9. The Bird Names, Wooden Lake / Sexual Diner
Flat-out the oddest album I heard all year, which is saying something given the amount of odd music I listen to. Twinkly little bits of clockwork exotica, cartoon-falsetto sing-alongs, ramshackle pop structures, a Shimmy-Disc-esque drug haze pervading the lo-fi production: imagine the Residents importing some rubber-limbed anthropomorphic animals from an old-timey Max Fleischer short, and some self-replicating machine elves from one of Terence McKenna's DMT trips, and you're in the neighborhood. Refreshingly strange.
Listen: The Bird Names, "