Meeting Of Important People-S/T

The band’s picture isn’t the first thing you see on this blog by accident. This became my favorite album of the year about two minutes into their CD release show in March and has stayed there ever since. Local, national, heck, even international, this was the best thing I heard all year.

Hallelujah The Hills-Colonial Drones Such a strong sophomore effort from these guys. Can’t wait to see how they grow over time.

Camera Obscura-My Maudlin Career I was admittedly late coming to their party but this album hooked me fast.

Conor Oberst & The Mystic Valley Band-Outer South I’ve grown to love Conor over the last few years but his band of semi-all-stars rise to the occasion on this album. Bill Callahan-Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle This is the wild card of the bunch. I will never be able to explain how or why I dig this so much.

Ah…it’s that time of year/decade when the musicphiles gather their collective wit and post long ruminations of their favorite sounds that has formed who they are as authorities on all things audio. Like anyone really cares. The only reason I will bother with reading them is that if I find many albums I dig and a couple I never heard of in a list, I will probably track them down. So in that spirit, I will dive into the fold over the next month because I know that the 50 or so people who visit this blog daily (yeah, 50!!… can you believe it?) just cannot sleep without knowing what I like.

Starting off, I took a cue from my man at the excellent Pittsburgh blog Songs in the Key of Touche and added a player to the left side of the page. These are mainly songs that have defined my tastes over the last ten years and you may listen at your leisure. If you discover something you really like, well, you are very welcome. Let me point out that the first ten are in order and the first songs for a reason. I have listened to these particular tunes far more times than any other music. The rest of the tracks are solid as well but the top 10 are gold, baby!

What I did discover in building the player was that some of my all-time favorite songs weren’t available. Coincidence that they were all Pittsburgh bands? I dunno but I felt that since they mean more to me than most of the tracks in the player, they deserve a nice little list of their own. There are so many great bands in Pittsburgh now and I could go on and on about all of them but these tunes are extra special to my ears. In no particular order:

Fainting Goats-Lohio Of all the many, many times I’ve seen them play, amazingly I only caught this song once. There is a super sweet acoustic version streaming on the band’s website here that is almost as good as the studio one. This would easily be in my top ten play list. If Greg never wrote another song again he would still be considered one of my favorite songwriters ever for this one alone. Just perfect.

GLORE-Local Honey This song turned me on to the band initially which, in turn, made me want to discover more local music. I found out later that the bassist Rob Loveclutch actually wrote it but cannot imagine anyone else singing it except for Becky. She to me defines this song.

Weekend Tongue-Donora I always find it strange that on all the songs on their incredible album, I always jones for this one when I see them play. Maybe because they don’t play it as often due to the fact that it’s a virtual workout for them. Such a fun song.

List-Show-Meeting Of Important People Again, why this song out of all the others that are just as excellent? Again, maybe because they don’t play it often and I take a bizarre satisfaction as they always reject my request? C’mon fellas! No kidding, this song is my ring tone!

Stones In My Passway-The Harlan Twins There is a live version on their myspace page here. This song is an absolute barn burner live and you have to see it to believe it. Just SMOKING!!

Neighborhood Roofs-Good Night, States If I am hammered enough, this literally makes me weep. Not that I have to be loaded to just love it. This is a rare song where I can play it on repeat and never get tired of it. Bummer that I have only seen them play it once. In fact, I think they dedicated it to me once when I couldn’t make the show. In due time.