Top Tracks of 2009

Here's the tracklisting:

Top tracks of 2009

#My Music

Comments (Archived):

  1. David Noël

    Nice list and nice use of 8tracks. David will be stoked to see this. Is the list based on actual plays/scrobbles?

    1. fredwilson

      Kind of. That’s where I started. But we scrobble our listens on our sonos so my history has a lot of gotham gal and some of my kids tooSo I did some surgery on it and then added some editorializing too

      1. David Noël

        Nice! Putting these lists together is so much work. But fun obviously. On my album list right now and considering to make a song list as well but that might be trickier.

      2. Dave Pinsen

        “But we scrobble our listens on our sonos”Translation, please, for the uninitiated?

        1. fredwilson

          we use a sonos to listen to music in our home…we’ve configured it to report all the music we listen to to my last.fmprofile…hope that helps

          1. Dave Pinsen

            That explains what sonos is, thanks. Still not sure what scrobble means, but don’t let me slow things down here.

          2. Dave Pinsen

            Thanks, David.

          3. fredwilson

            The software that records your listens and sends them to is called ‘audioscrobbler’ so a ‘scrobble’ is when you record what you are listening to and send that data to

          4. Dave Pinsen

            OK, thanks. The late William Safire couldn’t have explained it better.

    2. davidporter

      (I am : ) )

  2. Wesley Barrow

    Did you intentionally only pick one track per artist for this list?

    1. fredwilson

      Yes. I wanted to feature a diverse set of music and artists. Therefore its not neccesarily my very top tracks. For example, there are four tracks on Humbug that I love (crying lightning, cornerstone, secret door, and dance little liar) but I only picked one for this list

      1. Wesley Barrow

        Gotcha. Makes sense as I would probably have half of the Phoenix album in my top 25.4 tracks from Humbug, huh? I gotta give that record a few more listens.

        1. AlanPearlstein

          humbug is great, but if you don’t know the arctic monkeys music, then Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, is the album to check out. I have a feeling that you are going to see this album very high on the best albums of the decade list from Fred. I consider it the best album of the decade and one of my top albums of all time.

          1. fredwilson

            yup. i’ve already built the list. just have to do some final tweaking.

  3. Charlie Wood

    I wish there were a “buy these tracks” button somewhere. Someone’s missing a trick, or at least my $25.-CharliePS. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    1. fredwilson

      Great point. 8tracks should make a deal with amazon’s mp3 store

      1. petekazanjy

        Yeah, or even short of that (since BD can be sloooowwwww), just have an Amazon affiliate code with a click-through to capture the rev-share on MP3s *or* CDs (Or whatever else comes out of the traffic).That would be a pretty trivial addition, and could be quickly A/B tested to see if it actually moves the needle.

      2. davidporter

        We’ve got the Amazon link on the site; we’ll be adding it to the Flash player in 2010. (Not much money for us on this, but def want to make it easy for people to buy tracks they like.)

        1. fredwilson

          Can you buy the entire playlist in one click?

          1. davidporter

            No, but this is planned. A prerequisite is fingerprinting, so that we can ensure each track in a playlist maps exactly to Amazon. This is one of our projects that I hope to get to by midyear.

          2. djtonyz

            Why would you need to fingerprint? Isn’t the meta data from the track enough to send requests through Amazon’s API to build an Amazon list and then purchase that list on

          3. davidporter

            We need it to be certain there’s an exact match. W/out it we can only do a string search; we could pick the first match but there’d likely be some unhappy buyers if an incorrect version/mix (or even song) were then downloaded.

  4. AlanPearlstein

    good to see an Edward Sharpe song on the list. found myself listeing to Janglin more than Home, but both are great. and what a fun live show they put on. did you get a chance to see them this year? really enjoyed them.

    1. fredwilson

      yes, we saw them at Bowery Ballroom, my favorite venue in NYC

  5. brooksjordan

    Thanks Fred, will be playing for breakfast. Surprised The XX didn’t make it on here . . .

