Top 15 Singles of 2005

15. Brendan Benson - Cold Hands (Warm Heart) The Alternative to Love

Detroit love, kids. I've been a fan of Brendan for awhile now - and his music keeps getting better. Following him through the different incarnations of his music (see: Mood Elevator, which was really less him - but nonetheless he was still involved) and now his production collab's with Jack White have really been cool to watch. He's on V2 and they really got behind this album from what I could tell. If you haven't given it a chance - or even if you have - give it another listen - it's really well done on the whole. This song was also licensed for a Ford commercial recently.....that's too bad, but hey, gotta make that bank.

14. Lewis Taylor - Stoned Stoned

Soul and lots of it. Lewis Taylor is from the UK and this song blew my mind the first time that I heard it. I think this is one of the better albums of the year - it may crack my my top 10 - not sure yet. I recently heard him doing a set on KCRW and that made me like him even more. The odd part is that he sounds so English (Brit) in his interview and then he busts out some serious chops live. Well worth the purchase. Enjoy.

13. Sigur Ros - Hoppipolla Takk

I was flying back from LA last week, listening to the IPOD and it was late, after midnight. As we got closer to the ground this track clicked in - and made me remember how amazing these Icelandic wonders really are. I got into them late, around the ( ) album, but immersed myself into them right away and everything they have done is great. They did put out a tour EP that I wasn't too fond of, but other than that - all their major releases have been the shit. Not to mention the production work they have done with Jimmy T of the Album Leaf. (Of O.C. fame, now, sadly) Anyway, this song is perfect soundtrack to life stuff - walking around in a city or late at night listening to this will sink it in.

12. ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of The Dead - Let It Dive Worlds Apart

Never a huge fan of these guys - but I do own 2 of their discs. I like some it from a production aspect alot - and some songs are really rocking. This song reminds me alot of Oasis - but good Oasis. I got into it in the fall of this year, sitting at the WAB with Ward and this came on.... it's one of my bigger darkhorses on this list. Hope you like it.

11. Jackson and His Computer Band - Hard Tits Smash

Crazy album. Pretty fucking cool. Kinda creepy. Slightly goth. Electro. Bits and pieces. Worth listening to the whole thing - but enjoy this one first. It's great. Very easy listen.

10. Busta Rhymes Feat ODB - Where's Your Money?

Am I kidding? Absolutely not. First off, my relationship with the Bus goes deep. The first time I saw him live was in the hometown - Grand Rapids, MI. He did a set with a bunch of other hip hop heavyweights and ended up mooning the crowd. I'll never forget it. This guy just doesn't seem to miss though, great flow, great lyrics and he picks some awesome shit to work with. I remember when he remixed the Knight Rider theme (see: D. Hasselhoff). I loved that show growing up. So when I heard him and Big Baby Jesus were doing this - I was happy. And the track turned out great - so great in fact that I ended up rapping this very track....in White Castle....at 3 am.....in downtown Detroit.....with 2 strangers. I was sober.

9. Death Cab For Cutie - Brothers on a Hotel Bed Plans

I thought they would fall off. I really did. I doubted the Gibbard. I thought that the idea of a major label CD might get in these guys heads and cause them to lose their Death-Cab-ness. (Along with their "indie-cred according to some, but fuck that, make money, sorry Emm.) This CD actually led to a heated debate between a dear old friend, Emm and myself over stiff drinks one night in Dearborn, MI. Random? Yes. True? Certainly. But ultimately, I think they delivered a great product....could they have done it on their own - yes. But they didn't. Enjoy the track anyway - it's amazing. And never doubt the Gibbard - ever.

8. Breakstra - Hit the Flo'! Hit The Floor

One of my favorite, if not my favorite new label that I got into this year. Ubiquity Records puts out some great shit. (Not to mention kick ass T's.) These guys are out of Cali (I believe) and this record is a top to bottom throw down of funk. I love this track but really it could be any track on this album almost. Check it out and if you dig it - head over to Ubiquity and pick up some more.

7. TV on the Radio - Staring at the Sun (Diplo Rmx)

I saw Dip in a small tent in Chicago - and man - this guy is my hero. Not only was he amazing on the decks but let's just take a look over what he has been doing:

a) Producing much of M.I.A.'s album Arular, which has been a smash and is on many peoples top 10 of the year.
b) Also, dating Maya (M.I.A.). Nicely done.
c) Touring with her as DJ - cashing in a headlining tour while making a name for himself.
d) Remixing with pleasure. Some tunes he has done this year - including this one has blown me away.
e) Oh, and he just started a new record label.

Official hero status.

6. My Morning Jacket - Wordless Chorus Z

Token, I know. But I do like this album. I like the first half much better than the first. That's why it's not in my top 10 scenesters.....that's right. But this track is very leck-e-ish. Yay.

5. Death From Above 1979 - Black History Month (remix) Romance Bloody Romance

These guys are ridiculous. I love their videos. I love their sound. I love their energy. They bring the fucking action and don't apologize. And they are Canadian. Fucking great. I was lucky enough to check out this 2 piece playing in Chicago at Intonation Fest (above) and they carry themselves well live. This year, in follow up to their first release, they put out a remix album. (how cliche! you may say) Well, some hits, some misses, but this track is on point from start to finish. Enjoy.

4. Jamie Lidell - Multiply (Herbert's Hoedown Bump)

File under: freak. File under: wow. File under: this remix makes me want to climb walls, shoot sunlight out my nose and fart flowers. Unreal.

3. Paul Duncan - Oil on the Fields Be Careful What You Call Home

This guy really came out of nothing. I recently read an interview with him and he doesn't consider himself a professional musician. Similar story to Iron and Wine - recording at friends encouragement and practically handed a record deal. In the end though, the album was produced as an entire album to be listened to from beginning to end. It has some more atomospheric stuff in it, but this song certainly stands out. Enjoy. Highly rec'd.

2. Bell Orchestre - Throw It On a Fire Recording a Tape the Colour of the Light

Members of the Arcade Fire and others from the Montreal scene put together this group. Really an amazing disc from start to finish - but this track stands out as my favorite. I can't stop listening to it. Ever. And I won't. Come over in 10 years....you may hear it.

1. Nada Surf - Do It Again The Weight is a Gift

This album is great - but the first single, Do It Again is fucking awesome. It rips. So enjoy it as one of the catchiest songs of the year.


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