Soundtrack for 2011

Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains” (The Arcade Fire)

I’ll always associate this song with when I first heard it, covered by my friend’s band in that greenly lit Thai restaurant, in the cold dark days of early January.

Changing” (Airborne Toxic Event)

The song that got me really into listening to and singing along earnestly car radio. I also liked their follow up single, “All I Ever Wanted.” It’s funny to hear that the second song has strings in it, because thanks to the Volvo’s broken left speaker I’ve never heard them before.

Lost in the World” (Kanye West)

The song I always choose at the Side Street bar jukebox when I’m there with my friends. Haha. Who will survive in America?

In the Dark Places” (PJ Harvey)

I’m kind of like the main character in Howard’s End, in the sense that I hate war, but I love soldiers. Particularly works of art about them and their struggles. I like how the phrase “in the dark places” can be expanded to mean many other things, not just World War I trenches or Iraqi hideout holes.

Born This Way” (Lady Gaga)

Haha. Maybe the best theme song for my year? I feel like I spent a lot of this time thinking about building self-esteem, cultivating positive self-image, self-care and practicing that good ol’ compassion muscle. And this song seems to be a good theme song for all that. I’m on the right track baby…

Float” (Flogging Molly)

An oh so famous songs that I’m kind of surprised that I never heard before until this year (thanks car radio). Anyway, I feel like it has another good, positive, relevant message. Plus I really like the moral of the muñequito in the video.

Just A Dream” (Nelly)

A little embarrassed by how much I like this song. Haha, whatever. I just like the mixture of both melancholy and melody. But why is it Nelly of all freaking people who sings such a good relationship song?! “But hey, I guess that love wasn’t enough” sounds like a self-platitude or mantra straight out of my Dr. Barbara relationship self-help book.

Dreams” (Fleetwood Mac)

Another song I can’t believe I’d never heard before until this year. Another gift thanks to car radio.

The King of Carrot Flowers-Part I” (Neutral Milk Hotel)

This song will always make me think of summer at Sauvie’s Island, playing it on my friend Jennifer’s ipod, feeling like the entirety of my August trip to Colombia lay before me.

Calamity Song” (The Decemberists)

My Infinite Jest theme song. Haha. I love its apocalyptic sensibilities. If I had to make this track list into a mix CD, I would probably call it “In the Year of the Chewable Ambien Tab.”

You and I” (Lady Gaga)

Oh god, another song that got me through some rough times, specifically this gender-bending live version. I can’t even explain why I like this song so much. Its country vibe, for one. And I like how in the radio edit, “Nebraska” is replaced with “Oregon,” so that the lyric becomes the following: There’s only three things Imma worship my whole life / It’s my daddy, Oregon and Jesus Christ. Hehe! Basically my face looks is the same as  David Grohl’s (see minute 3:00), throughout this video.

Star Whisperer” (Tori Amos)

Tori’s grand opus from her latest album. I expect to expand in personal impact and meaning for me after I get to see her LIVE this WEDNESDAY in SEATTLE!

Down in the Valley” (The Head and the Heart)

A great Pacific Northwest band that my friend A introduced me to; mellow guitars and strings and lovely tinkling piano will always put me in a fall loving mood.

Hair” (Lady Gaga)

Her Bruce Springsteen moment: I just wanna be myself and I want you to love me for who I am…

Cough Syrup” (Young the Giant)

This song always plays right when I’m leaving work. ALWAYS! It’s CREEPY. It also makes me think of Infinite Jest. I also like howling along with the singer’s oh so earnest vocals.

I Fought the Law” (The Clash)

Ahh, my revolutionary song. I honestly don’t feel like it’s an understatement to say that the Clash literally saved my life in November. They were all I listened to on my ipod. All. Day. Long. There was just something about their mouth frothing energy that I really love, and that I really needed. Big Country’s “The Crossing” album was also a lifesaver, and what I listened to on endless replay walking down the Morro Bay beaches of Thanksgiving.

Somebody That I Used To Know” (Goyte)

I hesitate including this song, namely because I don’t really enjoy listening to it?! Those lyrics are just HARSH! But the part when the girl starts singing is pretty genius; when I first heard it on the radio my jaw dropped that we were getting to hear “her side of the story,” so to speak.

Running to Stand Still” (U2)

I’ve been listening to this song a lot lately. I dunno, maybe because Tori covered it in New York. Maybe because it reminds me of all the sad addict stories in Infinite Jest. Maybe because it’s just a nice, mellow, powerful song to close the year with.

Other artists I liked listening to this year but who were a bit overplayed: “Sail” by AWOL Nation, “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People, Coldplay’s “Paradise,” and Adele (of course). I also liked Florence + the Machine’s “What the Water Gave Me“–I’ll probably buy the album/see her live. I also listened a lot to this song and probably should have included it on the list above:

Everything passes
Everything changes
Just do what you think you should do

1 Comment

Filed under lists, music, year in review

One response to “Soundtrack for 2011

  1. Liz

    i love mix cds.

    I feel like the only new music I listened to this year was the Vanessa Carlton album. also very good. It made me want to start getting more into Stevie Nicks.

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