Friday, December 23, 2011

Top 11 Tracks of 2011 (And Maybe I Cheat and Add One More It Was A Great Year Okay)

I can't believe the year is nearly over. It has to be a mistake. Remember yesterday? When it was still 2010 and I was like, "Wait...this year can't be over..."


2011. What a great year for music. I like to end each year thinking about the songs that I gravitated towards the most. The ones that I would listen to and then immediately listen to again and maybe once more for good measure. The ones that I woke up singing in my head and then maybe out loud while I made my toast. The best of the best of the best. This list was really hard to pare down this year, so I kind of didn't.

Late Entry: Alphabet Backwards - "Taller"

I place the blame squarely on the husband for this one. Oh my. He sent this to me last week and I've already listened to it one hundred times. It is so perfectly 1996 that it almost makes me want to cry. If I could cuddle with a song, this would be the one. For right now. (I'm fickle okay.)

Number 11: Katy Perry - "Last Friday Night"

I don't listen to a whole lot of pop music any more, but somehow this one did not escape me. Oh, I remember. Darren Criss. LIFE RUINER EXTRAORDINAIRE DARREN CRISS. He's in the above video, which is why I watched it, and then...welp. It's just so goddamn catchy. And I ended up crushing on it pretty hard this summer. JUDGE AWAY.

Number 10: Lindsey Buckingham - "In Our Own Time"

There was a part of me that was like, "You're not seriously going to bring Lindsey Buckingham into this are you? Just. No. That's too much. Just. Don't. Tell. Them. About. Lindsey. Buckingham. For the love." But I'm only being honest. And honestly? The number of times that I found myself sitting at a stoplight or washing dishes and singing the chorus to this? It was a lot of times. And now that I've just heard it again I think I'll go and hum it while I clean the bathroom sink.

Number 9: Watsky - "Women, Women, Women"

George Watsky elicits from me these sort of embarrassing little shrieks, like he is some small and adorable animal or perhaps just this really interesting rapper that is trapped in the body of a darker-haired version of Michael Cera. I don't know. His new album this year was quite good, and this was my favorite track to listen to. So there we are.

Number 8: CATNAPS - "Kitten and Bear"

How adorable is it that I don't have a video to share with you for CATNAPS, who are quite possibly my new favorite band ever. Another dubious attempt by the husband to try to get me to forget about everything else and just lie on the floor listening to this album on repeat through headphones and pretending that it's still 1994 and that the tightness in my chest is from the slow ache of a nonreciprocating crush, and not the full body weight of my two-year-old son who would really just like me to refill his Cheerios please. *LE SIGH*

Number 7: Sally Ford and the Sound Outside - "Cage"

Did you miss the part where I completely flailed and lost my mind over how in love I instantly became with Sallie Ford when we saw her at Newport this summer? Please to revisit in case you don't know. My feelings for her have grown tenfold, and this song is the one that got the most play since August. As a matter of fact, the husband just bought me the album on vinyl, mostly because it was on sale, but also because he listens to the things that I say and sometimes he remembers these things later on and uses these things that I've said to do, with intention, nice things that make me happy. He does this rather a lot, actually. Maybe more than I give credit for. THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU, HUSBAND.

Number 6: Beastie Boys - "Make Some Noise"

Bless the evil genius that decided it would be a good idea to cast Elijah Wood as Young Adrock, thus taking two very serious crushes and, well, crushing them together into a sort of Superhuman Ultra-Crush Bot 3000. Dear lord. Anyway, I am always excited for a new Beastie Boys album, and this one was no exception. I've watched this video an unhealthy number of times, and I'm fairly sure the whole album will still be on rotation heavy into 2012.

Number 5: Deer Tick - "Let's All Go To The Bar"

I chose this specific clip because, um, John McCauley in a suit with a little red bow tie and matching Converse PLEASE AND THANK YOU. There was a lot of excitement in the homestead upon the release of the new Deer Tick album this year (Divine Providence, in case you're not savvy), and so, when it finally did arrive, it was listened to quite a bit. And then some more. And it's still in the stereo in the kitchen because it is just an amazing album and yes, I might like to scream along to this track when it's 7:00 and the husband is still not home and the children are yelling at each other and I'd just like some gin.

Number 4: The Naked and Famous - "Young Blood"

While this is a slight cheat, it is such only slightly because this album did come out last year, but I didn't really really hear it until New Year's Day of this year, when I had the rare bit of time to drive around by myself and to turn it up loudly and listen. And just guh, squee, swell. I played it every chance that I had, for weeks and weeks on end. By the time the spring came around, and I actually got to see them perform live? Well. I'm still playing this at least once a week. True devotion.

Number 3: Middle Brother - "Middle Brother"

This particular clip gives me feelings. So very many feelings. Many of which I cannot accurately categorize at the moment, so how about ASDFJKLHAWREILTUWEVJ IJEFWEVIHGERIPTJCSIR. Things I am thinking about: 1. Johnny Corndawg appreciation life; 2. Bless John's sailor hat. BLESS IT; 3. Matt Vasquez with his little shirt and his little dance and his EVERYTHING; 4. The melodica is very close to usurping the harmonica as the sexiest instrument of all times. Overall, this was the number 1 most played album in our house, well, pretty much ever. From top to bottom, it's phenomenal. If you haven't heard it, I will weep silently for you, because even if you listen to it every minute of every day for the rest of your life, you still will never have listened to it as many times as you could have, if you weren't so unforgivably late to the party.

Number 2: Gotye (feat. Kimbra) - "Somebody That I Used To Know"

There is little in my life that is more profoundly frustrating than the fact that I will never, not ever, ever have the ability to play this song as loud as it needs to and deserves to be played. With headphones on and all speaker levels turned to the max, it is still not enough volume. It needs to be blaring, thunderous, completely ear-piercing. And then I need to be swaddled in a blanket while it is shot into my veins, all at once, so that I can hear it with my whole body and not just through my useless ear holes, which obviously don't understand just how loud it needs to be to be loud enough. (I love this song.)

Number 1: Yellow Ostrich - "Whale"

How is it possible to have loved a song more this year than the one I endlessly gushed about just then? Well. I'll tell you. While the Gotye song makes me want to shout and wail at no particular pain, this one? This small and incredibly gigantic Yellow Ostrich song? It makes me want to close my eyes and sink and breathe and not think about anything while I am heavily reminded about everything. It makes me happy on a level that is important to remember as much of the time as I can, especially when most of the day is spent at the mercy of two small tyrants that don't much care that I sometimes miss thinking about things other than the piles of laundry and ways in which to get the yelling to stop (or at least calm - does it ever really stop?) and what there should be for dinner. The sadness of this song is masked with happiness for me, and vice versa. I'm afraid I might have just gone too profound with myself. This is to say, I'm still in here. And if ever there were a song this year to remind of that just when I need it, this would be The One.


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