Tag Archives: music

songs i couldn’t stop listening to.

‘Tis (’twas, I guess?) the season of best-of list-making, and having always been one for bandwagons, I’m jumping on the bandwagon. I’ve been stupid lucky to enjoy a lot of great new music this year, much of it live, and it’s a nice year-end activity to reflect on what songs hit me hardest. Because I’m not a real music person and don’t pay attention to things like release dates, this is not intended to be a list of the best songs that came out in 2011; rather, it’s a list of the songs I couldn’t stop listening to last year. And with that, in alphabetical order…

ON REPEAT, ALL YEAR

Blind Pilot, “Keep You Right”

The stars wash over me, so far away that I can barely breathe from where I lay

I could have chosen a number of songs from Blind Pilot’s We Are The Tide (“We Are the Tide” and “New York” were contenders), but this one stands out. Start to finish, it highlights Israel Nebeker’s gorgeous voice and makes me happy and sad in all the best ways.

Cataldo, “Deep Cuts”

Let’s begin at the end of a bad year / With bad things at my back

Eric Anderson of Cataldo puts together perfect short songs that say a hell of a lot with every line. I love the way this one builds up such that by the second verse, you can’t not dance in your seat.  Maracas of all sorts, they get me every time.

Dawes, “A Little Bit of Everything”

It’s not some message written in the dark / Or some truth that no one’s seen / It’s a little bit of everything

The each-verse-tells-a-story style of this song could be trite, except that it’s not. It’s holy-shit powerful, and for me, pretty nicely sums up what this life thing is all about. I’ve loved this song from first listen, but loved it even more after hearing it live. Dawes sounds like an entirely different band when you’re watching them in a quiet room from a few yards away, and if you get the chance to see them in 2012, you should.

 Grouplove, “Naked Kids”

Raise your glasses, here’s to living out our dreams

This song IS summer. So joyful, so fun. Makes me want to go skinny dipping then drink whiskey at a beach bar.

The Head and the Heart, “Rivers and Roads”

Nothing is as it has been / And I miss your face like hell / And I guess it’s just as well / But I miss your face like hell

A lot of people I know have loved this song for a while, and though I’ve been a huge fan of THATH for the better part of the year (and the name of my Tumblr is inspired by one of their concerts), I was late in learning to love this song. Maybe it was the bare bones nature of it; maybe it was that I didn’t listen hard enough to the lyrics. Either way, I’m glad I learned to love it, because it speaks so accurately about this exact time in my life.

Mountain Goats, “Dance Music”

So this is what the volume knob’s for…

This song choice is kind of a cop out. I fell hard for the Mountain Goats this year (way later than everyone else) and I could have picked almost any of their songs. This one wins because for me, it sums up why we need music. And John Darnielle.

Radical Face, “Always Gold”

But I am fine with where I am now / This home is home and all that I need

I know I love a song when I consider it a running song even though no one else would. Meaning: though not necessarily pump-up-y, the song transfixes me such that I forgot about how much I hate running, which is no easy feat. This song is one of those songs.

Sarah Jaffe, “Clementine”

I wish I was a little more delicate

Dude, violins and kick-ass female singers and those little brush-like things that people use to play the drums? I’m so into them.

Typhoon, “CPR/Claws Pt. 2”

Then the suffering, one way or another, it will go away

Typhoon is a big band to begin with, and when you add in an entire cello group, the effect could be sloppy and overwhelming. Instead, this song becomes bigger and better with the addition of the Portland Cello Project, making you want to listen to it on repeat for weeks, which is exactly what you do.

Walk the Moon, “Anna Sun”

We got no money, but we got heart

I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about music videos, but videos like this one make me hope bands keep making ‘em. This one-shot video captures the sentiment of the song perfectly, and it just looks like so damn much fun. Plus, lead singer Nick Petricca’s dance moves? Can’t be beat.

Here’s to a lot more of this goodness in 2012. Happy New Year, kids!

[Posted by Mallory]

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everything is as it’s always been.

I’ll admit that some Bright Eyes stuff is a little too wacky for me, but when they’re good, they’re so damn good. “Take It Easy (Love Nothing)” is a favorite of mine. Even though it’s a kind of horribly sad little song, it’s so intense and awesome that I like to listen to it no matter what mood I’m in. Like today, I’m all chipper because Kathleen and I DID YOGA THIS MORNING BEFORE WORK (be amazed), but this song still sounds great:

Now I do as I please, and I lie through my teeth
Someone might get hurt, but it won’t be me
Should probably feel cheap, but I just feel free
And a little bit empty

No, it isn’t so hard to get close to me
There’ll be no arguments, we’ll always agree
And I’ll try to be kind when I ask you to leave
We’ll both take it easy

It’s Friday, guys! Take off your pants!

