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Off-Topic: Best Songs of 2009 for Real

I annoy friends and family each Christmas with a mix CD (how quaint!) of my favorite songs from the year that was, so I figure I’ll annoy you with it as well. Please return the favor with your picks in the comments …

1. Grizzly Bear, “Two Weeks” — Off of what was probably my favorite album of the year. Even my 1-year-old likes this jam.

2. Girls, “Lust for Life” — Loved this album too, and “Hellhole Ratrace” and “Laura” may be superior tracks, but this one’s so short, simple, sweet.

3. Avett Brothers, “Laundry Room” (live) — Never listened to them before this year, but am now two albums deep and digging. It’s worth noting that every live recording of theirs I’ve heard towers over the studio version.

4. Animal Collective, “My Girls” — “I don’t mean to seem like I care about material things, like a social status, I just want four walls and adobe slats for my girls.”

5. Kid Cudi, “I Poke Her Face” (featuring Kanye West and Common) — Impossibly catchy, mildly raunchy hip-hop with a side of GaGa.

6. Telekinesis, “Coast of Carolina” — Great power-pop gem discovered via Sirius XMU, my radio station of choice.

7. Phoenix, “Lisztomania” — The catchiest song from the catchiest, most-soundtracked album of 2009.

8. Wale, “Word Play” (featuring Curren$y and Tre of UCB) — With a full-length mixtape and full-length album, Wale gives us plenty to choose from, but this is the one I keep coming back to.

9. The xx, “Crystalised” — A guy-girl duet with almost Velvet Underground levels of cool.

10. The National, “So Far Around the Bend” — A top-notch act with a top-notch effort for the “Dark Was the Night” compilation, which is top-notch.

11. Atlas Sound, “Walkabout” (featuring Panda Bear) — “What did you want to see, what did you want to be when you grew up?”

12. Bon Iver, “Blood Bank” — The standout single from this year’s EP of the same name. Can’t wait for Justin Vernon’s follow-up LP.

13. Raekwon, “Wu Ooh” (featuring Ghostface Killah and Method Man) — Vintage Wu-Tang shit.

14. Neon Indian, “Deadbeat Summer” — A woozy, standout summer song for hipsters.

15. The Tallest Man Alive, “The Gardner” — Think this came out last year, but I didn’t uncover it until hearing about him opening for Bon Iver. Very Dylan-y, quite good.

16. The Love Language, “Lalita” — Theirs was the only show I saw all year, at the Soapbox in Wilmington, NC, and it was awesome.

17. Japandroids, “Young Hearts Spark Fire” — Kick ass.

18. Passion Pit, “Sleepyhead” — Perfect for indie rock dance parties.

19. White Antelope, “Silver Dagger” — There were no Fleet Foxes releases this year, so we’ll settle for frontman Robin Pecknold uploading old folk covers to MySpace under the alias White Antelope.

20. Tunde Adebimpe, “Unknown Legend” (Neil Young cover) — From the excellent film “Rachel Getting Married”, which came out in late ’08. I didn’t see it until recently though, and this scene stays with me.

D.C. sports fan and digital media guy that's been doing this since 2004. Once threw a football further than Chris Cooley.

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. JDP

    December 30, 2009 at 11:43 AM

    Better Japandroids song: Wet Hair
    Better song period: Fables by the Dodos

  2. Jamie Mottram

    December 30, 2009 at 11:54 AM

    I’ll check out that Japandroids track. Thinking about getting the whole album actually.

    That Dodos song is a good one. Just missed the cut.

  3. goathair

    December 31, 2009 at 1:44 AM

    When is your next indie rock dance party? Feel like getting down.

  4. lordscarlet

    December 31, 2009 at 10:05 AM

    You have to see a live Avett Brothers show. I have been listening to them for probably four years now and I have seen them live two or three times a year. They’re fantastic. Which albums have you checked out so far?

  5. Jamie Mottram

    December 31, 2009 at 10:51 AM

    goathair, if DC9 still does Liberation Dance Party, try that.

    lordscarlet, I started with Emotionalism and then I and Love and You. Where to go from there?

  6. dkeat

    December 31, 2009 at 12:43 PM

    where’s my copy?

  7. lordscarlet

    December 31, 2009 at 1:41 PM

    Jamie, It depends on what you like. If you love the high energy songs, I would go with Four Thieves Gone. If you like the more mellow tunes, the two Gleam albums are excellent. It is only Scott and Seth on acoustic guitars and they are more like LPs than albums. I started when Mignonette was first released, and it is a great mix of both of their styles.

    I and Love and You is definitely a much more pop album from them. No doubt that is influenced by Rick Rubin as producer.

    Anyway.. I say buy them all. :) But I’m guessing you like the high speed, energetic stuff the most — in which case I would go for Four Thieves Gone next.

  8. Jamie Mottram

    December 31, 2009 at 4:10 PM

    D-Keat! Forgot to leave one for you, but I’ll drop it in the mail.

    Thanks for the Avetts intel, lordscarlet. I’ll probably check out the Gleam stuff next.

  9. lordscarlet

    December 31, 2009 at 5:42 PM

    Also, since you seem to be close to your brother, make sure you check out Murder in the City on The Second Gleam. There should be a video for it on their website if you don’t find a good version on youtube.

  10. Jamie Mottram

    January 1, 2010 at 10:33 AM

    That is a good song. Reminds me of “Dead Man’s Will” from Iron & Wine/Calexico, which is excellent.

  11. Simply Sensational

    January 5, 2010 at 6:53 PM

    Here are a couple that you should check out/add to your list:

    Right Where They Left – White Rabbits

    We are the People – Empire of the Sun

    Daylight – Matt & Kim

    Coastin’ – Zion I (feat. K. Flay)

    Remedy – Little Boots

    Dominos – The Big Pink

    Keep It Going Louder – Major Lazer

    Darling It’s True – Locksley

  12. samsdeal

    January 8, 2010 at 12:52 AM

    Animal Collective finally clicked for me, thanks to your list. I’d tried a couple times previously but now it’s working for some reason.

    Avett Bros., not so much.

  13. Jamie Mottram

    January 8, 2010 at 2:16 AM

    Which Avetts did you try? Because I have an irrational love for that specific live version of “Laundry Room.” The studio cut is not so choice.

  14. jamiri

    January 13, 2010 at 2:18 AM

    It was 2008, but I liked all of Blind Pilots debut album “3 Rounds and a Sound.” Pretty chill indie tunes.

    Conor Oberst’s new CD is all pretty good if you like Bright Eyes.

    Dizzee Rascal- “Holiday”

    I want this mix!

  15. jamiri

    January 13, 2010 at 2:27 AM

    Also, almost forgot.

    Example- Watch the Sun Come Up. It’s on youtube, but not yet released on an album. One of my new favorites.

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