Thursday, December 14, 2006

Lists are better when read with a lisp.

My 20 favorite songs of the year, not really in order, but sort of.

The Young Republic, "When I See Your Eyes, I Swear to God Our Worlds Collide"
This wins for the song that stuck in my head the most this year. I don't know if this was officially even released or where it's from or if it's genuinely from this year but the Young Republic did release some stuff, ALL EXCELLENT. If they can stay together they could take this indie world by storm what with their cute boy singer with his heart on his sleeve and their cadre of strings (that's their pic up above). It just makes my heart hurt like when I was 20 and I just wanted to know him.

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Eef Barzelay, "Ballad of Bitter Honey"
Those lyrics! The heartbreaking delivery of indie rock boy posing as ho with a heart of gold! One of my husband's favorite songs of the year too.

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The Hussy's, 'Tiger"
If I could sing this is the kind of band I'd like to front. Silly, sassy, poptastically delish, both of their EPs from this year are so damn fun and chock filled with handclaps and woo woos, and boy o boy do I love woo woos.

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The Kooks, "She Moves in Her Own Way"
Best pop song of the year in my opinion. It's so danceable and I can practice my fake Brit accent while I sing along!

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TV on the Radio, "Wolf Like Me"
It's on everyone's list. You know why it's good. Crescendos, baby. And fury!

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The Hold Steady, "Stuck Between Stations"
Ditto. On. Everyone's. List. Obviously super-duper swell. Lyrically it stings with greatness. Oh how Springsteen has been re-invented for the new millenium.

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Arizona, "Splintering"
The first few seconds of this song always make me question my love of it, but then it starts to flow and by the first minute mark I'm flooded with all the feelings that put this song on this list.

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I'm From Barcelona, "Ola Kala"
The whole things zings, such a great uplifting tune. Just try and not shake.

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Jim Noir, "Eany Meany"
This is a Sunday afternoon in song. How did he capture a feeling so well? And I discovered it from a World Cup commercial, no less. Brilliance in my opinion.

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The Rosewood Thieves, "Los Angeles"
Found this via Heather at Fuel and I can't get enough. The whole ep is real good but this song, from the piano plunks onward, well, yowsa. A couple years back I went ga-ga for the first Thrills CD and this has something-something that that CD had, (a penchant for writing songs about California perhaps?) but I can't wait to see what this young guy does next.

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Envelopes, "Sister in Love"
Oh crap. It's just so fun and so freaking catchy.

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Bird and Bee, "I'm a Broken Heart"
I love breathy melancholia, I love the slight tinge of Bacharach-ian pomposity, this whole EP is so shiny in a 70s lip-gloss sort of way and I love it.

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Lily Allen, "Alfie"
Several friends sent me various Lily Allen mp3s via email because they knew I'd love her. And yes, oh how I love the ladies who can sling those zingy barbs. Her and Nellie McKay both posses this respect and knowledge of music that came before them and both readdress it with wholly new attitude and style.

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Cat Power, "The Greatest"
Never connected with Cat Power before this CD. Maybe I needed "accessible" or maybe I just needed the Memphis thang but wow, this thing, particularly this song, just hurts its so good.

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Tally Hall, "Ruler of Everything"
I like every song on this really weird record. Just pop music, at once happy and dark and did I mention weird??

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Belle and Sebastian, "Funny Little Frog"
I know this song isn't about Stuart's non-existant baby, but save for the line about "not knowing how you smell," lyrically and emotionally this sums up how I felt about my baby girl (granted months after she was born, those first ones all I wanted to do was deliver her back from whence she came.) Just jubillant!

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Gomez, "Woman! Man!"
I'm not a huge Gomez fan, I mean I can enjoy some of their songs, but this one from their latest rocks me socks. Maybe it's the slight Shins meet Neil Diamond vibe or maybe it's the line that makes me smile each time it resurfaces: "For hope will spring eternal, while loves got you on your knees..." I know most "real" Gomez fans don't like this song so much... but um....

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Regina Spektor, "Better"
I was late to this game but now, well I absolutely love her phrasing and emotion. And the simple lyrics to this song kill. "If I kiss you where you are sore, will you feel better, or nothing at all?" And the opening sequence makes me want to learn piano so I can bang along.

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Thao Nguyen, "Moped"
Found this on Daytrotter. Just a simple girl and her guitar doesn't get me in the gut too often these days (but a few years ago... well that is a different story). But I keep coming back to this song time and time again. It's just a bit more than cute...

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Julieta Venegas, "Canciones de Amor"
99 Luftballoons!!!!!

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Zayra Alvarez, "All The Young Dudes" (Live on Rock Star)
I'll plead my case. Last year's installment of Rock STar (INXS) really seemed to be a group of mostly moderately talented nice kids in an unfortunate situation playing for a group of moderately talented and certainly likeable ex-rockers in need of a lead singer and it made for decent TV. This season's Rock Star was pretty much the opposite: unlikeable kids and an unlikeable band and most of the contestants seemed truly untalented to their core, it was still unfortunate but it didn't make for good TV, save for one person: Zayra Alvarez, her Puerto Rican Bjork voice and wild outfits were awesome through and through, on every level. And here she covers one of my favorite anthemic songs of the 70s in an utterly quirky way (and she's held back only by the limits of the house band and television's expectations) and I only wish it was way, way longer.

More about Zayra Alvarez

**I'll fix the "more about" links later tonight! Sorry!