Top Ranking Albums of 2016

Stephen MarleyRevelation Part. II–“The Fruit of Life” [Ghetto Youth International]

Paul SimonStranger to Stranger [Concord Records]

A Tribe Called QuestWe Got It From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service [Epic Records]

Unified HighwayUnified Highway [MRI]

Sturgill SimpsonA Sailor’s Guide to Earth [Atlantic Records]

Graham Wilkinson#Because of You [Little Windmill Records]

RebelutionFalling Into Place [Easy Star]

BeyonceLemonade [Columbia]

SolangeA Seat at the Table [Columbia]

AlborosieFreedom & Fyah [VP Records]

Mykal RoseSidewalk Steppa [Foreign Key Reords]

AssassinTheory of Reggaetivity [Sound Age Ent]

Raging FyahEverlasting [VP Records]

Leonard CohenYou Want It Darker [Columbia]

Willie NelsonSummertime–Willie Sings Gershwin [Legacy]

UB40Unplugged [HIP-O]

Various ArtistsDay of the Dead [4AD]

Anderson .PaakMalibu [Steel Wool]

 

 

 

Top Ranking Albums of 2016

Top Ranking Singles of 2011

Graham Wilkinson – Focus

Stephen Marley, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, & Buju BantonJah Army

Hayes Carll – KMAG YOYO

The Decemberists – This Is Why We Fight

Busy Signal – The Gambler

Stevie Face – Can’t Go Round

Emmylou Harris – My Name Is Emmett Till

Damian “Jr. Gong” MarleyWanted (Just Ain’t The Same)

Bright EyesOne For You, One For Me

Courtney John – Never Keep You Waiting

GyptianDuggu Duggu

Pokey LaForge & the South City Three – Feel So Good

Richie SpiceMy Life

Paul Simon Getting Ready For Christmas

Alborosie & Junior ReidRespect

Peter Bjorn & John – Second Chance

Iron & Wine – Tree By The River

Third World, Damian Marley, & Stephen Marley96 Degrees 

Amos Lee – Windows Are Rolled Down

Mr. Vegas, Shaggy, and Josey Wales – Sweet Jamaica

The Uprising Roots Band – Steamers

Mac MillerParty On Fifth Ave

Richie Spice – Soothing Sound 

Raging Fyah – Irie Vibe

Stuart Duncan, Chris Thile, Edgar Meyer, & Yo-Yo MaAttaboy

Sanchez – El Paso

The Decemberists – Down By The Water

Courtney John – Everyday

The Beastie Boys & Santigold – Don’t Play No Games

Cham – Stronger

Bright Eyes – Firewall

I-Wayne – Pure As the Nile

The Decemberists – June Hymn

Vybz Kartel – Poor People Land

Protoje – Take Control

Tarrus Riley – The Chair

Lil Wayne, Bun B, Nas, Shyne, & Busta Rhymes – Outro

Chino – Driving Me Insane

Iba Mahr – Will I Wait

Thievery Corporation – Culture of Fear

Laza – One By One

Gillian Welch – Scarlet Town

Stephen Marley – Pale Moonlight (How Many Times)

Robert Earl Keen, Jr. – Waves on the Ocean

Alborosie – La Revolucion

Brian Wilson – Listen To Me

Assassin – How Mi Feel

James Blake – Limit to Your Love

Shaggy  & Tarrus Riley – Just Another Girl

Stephen Marley – Can’t Keep I Down

Lyle Lovett – Well…Alright

Shabba Ranks – None Ah Dem

Wilco – I Might

Freddie McGregor – A House Is Not A Home

Smith Westerns – Weekend

Romain Virgo & Larry Gatlin – California

Das Racist – Booty in the Air

DeMarco – Love My Life

Tune-Yards – You Yes You

Richie Spice – Legal

Gillian Welch – The Way It Goes

Easy Star All Stars – Paid My Dues

Queen Ifrica – Pot Still Haffi Bubble

Wiz Khalifa & Too Short – On My Level

Pokey LaFarge & the South City Three – So Long Honeybee, Goodbye

Stephen Marley – No Cigarette Smoking In My Room

Paul Simon – So Beautiful Or So What

Collie Buddz – Playback

Bright Eyes – Shell Games

Gyptian – My Number One

The Decemberists – All Arise!

