* Most of these tracks were released in 2009. There's a few on here from last year that didn't make it onto the '08 mix.
At the bottom of this post you can click "Read More" for a link to buy (most of) these songs on iTunes. You can also get a lot of them on eMusic.
- Intro: The Xx
I love the way this track builds, slows down, and picks back up. It just grooves. The xx have made a simple instrumental that's very satisfying. It could be an intro to a film, a sports team, or just the intro to your day - pulling out of the driveway.
If you like this track, check out "VCR" which has vocals.
- Both Ends Burning: Come on Gang (08)
See gush-fest from earlier this year about Come on Gang.
- Iamundernodisguise: School of Seven Bells
Etheral and a little spooky - just my kind of tune.
It makes great music for a video about giant, calving glaciers (skip to 8 min 22 sec).
- Fresher In My Kicks: Dyme Def
Whether you rocked the Air Jordans or LA Gear with the dual-colored gills - anyone who went to public school in the 80's can appreciate what this track has to say.
- So Human:Lady Sovereign
British rapper chick samples The Cure. Catchy yeah, yeah's in the chorus. What more do you want?
- Collect Call: Metric
This isn't Metric's first appearance on a "best of" mix and I'm sure it won't be the last. Year after year this Canadian band puts out great albums. They're also great live. Help I'm Alive is definitely the single off their 2009 album Fantasies, but I really like the subtlety of Collect call.
- Great Expectations: The Gaslight Anthem (another 2008)
I must have listened to this song 500 times this year. It reminds me of the Bruce Springsteen-esque rock I grew up with in the 80s. This track starts rocking right out of the gate and I think the lyrics are great:
They burned down the diner where I always used to find her
- licking young boys blood from her claws.
And I learned about the blues from this kitten I knew
Her hair was raven, her arms like a tomb.
- Now We Can See: The Thermals
There's nothing really groundbreaking about this tune from Portland trio: The Thermals, but I can't really slight them for consistently putting out instantly catchy-as-shit pop-punk songs.
- Daylight: Matt & Kim
What would a Megan mix be without a song from an adorable male/female duo? I don't think Kim sings on this one, but like Mates of State and The Submarines... I bet she's playing that cute keyboard riff.
and in the daylight we can hitchhike to Maine
I hope that someday I'll see without these frame
and in the daylight I don't pick up my phone
cause in the daylight anywhere feels like home
- Something to Prove: The Redwood Plan
Every Megan mix must also include some kind of feminist tune. Here is my favorite for 2009 with the amazing Leslie Wood (formerly of Ms. Led).
I have to be honest: this song is almost too empowering. I listen to it and kind of feel like a slacker because I don't have something to tear down (give it one more try - yeah)!
- Born on a Day the Sun Didn't Rise: Black Moth Super Rainbow
This is dreamy little pop song will most likely find its way into being an add for a cell phone. As you listen, imagine black and white photos of people co-mingling with brightly-colored hand-drawn animation. At the end... the HTC logo.
- Hi-808: Blue Scholars
My favorite hip-hop group puts it down for Hawaii (area code 808)! Sab'z and Geo escape the snow of Seattle to film in Oahu (rockin' swap meat T's no doubt). Check out the 808 love.
- The Town: Macklemore
Macklemore puts it down for the town, the 206ness and Seattle hip hop then and now. Even if you're not a Seattle hip-hop follower, this song will speak to anyone who loves their local music scene.
- Listened On: Lightening Dust
The Lightning Dust are a duo from B.C. Their songs are folky and spooky. This one is my favorite so far, but I'm looking forward to digesting the album more. It's the kind of music I feel I can't fully appreciate in southern California.
- You Push, I'll Go: Baby Dayliner
Something else I really love: handclaps. Oh yeah. I put this one on at work sometimes and do a little office chair dance. Click the song name to hear the full track - KEXP's song of the day.
- So Far Around the Bend: The National
This song came out as part of the Dark Was The Night compilation (benefiting is the Red Hot Organization - remember those?). I love this band. This song doesn't show it off so much, but their drummer is really fantastic. 4AD 4-ever.
- Pistols: Throw Me the Statue
There's an art to nonsensical lyrics. It can't be just blather like, "refrigerator show time epileptic heartbeat ... just doesn't do anything for ya." It's got to be something you feel cool singing along with. Kristin Hersh is amazing at this type of songwriting.
Pistols is a catchy tune that strings together oblique words and phrases in an interesting way. I got the album though and, a little goes a long way.
- Love Lies Bleeding: The Ettes
A critic I was reading described The Ettes as girly garage rock. It's something I only needed a small taste of, but I dig their sound.
- Oh Paris!: Dent May and His Magnificent Ukulele
Dent May owes a lot to Jonathan Richman, but he does some nice things with a ukulele.
- Heavy Water/I'd Rather be Sleeping: Grouper
A space-y song from a Portland band with a dreamy-sounding singer. Perfect background music for when you're crafting your novel or screenplay.
- Settler: Balmorhea
This mix tells the story of the year that was. I discovered it earlier in the year and saved it - unsure why this bright piano tune attracted my attention. Several months later, it was the perfect accompaniment to the whale section of my Alaska re-cap video. To hear/see it, skip to 1 min 20 sec.