Brothers Grim, Bury Me in the Swamp (Scarecrow Tracks Music)
  • Can Joann, The Aiden-Grace EP (self-released)
  • The Capulets, Welcome to the Close ... Now Make a Decision (self-released; Internet only)
  • The Cartridge Family, Here Come the Rock Stars (self-released)
  • The Cartridge Family/Terry Anderson and The Olympic Ass Kickin' Team, Split 12", (Double Naught Records)
  • Casadyne, Casadyne (self-released)
  • Chamber Corps, Chamber Corps EP (self-released; Internet only)
  • Chatham County Line, Route 23 (Yep Roc)
  • Chaundon, Live from the 718 (Hall of Justus)
  • The Cherry Valence, TCV3 (Bifocal Media)
  • Chris Boerner Quartet, Incoming (self-released)
  • Chrome-Plated Apostles, Twelve Bars (Demonbeach Records)
  • Classic Case, Dress to Depress (Help Records)
  • Thad Cockrell and Caitlin Cary, Begonias (Yep Roc)
  • Cesar Comanche, Squirrel & The Aces (ABB Records)
  • Confessor, Unraveled (self-released)
  • Corrosion of Conformity, In the Arms of Gods (Sanctuary Records)
  • David Karsten Daniels, Angles [Re-mastered] (Bu Hanan Records)
  • Nathan Davis, Live (self-released)
  • Nathan Davis, Revolution Lane (self-released)
  • Lois Deloatch, Closrre (self-released)
  • Lois Deloatch & Tyso Rogers, Holy Night (self-released)
  • Des Ark, Loose Lips Sink Ships (Bifocal Media)
  • DeYarmond Edison, Silent Signs (self-released)
  • Dirty Little Heaters, Got It? EP (307 Knox Records)
  • DJ Chela, Embedded Reporter (self-released)
  • DJ Chela & Shelly B, Shellproof Volume 2 (self-released)
  • DJ Paradime, ...Presents Dirty States of America Part 1 (Hall of Justus)
  • Tad Dreis, Play to Remember (Hedgepig Music)
  • Edgar Allen Floe, True Links (MCEO Records)
  • Endless Mic, Cave Livin' (Trekky Records)
  • Erie Choir, Bad Tsars is a Drag EP (self-released)
  • Eyes to Space, Eyes to Space EP (self-released)
  • The Experts, I Think We Made Some Plans (self-released)
  • Fake Swedish, Get Correct (Demonbeach Records)
  • Fashion Design, As Is/Mothballs 7" (307 Knox Records)
  • Jane Francis, Skeletons for Tea (Eskimo Kiss Records)
  • Jimmy Ghaphery/Jason Bivins/Ian Davis, Impermanence (Umbrella Recordings)
  • Glissade, Nadia (self-released)
  • The Grand Staircase, The Grand Staircase (Lavender Hill Records)
  • Cole Guerra, Scarves and Knives (Cleave)
  • Jason Harrod, Bright As You (self-released)
  • Head Chemists, Bittersweet Melody (self-released)
  • Brian Hershberger, Twice in a Blue Moon (self-released)
  • Michael Holland, Tomorrow's American Treasures (Sit-N-Spin Reords)
  • Imperial Pints, Fizzology (self-released)
  • Jack the Radio, Jack the Radio (self-released)
  • John Wilkes Booze, The Heliocentric Views of the John Wilkes Booze Pts. 1 & 2 (Saint Ives)
  • John Wilkes Booze, Telescopic Eyes Glance The Future Sick (Kill Rock Stars)
  • Junior Varsity, Superheroes EP (self-released)
  • Kapow! Music, A Texan in Europe Revisited (Bu Hanan Records)
  • Kerbloki, Poisonous Plants (Lucid Records)
  • The Kickass/Continent, Don't Cry for Me Japan (Satire Records; Japanese import)
  • The Kingsbury Manx, The Fast Rise & Fall of the South (Yep Roc)
  • The Know, Shock & Awe (self-released)
  • Kudzu Wish, En Route EP (Ernest Jennings)
  • Kung Flude, Here Come the Jerks 7" (Thumbs Down Productions)
  • L.E.G.A.C.Y., Project Mayhem (6 Hole Records)
  • Little Brother, The Chitlin Circuit 1.5 (Fastlife)
  • Little Brother, The Minstrel Show (Atlantic Records)
  • Lounge Magic, Lounge Magic Christmas (self-released)
  • Maple Stave, EP1 (self-released)
  • Marat, Again (MoRisen)
  • Maxwell/Mosher, Maxwell/Mosher (self-released)
  • Mayhap, Might Could (self-released)
  • Median, Path to Relief EP (self-released)
  • Mel Melton & The Wicked Mojos, Papa Mojo's Roadhouse (self-released)
  • Tift Merritt, Home Is Loud (Junketboy)
  • Mic & Rep, Back for More (Stillhouse Records)
  • The Moaners, Dark Snack (Yep Roc)
  • Monsonia, Monsonia (self-released)
  • Mortar and Pestle, Oak in the Acorn (Trekky Records)
  • The Mountain Goats, The Sunset Tree (4AD)
  • Anthony Neff, Chase Your Burden (self-released)
