Though they are generally predictable and rather uniform, one of the my favorite things about this time of year is the ubiquitous ‘Top Ten’ or ‘Best of’ list… music, movies, art, etc.
While Mike Nelson’s A Psychic Vacuum installation in the lower east side this summer takes the cake for best art I witnessed (and perhaps most bananas after party at the Delancy, Thanks again Nato!) I have been more obsessed with music of course. It’s a surprisingly challenging endeavor, as I tend to mostly consume music from the past (the Brazilian group Secos E Molhados’s first album is perhaps the top find on that front, a lovely mix of Os Mutantes and Hunky Dory-era Bowie. Peep the video-).
My song of the year came from a rather surprising source. Even though it was overplayed and utterly commercial, Feist’s 1, 2, 3, 4... wins hands down. It is undeniably beautiful and catchy, but my reasons go beyond anything that can be objectively discerned.
Certainly, the best thing I did this year was fall deeply and madly in love. At the height of this song’s play on the iPod commercial was a particularly magical Saturday wherein Molly and I meet friends at the New York Artist Book Fair in Chelsea. The fair was great, I bought a signed Brian Belott book, Wipe That Clock Off Your Face, and afterwards we ate at Shake Shack with Brock and Kellyr. Always a treat.
What I remember most is Molly and I having the song in our heads all day. We would softly sing it back and forth to each other, casually but also compulsively, as if we were no longer in control of our own tongues. At first it was basically the 1, 2, 3, 4 chorus bit, but after a while the individual words and numbers began to dissolve into the greater glossolalia, syllables mutated at each exchange until we were singing our own secret language to each other, communicating messages even we didn’t immediately understand.
This event was definitely my favorite sonic moment of the year, if not ever.
Long live the pop song.