2009: 15 of the Best. #15…

November 30, 2009

Well, it’s that time of year again. Everyone’s doing their year-end lists and this blog shall be no exception. As was tradition at this blog’s previous address, we’re going to rank what (to my discerning ears) were the 15 best songs issued this year. Why songs? Well, because rating albums seems like a futile exercise. Nobody makes categorically perfect albums anymore (I blame the digital album and consumer need for 99-cent or $1.29 singles for this, but that’s a whole thesis I have yet to write), and most reasons that people get (and have always bought) albums is because they were attracted to a particular song, although not necessarily the single. So for 2009, here are the 15 best songs that found their way into physical and digital shops this year. And yes, some of them did come off some absolutely fabulous albums that are worth your further investigation.

#15 – Jill Sobule – Wendell Lee

From: California Years
Released: April 14, 2009
Label: Pinko
Buy it: Here.

The record business, like many of its brethren in this capitalist society, is in more than a bit of shambles in 2009. While other industries can blame a flagging economy, record companies were just entirely ill-prepared. Some are still trying to make the jump to digital music, others are (either nobly or stupidly) clinging to physical CDs or LPs and more than likely, your favorite record shop closed its doors for good relatively recently. It seems like eons since Jill was on a major label, but the problem with the indie labels in this market is that so few of them survive. So Jill raised $89,000 to finance the recording of California Years by going to her fans and treating the album like a PBS pledge drive. Donate this much, you get this. Donate that much, you get that. It’s a nifty way to do business in the 21st century, and the even better story is that Jill delivered on her fans’ investment. “Wendell Lee” is a great shot of post-breakup stalker culture in the 21st century, and the inexplicable need we all have (or at least feel) to search out exes on third party software such as Facebook, MySpace or Classmates (although, seriously, Jill — who uses Classmates?!) and give them a piece of your mind. Even if your mindset HASN’T changed that much from the fleeting moments right after you were dumped. Sage advice to everyone involved in a breakup (whether you were the dumper or dumpee) — delete the other person from your preferred social networking site. It’s better for both of you in the end.

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