L.U.S.T. – Flowers on the Wall

Lil Wayne – How To Love

Romain Virgo – The System

Alexi Murdoch – Crinan Wood

Easy Star All Stars, Daddy Lion Chandell, & Junior Jazz – One Likkle Draw

Bright Eyes – A Machine Spiritual (In The People’s Key)

Richie Spice – Father

YACHT – Dystopia

Alborosie & Giuseppe Tarantino – International Drama

Zooey Deschanel – It’s So Easy

Tarrus Riley – Never Leave I

The Decemberists – January Hymn

Beres Hammond – Pull Up

Pokey LaFarge & the South City Three – Keep Your Hands of My Gal

Paul Simon – Love Is Eternal Sacred Light

Richie Spice – Yap Yap

Coldplay – Paradise

Stephen Marley – Old Slaves

Gillian Welch – Hard Times

Gramps Morgan – Feels So Right

The Decemberists – Calamity Song

Alborosie – Rolling Like A Rock

Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie

Beres Hammond – He Stopped Loving Her Today

Adele – Rolling in the Deep

Queen Ifrica – Times Like These

Gillian Welch – Six White Horses

Stephen Marley & Spragga Benz – Working Ways

James Blake – Wilhelm Scream

Tarrus Riley – Shaka Zulu Pickney

Robbie Robertson & Robert Randolph – How To Become Clairvoyant

Chino – God Nah Sleep (Rise and Fall Story)

Jeff Lynne – Words of Love

Richie Spice – Black Woman

Adele – Someone Like You

Alborosie – Ragamuffin

Paul Simon – The Afterlife

Stephen Marley – Freedom Time

Lil Wayne – President Carter

Vybz Kartel – Summertime

Alexander – In the Twilight

SuperHeavy – Miracle Worker

Ziggy Marley & Heavy D – It

Paul Simon – Rewrite

Alexi Murdoch – Through the Dark

Bounty Killer – Ready Fi Dem

Alexander – Truth

Snoop Dogg & T-Pain – Boom

Easy Star All Stars – Reggae Pension

Alexander – Awake My Body

Stephen Marley – Tight Ship

Robert Earl Keen, Jr. – Black Baldy Stallion

Luciano – He’ll Have To Go

Wilco – Dawned On Me

Vybz Kartel – Whine (Wine)

Ringo Starr – Think It Over

Stephen Marley – Now I Know

Robbie Robertson, Eric Clapton, & Steve Winwood – Fear of Falling

The Beastie Boys & Nas – Too Many Rappers (New Reactionaries Version)

