Before I post my top 5 bands of the decade, I’m going to take a slight detour. Since 2009 is ending, I’d like to discuss my favorite songs of the past year. These aren’t all songs that were released in 2009, rather, songs that I started listening to and added to my iTunes in 2009. Let’s discuss, or you can just skip to the playlist at the bottom. (Note that the songs are in chronological order from when they were added).
Flashing Lights by Kanye West
I’m a pretty lame white dude, if you couldn’t tell already. I’m really a niche music person, rarely extending outside of power pop, and guitar driven rock bands. (See my top 20 bands of the decade to get a feel). Every once in a while though I get sucked into some rap/hip hop. I’m always about 3 years late to the party. I knew Kanye West was big but just assumed it was more of the same gangsta rap thing that I don’t really get. Anyway, long story short, I heard a beat on a Six Feet Under commercial and thought, “what is that song? I like it.” I looked it up, found out it came from this song and downloaded it. I was sold.
West Coast by Coconut Records
I’ve spent too much time discussing this band on previous blog posts here and here. This is my favorite and will forever be associated with 2009 for me, specifically my engagement and marriage over the summer. Good times.
Dance with Somebody by Mando Diao
I actually like Mando Diao’s earlier stuff a lot better but this song is still in their wheelhouse. It’s just your basic catchy pop rock tune, but it sticks in your head in a good way, not a Lionel Richie way.
The Royal We by Silversun Pickups
I didn’t like this album half as much as their previous one. However, this song has the right amount of rock.
Idioteque by Calico Horse
I’m a sucker for cover songs. Idioteque is already a pretty chilling Radiohead song. Calico Horse makes it creepy. I could just see this song being played in the midst of some weird animal sacrifice ritual. And you can’t really find a lot of songs that fit that bill, you know?
Use Me by Pete Yorn and Kinky
We’re still in the cover song portion of the playlist. Use Me by Bill Withers is a classic. I like this version simply because it’s nothing like the original. It doesn’t compare, obviously, but at least they gave it a shot and tried to modernize it. Nothing wrong with that.
Everywhere by Vampire Weekend
I haven’t listened to enough Fleetwood Mac. There’s a decent portion of ‘70s music that I never got around too. I like “Go Your Own Way” and “Man of the World.” After hearing this cover, I’m starting to think I should go back and add some Fleetwood Mac to my repertoire. I’ll put it on my music to-do list along with about 3,000 other bands. Oh yeah, I like Vampire Weekend. Thought I should say that.
Can’t Tell Me Nothing by Kanye West
As mentioned above, I was about 3 years late to the Kanye party. I chalked “Flashing Lights” up to me randomly liking a hip hop song. But then this song stuck with me after The Hangover. I guess Kanye’s cool for a reason. Plus, I’m a pretty hard-headed guy so I can easily sing along to “you can’t tell me nuttin’.”
One Wing by Wilco
Wilco reminds me of Tim Duncan. They’re one of the best at what they do yet they’re not flash enough to garner the right amount of praise. They’re solid, dependable, respectable. They don’t take seasons, or albums, off. I’m forever excited to see what they do next even though I can pretty much guess what it’ll be.
Paradise Cove by Pete Yorn
Graham hated Pete’s last album but I don’t see it. Sure, he’s mellowed out but haven’t we all?
The Golden State by Eddie Vedder & Corin Tucker
This song sounds like Eddie is sitting in some lodge wearing a flannel shirt and signing to a group of 14-year old campers. So what? Well, I like the concept of camp. And it needs a soundtrack, and this should be it.
Can’t Say No by The Helio Sequence
I feel like there’s two types of psychedelic music. There’s the jam-band music that was inspired by The Grateful Dead, and there’s the prog-rock version made popular by Pink Floyd. I’m not a jam band guy. I do like some of the spacey, psychedelic pop. This would classify in my book.
(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To by Weezer
Weezer is a tough band for me. I feel like their first two albums were the soundtrack of my high school years. It’s hard to dump a band that carries that weight. But since Pinkerton, they’ve ebbed and flowed. I originally didn’t like this album that much but it’s grown on me with each listen. This song is classic power pop.
Keep Me In Mind by Little Joy
Good band title. This song is just a little joy. I like the lack of production. Sounds just like a couple of dudes playing in their garage.
The Grey Estates by Wolf Parade
If “This Heart’s On Fire” is a juicy hamburger, then this is the French fries.
11th Dimension by Julian Casablanca
I missed The Strokes until I heard this song. It’s the same thing.
Rough Gem by Islands
I find bands randomly. I only have 1 or 2 friends I discuss music with and both of them are out of town. So I’m essentially stuck listening to the same songs over and over again until I finally decide to find something new. I was watching a video with Jason Schwartzman and Wes Anderson walk around Borders and talking about music and movies they liked. Schwartzman said he liked this band. I listened to this song and youtube and was hooked. It’s just that simple, or that random.
Follow Me Around by Radiohead
I’m a Radiohead fan, but not a diehard. I have all of their albums, think they’ve one of the best live bands around and probably the most important band of my lifetime. I say that I’m not diehard because I don’t have the 8,000 bootlegs and B-sides. I just heard this one about a month ago. I’m sure it’s been around for years. Who cares? If you haven’t heard it, it’s still new to you.