  • The Nein, Wrath of Circuits (Sonic Unyon)
  • The Nein/Cantwell, Gomez & Jordan, Split (Sit-N-Spin Reords)
  • New Town Drunks, ...Trust Us with Your Car (self-released)
  • 9th Wonder, Dream Merchant Vol 1 (6 Hole Records)
  • NodCraft Sounds, Bench Warmers Vol. 4 (self-released)
  • North Elementary, The Weeble Wobble Sound Series Volume 1 (Sit-N-Spin Reords)
  • North Elementary, The Weeble Wobble Sound Series Volume 2 (Sit-N-Spin Reords)
  • Shannon O'Connor, Low in Paradise (Tarrga Records)
  • The Old Ceremony, The Old Ceremony (Alyosha Records)
  • Olé, Flashes of Brilliance (self-released)
  • Patty Hurst Shifter, The Short Record EP (Evo Recordings)
  • The Physics of Meaning, The Physics of Meaning (Bu Hanan Records)
  • Pleasant, Awkward as a Beehive (Pox World Empire)
  • Portastatic, Bright Ideas (Merge)
  • Portastatic, Ideas for Bright Ideas (self-released)
  • Portastatic, Looking for a Power Supply EP (Houston Label; Spanish import)
  • The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers, The Mother of Love Emulates the Shape of Cynthia (Bu Hanan Records)
  • Pyramid, The First American (self-released)
  • Rapper Big Pooh, Sleepers (6 Hole Records)
  • The Remix Project, The Remix Project Mixtape CD (self-released)
  • Laura Ridgeway, Christmas at Home (self-released)
  • Mary Rocap, Indian Summer (self-released)
  • Roman Candle, An Introduction to The Wee Hours Review (V2 Records)
  • Roman Candle, Live EP (self-released)
  • Dexter Romweber/Throw Rag, Ten Bad Studs: A 12" Split (Demonbeach Records)
  • The Rosebuds, Birds Make Good Neighbors (Merge, CD; Goodnight Records, LP)
  • The Rosebuds, Unwind EP (Merge)
  • The Rosebuds/The Close, Split (Goodnight Reords)
  • The Sames, You Are the Sames (Pox World Empire)
  • Scharpling & Wurster, Hippy Justice (Stereolaffs)
  • Jon Shain, Home Before Long (Flyin' Records)
  • Carrie Shull/Tara Flandreau/Reuben Radding, The Branch Will Not Break (Pine Ear Music)
  • Alina Simone, Prettier in the Dark (Fractured Discs)
  • Slugnut, All the Splendor and Rot (self-released)
  • Snatches of Pink, Stag (MoRisen Records)
  • SNMNMNM, As Best We Can (Unschooled Records)
  • SNMNMNM, So Have A Cup Of Cheer (Unschooled Records)
  • Henry Sparrow, Bird Songs Vol. 1 (self-released)
  • The Spinns, Lost Colony (Demonbeach Records)
  • Chris Stamey, A Question of Temperature (Yep Roc)
  • Steep Canyon Rangers, One Dime at a Time (Rebel Records)
  • Stillhouse, Through the Winter (self-released)
  • STRANGE, STRANGE (Pidgeon English)
  • Stratocruiser, 377 Live (Just Plain Lucky Records)
  • Stratocruiser, Suburban Contemporary (Wizzard in Vinyl; Japanese Label)
  • The Strugglers, You Win (Acuarela Discos)
  • Supastition, Chain Letters (Soulspazm)
  • Hugh Swaso, Life Through Stereo EP (self-released)
  • Tennis & the Mennonites, Wicked Man (self-released)
  • The Thyrday, The Perfection Xperiment 2 (Street Flava)
  • Ticonderoga, The Heilig-Levine LP (54˚40' or Fight! Records)
  • Ticonderoga, Ticonderoga (54˚40' or Fight! Records)
  • Tiger Bear Wolf, Tiger Bear Wolf (Hello Sirs Records)
  • Chris Titchner, Moving Day (Bridgefolk)
  • Unstable Ensemble, Embers (Family Vineyard)
  • Valient Thorr, Total Universe Man (Volcom Entertainment)
  • Veronique Diabolique, Carte Postale EP (self-released)
  • Rob Watson, To Trade Hands (Abray Records)
  • Yasmine White, Yasmine White (self-released)
  • Grant Withington, Grant Withington (self-released)
  • Rebecca Woodard & Pearl Moen, Sing and Hum (self-released)
  • Work Clothes, These are the Shoes We Wear (Fractured Discs)
  • Various Artists, Compulation 2: Songs from North Carolina (Pox World Empire)
  • Various Artists, Dear Santa: Holiday Music Collection Volume One [With Maxwell/Mosher] (Lions Gate Music; U.S. Postal Service)
  • Various Artists, Heard Together (self-released)
  • Various Artists, One Bright Sunny Morning [IC Recordings with Phon] (IC Recordings)
  • Various Artists, Rockin' the Blocks (Downtown Durham, Inc.)


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