[Posted by Mallory]

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whatevma, i do what i want.

As I’ve discussed briefly here, I’m (with some hypocritical exceptions, no doubt) a firm believer that people should do what makes them happy — short of murdering strangers, etc. — and that the people who hate them for doing what they want to do and loving what they want to love should probably find other ways to occupy their time. It made me happy to learn that Jordan Reid agrees, and to read her kickass post on the topic (spurred, not surprisingly, by a holier-than-thou commenter). An excerpt:

When it comes to fashion, to literature, to art, to music, you love what you love; there are no absolutes. But the best way that these people have to make themselves feel awesome is to make sure that you know that your opinions are wrong. They make you feel scared to say that hey, you kinda like Hootie and the Blowfish, or that you think that rockabilly hairstyles are pretty cool, or that you enjoy reading paperback thrillers sometimes, because they’re going to laugh at you, and mock you, and otherwise shut you down. They’re going to tell you that your taste is terrible, that your job is unimportant, that your ideas aren’t good enough, that you chose the wrong life partner or house or diet or freaking dinner plate pattern.

And that is a crappy thing to do.

If you don’t read Jordan’s blog, Ramshackle Glam, you should start now. It’s one of the best — and certainly the most aesthetically pleasing — out there.

[Posted by Mallory]

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have yourself a merry little christmas.

Need some modern Christmas/winter music to add to your rotation? Heather Browne has done it again. Dowload a kickass 28-song mix (fer FREE!) here.

Speaking of Fuel/Friends, here are a few other fabulous songs Miss Browne’s blog have introduced me to…

I belong with you / You belong with me / You’re my sweeeeeetheart:

I am on my way / I am on my way / I am on my way back to where I started:

[Posted by Mallory]

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the flyest kid on the block.

On my walk to the metro this morning, I spotted a tall, slighty scruffy-faced boy wearing low-top Chucks with nice work pants and pulling it off. I decided right then and there that I wanted to marry him, so I gave him a good stare, just so he knew. Then — in my head, obviously — I had a conversation with him about what music we were both listening to. Do you ever do that? Imagine someone striking up a conversation about what you’re listening to? I do it a lot, and my hypothetical level of coolness fluctuates wildly from day to day. Some days I’m all “Ooh, I HOPE someone asks me today so I can tell them I’m listening to Cloud Cult, which means I’m alternative and cool.” Other days, I think I should probably be ready to scroll back a few songs in case someone pops the question. “Taylor Swift, haha, silly iTunes Shuffle. What was before that? Oh, Coldplay, um, and before that? ‘Aaron’s Party (Come Get It)’? Where did that come from??*” And then I’d awkwardly laugh and walk away.

Not that anyone’s ever actually stopped and asked me what I’m listening to. Sigh.

In other news, on Monday I went out to happy hour and realized that I left my ID at work. The waiter was being strict but luckily, I only lived two blocks away and was able to run home (bitterly, of course) to get my passport. This morning I found my ID buried in the pocket in my wallet where it’s supposed to be, juuust deep enough that it looked like the pocket was empty. Son of a bitch.

Also. You know how when you were little, you were told that if you put the plastic rings that hold pop cans (or “soda” cans, as the kids say) together directly into the trash/recycle bin, the dolphins would strangle themselves in the holes and die? Is that true? Because I totally still cut every individual hole and think about all the dolphins I’m saving.

*I’m kidding here, of course. If I ever found a man who loved “Aaron’s Party” as much as I do, I’d propose on the spot.

[Posted by Mallory]

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youtube clip of today: cat yodeling.

Cat people are SO WEIRD.  But let’s face it, sometimes really weird can be funny.  Happy Friday/start of a three day weekend, y’all!

[Posted by Kathleen]

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cobain died 15 years ago today.

Today is the 15 year anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death.  Being too young, I missed out on the whole grunge thing– but being a pop culture junkie, I appreciate it.  Plus, who doesn’t love a good stick-it-to-the-man attitude?  Thanks for the music, Kurt.

From the Unplugged session with MTV:

And the Smells Like Team Spirit video:

[Posted by Kathleen]

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