The best of 2009 mix tape
After a bit of a lull in 2008, 2009 came back strong, serving up one of the most interesting and diverse years musically of the decade. It makes for a great way to close out the 2000s, no doubt, and that means that the finish line of my insane little mix tape project is in sight, with only the 1950s and 1960s left to tackle. Then again, those are likely to be the two most challenging decades of the bunch, so, as my high school basketball coach was fond of saying, there may well be a light at the end of this tunnel, but it just might be a train. Oh well, on to the goods.
Summertime Clothes – Animal Collective
The Internet pretty much collectively lost its mind when Merriweather Post Pavilion came out, and with good reason as it turned out. Here’s the standout track from that album.
The Boys Are Leaving Town – Japandroids
You know what you are getting from Japandroids, and odds are it’s going to be loud, fast, and pretty amazing.
Actor Out of Work – St. Vincent
Actor was another ring in Annie Clark’s evolution into the queen of the known universe, and a mighty fine record to boot.
Useful Chamber – Dirty Projectors
There’s nothing that quite sounds like a Dirty Projectors record. Listen as this song morphs from a hipster Brooklyn version of an R&B song into a full on Led Zeppelin jam around the 5:15 mark.
DC Comics and Chocolate Milkshakes – Art Brut
Nobody lets the nerd flag fly quite like Art Brut.
Young Adult Friction – The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
There’s a lot to love about the TPOBPAH, especially if you’re a fan of Echo and the Bunnymen, Jesus and Mary Chain, etc.
Heads Will Roll – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
This is, dare I say, borderline pop? Certainly not what you’d expect to hear from Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but it works.
I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris – Morrissey
Ah, Moz. You certainly don’t make it easy on yourself, but it’s hard to stay mad when you’re still capable of gems like this one.
Not Fair – Lily Allen
This song wraps everything great about Lily Allen up in a neat and tidy bow.
What Are You Willing to Take – Lucero
I’m a giant sucker for a rock song with a horn section and an organ, no doubt.
Daniel – Bat for Lashes
Love, love, love me some Natasha Khan. Sweep the leg, Johnny! (See the video.)
Two Weeks – Grizzly Bear
I loved this record a little too much when it came out, and then put it on the shelf and never really listened to it again. It’s nice to come back to it and listen to it with fresh ears.
1901 – Phoenix
Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix was a juggernaut of a record at the time, with two or three pretty killer singles. 1901 is a favorite.
Wilco (the song) – Wilco
Wilco (the song) from Wilco (the album) by Wilco (the band) is perhaps a little too cute for its own good, but a good tune nonetheless.
Empire State of Mind – Jay-Z, Alicia Keys
There’s no reason to fight this one. It’s the Hey Ya! of the year and one you’ll be hearing for years to come whenever there’s footage of NYC to be shown. And thanks for the kid friendly radio edit, Shawn. Long live the World Trade.
Don’t Forget Me – Neko Case
I would never, ever forget you Neko. Ever. Try this one out on repeat with headphones on, sitting alone in the candlelight darkness, and let the gospel vibe just wash over you. It’s the equivalent of a juice cleanse for your soul.
And that’s a wrap on the 2000s, with only the best of the decade to follow. That’s a pretty cool year of music, no? When all is said and done this is one of my favorites of the last 15 years, so, enjoy it.
Which one of you favorites did I miss?