The songs that rocked my ears over the course of the past year, in alphabetical order. I rank none of these any higher than any others. That's mainly because depending on the day, mood, weather, and other assorted circumstances, I might want to hear one more than the other.
Released via the Art of the Underground singles series, as well as on Kerns' 9-song demo, this is textbook college rock. It's the sort of song you either open or close a show with, because it's a ridiculous sing-along.
The opening track to the album of the same name. Sweetly lovely and the sort of pop song that could've easily been an FM radio hit in the '70s. The way it builds to the end slays me.
Punk rock songs about punk rock can be amazingly stupid, but the lyrics speak for themselves: "I know it's hypocritical to point fingers at the people who point fingers. But when we all march to the beat of the same different drummer, the steps start to come off like clockwork."
The Souls series of singles this year provided some of the most surprising material of the band's career (a ukulele cover of "Quick Chek Girl"?), but this song, from the first 7", is one of the best songs they've written yet.
It's a stone-cold metal jam, but the "waaaaaaaaaah-aaaaaaaaaaah!" at the beginning, combined with the crazy-ass guitar work, make this the sort of song that people who can't stand metal still marveled at.
Free download, plus edgy pop-punk, make for regular addition to various iTunes playlists all fucking summer. It's simultaneously down and miserable, yet forward-looking. "What does your dream home look like?" indeed.
Yeah, the intro sounds like some sort of whacked-out Talking Heads song, but then it gets all dancey. Are you supposed to dance to it? Nod your head? Fuck? All of 'em? Maybe...
My summer anthem. Seriously, I cannot possibly begin to figure out how many times this got jammed in car with the windows down. Live, with a bunch of folks singing along, it's even better.
This year's "A-Punk." I mean that in the nicest way possible. Yes, it sounds a lot like Paul Simon -- even more possible than we'd though possible. Damned if it doesn't make me want to get really drunk on rum and dance in my backyard.
Dirty garage that is just so amazingly stupid and simple. Which is, of course, the reason that it gets stuck in your head for days. Plus, who writes songs about NOT having sex with someone?
Please come home, Ms. Monae. Seriously. Songs like this make a devoted contingent of us want to get down and get funky and show you that Kansas City appreciates you. We want you to be a big star.
I'm not sure what it says about me, but the clean version of this song is almost better. What a kiss-off. I never thought Ms. Allen would top "you must be jokin' me if you think that you'll be pokin' me," but "it's people like you that need to be slew" certainly hits the mark.
I picked this one, because it was on their first single. However, any of the four singles the band released this year were totally worth tracking down and revelling in the fact that, despite the Clorox Girls and Briefs being broken up, they've combined into something even better.
It namechecks JFA, uses the phrase "get rad," and despite not actually being skate-punk, it still fairly much ruled from the moment it hit my earholes. Live, it's even better.
The best song the Black Keys never recorded. I heard it at a quarter 'til four in the morning while listening to the BBC one day, and was THRILLED to find out White Denim had a new album coming out. Waiting months for it to come out in the States was something of a pain.