Or is it "Runner Ups?" I assume the former, as in the title of my post, is correct.
In any event, I had a really hard time picking my top ten songs of 2009. I put some constraints on myself. Well, a constraint: one song per band. Without that constraint, this list would have probably been very different (more on that in the coming posts).
With that constraint, my top five or six songs were reasonably easy to knock out. It was the second half of the top ten, particularly the last two spots, that were most troublesome. I had about ten songs lined up for those two spots. Do I cheat and expand to a top 20?
No. Hell no.
Instead, I cheat and give you seven runner up songs, leading up to my top ten. If you don't like any of these, well, maybe you'll like what's in my top ten. If you do like these, then you'll probably enjoy the rest of the list.
Without further ado, the songs that just missed my Top 10 of 2009:
One of two Scottish bands in the full list, they've got the benefit of having one of the best band names around. Driving percussion and a Scottish accent.
After a few years of making their prog/noise/art rock, Doug Martsch brings Built To Spill back into making their jangly sweet rock, with probably their best song since "Big Dipper" off of There's Nothing Wrong With Love.
Being one of the few folks out there still defending The Big W (and legitimately digging The Red Album), Raditude was a huge let down. Especially after hearing this song, which simply reinforce my opinion that Rivers Cuomo is the closest thing to Brian Wilson (besides Brian Wilson).
Cymbals Eat Guitars are like Animal Collective. You either love them or hate them (I love the former, hate the latter). This song starts with, and finishes with, the crazy noise that Cymbals Eat Guitars create. In the middle is one of the best pop songs of the year. And I think they play about 20 instruments in it.
The first Boston band in the list, Taxpayer's latest album is full of really awesome rock music. This is my favorite right now. If you asked me tomorrow, it might be "Marionette" or "We Have Arrived."
I love Stellastarr*. The overlapping vocals, occasional harmonies, and the way they just bring it all together. This reminded me a lot of stuff off of their first album. You may not like it. But if you do, go check out the rest of their new album. It's good.
My hardest omission from the top ten. AC Newman put out another awesome pop album in 2009. It's not on lala for some reason, so check it out here on Youtube. It's just really, really, really good.