Yes, I’ve fallen prey to list-mania. I can’t resist it. Here’s the new music I loved in 2009 (in no particular order).
A disclaimer: I don’t listen to a lot of new popular music because I’m weird and picky. I’m sure there’s stuff that is better that I haven’t heard (or at least you think it’s better). These are my top songs, so take that as you will.
Them Crooked Vultures – No One Loves Me & Neither Do I
Choosing the best track off of Them Crooked Vultures was difficult. If I were going for best groove I’d call out Gunman. Most intruiging might be Bandoliers. But No One Loves Me & Neither Do I is such a brilliant combination of pop, rock, and HEAVY that you can’t help but rock the hell out to it. Just try.
Golden Shoulders – Little Nixon
Fantastic band from my hometown of Grass Valley. Every song this guy writes is great, but this one stands out as one of the best on “Get Reasonable.” Great digs at George Bush without being heavyhanded (like 95% of Bush songs). Fantastic music that is hard to define from one moment to the next. Makes me want to flail about. Win, all the way.
(track can be heard at http://goldenshoulders.com/music.php)
Heartless Bastards – Could Be So Happy
There’s something so happy and beautiful about this song. It’s got a dark side, but the acceptance of one’s own issues is an important part of getting past them. Erika Wennerstrom’s vocals are not the most beautiful, but they strike me as completely honest and I can groove to that. The Mountain was possibly the best surprise of the year.
Wilco – Wilco (the song)
Deny it all you want, but this song is great. Wilco (The Album) is certainly not my favorite Wilco album, but “Wilco (the song)” is great. For anyone who’s ever hid from the world in their headphones, this song proclaims “tired of being exposed to the cold/the stare of your stereo/put on your headphones/before you explode/Wilco’ll love you, baby”. Amen.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Soft Shock (acoustic)
I was not a fan of the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs album. I love the YYYs intensely, but I wasn’t a fan of their transition from raw and original to a ripoff of every hipster electronica band. However, the acoustic bonus tracks on the special edition of It’s Blitz! are strikingly beautiful in comparison to the fuzzy robotic tunes on the record proper. “Soft Shock” has an incredibly unique set of instrumentation that suggests folks but then goes somewhere completely different with the melody. I could listen to this song for a long time.
(acoustic version not available for streaming)
Monters are not Myths Song I’m Most Proud Of – Netcat
It’s impossible for me to objectively rate my own songs, but I’m extremely proud of how “Netcat” turned out on our new album, Corporate Grown. Most of this is thanks to the brilliant band behind me, including the awesome banjo of Clide Lynne of The Paper Crocodiles. Call me a shameless promoter, but I want everyone to hear it.
Hope you all a happy new year with lots of great music!