Friday, December 17, 2004

2004 Best Songs U didn't hear part LAST

Ok, here's my plan this week. I've got 15 songs that I think most people haven't heard but should've. If anything this year has made me realize how much good interesting music there is out there and how impossible it is to hear it all. They may be from albums you've heard of, I've written about or I hate but a single song is redeeming. There's at least 2 songs here from albums that I frankly think sucked a bit, but the individual song is a shining salvation. Thank God for iPod playlists. I'm going to post 3 or 4 a day and if you download religously by Friday you should have a decent mix to burn or new playlist for the pod. There may be a song or two that I blogged about way back when I started doing this thing, but since my readership has gone from 4 to about 12 some of these songs were probably overlooked. I'm going for the standard bell curve mix tape. That is, it starts out mellow builds to something rocking and then lets you down easy again. Be forewarned, I'm all over the place with these songs. I find that's at least part of the fun of thinking about a years worth of music. I feel justified in including alt-country, a little hip hop, indie-rock, etc. in one place because there's so much good music out there this year. As always you're encouraged, nay implored, to purchase these artists. So, away we go:

Alright, we wrap this little experiment up today. Hopefully you've enjoyed trying to figure out what's going to come next and, of course, the songs. The last three songs have been played on my stereo alot. May be my 3 faves. The Ox song is technically 2003, but a late release qualifies them. That and the fact that Ox rocks. Things'll be back to normal on Monday. Whatever that means.

13) Aloha - Perry Como Gold. I love this song. I think this is the equivalent of an indie rock power ballad. No one's going to compare this to Poison's "Every Rose Has A Thorn" but it kinda does the same thing. Slow start, pretty piano intro, guitar jumping out at you on the bridge. Aloha's Here Comes Everyone keeps getting referred to as a modern prog-rock album. I'm not entirely sure what that means. Sure there are lines that can be drawn from Aloha to early Genesis and, maybe, Yes. I really hear Supertramp. This album is far more traditional in its songwriting than their previous jazzy experimental forays. Anyway, because these guys are excellent musicians who play odd time signatures and moderately long jams they get awarded a convenient label. I can't say that I loved Here Comes Everyone from beginning to end but it has some really strong moments. This song being my highlight.

14) Ox - Stolen Car. Where to start with this one? First of: if you purchase any recommendation that I make here I strongly encourage you to make it Dust Bowl Revival. A uniformly excellent album of country tinged pop music. Similarly to the Aloha tune, this song starts with a sad sack piano line before leaping into an upbeat 70's style country rock movement with about a 1:30 to go, chiming guitars, harmonies, keyboards. I only wish that part of the song lasted longer.

15) Enablers - Pauly's Last Days in Cinema. Ok, this song absolutely does not fit here. Not even a little bit. That's why I tacked it on at the end of the mix. But this song is amazing for lots of different reasons. For one, it's a rare successful combination of rock and spoken word. Pete Simonelli tells a damn good story and the musicians that swirl and flail around him create the perfect compliment to his tales of drunken malfeasance. It's an unsual release for Neurot Records (buy the album there as well) who tend towards a heavier more experimental sound. Check out my review at Stylus Magazine. Enablers are composed of musicians who've played in bands like Timco, Swans and Toiling Midgets so the pedigree is there. They certainly fulfill it on End Note as they swing from a twisted Mermenesque surf punk to ethereal mood music. Probably one of the most interesting records you'll hear this year.

If you've made it this far I hope you've enjoyed the week. I've enjoyed putting it together. I've got lots of good music stored up for the coming weeks. I think 2004 was an excellent music year. Let's hope 2005 continues as such.


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