Half-time Songs of the Year: Part Deux

Welcome to part 2 of 3 of the halfway-through-2006 songs of the year sessions, in which we encounter an aging punk band, a Coldplay rip-off, and a sultry Texan chanteuse.

Mission of Burma – “2wice”: mp3
You don’t get to be a rock band forever. Most old codgers have long since given into decripitude and easy chairs, but not Mission of Burma. The horrible truth about Burma is that they still rock harder than than a slab of two-ton granite. “2wice” isn’t the heaviest song on The Obliterati, but it’s the one you’ll remember.

Cat Power – “The Greatest”: mp3
2006 is turning out to be (for reals this time) the year of Women in Rock. Between Neko Case, Rose Melberg, Beth Orton and Jenny Lewis, there has been a wealth of great female-led records this year. This miraculous song, from a rejuvenated, confident Cat Power, is the best of the bunch.

Jolie Holland – “Springtime Can Kill You”: mp3
For me, the best songs are always the ones that distinguish themselves above and beyond the rest of their respective albums. The unfortunate consequence of this is that sometimes you get a great song on a pretty mediocre album. Springtime Can Kill You isn’t a bad record, but it’s a slow, aimless one – unlike this song, which is instead patiently jazzy and beautiful.

Parks and Recreation – “I Tried To Date The Singer In A Band”: mp3
The lyrics of this song, all shy and awkward, make me smile, as does the pseudo-Coldplay (the early stuff!) guitar noodling. A surprisingly un-indie pop approach for such a cutesy topic, but it works.

Grandaddy – “Jeez Louise”: mp3
One of Grandaddy’s most personal songs matches the emotional intensity with squalling guitars and keyboards that threaten to explode out of your speakers. “Return to form,” anyone?

Sondre Lerche – “(I Wanna) Call It Love”: mp3
Me too, Sondre, me too.

Not that I have to tell you, friends, but if you like the music, go by the records so the bands don’t break up or have to stay at my apartment on their way through L.A. (not that I’m complaining). But before you do, read Part 1 and the Introduction so you don’t miss anything.

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