    1. fredwilson

      there wasn’t one standout track on that recordfor me, that record was one long track

      1. brooksjordan

        This remix of “Heads Will Roll” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs is pretty awesome:

        1. fredwilson

          Cool. I’ll check it out. I love remixes and mashups. Seems like that’s where a lot of the creativity is in music today

  6. rich caccappolo

    Fred, looking through the list we see an interesting mix on the axis of “artist’s time in the game” – there are a couple well-established artists, there are several first-timer’s efforts (Chiddy Bang), and a few acts that had comparative break-out success after being at it for a while, i.e., their 2nd or 3rd albums (Metric). So, as followers of new music, let’s ask those same old questions again as we should this time each year – “How does a band raise awareness” and “How do listeners hear ‘new’ music” to see if anything has changed. For me, Sirius’ Alt Nation channel was the most valuable source this year. I’m not sure how they pick their playlists, but I heard Metric, Miike Snow and several of the other bands on this list first on Alt Nation.

    1. fredwilson

      I’ve got sirius on our new car. I’ll have to check out that stationFor me, its all about music blogs and music blog aggregators for finding new musicchiddy raps about that in ‘get up in the morning’

      1. rich caccappolo

        Channel 21. They do a Top 18 of the week each Saturday and Sunday. There list for 2009 will be on at 5 PM on Monday. I’m sure it will have Metric, White Rabbits, The Airborne Toxic Event, Band of Skulls, Rise Against. The Sounds, Franz Ferdinand, The Gaslight Anthem, Spinnerette, The Limousines, Silversun Pickups, etc. I predict that “I’ve Got Friends” by Manchester Orchestra will be #1.Also, Kings of Leon’s “Notion” was a 2009 release – how did that not make your list?BTW, I would have gone with “Get Up In The Morning” as the Chiddy Bang entry vs. “Truth”.

        1. fredwilson

          i sort of agree with you on chiddy but i liked the transition from truth tosleepyheadsthere was an element of making a good mix at work tooi hope i accomplished that

      2. rich caccappolo

        The Alt Top 18 of 2009 as tallied by Alt Nation (I think some of these shouldn’t be counted as 2009, e.g., the Kings of Leon album was released in 2008), but still some good tracks18. Cage the Elephant – No Rest for the Wicked17. Matt & Kim – Daylight16. The Killers – Spaceman15. Spinnerette – Baptized by Fire14. Fran Ferdinand- No You Girls13. The Thermals – Now We Can See12. Wildlight – California on my Mind11. Death Cab for Cutie- Grapevine Fires10. Metric – Help I’m Alive9. Manchester Orchestra – I’ve Got Friends8. Yeah Yeah Yeah’s – Heads Will Roll7. Limousines – Very Busy People6. Kings of Leon – Use Somebody5. MGMT – Kids4. Weezer – I Want You To3. Phoenix – 19012. Silversun Pickups – Panic Switch1. Muse – Uprising

        1. fredwilson

          I need a playlist of those!!!

          1. rich caccappolo

            Here you go – Sirius Alt Nation channel’s Top 18 songs of the year as voted on by their listeners over the course of the year…

    2. kidmercury

      i rely on napster and youtube. most importantly for me though is that when i find a musician i really like i find what they like, and then i just grab that.the other thing i should note is that i have so much music i’ve bookmarked/downloaded but haven’t really listened to much, and that a lot of stuff i search for is from older acts that aren’t around anymore. i do think the digitization of music has made even music more anachronistic, more timeless.

