Since I’m kind of exhausted of putting together lists, my good friend Burgers (who happens to be one-third of the lo-fi garage band The Numerators) took over the reigns and came up with this baadasssss list of his thirty favorite tracks of the year. After going through it, I have to say I wholeheartedly agree with pretty much everything on here. Chalk-full of great songs ranging from the well known to the more obscure, the list is bound to include some of your favorites as well as a handful of ones you’ve yet to discover. So without further ado, I’ll let him take over:
So this is my top 30 songs of the year. For some reason, albums as a whole were not as important to me as individual songs (which seemed to peak my interest more this year). However, the songs do represent a good majority of the albums I did enjoy in ’09 if that makes up for a lack of a list of my top albums.
MY TOP 30 SONGS OF 2009:
(1) Best Coast – Sun Was High (So Was I) :: I could have chosen any Best Coast song, as I loved everything she has released this year. BC has this unique hauntingly soothing voice that syncs perfectly into that 60’s girl group style of vocals, but mixed with a baked-day listening to the Beach Boys (which has served her discography pretty well). She has a song about loving the way this certain person says her name, but it’s the way she sings those simple words and playing her Pacific coast highway guitar riffs – oh man, that had me hooked listening to her everyday. But it’s this song (from the very beginning, like a splash from the ocean) that just gets sweeter with every listen.
(2) Mika Miko – Turkey Sandwich :: My prayers were answered this year when I got to see Mika Miko play in Lubbock! It was everything I could have dreamed it would be and more. People were moshing and, at one point, I think there was more people crowd surfing than were actually on the floor holding them up. We Be Xuxa is a stellar punk album and, sadly, the last from this highly influential band. “I Got A Lot” was definitely the song to listen to to get ready for a nice summer day, but “Turkey Sandwich” just had me hungry for more Mika Miko all the time!
(3) Pearl Harbor – Lost @ Sea :: This song is like Alice in Wonderbeachland. I was at first way more into this than Best Coast; it’s super lovely and their voices get you lost in their enchanted world (the Shangri-la’s dialogue-esque bridge is short but hypnotic). It gets used a lot, but this song is truly breezy — you can smell the sea with this song.
(4) Ducktails – Beach Point Pleasant :: This was the jam that started the summer of surf bums. It had been lurking around, but eventually surf became the new Kanye, and this song in particular sorta reengaged my love for it. Its laid-back psychedelic merry-go-round sounds made you trip. Every time I put this song on, I was always placed into a different state of mind — I was more calm, the world was at ease, and, for a second, “felt like a cat” and things made sense. Isn’t that what you want from a song?
(5) Pens – High In The Cinema :: This had me at hello. It really did. Its not ground breaking, and its not really recorded that well, but that basement recording feel gives this breakup song some cute dance-ready charm. When I hear this song, I hear a twisted Casio version of Half Japanese, Finally Punk, & Sleater-Kinney.
(6) Girls – Hellhole Ratrace/Laura :: I’m 24 on the verge of 25, I’m a post graduate, I don’t want a desk job, I prefer PBR, the world literally gets scarier and scarier as the seconds pass, I’m never sure if I can make rent, food = ramen / pizza / mass amounts of cheap spaghetti / burritos / pad thai, things aren’t always smooth with the opposite sex, I’d rather fly kites all day than worry about my taxes or paying back my loans, and I’m never sure of what I will be doing. How the fuck was I not gonna relate to “Hellhole Ratrace”. And “Laura”, oh man, this song is like the song of my life right now.
(7) The Beets – The Devil :: I saw the beets play a house show in Austin right before SXSW, and they fuckin’ rocked it. Dirty garage-rock performed by three kids from Queens, two of which grew up in Spanish speaking homes. This song is for the 14 year-old in all of us wanting to dress up like a goth kid for a week just to try it (maybe scare our parents). If you get the chance to see them live, do it.
