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Classic Recordings
Robert Altman Week

Thursday
May072009

« In Which We Describe The 50 Best Musical Items of 2009 »

The Best Fifty Singles of 2009 (So Far)

by DANISH AZIZ

Plenty's been written about the changes in the way we consume media due to the Internet. As a friend and former colleague recently wrote, "‘content’ does not have to sit in search engine indexes waiting to be found. Instead, it can be moved quickly through networks of people by highly-developed technologies. The use of these networks has created a new, granular unit of information: the item, which is best understood as part of a series, or ‘feed’ of many items."

While you might be subscribed to a feed for new apartments in neighborhood X for less than $1000, or new blog posts from political blogger Y, there's no reason why this "itemization of everything" can't extend to music. MP3 blogs -- and, ultimately, individuals -- are the future record labels, except what they're "selling" isn't records, it's items, and the price is merely the time you're willing to devote. This model may pose a problem when we start to charge advertisers money to beam commercials directly into our heads.

Anyway, here are the 50 best musical "items" of the first third of the year 2009. This list is close to perfect, so please refrain from leaving critiques, suggestions, or omissions. Two things to note: each artist was allowed only one entry and hip hop is dead.

1. Animal Collective - "My Girls" BALTIMORE
2. Grizzly Bear - "Deep Blue Sea" (mp3BROOKLYN
3. Here We Go Magic - "Fangela" (mp3BROOKLYN
4. Dirty Projectors - "Stillness Is The Move" (mp3) BROOKLYN

papercuts

5. Papercuts - "Future Primitive" BAY AREA
6. Beirut - "Venice" (mp3) SANTA FE 
7. Junior Boys - "Parallel Lines" (mp3) ONTARIO 
8. Jamie Foxx - "Blame It" DALLAS
9. Metric - "Help I'm Alive" (mp3) TORONTO
10. Night Control - "Star 131" (mp3) SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

the juan maclean

11. The Juan Maclean - "One Day" (mp3) NYC
12. Deerhunter - "Game of Diamonds" ATLANTA
13. Peter Bjorn and John - "It Don't Move Me" SWEDEN
14. Telepathe - "So Fine" (mp3) BROOKLYN
15. Royksopp - "Happy Up Here" (mp3) NORWAY

little boots

16. Little Boots - "New In Town (Fred Falke Remix)" (mp3) UK
17. Whitest Boy Alive - "High On The Heels" BERLIN
18. Ganglians - "Valiant Brave" (mp3) BAY AREA
19. Black Lips - "Short Fuse" (mp3) ATLANTA
20. Kurt Vile - "Freeway" (mp3) PHILADELPHIA
21. Micachu - "Lips" UK

passion pit22. Passion Pit - "Moth's Wings" (mp3) BOSTON
23. Crocodiles - "I Wanna Kill" (mp3) SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
24. New Villager - "Rich Doors" (mp3) BAY AREA
25. Dan Deacon - "Build Voice" (mp3) BALTIMORE
26. Atlas Sound - "Springtime Instrumental" (mp3) ATLANTA

heartless bastards

27. Heartless Bastards - "The Mountain" (mp3) CINCINNATI
28. Demon's Claws - "Trip To A Clinic" MONTREAL
29. Desire - "If I Can't Hold You" (mp3) MONTREAL
30. Basement Jaxx - "Raindrops" UK
31. The Field - “Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime” SWEDEN
32. Suckers - "It Gets Your Body Moving" (mp3) BROOKLYN
33. Richard Swift - "Lady Luck" SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
34. tUnE-YaRdS - "SUNLIGHT" (mp3) MONTREAL

woods35. Woods - "Rain On" (mp3) BROOKLYN
36. Nodzzz - "Is She There" (mp3) BAY AREA
37. Fever Ray - "If I Had A Heart" SWEDEN
38. Bat For Lashes - "Daniel" UK

39. Jenny Wilson - "Wooden Chair" (mp3) SWEDEN
40. Phoenix - "Listzomania" (mp3) PARIS
41. Wavves - "So Bored" SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
42. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "Skeletons" NYC
43. Bill Callahan - "Jim Cain" AUSTIN
44. Sleigh Bells - "Ring Ring" (mp3) BROOKLYN
45. St. Vincent - "Actor Out of Work" BROOKLYN

Obits46. Obits - "Pine On" (mp3) BROOKLYN
47. Crystal Stilts - "Love is A Wave" (mp3) BROOKLYN
48. Camera Obscura - "Other Towns and Cities" (mp3) UK
49. Tiga - "Luxury" MONTREAL
50. Datarock - "Amarillion" NORWAY

Danish Aziz is the contributing editor to This Recording. He lives in San Francisco, and he tumbls here.

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Reader Comments (15)

abe vigoda - don't lie ??

May 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterevan

that nodzz record isn't from 2008/was the single put out in 2009 but the album in 2008? nevermind!

May 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjr

sorry--that was a question. i wasnt sure.

May 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjr

"This list is close to perfect, so please refrain from leaving critiques, suggestions, or omissions."

HA, love it

fantastically solid list

May 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersarah

Can I suggest using a different hosting service? Snapdrive has reached its bandwidth already.

May 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbrian

What, no Lady Gaga-Poker Face?
But seriously, I don't know what Snapdrive is but you should probably stop using it immediately.

May 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRich

These songs are about as timeless as the Pop Tart I just threw in the toaster.. although I think I might be a Grizzly Bear fan and a with a name like Little Boots..

May 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBumpus Fucklefish

@evan, you're actually right, that was one of two songs I can think of that I forgot (Cam'ron being the other)

@jr, the album was released in November '08, the band itself didn't blog about the release until December '08, so I think it can count as an '09 single

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDanish

Great list. Too bad Snapdrive has the bandwidth of a gnat.

May 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjp

i think swimming in speakers 'in knowing' could've made the list

June 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge

These are all indie hipster bands. Let’s not be so lazy.

July 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFreezinghtcat

I thought you guys were anti-Pitchfork? My but things change fast.

http://thisrecording.com/music/2008/12/2/in-which-we-count-down-our-top-twenty-albums-of-the-year.html

July 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterOther

Glad to see Metric's "Help I'm Alive" at #9. It's been #1 on my list.

August 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEric

A lot of these artists were featured in skins

August 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElliot

All Canadian ppl share a secret with you. Metric is awful.

January 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBill

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