Song of the Year 1999-2009

I am hoping to tap the musical minds of Qt3 for a project I’m working on. Beginning with 1999 and ending with 2009, what song (ideally released that same year) epitomizes that year for you? If you’re interested in sharing, why? I’m really not looking for the #1 sales song from each year, but which songs stand out as meaningful over the past decade.

For example:

1999: song title explanation


1999: The Bad Touch - Bloodhound Gang. A formative experience in my sexual education. On the rare occasions I see discovery channel animal documentaries I still think of this song.

2000: Porcelain - Moby. It’s still an amazing song.

2001: Getting Away With It (All Messed Up) - James. I actually didn’t discover who sung this song until a few years ago, but for some reason it has stuck in my head to a degree no other song has ever approached. The first time I heard this song, the lyrics were burnt into my cerebral cortex and have remained there ever since. I can’t possibly tell you why, but this is the song I remember.

2002: No one knows - QOTSA. Only a few songs move me to headbang, this is one of them.

2003: Seven Nation Army - The White Stripes. 'Nuff said.

2004: The Nosebleed Section - The Hilltop Hoods. This song only means something for the Aussies, but it was the breakthrough song that cemented aussie hip-hop into our national musical minds. Literally, it was this song that did it.

2005: It’s 5! - Architecture In Helsinki. Off an album you play to your girlfriend.

2006: One Crowded Hour - Augie March. These guys were writing underappreciated music since 1999, when this song hit #1 in the JJJ Hottest 100 it’s hard to describe how good it felt to have everyone else recognise their genius. A+.

2007: Phantom Limb - The Shins. The perfect pop song?

2008: White Winter Hymnal - Fleet Foxes. Picking all the previous years was made easier with the lens of time to make me at least somewhat objective about it. This one I’m less sure of, but it’s a damn good song.

2009: Jetstream - Doves. OK, now it’s just getting cruel. This is my most listened song of the past 8 months (that was released this year).

Can I just put down the Macarena for all ten years?

1999 “So Much Love”, Home–In one song they simply, effortlessly trumped every card Mercury Rev and the Flaming Lips had in their hands. Just a wonderful artifact of brilliantly damaged artpop.

2000 “Slow Descent Into Alcoholism”, New Pornographers–So easy to overlook a song like this now, but back then? Holy crap, remember the first time you heard that goofy-ass keyboard? Barely beats out Neko’s vocal on “Letter From An Occupant”. Barely.

2001 “Sublimation Hour”, Destroyer–Maybe one of the most perfect rock and roll songs ever, Dan Bejar has never come close to living up to the potential promised by this track (or the album it came on, for that matter.) When the song roars into the final verse and he sings “There’s a rumor goin’ round even Destroyers have a price!” and just tries to windmill the strings right off his guitar…well, words fail.

2002 “Poor Places” Wilco The climactic moment on one of the best albums of the last decade, with Jay Bennett’s haunting piano serving as the focal point of every that makes this record so great. Wilco has a lot going for it with a guy like Nels Cline on guitar…but they will never ever have this again.

2003 “Amphetamine”, Steve Wynn It’d be one thing to have a band this completely shit hot playing out a 6-minute eargasming jam. It’d be one thing to have a song written by a 43-year-old guy spitting right in the face of Father Time and daring him to come take his fucking guitar off him. When this gets to the final verse “Yeah you gotta be cool/You gotta behave/but there’ll be time for that when I’m quiet in my grave” and then the final coda of “Oh yeah! Well I’m gonna fly/Yeah I’m gonna live until the day I die”…well, fuckyeah. Best guitar song in, like forever (why isn’t this song in Guitar Hero?) too–Jason Victor and Steve Wynn just blow the roof off your head here while tiny Linda Pitmon proves that she’s maybe one of the best drummers of any gender playing rock and roll.

2004 “Feel So Good” Eric Ambel I was in my biggest Rolling Stones phase ever when this nugget hit back in 2004. Ambel–who was the lead guitarist in The Del Lords and Steve Earle’s band The Dukes just lays out an awesome “Tumbling Dice”-sounding slab of brilliance here.

2005, “Our Time Is Coming Soon”, The High Dials It bums me out that this Montreal band can’t seem to put it all together in one album, but there are no bands on the planet that hit the high points as high as these guys do. Epic in every sense of the word (yes, Troy Goodfellow, I’m using it correctly!), the whole thing is just breathtaking, from the two-chord melody to the sitar break on the bridge to the amazing snare fill that closes the song with the ascending guitar figure…still gives me goosebumps and I can guarantee I’ve listened to this song at least 20,000 times in my life.

2006, “Old School vs. Liberty Girls”, The Weather Machines

2007 “Two Times”, The Blakes In a music world filled with heavily-eyelinered mopes sporting $200 haircuts professing pain and “emo”, The Blakes tear down that whole ridiculous house of cards within about 30 seconds of this song. Hear those vocals? That’s what anger, sadness, rage, and pain sounds like.

