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Old 11-30-2010, 08:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
And then there was music
 
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Default Badlittlekitten's top 52 indie/alternative tracks of this century so far.

I've wanted to speak about a particular time in music for a while, and seeing as I was in my late teens/early twenties throughout the last decade, I feel this time period is my safest (easiest) bet. Obviously I haven't heard every indie track ever (god, I've tried) but i'm sure I've sampled everything I would be interested in. My only rule is that I'm not including more than one track per artist - I didn't want it this way, but I soon realised my top 5 would comprise of the same few artists. The list is totally subjective, with some of the choices reflecting personal impact and others for being bloody great tunes. My posting is likely to be sporadic at best. Discussion/dismissal of my submissions and omissions is welcome and encouraged.

52
Vivian Girls - Where Do You Run To
Album: Vivian Girls
2008

As soon as those guitar chords come in, surfing on the Motown beat, my face is already grinning like a simpleton. The all female Brooklyn trio are part of the whole, lazy, back to basics DIY 60s'/80s indie pop thing. This slice of surf pop is the best thing to come from the scene. The harmonies on the chorus are somehow full of sunshine and darkness at the same time, and the way the notes ascend during "do you run to babyyyyy" is joyous. The lyrics could be about a lover that shoots his load and promptly disappears. But I'm probably completely wrong.

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My Top 100 LPs
My Top 52 Indie Tracks Of The 21st Century (incomplete)

Last edited by Badlittlekitten; 12-02-2010 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 12-01-2010, 04:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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51
M83 - Graveyard Girl
Saturdays=Youth
2008

French 80's revivalists make a darkly blissed out gem. The gorgeous church synths that are covered in echo are perfect and are the reason this track is hear in the first place. That's not to undermine writer Anthony Gonzalez's though. This song is the tale of a goth girl with a heart “made of bubblegum” on the run, and in search for something (love. Duhh). The Moment in this song, for me, is when we hear from the perspective of the female protagonist; the beat stops and she whispers, “I’m gonna jump the walls and run, I wonder if they’ll miss me? I wont miss them. The cemetery is my home. I want to be part of it, invisible even to the night”. Her words freeze in time, she wants to disappear completely, but those beautiful synths refill the night time air, and a distant cry of “yeah yeah yeah!” pulls hope from the shadows as the beat comes back in for the fade. The atmosphere is so evocative that it makes me want to run to the local cemetery at an ungodly hour, with earphones and a few cans for company, and lay back gazing at stars “wise and silent”, waiting for my graveyard girl to come. She's probably the lovely red head in the video. I'm quite a nostalgic kind of fella, so the Molly Ringwald reference and the whimsical John Hughes style teenage melodrama of the track gets me all moist and unnecessary.



50
The View – Wasted Little DJ’s
Hats Off To Buskers
2006



If you’ve heard anything by the View you probably think their the worst kind of retro retard fookwits, incapable of an original thought between them, sucking up scum from the darkest pits of indie’s bowls. I agree. Horrible band. But, with one moment of dumb luck they made a glorious racket. This, their first single, perfectly captures the night club (E) thrill. The chorus is one of those anthemic things that make you want to hug your best mate and finally get round to dancing with that girl you’ve been making eyes at all night. The Moment is after the bridge, were there’s been some debauchery - “You see we're all out of our little ****ing heads!” - the beat drops dead and the Scottish bloke that sings it goes “doo doo doo doo”. It’s a wonderful little moment as it gives us a breather and a chance to survey the beer stained dance floors and get a sense of what’s so good about being young, intoxicated and full of sex juice. Sure, it’s a complete rip off of The Libertines’s ‘Don’t Look Back Into The Sun’. But that was great too, and it rips it off well.

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https://soundcloud.com/bad-little-kittens
My Top 100 LPs
My Top 52 Indie Tracks Of The 21st Century (incomplete)

Last edited by Badlittlekitten; 12-02-2010 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 12-01-2010, 05:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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'Graveyard Girl' by M83 is an amazing song. The whole Saturdays=Youth album is incredible, one of the best albums of 2008. This thread should be interesting.
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Eagle eyed readers may have noticed this thread has gone from top 50 to the unlikely number of 52. This is because I'm making this up as I go along and all the information is too much for my narcotic stained memory. Expect the number to rise again if I remember more stuff I've missed but I'm digressing now . . .

49
High Places - From Stardust To Sentience
High Places
2008

High Places are a dream pop duo from Brooklyn whose self titled debut is one of those rare indie Lps that barely touches a guitar. Instead they employ found sounds, house hold objects and electronic snatches and samples. Vocalist Mary Pearson sings with a child like innocence, like she's eternally lost in the school playground getting high on e numbers. Their playful and trippy lyrics are like playground philosophies which involve talk of oceans, trees and space travel. This song seems to be about the smallness of all of us in contrast to time and gravity. Pearson sings, "Out in the desert your thoughts are as clear as the stars. You feel golden. You're billion year old carbon", in a dreamy half asleep slumber, and you get a sense of being at one with the universe. Well I do anyway. I don't know where the boing boing noises on the track, that bounce between your speakers, come into to all these deep revelations, but it works for me.



