Thursday, December 17, 2009

Maggie's Top Twelve Songs of 2009

So I was asked to do a Top Twelve Songs of 2009 (which is terribly flattering, by the way. Getting told you have good taste in music is way better than being hit on in the grocery store line by a gross old guy with spots on his head, just sayin'.) Because I have to have music on to write, I . . . um . . buy . . .um . . a lot of music. So this list turned out to be more impossible than I thought. I ended up going with the most likely to be appreciated by non-crazy people list of songs, because there were far too many list otherwise.

So I got rid of the outliers (like "Duke" by Booka Shade, because unless you are into electronica, you probably won't like it)(and my editor informs me that many people are Not Into Electronica)(this entire conversation will become more relevant once LINGER comes out)("Id Engager" by Of Montreal goes into this category, as does "Anyway You Choose to Give It" by The Black Ghosts)("this category" being the "HAWT" category).

And then I tossed out the ones that I talk about all the time, in reverent tones. (that would be "Wash Away" by Matt Costa)(I lied, Matt. I still love you. The Bravery let me down so I'm happy to fall back into your arms, if you'll have me).

Then I chucked most everything that enjoyed a lot of radio play, because you guys would already know about it anyway. ("Countdown" by Jupiter One, "Oxygen" by Living Things, "Fireflies" by Owl City, and "Brand New Day" by Ryan Star).

And sadly, I got rid of the soundtrack ones that I loved to write to, figuring I'd highlight them in later posts after the relevant books came out. ("Page 47" from National Treasure and "The Blood of Cu Chulainn" by Mychael and Jeff Danna).

And finally, I got rid of ones that weren't on Youtube where you guys could listen (like the euphoric and upbeat "Koro Koro" by Matias Aguayo, the brooding, quirky "Back in Town" by Sound Team, and the mysterious and lovely "Dawel Disgyn" by The Gentle Good. And absolutely everything Celtic.)

Which leaves me with this sadly inadequate top 12.*

*And of course I must do the usual spiel which is this: if you love any of these songs, do the right thing and go out there and pay the buck for them legally so that musicians and the music industry get paid and stay in business and continue to make a musical career viable etc. etc. etc.

1. "Mr. Pitiful" by Matt Costa. This song is not only insanely cheerful, the video is fantastic, the melody is utterly singable, and it would make you smile even if you had just run over your neighbor's dog.

2. "Her Morning Elegance" by Oren Lavie. Elegant is right, dammit. I feel classy and content whenever I play this, which makes it excellent traffic music. Studies have shown Oren Lavie makes drivers 60% less likely to give others the finger.

3. "No One's Gonna Love You" by Band of Horses. This was my musical obsession for weeks. I crawled into the opening notes and just sort of lived there.

4. "Winter Hymnal" by Fleet Foxes. Forever and ever and ever this will remind me of one single moment I wrote in LINGER. One with snow, a guitar case, and parking meters.

5. No One Sleeps When I'm Awake, by the Sounds. Because it makes me have to do something, everytime I hear it.

6. "Percussion Gun" by White Rabbits. When God made the world, he made some talented musicians and some great tunes and sometimes he put them together. And then he made the White Rabbits and he told them to record "Percussion Gun" so that I could be happy. I'm thankful for that. Every time I listen to this, I muse on how beautiful things and good music hurt. Itunes tells me I've played this 52 times since I bought it two months ago. That can't be right . . .

7. "The Dragon" by The Guggenheim Grotto. This baby just squeaked onto the '09 list because I bought it a few days ago. I know a classic Maggie tune when I hear one.

8. "The Lightning Strike" by Snow Patrol. I love all of Snow Patrol with a fiery and passionate unrequited love, but I love this one the bestest. This song is like an omen or a warning to something, and it makes this novelist very happy to imagine what that something might be and then write it down.

9. "Tickets to Crickets" by Ferraby Lionheart. Dreamy, bittersweet . . . I can put this song on repeat for endless playthroughs. And write a different novel to it every single time.

10. "Canvas" by Imogen Heap. Lest you think I don't listen to any female singers.

11. "Honey Honey" by Feist. See, I told you I listened to female singers. (Her real video is here, but due to being an idiot, they disabled the embedding option because I suppose -- Maggie mused bitterly -- that they weren't a fan of viral marketing).

12. "Green Hills Race for California" by Emerson Hart. A fitting end for my top 12, because it sounds like an end to me. One day, I'm going to write a script that this would be the closing credits for. And people will cry.


Donna Gambale said...

I need you to make a soundtrack to my LIFE. Seriously, you have the best taste in music. It's like you do all the work for me, finding the non-mainstream stuff that I love! Your top 12 was great, but my favorites were the three "outliers" (you can tell David that I like electronica!) -- specifically Anyway You Choose to Give It. I vote more music lists!

Kate said...

Maggie - in the middle of Shiver right now and loving it to pieces. Thanks for your wonderful work, and this lovely list of music! Great taste! But I do have to Arctic Monkeys? Sam, I mean Alex, released quite the album this year... :)

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Hhaha, Kate -- it was mighty fine, but not top 12 material. Hope you KEEP loving SHIVER!

Donna, hahaha -- I'm glad you liked them!

Kate said...

Finished and loved it to the very end. Great, great characters, and it GREATLY inspired me to do my rewrite of the teen novel I wrote for National Novel Writing Month this year, which is a priceless gift. THANKS!

Hm...not top 12, huh? Have you SEEN the Cornerstone video...? :)

Maggie Stiefvater said...

*grin* Kate, I did love the video . . . but WITHOUT the video, tis not top 12. :) Oh, and I'm glad you loved SHIVER!

Anonymous said...

Long time blog and book reader, first time commentor, as my reading of Forever has only made me more interested in a question I began wondering in Forever.
What does NARKOTIKA sound like?
I listened to bunches of your music picks trying to figure this out lol, and then I heard this white rabbits song, and I'm like...oh, they're angry, and piano-y? Would Cole approve?

Maggie Stiefvater said...

@ourkitchenchaos, a very belated reply to say that I hesitate to say what NARKOTIKA sounds like because the answer should be: "always slightly more uncomfortable than what you're used to listening to" and that is different for everyone. I love White Rabbits and I could see it, but for me, NARKOTIKA's sound at the time was similar to Head Automatica's "Brooklyn is Burning."

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