My Top 100 Songs of 2009 – 30-21

Today I continue my ten-part series showcasing my personal picks for the best songs of last year.

30. Magic Kids – Hey Boy

San Francisco has churned out some pretty awesome music as of late, and the 50’s-esque Magic Kids are too fun to pass up.  Mix up a little Beach Boys, add some poodle skirt twists, and throw in the finest moments of Grease, and you’ve got “Hey Boy,” a girl/guy sing-along my sister and I have mastered.

29. Discovery – Orange Shirt

While the Vampire Weekend/Ra Ra Riot side project’s debut disc was hot and cold throughout, the LP had some bumping standouts.  An electro-pop forray channeling both bands’ keen pop songcraft, the group struck gold with “Orange Shirt,” a fun little love song featuring the weirdest chopped-up vocals ever and a spiraling staircase of a bass synth line.

28. Japandroids – Sovereignty

I’ve already talked ad nauseam about how hard these guys rock live.  They’re loud, they’re rude, and they’re not afraid to spit directly in your face (true story – SXSW 2010 – Emo’s – thanks, guys).  Post Nothing is a half hour of brash, repetitive, fun-loving songs.  “Sovereignty” tells the tale of the discouraging weather in Vancouver, the band’s hometown, then declares at high decibel, “but I don’t give a fuck, ’cause I’m in love with you tonight.”

27. Fergus and Geronimo – Tell It In My Ear

While this Denton-based group has not received the level of praise they deserve, they’ve managed to score some accolades from some notable zines/blogs, etc. While more have lauded other tracks, the feel-good Motown-channeling feel of “Tell It In My Ear” was easily one of my favorite lesser-known tracks of 2009.

26. The Big Pink – Dominos

This band kind of came out of nowhere and blew up, thanks to this infectious song – “Dominos” stormed modern rock radio here in the States quickly, and soon all my friends were singing it.  I can’t hear this song without thinking of my favorite Lubbock bar Skooners, my good friends Sarah and Ashley (who adored this song), and a little game we would play at the hangout – domino-oh-ohs.

25. Art Brut – Alcoholics Unanimous

This song, along with Neon Indian’s “Deadbeat Summer,” pretty much described my 2009 activities during the hottest time of the year.  It was nice to see Argos and the boys make a solid return to form with this album, delivering their finest, funniest, and downright most frankly accurate material since their smashing debut.  For me, it was the same thing almost every day – “up all night,” “making mistakes,” and indeed, it was “bad in the morning.”

24. Cass McCombs – You Saved My Life

In one of the finest love songs of not only 2009, but one of the best of the past decade, McCombs describes the debt owed to someone who comes into your life only to alter it completely, and for the better.  “Here I stand alive unto you/Now I see there’s so much to do/Because you saved my life.”  Powerful, poetic, simple, and slowly and beautifully delivered alongside pianos, keyboards, and a pedal steel – you can really sink it in, and you’re supposed to.  Because he means it.

23. Big Boi – Shine Blockas feat. Gucci Mane

This track will finally be released next Tuesday on the one-half of Outkast’s solo LP, but when it was leaked in September 2009, it ruled my world and rattled my trunk.  Guess I’ll just have to fall in love with it all over again.  Gucci sounds the best he ever has, gliding alongside a trademark Dirty South beat and that standard sampled soul.  Big Boi flows impeccably as well, but that’s nothing new.  And that chorus! “I’m on my grind, shawty/Don’t block my shine, shawty.”  This track stands up alongside greats like “International Players Anthem,” easily.  An instant classic.

22. Best Coast – Something In the Way

The debut LP from Best Coast is on the way, but this California girl has been churning out lo-fi hits for many months now.  “Something In the Way” is by far my favorite, a throwback love song the Supremes would have been proud to croon on.  Just try not to sway, I dare you.

21. Dirty Projectors – Stillness Is the Move

The group has been around for years, but Bitte Orca was the point in which the Dirty Projectors hit their stride, perfecting their unique blend of guitar play, orchestration, experimental rock, and….soul music, I guess.  It’s really hard to describe what this band sounds like, but “Stillness…” is the most accessible, and frankly most brilliant thing they’ve ever done.  Amber Coffman’s and Angel Deradoorian’s pitch-perfect falsettos are stunning.  Move aside, Mariah Carey.

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