Easy Star All Stars – Don’t Stop the Music

Smith Westerns – Only One

Lupe Fiasco – The Show Goes On

Ziggy Marley – Personal Revolution

Pokey LaForge & the South City Three – Drinking Whiskey Tonight

Alborosie – One Draw

Paul Simon – Love and Blessings

Stephen Marley – Break Us Apart

Das Racist – Relax

Richie Spice – Got To Make It

Wanda Jackson – You Know That I’m No Good

Beres Hammond – I Am Missing You

Mavado – Peppa

Hayes Carll – Stomp and Holler

Tarrus Riley – Groovy Little Thing

Tune-Yards – Bizness

Snoop Dogg & Willie Nelson – Superman

Pokey LaFarge & the South City Three – Weedwacker Rag

Shaggy & Agent Sasco (aka Assassin) – Feeling Alive

Alexander – Let’s Win

Alborosie – Camilla

Bright Eyes – Haile Selassie

Richie Spice – Serious Woman

Robert Earl Keen – Top Down

Stephen Marley – The Chapel

Alborosei & Etana – You Make Me Feel Good

Gillian Welch – The Way The Whole Thing Ends

Shaggy & Alaine – For Yur Eyez Only

Alexander – Let’s Make To Not Make A Deal

The Decemberists – Rise To Me

Etana – People Talk

Smith Westerns – Still New

Richie Spice – Confirmation

The Decemberists – Rox in the Box

Dr. Dre – Kush

Richie Spice – Mother of Creation

The Beastie Boys – Funky Donkey

Tune-Yards – Killa

Hayes Carll – Another Like You

Alborosie – Who You Think You Are

Robert Earl Keen, Jr. – Who Do Man

Hayes Carll – Hard Out Here

Richie Spice – Jah Never Let Us Down

Paul Simon – Questions For the Angels

Stephen Marley – She Knows Now

The Decemberists – Dear Avery

Wiz Khalifa – Black & Yellow

Jamelody – This Time

Stuart Duncan, Chris Thile, Edgar Meyer, & Yo Yo Ma – Less Is Moi

Chipmunk – Every Gal

Wanda Jackson – Thunder On The Mountain

Etana – Crazy

The Beastie Boys – Here’s A Little Something For You

Beenie Man – Let’s Go

Tessanne Chin – Firework

Dr. Dre – I Need A Doctor

Alexander – A Million Years

Easy Star All Stars, Lady Ann, Tony Tuff, and the Meditations – Easy Now Star

Paul Simon – Dazzling Blue

Stephen Marley – False Friends

Alexander – Bad Bad Love

Tune-Yards – Gangsta

Harvey and Mista Brown – Hot Gyal

Robbie Robertson – Tango for Django

The Decemberists – Don’t Carry It All

Mavado – Final Destination

Emmylou Harris – Hard Bargain

Pokey LaFarge & the South City Three – River Rock Bottom

Thievery Corporation – Overstand

Richie Spice – Better Tomorrow

Lil Wayne – 6 Foot 7 Foot

I-Octane – Nuh Ramp Wid We


Top Ranking Singles of 2011

Top Ranking Albums of September 2011

The Spiritual Accessories EP
  1. Graham Wilkinson The Spiritual Accessories EP [Little Windmill Records 2011]
  2. Trombone ShortyFor True [Verve Forecast 2011]
  3. Various ArtistsO Brother, Where Art Thou? [Lost Highway 2011]
  4. SuperHeavySuper Heavy [Universal 2011]
  5. Preservation Jazz Hall Band and the Del McCoury Band –  American Legacies [McCoury Music 2011]
  6. Various Artists – Our Favorite Beres Hammond Songs [VP Records 2011]
  7. The Secret Sisters –  The Secret Sisters [Universal Records 2010]
  8. Bunny LeeDub Will Change Your Mind [King Spinna Records 2011]
  9. Aloe Blacc – Good Things [Stones Throw Records 2010]
  10. Various ArtistsListen To Me: Buddy Holly [Verve Forecast 2011]
  11. Augustus PabloThis Is Augustus Pablo [VP Records 2011]
  12. Various ArtistsThe Biggest Ragga Dancehall Anthems 2011 [VP Records 2011]
  13. WilcoThe Whole Love [dBPM Records 2011]
  14. James Blake and Bon IverFall Creek Boys Choir [Universal Records 2011]
  15. Tom WaitsBad As Me [Anti/Epitaph 2011]
  16. Olivia Tremor ControlThe Game You Play is in Your Head, Parts 1, 2, & 3 [Cloud Recordings 2011]
  17. Theophilus LondonTimez Are Weird These Days [Warner Brothers 2011]
  18. St. Vincent Strange Mercy [4AD 2011]
  19. George StraitHere For A Good Time [MCA Nashville 2011]
  20. Zee AviGhostbird [Brushfire Records 2011]
  21. Clap Your Hands and Say YeahHysterical [CYHSY 2011]
  22. Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter – Marble Son [Station Grey Records 2011]
  23. Pedro Soler & Gaspar Claus – Barlande [InFine 2011]
  24. Lisa Hannigan – Passenger [ATO Records 2011]
  25. Lenny KravitzBlack And White America [Atlantic Records 2011]
American Legacies
The Game You Play is in Your Head, Parts 1, 2, & 3
Top Ranking Albums of September 2011

