2009 in music


30. Dez. 2009, 11:17

The songs mentioned in this post (except for the last band on the list, unfortunately) are all linked to pages on Last.fm, Grooveshark, Bandcamp, Blip.fm or iLike, where you can listen to the entire song :) These sites have been invaluable for letting me try out new music - I wish every band had their songs available online! I rarely listen to the radio or watch music videos, so I rely on these kinds of sites to discover awesome new (or just new to me) music.

I guess this list could be divided into 3 categories:

1. Bands I already like releasing new stuff
2. Bands I discovered because they performed with or were recommended by a band I already like
3. Bands I found via Twitter buzz/friends' recommendations (some overlap with #2)

But this list isn't in any order, except that I saved some of my biggest favorites for last.


Dragonette: Absolutely LOVED their previous album, but didn't get quite the same feeling from the new one... still, I really liked Fixin' to Thrill. If I could only be half as badass as Martina Sorbara...!

Lily Allen: I loved her first album, and this year's is just as good. My favorite song: Not Fair. Hahaha. So wrong, but fun to sing along with!

Tinted Windows: I was all excited to see that Adam Schlesinger from Fountains of Wayne and James Iha from the Smashing Pumpkins were working TOGETHER... plus that dude from Cheap Trick, who's clearly beyond reproach. But it was really hard to get over Taylor Hanson singing lead. The songs are all perfectly solid power-pop, but just something about that Hanson sound holds me back... and it seems like most of the Tinted Windows fans are crossover Hanson fans, which is ANNOYING, but it's good that they're loyal I guess. Still, I enjoyed the album quite a bit. My favorite songs: Can't Get A Read On You, Doncha Wanna (even though it reminds me of the Subway $5 Footlong commercial), and bonus track New Cassette (which is the most like a Fountains of Wayne song, lyrically - and super-fans of any band should be able to relate to it!)

Rob Thomas: Anna got me into him - I have a funny story about how my mom wouldn't let me go see Matchbox 20 when they came to Cincinnati on tour back in the day, even though allll my friends were going (They are wearing EYELINER in the photo that ran in the newspaper! Is that REALLY the kind of band you want to see?!?!?!?! Oh it is? No, you're still not going!)... Anyway... I eventually decided I didn't even like Matchbox 20 that much, but Anna lent me Rob's new CD this year and I really liked it. Also, he is a big supporter of adopting from animal shelters and that's just sweet. My favorite from Cradlesong: Wonderful.

Tim Blane: Tim was one of my big discoveries from last year, and he released a 5-song EP this year that you can download entirely free at his Bandcamp site. My favorites from that are Selline and How Did I Get Here. If you live near Boston/NYC/Philly/DC you have a pretty good chance of catching him live, WHICH I DEFINITELY RECOMMEND YOU DO. Besides making great, catchy music with lyrics that hit home, he's funny and absurdly good-looking, with a delicious voice... what's not to love?

Syd: Found out about Syd by way of Tim Blane - seems they were once in a super-band together with a few other like-minded singer-songwriters. Syd also put out an EP this year: Upswing (favorites: Mallory & The Big Town), and actually you can listen to all of his other music free at his Bandcamp site.

Glen Phillips: Little Bunny Foo Foo! I was OBSESSED with this song back in October, all during our Chicago trip. It's a real earworm, and makes me laugh... "Little Bunny Foo Foo, I don't like your attitude!" Oh, and it took me a while to realize this is the same guy from Toad The Wet Sprocket... RANDOM.

K'naan: Opened for Jason Mraz on his Gratitude Cafe tour this summer. I loved the song Bang Bang (featuring Adam Levine of Maroon 5) - it was a big hit with the Mraz fans, had everyone dancing. And if I listen to it once, I have to listen to it 2 or 3 more times immediately.

fun. All the Pretty Girls - Another one that I couldn't stop listening to for days. I described it on Facebook as "Handclaps, strings, Queen-esque vocals." Discovered the band via Bananas Music Club on Twitter when their song At Least I'm Not as Sad (as I Used to Be) was featured one week.

Brendan Benson: Late last year I found out that the Fratellis had covered a White Stripes song, which led me to explore and then become a big fan of the White Stripes, which led to becoming a fan of the Raconteurs, which led to (re)discovering Brendan Benson (I'd heard of him but never tried him out). And he had a new album this year, with this song on it: A Whole Lot Better.

Butch Walker: Did an adorable cover of Taylor Swift's big hit this year, You Belong With Me. I was happy when he put it on iTunes! Discovered Butch Walker by way of Rhett Miller on Twitter (I love it when musicians tweet at each other!)

