Thursday, December 31, 2009

Special: Gary's Top 40 Songs of 2009

As is customary at the end of a calendar year, the staff of Cassette Musique is busy at work compiling their year-end lists to post to the insatiable audience of this unbelievably year-old blog. Expect the Albums of the Year lists, complete with write-ups, in the coming days. In the meantime, and to actually post a list before the New Year and decade commences, I figured I would compile my favorite songs from 2009.

The list is exactly that: My favorite songs of the year. Also, this means they are not necessarily singles, although a good chunk of them are. I tried to limit songs per artist to just one, because honestly, the top 10 would be polluted with Animal Collective otherwise. Four bands broke this, only because their second entry was somewhat different than their first. This rule actually snubbed some very solid songs alone (“Bluish” and “Brother Sport” by the aforementioned Collective, “Ready, Able” by Grizzly Bear, “Lust For Life” by Girls, any additional song from the Fever Ray album, and the list continues.) Also, as if this needed clarification, the song needed to be released in 2009 or be on an album released in 2009. Of note, “Very Busy People” by The Limousines has been circulating through the internet since 2008 and even got some airplay this year, but I figured I would wait until some form of official release was made to place this fantastic song.

Before I unceremoniously count them down, I thought I would namedrop some songs that I unfortunately just discovered in the last two weeks or so of December, and a result do not find a home on this list: “Dominos” by The Big Pink, “Deadbeat Summer” by Neon Indian, “Crown on the Ground” by Sleigh Bells, “Orange Shirt” by Discovery, and “Warm Heart of Africa” by The Very Best featuring Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend. All pretty awesome in their own right, and will certainly get some attention in 2010.

Alright, without further ado, here is My Top 40 Songs of 2009:

40. “Day ‘N’ Nite” by Kid Cudi
39. “Idiot Heart” by Sunset Rubdown
38. “Isis Unveiled” by …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of the Dead
37. “Crying Lightning” by Arctic Monkeys
36. “Roll Right Over” by Eye Alaska
35. “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)” by Florence + The Machine
34. “Scumbag Blues” by Them Crooked Vultures
33. “No Hope Kids” by Wavves
32. “Feel It All Around” by Washed Out
31. “Saviour” by dredg
30. “You Never Know” by Wilco
29. “The Birds” by Telefon Tel Aviv
28. “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z & Alicia Keys
27. “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To” by Weezer
26. “1901” by Phoenix
25. “Ulysses” by Franz Ferdinand
24. “Wilco (The Song)” by Wilco
23. “Zero” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
22. “The Afterlife” by YACHT
21. “Walkabout” by Atlas Sound & Noah Lennox
20. “Hellhole Ratrace” by Girls
19. “No Dice” by Beirut
18. “The Reeling” by Passion Pit
17. “I’m On A Boat” by The Lonely Island featuring T-Pain
16. “Crystalised” by The xx
15. “Triangle Walks” by Fever Ray
14. “Stay Alive” by The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
13. “I’ve Got Friends” by Manchester Orchestra
12. “Treat Me Like Your Mother” by The Dead Weather
11. “You Need Satan More Than He Needs You” by Future of the Left
10. “Snookered” by Dan Deacon
09. “Watching The Planets” by The Flaming Lips featuring Karen O
08. “Surf Solar” by Fuck Buttons
07. “Two Weeks” by Grizzly Bear
06. “What Would I Want? Sky” by Animal Collective
05. “Stillness Is The Move” by Dirty Projectors
04. “Quick Canal” by Atlas Sound & Lætitia Sadier
03. “Daniel” by Bat For Lashes
02. “While You Wait For The Others” by Grizzly Bear
01. “My Girls” by Animal Collective

Call it predictable, call it unoriginal, call it what you will, those top songs are utterly brilliant and deserve to be where they are. To try and diversify the list further or make some unnecessary surprises would not truly make this My Top 40, after all. Say what you will about the ridiculous amount of hype Animal Collective received, “My Girls” is the shit, and is in part why they received so much attention this year.

List-o-mania will continue throughout the week. Contain yourself. Happy New Year from everybody at Cassette Musique. Get fucked up.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

To all interested individuals: I have temporarly suspended my indefinite hiatus from Cassette Musique to talk a bit about what happened in the world of music this past year.

Cassette Musique was introduced with 2008 year-end lists from Gary, Ryan, and I where it was acknowledged that 2008 was a down year for music overall, trifling in comparison to the behemoth that was 2007. I had extremely high hopes for 2009 because a ton of my favorite bands and other noted acts were up for new records. As I reflect on the last year the one word that permeates my thoughts most is FRESH. The artists I expected albums from mostly delivered, however they weren't what made the year great. It was the presence of bands such as The Dangerous Summer, Passion Pit, Paper Route, Future of the Left, James Yuill, Mt. St Helens Vietnam Band, and Closure in Moscow among many others that invigorated the music scene with a fresh, new, and unexpected sound. These were my favorites, however the same could be said for the likes of the xx, The Antlers, and DM Stith, new(er) artists on the cutting edge of their sound and sure to entrench themselves as indie staples for years to come. I feel like my musical palette has progressed with the seasons and is open to a wider array of music thanks to this influx of tremendous new artists. Granted, Portugal. The Man and the rest of my most awaited will top my year end list, but new finds like The Dangerous Summer and Paper Route will always hold a special place in my iTunes library.

I can only hope that 2010 provides the same influx of new and exciting artists that 2009 blessed us with. It was an amazing year to be a fan of music.

Not to spoil my year-end lists (I know throngs of people are waiting in anticipation), below are a couple songs that deserve special recognition this year. Check them out.

Paper Route - Last Time

The Dangerous Summer - The Permanent Rain

James Yuill - No Pins Allowed