12 December 2011

Playlist: Favorite Cuts of 2011

This is my fourth annual "Favorite Cuts" playlist--though I can't seem to find last year's and it's possible I forgot to make one entirely. Anyway, with these playlists, the goal is not to fill a disc or offer a comprehensive survey of my year in music, but rather to collect my absolute favorite recordings of the year. In most cases, these are from albums I would like to own but still don't. Some of the songs I bought, and some I got free from Amazon or iTunes, or website promos for signing up for mailing lists, etc.

Note: I am a member of the Lost Highway Fancorps team, and several of these songs are from Lost Highway releases. I was not asked to promote these songs at all and even if I wasn't a member, I dig these artists and would have added their music to my library anyway.

Note 2: The song titles link to Amazon, where you can download the songs. I've used my Amazon Associates account for the links so I'd appreciate if you would buy via these links so I get a kickback.

"Livin' in the Jungle" by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears

The garage soul of Black Joe is refreshing. I still haven't got my grubby little paws on the album, Scandalous, but I've snagged a pair of songs from it free online (I think I got this one from Amazon). This song feels like it should have been playing in a strip club in the mid-70s somewhere. I can practically feel the humidity in the air and smell the stale beer.

"Be Your Bro" by Those Darlins

It's catchy and fun, first of all. I could say more about the discussion of platonic friendship, but I'm groggy and there are, like, eight more songs to go. This is another album I wish I had in my library!

"Let's Get Wrecked" by honeyhoney

I really dig Billy Jack, the duo's sophomore album and this is currently my favorite song on the album. "We're holed up in Cleveland/with nothing else to do/Except have bad intentions and what history tells us to." The song has just started and I'm already there, restless and looking for a little mischief.

"Another Like You" by Hayes Carll featuring Cary Ann Hearst

This duet is pure fun and I love the chemistry between Carll and Hearst, who spar over politics in a buildup to a tryst. There are some terrific jabs from both of them, and this is one of those songs I find I enjoy more as I replay it.

I have been addicted to this song for months! It was free from iTunes, and Bridges's eponymous album is yet another 2011 release I meant to already own but still don't.

Technically not a 2011 recording, but it was a single this year and I loved the music video. Fun song, too. In fact, I really enjoyed the entire Teenage Dream album!

"Marry the Night" by Lady Gaga

This song opens Gaga's Born This Way album, and while I've never been a big fan of 80s pop, there's something about this song that celebrates the era's aesthetics that manages to endear itself to me.

"Bleed Red" by Ronnie Dunn

I had actually kind of forgotten about this song until earlier today, but I played it quite a bit when it came out early in 2011 and it seemed to take on a different context in light of the Arab Spring. Plus, I love to hear Dunn sing.

"I Gotta Go" by Robert Earl Keen

The Ready for Confetti album is pretty solid, but I've gravitated toward "I Gotta Go" more than the rest of the collection. Maybe that's because it's also on the Lost Highway 10th Anniversary Sampler album that I've got on vinyl. I dunno.

"Go Down Rockin'" by Waylon Jennings

A newly-released song from this year's The Music Inside: A Tribute to Waylon Jennings, Vol. 1, "Go Down Rockin'" is pure Waymore, defiant to the last. I'm stoked about next month's Vol. 2!

Note: This track is currently an "Album Only" MP3.