Thursday, December 11, 2014

Favorite Songs of 2014

When I assembled this list last year, it dawned on me I had become an old man. Most of my music purchases had become reissues or used records to fill holes in my collection that often dated back to my youth. I would have put the old/new music split at something like 80/20. So, my New Year's resolution was to flip the numbers around. The good news is I stuck with it. The bad news, well, not exactly bad, is many heroes from my youth released new music in 2014. So, this still kind of looks like the list of an aging father trying desperately to stay relevant. It's funny. Buying so much new music this year made me think about what a risk it used to be to plunk down 13 bucks for an album you may have read about but most likely never heard. Now we don't even have to get out of our chairs as we sample the whole endeavor over and over again. Progress?

I'm rambling. Back to the list. I used the one slot per artist rule to keep the Popguns and a few others from hogging the whole thing. I bent the rules a bit for Todd Terje and Parquet Courts/Parkay Quarts, but I feel like I can justify both of these exceptions... if you force me. I went with 40 songs this year in honor of the late Casey Kasem. His countdown filled my Sunday mornings during the most awkward of my teen years. What songs did you enjoy or despise this year? I'm sure we could go a few rounds with my No. 40 for starters.

1. The June Brides - "Being There"

2. The Popguns - "Out of Sight"

3. The Luxembourg Signal - "Distant Drive"

4. Close Lobsters - "Now Time"

5. Primitives - "Spin-O-Rama"

6. Roddy Frame - "White Pony"
7. The Hit Parade - "From Paddington to Penzance"

8. Cosines - "Out of the Fire"

9. Spoon - "Inside Out"

10. Future Islands - "Seasons (Waiting on You)"

11. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - "Kelly"

12. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings - "Retreat!"

13. She & Him - "Stay Awhile"

14. Real Estate - "Crime"

15. Allo Darlin' - "Romance and Adventure"

16. Slow Club - "Suffering You, Suffering Me"

17. Lunchbox - "Tonight is Out of Sight"
18. Todd Terje and Bryan Ferry - "Johnny and Mary"
19. The Woodentops - "Conversations"

20. Beck - "Blue Moon"

21. Alvvays - "Adult Diversion"

22. The School - "When I Fall in Love"

23. Tam Vantage - "The Boy Who Always Wins"
24. The New Pornographers - "War on the East Coast"

25. Robyn Hitchcock - "The Ghost in You"

26. Ben Watt - "Spring"

27. Literature - "New Jacket"

28. Gruff Rhys - "Liberty (Is Where We'll Be)"

29. Parquet Courts - "Instant Disassembly"

30. Vic Goddard & Subway Sect - "Born to Be a Rebel"

31. Making Marks - "Forgive and Forget"

32. Echo & the Bunnymen - "Lovers on the Run"

33. Christopher Owens - "It Comes Back to You"

34. Parkay Quarts - "Uncast Shadow of a Southern Myth"

35. Todd Terje - "Delorean Dynamite"

36. The Rosebuds - "In My Teeth"

37. Jim Noir - "Here Come the Broadway Jets"

38. Simple Minds - "Honest Town"

39. The Steinbecks - "Trying to Be Someone"

40. David Bowie - "Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)"


Echorich said...

Brian we agreed on almost 25% of the Artists and 20% of the songs - a couple of the same artist but different tracks... A few of your choices are bubbling just under my Top 40 which I think I will put up on my blog on Xmas day, as I'm still fiddling with the order.
But your's is an EXCELLENT list!!!

Uncle E said...

Great to see the Woodentops on this list. The parent album is fantastic also, hope that makes your Albums list! I was terrible this year, did what you did last year, so almost all reissues. I did like The War On Drugs, though that didn't make your list. Under The Pressure is a pretty great song, in my opinion. Lots for me to research here, thanks!

Dirk said...

A impressive list, my friend, and I've just downloaded all of the Souncloud offerings. Of course not a single one of the You Tube videos is available here in Germany, this situation has reached a North Korean level by now!

Either way I am looking forward to start to listen to the other ones in the car tomorrow morning: I'm sure it'll enlighten my way to work ...

george said...

Working my way through the list, and it's not all jingly-jangly!! You had already introduced me to the Cosines, and I see you too are a fan of Slow Club. Not at all surprised to see The Primitives and Pop-Guns, of course, but they are two excellent songs, sort of retro-sounding nowadays.
All the best.

Brian said...

Hey fellas. Echorich, your statistical breakdown sound just about right for past years too. That means there will be lots of new music for me to dive into when you reveal your choices, and you always have a couple of wonderful choices I didn't even know about at all.

Uncle E, I don't imagine this list made you wish you had pulled something together this year, but I do hope you discover something here that excites you. I'm not sure if I'm going to do an albums list since it will be a rehash of this post. However, if I do, yes, the Woodentops would be there. Great and completely surprising comeback.

Dirk, How the heck are you? Still making your mixes? Crank up "Retreat!" while your driving around. You won't be sorry.

George, Still too much jangle for you, I'm sure, but I can't help myself. Yes, I got bitten by the Slow Club bug too. Drew should make a commission with all of the bloggers he got to buy that album. Off to read your blog now...

Scott said...

Great to see Ben Watt in there. Met him earlier this year at Glasgow's Aye Write festival. What a lovely bloke. Also nice to see the return of Simple Minds with their best album in many years.

Brian said...

Scott, my man, how are you? Not to surprised to hear Watt is a nice fella. I always finding myself rooting for him and the Mrs. I liked his new album quite a bit. A little torn on Simple Minds. I recognize the quality of an album like Big Music, but I'm not sure that "big" sound is really my thing anymore. I'm still listening to it, and this is my first album from them since Sparkle in the Rain, but I expected to like it more.

Scott said...

Hi Brian, have now managed to listen to all tracks on here and am loving The Steinbecks, The School, Close Lobsters (now there really is a blast from the past) and The June Brides. Quality list that quite often takes me back to going to see all the C86 bands many years ago..