My Favorite Songs, Albums, and Live Shows from 2009

If you couldn’t tell, I love music. And I’ve only come to really love it in the past few years… way too late in the game, I tell you. In my opinion, appreciating and enjoying music is an art that can help you in numerous ways. For example – music increases brain function. It relieves stress. It could possibly start a revolution too. When I was younger I took music lessons but must’ve lost interest somewhere along the way. I wish I hadn’t given up on them, but this is something that can change! Maybe with all my free time here in China, I can pick up an instrument again and not just my iPod.

Do you think it’d be possible to go all of next year only listening to music made before my lifetime? It’s a nice thought but probably not. I have this dilemma that I keep “discovering” “new” music only to find out it came out in the 90s or something. I’m getting better at keeping up with current music coming out, but then there’s this Bob Dylan guy I discovered… … alas – it keeps me busy.

This year did wonders for my music collection! Lots of good tunes, and hopefully my vinyls will stay in tact as they wait until I find a cheap way to get them and a record player to China.

My Favorite Songs:
Animal Collective – My Girls
– The song I listened to 20 times in a row the first time I heard it
The Temper Trap – Sweet Disposition
– From 500 Days of Summer, I think
La Roux – Bulletproof
– The song I listen to every time I meet a new girl here in China
Phoenix – Listzomania
– The song that introduced me to the The Breakfast Club
The Lonely Island – I’m On A Boat
– The best SNL song ever written and the best use of T-Pain
The Phenomenal Handclap Band – 15 to 20
– Redundant but memorable
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Heads Will Roll
– The song I dance to down GuangDong Road
Amadou & Miriam – Sabali
– The first time I heard this song on the radio, I txted all my music-loving friends about it
We Are The Willows – A Funeral Dressed As A Birthday
– Best song when you miss Minneapolis
Andrew Bird – Oh No
– This reminds me of the roadtrip for some reason, probably the whistling

My Favorite Albums:
Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavillion
Derek Webb – Stockholm Syndrome
The Swell Season – Strict Joy
Mute Math – Armistice
Haley Bonar – Sing With Me (album cover art pictured)
Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeaus Phoenix
Andrew Bird – Noble Beast
The Avett Brothers – I And Love And You
The Temper Trap – Conditions
Monsters of Folk – Monsters of Folk

My Favorite Live Shows:
Lykke Li @ The Varsity
– Up front and close to the stage, this Swedish songstress impressed (pictured above); I heard it wasn’t so good from the back, though?
White Ghost Shivers @ Lee’s
– Possibly the best live show I’ve ever seen, and I didn’t even realize it
A Night In The Box @ Kitty Cat Klub
– All 11 times I saw these guys (truth) was a great show
Caroline Smith & The Goodnight Sleeps @ The Varsity
– My friend and I weren’t even there to see them, but new fans were created
The Tallest Man On Earth @ Turf Club
– I saw him here twice this spring… he’s not tall at all, it’s a metaphor
Haley Bonar @ The Walker’s Sculpture Garden
– Haley has long been the favorite part of my Minneapolis summers
Fleet Foxes @ First Avenue
– Hearing these harmonies come together live, is an amazing experience; and to think, I almost overslept this one
Phoenix @ First Avenue
– My last show in Minneapolis
Mute Math @ The Majestic
– So electric, so creative, so worth it… Mute Math continues to impress with their live shows
Au Revoir Simone @ Beijing’s Yu Gong Yi Shan
– First live show in China! And it was awesome…

Any thoughts? Am I totally off my rocker? What were some of your favorites this year?

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