Songs of the Year (Ladies Edition‽)

This entry was posted by on Saturday, 31 December, 2011 at

“Ladies Edition,” because after I realized that music is about attracting women, and women like, shall we say, lame music… I realized that to find anyone who is rockin’ these days, one probably has to turn to one of two groups who supposedly are not musicians merely to attract women. Namely, Christian and female artists. (Or both?) Or something. Or maybe when I am looking for music, I just tend to click on the videos that have a pretty girl in thumbnail? Whatever, I have a lot to get through here this time. Not all of these will be women, but at least a few might actually be from 2011.

Paranoid Android – Weezer A cover of a ’90s song by a band from the ’90s? I thought this would be an instant winner. Then I listened to it. They did nothing interesting with it. Also, there are no ladies in Weezer. Coincidentally, a friend pointed me to another version that someone edited together from clips of three dozen other Youtube artists. It’s amazing.

On the topic of Youtube covers, here are several that I enjoyed this year:

Smooth Criminal – 2Cellos I never realized how bad-ass cellos are.

Chop Suey – Vika Goes Wild (2009) After hearing this, it is hard to imagine that Johann System von Down ever intended it any other way.

Bad Romance – Lissie (2010) The story goes that back in 1970, Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis, unaware that he had a game that day, dropped some acid (like you do). The mistake was realized, and he went on to pitch a no-hitter. I am reminded of that story as Lissie here seems to have rolled out of bed and into the studio, hungover and wearing yesterday’s clothes, and then proceeds to OWN this song.

All I Have to Do is Dream – Lauren O’Connell Here is another entry from last year’s winner. I was sold in the very first second of this video when she sets an EBow on a piano. I was under the assumption that an EBow had to interact with the pick-ups on an electric guitar in order to work and it never would have occurred to me to try that. (I do not really understand that electromagnetic field stuff.)

Cut Here – Psychée (2010) When I found this song several months ago, I intended to mention it as basically the punchline to a post that I never ended up writing, so that is not particularly relevant anymore. Maybe you will enjoy it anyway.

Feel Good Inc. – Josie Charlwood This is easily the best solo live-looped Gorillaz cover by a left-handed redhead that I have ever heard.


On to the real(ish) stuff then, shall we? Honorable mentions first.

Rolling in the Deep – Adele (2010) That’s right, I went there. Even though this was not released in the calender year of 2010, it was still in the top 10 of Youtube’s music section at least as recently as October. I even heard this song in a grocery store in the French Alps (true story). Not exactly my cup of tea, but I feel that this is a step in the right direction for pop music; with that direction being about 40 or 50 years backwards. It is on the album 21. Her previous album was called 19. I am not sure how old Ms. Adele is, but I strongly suspect her of not being very creative with album titles. However, she has a powerful set of pipes, as they say, and I wish the best for her and the future of pop music.

Walking on Air – Kerli (2009) This came up a couple of times while listening to Pandora, and I rather liked it. I had assumed that it was some late ’80s/early ’90s electronic band, which I seem to get a lot of on there. It turns out that she is actually a sort of “Lady Gaga lite” from just a couple of years ago. I usually listen in mix mode, so I am left wondering which of my actual preferences triggered that pick, but hey, it worked I suppose.

Sail – Awolnation I was driving home one day thinking about how rock music tends to use the same handful of chords in a few standard keys and how there really are only so many possible chord progressions available. Though it seems absurd mathematically speaking, perhaps we really have run out of new variations in terms of melody and instrumentation on a practical level. And as I am thinking through this, I suddenly am hit with these pizzicato strings followed by… some stuff… and think, “Well, this is different.” I am not sure that I like it, and even less that I understand it. It seems like something that might be playing in the elevator of a mind that is descending in to madness. It is kind of fun to say though. “SAIL!”

We Don’t Need Money to Have a Good Time – The Subways I saw a reference to this band online somewhere and I had to look them up, because I had never heard of them. So I do not know how well known they are. These kids have a passion and energy that gives me hope for the next generation of musicians, perhaps for the first time. Their music is… let’s go with “not terrible.”

Burgundy – Warpaint This all-girl band was featured on Youtube sometime this year. They seem to have been influenced by the same bands that I like myself. Their songs are all kind of similar though, with haunting, faraway vocals that I find almost impossible to grab on to. I am not sure what the drummer is doing on this one as the tempo and feel change several times in a not particularly fluid manner, but I picked it because burgundy is kind of like purple.

I Will Dance (When I Walk Away) – Katzenjammer This all-girl band… plays instruments. Lots of instruments. They trade them around for different songs and play two or three at once. This song is what I would call “bluegrass”, but they also dabble in rag-time, blues, and, uh, good ol’ fashioned drinking songs? All those old time genres about which I know nothing.


So that is a lot of stuff, none of it really, you know, “great”, but what’s this?

All I Ever Wanted – The Airborne Toxic Event I know that most of my music picks are pretty crappy, and all I can say is that has been because music itself has been pretty crappy, but Oh My God. I heard this song on the radio. The actual radio. This song contains heavy adult themes that quite frankly, I am surprised the teenagers can identify with, but what do I know? Anyway, I do not want to oversell it, but I REALLY like this one. Interestingly, they have other songs on the album named All at Once and All for a Woman, so apparently they are really into totalities. Oh, and they have a female violin player, so there’s that.

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