Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fighting for Candy Canes: Songs of 2011

Its the time of year when I put together my favorite songs for the year. If you are having a hard time finding any of these, send me an e-mail, I'll point you in the right direction!

01 Good Times Bad Times, Led Zeppelin
This is the first year I’ve put a Zeppelin song on my list, which shocked me when I realized it. This song was the first song on their first record, and therefore, I thought it was a great way to start this year’s list. Face it, this song rocks.

02 Bizness, Tune Yards
I knew this song was going on the list the first time I heard it. I love the horn section and the rhythm. It’s a very pleasant plea for life.

03 Loosers, The Belle Brigade
This song seems to be an answer to Beck and Radiohead. A new looser anthem! The feel good song of the year! It does have a swear in it. Sorry.

04 Crown of Love, The Arcade Fire
Funeral. The album I should have been listening to years and years ago. I guess I didn’t give it a chance because the guys from U2 absolutely loved it. This year it has been in heavy rotation. I had a hard time choosing which song, because Funeral is an extremely cohesive album, so pulling a song out of it feels odd. My wife has pointed out that I love songs with tempo changes. Maybe that is why I chose this one.

05 Do-Wacka-Do, Roger Miller
How can you not love this song? How can you not be jealous of a guy driving a Cadillac full of girls and cash? Proceed with caution. This tune can get stuck in your head, and if you find yourself singing the tune a lot, you may really get under the skin of your loved ones.

06 Maker, The Moth & the Flame
Thanks James Krause! He took me to a Fictionist concert in Logan where The Moth & the Flame played. Fictionist was great, but I really got sucked into the Moth & the Flame. A few weeks later the album came out. I think it has to be the best “Utah Band” album I’ve ever heard. I really appreciate the interplay between the guitar and the organ. Here comes another song with a change in tempo.

07 Greenback Boogie, Ima Robot
I don’t know why I like this one, I just do, so deal with it.

08 One Red Thread, Blind Pilot
Yet another change in tempo! This song just feels right. Nothing complicated going on, it just sits right with me.

09 Helplessness Blues, Fleet Foxes
I’ve been listening to the fleet foxes for a while, always thinking they had potential, but I think most of their songs have felt a little lacking in overall direction, so when I heard this song I was very pleased. Musically, it has great direction. Lyrically, it’s even better. I love the concept of these young guys (they are quite young) grappling with what they have to offer the world, and really wanting to contribute in some valuable way. This might be the best song of the year. (Another tempo change. I think my wife is right.)

10 Stranded, The Walkmen
I love the horns and melody on this one. I can thank KEXP for playing this one. This song sounds like it belongs to one of the old crooners.

11 Dawned On Me, Wilco
Wilco’s latest album is probably the best since Ghost is Born. You can tell on this song that Jeff Tweedy’s outlook is somewhat sunny these days, which has been known to take the proverbial wind out of the sails of many great bands. I think this song still manages to maintain a great vibe and edge.

12 Know Better Learn Faster, Thao With the Get Down Stay Down
This song comes from another album under the same name that I just keep coming back to. I really had a hard time choosing which song I should choose, it’s a great little album. I kept thinking “wow, this song reminds me of Andrew Bird. I finally googled it. Yup, Andrew Bird worked with Thao on the track.

13 Jodi, The Dodos
Hang on for your life. This song doesn’t ever let you catch your breath, much like many songs from the Dodos. This song feels like hipster punk. Hey, a new genre!

14 House of Diamonds, Bowerbirds
Sometimes there is just something special about a chord progression. For me this is one of those. I just can’t help getting sucked into the mood. It’s got a nice little chorus as well.

15 Jean Genie, David Bowie
I had no idea this was David Bowie! When I looked it up, I was surprised. It’s just not the kind of sound I associate with him. That being said, if David Bowie was going to do old school blues rock, this is definitely what you would expect.

16 Home, The Moth & the Flame
Another song from the Moth & the Flame. This is meant to send a message: listen to Moth & the Flame. I love the sentiment of this song.

17 One Sunday Morning, Wilco
12 minutes. That is a long song, and yet I don’t get tired of it. I’m not really quite sure why.

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