Oh-Nine’s Ox Tails

Music. I listened to a lot of it last year. Not nearly as many as lots of people, I’m sure. But I had an Emusic account, an Amazon Prime account and a sufficiently generous credit card limit to supply me with days of listening entertainment — 1,530 songs played continuously over 3.7 days, according to iTunes.

Looking back, I liked a lot of the music I heard, and got reasonably excited about it too. Maybe not as excited as I used to get about music, back when I had a lot more free time, a lot less money, and a mistaken belief that pop music could be useful a framework for living one’s life. But for the first year in many years, I got genuinely enthusiastic about what seemed like a lot of new acts. Maybe it was a subconscious attempt to retain or rekindle youth as I entered parenthood, or maybe it was the fact that a brilliant record label run by a friend from my twenties came roaring back even more brilliantly than it had ever been before, but I found a lot to like when I plugged my earbuds into my iPod last year. Anyway you look at it, there were a lot of good tunes in 2009, and I’d like to share some of them with you.

Ox and Ye Shall Receive

So, here, from the Better Late than Never Department, is a round-up of what I found to be the best of that music, compiled and presented for your listening — and downloading — pleasure. It’s hard to boil so much product down into something coherent, and at nineteen tracks long I fear I’ll already be testing most people’s patience. I also left out a lot of music that I thought was really good but that failed to really move me, so there’s no Animal Collective, Dirty Projectors or Grizzly Bear. Sorry folks, I’m not that hip… or maybe too hip for that, depending on how you look at it. Anyway, enough disclaimers.

For no good reason, I call the compilation “Ox Tails.” You can listen to it through your Web browser over at Mix.subtraction.com/02 via the still terrific Opentape playlist tool. You can also download this compilation, along with the cover art I quickly cooked up, below — though in the interest of preserving some value for the labels, the downloadable songs are relatively low quality, at a bitrate of just 16 kbps. If you like any of the tracks and want to own the full-quality versions, you can click through to Amazon via the track listing at the bottom of this post and help me raise my little girl so she too can enjoy quasi-legal music blogging. Any way you choose to consume it, I hope you like it.

The lovely cover art (included with the download).
Ox Tails: Songs from 2009
The enjoyable track listing.
No. Artist Song Name
01 Woods The Hold
02 Japandroids Wet Hair
03 Brilliant Colors Absolutely Anything
04 Frankie Rose Hollow Life
05 M. Ward Never Had Nobody Like You
06 Phoenix Love Like a Sunset
07 Bon Iver Blood Bank
08 City Center Open/House
09 Thom Yorke The Hollow Earth
10 Desire Mirroir Mirroir
11 Girls Hellhole Ratrace
12 The Pains of Being Pure at Heart Gentle Sons
13 Jarvis Cocker Leftovers
14 Jeremy Jay Gallop
15 Flight of the Conchords Carol Brown
16 La Roux Cover My Eyes
17 Foreign Born Vacationing People
18 Crystal Stilts Love Is a Wave
19 The Big Pink Golden Pendulum
  1. Thanks for the playlist, you got a lot of great tracks on there.

    I put one together my own a few weeks back, feel free to check it out. Unfortunately, I have not set up downloads. Though most are available through Emusic. I look forward to putting your playlist in my rotation.


  2. good looking list – very happy to see ‘cover my eyes’ on there. What. A. Tune!
    thought the Jarvis stuff was pretty average though to be honest.

  3. Simon: It’s true, Jarvis didn’t break any new ground in 2009. Still, I have to admit a personal predilection for his music that goes back, what, sixteen years or more now? There’s almost nothing he’s done that doesn’t sound good to me, for better or worse.

    Oh, and the whole La Roux album is full of “What. A. Tune.” tunes, if you ask me.

  4. Thank you so much Khoi! I listened to the playlist twice and already bought the Phoenix album. There’s tons of great stuff in this list that I didn’t know before.

  5. Thanks. Not just for the music, but also the Opentape tip. I’ve been looking for something like this. The best part of the end of ’09 was all the great “best of” the decade/year music lists. Lots of stuff to discover.

  6. Great list Khoi! I must admit I had not heard most of these tracks…must be getting old or losing my cool factor – that is if I ever had it to begin with. I’ve already downloaded a ton of my favs.

  7. Phoenix’s Love Like a Sunset (part II in particular) is amazing. Its really awesome to see that on someone else’s list of great music. Personally I’m obsessed and I’ve stopped looking at the Play Count so as not to sweat my weird ability to listen to the same thing again and again like a kid and a movie.

  8. Thanks for Bon Iver, Thom yorke and The Big pink! Whoa, man, your taste is really great..I think I’ll download other songs, maybe I’ll find smth interesting for myself

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