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Are we really calling it the noughties?

train_lindz asked me what my top ten songs of the decade were and naturally I couldn’t resist agonising over a list and sharing it. You can all thank her later.

I thought that I could compile a rundown of the best, most defining songs of the decade, but that’s easy (Libertines – Can’t Stand Me Now, Kings of Leon – Sex On Fire, Snow Patrol – Run, Franz Ferdinand – Take Me Out, Gnarls Barkley – Crazy, Duffy – Mercy, Strokes – Last Nite, Outkast – Hey Ya, Killers – Mr Brightside, Arctic Monkeys – I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor. See? Easy). So instead, I thought I’d list my ten favourite tracks of the decade, which turned into a much trickier task because over the course of the last ten years, I’ve amassed somewhere in the region of 20,000 new records and most of them qualify. Consequently I quickly gave up on a top ten and decided to make it twenty. Then failed at that and decided twenty-five was a nice, round number. Frankly you’re lucky you’re not reading ‘The 2010 songs you should have bought between 2000 and 2010’.

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'09 in records

The year is drawing to a close, and for music nerds like me that means one thing. Lists. Top tens. Albums, singles, new discoveries, a way to quantify and rank the music that has come into our lives and made itself at home in our record collections (or as we think of them, souls) over the last twelve months. The NME and Q are scoured for inspiration, blogs dissected and disagreed with, but ultimately we settle down alone with our iTunes and a notebook and pen to make The Big Decision: what WAS my favourite record of the year?

It’s important stuff. You can’t rush it. I’ve been known to start with a list in the hundreds and spend days whittling it down to ten, only to change my mind the instant I close the document and plump for something on a whim. Other people’s lists become instantly fascinating, a source of quiet smugness or irritation, and every year I miss John Peel and his Festive Fifty, the surge of hope and nostalgia as we neared number one, the sense of collective reflection on another year gone by and marked in tunes that will live forever.

’09 has been a good year for music: more girls than I can ever remember front and centre where they belong, more invention and merging of genres, old favourites returning and proving they’ve still got it in them to surprise and delight, new faces blasting open music as we knew it.

So for interested parties, here is the result of my agonising. My top tens of ’09.

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So those are mine. Collectively I think they tell the tale of my record collection this year. Rock music, you're in a holding pattern and you need a kick in the ass, indie, some of your stalwarts are letting you down by slipping into mid-career malaise but you can still pull out the odd wonder, electro, you constantly delight and surprise me with your genre-twisting ways.

Anyone for a cuppa?

So this is my blog, then.

Some stuff about me:

- I'm a big music nerd, the kind that makes the guys in High Fidelity seem well-adjusted. I like all kinds of music, from classical to obscure Swedish electro, although my natural home is alternative and indie, and I have a fascination with sensitive singer-songwriters that borders on the obsessive.

- when I was at school the careers advisor told me I had the ideal personailty to go into politics. I took this to mean I’m a skeazy liar who buys bad suits. I decided to be a writer instead.

- I hate white socks, stickers, and Enya.

- I love zombie movies, M&Ms and kitsch.

- I'm a bit of a pop culture vulture, and I know entirely too much about thirties poetry, which never, ever, ever comes in handy.

If you'd like to add me, go right ahead. I'm always looking for new and exciting ways to procrastinate.



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January 2010


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