      1. rich caccappolo

        no doubt – to your point of ” the digitization of music has made even music more anachronistic, more timeless.” – I see it with my kids – they’ll listen to a list of songs that cross over decades. At one point, when they were young, I tried to create a curriculum of sorts – introducing them to early stuff, then taking them through the Beatles, Stones into the 70s, then 80s, explaining the importance of the Clash and the different phases of Paul Weller, etc. They just want to jump around…- but maybe it worked – they can listen to Vampire Weekend and say “these guys sound like the Kinks…” and that makes me happy, even if they don’t know for sure who came first and that there is 40 years between them…

        1. fredwilson

          i agree completely rich. jessica often DJs for us on our rides to the beachand back. she’ll play a hip hop track from this year, followed by the clashor the talking heads, then the beatles, and some old school R&B. it’simpressive and makes me proud

      2. Mark Essel

        Podcasts!I’m an overnight addict dub step, progressive, ambient, drum and bass arena. Infinite hours of free primo DJ mixes

        1. djtonyz

          Yup, every UK service that streams doesn’t seem to have to abide by the DMCA. SoundCloud is becoming the defacto service to listen to streaming mixes. I also like If you want to check out my podcasts, download at…. Tech house, deep house, techno. There’s a bunch of them there. Will be planning a new set soon.

          1. Mark Essel

            Thanks Tony checking them out now.

  7. kidmercury

    damn boss no kid mercury tracks on the list? and you put my nemesis jay-z on there, as the opening track no less…pfft….but in spite of those two issues i’m going to give this playlist a few listens. so thanks for sharing boss!

    1. fredwilson

      He and alicia turned the yankees fortunes around with that track and shut down the hated phillies. So no question its the song of the year

      1. rich caccappolo

        agreed – the song stands on its own but anything that helps the Yanks win gets an extra vote

      2. kidmercury

        pfft i give alicia the credit for the yankees win, jay just went along for the ride. and i still beat his punk ass in terms of rap battling…like jdawg he has no response to the raps i dropped on him, i put him in his place, he’s just a choke artist

  8. Mark Zohar

    Great mix of tracks. Great to see that you included Kiss My Name. What a great song and album. But, heck, no Flaming Lips? “Watching the Planets” would definitely be one of my top 10 tracks of the year and “Embryonic” a top 10 album for sure.

    1. fredwilson

      I didn’t connect to embryonic the way I have to their other work

  9. ShanaC

    Don’t laugh, but this is a big growing experience in my taste in music (which isn’t bad taste) I just would have no idea how to listen to contemporary rock ect unless I knew where to start. Actually. How do I start (interesting mission for the next decade so I don’t feel left out.)

    1. brooksjordan

      One good way, Shana, is to take any of the artists or groups in Fred’s list above and create a station in And then you’ll get a little tour of their world.

      1. ShanaC

        I used pandora heavily- it’s almost all classical music and some jazz. Great for quiet music. Not great for rock and roll.

        1. brooksjordan

          Hmm, not sure what you mean. I created a The XX station, for example, and was listening to it last night. It was amazing.

          1. ShanaC

            Just saying I have a lot of classical music. A lot of classical music. I’mstuck on John Adams or something..

          2. brooksjordan

            But that doesn’t mean it’s not great for indie rock/rap, too, right? 🙂

          3. ShanaC

            No- I just have no idea what to put in yet- and I have been sticking inclassical for years because it is good for studying to or doing quiet I needto focus activities to. That, and I have found some really inspiringclassical…

          4. ShanaC

            I think you have inspired me for new day music- but I think my night music will stay the same, bring on the classical and the jazz!!!

          5. brooksjordan

            Oh, well, of course . . . by day we ride but by night we fly, right? 🙂

      2. davidporter

        Brooks and Shana – you can also listen to Fred’s mix on 8tracks and, at its completion, another relevant mix will be queued up for playback. (Full disclosure: I’m 8tracks’ founder)

        1. brooksjordan

          Hi David, great. Can you link us to that other mix now or when it’s up?

          1. davidporter

            Hi Brooks – you can do so by clicking “next mix” from Fred’s mixpage on 8tracks:…. The next mix will vary each time you tune in.

          2. brooksjordan

            Got it, I’m on it, thanks.

  10. Rob Freeborn

    Love the choice for #1 song of the year… is awesome.

  11. David Kadavy

    Thanks for the great list – I’ll have to check out some of the stuff that I haven’t already. I’m surprised that you chose “Lasso” over “1901” from Phoenix. You couldn’t go wrong with Passion Pit, though. I listened to that album so much this year, I don’t think I even listened to 25 new tracks.

