Here’s the start of my list where I countdown my favorite one hundred songs, starting with numbers 100-91.
100. The Shins- New Slang
“Gold teeth and a curse for this town/ Were all in my mouth/ Only I don’t know how/ They got out dear”
I don’t like how this song gets automatically associated with “Garden State” even if it did get exposure due to it. It’s not really a song that will change your life like that character promises, but it still does a great job to capture the mindset of Mercer as a complete indifferent who still hopes to find love, and that’s why I like it. Everything else that occurs is just like the new form of slang, it’s just not worth even keeping track of at this point.
99. Frightened Rabbit- My Backwards Walk
“I’m working on my faults and cracks/ Filling in the blanks and gaps/ And when I write them out, they don’t make sense/ I need you to pencil in the rest”
I’m mid-process of falling for The Midnight Organ Fight, and it felt fair to include this track because it spoke to me so immediately while being stuck in my head. It’s wonderful to hear how dead set he is on undoing everything possible, but he knows he will still end up with his trousers on her floor. It’s inescapable and that’s killing him, but he’s trying hard as hell to leave the cycle.
98. M83- Raconte-Moi Un Histoire
“I heard about this frog.”
It’s hard to say what new songs will last the test of time, in fact I usually have a rule of thumb to wait ten years before calling anything a classic. “Raconte-Moi Un Histoire” is actually the second most recent track that gets placed on this list, but I feel safe placing it on the list because of how different it is from the average song. Nothing is here to trick you into liking it, it’s just a pretty melody with the vocals being a little girl’s imagination. It’s gorgeous.
97. The Postal Service- The District Sleeps Alone Tonight
“You seem so out of context/ In this gaudy apartment complex”
I love this track because of the mood that it sets for Give Up to be a substantial album. I’ve always respected Gibbard for not settling to just make pop music but also having meaningful songs that are surprisingly well written. This one captures a sad point of view where he went to visit his ex, and when he got there he felt so out of place that he was forced to understand why she had left him in the first place. Tamborello couldn’t have found a better person to add vocals in my mind.
96. Yuck- Operation
“I want to be the well designed”
Yuck’s self-titled was amazing to me when I heard it because I wasn’t blown away by what they were actually playing but it sounded so damn good. It was a total throw back sound which they were good at playing, and the track that I found myself liking the most was named “Operation”. Few choruses have as much of a relief to sing as “I want to be the well designed” does in this song, and the scratchy vocals battling with the guitars to be the most prominent sound is a nice quality which doesn’t get done enough in music.
95. Spoon- Jonathon Fisk
“Jonathan then says it’s a sin/ But he don’t think twice ’cause to him/ Religion don’t mean a thing/ Just another way to be right wing”
Spoon is one of the cooler bands out there, and this song’s one of the prime examples. Daniel starts the song with a masturbatory “ohhh” before the guitars enter to introduce the true song, a high energy rocker to describe a bully named Jonathon Fisk in the coolest way they can. The nice story here is that Jonathon Fisk actually kept in contact with the band and is currently a Spoon fan who enjoys attending their shows.
94. The Rolling Stones- You Can’t Always Get What You Want
“You can’t always get what you want/ But if you try sometimes/ Well you might find/ You get what you need”
I can see some people rolling their eyes at this pick and I’d like to assure you that this list isn’t going to be me just blindly choosing universally liked songs by great bands and putting them into order. This list is personal, and this song is actually really awesome from my view point because it displays exactly why Mick Jagger’s voice was awesome even if it wasn’t great by industry standards. They give you a choir to sing the chorus for you perfectly to open the track, but everyone knows it just doesn’t sound as good as when Jagger does it. Everything that you could complain about his voice for is why he’s a great singer for the band in reality, and the juxtaposition they do to expose that is incredibly clever.
93. Japandroids- Younger Us
“Gimme that night you were already in bed/ Said f*** it got up to drink with me instead”
This is as recent as we’re going to get on this list. Celebration Rock is an awesome feel-good rock album and “Younger Us” is the true height of it. What could possibly be the better anthem of youth than “Give me that night you were already in bed, said f*** it, got up to drink with me instead!”?
92. The Pixies- Hey
“Must be a Devil between us/ Or whores in my head”
It took me a few listens on Doolittle before the genius of “Hey” struck me. The paced singing along with the gradual introduction of both the bass and guitar make it an immensely cool transition into the song’s message: the inability to get with the girl you’re supposed to because you’ve got every other one stuck in your head. Plus you have to appreciate the male/female interaction in the song of “HUH, said the man to the lady; UH, said the lady to the man…”. “Hey” is cool as hell.
91. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah- Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood
“They are going out to bars/ And they are getting into cars/ I have seen them with my own eyes/ America please help them, Now they are child stars…”
This song still has the power to make me so damn happy from time to time. The music is always so beautiful and melodic, and the voice is so undeniably wrong that it’s perfect. That’s the entire charm of the song, as he pours his heart out to you about the story of a generation of kids who mature to learn that there weren’t any monsters out there trying to catch them all along, but now they’re going to war. Worse yet, the people who are sending them over there don’t comprehend who they are in the slightest.
Check Airwaves next Monday for 90-81