I started the decade fighting through the odd phrasing of nme.com to discover the best new bands in the world (that somehow only made one album before disappearing completely – where did you go, Haven and Electric Soft Parade?). Those CD-Rs served as the soundtrack to my college work experience at the Northern Star newspaper.
I end the decade constantly perusing iTunes and Amazon, with aggregators like elbo.ws picking up the slack for new hype and maybe a free download. Like so many other music fans, the single has replaced whole albums in my music experience, as I take my whole collection with me … back to school one more time in a field that I hope won’t disintegrate by the time the next decade comes around.
Entries on my 2009 playlist came from a variety of places, including: MTV2′s Subterranean, the Sound Opinions podcast, NPR’s All Songs Considered, and USA Today’s Pop Candy podcast. It didn’t come from radio, which says equal amounts about me and pop radio. Maybe you’ll find a gem like I did at NME all those years ago, with 97% fewer British boasts.
“The Fear” by Lily Allen
“Thrill Me” by Soundtrack of Our Lives
“Fear” by Benjy Ferree
“Gimme Sympathy” by Metric
“Little Pieces” by Gomez
“Oscar Wilde” by Company of Thieves (and 2009′s music crush on a pretty lead singer, put over the top when a band references Rushmore)
“I’m Not Crying. You’re Not Crying, Are You?” by Dear and the Headlights
“Demon Woman” by Flight of the Conchords
“Cannibal Queen” by Miniature Tigers (this year’s “It would have been a hit in almost any other previous era” award recipient)
“Tightrope” by Yeasayer (off the much-praised compilation Dark Is the Night)
“Orange Shirt” by Discovery (The Streets referenced Altavista in “Push Things Forward,” and now Google has a good reference in this song; my Lycos jam remains unrecorded)
“Young Adult Friction” by The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (ignore the overhype, because on at least this song, it’s worth it)
“Summertime Clothes” by Animal Collective and “Two Weeks” by Grizzly Bear (white music snob mandate)
“I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked” by Ida Maria (I haven’t found a song I can love from her, but this, “Morning Light” and “Oh My God” all contain parts of greatness)
“Kingdom of Rust” by Doves (an old favorite; its appearance in Zombieland put it over the top for me)
“Lovers’ Carvings” by Bibio (part of the great genre known as “songs that could have been the soundtrack to odd documentary segments on Sesame Street)
“Longform” by the dodos
“Skeletons” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs (I like “Zero” as well, but probably listened to its wall of synths one too many times)