2008, “Killer Of Dragons”, The High Dials Because I still think this song helped me land my girlfriend who is totally out of my league otherwise, that’s why. John Cusack totally could’ve had this blasting out of his boombox in “Say Anything” instead of Peter Gabriel.

its kinda hard to put songs released for that year with that year because i am usually late to the party when it comes to music… sometimes i get into bands like years after they got popular… i have gone into spurts where i dont listen to much music… mainly 2000 - 2004…

1999 wilco - we’re just friends… because up to that point i was dating somebody who just wanted to be friends… like usualy with me! other songs on summerteeth are better but that song lyrically goes with me.

2000 badly drawn boy - magic in the air … summer 2000 when i saw some crazy romance…bleh

2001 daft punk - one more time … played the hell out of it, reminds me of traveling across country with friend at the time…

2002 nada surf - killians red … because i went out to the bar too much that year and this song reminds me of that… late twenties etc

2003 fountains of wayne - mexican wine … i dont know why, but i am always partial to opening tracks if they are good… and i wont even pay attention to the rest of an album til later… this is one of those songs.

2004 green day - american idiot … .because i hated bush (the man :-P) and that song pretty much sums it up

2005 nine inch nails - everyday is exactly the same … because i felt that way most of that year!

2006 my chemical romance - welcome to the black parade… because the teenage girly side of me cant get enough of hot topic bands to get out of emotional situations in my life… wow.

2007 maria taylor - clean getaway … because i wanted to getaway from somebody so much but it didnt matter etc etc raw!

2008 academy is… - automatic eyes … because its a great pop song and reminds me hey wtf im still a teenager emotionally … dont ask me why! moody i suppose!

2009 wilco - one wing … longtime fan of wilco, this song just rocks.

kinda hard to do this list off top of my head because so many bands i love now… i didnt listen to there albums the year they came out like tegan and sara and new pornographers…oh well big deal.

This might seem mellow dramatic, but the last ten years have been pretty trying for me. Only in the last year or so have things finally started to pan out. It took years of effort and struggle to get this far. There’s still a ways to go, but the light at the end of the tunnel is no longer a train.

1999: Metallica - No Leaf Clover
A song about feeling good in your ignorance about certain failure you don’t know is about to come.

2000: Radiohead - How to Disappear Completely
Starting to realize things aren’t as good as they seem.

2001: Fear factory - What Will Become
Feeling directionless

2002: Jerry Cantrell - Castaway

2003: Metallica - Some Kind of Monster
Realizing I’ve got something ugly inside, festering

2004: Mastodon - I am Ahab
Deciding once and for all to work towards something better. A goal that seems unattainable at this point.

2005: Arch Enemy - Taking Back my Soul
Making progress, strengthening my resolve

2006: Mastodon - The Wolf is Loose
Finally feeling like I’m back in the swing of things, in control and cutting my own swatch through life

2007: Nine Inch Nails - The Good Soldier
Not enjoying every step of my journey, and deciding to take a better path

2008: Metallica - Broken, Beat and Scarred
Finally made it through the worst of times after years of hard work and pushing myself to keep up the pace

2009: Lily Allen - Back to the Start
A new lease on life, no longer taking things for granted, coming to terms with what success really means and that it isn’t to be resented or feared in someone else. Now the real journey begins.

Of all the great triggercut music commentary I have enjoyed over the years, these two sentences are my favorite.

1987-2005 (not me, but recommended)

Where do you guys go to figure out which song was released in which year? Or are you just going based off your own memory?

Amazon and Allmusic are both good references on this. It helps if you keep lists every year, too…;)

He put Lolita Nation in there at numero uno for 1987. He clearly is a man of taste and distinctive genius, because it really is that fucking good. (Was listening to it last night and just gobsmacked by what a great record that is.)

I opened Windows Media Player, clicked on the Library Tab, Selected “Albums” and sorted by Year of Release.

Then I cherry picked relevant songs.

Flaming Lips – Waitin’ for a Superman
The F’Lips were the 90’s alternative music personified. The Soft Bulletin provides a perfect sonic bookend to In a Priest Driven Ambulance. Waitin’ for a Superman has to be my call for '99 due to how it made me feel seeing it live (and it helped matters that I was not just a little tipsy).

Sorry, can’t pick just one.
Grandaddy – Fare Thee Not Well Mutineer
I have a certain fondness for science-rock (see aforementioned F’Lips) and technology vs nature themes, which Grandaddy’s Sophtware Slump explores. However, Fare Thee Not Well Mutineer stands apart from the material that made it to the album, for some reason I cannot articulate. Perhaps it just seems appropriate as a close out to the millenium.
Doves – The Cedar Room
I also am not immune to the crescendo-ing rock anthems. Though perhaps it has the “paint by numbers” rock elements (soft-loud-soft-loud, stuttering guitars, standard chorus harmonies) The Cedar Room puts them together nearly flawlessly.
Dandy Warhols –Bohemian Like You
Boehmian Like You is a fun rock song with enough unique instrumentation to keep it interesting upon many repeated listenings.

