So, last year I did this, and I did it wrong.
Doing it again this year, and doing it again wrong. Don’t know any other way.
It’s the time of year for reflection and end-of-the-year best-ofs, and never let it be said I don’t jump off the cliffs with the rest of the lemmings, no no not me! It’s also the time of year I gather up all the various pieces of paper where I’ve written the names of all the songs I’ve loved this year, hit iTunes, download them all, and make many CDs for BFF, who looks forward to such things every year. (I also burn copies for myself so I can listen to them in the car all year long. I just listened to one of last year’s the other day and still rocked out. I have them going back four or five years, I think. They make me happy and they are excellent road-trip music.)
But, before you start reading my picks and wondering what the hell is wrong with me, you need an explanation.
- I listen to terrible music.
- I have very bad TASTE in music.
- Probably you’re not going to like most of these.
- Some of them are kind of embarrassing.
- I think you’re supposed to narrow your picks down to your top 10 or something but I’m not at all capable of that.
- I also think you’re supposed to only put on songs that came out in 2012 but I put on any song that I loved that I heard for the first time in 2012. This made me have to leave off one song that I love very much and that I’ve been listening to a lot over the last month, but I’d heard it before and that broke the rules. I’m really quite a rules-stickler. Especially when I make the rules.
The worst part of this is that I have two very close friends who are VERY GOOD at music and take it VERY SERIOUSLY. Why they still choose to spend any amount of time with me, I have no idea. So, in advance, Ken and sj, I send you all the apologies. There are going to be songs on here that make you put your hand over your mouth and make your eyes all wide and shake your head and say “no no oh Amy no no.” HOWEVER! There is at LEAST one song that will make you happy, Ken, and at least…I think…three?…songs that will make you happy, sj, because you introduced me to them this year, because you are both individuals of very good taste. You’ve both been excellent musical influences and I thank you kindly.
And now…without further ado…numbers 30-21. (If you’ve been paying attention, that means tomorrow you get numbers 20-11 and Saturday you get numbers 10-1. I know! I can totally count.)
30. “Bottom of the River” – Delta Rae (Carry the Fire, 2012)
Hold my hand/Ooh, baby, it’s a long way down to the bottom of the river
I like how old-timey this song sounds, plus I like the lead singer’s voice. She can belt, yo.
29. “Dizz Knee Land” – Dada (Puzzle, 1992)
I just robbed a grocery store/I’m going to dizz knee land
Sometimes I like songs that make me grin. Not usually; as you will soon be able to tell, I like the sad songs the most. A sad love song is my kryptonite. But sometimes I like to grin at a smart turn-of-phrase and a song that makes me laugh, and this song is one of those. Also, in 1992 I was starting college so that explains why I didn’t know about this until now. I went the longest time without paying attention to anything but parties and boys wearing flannel.
28. “Foolish Girl” – MaryLeigh & the Fauves (The Docks, 2011)
I’m a foolish girl for falling for a broken soul/Ravaged by a woman who stole his heart for her own
Sorry, you don’t get a pretty video for this one; it’s a local group and I heard them on the channel that plays the local music around here and fell in love with this song. So you have to be all old-school and click on the link and click on ANOTHER link and you don’t even get to see pretty PICTURES when you’re listening to it. It’s worth it, though. I promise. She has this pretty, clear, ethereal voice. I think you’ll like it.
27. “Home” – Phillip Phillips (The World from the Side of the Moon, 2012)
The trouble it might drag you down/If you get lost, you can always be found
Shush. I DIDN’T KNOW HE WAS FROM AMERICAN IDOL, OK? I just heard the song on the radio and I like the part where the music swells and he’s all “settle down, it’ll all be clear” and he has a nice voice and I like the lyrics. I like the idea of home. I like to think about it. I like to think about what it means, what it means not only to me, but to others; I like to think about what it’s meant to me at different points in my life. Then I was researching this post and found out he was an American Idol winner and I was not the most proud of myself. But listen, Kelly Clarkson was an American Idol winner, and I love the hell out of her, so I guess sometimes it works out alright.
26. “I Could Be a King” – The Dunwells (Blind Sighted Faith, 2011)
I could be a king/I could be anything I want/I could be a poem/I could be some writing on the wall
I like this song because it’s joyous, but I also like the message. It’s optimistic and it’s also joyous. I’m not always doom and gloom. Sometimes I like a healthy dose of optimism. I know, try to control your shock and awe.
25. “Watching You Watch Him” – Eric Hutchinson (Moving Up, Living Down – 2012)
But I’m a window pane/A phantom limb/When I am watching you watch him
I like songs about yearning. It’s a thing with me. This is a very good yearning song. But it’s not total sap; it’s actually kind of fun and a little boppy. But with a sad, yearning message. So it doesn’t rip your heart out TOO much. Also, I like this guy’s nose. I do so have a thing for a guy with a good nose.
24. “Turn to Stone” – Ingrid Michaelson (Everybody, 2009)
And maybe we won’t feel so alone/Before we turn to stone
I saw Ingrid Michaelson this year and fell even deeper in love with her than I already was. She’s fantastic. I can’t say enough good things. She’s fun and she has an amazing voice and she writes kickass songs that make you smile and sometimes make you weep (this is one of the sadder ones) and I’ve been listening to her a lot this year. I can’t guarantee she’s not going to pop up again on this list later on. No, I cannot guarantee that at all.
23. “Someone to Love” – Fountains of Wayne (Traffic and Weather, 2007)
Don’t give out/Don’t give up/One of these nights/You might find someone to love
Honestly? I totally like this song because it says “Schenectady” in it. How can you not like a song that says “Schenectady” in it? The answer is, you cannot HELP but love such a song, especially if you live right NEAR Schenectady. (Plus I strangely love this band. They remind me of bros, but I think they’re fun and kind of weird.)
22. “(I’d Go the) Whole Wide World” – Wreckless Eric (A Bunch of Stiff Records, 1977)
I’d go the whole wide world/Just to find her
This one’s roundabout credit to Andreas. He told me this year I should find and watch Stranger Than Fiction, which I did (and I loved.) If you’ve seen the movie, you know this is the song that Will Ferrell uses to eventually court (and win) Maggie Gyllenhaal. (If not, I just spoiled you. Sorry. See it anyway, if only to understand what “I brought you some flours” means.) I totally fell in love with this song and had no idea it was from when I was a wee, wee Amy, and before there was even an Amy’s brother. Oh, well. According to my rules, it can still go on the list. That’s why my rules are very GOOD rules.
21. “Flathead” – The Fratellis (Costello Music, 2007)
They don’t come much more sick than you/I could go on if you want me to
This one is loud and fun and makes me bop around. Listen, after all that sadness, sometimes I need to bop around, can you even blame me? No you cannot.
THERE YOU GO MY LITTLE SONGBIRDS! Tomorrow, ten MORE. Oh, what a wondrous time of year, where everyone thinks they are a critic. (For the record, I don’t think I’m a critic. I just thought it would be fun in a terrible way to tell you what I’ve been obsessed with this year. And I promise…they get better from here.)