2010 Tunes

10 Jan


For the past few years I’ve been giving out CDs of the music that meant the most to me throughout the year.  Last year, Robin started making them, too.  Usually we’ve posted the complete playlists on personal blogs, but since we’re over here on Without a Map now, we thought we’d share them with the world.  Mine follows and Robin will be posting her’s later this week.

Memory is supposed to be most closely associated with smell, but until someone invents something that allows me to capture the smell of fertilizer as I drive through the central valley, I’ll stick to songs.  I like that each song gives me an aural kick that transports me back to the reason I chose it for the mix.  The songs on my playlist are not necessarily my favorite songs of the year, but the songs that I think will remind me the most of 2010 when I listen to the CD in the future.  You can listen to the playlist through the link at the bottom of the post.

1. Hymn #101 by Joe Pug – Every year I seem to have a song that’s my anthem for the year.  In 2008 it was Shoes by Chris Volpe.  In 2009 it was Up in the Air by Kevin Renick. Hymn #101 is this year’s anthem.  There are too many quotes that resonate with me in the lyrics, but if I had to choose just one, I’d say “I’ve come to take the harvest for the seed.”  To me, this means that the life that I’m building here is coming to an end.  I’m ready to harvest it and start growing something new.  It connects this life with what is to come.  I have gained so much and what I’ve grown has been invaluable.

2. Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show – I must have listened to this song a million times this year.  I listened to it with my mom in the parking lot shopping after Christmas.  I sang it aloud in my car.  Robin and I sang it out a Capella driving around Sequoia National Park.  I heard it sung by a band at a little restaurant in Ohio after wine tasting with Amanda.  It pretty much permeated the year and whenever I hear it I’m sure it will bring me back to 2010.

3. I Say Fever by Ramona Falls – Once I saw the music video for this, I basically bombarded everyone with posts claiming how awesome it is.  Here’s an excuse for another one.  Watch this.

4. Jackie Wants a Black Eye by Dr. Dog – After six years of loyally watching every Lost episode, the series ended.  Like many others, I’m not sure I loved the final season, but I really appreciate the arc of the philosophy behind it.  Honestly I could go on all day.  When I heard this song, amidst all my excitement about smoke monsters and flashes sideways, I couldn’t help but imagining the Losties all joining hands and singing the chorus.

5. Between the Lines by Stone Temple Pilots – A couple of my friends and I went to the Weenie Roast, a big Spring concert from a local radio station.  My friend Susan won back stage passes so we got to watch interviews and eat free hamburgers.  I personally loved seeing Devo (Akron represent!), but I listened to Between the Lines a lot more in preparation for the concert.

6. The Moth by Aimee Mann- I don’t date a lot and I finally got motivated and went on a couple dates this Spring.  Nothing came of it, but I realized that dating doesn’t make me nearly as nervous as I thought it did.

7. My Girls by Animal Collective – This year was spent once again trying to simplify my life.  I think I’ve been pretty successful so far.  The sentiment of happiness and simplicity behind this song is pretty much how I aspire to live.

8. Howl by Florence and the Machine – Robin and I had a bit of an argument over who could have this on their 2010 CD.  To be fair, Robin introduced me to the song when I visited home over the summer.  For my part, I didn’t really care whether she used it or not.  It reminds me of my summer vacation and it’s about werewolves.  I’ve had a song on my CD about werewolves for 3 years running.

9. I Hate California by Jonathan Coulton – A disclaimer: I don’t actually hate California, per se.  It’s very beautiful and has enamored me with the West Coast, but it’s also crazy expensive, super crowded, and has no weather or decent trees.  For these reasons, I’ve been trying to leave for most of the year.  My goal was to have this as the first song on my CD.  The last song was supposed to be …

10. Thrice all American by Neko Case – Neko sings about Tacoma, a place I put in many many applications to.  I was pretty sure I’d have a job there by the end of the year, thus this would make an excellent bookend and great cliffhanger for next year’s CD.  Things didn’t go as planned though and I’m still applying.  If you have any great librarian jobs in the Pacific Northwest, let me know!

11. Lemonworld by The National – I listed to their album High Violet to death this year and  I was torn between Lemonworld and Bloodbuzz Ohio for the song.  I ended up choosing Lemonworld because the first few lines remind me of my trip to Kansas in September to go to my cousin’s wedding.  “So happy I was invited.  Gives me a reason to get out of the city.”  The rest doesn’t really fit, but it’s a great song.

12. Black Sheep by Metric – Toward the end of my CD I tend to have more songs that I just like.  This one was on the Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World soundtrack.

13. Weight of Lies by The Avett Brothers – I spoke to someone late in the year that was having some trouble.  Shortly after I really listened to this song.  The line “When you run make sure you run to something and not away from…” comes into my head every so often.  It reminds me that the next step in my life has to be toward something better not just away from something I’m not content with.

14. Like a G6 by Far East Movement – Aside from being completely pervasive, showing up everywhere from the clubs of Austin to more clubs in Vegas, it also kept me awake on the late drives back from hiking in Sequoia and Joshua Tree with Robin.  I know I should have something from the Joshua Tree soundtrack or one of my nice folky mountain songs to represent that trip, but singing this as I drove along the I-5 with Robin asleep in the passenger’s seat will stick in my memory better.

15. The Drought by Horse Feathers – Horse Feathers was one of the last bands I discovered in 2010 and I can’t wait to hear more of them.  This was just one of those songs I felt it was necessary to share.

16. Billionaire by Travie McCoy – My niece was so sick on Christmas she really didn’t get to enjoy it.  She’s five and should have had a great time with her new Barbie car and the visit from my dad dressed as Santa.  At least she perked up enough at the end of the night to sing “I want to be a millionaire so Santa Claus bad…” and other variations countless times.  She was looking for substitutes for “frickin'” so as not to offend her Nana.

Listen to the whole mix on 8 Tracks.



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