World of Reggae Music Collection: Texas Reggae

World of Reggae Music
Texas Reggae
In this edition of the World of Reggae Music Collection the selector explores Texas Reggae Music.
  1. Tribal Nation – Gina
  2. Willie NelsonSomething To Think About
  3. The Killer Bees – Doctor Doom
  4. Grimy Styles – Smokin’ on the Deck
  5. Don Chani – Action
  6. The Mau Mau Chaplains – Man Bitter (Curfew Time)
  7. Mr. Brown & the Dub Kids – Babylon Site
  8. Graham Wilkinson & the Underground Township – La Briza
  9. Eleven Fingered Charlie – Early Morning Rises
  10. Five Ton Chicken – Everything Turns Grey
  11. People’s Army – Monica
  12. Watusi – Cool Runner
  13. Grupo Fantasma – Utility Rock
  14. Daily Bread Dub – Gun Smoke
  15. Jerry Jeff Walker – Come Away To Belize With me
  16. McPullish & General Smiley – Natty Natty
  17. Contra Coup – Rudie Has Fallen
  18. Stingers ATX – Let’s Be In Love
  19. Aton – We Are All
  20. Tribal Nation – Flirty
  21. Los Skarnales – Borracho
  22. We are Half Nelson – 1969 (Dub)
  23. Shark Attack – Ammunition
  24. Willie Nelson & Mishka – Homegrown
  25. Tribal Nation – Restaurant
  26. Border Roots – Just Be Thankful
  27. Grimy Styles – Ductape & Pancakes
  28. Graham Wilkinson & the Underground Township – Boys and Girls
  29. The Mau Mau Chaplains – Confirm Reservation
  30. The Killer Bees – Stereo
  31. Three Shoes Posse – Ron Paul Is Here
  32. Sons of the Beach – Dirty Sanchez
  33. The Raspas – Poor Man Style
  34. Watusi – The Island
  35. Major Riley – Wooy Fireman Put It Out
  36. Los Skarnales – Borracho
  37. Vital Brass Tones – This Way
  38. Sons of the Beach – Wake n’ Bake
  39. Jerry Jeff Walker – Champagne Don’t Hurt Me Baby
World of Reggae Music Collection: Texas Reggae

Graham Wilkinson & Kimya Dawson jam at the Mean Eyed Cat in Austin

This weekend I caught some music in Austin. I got in to the live music capital of the world at the tail end of the South By Southwest (SXSW) festivities, which features official and unofficial showcases that bring together bands from across the globe. I went to an unofficial show at the Mean Eyed Cat. This old saw sharpening workshop turned club and living tribute to Johnny Cash rocked Friday night as Kimya Dawsonand Graham Wilkinson & the Underground Township played some great tunes.

Graham played some of my favorites including “Boys & Girls,” “Let It Go,” and “Polvo’s Martinis.” Christopher Denny joined Graham for a rollicking Bob Dylan cover with shredding guitar solos and wailing harmonica. “The Man in Black” himself would have loved this night of music. The sounds were as eclectic as Johnny’s tastes. From Dylan folk ballads to protest songs to country and reggae to rock and roll, Kimya and Graham kept Austin weird for another night!

