Not a best-of list by any means, just music that got to me. That had an attachment.
1) "The New Year," Death Cab for Cutie. I started off 2004 by traveling to Asia and getting my passport stamped for the first time. The song is appropriate, and the album it's from kept me company on a few lengthy journeys from one point to another. They may be a Northwest band, but this song and this time I will forever associate with southern Thailand.
2) "Cry Me a River," Justin Timberlake. Am so not kidding, either. Heard this so many freakin' times during my three weeks abroad, I couldn't help but like it. Actually, it could be another Justin Timberlake single, for all I know, I just can't remember the names of any other song.
3) "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea," Neutral Milk Hotel. In a blatant attempt to revive my ailing indie cred... heh. During my two months of doing nothing before spring quarter, I picked up the guitar again a few times. This song's chord progression is simple (G, Em, C, D) and I always go back to it. It's all I can remember anymore.
4) "A Cautionary Song," the Decemberists. Or anything off Castaways and Cutouts, really, although I am fond of their most recent album, too. I forced my mom to listen to it on our long road trip for the 100 miles I drove I-80 across Nevada.
5) "Fit But You Know It," the Streets. I can't explain my attraction to this song. Gabe sent me the album, and I listened to it, liked it, but mostly forgot it, until this song got airtime on KEXP, and it got stuck in my head on a pretty regular basis.
6) "Hummingbird," Wilco. The more I listen to Wilco, the more I enjoy the shit out of them. They're just fucking good. This song is all super Beatlesque, but the harmonies are lovely.
7) "Mad Bombers," Plan B. I rented the movie "Network" and realized the voice samples in this song are from that movie. Awesome. Also, I saw Plan B perform at Bumbershoot after the Laptop Battle--who knew you could perform music with a laptop?--and they were pretty rad.
8) "Monkey Gone to Heaven," the Pixies. Because it's the motherfucking Pixies, and I saw them, bitches.
9) "Such Great Heights," the Postal Service. Oh, god, this goes on every indie chick's list from this year and last, but whaaaatever. It's great city driving music.
10) "Hallelujah," Jeff Buckley. Who would've known my mom and I could find common ground in music (aside from certain Beatles albums and Simon and Garfunkel)? May he rest in peace.
11) "Found a Job," Talking Heads. Hee. If you're not doing what you love... then something isn't right. Words to live by, especially when you're desperately seeking employment. And direction.
12) "See America Right," the Mountain Goats. I did a lot of driving this year, and I listened to one Mountain Goats CD repeatedly. It wasn't this one, but I still like the song.
How should the year end?