Joey is kindly hosting these MP3s HERE.
It may feel like I am dusting off the already dusty 2008 nostalgia far too late, but really this has been cooked and cooling on the window sill for quite some time. Not to fear, I’ve reheated it and it’s as fresh as ever. Am I talking pie? I wish, but no friend, I am here to give you Pink Teeth’s (you know, that OTHER record label) 5 favourite songs of 2008. Let’s do it!
1. Jessica Lea Mayfield – “Kiss Me Again”
“Kiss Me Again” caught me by surprise and in no time flat became the most important song of 2008 to me. It is heartbreakingly honest, the most honest thing I’ve heard all year, it being thankfully heart-on-your-sleeve simple, and not like the dance hipster turned faux punk simple I’ve been drowning in all year.
Here Mayfield plays the part of the girl we probably all knew and maybe even fucked after a bad party who is dead inside & out and completely devoid of relateability (or so we thought). We finally can see this person for who they really are, a sympathetic soul with scars that could take years to ever fully understand. As the song moves along, she sings the once listless lines with feeling, finally coming out of her shell in the hopes that something real just fell upon her lips, and I find myself strangely rooting for that to happen, because after all, why shouldn’t she deserve it?
“You can touch me if you want, oh I don’t really care, but I’ve ruined everything that I’ve ever loved.” I’ll toast to that. Painful and endearing, like all good confessions.
2. Jason Anderson – “This Will Never Be Our Town” /” I Am Like Snow to You”
Seriously, how can you not love this guy: he’s vegan, energetic and from New England. For me, it’s hard not to fawn over mentions of Cumberland Falls and Brooks Pharmacy (which is now Rite Aid, who knew), but for the masses there is much to latch onto: Summer nights in love in your home town with your favourite people. “The Hopeful and the Unafraid” was the perfect summer record to me, the soundtrack of drives from Connecticut to New York, planning for the future. “This Will Never Be Our Town”: I’ve been to a lot of towns this year and none of them felt like home, but hearing this song got me a little closer each time.
As Summer faded into Winter, Anderson offered up another song to compliment the seasons: “I Am Like Snow to You”, a total bummer of a diddy and my most listened to song on iTunes at the moment. The imagery of melting away is very striking to me and hard to ever leave behind. Winter, always misunderstood, lingers on and on, like all good pop songs.
3. Black Mountain – “Tyrants”
It was a shame that the rest of the Black Mountain record never hit the peak set by “Tyrants”, but I can’t imagine how such a feat could be accomplished. In a word epic. It’s got everything a fan of musical sounds can ask for, be it stoner metal guitars, the slow drones or the mesmerizing ilk of a female singing voice. We are taken to the land of tyrants and by the end that mother fucker will fall, never to rise until we hit repeat and are once again engrossed in a battle that may never end as long as this song is amazing… which looks to be forever.
4. Titles – “Coal Mine”
I spent most of this year in a frustrated confusion over my home state of Connecticut, where I spent all too much time… and the music scene there did not help. It’s not to say that when I first left all those years ago that I was leaving something of substance behind, but things seemed to be headed toward a safe place. The many times I’ve returned since have put that feeling in shambles and I’ve struggled to hold onto anything meaningful. Luckily, admist all the disposable cliques and fads is Titles, a band that did not slip through my fingers but perhaps through the cracks of the masses.
It’s selfish, but that makes me happy. Sometimes they feel like they’re all mine and I hope I am the only one who caught “Up With the Sun”, their newest release on the flawless Safety Meeting imprint. It’s title gives a false sense of security as it is a bitter cold affair. “Coal Mine” proves to be a diamond, a break from the pedal steel soaked diaries that chops away at you, until you’re a stump, ready to regrow and start anew with the knowledge that counts: Titles fucking rule.
2009 looks to be a fun one, and I am very happy to start it off in Lawrence. We had fun in ’08 though, and Zach and I got to release a wonderful record together. Here is to many more, and the enjoyment of friends old and new. 2009? Fuck yeah!