Sparklehorse – Apple Bed
Saprkelhorse was one of the first “DIY” one man “bands” that I really got into.
Ted Leo & the Pharmacists – Timorous Me
This really should be one of those timeless, fun, guitary rock pop songs.

Lucero – Nights Like These or Darby’s Song or Chain Link Fence…hell, the whole damn album
This is what Alt-country is all about. With an amazing sophomore record, they had me forgetting all about Tweedy & Farrar.
Damien Jurado - Dancing (sorry can’t find video)

Okkervil River – It Ends With a Fall
Ok, I probably should have a separate category for Okkervil River. I am simply stunned by the quality of their entire catalog. It is even more impressive when you consider the cohesiveness of the themes on each album.
Songs: Ohia – Just Be Simple
Another “one-man” band, Magnolia Electric Co. is, so far, the pinnacle of Jason Molina’s work.

Old 97’s – Won’t be Home
Just great, ass-kicking alt-country. This is really what country music should be.
Arcade Fire – Wake Up
For many of my favorite great albums, there comes a time when I can no longer get any thrill from them or in some cases even bother to play them due to there sheer quantity of listenings (e.g. Achtung Baby, OK Computer). Funeral has yet to do that; it seems I hear something new up each listening (now numbering in the hundreds).
Snow Patrol – Run
(See The Cedar Room, above, perhaps even more paint-by-numbers with the lyrics, but I still love it)

Okkervil River – For Real
Powerful, poignant.

Jarvis Cocker – Running the World
Perfectly vulgar given the goings on about town.
Peter Bjorn and John – Objects of My Affection
Wins out over their other hit single. A great jangly guitar pop tune with lyrics that I just can’t help but smile to.

Okkervil River – A Girl In Port
Arcade Fire – My Body is a Cage

Okkervil River – Lost Coastlines

Ok, so I can’t get enough of Okkervil River and Arcade Fire; sue me.

So may good songs here. I may go crazy trying to come up with a list on my own in a bit.

Thanks for that – Fantastic song. I would argue, however, that Bejar has produced several songs that come close to this. Looter’s Follies, for one. That song blows me away everytime and would be a strong contedner for my favorite song of 2006.

Gah – 2006 illustrates my trouble with this project perfectly. How do I pick a favorite from among these:

The Decemberists – The Crane Wife 1 and 2
Destroyer – Looter’s Follies
Murder By Death – Brother
Kasabian – The Doberman
Beth Orton – Comfort of Strangers
Gnarls Barkley – Crazy
Gnarls Barkley – Storm Coming
Alela Diane – The Rifle
Alela Diane – Pieces of String
Josh Ritter – Girl In The War
M Ward – Requiem
The Hold Steady – Stuck Between Stations

And that’s just off the top of my head, looking at some of my favorite albums of the year. At gun point I’d pick “Brother.” No wait! “The Doberman!”

Okay. Here’s my attempt. I mostly picked a song I loved from each year without getting too hung up on whether there was a song I loved even more from that particular year.

1999: Beulah – Emma Blowgun’s Last Stand
So hard to pick a favorite song off that album but that will do for now.

2000: U2 – Walk On
Eat me

2001: Spoon – Believing is Art

2002: Spoon – Jonathon Fisk

2003: The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army
Thank you checkers for solving my “Which Radiohead Song To Pick?” dilema.

2004: Ted Leo and The Pharmacists – Me and Mia
This is the only year with a clear cut winner for me
Edit: Though I think “Metal Heart” by Garbage came out this year too. It doesn’t knock Me and Mia off the top spot but it deserves a mention! If I go flying backwards through the gates of Heaven in a flaming Zonda, this is the song I want playing on my CD player, really fucking loud.

2005: Okkervil River – Black

2006: Murder by Death – Brother
See above for 2006. I had the same problem with pretty much every year.

2007: Radiohead – Jigsaw

2008: Wolf Parade – Kissing The Beehive
Runner up: The Gaslight Anthem – The '59 Sound

2009: Silver Sun Pickups – The Royal We
Runner up: Dinosaur Jr – Pieces
Second runner up: Metric – Gold Gun Girls

Also, this thread makes me sad that muxtape got nerfed.

Damn threads like this for making me dig through my music library.

1999: Ben Folds Five - Army

2000: A Perfect Circle - 3 Libras

2001: Beulah - A Good Man is Easy to Kill

2002: … And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead - Another Morning Stoner

2003: Cat Power - He War

2004: Arcade Fire - Crown of Love

2005: John Vanderslice - Exodus Damage

2006: Jeremy Enigk - World Waits

2007: Architecture in Helsinki - Hold Music

2008: Karen - Marine

Ted Leo has some really good ones that are well placed on these kind of lists.

And I knew I would forget a few when I posted my original.

The first one is a head-slapper in that I cannot believe I forgot this one as it may be the greatest rock and roll song of all time: 2003 - Electric Six - Danger! High Voltage (yes I would even place it above the Okkervil River cuts from the same year).

Another from 2003 - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Bring It On

2001 - Macy Gray - Sweet Baby (and I would have to include 99’s I Try and Stillas well)

Great song…never seen the video before now, though. Um, wow.