Here we are again!
I just want to say, I totally shouldn’t be blogging right now. I have been hit with the killer death-flu. I know I’m a total exaggerator, but in this case, I’m not even exaggerating. I have a fever that’s fluctuating between 100-102 degrees, every bit of me aches, EVERY LAST BIT, and I am having trouble breathing without coughing like an old person on their last legs. Last night I felt pretty bad, but I thought, nah, I’ll feel better after a good night’s sleep. Well, that was a lie. I couldn’t sleep more than an hour at a stretch without waking up coughing and/or in a puddle of sweat with the covers all tangly (DAMMIT COVERS!) and then I called out sick to work. I had every single intention of going but when I stood up in order to get ready, I almost passed out. I had to put my head between my knees and sit on the couch for a while to recover myself. This made Dumbcat pleased. “Mom mom moooooooom! What are we doing is it a gaaaaaame? Can I play can I can I can I?” he said in his inimitable cat-language. Then he leapt on my my back like he was a mountain goat and I was the mountain. That made me cough. Right now, everything makes me cough. Including breathing, walking, laughing, crying, and going to the bathroom.
Here are the middle-picks for my top thirty songs for the year – numbers 20-11. Both sj and Ken will be pleased today. Also probably horrified at times, but there are things here to make them pleased.
20. “Blue Skies for Everyone” – Bob Schneider (Lonelyland, 2001)
Go to sleep, hit your head/Scream until your face is red/And you’ll find when you are done/Blue skies for everyone
This one’s all sj’s doing. See, sj sent me a Christmas present recently, which was a wonderful playlist with the best cover art ever? And this song was on it. And I fell in LOVE with it. Isn’t it fantastic? All moody but also kind of funny and super-intelligent? And I like how it’s bitter and twisted, but also optimistic. And she said that it was played in one of her favorite movies, Gun Shy, which I then watched and it was very good because she’s got excellent taste. So this video’s for you, sj – look! All the Gun Shy goodness! (Also, why didn’t you tell me how pretty Bob Schneider is? Good gracious!)
19. “We Are Young” – Fun featuring Janelle Monae (Some Nights, 2011)
So if by the time the bar closes/and you feel like falling down/I’ll carry you home tonight
This song makes me bop all around in my car. I think it’s for younger people but I don’t even care. It’s fun.
18. “The Story” – Brandi Carlile (The Story, 2007)
And all of my friends who think that I’m blessed/They don’t know my head is a mess/No, they don’t know who I really am/And they don’t know what/I’ve been through like you do
I heard this song for the first time this year and then I bawled as if I’d lost my puppy. Then I came home and found it online and listened to it over and over and over and over. You really have to listen to it to get the full effect – she’s got this raw edge to her voice later in the song, like she’s about to lose it. It’s just gorgeous.
I like songs that I have a connection with and that remind me of someone. This one gets full marks for that. Also, Brandi Carlile is wonderful and, much like Ingrid Michaelson, I can’t guarantee you won’t see her on here again.
17. “Stubborn Love” – The Lumineers (The Lumineers, 2012)
It‘s better to feel pain, than nothing at all/The opposite of love‘s indifference
I discovered The Lumineers this year. I know, they’re probably a total hipster band. Don’t care. Love ’em. They’re joyous, but they also have excellent lyrics. I mean, “the opposite of love’s indifference?” It totally is. I love that. LOVE. I live my life not in fear of hatred, but indifference.
Also, The Lumineers came to play a free show here recently, and when people couldn’t get in because too many people showed up, they tried to play some songs in the parking lot and the cops came and make them stop. Way to go, cops.
16. “Essence” – Lucinda Williams (Essence, 2001)
I am waiting here for more/I am waiting by your door/I am waiting on your back steps
This is the one that will make Ken happy. Ken says things like “I utterly cannot believe you don’t know who Lucinda Williams is” and then tells me songs I should listen to so I can be introduced to her. Because he’s very calm and patient, even though I imagine he’s probably shaking his head in disgust. Anyway, this year he introduced me to Lucinda Williams, and this song won. So pretty. So emotional. So raw. So, Ken, even if the rest of these make you disgusted, I know you’ll like this one.
15. “Mother of Pearl” – Nellie McKay (Obligatory Villagers, 2007)
Feminists don’t have a sense of humor/Feminists just want to be alone
This one’s courtesy of my beloved Mer. She posted it on my Facebook page this year and it made me laugh and grin and bop all around. It’s an adorable song about a serious topic and I love it so much. Also, Nellie McKay couldn’t be cuter.
14. “Oxford Comma” – Vampire Weekend (Vampire Weekend, 2008)
Who gives a fuck about an Oxford comma?/I’ve seen those English dramas, too, they’re cruel
I like that this is a grammar song, and it’s so damn catchy. Also it cusses. But for the record, I’d like to say that *I* give a fuck about the Oxford comma; very much so, Vampire Weekend. But I still love the song, so that’s ok, then.
13. “Friday I’m in Love” – Scars on 45 (Live only – 2012)
Monday you can fall apart; Tuesday, Wednesday, break my heart
Dirty secret: I love covers.
Discovering a gorgeous cover of a song is one of my favorite things in the world. I heard Scars on 45 live this year when they opened for Ingrid Michaelson and loved them; then my local indie station started playing this recently, and although I like the original just fine, this song is just so, so pretty. It’s not available on an album, and might not be – apparently getting the rights for it isn’t proving as easy as hoped – but I happen to know someone who can turn videos into MP3s for me. I KNOW ALL THE BEST PEOPLE. Who are slightly illegal. But only for the best reasons, you see. So now I can listen to this gorgeous cover and also put it on BFFs year-end CD, because that’s where it belongs.
12. “Keep On Loving You” – Zan Strumfeld (2012)
But when you find someone new, and maybe she’s already there/When you find someone new, please, please don’t share
This is another local singer. She seems to write for the paper, which is kind of awesome. Anyway, this was on the radio the other night on my drive home and I said, “OH I MUST FIND THIS AND LISTEN TO IT UNTIL MY EARS BLEED.” It’s another one you’ll have to click and listen to – no pretty video, sorry – but it’s so worth it. I have to stalk this chick and find her and listen to her live sometime this year. I like her that much. Enough that I want to go among PEOPLE to see her. I know!
11. “We Found Love” – Ingrid Michaelson (Online only, 2012)
We found love in a hopeless place
I think I mentioned this one when I talked about seeing Ingrid Michaelson. She closed her show with this, and I LOVED it. Then I was all, “I need to find this, what super-fun song.” Then I found out it was a Rihanna song. (I don’t listen to popular music. Like, ever. That Rihanna “Umbrella” song? I didn’t hear it for like a year after everyone was singing it. Which made my friends SO CONFUSED. And once I heard it I was all, “what’s the big deal about this song, it’s not even very GOOD.”) So I was a little embarrassed and said, “OH AMY” (I say that a lot) but it didn’t mean I didn’t still love the song.
And look! I found it online! And totally found a (shh) way to download a MP3 of it so I’m a little illegal but I still own it now! (I promise I pay for all my music, unless I can’t find it. If I can’t find it and pay for it I look for alternate means. But I promise I always at least ATTEMPT to pay. I’m honest to a fault, sadly. It makes my dad nuts, especially when it comes to tax returns.)
There you go, jellybeans! What will be on the top ten, I wonder? You’re all SO CURIOUS, aren’t you? Well, at least I know sj is. Since that’s her JOB here.
Stay tuned to see what songs were my FAVORITES this year! SO EXCITING ARGH!