Graham Wilkinson & Kimya Dawson jam at the Mean Eyed Cat in Austin

The Top 200 Singles of 2009 – THE BEST OF 2009

Top 200 Singles of 2009

Here is a list of the top 200 songs from 2009…

  1. Courtney JohnLucky Man
  2. Estelle & Sean PaulCome Over
  3. Screw Driver & Inner CircleNever Give Up
  4. Daweh CongoStraight Up Conscious
  5. Sean Paul So Fine
  6. Michael Franti and SpearheadSay Hey (I Love You)
  7. Luciano & Easy Star All-StarsWith A Little Help From My Friends
  8. Luciano, U-Roy, & Easy Star All-Stars With A Little Dub From My Friends (Version 2)
  9. Chali 2na, Damian Marley, and Stephen MarleyGuns Up
  10. John Legend & Buju Banton – Can’t Be My Lover
  11. Daweh Congo Ghetto Skyline
  12. Ziggy Marley & Willie NelsonThis Train
  13. YT, Million Stylez, Mr. Williamz, Blackout Ja, Jah Knight, & Iverse – Champion Sound
  14. Willie Nelson & Asleep at the WheelFan It
  15. The Decemberists The Rake’s Song
  16. AlborosieNo Cocaine
  17. M. Ward Stars of Leo
  18. K’Naan & Chubb RockABC’s
  19. Norah JonesIt’s Gonna Be
  20. Elephant ManDance and Sweep
  21. The Avett BrothersI And Love And You
  22. Daweh CongoOne Day
  23. K’Naan & Damian Marley I Come Prepared
  24. Michael Franti & Spearhead Rude Boys Back In Town
  25. LadenTime To Shine
  26. Queen IfricaLioness On The Rise
  27. Brother Ali Fresh Air
  28. WilcoWilco (The Song)
  29. Michael Rose, Menny More, & Easy Star All-StarsA Day In The Life
  30. Kid CudiDay ‘N’ Nite (Nightmare)
  31. Julian Marley Boom Draw
  32. Buju Banton & Third WorldSense Of Purpose
  33. K’Naan – Take A Minute
  34. The XXVCR
  35. SeraniPlaying Games
  36. Major Lazer, Jovi Rockwell, & Mr. VegasCan’t Stop Now
  37. Tarrus RileyHerbs Promotion
  38. Michael Franti & SpearheadSoundsystem
  39. M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel Never Had Nobody Like You
  40. Ziggy Marley & Toots Hibbert Take Me To Jamaica
  41. Willie Nelson & Asleep at the WheelSweet Jennie Lee
  42. Daweh CongoSteppin
  43. Yim YamesMy Sweet Lord
  44. The Avett Brothers – January Wedding
  45. George Strait – El Rey
  46. Bounty KillerCorrupt
  47. Mayer HawthorneMaybe So, Maybe No
  48. Michael Franti & SpearheadA Little Bit Of Riddim
  49. Dave Matthews Band Funny The Way It Is
  50. Jay-Z & Mr. HudsonYoung Forever
  51. Monsters of Folk Say Please
  52. Julian Marley & Damian Marley Violence In The Streets
  53. Tarrus RileyHuman Nature
  54. Spoon – Writing in Reverse
  55. PhoenixLisztomania
  56. Andrew BirdOh No
  57. M WardRave On
  58. Yim YamesAll Things Must Pass
  59. Modest MouseSatellite Skin
  60. Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros Home
  61. Slaid CleavesCry
  62. Phish Backwards Down The Number Line
  63. Graham Wilkinson, Hayes Carll, and Lloyd MainesRagamuffin
  64. The ItalsLet Dem Talk
  65. Sean Kingston Fire Burning
  66. Black Eyed Peas Boom Boom Pow
  67. Black RynoReal Stingers
  68. Romain VirgoAlton’s Medley: Breaking Up / Ain’t That Loving You / My Willow Tree
  69. Jah CureSticky
  70. Pearl Jam – The Fixer
  71. Vybz Kartel Life Sweet
  72. Q-TipEven If It Is So
  73. Black Eyed Peas I Gotta Feeling
  74. CapletonAcres
  75. Miley Cyrus – Party in the USA
  76. Mariah CareyObsessed
  77. Suga Roy, Conrad Crystal, Barrington Levy, & Beenie ManShe Call Mi Phone
  78. Passion PitSleepyhead
  79. The Swell SeasonFeeling The Pull
  80. George Strait Arkansas Dave
  81. ChinoNever Change (From Mawning)
  82. Sean PaulPress It Up
  83. Queen Ifrica Coconut Shell
  84. Lyle Lovett Loretta
  85. Beres Hammond Can’t Say I Never Tried
  86. Chali 2na Comin’ Thru
  87. Grizzly Bear Two Weeks
  88. K’NaanWavin’ Flag
  89. BeirutThe Shrew
  90. Willie Nelson & Asleep at the WheelRight or Wrong
  91. MetricSick Muse
  92. Robert Earl Keen, Jr.Flyin’ Shoes
  93. Regina SpektorEet
  94. Bon Iver Blood Bank
  95. Soja & RebelutionHere I Am
  96. Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band Nikorette
  97. John Fogerty & Bruce SpringsteenWhen Will I Be Loved
  98. Julian Marley & Stephen Marley – Things Ain’t Cool
  99. George StraitLiving For The Night
  100. Frankie Paul & Easy Star All-StarsLucy In The Sky With Diamonds
