Monday, December 22, 2008

The Year In Music

From my vantage it was a better year for songs than for albums, so here are my fave songs of the year. Listed in a vague order.

Statement by Boris
Absolute Stooge-worthy, string-shredding riffage from Japanese psych/stoner/metal overlords. The remix of this song, Message, is mighty strong as well. Tense, taught and bringing out the kraut.
Watch & Listen here.

Better Get To Livin’ by Dolly Parton
Over the past several years, people have been psyched by Dolly’s return to her bluegrass roots. But honestly, I got to say Dolly is at her best when she hauls out the pop gloss. Don’t deny it. You love Here You Come Again as much as any other song in her catalogue. Better Get to Livin’ may be one of her all time greats. I know her first tv show didn’t do well, but if they’re looking for an Oprah replacement or a new regular on The View, this song ought to serve as her job interview.
Watch & Listen here.

We Call Upon The Author by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
It’s a late career renaissance. The rock quotient is up and the growl and bite are back. This song is an erudite scorcher. Geez. An “erudite scorcher”. Not many acts can pull off that combo.
Watch & Listen here.

Why Do You Let Me Stay Here? by She & Him
Sounds so old and so new at the same time. Killer combination of girl groupieness, country pop, and folk.
Watch & Listen here.

La Fin Du Monde by The Dirtbombs
Have Mick Collins and crew been spending time watching French Canadian tv on Detroit’s UHF channels? Not sure, but this French language entry steals the show on their latest We Have You Surrounded. It’s a hit in any language. The track surprisingly veers heavily into pop territory for these primitive rockers.

All I Wanna Do (Is Be With You) by Paul Weller
Paul Weller, where have you been for the last 30 years? His latest, 22 Dreams is one of the best of the year. It’s got the all the Weller stylings from Mayfield-soul to mod rockers. But damn it’s good.
Watch & Listen here.

The Cock Crows at Sunrise by Victor Krummenacher
Speaking of late career renaissance, former Camper Van man Victor K is on a roll. His latest album, Patriarch’s Blues, showcases this old salt getting a little feistier. Full disclosure coming. This tune features some killer vocals by my wife, Alison Faith Levy, and is a monster on cd and in their live set. They have a record forthcoming under the name McCabe & Mrs. Miller due out next year that's gonna be hot.
Listen Here.

Always A Friend by Alejandro Escovedo
Escovedo performed this one with the Boss. Check it out on YouTube. Pretty cool. And it makes sense. Real Animal is a roots rock record that moves a hint toward MOR/AOR territory, but I love it. I might add that local hot shot Chuck Prophet co-penned a lot of this stuff.
Watch & Listen here.

I Will Possess Your Heart by Death Cab For Cutie
Their set at the Bridge show and my son’s obsession with this band has won me over. Plus this song is just awesome.
Watch & Listen here.

Nothing Ever Happened by Deerhunter
Just picked this record up. Lots of indie rock influences all over the place. Sebadoh, Sonic Youth, Yo La. But somehow I’m not irritated. They bring a lot of their own to the mix. This track is simply classic expansive indie rock with lots of texture.
Listen Here.

Alligator Skin by Tilly and The Wall
Just got turned onto this band of oddballs from Nebraska. Fun Fun Fun. Channeling tap dancing, girl groups,The Mamas and the Papas, Katrina & The Wave, and The Go-Gos. It’s a party.
Watch & Listen here.

Aly, Walk With Me by The Raveonettes
Not such a scintillating record, but this song is sultry and sexy.
Watch & Listen here.

My Head by Times New Viking
When was the last time I counted down the days until a Tuesday release of a new record? Why that would be Times New Viking’s Rip It Off which came out this past February if memory serves me right. While I like this record a lot, it never called to me to put it on over and over like last year’s Paisley Reich record. But that said, lots of choice cuts like this one.
Watch & Listen here.

Senses On Fire by Mercury Rev
Was there a worse record made by a band I loved this year? If so, I never heard it. Overly precious, psychedelic, lite-rock. Yeesh. But this song approaches something called rock and roll and is well worth downloading.
Listen Here.

Dolly Hands Out the advice with help from Amy Sedaris!

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