Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Top 40 of the Decade – Part 2 – 30 – 21

One cool little thing I discovered while getting the Lala widget set up was that I can just add to the list that is already there – so the playlist at the top will now have 40 through 21! (except #38 which is linked in that post).

30) Bang! Bang! – The Knux (2008)
Last post I mentioned genres you shouldn’t expect to find here: top 40, new country, jazz. My hip hop awareness is not what it should be (matter of fact, I'm not even sure if I'm supposed to call it hip hop or rap) and as such this is the only one to make the list, though I did consider songs by K-OS, RJD2, Outkast (does that even count?), The Herbalizer and Mr. Lif. If I can find a place to find more songs that are this good then hip hop will be better represented next time around.

29) Skinny Love – Bon Iver (2008)
The rest of his stuff leaves me pretty cold, but this is flat out beautiful and haunting and the song I loved most in 2008.

28) Flake – Jack Johnson (2001)
This destroys any hipster credibility I might ever hope to have but so be it, I like Jack Johnson. Quite a bit. Besides, I’m a sucker for tunes that change up in the middle. This is one of the few songs that were on the list from the start.

27) All My Friends – LCD Soundsystem (2007)
For artists that had more than one song go far in the process of putting this together I promised myself I’d mention those other songs and then promptly forgot this rule with the Elbow entry (amusingly, that other song is called Forget Myself). So, Losing My Edge was a close second to this one and gets an honorable mention.

26) Rex Kramer – Gomez (2002)
In Our Gun will forever have the distinction of being the first disc that Deb and I got into as a couple, and as such there were a bunch of songs from it that I considered for the list; Ping One Down & Army Dub being the ones that got the furthest. But there is no mistaking that weird squeal at the beginning and nothing else that hits the highs this song does. Great live show as well. Pitchfork hates them, providing the added benefit of making me feel uncool. This is not a bad thing at all.

25) Everyone Gets A Star – Albert Hammond, Jr. (2007)
So this is as good a place as any to ask – can you be in a band and have a solo song both in the list, adroitly moving around the one song per artist restriction? Apparently (though technically you don’t know this yet) yes, yes you can.

24) Take Me Out – Franz Ferdinand (2004)
This is what you might call an obvious pick. I looked up the lyrics to see if there was anything quotable. I don't recommend this.

23) Float On – Modest Mouse (2004)
Did you ever accuse a band of selling out? I did back in the day, and boy did you hear it a bunch after Good News for People who Love Bad News came out. But seeing it from my late forties standpoint it’s really an amazing achievement that a band that is so…….niche-y can put out a song and album like this and have middle aged folks gravitate to it – while not really straying all that far from their roots. Maybe the long-time purists are correct that The Moon And Antarctica is the better release, but for my money it’s Good News all the way. So my twenty-something self was an idiot for calling out any band who managed to find some mainstream success while staying true to a vision. Though c’mon, Rod Stewart totally sold out.

22) I Bow Down And Pray To Every Woman I Meet – Chuck Prophet (2002)

Ain’t no motherfucker gonna criticize me.

In a just world Chuck Prophet would be huge.

21) Casimir Pulaski Day – Sufjan Stevens (2005)
At the time this was my favorite song of the year. In putting together this project though, 2005 ended up being clearly the top year for songs (9 on the final list), so it has obviously dropped some since there are still six 2005 songs to go. Keeping in mind what I said earlier about a few songs maybe being a year or two off (I wiki’d all of these but some are easier to pinpoint than others), the songs by year list comes out as:
9 songs: 2005
6 songs: 2007
5 songs: 2006
4 songs: 2001, 2002, 2008
3 songs: 2004
2 songs: 2000, 2003
1 song: 2009
Anyway, back to Sufjan. I listen to both Illinoise and Michigan less as time goes by. While he can be incredibly moving as here describing a friend dying of cancer and questioning his own faith as a result (He took my shoulders and He shook my face/and He takes and He takes and He takes), there is also a side that is annoyingly too clever by half and incredibly pretentious. Bailing on the 50 state project after just two might be pissing me off as well……though two-thirds of Illinoise forces me to cut him slack.

Next: Halfway done. What the hell am I going to say about 20-11???


  1. Something about how you think D'Angelo is ripe for a comeback?

    I'm digging the Lala playlist format and your awesome music musings.

  2. RE:#30
    I like your comment about Hip-hop being better represented next time around. In 10 years basically. I admire people who can make plans.

  3. Yeah, I thought about that later. It's kind of funny to imagine myself at 57 searching out the latest rap.

  4. RE: #23

    I was listening to a podcast this morning as I was waiting for the bus. The host was discussing NYC rent control with an economics guy. The economics guy mentioned he was pretty left leaning culturally, but right leaning as far as the idea of rent control goes, for purely economic reasons. The host commented that the guy was quite the artisanal pickle eating hipster so this must be a difficult position to have. To emphasize how hip the economics guy was, the host mentioned how he liked older Modest Mouse so much better.

    That comment in conjunction with this post leads me to believe Modest mouse was more of a cultural touchstone than I had initially thought.

    We haven’t had them in Music Club, have we? Do we all just assume everyone already has it? Because I do not. Don’t know why, but I never really cared for them. They are yesterday’s Vampire Weekend.


Strongly disagree I have many issues with this ranking but...