We're counting down our 100 favorite songs of the year. Today, 51-55. Check out previous posts here.
55) Titus Andronicus - "A More Perfect Union"
In which Titus Andronicus would like to crash on your couch.
We all judge NASCAR fans for going to races hoping to see a fiery crash, but I have to admit feeling a little bit of a thrill at watching musicians freak out onstage. During a late-March Titus Andronicus show at Slim’s, a dispute over sound levels somehow led to lead singer Patrick Stickles launching into an extended discussion of his anti-depressant usage. It was exactly as uncomfortably surreal as you’d expect.
It’s not that I took any pleasure in seeing Stickles upset, but I do enjoy seeing glimpses of how much music truly means to my favorite artists. This should be more than a job to them. It should bleed into their lives. I don’t want to see them tortured, but I do want to see them consumed. I want to see flashes of pure authenticity. And I got that from Titus Andronicus. They probably left that show thinking it had been a complete disaster. But I liked them better after seeing it.
Titus Andronicus - "Titus Andronicus Forever"
Titus Andronicus - "The Battle of Hampton Roads"
54) Foxy Shazam - "Killin' It"
You know that scene in Old School where the guys drive around in that panel van, wearing ski masks, and kidnap all the potential pledges for their fraternity? Well, someday, Foxy Shazam is going to return to the Bay Area. And Ilana is going to ask you to come to the show. Then Ilana is going to demand that you come to the show. Then, if necessary, Ilana may tackle you into a fountain. Don’t fight it. It’s useless. You are going to wind up in that van.
Foxy Shazam - "Bombs Away"
fun. - "All The Pretty Girls"
53) Sun Airway - "Waiting on You"
Nocturne of Exploded Crystal Chandelier is an album dedicated to Kurt Vonnegut, JD Salinger, and David Foster Wallace … and it sounds like an album dedicated to Kurt Vonnegut, JD Salinger, and David Foster Wallace. It’s an incredibly literate record, a soundscape that fits with a lifetime spent wrapped up in books. This is absolutely my favorite song of the collection, but it’s a remarkably consistent album, and the two Sun Airway songs on this list could arguably be replaced with about a half dozen others.
Sun Airway - "Oh, Naoko"
Sun Airway - "American West"
52) Teddybears - "Crystal Meth Christian" (f/ Flaming Lips)
Swedish weird (Teddybears) cross-pollinates with American weird (Flaming Lips) to create super-strain of weird that will eventually come to rule the world.
Teddybears - "Yours To Keep"
Flaming Lips - "Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Pt I"
51) Sleigh Bells - "Ring Ring" (Demo Version)
This year’s unfortunate recipient of the Black Kids Memorial “Disease of Over-Production” Award. I used to think “overproduced” was one of the most pretentious-sounding critical attacks on a band: “Oh, you don’t like this because it sounds too good, is that it? Would you rather they recorded it by singing into a tin can on a string? Sorry someone actually spent money on the album.”
But … this is the demo version of this song. I’ll post the album version on the blog. Honestly … tell me which one you like better.
Sleigh Bells - "Rill Rill" (Album Version)
Funkadelic - "Can You Get To That?"