  101. Graham Wilkinson & the Underground Township Boys and Girls
  102. Major LazerCash Flow
  103. Zee AviBitter Heart
  104. Etana & Alborosie Blessings
  105. Willie Nelson & Asleep at the Wheel I’m Sittin’ on Top of the World
  106. Jay Z & Alicia KeysEmpire State Of Mind
  107. Danny MaloneBasement
  108. Black Eyed PeasRock That Body
  109. George StraitEasy As You Go
  110. Jay-ZD.O.A. [Death Of Auto-Tune]
  111. Suga Roy, Conrad Crystal, & Gyptian – Jah Jah See Dem
  112. Danny BarnesPizza Box
  113. Major LazerBruk Out
  114. Robert Earl Keen, Jr.The Rose Hotel
  115. Soja, Tamika, & GentlemanI Tried
  116. Casual Sax Baby I’m Black (From The Waist Down)
  117. Courtney JohnI Want To Get Next To You
  118. Major LazerPon De Floor
  119. Rhett MillerI Need To Know Where I Stand
  120. The Low Anthem Charlie Darwin
  121. Beres Hammond See You Again
  122. Micachu & the ShapesGolden Phone
  123. Queen IfricaKeep It To Yourself
  124. Bob DylanBeyond Here Lies Nothin’
  125. Son Volt Dynamite
  126. N.A.S.A., Spank Rock, M.I.A., Santogold, & Nick Zinner Whachadoin?
  127. Elephant ManNuh Linga
  128. Levon Helm Tennessee Jed
  129. EminemCrack A Bottle
  130. Ziggy Marley, Jack Johnson, & Paula Fuga Cry, Cry, Cry
  131. Jay Farrar & Benjamin GibbardCalifornia Zephyr
  132. Boycott BluesGot Beef? (Food Coma)
  133. Snoop DoggI Wanna Rock
  134. Willie Nelson & Asleep at the Wheel Won’t You Ride in My Little Red Wagon
  135. N.A.S.A., Kool Keith, & Tom WaitsSpacious Thoughts
  136. Max Romeo & Easy Star All-Stars – Fixing A Hole
  137. The LemonheadsWaiting Around To Die
  138. Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band Air Mattress
  139. Neil YoungJohnny Magic
  140. Ziggy Marley, Rita Marley, & Cedella MarleyI Love You Too
  141. Queen Ifrica Daddy
  142. Cunninglynguists – Never Come Down
  143. MavadoSo Blessed
  144. Mos Def & Talib KweliHistory
  145. B-Real & Damian MarleyFire
  146. Willie Nelson & Asleep at the WheelCorrine Corrina
  147. Anthony B & Horace AndyEnter The Kingdom of Zion
  148. John LegendCan’t Be My Lover (Curtis Lynch Remix)
  149. Bruce SpringsteenOutlaw Pete
  150. SizzlaBlack Man In The White House
  151. Willie Nelson & Asleep at the WheelBring It on Down to My House
  152. Wasp – Unfair Officer
  153. Sugar Minott & Easy Star All-StarsWhen I’m Sixty-Four
  154. Bitty McLeanFall In Love (Rub A Dub Mix)
  155. Taken By Trees – To Lose Someone
  156. Willie Nelson & Asleep at the WheelHesitation Blues
  157. U-Roy, Bunny Rugs, & Easy Star All-StarsLovely Rita
  158. Daweh CongoDaybreak
  159. Coconut RecordsAny Fun
  160. SeraniWhen It’s Cold Outside
  161. TelekinesisCoast Of Carolina
  162. MavadoOn The Rock
  163. Bill Callahan – Jim Cain
  164. Kirsty Rock & Easy Star All-StarsShe’s Leaving Home
  165. Noah and the WhaleBlue Skies
  166. Daweh CongoJoy Brings Pain
  167. FanfarioI’m A Pilot
  168. MavadoMoney Changer
  169. The Dry SpellsBlack Is The Color
  170. David Guetta & AkonSexy Bitch
  171. Animal Collective My Girls
  172. Taken By TreesMy Boys
  173. Tribal SeedsThe Garden
  174. Norah JonesChasing Pirates
  175. Jay Farrar & Benjamin Gibbard These Roads Don’t Move
  176. MatisyahuStruggla
  177. Black Eyed PeasMeet Me Halfway
  178. Buju BantonRastafari
  179. JuvenileGotta Get It
  180. GroundationBeating Heart
  181. 10 Ft Ganja Plant 10 Ft. Ganja Plant and Weed
  182. MishkaStay By My Side
  183. Raekwon & Lyfe Jennings Catalina
  184. Bebel GilbertoChica Chica Boom Chic
  185. PitbullI Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)
  186. Phoenix1901
  187. Bramma – Da Body Deh
  188. Kid Cudi Make Her Say
  189. Mayer HawthorneJust Ain’t Gonna Work Out
  190. Flo RidaRight Round
  191. Raekwon, Inspectah Deck, Method Man, & Ghostface KillahHouse Of Flying Daggers
  192. MatisyahuSmash Lies
  193. Timbaland & Justin TimberlakeCarry Out
  194. ChezidekBorder Line
  195. Bebel GilbertoSun Is Shining
  196. Gregory IsaacsFools Fall In Love
  197. Oba SimbaThe Herb
  198. Robert GlasperButterfly
  199. B.B. SeatonLife Goes On
  200. Johnny Clarke with Soothsayers meet Red Earth CollectiveBad Boys
  201. Sean Paul & Keri HilsonHold My Hand [I’ll Be There]
The Top 200 Singles of 2009 – THE BEST OF 2009