Rhett Miller: Ohhh RHETT MILLER. It's not enough for him to be the lead singer of the Old 97's - one of my favorite bands ever - he's also got a handful of stellar solo albums. At all times lyrical awesomeness is on display. This year he released a self-titled one that at first disappointed me, then grew on me hardcore. Lashes is one of my favorites from his new album, but they are pretty much ALL good... I Need To Know Where I Stand was the official single. Saw him live 3 times this year - once solo (the reason for our trip to Chicago) and twice with the Old 97's (Indianapolis and Louisville). A great year just for that!

Dave Carroll: United Breaks Guitars - Found via Twitter. The song explains itself... Hilarious! Huge high five to this guy for turning a bad experience into a hit song.

Crash Kings: Found their song Mountain Man through a Twitter search for Jack White - someone thought this song sounded like him. It kinda does, but the rest of the album doesn't... but I still liked it. When I burned out on Mountain Man my new favorites were Non Believer and It's Only Wednesday.

Cage the Elephant: I also found their song Ain't No Rest for the Wicked through a Twitter search for Jack White. This was the only song I really liked from their album, though.

La Roux: Bulletproof. A friend at work told me about this group... Like finding a time capsule from the 80s! Thanks April!

Green Day: My friend Matt thought I would like Green Day's new album, 21st Century Breakdown. Turns out he knows me pretty well. I hadn't listened to them since the mid-90s but I certainly listened exclusively to this album for weeks, especially while walking to the bus stop. The title track, 21st Century Breakdown, is maybe my favorite... it's slightly epic.

Wild Light: Another Bananas Music Club / Twitter find... California On My Mind. F*** California! I've never been to California, actually; it's just fun to sing that.

Will Dailey: My sister has been raving about him but I've been too preoccupied with other bands to check him out much yet. I do like this song though: Never Be Your Baby, and I can tell I will be liking a lot more of his stuff so... he makes the list. Other musicians I like have been talking about him on Twitter, so that's a good sign.

Green River Ordinance: They opened for the Elms in Indianapolis in November - Anna and I were REALLY impressed! One of our favorite finds from this year. We're already planning to see them early next year when they go on tour some more. Their whole album (Out Of My Hands) is great, but Outside and Endlessly are two of my favorites.

The Elms: Honestly the Elms deserve their own separate post, as big a part of my year as they were - I hardly know where to begin! Saw them for the first time at the Indiana State Fair with Jon McLaughlin (THANK YOU JON!!!), bought their latest album after (it was not officially released yet but they were selling it at the fair), and things snowballed from there. Maybe avalanched is more accurate. They're my most-listened artist of the year although I only heard about them in August, and they've broken into my Last.fm top 8 most-listened artists up alongside my longtime favorites like Jason Mraz and Fountains of Wayne, passing up the Beatles and Rhett Miller on the way. My sister and I have already seen them 4 times this year and have plans for more in 2010 - we just can't get enough! I've got way too much to say about The Elms in general - I'm a little evangelical about them, because I think they deserve more recognition. Their previous album The Chess Hotel was one of the best I've ever heard, by anyone. Anyhow, their album from this year is called The Great American Midrange and it's fantastic as well (more trivia: it's my 4th most-listened album overall since I started using Last.fm). The Shake is the first song I heard by them, but Strut really gets me through the day sometimes... It is kickass! Anna loves The Little Ways and so do I... it's really hard to not mention every single song on this album... in conclusion, I also really like County Fair - this video is from the show we saw in November :)

Codeine Velvet Club: New band from the Fratellis' lead singer and a female singer/songwriter. I'm actually not a big fan of the name (too long, and what does it mean?), but everything else is excellent! The album just came out on December 28th but I knew I had to hold off on my "best of the year" list until I heard it. "Cinematic" is the best way I can describe it quickly... they draw from midcentury pop and big-band sounds, mixed with Fratelli-esque rock swagger. (I don't think it's actually that far off from where The Fratellis were heading with their last album - Straggler's Moon, Milk & Money and such). Now... the album's actually not released in the U.S. yet, but I bought it from 7digital.com, so you can preview each song there since I can't find full tracks online anyplace yet :/ My favorites are Hollywood, Begging Bowl Blues, and I Would Send You Roses. Hoping these guys don't wait too long to tour the U.S.!

So that's my list! And now 2010 has a lot to live up to!


  • syd-music

    thanks for the mention sarah! you should check out the will dailey song "you're so cold" -- sure it was on the 90210 soundtrack but my oh my does it kick ass.

    2. Jan. 2010, 19:20
  • S9DallasOz

    Good going.

    3. Jan. 2010, 21:57
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