Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Hellish Efforts of a 45-Year Old Man to Keep Up with Things -- Mr. D's Best New Songs of 2008

When we come to the holiday season, many publications pick the top songs, or books, or movies of the previous year. As a music obsessive I wanted to do that, but as regular readers of this feature know I'm not exactly up-to-date on the current scene. But why let that stop us? So herewith, I present Mr. D's best new songs of 2008.

The criterion for making the list? It has to be a song I hadn't heard before this year. In some cases, that means the song came out a while back. But if it's a good song, it makes the list. So what are some of the top new songs of 2008 in my skewed world? First, a few that actually came out in 2008, I think.

White Winter Hymnal, Fleet Foxes, which has a cool kinda madrigal thing going on.

Electric Feel, MGMT, which has an electric feel. Truth in advertising!

Boots of Chinese Plastic, Pretenders -- Chrissie Hynde might be 900 years old, but she can still rock.

Shut Up and Let Me Go, Ting Tings -- kinda an unholy cross between Chic's Good Times and maybe, what, Deee-Lite? Catchy, though, and the singer is simutaneously sassy and fetching, of course.

Then there are the songs that I suspect came out before this year:

27 Jennifers, Mike Doughty, which is very amusing. Amusing counts for a lot in my world.

Chicago, Sufjan Stevens, who puts out albums based on states and this one was on an album about Illinois. This song establishes a mood that reminds me of, I dunno, maybe Baker Street as envisioned by New Order, maybe? I dunno. Sounds good, even if the vocal is a bit on the wimpy side.

Sly, Cat Empire. Gotta like flugelhorns.

Short Skirt Long Jacket, Cake. Again, humor counts for a lot. Gotta like girls who are touring the facility.

Bottom line? When you're 45 years old if you try to be hip it tends to come off as pathetic, unless you're an A&R man (do they still have those?) But it doesn't make much sense to make your peace with KQRS and crawl back into your 30-year old records. If you do that, pretty soon you find yourself shaking your fist at kids walking down the street and shouting "you punks stay off my lawn." Not ready to do that, yet.

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