Tunes From 2010

11 Jan

Shadows and Sparks by Photosynthesis – One of my favorite discoveries this year was the Dinner Party Download podcast.  This song was one of their featured songs, and I remember rocking out to it while moving to Illinois on an oppressively hot August day in a car with no air-conditioning.

Howl by Florence and the Machine – I could have sworn that April and I swore a blood-oath to never put the same song on our yearly soundtracks, but neither one of us was willing to compromise on this one.  This left us in the awkward position of never being friends again, or conveniently forgetting that we had ever made such a pact.  This particular song got stuck in my head every time I unleashed a group of howling fifth graders upon the woods of Northern Illinois under the pretense of “playing Alpha Wolf.”

The Weight by Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, and Old Crow Medicine Show – April isn’t the only one guilty of plastering every corner of the internet with a video just because she liked it.  I did the same exact thing after stumbling upon this live performance of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings performing a cover of “The Weight” with Old Crow Medicine Show.  As a habit, I try to avoid reading the comments on Youtube, but I can’t help but love one comment that said “this 5 minutes of music is the best thing that has happened to music in the last 40 years. It’s also the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”

White Winter Hymnal by The Fleet Foxes – Wrestling with technology seems to be a constant theme in my life, and this was definitely the case when I visited April.  Right before our trip to Sequoia both of our Mp3 players crashed and we lost all of our carefully planned playlists.  This left us listening to whatever April happened to have in her car, which included the Fleet Foxes, but it had another more significant effect.  It reminded us to just chill out, go with the flow, and enjoy where we were.


Ganesh is Fresh by MC Yogi – Last spring my friend Shelby enticed me and my other friend Kristina into taking a yoga class with her.  The only things I can remember thinking during that first class was “Oh my god, I’m going to die,” and “Wait, am I really listening to a rap song about Ganesh?”  Thankfully, I stuck with the yoga and I’m so grateful to Shelby for introducing me to it, and to Shelby and Kristina for being my yoga buddies.

I Am Weary by The Cox Family – I learned to play this song on the guitar last year, but every time I had a jam session with Grace and the other usual Granville suspects this song wriggled into our repertoire and if you don’t mind me saying so: We. Totally. Rocked. It.

Dragon’s Song by Blitzen Trapper – I also maintain my right to include a song just because I like it and played it a lot.  This is another song that was featured by the Dinner Party Download.

Bring On the Wonder by Susan Enan – Alison introduced this song to me while we were on our way to Milwaukee, where we were going to take a workshop.  It was the perfect song for that moment.  I was getting ready for my trip to California, and positively itching to get away for a while.  It turned out to be a day full of beautiful scenery at the Concordia University campus, perched on the edge of the blue expanses of Lake Michigan.


Rosln by Bon Iver and St. Vincent – I, like April, have to confess that I have a weakness for the soundtracks for the Twilight movies.  I don’t have any great love for the books or the movie, but the soundtrack is amazing in a way that makes indier-than-thou hipsters flip right out.  For example this song, a collaboration between indie artists Bon Iver and St. Vincent, is pure genius and is now on the playlists of Team Jacob and Team Edward fans alike.  I really dislike when a band is accused of ‘selling out” because their music has become popular, so I’m glad that the Twilight albums have tons of fantastic but not well known artists on them. Which conveniently brings me to my next song:

Chop and Change by The Black Keys – I don’t want to dis Devo, but if we’re giving shout outs to great Akron bands then we also need to include the Black Keys.  This track was released on the Eclipse soundtrack, and I played it on repeat many, many, times this year.

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For by U2 – I am a huge nerd.  After many years I have learned to accept and even embrace this.  Therefore, I am unashamed to admit that one of my life goals was to go to Joshua Tree National Park, and listen to U2’s Joshua Tree album while I was there.  So when Aprilly invited me out to California I knew where the first place on my list was.  I might have childishly covered my ears and shouted “I can’t hear you! La-la-la-la-laaa!!!” when my friend Andy tried to tell me that the album wasn’t supposed to be about Joshua Tree National Park.  (I also may or may not have accused him of trying to ruin my life.)  Still, even knowing that, I didn’t care.

I feel obligated to say that Joshua Tree is enticing for more reasons than being the inspiration behind the siren wailing of Bono.  The desert is almost surreal in the roughness of it’s beauty.  I hope I get a chance to return there.

You Have Been a Friend To Me by L.Q Jones (From the Prairie Home Companion Soundtrack) – One thing that this year has reminded me of time and again is how important my friends are to me.  2010 was a tough year for me, but I was still fortunate enough to be able to surround myself with some pretty amazing people.



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