Sunday, January 17, 2010

Top 10 Albums I Can't Live Without

I'm doing the music monday today because tomorrow night I'll be at the Tegan and Sara concert. Fo' realz.

10. The Shins - Wincing the Night Away

I picked this even though I can live without the entire album but I can't live without The Shins. I would like to make a 'Best of The Shins' CD and it would include songs from all 3 of their albums. For the record, my favourite Shins song is "Pink Bullets" which is on their album Chutes Too Narrow. Anyways, it took me a while to really like Wincing the Night Away but after 3 years I finally enjoy every song.

Favourite: Australia

9. Iron & Wine - Around the Well

Around the Well is one of those compilation CDs with two discs of previously unreleased stuff. Around the Well features some of my favourite Iron & Wine songs such as "Kingdom of the Animals", "God Made the Automobile", "Carried Home", "The Trapeze Swinger", and Sam Beam's cover of "Such Great Heights", which btw, is my favourite The Postal Service song. So there.

Favourite: Kingdom of the Animals

8. The New Pornographers - Challengers

Challengers is my favourite NP's album because it's the only full album I've heard from them. Rumour has it they're releasing a new album in '10, which is really exciting because I will purchase it and maybe it'll be better than Challengers but that'll be hard because Challengers is a really good album. There isn't a weak song on the entire CD.

Favourite: Adventures in Solitude

7. Tegan and Sara - The Con

Arguably Tegan and Sara's best album, The Con fills me with so many emotions that I'm surprised I don't cry every time I hear it. It comes with a DVD and if you were lucky enough to have friends who would spend $10 on you, then you could have gotten the demo CD as well on their US tour in 2008 (thanks Katrina!). Almost everybody uses Tegan and Sara lyrics as titles for their blog posts because they're so good. Also because they're very relate-able.

Favourite: Back in Your Head

6. Bright Eyes - Noise Floor: Rarities 1998-2005

I can't remember why I decided to buy Noise Floor but it was definitely one of the best decisions ever. The album art is really good, but also the tracks are solid and I'm having a hard time picking a favourite song. My only qualm with Noise Floor is the length, but Bright Eyes always has super long albums anyways.

Depending on my mood, my favourites are: Blue Angels Air Show, Weather Reports, Seashell Tale, or Amy in the White Coat

5. Sarah Mclachlan - Mirrorball

Ever since I discovered Mirrorball way at the back of a shelf in a giant cupboard in the basement, I have not been able to live without it. Seriously guys, Mirrorball is pure gold. If you think Sarah Mclachlan is good on studio albums, wait till you hear her live. Sometimes I have no idea what her songs are about but they make me cry anyway.

Favourite: Sweet Surrender, Angel

4. Tegan and Sara - If It Was You

It's unlikely that many other people would pick If It Was You as one of their favourite T&S albums because So Jealous and The Con are so good, but if I had to pick just
one it would be If It Was You. Firstly, it features one of their best songs "City Girl", and secondly, it includes other fan favourites like "Living Room", "Monday Monday Monday" and "I Hear Noises". Also if you haven't heard "Want to be Bad" performed live in Melbourne, which I tried semi-hard to find on youtube, then you should look it up yourself and listen to it. On top of that, "Underwater" seriously underrated as it is a real Sara gem, as is "Terrible Storm". I bet you haven't listened hard enough to Matt Sharpe's bass at the end of the latter. You know what, you should just go listen to this whole album right now.

Favourite: City Girl

3. Okkervil River - The Stand Ins

I first purchased The Stand Ins in December '08 in California and my life has never been the same since. A couple of weeks later I started this blog and called it "the shoreline receding" which is a line from "Lost Coastlines" which is possibly the best track on the album.
Okkervil River's lyrics and melodies never cease to amaze me, which is why I bought another one of their albums, Black Sheep Boy and just because it's not on this list doesn't mean it's not phenomenal.

Favourite: Lost Coastlines
Runner Ups: Calling and Not Calling my Ex; Bruce Wayne Campbell Interviewed on the Roof of the Chelsea Hotel, 1979

2. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago

I can't live without this album because I fall asleep to it every night. Yes, every night. I can't explain to you the pleasures of Justin Vernon's out of tune guitar and high pitched voice. Bon Iver is just pure magic, pure fucking magic.

Favourite: re:stacks

1. Death Cab for Cutie - We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes

We Have the Facts is DCFC's best album, hands down (well, maybe there's room for Transatlanticism). I can't even really explain what makes this album so good -- I think it's the simplicity of it, the crappyish recording, the fact that it sounds like 3 people with 3 instruments and not 28. Plans was good, Narrow Stairs was good, but they will never measure up to We Have the Facts. I wouldn't give this album away for 10 million dollars. Just read the lyrics to "No Joy in Mudville".

Favourite: Company Calls Epilogue


elliB said...

No matter how much I love The Con and songs from other albums, If It Was You has been and probs always will be my fav T&S album. When it came out I listened to it and sang along with it (loudly) for weeks and my mother nearly had a breakdown because of it.

Battlestar Luna said...

well look at that. a band from Austin representing. go Texas!

Molly said...

Are we the same person? I also love love love the shins and pink bullets is MY favorite song. Weird.

laura said...

favorite part of this post: "favourite"

Lesh said...

Hahaha yes ! "crappyish recording". Thats the adjective. My version of no joy in mudville sounds instrumental. . .

saint modesto said...

elliB: Ditto. I love Sainthood so much, but If It Was You has all my favourite T&S songs. Maybe 'cause I'm so familiar with them. Like maybe in 5 years I'll feel the same way about Sainthood?

Luna: Yay! Something to be proud of. ;)

Molly: We probably are.

laura: Are you making fun of my Canadian spelling, eh? Jk.

lesh: "Crappyish recording" is a real term in my dictionary. Anyways it was before DCFC made it big...

RachelwasHere said...

My dad took over a restaurant that had been illegally using a stash of random CDs as its music and he brought a bunch of them home including Mirrorball. I have never been the same and to this day don't know how I didn't realize a decade ago, listening to Sarah, that I was such a lesbian.

Hold On could easily make me cry and I'll never truly understand what Good Enough is about, but I could listen to it every day and find different meanings and love it more each time. Sigh.

You've convinced me that I need to seek out more Tegan and Sarah.

saint modesto said...

'Hold On' is soo good. I'm glad someone else I know listens to Mirrorball, I feel like it's such a gem of an album, everything just fits so perfectly on it.

I hope you like what you hear of Tegan and Sara! I would recommend most of the song I've listed in this post, but their 2005 album So Jealous would be a good place to start.