We're just getting started counting down our 100 favorite songs of the year. Today, 95-91. Check out 100-96 here.
95) Sun Airway - "Put the Days Away"
Combines the once-cool thing from 2001 that no one seems to care about anymore (The Strokes) with the once-cool thing from 2009 that no one seems to care about anymore (Animal Collective) and amazingly turns the result into something fresh and interesting. Based on sonic description alone, this is probably the song on this list I’d be least interested in hearing (Pitchfork said “The song’s foundation is a sea of throbbing tones and uncertain drone”). And yet it’s great.
The Strokes - "Hard to Explain"
Animal Collective - "My Girls"
94) Stars - "Fixed"
VIDEO: Embedding prohibited, but you can check it out HERE.
Concept album about ghosts? Concept album about ghosts.
Every year, it seems like there are a couple songs toward the end of my Top 100 where what I really want to say is, “Yes, this song is pretty good, but mostly I just want to remind you that what we have here is a band with an incredible back catalog. Please go listen to some of their older stuff.”
I’ll put up a few songs on the blog. In the meantime, enjoy the best use of the word “fisticuffs” I heard all year.
Stars - "Elevator Love Letter"
Stars - "Your Ex-Lover is Dead"
93) Free Energy - "Bang Pop"
By my count, Free Energy played San Francisco six times in 2010 (Rickshaw Stop as part of Noise Pop, 330 Ritch opening for Dan Black, two nights at Great American Music Hall opening for Mates of State, Independent opening for Titus Andronicus, Slim’s headlining). They also played once in San Jose and I think once in Santa Cruz. They're coming back in January. The band is from Philadelphia. They have no real connection to San Francisco that I can see.
So here’s my proposal for Free Energy: just move here. Become the band in residence at some smaller club (think about Cafe du Nord, maybe Elbo Room), and, like the Beatles in Hamburg, play every night, put in your 10,000 hours, perfect your craft, and become the best band in the world. It could work.
Free Energy - "Bad Stuff"
Free Energy - "Dark Trance"
92) Big K.R.I.T. - "Hometown Hero (Remix)" (f/ Yelawolf)
In which there are just so many words.
Here’s a question that’s either really deep or really stupid, I honestly can’t tell:
The best things about this song are (1) the sample (Adele’s “Hometown Glory”); (2) the Friday Night Lights-quoting intro; and (3) Yelawolf’s incredible second verse.
I’m assuming Big K.R.I.T. didn’t make the beat. I’m assuming he didn’t write Yelawolf’s verse.
However, I’m also assuming he chose the beat, and that he chose to work with Yelawolf.
So, even though Big K.R.I.T.’s two verses are absolutely the two weak links in this song, the fact remains that this is a Big K.R.I.T. song on my Top 100 list.
Given those facts: Do I think Big K.R.I.T. is a good artist or not?
Yelawolf - "Billy Crystal"
Big Boi - "You Ain't No DJ" (f/ Yelawolf)
91) Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars - "Living Stone"
So my proposed rule would be that, unless you are an actual refugee, you are prohibited from making reggae music. So we would be able to keep great songs like this one, and we would be able to get rid of … well, basically everything else.
Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars - "Jah Come Down"
The Very Best - "Will You Be There?"