Apr 28, 2009

Great Songs of 2008: 61-70

Jenny Holzer - Washinton DC (2007)

We're almost halfway through my list of Great Songs of 2008 today... including a song from a stellar Minneapolis hip hop album, one of my favourite music videos of 2008, the Beyonce phenomenon that I almost left off the list until my mom sang the chorus incessantly over Christmas, an English band's debut, and a cute song about self mutilation.

61) Architecture in Helsinki - That Beep (mp3)

62) Atmosphere - Yesterday (mp3)

63) Chester French - She Loves Everybody (mp3) [previous post]

64) My Morning Jacket - Highly Suspicious (mp3)

65) Chairlift - Bruises (mp3)

66) Does It Offend You, Yeah? - We Are Rockstars (mp3)

67) Beyonce - Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) (mp3)

68) Department of Eagles - No One Does It Like You (mp3)

69) Passion Pit - Sleepyhead (mp3)

70) Friendly Fires - Jump In The Pool (mp3) [previous post]

Download 61-70 as a zip file.

Apr 27, 2009

Great Songs of 2008: 51-60

Jen Davis - What Was Left (2007)

There are tons more Great Songs of 2008 to list today... including a Japanese multi-instrumentalist's pop collage, a fascinating new-wave breakthrough, an anthem that changed a country, a commercial for Apple Bottom Jeans and boots with the fur, an emotive rock debut and the unorthodox layered vocals of a little UK singer.

51) Animal Collective - Water Curses (mp3) [previous post]

52) Shugo Tokumaru - Parachute (mp3) [previous post]

53) Ghostland Observatory - Heavy Heart (mp3) [previous post]

54) Will.I.Am - Yes We Can (mp3) [previous post]

55) Benji Hughes - You Stood Me Up (mp3) [previous post]

56) Flo Rida (ft. T Pain) - Get Low (mp3)

57) Max Tundra - Will Get Fooled Again (mp3)

58) One Little Plane - Lotus Flower (mp3) [previous post]

59) The Airborne Toxic Event - Sometime Around Midnight (mp3)

60) Santigold - L.E.S Artistes (mp3) [previous post]

Download 51-60 as a zip file.

Apr 25, 2009

Great Songs of 2008: 41-50

Paul Shambroom - Missile [First Baptist Church in Covington, OH] (2008)

More Great Songs of 2008 continue through the weekend... including a cultural cornerstone covered by the Rock-afire Explosion, a breath of fresh air from a young Nashville country singer, a song I heard everywhere I went in 2008, the new sounds of a classic indie favourite, an experimental highlight from last year's Forward Music Fest, and a tragically underplayed portrait of loneliness.

41) Bonnie "Prince" Billy - You Remind Me of Something (mp3) [previous post]

42) Connor Oberst - Milk Thistle (mp3) [previous post]

43) Joan As Police Woman - To Be Lonely (mp3)

44) TV on the Radio - Halfway Home (mp3)

45) Usher (ft Young Jeezy) - Love in This Club (mp3)

46) Kathleen Edwards - Sure As Shit (mp3)

47) Leona Lewis - Bleeding Love (mp3)

48) Eef Barzelay - True Freedom (mp3)

49) Stars Like Fleas - I Was Only Dancing (mp3) [previous post]

50) Caitlin Rose - Dead Flowers (mp3) [previous post]

Download 41-50 as a zip file.

Apr 23, 2009

Great Songs of 2008: 31-40

Kate Hutchinson - Irish Grandmother

As the Great Songs of 2008 list progresses... we add a hit from one of Madison's own, a Russian-born and Brooklyn-bred Bjork, a characteristically patient K-records spirit, another artist from last year's JustSayin show series, a few ballads, and a folk pop song from Paris that makes a childhood death sound cute.

31) Fleet Foxes - White Winter Hymnal (mp3)

32) Bell - Housefire (mp3) [previous post]

33) Festival - Bind Us All (mp3)

34) Karl Blau - Before Telling Dragons (mp3) [previous post]

35) Pale Young Gentlemen - Kettle Drum (I Left A Note) (mp3)

36) Landon Pigg - Great Companion (mp3)

37) Peter Broderick - Games Again (mp3) [previous post]

38) Orouni (ft Mina Tindle) - The Perfume Conspiracy (mp3) [previous post]

39) Civil Twilight - Human (mp3)

40) Parenthetical Girls - A Song For Elle Greenwich (mp3)

Download 31-40 as a zip file.

Apr 22, 2009

Great Songs of 2008: 21-30

Beeple - subprime
(brand new and BLOWING UP on vimeo)

The Great Songs of 2008 countdown barrels along... with selections from two of the best JustSayin shows last year, an R&B dance pop obsession, a new classic from one of the best bands in the world (and other worlds), and the winner of 2008's Best New Artist grammy - just to name a few.