Friday at Austin City Limits Music Festival 2009!!!

Wavin' Flag

The rain fell as the music filled the park. Mud seethed underfoot and gushed between toes. Among the strong aromas and beautiful sounds, the 2009 Austin City Limits Music Festival came alive and offered another memorable year of music. Although environmental factors change from year to year, from stifling heat and dust to drenching rain and mud, the show never stopped. The music continued. And Austin proved itself again as the live music capitol of the world.

I caught Dr. Dog at the Dell Stage for my first show. I found these boys from Philadelphia to be quite harmonic, reminiscent of the psychadelia rock of the Beatles and The Byrds. Songs like “The Breeze” and “The Old Days” displayed that smooth 1960s sound. But my favorite song on the set list was “The Rabbit, The Bat & The Reindeer.”

I had heard of Phoenix, but I had never listened to their music. A friend convinced me to see this alternative rock band from Versaille, France. The comparisons to their French peers Daft Punk and Air interested me. Ultimately I understood the comparisons, finding the sound close to a New Order-like electronica pop. Phoenix pleasantly surprised me with tunes like “Lisztomania,” “Lasso,” “If I Ever Feel Better,” “Fences,” “Girlfriend,” “Run Run Run,” “Too Young,” “Rome,” and “1901.” Many of the songs appear on the new album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix.

The best show of the day came from the Somalian born/Canadian based rapper k’naan. Under the Wildflower Tent the slender Somalian rocked the crowd with political prose, heart-felt lyrics, and blistering beats. Appropriate adjectives include humble, inspirational, and talented.  k’naan had a broad appeal, drawing young children and old people, and all those between the young and old. An intimate performance captivated the crowd.

The track “T.I.A. [Explicit]” thundered bass as K’naan introduced the crowd to his unique brand of hip-hop. “T.I.A.” samples Bob Marley’s classic ska tune “Simmer Down,” layers it over heavy beats, and atop raps the brilliant young wordsmith. In Africa, Bob Marley, Lucky Dube, 2pac, and The Notorious B.I.G. reign supreme. k’naan studied these great performers and his sound reflects those influences. Yet the sound is original. The music is gangsta but peaceful, hard but soft, and always chalk full of the contradictions and realities of life.

From Africa the Somalian took us on a trip to “America.” On the album, Mos Def and Chali 2Na join the track with their rhymes on the studio version of “America,”  but solo and live K’naan brought this song to its full potential without the help of these great lyricists. The song “Take A Minute” brought emotion to the tent. The following love ballad “Fatima” lightened the mood. And then the hardcore rap song “ABC’s” (with a Chubb Rock sample) rocked the and rolled with pure energy.

K’naan then sang a song about “Somalia,” which brought tears to the crowd’s eyes. The lyricist played two different versions beginning with an acapella and moving into a full band version. As K’naan says “his real will makes your real look like a rental.” This track talks about the perils of childhood in Somalia and the suffering of the people. K’naan harnesses the pain and realities of the world and turns them into amazing poetry. The rapper followed the tear jerker with “Bang Bang,” a nice jamming pop tune. And he ended his set with the a sing-a-long to “Wavin’ Flag.”

K’naan was the highlight of the evening. But the jams continued with Thievery Corporation. The dub electronica duo and band played on the main stage this year kicking out funky electronica with “.” The crew from Washington, D.C. also played the sitar heavy “Mandala,” displaying their unique acumen at world music.

In a testimony to the diversity of the music at ACL I caught parts of sets from the Texas country group Reckless Kelly and the hard-rocking new super trio Them Crooked Vultures. Them Crooked Vultures features bassist John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, drummer David Grohl of Nirvana and Foo Fighters, and Josh Homme the guitarist and lead singer from Queens Of The Stone AgeKings Of Leon headlined Friday night playing their hits “Sex On Fire,”
”On Call,” and
”Use Somebody.”

The  music continued after the festival at the ACL after shows. I went to a Township Records showcase at the Ghost Room downtown on 4th Street in the Warehouse District. I caught the end of Danny Malone‘s set. This kid has a beautifully haunting voice. My wife described him as a creepy James Taylor. His new album Cuddlebug features the eerie track “Basement.” Graham Wilkinson & the Underground Township played some of my favorite tracks from the new album Yearbook, including “Ragamuffin” and “Let It Go.”

Let It Go

Friday at Austin City Limits Music Festival 2009!!!