And the songs that changed the world forever in 2008 (disclaimer: for me) are:
1. Hot Chip - Ready for the Floor
Forget a posthumous Oscar nomination for Heath Ledger: this video features the definitive portrayal of the Joker AND Two-Face at the same time - months before the Dark Knight came out. And the song is groovy too. Take that, Prince, what with your goofy Batdance and all.
2. Weezer - Pork and Beans
Another year, another weak Weezer CD with a fantastic single; would this band release a Greatest Hits already, so I can trade in and consolidate everything but the Blue Album?
I love the Internet-inspired mayhem at the end of the video; including the Lightsaber sfx was a stroke of genius.
3. The Hold Steady - Sequestered in Memphis
"In barlight, she looked alright. In daylight, she looked desperate." What more do you need to know? Other that that leader singer Craig Finn is the unholy offspring of Bruce Springsteen and Andy Kindler...
4. Magnetic Fields - Too Drunk to Dream
The song that asserts: "sober, life is a prison/shitfaced, it is a blessing."
It's worth watching the above YouTube clip just to see the band's awkward banter before the song; I saw them in Minneapolis a few years ago, and was treated to one of the oddest shows ever.
Apparently, lead singer Stephin Merritt has a hearing disorder, which means that applause is actually banned at their shows; honestly, when anyone claps, he runs from the stage, hands over his ears. Talk about your tortured genius: "Nooooooo....applause makes my ears bleed!"
The two guys in the middle never say a damn thing, except sharing the occasional glance and rolling their eyes.
5. Los Campesinos! - Death to Los Campesinos!
I love a band that wishes themselves dead on their first single. As I mentioned in "best albums of the year," the ugly guy, cute girl dynamic in rock never ever gets old. Right, Sonny and Cher?
6. The Feeling - Turn it Up
The band whose aim is to be as great as Hall and Oates finally is with "Turn it Up." This tune first stuck me as "by the numbers," but eventually had me hitting the repeat button about 50 times in a row in the car, for two days straight. Out of my head, fowl temptress!
7. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Dig!!!, Lazarus, Dig!!!
A great song with a "joke title" delivered with classic preacher-man aplomb from the man himself.
8. Sia - Soon We'll Be Found
I caught Sia on Letterman a few weeks ago (see the above link) and was blown away by the performance. She brought along her own backdrop to the show, signed in ASL, and couldn't contain her unbridled delight at meeting Dave and Paul at the end of the song (NOT included in the above link - too bad). Charming.
I noticed that this song turned up on the last episode of the Hills (Uh, I saw it by accident. Yeah, that's it!), so she might even have a hit with this thing eventually. Let's hope.
9. Charlie Haden - Spiritual
I'm not usually one for "Jesus" songs, but this one works. Charlie's son, Josh, sings lead vocals and makes me feel guilty for everything I've ever done wrong in my life ever. Sorry!
10. The Raveonettes - Dead Sound
The Raveonettes played the West End Cultural Centre about a month before their latest great collection of songs came out. Tortured teenage love, speeding cars, and death are back - it's a great time to be a teenager!