Monday, January 12, 2009

end of year list #3

And I thought this was hard last year.

I wonder if there are support groups for people who suffer too much angst over silly lists.

ten favorite albums

11 • Visiter by The Dodos
m.a.b. only had nine albums, so I get eleven. I couldn't leave this one off.
10 • Saturdays = Youth by M83
This one grew on me so gradually, so insidiously, that I barely noticed until I saw them live at the end of November and they made my knees wobble. I never thought I would feel this level of affection for something that's a) predominantly electronic, and b) predominantly evocative of the 80s -- not my favorite decade, despite being the one I was born in. Go figure.
9 • Rook by Shearwater
This is some seriously pretty music. And it's never boring. The more I think about it, the more impressive that is.
8 • In Ear Park by Department of Eagles
Another grower. Given another couple months, it wouldn't surprise me if this album battled its way significantly father up this list. It's no secret that I'm a sucker for nonsense words, and so by the time I get to the last minute and a half of "Floating on the Lehigh" (the second-to-last track) I'm pretty much in heaven.
7 • Devotion by Beach House
More from the Seriously Pretty file. Dream pop without the noise, with emphasis on the vocals. It's so subtle and mellow that it can be difficult to get into, but for the right mood, it is just right.
6 • The Family Afloat by Bound Stems
On the strength of solely its opening and closing tracks (slight emphasis on the glorious, culminating crescendo of the latter), The Family Afloat would have to be on this list. The fact that it generally manages to maintain those levels in between is just icing on the cake. For a weird and difficult to explain assortment of personal reasons, this broke my heart more than just about anything else this year.
5 • The Midnight Organ Fight by Frightened Rabbit
Here it is -- my Car Album of the Year. I love to drive, so I tend to put a lot of emphasis on that soundtrack, and the CDs that never want to come out hold a special place in my otherwise cold, black heart. Just when I thought I'd had enough of this one, it kept coming back. I try not to worry too much about what this means for my psyche.
4 • In Ghost Colours by Cut Copy
This ruined my life. That's all you need to know.
3 • Pershing by Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
Sometimes I am a very simple person. Sometimes I crave short, sunny, unpretentious, harmony-laden pop songs about girls and boys and beaches and oceanographers. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin do this ridiculously well.
2 • Field Manual by Chris Walla
I always knew that no one would love Chris Walla's solo album as much as I do, and I was mostly right. He should still tour. Dear Mr. Walla, if you're reading this, please tour. Thank you.
1 • At Mount Zoomer by Wolf Parade
If you were unable to adjust your expectations of what a follow-up to Apologies to the Queen Mary should sound like, then you missed out.

ten favorite songs

10 • "Never Stops" by Deerhunter from Microcastle
Exhibit A: A perfect representation of my favorite pop/rock paradigm. If music were food, I would be approaching morbid obesity because of songs like this.
9 • "This Is How You Spell 'Hahaha, We Destroyed the Hopes and Dreams of a Generation of Faux-Romantics'" by Los Campesinos! from Hold On Now, Youngster...
Absurd title. Lyrics about livejournal. Enough said.
8 • "He Doesn't Know Why" by Fleet Foxes from Fleet Foxes
Seattle had to be represented somewhere on this list.
7 • "Lost Coastlines" by Okkervil River from The Stand Ins
Just because I liked Jonathan Meiburg's album better than Will Sheff's this year doesn't mean I like his voice more, too. I'm contrary like that sometimes.
6 • "So Haunted" by Cut Copy from In Ghost Colours
The moment when the guitars come crashing in at the beginning of this song is so blissful it should be illegal.
5 • "Ashley" by the Dodos from Visiter
My favorite bridge of the year lives here. Ominous and lovely.
4 • "The Modern Leper" by Frightened Rabbit from The Midnight Organ Fight
What is there to say that hasn't already been said, really?
3 • "Modern Mystery" by Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin from Pershing
This song should be taken very seriously.
2 • "St. Modesto" by Chris Walla from Field Manual
Seriously, why did no one notice how good this is?
1 • "Kissing the Beehive" by Wolf Parade from At Mount Zoomer
And here you go. An eleven-minute epic that I listened to on repeat this year like it was three-minute pop candy. Nothing else comes close.

five favorite shows

5 • Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin @ the Echo
4 • Colin Meloy @ the Henry Fonda Theatre
3 • Nada Surf @ the Henry Fonda Theatre
2 • Death Cab for Cutie @ the Nokia Theatre
1 • Sunset Rubdown @ the Black Cat (Washington D.C.)

in 2009 I might:

...die of glee when I hear the new Decemberists, So Many Dynamos, and Sunset Rubdown albums, likely in that chronological order, and to only name a few.

mp3: "Never Stops" by Deerhunter
mp3: "Modern Mystery" by Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
mp3: "St. Modesto" by Chris Walla
mp3: "Happens to Us All Otherwise" by Bound Stems
mp3: "No One Does It Like You" by Department of Eagles

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