Best of 2009: Music

Bloggified by Jake on Saturday, December 26, 2009

Upfront, I have to admit I don't listen to a lot of "new" music. By the time something hits my radar, it's usually been out for a couple of years. Going through my listing of all the MP3s I own dated 2009, 149 are from The 99 Most Essential Tchaikovsky Masterpieces and 50 Essential Classical Film Moments. If I were to pick my favorite album I bought this year, I'd probably lean toward Bongo Rock by The Incredible Bongo Band, a 2006 collection of music from the late 60's and early 70's.

With that substantial warning tag, here are my eight favorite songs of 2009:

Gameplay Music/Theme from I MAD3 A GAM3 W1TH ZOMBIES 1N IT!!!1
Xbox Live players could download this game for one dollar, as the theme will inform you. When I first saw people linking to gameplay video, it took two or three viewings before I realized the fun of the lyrics about making a game with zombies in it.

We Will Robot Rock You from DJ Hero (Daft Punk vs. Queen)
As long as we're talking about music from video games, here's a video game ad that lasts about a minute, which means I spent easily two hours of the past year listening to this song. I really don't want to play DJ Hero, because I'm certain I'll suck at it. I just want them to release the MP3s of all the mash-ups done for the game, starting with this one!

Like a Life on a Prayer by [MMM] MadMixMustang
Staying on the topic of mash-ups, a significant chunk of my hard drive was taken over by downloads from Bootie USA thanks to monthly reminders from Chris Sims on Twitter whenever new collections are available. My favorite of the 2009 additions was this soulful mix of my favorite Bon Jovi song with a nod to Madonna at the end.

Never Gonna Give Your Teen Spirit Up (Rick Astley vs. Nirvana) by DJ Morgoth
This is a more straight up A+B mash-up, but is done excellently and was a nice change of pace from normal rickrolling.

Hurt Feelings by Flight of the Conchords
Kicking off the "stuff I actually paid for" portion of the list is my favorite song off Flight of the Conchords newest album, I Told You I Was Freaky. There are a few good songs--maybe not as many as last year's self-titled album--but the clincher for me was the heartfelt cries of "I'm a man! I'll try a small men's wet suit!" and "The day after my birthday is not my birthday, mum!"

Science is Real by They Might Be Giants
I've been a big TMBG fan since I first heard Ana Ng in junior high and I've been kind of torn by the fact that they've done so much kids' music in recent years. On one hand, it gives me a chance to expose my kids to TMBG, but, on the other, I want some music for me. This year's Here Comes Science is another kids' album, but it covers topics that a lot of adults might find a little too intellectual.

Storm by Tim Minchin
For a more adult version of the above song--and by that I mean fuller and more thorough, not pornographic--check out Tim Minchin's tribute to rationality.

If I Didn't Have You by Tim Minchin
Minchin's Are You Ready for This? was my favorite album this year. His humor and ability to address serious topics in a well-thought-out and reasonable way that cuts the legs out from under opposition. In this song, he explains why many love songs are statistically wrong. Other great songs from the album include The Good Book, laying out many of the flaws in the bible, Confessions, one man's attempt to reconcile the passion he knows he should have to fix all the things he knows are bad in the world with his true passion, and A Song For Phil Daoust, an open letter to a critic. When I hear it, I change the name "Phil Daoust" to "Terry Cole." I'm sure there's someone in your life you'll be able to substitute into the lyrics.

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