So here's a preview of what I'll be giving my dad this Christmas. Consider this my...
It seems you can't make a mix for your dad without putting at least one Wilco song on there. Dads love Wilco. It's a law of nature. Like gravity. Or girls liking Glee.
This song is one of my favorites of this year's Wilco (The Album). If any of you have seen these guys live, you know they're the most musically skillful band out there. They make it look so easy. And this song sure is easy on the ears.
I'll admit it. I found these guys in the blogosphere. It's not my most favorite way of discovering music, but as soon as I heard them, I wasn't ashamed. I like to think of them as a band you'd find gathered around a bonfire on the beach somewhere south of San Francisco. I don't where they're from, but that's what they sound like to me. Imagine a sunnier Built to Spill.
Well, there's not much more that can be said about this one. From Pitchfork, to NPR, to every blog every in the world ever created ever, this is almost unanimously the song of the year. I think I first fell in love with it after watching the trippy video. Does anyone else think there's something Swedish about these guys' voices? They remind me of Jens Lekman, or Sondre Lerche. Nice work, fellows.
This might be a little bit too saccharin for my dad, but I think it's worth a shot. Every now and then, it's okay to listen to pure pop, and that's exactly what Fun. is. Fun. (Who's On First reference inserted here by anyone with thinks they're just so funny.)
Fun. is built from the ashes of The Format. And if you don't have both Format albums, go get them now. I'm a sucker for this kind of stuff, and here's to hoping my dad is too!
This record was actually slipped to me by my good friend Paul, and I put that fact on the long list of reasons I'm friends with Paul. Perkins is as dad-friendly as it gets, but he can also be easily played as your favorite Williamsburg bar closes down on a Tuesday night. At four A.M.
Also, he's the son of Anthony Perkins, whom I'm sure your dad remembers.
Another song introduced by a friend, this time named Kevin, Dawes is one of my surprise bands of 2009. After seeing them in California, my friend suggested them to me. I kept the name in my head, and then randomly found their record at the Academy record store in NYC. This is a thoroughly enjoyable album. My dad has a few Jawhawks records, so I think he'll like this too.
My dad's is plenty of things, but he's not much of a waltz-er. But perhaps he will be after he hears this number. This may be the most beautiful song of the year. This whole album grew on me slowly this year. Worth a listen, for sure.
My dad and I don't get to see too many movies together. He's not into sitting and watching a whole movie for two hours. But we did hit the lay-z-boys for The Wrestler last winter. We both loved it. And I've heard some people aren't fond of this song, but I loved it. So I'm sure my dad will too.
I didn't hear this song until December, but it took me about two seconds to fall in love with it. A string arrangement and lyrics about Brooklyn? Sold. This is right up my dad's alley too - thoughtful, intelligently written songs, plus, it was produced by Rick Rubin.
I've seen A.A. Bondy twice this year at Mercury Lounge, a small venue in NYC. He's fantastic in concert. This is his second solo album, and the title track is probably the most high-energy cut on the record. There's something sad in each of Bondy's songs. If you like his new solo stuff, do a little research into his early career. It's definitely fascinating.