This is always my favorite post of the year - the list of songs that soundtracked the past 12 months. It always helps me remember fun times, people, and places. As always, tip of the hat to Chaz Felix for introducing me to the format.
Without further ado, the tunes I jammed in 2009:
I listened to Thorr non-stop this past year. Love love love the tight riffage and the sociopolitical (motivational speaker?) lyrics. Ironic. Brutal. Fast. Funny. Awesome in every way. Excellent workout music.
The 506 performance in Feb was the most fun I had at a rock concert in 2009. These guys poured their guts on to the stage. And Chris and I sported our sweet Thorrior denim.
They're based in Chapel Hil, by the way. I said "hi" to the lead singer - Valient Himself - at the Harvey Milk performance at 506 this year. (Another mind-blowing concert.)
As far as I'm concerned, this piece from Baroness' Blue Record is the absolute best cut from 2009. (Yes - this qualifies as a "piece" - not a song.)
LOVE how they take a simple melodic idea in Ogeechee, layer it with chunky, harmonized chords, and then let it feedback as it segues into Golgotha. The intro reminds me of "...And Justice For All" and the days when it was cool to like Metallica. After the spacious interlude - which follows the same melody - Baroness blows it away. Stick around until the end - they let it drone out again and bring it back home. Brilliance.
If you're not a fan of droning sludge, feel free to skip ahead to ~4:00 - the devastation starts shortly thereafter.
If you're not a fan of harmonized shouting and face-melting guitar, feel free to skip this one altogether.
(Note - I linked to a live version because I couldn't find the album version spliced together on YouTube. The layered guitar subtleties on the record are amazing. HIGHLY recommended.)
This tune played out the credits of "The Mountain King" episode in Mad Men Season 2. Don Draper is truly a broken, lonely man.
The Possum's original recording is grittier, more broken-hearted, but you get the general idea from this overly-produced re-take.
(Yes - the playlist just went from stoner metal to classic honky tonk. That's the way I roll.)
I didn't really like the new Avett Bros record when I first listened - I missed the chirpy harmony, the banjos, the redneck vibe, etc. Then I listened to it again and realized that it is the best front-to-back record from 2009.
"Decide what to be and go be it." The perfect lyric for a song about a head full of doubt...and a road full of promise.
Kelly and I spent 3 weeks in Spain this past Spring. Which reminded me that I love this song.
No Greatest Hits list is complete without a band referred to me by Ben Rogerson. He gave me a copy of Dirty Projector's "Bitte Orca" one summer afternoon and I promptly listened to it non-stop for weeks.
Any description I write won't do the music justice - so just listen to the entire song and soak in all of its glorious, angular wierdness.
I love Lady GaGa. Don't hate. Really looking forward to her inevitable, spectacular fall from grace in 2010!
I also love Peter Cetera and the super-sugary love songs that played on easy listening stations in the mid/late 1980s. (Richard Marx, anyone?) Peter's performance in this video is almost as awesome as his feathery blonde hair.
Kelly downloaded this song to her phone in the backseat of her parents' Honda CRV on the way back to Stowe Hill from dinner in Pineville one evening this Fall. She and I laughed like crazy and sang every word. Her parents weren't sure how to react.
I distinctly remember listening to this song coming home from the Harris Teeter at Meadowmont. I'm not sure why. Regardless - I certainly went through a Bowie phase this past Spring.
I was in a band in 2009. And we were kinda awesome.
I will never forget this moment. Charlie had a big intro planned...and I botched it with awful keys...and he further botched it because he got the mic cable wrapped around an amp.
You still gotta admit that this is pretty epic, especially considering that we rehearsed 2 times before this performance.
If it looks like we were having fun, it is because we were.
Here's to an even better 2010.