It’s the Least I Can Do: A Wee Holiday Present from Me to You

Four and a half days left in this year that I had originally been so optimistic about. While I wouldn’t trade my optimism for anything, let’s just say that even though I’m reblonded and things really ARE looking up, I’d highly qualify 2007 as a dark and twisty sort of year. Which is cool, really, because like El Niño, it can’t happen two years in a row, right? RIGHT?

Anyway. Just giving you my year in a nutshell as a preface to your little "Happy Holidays" internet gift, just a few days late from last week’s intended post date. (Sorry, was having technical problems. Silly interwebs.) Taking the cue from fabulous people like Ryan and Keith, I, too, decided to step it up a notch from last year’s "Best of…" music list and provide you with the actual soundtrack, all downloadable and full of 100% authentic lurv from me to you. So without further ado, I present you with my "Best of 2007" song list – a veritable Top Ten List of Awesome, plus two more because MY awesome goes to twelve (screw turning it up to eleven – that’s so overused.) Download the whole playlist here (but keep reading for my reasons why.)

Aubs’ Best of 2007 List: In order from "Super Awesome" to "OMG I Can’t Get This Song Outta My Head!"

1. "Foundations" – Kate Nash
A late entry into this list, I first heard this a few months back as a preview of her soon-to-be released album, Made of Bricks. I love her over-pronounced British accent and the way the somber lyrics so greatly contrast the poppy tune of the song; resonated with my mood as of late.

2. "Nothing & Nowhere" – Emily Haines
My friends Ali, Ryan and I saw her last January at Great American Music Hall – it was one of those quiet, serene sit-down shows and we somehow persuaded the bouncer to give us a reserved table front and center. I had been listening to Knives Don’t Have Your Back for weeks prior to the show, but it wasn’t until I heard her sing this song live that I realized that it was my favorite on the album. Despite its mellow nature, it made it on many a mix CD this past year.

3. "Baby I" – Amy Millan

I remember listening to this song on repeat while  coming home on the Google bus  many days last spring. Not only do I adore all of Honey from the Tombs, but I got to see Amy TWICE(!!) while at SXSW and she sang this song both times while I sang along like a starstruck fool wearing cowboy boots. Which – frankly – I was.

4. "Samson" – Regina Spektor
While the rest of the world was bopping to "Fidelity", I was too busy being captivated by the first line of this song ("You are my sweetest downfall") to pay attention to anything else. Her voice is ethereal and while this song is true to the melancholy nature of many of the songs in my Best of 2007, I still find it to be a sweet, simple love song.

5. "Between the Moon and the Ocean" – Bon Savants
My friend Abby’s twin sister’s boyfriend is the lead singer for the Bon Savants; were it not for this connection, I don’t think I would have headed out on a blustery Monday night to see this Boston-based band when they made their way to SF in late 2006. And it would surely have been my loss, since I couldn’t stop singing this for weeks; nay, months. "You kiss like a Russian" may be my favorite lyric of 2007.

6. "Size too Small" – Sufjan Stevens
Behold, the power of the Internets. My friend Ryan posted this on his Vox blog, and though it was dedicated to another gal, I was charmed by the words and charmed by the fact that there are other people out there besides me that let the lyrics of a song provide the words to say what they’ve wanted to for a while. Gives me hope in some sort of romanticized, days-gone-by sort of way.

7. "Night Windows" – The Weakerthans
Daniel Burka, were it not for your obsession with this band and your many posts on Pownce about them, I wouldn’t have known about one of the best songs of the year. Thanks be to you, many times over.

8. "Plus Ones" – Okkervil River
A true story: ‘Twas the first night of  SXSW music, and I had ventured off on my own to see Okkervil River play at Mohawk Patio. I ended up sitting next to Jon (who occasionally plays with The Broken West and who I had seen playing trumpet with The Walkmen earlier that day, at which time I thought "YUM – former band geek turned HOT!" and who – ok, I admit it – I was super smitten with in that "I enjoy smooching you" sort of way) and watching Okkervil River live for the first time looking down from great, smuggled seats from the balcony. It was the perfect kick-off for the rest of the week, and when Okkervil River’s new album came out, it was only fitting that they wrote my favorite song on the last night of SXSW. Can’t wait to hear them play it in person next year…Jon, open invitation to join me again.

9. "Midnight Coward" – Stars

Yet another appearance by Amy Millan in my Top Ten Twelve List, this time with her  counterpart  Torquil Campbell in what I believe (and Last.fm confirms) to be my favorite band of 2007. While this wasn’t the first song that jumped out at me from In Our Bedroom After The War, it’s the one I’ve found myself listening to the most, no small part because of the lyric "Hurry to believe, I can always trust as much as you deceive." Sad, but true.

10. "If I Am A Stranger" (live) – Ryan Adams

Number 10 comes from my second-favorite musician of the year (though probably my favorite one of all time.) Apparently, I listened to "Two" more than any other Ryan Adams song this year, but that’s probably because it was the pre-release and I was so excited for Easy Tiger to come out that I couldn’t resist playing it excessively. This song is from his "Follow the Lights" EP and while it made the list at the last minute, it reminds me of the Whiskeytown days so much that I had to include it.

11. "Talking in Code" – Margot & the Nuclear So & So’s

I first saw them live in November 2006 without ever hearing one of their songs, and went home and immediately downloaded The Dust of Retreat only to put it on constant repeat. At SXSW, I raced across town to see them (by myself, no less) and – this time, knowing their songs – sang along to every one of their tracks. "Talking in Code" has resonated with me from the first time that I heard it, and the only way I can describe it is that it makes me breathless.

12. "No ones gonna love you" – Band of Horses
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to many of you, since I’m clearly an uber-fan of this awesome band, but this is hands down the best song on Cease to Begin and is gaining ground on my former fave BoH song, "The Funeral". My friend and I went to see them play at The Fillmore in late November, and when this song came on, I just stood there, mouthing the words as not to detract from Ben Bridwell’s unique, powerful voice.  Lyrics from this song often serve as my IM status message and since it came out, there was never a question that it would take the top spot in my 2007 "Best of" list. If only I was in Atlanta for NYE, since they’re playing FOUR SHOWS at The Earl. Jealousy can’t begin to explain it.

So there you have it – twelve months, twelve songs. ENJOY, and Happy Holidays.

3 thoughts on “It’s the Least I Can Do: A Wee Holiday Present from Me to You

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