(8) Thee Oh Sees – Enemy Destruct :: I’ve been an avid Oh Sees fan since about 2005. The Nuggets comparisons has been handed down to everyone, but the Thee Oh Sees are the only ones creating excitingly new nuggets for future stoner punks to enjoy! John Dwyer has been in the music biz for sometime, and Thee Oh Sees is just a testament to all his already mind-blowing achievements. This song takes cues from all of their golden moments and wraps them into a rockin’ 3 minute jam.
(9) Bridez – Frenemies :: Have you heard of “Cobain in a Coma”? It was a radio show from San Fransisco, hosted by a some dude and a woman named Lizz. They used to not finish songs all the way because they got bored with them or they would turn on the mics and sing along to the songs they liked. Also, they always got to hang with the raddest bands and interview them. Then through some weird accident I stumbled across some blog that linked Bridez to CIC, and it turned out the lead singer was the same Lizz. I fell in love. This band is just super sexy Rock n’ Roll — I mean Rock n’ Roll in every which way possible… And sexy too, ’cause their songs (especially this one) are like some crazy love potion that makes you just fall in love with every note and blush with every word. Good luck not liking it. Anddddd….they are better than rtx, blondie, and the yeah yeah yeahs all put together.
(10) Real Estate – Black Lake :: As soon as I heard that the dude from Ducktails was in this band, I had to take a listen. I think I first heard “Beach Comber” and thought that track was pretty good, but then I heard “Black Lake” and thought that this was the lazy track I needed on walks to nowhere. Although it might not have that country twang to it, I get this Silver Jews truthfulness from Real Estate — this inside information being passed along from one 20-something to another.
(11) Doom – Gazillion Ear :: This song is just super dope. Doom has always had the smoothest lines for my ears (I secretly still want their to be another Danger Doom record). It’s always a good afternoon with some Doom on the speakers.
(12) Psychedelic Horseshit – Dead Horse :: This song did not come out in 2009, but it was re-released this year on a 12” compilation of previously released homemade Horseshit Cd-R’s. The songs on this 12”, titled Golden Oldies, is PH at their most unapologetic. — true to their super “fuck you” lo-fi shitgaze vision. But “Dead Horse” is the one song on the whole record that stands out. It hooked me fast with the insanely fuzzed out organ, lazy head bopping bass line and schizophrenic horn freakout.
(13) Vibes – Night Court :: Modern psych-funk is the easiest way to describe Vibes. Comprising of members from Robedor, Sun Araw, & Pocahaunted, this Not Not Fun supergroup blasts through the speakers in velvet waves. The signature Cameron Stallone (Sun Araw) “lost and tripped out on the beach” style of guitar playing gets your mind playing tricks on you, while the rest of your body is helpless to the funky groove of the bass and drums.
(14) Joker – Digidesign :: Dubstep. I’ll admit I don’t know much about it, but I do know that when I hear something that, if I like it, I like it — and that’s what happened when I heard this Sonic the Hedgehog sampled dub jam. The kid is seventeen (probably eighteen now), and he’s already released a handful of singles, many stellar mixtapes, and soon he’s gonna be touring the world livin’ it up Diplo style.
(15) Atlas Sound – Walkabout :: Not much else to be said about this song — everyone who heard it loved it. Thanks to some help from Noah Lennox and a sample from Nugget’s fave “The Dover’s”, people around the world were hanging out with their buddies, smoking j’s, enjoying the summer sunset.
(16) Grass Widow – Lulu’s Lips :: I chalk this discovery to good ol’ fashion word-of-mouth. Thanks to a nice conversation with the bassist from The Beets, I was advised to listen to Grass Widow. He said, “they got their name from this book (he pointed to the book on the floor of the van) [Ed: maybe??] and they have stellar voices, all three of them sing at the same time.” I took his advice and have been jamming this song on bike rides. I advice you to try both!
(17) Woods – Rain On :: So the lead singer owns Woodsist Records (which is like contender for one of the best labels ever), so it would just make sense that his band would also be just as rad. Heavily influenced by Neil Young, I could not stop listening to this song in the spring.
(18) The Smith Westerns – Be My Girl :: Some songs are like time-release medicine — you take it and think it’s gonna work, but not just yet, and that’s how it was with this song. I heard it when it first was released, and I liked it, but not until about November did it really take over my ear drums. The lethargic style of singing, and lazy Phil Spector like guitar riffs sway you back and forth. A smokey 50’s style dance comes to mind with this jam.
(19) The Sandwitches – Back To The Sea :: This song is like sweet delicious candy. I picture these girls singing this song on a steamboat and everyone knows the words and are singing along. It’s infectious and pop goodness at its best!
(20) Toro y Moi – Blessa :: I chalk this discovery to my bro (Ed: Sammi from The Numerators). At first, I was kinda put off by the whole chill-wave scene (Washed Out, Neon Indian, Small Black, etc…), but I slowly turned around to some of it, and Toro y Moi is at the top. Its pleasant bass line, and woozy girl vocals bring you into a hypnotic world, and it gets at you at the beginning with “come on over…” — beautiful (and, as a plus, the B-side on the Blessa 7”, “109” has that TYM chill sound to it, but in a rockin’ modern lovers sorta way; a complete 180 from “Blessa” in everyway). GET IT!
(21) Animal Collective – My Girls/Summertime Chores :: I’m not gonna lie, Sung Tongs is still the best record they have made (with Feels in 2nd). I was a little hesitant about this record, but it won me over with time, and “My
Girls” was a nice summery song to listen to in the winter when it came out.
(22) Daniel Francis Doyle – Your Cursive :: DFD is somewhere in the musical spectrum between Daniel Johnston, Johnathan Richman, and Lightning Bolt. DFD is a one man band that doesn’t use his MacBook (I don’t even think he even uses a computer). On record, it’s easy to hear DFD’s ability to write a good song, but to see him doing it live right in front of you, it’s jaw-dropping.
(23) The Strange Boys – Woe Is You And Me/Heard You Wanna Beat Me Up :: The Strange Boys are so kewl. The songs are a bit gritty and are like garage rock nursery stories, and that voice is like Bob Dylan mixed with Roky Erikson.
(24) Pterodactyl – December :: Other than Animal Collective (who’ve they been compared too), this band has gone through some interesting changes. Starting out as a insanely loud noise-rock band, they’ve calmed down a bit, but that has not distracted them from making some interesting sounds. I think the thing I like the best from this record is the drums and the way they creep into your brain waves.
(25) Jeff The Brotherhood – Bone Jam // YACHT – Psychic City(Voodoo City) :: Jeff The Brotherhood (along with Half Japanese) made me realize that I can start a band with my brother and make it work. This song is a testament to good times in 2009 (the few that I had). // So the Jonah dude left The Blow to do more Yacht stuff, and it sounds just like The Blow (a little more adventurous), which I don’t mind (artist and their crazy would be disagreements). I don’t know what happen between him and The Blow girl, but he hooked up with another singer after a couple of solo Yacht records, had some crazy existential spiritual life changing event happen on a trip to Marfa and recorded a record. He has some amazing theories on life, interacting with others, and triangles (my favorite thing ever). This song is just fun.
(27) Mutating Meltdown – Six Minutes Underground :: This band has almost every awesome part of Austin that I like: Chad (ex member of the Zom Zoms/keyboard extraordinaire), Veronica on drums and vox (Finally Punk/The Carrots) and Erin Budd on bass/vox (Finally Punk /Hatchet Wound). The majority of the song is in Spanish and its like Kraftwerk went to Mexico, got super into dna, and asked Mark Mothersbaugh to join the band.
(28) Ferguson & Geronimo – Tell It In My Ear // Protect Me – Without A Trace :: F&G are from Denton and this song gave me some soul power in a summer full of surf bums. // PM are from LA. The duo of Luis and Jordan are like the skittles version of a band — each taste different, but together one great thing. With small hints of Liars, Husker Du, Mika Miko, & High Places.
(29) Hatchet Wound – Fuck The Past We’re In Love :: I got the chance to see this duo from Austin featuring members of Finally Punk and Bear Claw. HW have this awesome no-fi/lo-wave bass/drum thing going for them. Erin Budd’s smooth bass lines and sweet voice play beautifully together with Nigel’s slick drum skills.
That’s the list — Thanks Burgers!