For today's edition, I recruited CW contributor/San Diego correspondent Ryan Bradford to share some of his selections (Bradford will also add his picks to the Dec. 31 Albums of 09 issue). Here are a few ditties that made life brighter for the boy wonder:---
Black Lips "I'll Be With You", "Starting Over" from 200 Million Thousand
Even though Black Lips didn't come close to matching the brilliance of Good Bad Not Evil, 200 was not without its gems. "I'll Be With You" was the perfect anthem for a summer of being unemployed, hanging out on the porch and wishing ill-will on the kids selling lemonade across the street who were making more money than you. It seems that the Lips were at their best when slowed down because "Starting Over" (with its slightly Blink 182-reminiscent guitar intro/coda) was oddly touching.
Passion Pit "Sleepyhead" from Manners
"Sleepyhead" is overly-dramatic, cheesy and sounds a little too Fatboy Slim-produced, but the spaces between the loudness are gold; the high-pitched, almost a capella sample makes the choruses hauntingly effective.
Dan Deacon "Paddling Ghost" from Bromst
Although he's an amazing showman, Deacon's music has always been a little too busy/throw-everything-in-the-mix for me. "Paddling Ghost" is a good example of that, but the music video is so damn adorable that you end up loving it anyway.
Vampire Weekend "Cousins" from upcoming Contra
I didn't get into Vampire Weekend's last album (besides the catchy "A-Punk") but if their new album is like the first single "Cousins", then they've got a new fan. The whole song is so manic that it seems like it's on the verge of falling off the tracks at any moment, but never does. And also, I like to sing along with the monkey sounds at the beginning. http://vampireweekend.com/
Jamie's Pick of the Day:
NPR's Bob Boilen selected The XX's self-titled release as one of his favorite albums of the year for the same reason that many folks hate it - all of the songs sound the same. Taken as a whole, they create a vibe that I completely dig. They might all blur together but I think this track offers a little something that the others don't: