- "Clouds" - The Long Winters (Putting The Days to Bed - 2006)
- "Carousel" - Iron & Wine (The Shepherd's Dog - 2007)
This whole album is great--it's got a very post-CSNY vibe to it. This song, like the Fleet Foxes entry below, makes me forget what I was doing and start staring out the window when it comes on.
- "Where I Am" - Westerly (Wild Wild Wind E.P. - 2007)
Mrs Transient Gadfly found these guys playing at our Farmers Market one Sunday and bought this five song E.P. They've since released two more albums and seem to be touring around the country these days. This is still their best work.
- "Joe Metro" - Blue Scholars (Bayani - 2007)
Just your average major-label released rhyme about riding the bus down the Rainier Valley. Words do not describe how awesome this song is.
- "Overkill (Acoustic)" - Colin Hay (Man @ Work - 2003)
- "Start a War" - The National (Boxer - 2007)
- "Your Name" - Kevin Hyatt/Gino Scarpino (Badly Bare Demos - 2008)
A collaborative effort by two friends of mine. I find this song to be highly compelling, it's a rhythmic acoustic folk song with an organic mellotron and a funky 808 beat.
- "Knife" - Grizzly Bear (Yellow House - 2006)
- "Flicks" - Frou Frou (Details - 2002)
- "Little Round Mirrors" - Harvey Danger (Little By Little - 2005)
"A shooting star is/a little piece of/cosmic debris desperately wanting to fall to the Earth/It doesn't get too far/(it's not a real star)/it's hardly worth the footnotes in your memoir."
- "Blue Ridge Mountains" - Fleet Foxes (Fleet Foxes - 2008)
- "On a Different Shelf" - Jim Noir (Jim Noir - 2008)
- "Spacewater" - Dzihan and Kamien (Freaks and Icons - 2000)
This electronica album has never been my favorite album at any one time, but it's been at the top of the list for ten years now.
- "People Are Like Suns" - Crowded House (Time on Earth - 2007)
Is this entire album about the death of Paul Hester, or is that just me?
- "Greyboy" - Soul Patch (Sooner or Later - 2007)
- "You Can Have It All" - Yo La Tengo (And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out - 2000)
Yo La Tengo is a (relatively) new discovery for me. I listen to this album and wonder how they aren't more famous than they are.
- "Paper Tiger" - Beck (Sea Change - 2002)
I've never liked Beck all that much, but this is a great, stripped down album.
- "Such Great Heights" - The Postal Service (Give Up - 2003)
I'm pretty sure this one's on everybody's list everywhere. There's a band called "Owl Town" that had the number one song on the Billboard charts a couple of weeks ago. I listened to it. It was the Postal Service, except about half as good musically and not even in the same universe lyrically. Man, Ben Gibbard...that guy is a genius.
- "Carry Me Ohio" - Sun Kil Moon (Ghosts of the Great Highway - 2003)
2005's Tiny Cities, which is a collection of covers of Modest Mouse songs, is also utterly worth your time.
- "Slipping Through the Sensors" - Fruit Bats (Mouthfuls - 2003)
- "A Fond Farewell" - Elliott Smith (From a Basement on the Hill - 2004)
This album is hard to listen to. It's unfinished and it's pretty raw and Elliott Smith was in a lot of pain. And of course it has moments of transcendence, too.
- "Heartbeats" - Jose Gonzales (Veneer - 2005)
That song from that commercial with the colorful bouncing balls. His cover of Massive Attack's "Teardrop" from 2007 would also make this list if I didn't have that one artist rule.
- "Casimir Pulaski Day" - Sufjan Stevens (Come On Feel the Illinoise - 2005)
One of the best albums of the decade.
- "Que Sera" - Wax Taylor (Tales of the Forgotten Melodies - 2005)
French cinemaphile electronica.
- "Your Hand In Mine" - Explosions in the Sky (The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place - 2003)
Apparently Explosions in the Sky does not do the theme from Friday Night Lights. How this is possible I do not know.
- "Your Girlfriend's Car" - Throw Me The Statue (Moonbeams - 2008)
I again tout the awesomeness of Throw Me The Statue. They are awesome.
- "Daily Mutilation" - Jon Auer (Beautiful Escape: Songs of the Posies Revisited - 2008)
Here is the coolest I have ever been: Mrs. Transient Gadfly and I were at the Posies show that doubled as the release party for this album, and after it was over we went down to the merchandise table to say goodnight to the guy who owns the record label, and he gave me a gig poster that he was having all the artists on the record sign for his collection. I was signing it as Jon Auer walked up. I handed him the pen and the poster and he looked at me as if he should know who I was.
- "Turn and Run" - Neil Finn (One Nil - 2001)
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Everybody's doing a Songs of the Aughts. Following Fronesis' lead, and observing the same rules, here are selections out of my music player at work that were released this decade and made it into my favorites playlist (notes as appropriate):