Regular readers of this blog may remember that earlier in the year a severe virus destroyed both my computer as well as my laptop in just under ten hours. At that point the Democratische 99, my annual “best of” for music, was nearly finished.
It took over four months to get my computers working again (on Linux) and there was a non-official list (compiled by the songs that were played on Radio Kurtodrome), so this site decided that compiling a list based on all the rough material would be too much work. This makes 2010 the second year without a definite D99. Given that the first list was compiled in 1994, that’s saying something.
Anyway, had there been a list, who would have made it to the top? This weekend we look at the five tracks that would have made it to the top…
5. BLONDE REDHEAD – Not getting there
Blonde Redhead will never be the same since their singer’s accident, but the lyrics to this song are more than haunting (You already know this won’t end with kisses, you already see we won’t spare one another) as well as oddly reassuring (We will have a fine time not getting there). The more you listen to the track, the more it’s comforting slash beautiful.
4. AMATORSKI – Come here
These Belgians made one of the most beautiful songs of the year and all they needed was Garageband. Given the lowness of their budget, we can’t blame them for selling their track to the commercial world (such as mineral water) – after all, it allowed them to record a full album instead of another EP. Without it, “Soldier” might not have existed and wouldn’t have made it to 2011’s list (oh yes, it will be there). Still, this overkill – we live in Belgium and still hear the song pop up in commercials – is the one and sole reason this song is not in the top three. Inspired by (WW2) soldiers writing to and receiving letters from their loved ones, the message is clear: come home. (There is no official video for this song.)
3. MARINA AND THE DIAMONDS – Hollywood
I always feel like the worst, so I act like I’m the best, sings Marina in “Oh no!”, another track that could’ve made it to this top 5. So why “Hollywood”? Because Marina chants: “I’m obsessed with the mess that’s America.” Because it’s the first time Marina openly dissected the American dream, hugging and vivisecting it at the same time. Because some still don’t seem to get this isn’t a love song for the Hollywood way of life. Hollywood infected your brain, you wanted kissing in the rain. Because we openly love – nay, adore – Marina. Oh my god, you look just like Shakira. No no, you’re Catherine Zeta. Actually, my name’s Marina.
2. SILJE NES – The card house
The first time we heard this intro we didn’t expect the song would open up in such a fragile way after a minute. But that’s the part that lingered on longer after the song had stopped playing. Silje Nes is a Norwegian singer and her album is called Opticks. She is underrated.
1. DANGER MOUSE & SPARKLEHORSE – Little Girl (feat. Julian Casablancas)
And finally, the number one. Calling a certain song the “best” song of the year is subjective and we are very much aware of this. Nevertheless, it is painful to imagine finishing an album (The Dark Side of the Soul) and watching it being tucked away in the shelves for reasons only lawyers can explain. By the time the album was finally released, the songs had made it to the internet and Mark Linkous (a.k.a. Sparklehorse) had committed suicide. It’s hard not to be aware of this whilst listening to the album. The little girl in this song is tortured, funny and twisted. Things like time and wine disappear. The little girl is so great she should be paraded through town. And some of the lyrics read like a movie: “The worlds always amazed at how much cash you made / But not at how you made it, it’s just strange / It sounded kind of cool over the phone / It killed your neighbors and their dog and crushed their bones.” No wonder David Lynch made accompanying pictures to the album. In honour of Mark Linkous, there could only be one number 1. Amen.
(Next update: 10/10)