21) Adele - Daydreams (mp3) [previous post]

22) Mount Eerie - Voice in Headphones (mp3) [previous post]

23) Ne-Yo - Closer (mp3)

24) Baby Dee - Safe Inside the Day (mp3) [previous post]

25) School of Seven Bells - Face to Face On High Places (mp3) [previous post]

26) Port O'Brien - I Woke Up Today (mp3) [previous post]

27) Portishead - Deep Water (mp3) [previous post]

28) Laura Barrett - Deception Island Optimists Club (mp3) [previous post]

29) Sigur Ros - Gobbledigook (mp3) [previous posts]

30) Apes & Androids - We Don't Understand You (mp3) [previous post]

Download 21-30 as a zip file.

Apr 21, 2009

Great Songs of 2008: 11-20

Shannon Taggart - Korena

My countdown of 130ish Great Songs of 2008 continues... with an aggressive anthem from our sexy nerd party at Project Lodge last year, a French electro number from West Africa, an incredible piece of songwriting from Wisconsin, my favorite Montreal voice, and a strange peek at the loneliness of one of the biggest men in music.

11) Vampire Weekend - Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa (mp3)

12) Hot Chip - Ready For The Floor (mp3) [previous posts]

13) Woodhands - I Wasn't Made For Fighting (mp3) [previous post]

14) Tune Yards - HATARI (mp3) [previous post]

15) Amadou & Miriam - Sabali (mp3)

16) Hercules & The Love Affair (ft. Antony Hegarty) - Blind (mp3)

17) Alphabeat - Fascination (mp3)

18) The Very Best - Dinosaur On The Ark (mp3)

19) The Daredevil Christopher Wright - The East Coast (mp3) [previous post]

20) Kanye West - Say You Will (mp3)

Download 11-20 as a zip file.

Apr 20, 2009

Great Songs of 2008: 1-10

Tine Casper [from Westerland]

With three rich months of 2009 already in the rear-view, I'm a little embarrassed that I haven't yet formally reflected on what a great year last year was for music. Like all of you, I regularly hear things like "they just don't make music like they used to" or "I didn't really listen to anything new this year" or "last year was so much better" or "throw me the what?" or "everything new sounds like its from a resale shop without the vintage." And I couldn't disagree more. There was so much amazing music during 2008, that I had trouble limiting my annual Great Songs list to only 100 great songs... it totals around 130 here as I begin.

You know the drill - 10 songs a day, lightly ordered only because you'll assume I've ordered from top to bottom, left to right anway... though all were great for usually incomparable reasons. Most were released or made big impact from Jan 1-Dec 31 2008. The list as a whole tastes a little like DIY dance exhaustion settling to hush folk. There are a bunch of songs about winter, some new songs by classic bands, some classic songs by new bands, a few by cute indie girls, some experimental new directions, a bunch of cool things painstakingly plucked from powerful albums, some catchy remains from trips to the top of the pops. Whatever the reason, all were meaningful to me last year - what about to you?

1) MGMT - Time To Pretend (mp3)

2) M83 - Kim & Jesse (mp3)

3) Lykke Li - Little Bit (mp3)

4) Thao with the Get Down Stay Down - Swimming Pools (mp3)

5) Shearwater - Leviathan Bound (mp3)

6) Deastro - Michael, The Lone Archer of the North Shore (mp3)

7) Frightened Rabbit - The Modern Leper (mp3)

8) Chad VanGaalen - Willow Tree (mp3)

9) Janelle Monae - Many Moons (mp3)

10) Throw Me The Statue - About to Walk (mp3)

Download 1-10 as a zip file.

Apr 11, 2009

Frostbite Heart

Love Rhombus - Frostbite Heart

Finally, a dance party in an ice-fishing shanty. Yes, even the tundra has its fair share of neon sunglasses and male falsettos. Also, Madison has more love for Rhombi per capita than any other city. As a general rule, there should be more mannequins in music videos.

Love Rhombus Water Walk (mp3)


Apr 9, 2009

Spiritualist Medium

Shannon Taggart - After Anne's Metal Bending Session (Lily Dale, NY)

I asked these spirit figures if I was seeing them or if I was seeing what was in my own brain. They answered "both". - Eileen Garrett

Deastro Spritle (mp3)

Apr 7, 2009

Public Service Announcement: Vote YES for Garver Arts Incubator TODAY

Tyler Peterson & Kristof Wickman - Makeover (2004)

A city like Madison, with fiercely local visual artists and arts enthusasts, needs an arts incubator more than an Overture Center. Common Wealth Development (already champions of such valuable community projects as the Willy Street Fair, Madison Enterprise Center, youth employment and mentoring programs, and my favorite CWD gallery) has waded through years of public input to produce detailed plans of the concept. At this point, they must have asked all of us for our thoughts. And on the minds of most voters -- it will not be funded by city taxpayer dollars!

A community space like this is critical to the mission of this blog: supporting Madison artists and a broader arts dialogue. It will help bring creative minds out of their basements and into a historic landmark, facilitate a community of working artists and ideas, and allow the arts to flourish and contribute to the economy.

You can directly impact the future of the local arts today with a vote YES at your local polling place.

Read more about the project here.