Wednesday, January 07, 2009

So twist and whisper the wrong name. I don't care and nor do my ears...

Rules stay the same: one song per artist. But this year... I don't know. Maybe it's because I didn't have a working computer for most of the year, but a lot of stuff left me cold. I'm therefore keeping my list short for, you know, integrity's sake. There was stuff I liked, but I was far from falling in love with it. You know the drill (or maybe you don't): number, artist, song, pithy comment.

1. Frightened Rabbit - The Twist
By far the most listened-to song on my iTunes. You know what else I discovered this year? Those microwavable noodle dishes at Trader Joes. They come in Chinese-takeout-shaped boxes; you mix a packet of noodles with a packet of sauce, microwave for two minutes and there you go. Tasty as hell. If the peanut satay noodle were a song it would be in my top three most-played songs; iTunes Genius would be recommending pad thai and vegetable green curry.

2. Blitzen Trapper - Furr
My friend Brian turned me onto this song. While I didn't understand its charms at first, when it finally hit me, it was like an avalanche. Also hitting me like an avalanche: the Phillies world championship. When I got home after watching it, I cried; I cried, to quote The Beeper King, "like a big, dumb homo." Couldn't help it.

3. R.E.M. - Supernatural Superserious
Welcome back boys. Not necessarily a classic song, but as comforting as warm butter. A comforting R.E.M. single, a Phillies championship and Obama in the White House. Not a bad year, besides the whole shitty economy thing.

4. Crooked Fingers - Your Control
Bachmann tapped into a gold vein when he dueted with a lady on "Call to Love". Then the MFer ups the ante by bringing in Neko Case to duet. He's like the guy who first put peanut butter on a banana.

5. Mates of State - Get Better
How did I not find out about these guys until now. I'm still warming to the album, but good gravy, why has the world kept this secret from me?

6. Death Cab for Cutie - Cath...
I've had some good friends get engaged recently, and good on them. I look forward to making them regret the decision to go open bar at the wedding. But if I were to lay an SAT-analogy on you, it would go like this - "Cath...": Marriage :: Poltergeist: Buying a house on an Indian burial ground.

7. Kathleen Edwards - Buffalo
Oh God, Canadian girls who like hockey... Kathleen Edwards makes me want to buy an old Chevy and move to Canada. Another thing that I loved this year? A friend recommended a website (which I hasten to name because of an irrational fear of it getting shut down) that streams pretty much any game over the internet. As a result I have been watching a metric shit-ton of hockey and look forward to having an informed opinion on the Anaheim Ducks' third defensive pairing. Also, I watched the World Junior Hockey championship round the other night. Ladies? I'm single.

8. MGMT - Time to Pretend
Kind of ruined by the fact that it was prominently featured in the ads for the movie "Sex Drive". By all accounts, which are not numerous, "Sex Drive" was actually pretty good - word is it accomplished in spades what it set out to do, which was to make a funny teen sex comedy. Of course, to quote Larry the Cable Guy, that's kind of like not shitting your pants when you fart.* Still, I would love to see what the original director attached to the project would have made. That director? Jane Campion.

9. Okkervil River - Singer/Songwriter
I've pretty much decided that Will Sheff is the best lyricist going today. Bordering on genius. I was thinking in the shower the other day, so I says Ghost, I says, it might be that all other lyricist pale in comparison to Will Sheff at this point.He's just too good. It might be good that I threw aside my dreams of becoming the voice of my generation years ago when I realized compared all my failed crushes to Judas ("the blood is on your haaaaands..." Then I struggled with a rhyme for "hands"). Then I got out of the shower and realized I hadn't washed the conditinoner out of my hair. And it wasn't leave-in conditioner. It takes a while for the shower to heat up, so I just washed it out in the sink. Me, I am far from genius. Also close to genius? Norm MacDonald's roast of Bob Saget.

10. Hold Steady - Sequestered in Memphis
Don't remember the last time I was more excited for a song. Could never live up to the hype, but came surpringly close.

Honorable Mention:
Fucked Up - Twice Born
Santogold - LES Artistes
School of Seven Bells - Half Asleep
Bon Iver - Skinny Love
TV on the Radio - Halfway Home
The Roots - Rising Up*
Joshua Morrison - Home
Katie Nash - Foundations
I'm From Barcelona - Headphones
Drive-By Truckers - Self-Destructive Zones

Songs not of this year but still awesome
Edwin Starr - 25 Miles
I've been trying to find out what song this was for years and I finally found out when it popped on at the Sidebar in Baltimore (the setting for Kavanaugh's on The Wire - the place where they have the Irish cop wakes) and the bartender told me what it was. A few months later, that Shazaam app for iPhone came out. I don't have an iPhone, but still... coincidence? (Yes, totally.)
The Cardigans - Godspell
Oh, Nina Persson... you still got me.
Portastatic - You Blanks
"And every horse I dream about is pulling a hearse..." That's all well and good, Mac, but I hope that doesn't have anything to do with the prospects for a new Superchunk album.
Arcade Fire - (Antichrist Television Blues)
I think I finally "got" this album. So hooray for me.
Georgie James - Only Cause You're Young
You left us too soon, Georgie James.
Pavement - Date w/ Ikea
Sufjan Stevens - Chicago
Never was a huge fan of Mr. Stevens but this won me over. Also: I moved to Chicago! Huzzah!

*Full disclosure: that's not a Larry the Cable Guy line. That was all me. I just wanted to have my cake and eat it too: make a poop joke and not have it be attributed to me. But really, which is worse: making a poop joke or pretending to know a Larry the Cable Guy quote besides "git 'er done" (which is hilarious)? That's the sort of existential dilemma only French philosophers and fan fiction authors can adequately address.
*True story: I actually ran into ?uestlove on the street in Chicago soon after moving here. I was, like, shaking excited. That's me. But I'm not sure which was more embarassing: the fact that after playing the "I'm from Philly" card, he asked me where I was from and, staring at the pavement I muttered "uh, actually the suburbs"; or the fact that he was on his way to a frozen yogurt shop. Actually, he's ?uestlove, he can do whatever he wants. Hope you enjoyed your berry blast!


<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?