Friday, December 19, 2008

Studs and Duds 2008 - Songs Edition

This list is in no particular order, so don't assume the first song is any better or worse than the last. My preferences can't possibly get that specific this year because my mood changed frequently. How anyone can pick "the best" song of a year is beyond my understanding, anyway.

Anyhoo, here's a list of songs that I consider to be the "Studs" of 2008. Some of them come off of albums that are great; some are from albums that are just "so-so." Nevertheless, these songs still stand out at the end of this insane year; and if something stands out in all of the mess we've been through, one really should highlight it.

(Hat-tip to como over at LIM for the video format. You should read his list, too.)

Here goes:

"The Rat" Dead Confederate
I saw this Atlanta band at the Earl once and was pleasantly surprised. I checked out the album upon rec's by a few of my favorite music bloggers, and I've enjoyed it. Two songs stand out, and this is one of them. I'd describe it as what grunge might have become if grown in the South instead of the Northwest. Southern gothic, maybe.

"Pot Kettle Black" Tilly & the Wall
I hadn't really listened much to Tilly & the Wall, but this song sends me into full-on dance mode. It's really great for the treadmill or to make ironing more tolerable.

Tilly & the Wall - Pot Kettle Black from Team Love on Vimeo.

"Move" Q-Tip
Hot damn, this is a great one. You can't help but move to this song. I dare you.

Q-Tip - "Move" from Three/21 Films on Vimeo.

"Never Stops" Deerhunter
Another Atlanta band makes the list. I can't say the entire album is memorable, but I did really like a few songs. This song reminds me of driving around at sundown on a summer night. Not sure why, but I enjoy it just the same.

"Skinny Love" Bon Iver
I heard NPR use the term "Beard Rock" to describe this band and some of the others on my list. Perhaps I'm into this because both my husband and my brother are growing beards, and I'm sensitive to the beard rock movement?? Who knows. For whatever the reason, this song is undeniably beautiful. Simple. Moving. Beauty.

"Ragged Weed" Fleet Foxes
Another Beard Rock band. Another beautiful song. I'm not sure what I have to say about this one. I just like it a lot. Nuff said.

"Feedback in the Fields" Plants & Animals
I enjoyed this album in its entirety, but this song stands out in its simplicity, as a contrast to the bigger, more anthemic "Bye Bye Bye." It was also my first exposure to P&A, so it probably stands out for that reason too.

"Bye Bye Bye" Plants & Animals
Big, anthemic choruses and jangly piano action. What more can you want.

"Bow to the Middle" The Rosebuds
This album came out in the heart of the general election. Perfect timing for a political sock-hop rocker titled "Bow to the Middle." I put it on repeat & danced while checking incessantly.

I can't find a video for this one. Go buy the album -- just for this song. And because Kelly & Ivan are cutie-pies.

"Black River Killer" Blitzen Trapper
Oh dear lord, this is a great album. This song hits me in a way I haven't felt since Uncle Tupelo. It doesn't come close to March 16-20, 1992, but this song (and the 3rd track "Furr") helps satisfy the urge for another album like that. I'm sure the album won't age as well as March did, but I can't know that yet for sure.

"Gold for Bread" Blitzen Trapper
Another song off of the Furr album, and this one fills me with glee. It's a playful little ruckus of a tune, and I can't help but bob along to it.

"Teenagers" Department of Eagles
It takes a certain kind of arrogance to be a musician. (I'm allowed to say that, BTW -- being a "recovering musician" and all.) I think this 10 min. video shows that. It also doesn't feature the song "Teenagers," but you can hit the album for that.

Is it odd? Yes. A wee bit self-centered in the filming? Yes. However, the song & this album "sat right" with me this year. It was a light & delicate album -- not too deep or challenging. It just "tasted right" a light, white wine on a summer evening. Not my fave, but refreshing enough.

"Black President" Nas
Yes we can. Yes we did.


comoprozac said...

Your list is so good that I want to reconsider a few of my choices. Nice.

ks said...

Thanks. Like I said, it's too hard to do a "best of" on music because music appeals to your ever-changing emotions. I wouldn't find any fault in a list that changed.