f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n: Favorites from 2005 – Music

f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Favorites from 2005 – Music

I listened to more new music this year than in many years past. Half of it was joining the digital music…well, it’s not a revolution anymore, so let’s call it the “digital music bandwagon.” Half of it is that after the musical wasteland of the late nineties decent music is returning to the airwaves. The last half of it was the debut of an eclectic public station that introduced me to a number of new bands.

So here’s what I’ve grooved to most in 2005. And if you’ve ever seen me groove, you know what a sight that can be.

(Caveat: these are songs/albums I first heard in 2005. They may have come out earlier.)

Singles

“Maureen” – Fountains of Wayne – If I were in 9th grade I’d be writing this band’s name ALL over my notebooks. Sinfully-catchy songs about the most random of topics. Here’s an ode to an unrequited love who won’t shut up about her love life.

“Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)” – The Arcade Fire – I don’t pretend to be hip enough to claim this very odd band. But I do like the sonic wall and the insistent crescendo of this song.

“O What a World” – Rufus Wainwright – Rufus is delighted and amused by life and writes a song about it, layering it with Ravel’s “Bolero.” Pure fancy.

“Landlocked Blues” – Bright Eyes – My wife hates this guy. The effusive praise got to be a bit much. But matching himself with Emmylou Harris on this song works well. And we really haven’t had a solid social-protest song in a while.


Albums/Bands

Fountains of Wayne - Out-of-State Plates - Two discs of B-sides and demos that are better than most bands could dream of for their A-list stuff. The cover of "...Baby One More Time" is tremendous.

The Jayhawks – Phenomenal harmonies. No idea why this band wasn’t more popular. Their newest (and last?) Rainy Day Music is a solid place to start.

Spoon Gimme Fiction – This is what I’m listening to the most right now. "I Summon You"

The Postal ServiceGive Up – The kids these days, they’re fiddling with synthesizers…and actually making them work. As opposed to what happened in the 80s.

Bruce Springsteen – He makes the list every year. And sometime I’m going to spend a week exploring his lyrical imagery here.

Atmosphere and Hieruspecs – Two Minnesota rap/hip-hop groups. Great beats. Solid lyrics that avoid the now clichéd themes from much mainstream rap.

Harrod and Funck - First heard them in college. Dubbed a tape of them and scrawled on it: "Two Guys from Wheaton, Colorblind." Lost the tape. Got in our Director of Marketing's car one day, heard the music I'd lost years before, and am now set.