48
The Young Knives - Part Timer
Voices Of Animals and Men
2006

From the intro, where the band sound as though their having a fit, to the end, where Henry Dartnall screams "Part Time Part Time!" in hysterical falsetto, this is gloriously daft post - punk in the Futureheads vein. This ditty from the Oxford nerds is about procrastination and writers block, and it hits close to home. The bit at 1:28 (or 5:26 in the brilliant video) where the track stops and we hear a snippet of the band trying to piece together a song ("that bit we can fit in and then take out . . we do it again it'll sound stupid") always makes me laugh. And the line "Part time forever, under the weather" I admire and begrudgingly relate to.

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https://soundcloud.com/bad-little-kittens
My Top 100 LPs
My Top 52 Indie Tracks Of The 21st Century (incomplete)
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Not The View!
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Ha, like I said horrible band. But that songs a guilty pleasure.
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'Said do you feel it? Do you feel it when you TOUCH ME?. THERE'S A FIRE! THERE'S A FIRE!' The Stooges. Dirt.

https://soundcloud.com/bad-little-kittens
My Top 100 LPs
My Top 52 Indie Tracks Of The 21st Century (incomplete)
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Old 12-05-2010, 04:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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47
Peter, Bjorn and John (and Victoria) - Young Folks
Writers Block
2006

The most iconic bit of whistling of the century? A master class in Swedish pop, and we'll see more of guest vocalist Victoria Bergsman later on. Writers Block seemed like a great LP at the time, but for me it hasnít held up with exception to this song. As soon as them drums kick in I'm thumped back into the summer of 2007, strolling hand in hand with an ex lover through Oxford street, sunshine glaring down on us, this track booming from all the shops, whistling, giggling and lost in our world and our love. ďAll we care about is talking, talking only me and youĒ is a simple and beautiful line, especially when sung in duet, and itís the heart of this song. The chorus of the track soars, with its Technicolor harmonies, thrashings of echoed guitar and its flourishing bongos. But I have to come back to that whistling; the notes are breezy, somehow full of hope and dizzy romance, yet they linger by in a strangely mournful and melancholic way. It hits me in the gut every time. Maybe I just need to get over it.

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'Said do you feel it? Do you feel it when you TOUCH ME?. THERE'S A FIRE! THERE'S A FIRE!' The Stooges. Dirt.

https://soundcloud.com/bad-little-kittens
My Top 100 LPs
My Top 52 Indie Tracks Of The 21st Century (incomplete)
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Old 12-13-2010, 09:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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46
The Ruby Suns - Remember
Sea Lion
2008

A total dirge now then and technically there's better tracks on the Sea Lion album, but its this that cuts the deepest on a personal level. This is a dreamy song about reminiscing on times gone. You see I'm one of those fools that always puts off contacting old friends and feels regretful about it all the same, so lines like "Imagine yourself in a dream, seeing all of your old friends" are like a warm blanket, with the melancholy in Ryan McPhun's voice giving me the most wistful and nostalgic of dreams. The next line, "Imagine yourself far away looking back on what used to be. Life before things had changed into what they are now", is especially poignant, as my parents were in the process of divorce at the time and new living arrangements were coming into effect. This track is made up of two verses with a instrumental passage in between. The "aaahhhh aaahhh" harmonies are lovely, and the lack of a chorus/peak only adds to the feeling of being forlorn.

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'Said do you feel it? Do you feel it when you TOUCH ME?. THERE'S A FIRE! THERE'S A FIRE!' The Stooges. Dirt.

https://soundcloud.com/bad-little-kittens
My Top 100 LPs
My Top 52 Indie Tracks Of The 21st Century (incomplete)

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Old 12-13-2010, 11:12 AM   #9 (permalink)
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45
The Blow - Pile Of Gold
Paper Television
2006

The Blow is Oregon based Khaela Maricich who was once in The Microphones and is a veteran of the great K record label. For the album Paper Television she doubled up with electro artist Jona Bechtolt, aka YACHT. This is the first and best track from that album. 'Pile Of Gold' features a strong and catchy hook ("all the girls are sitting on a pile of gold, and the boys you know they want it they want it") and shuffles along on a restless, glitchy beat. I've no doubt that the pile of gold in question is sex, and that Maricich is fully aware of the animal desire for sex in men, and that it is women who are in complete control of this treasure they rest upon. She taunts us, "You should treat us good, you do that and you know we're gunna-uh-uh huh, share more of our goods with you" while things go squeak and squelch, and some robotic handclaps clap. Ooo I love some handclaps me.

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'Said do you feel it? Do you feel it when you TOUCH ME?. THERE'S A FIRE! THERE'S A FIRE!' The Stooges. Dirt.

https://soundcloud.com/bad-little-kittens
My Top 100 LPs
My Top 52 Indie Tracks Of The 21st Century (incomplete)
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Old 12-13-2010, 12:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Awesome thread.
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