Tuesday, December 14, 2010

100 Songs for 2010: 56-60


We're counting down our 100 favorite songs of the year.  Today, 56-60.  Check out previous posts here.


60) Jeremy Messersmith - "Violet!"

Minneapolis singer-songwriter crafts the year’s best forgotten 1960s TV show theme. Starring Mary Tyler Moore as Violet!

Messersmith has a whole collection of sharp, catchy songs, and it’s really just a failure of marketing that he’s not already a blog-rock celebrity. If he just started a band with a cutesy/clever name and just put out the same records, it seems like he would own the Shins/Death Cab for Cutie market.


Jeremy Messersmith - "Knots"
Jeremy Messersmith - "Toussaint Grey First In Life And Death"

59) Cut Copy - "Where I'm Going"

Of the two new Cut Copy singles released in the second half of 2010, this is the one it’s cool to like, because this one sounds like the Beach Boys and The Beatles and early Pink Floyd. As you’ll see later on the list, Cut Copy does not always limit themselves to universally-respected influences.


Cut Copy - "Hearts On Fire"
Cut Copy - "Feel The Love"

58) Scissor Sisters - "Skin Tight"

I’m going out on a limb here and calling this my all-time favorite song about condoms. I know, it’s a bold statement.


Scissor Sisters - "Paul McCartney"
Scissor Sisters - "Laura"

57) Gold Motel - "Perfect (In My Mind)"

There are so many things I love about my current Hancock Street apartment, but one of the very best is that I live within walking distance of an excellent little music venue, Café du Nord on Market Street between Church and Sanchez. Now, I love the shows you mark on your calendar months in advance.* I love concerts that are events. On the other hand, I also saying, “Hey, Gold Motel is the second band on tonight. Wanna wander over there and check it out?” Because a good show is a good show, but an unexpected, last minute good show is somehow better than anything. I’d like to become a regular at Café du Nord. I’d like to know the guy a the door by name. And, since I’m ostensibly going there to see bands, it would come with none of the shame normally associated with being way too familiar with the staff at a bar.

* Lykke Li is playing the Regency Grand Ballroom May 30, 2011. She announced this tour in mid-November. That might be too much buildup.


Gold Motel - "We're On The Run"
Gold Motel - "Make Me Stay"

56) New Pornographers - "Moves"

As I was sitting here, trying to think of something appropriate to say about this wonderful song, I see that my friend Gene has posted his five favorite songs of the year on Facebook. They are:

- 1 – MGMT – “Flash Delirium”
- 2 – New Pornographers – “Moves”
- 3 – Ra Ra Riot – “Boy”
- 4 – Band of Horses – “Compliments”
- 5 – Secret Cities – “Boyfriends”

So, take it from him. This is a really good song. Right now, I would bet we’re both thinking of one night in July at the Fox Theater when the New Pornographers were fighting with a terribly muddy sound. Only the low end was coming through, and, for all their positive traits, “trunk-rattling bass” isn’t a compliment normally associated with them at all. Except for this song, which cut through all the technical shortcomings and was the absolute highlight of that set.

Two more thoughts about Gene’s Top Five:

- One – It makes me feel better about my list that four of his top five wound up somewhere in my Top 100. The fifth, the Secret Cities tune, is pretty solid in its own right, but I really have a hard time with most songs featuring whistling. I’ll put it up on the blog and you can judge for yourself.

- Two – I love the New Pornographers. For almost a decade now, they’ve been among my 3-5 favorite bands. Sadly, that pales in comparison to Gene’s devotion to the band. He’s seen them something like a dozen times, has followed them on tour, etc. So, despite my professed long-time love for the band, I am nowhere near the biggest New Pornographers fan at my office. In the same way, a lot of you know me as a moderately-obsessive marathon runner. And I used to be pretty fast. I’m proud of that 3:10:56 in LA two years ago. I’m proud of running Boston in 2009. But I work with a guy who finished forty-second and fifty-first overall in back to back Boston Marathons.* I guess I’m lucky that I’m still the biggest Twins fan in the office. Still have that going for me …

* Not to toot my own horn, but I was 5829th in 2009, so … yeah.


New Pornographers - "Graceland"
New Pornographers - "When I Was a Baby"

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