  12. Wesley Barrow

    Just put up my top tracks of the year, but since today is my 27th birthday (on the 27th) I had to make it the top 27 tracks.http://www,wesleybarrow.comEnjoy!

    1. fredwilson

      CoolI’ll check it out

  13. Chipotle

    Fantastic. I can get behind any list that contains both The Avett Brothers and Chiddy Bang. That’s a whole lotta range. I find combing through everybody’s year end lists an excellent way to discover new music. Last year at this time I found Blind Pilot and Thao (off your list I believe).I’ll jump into the sandbox with some tracks I liked.Buriedfed– Miles Benjamin Anthony RobinsonThat Year — Brandi CarlileTake Off Your Sunglasses — Ezra Furman & The HarpoonsTen Thousand Words — The Avett BrothersMama’s Eyes — Justin Townes EarlePercussion Gun — White RabbitsIt’s FrighteningHome — Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic ZerosOh My God — Ida MariaSo Many Ways to Die — BombadilLittle Lion Man — Mumford And SonsMarrow — St. VincentDarling Dear — Little FishPeople Got a Lotta Nerve — Neko CaseBaby Boomer — Monsters of FolkWhen We Swam — Thao

    1. fredwilson

      I should have put that ezra furman song (take off your sunglasses) on my list. What a fun song!

  14. ShanaC

    Random Update about that Twitter list that I can’t put anywhere:TweepML will only pick up FredWilson. It will not pick up anything from a Disqus profile. Back to Manual work. Also if anyone has any ideas how to spread the list, please leave a message. Thanks.

  15. chia2110

    Great list of music. I got turned on to Neko Case with a local show here in Hampton Roads called Hunter at Sunrise. If you are looking for a great show with new and old artists that will keep you lifted that is the show.

  16. alexismichelle

    Great list!!! I am impressed you could choose between Bear and Two on Hospice 😉 I still can’t! Did you have a chance to see the Local Natives when you saw Edward Sharpe? They were one of my favorite new bands this year, and are pretty phenomenal live (for reference:

    1. Chipotle

      Concur with your Local Native pick. I think they’ll break big this year. Terrific live band.

      1. fredwilson

        Ok. Now I have to go listen to them. A double suggestion is always a strong signal for me

    2. fredwilson

      We missed them. I heard they are very good

  17. cettedrucks

    Love this list! Thanks for creating it. I’d add something off the Florence + The Machines debut album, a track from The XX, and maybe a God Help The Girl ditty too.

    1. Chipotle

      I just discovered Florence and the Machines. I like her new record a lot.

  18. Dan Sweet

    Threw these in a Pandora station as well (all but 2-3 Pandora couldn’t come up with anyways). Let’s see if this link works to share the station: http://broadcaster.pandora….

    1. fredwilson

      Ooh. Thanks for that. I’ll give it a listen

  19. davidporter

    Thanks again Fred!

  20. djtonyz

    This is cool. Nice use of 8tracks. (Disclosure: I’m giving the DJ input on the BoA for 8tracks).

  21. DanielBlomquist

    Great list Fred, really love a lot of the songs on it. Also got me into 8tracks so I created my own best of 2009 mix, enjoy!…1. Girls – Lust For Life2. Casiotone For The Painfully Alone – Natural Light3. Woods -Military Madness4. Dirty Projectors & David Byrne – Knotty Pine5. Wavves – So Bored6. Wilco – I’ll Fight7. The Low Anthem – To Ohio8. Cass McCombs – Dream Come True Girl9. Au Revoir Simone – Knight Of Wands10. Port O’Brien – Sour Milk / Salt Water11. King Creosote – No Way She Exists12. Spoon – Got Nuffin’13. Magnolia Electric Co – It’s Made Me Cry14. Animal Collective – My Girls15. The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – This Love Is Fucking Right!

    1. fredwilson

      great list. i’ll check out the playlist now

  22. skysurfer172

    Awesome playlist while coding all day. Thanks Fred!

    1. fredwilson