The problem with "Best of" lists is that for those of us with limited resources and time only listen/watch/read a small portion of stuff that's been produced this year. I've listened to all the All Songs Considered podcasts, I guess, but I haven't heard half the bands on the Pitchfork list of the best of 2009. So, instead, I'll give you a list of ten bands I loved. They're not the best of the year, but they are the ones I listened to over and over again, in no particular order.
Blind Pilot - 3 Rounds and a Sound
Sad, quiet, hard to resist good acoustic stuff. Makes me think of breakups and slow dances.
Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) teams up with Colletions of Colonies of Bees and makes this spectacular, buzzy, weird goodness. Makes me want to hear what else Justin Vernon can do.
Akron/Family - Set 'em wild, set 'em free
Wild, sing out loud, blissful folk weirdness. Listened a couple of these songs over and over and over again at the office, in the car, and in the subway.
Avett Brothers - I and Love and You
Just discovered this one recently. Sometimes lovely and sad, sometimes twangy, always great.
Benjamin Wesley - Geschichte
This guy works at my favorite coffee shop in Houston. Tuneful melodies and songs sometimes as raw as his voice. Saw him play two guitars at once at Cactus music, which was cool.
Wild Yaks - 10 Ships (Don't Die Yet)
Something about these guys yelling almost makes me want to cry. Saw this band in Brooklyn by accident. Heartfelt, barely in control, I love it.
Regina Spektor - Far Sometimes an album just fits a moment in your life. I listened to this over and over again until I couldn't anymore. One of the best storytellers out there writing songs.
Le Loup - Family
Not as experimental or as thrilling as their last album, the chorus of voices over banjos, guitars, and thumping drums is still worth a listen (or a bunch of listens).
Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion
Why even bother writing about them. Everyone else is doing it. It's happy, brilliant fun.
Bon Iver - Blood Bank
Two Justin Vernon projects in one list, I know. But he's writing some of the best songs out there, if you like droopy, strummy, beautiful music. I do, and I can't get enough.