Another year, another reset of the play count on my iPod. Let’s see what songs I couldn’t get out of my head in 2013, shall we?
25. Iron & Wine, “Hard Times Come Again No More” (15 plays): One of the few songs I haven’t been able to find through legitimate means in many, many years, it’s a damn fine cover of an old tune from the Civil War era. If Iron & Wine were making whole albums as good as this one song, I wouldn’t have found Ghost on Ghost so boring.
24. R.E.M., “(Don’t Go Back to) Rockville” (16 plays): I will admit, I listened to this song about ten times last week when I drove to Rockville and bought a new guitar. Yes, I’m a nerd.
23. Tom Waits, “Long Way Home” (17 plays): It’s strange, but I first came to this song by way of the Norah Jones cover of it. I still have a particular fondness for that version, though Tom’s is pretty damn good, too.
22. The National, “You’ve Done it Again, Virginia” (19 plays): One of the few songs by the National I can almost sing (damn, his voice is low!) and actually play on the guitar.
21. Crosby, Stills, and Nash, “Southern Cross” (19 plays): I absolutely, 100% non-ironically love this song. It’s kind of the best.
20. The Rolling Stones, “Moonlight Mile” (20 plays): Because every playlist should include at least one song about heroin use? I dunno.
19. Owen Danoff, “Never Been Kissed” (20 plays): I backed this guy’s Kickstarter back in the summer, and I’m really excited for the full-length debut from him.
18. fun., “Some Nights (iTunes Session)” (20 plays): There are ways in which this version is superior to the original studio version, mostly because it hasn’t been autotuned to crap.
17. Placebo, “Every You Every Me” (21 Plays): You know what I didn’t listen to much in the ’90s? Nineties music. Know what I listen to quite a bit now? Nineties music. Go figure.
16. The National, “Afraid of Everyone” (21 plays): Even a few years after the fact, High Violet continues to surprise me and offer new, interesting things I missed the first time around. I dig this song a hell of a lot.
15. Colin Hay, “Beautiful World” (21 plays): I like acoustic songs about how life is, on the whole, kinda good. This one just makes me feel happy.
14. Alexi Murdoch, “All My Days” (21 plays): Yes, it’s that one song from that one commercial. Yes, that’s how I found the song. No, I don’t care how unhip that makes me. I enjoy what I enjoy, I guess.
13. XTC, “Stupidly Happy” (22 plays): As I mentioned on Twitter some time ago, if this song doesn’t make you feel that way, then I just don’t think we can be friends.
12. The Riveras, “California Sun” (22 plays): I happen to absolutely love surf music. And this song. Especially this song. It’s a great end-of-the-summer song.
11. The Clash, “Train in Vain (Stand by Me)” (22 plays): It’s the Clash. Do I really need to elaborate?
10. The Avett Brothers, “Shame” (23 plays): I figured this one out on the guitar and love singing it, even if that bridge is weird and kinda throws me off every time.
9. Wilco, “Summer Teeth” (25 plays): I’m half-convinced this song is about a serial killer, but I can’t prove it. Or a schizophrenic suffering from visual hallucinations. One of those two things is going on in this song, and it’s this huge slap of cognitive dissonance when it’s such a sunny, peppy tune.
8. Dave Edmunds, “I Hear You Knocking” (25 plays): I’m a sucker for this song and its guitar riff. English blues-rock at its best, I say.
7. Rilo Kiley, “Silver Lining” (27 plays): I know Under the Black Light wasn’t the greatest Rilo Kiley album, and I know the guitar riff is ripped almost note for note from “My Sweet Lord,” but I love this song.
6. Neil Young & the Stray Gators, “Bad Fog of Loneliness” (27 plays): Over the summer, I read the 33 1/3 book on the recording of Neil Young’s Harvest. In many ways, the book was awful, especially since the guy writing it didn’t even seem to like the album, but it did bring this song to my attention, so I guess the whole thing wasn’t so bad.
5. Young Dubliners, “Last House on the Street” (29 plays): A band my uncle used to be in played this song at gigs all the time when I was in college, and it took me years to track the damn thing down. Turns out, it’s not available digitally, but you can still find a used copy of the EP it was originally released on over at Amazon for, like, two bucks. Worth it.
4. Dan Auerbach, “Trouble Weighs a Ton” (29 plays): I think this song was on last year’s list, but I’m way too lazy to actually check. It’s still a damn fine song, regardless.
3. Churchill, “Ark in a Flood” (29 plays): My brother introduced me to this band. They feature a mandolin quite prominently in their otherwise fairly straightforward pop-rock songs.
2. Andrew Bird, “Orpheus Looks Back” (32 plays): Andrew Bird has quickly become one of my absolute favorite musicians. This song is a perfect example of why.
1. Golden Smog, “Until You Came Along” (36 plays): And here we arrive at the song I listened to more than any other in 2013. It’s a fun sing-along, and there’s nothing better than cruising down the highway with the windows open and the radio blaring a song like this at high volume.
So, what did you all listen to in 2013?