Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Top 100 Songs of the Aughies, 10-1 (AKA the Top Ten)

Wassup Hepcats!
Okey dokey smokies, here we are. A couple of things before we get started.
I had a note in yesterday's post, 20-11, about the unofficial video for "Kids" by MGMT, and how internet weirdos were obsessed with the girl in it. Hepcats, let us not pass judgment. After viewing the video thirty or so times in the last 72 hours, I'm beginning to see the light.
Also, some clarification on the rules in play here. So that this list wasn't top heavy with tunes from certain albums, and to get a variety of artists involved, I restricted it to one song per album. This led to some tough calls, so songs like "Sing Me Spanish Techno", "First Day of My Life", and a host of others got the shaft, even though they were definitely among my 100 favorites songs of the decade. Stupid rules.
Also, I tried to limit it to rock and roll and pop songs. Just so I didn't get angry emails from Kanye West.
The Top Ten!
10. "Transatlanticism" - Death Cab for Cutie (Transatlanticism, 2003). Maybe my favorite song ever that is theoretically impossible to whistle. Seriously, don't even try, you end up sounding like R2D2.

9. "Maps" - Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Fever to Tell, 2003). Well, when we first starting hearing about Karen O and the YYY's, and seeing photos of the live shows, we certainly didn't expect this.  Not a power ballad, exactly, not with that weird guitar squiggle, but something rousing and moving. The video of the decade, too, hands down.

8. "Trains to Brazil" - Guillemots (Through the Windowpane, 2006) Why a song with the word "Brazil" in the title is so evocative of winter is odd. Will forever remind me of waiting for the bus on cold winter mornings, trying to feel good about the whole situation. The horns helped.

7. "Lua" - Bright Eyes (I'm Wide Awake It's Morning, 2005) And speaking of cold winter mornings. I mentioned earlier about this album (and Digital Ash in a Digital Urn) both came out 3 weeks after I first met Mrs. Hepster. This song: driving around Providence on a clear, cold February morning, vowing that "Me, I'm not a gamble, you can't count on me to split" would no longer apply to me. And it didn't, so good for me. Also, one of the all time tunes about being young and fucked up in the city.

6. "Fell in Love With a Girl" - The White Stripes (White Blood Cells, 2001) Yeah, I know, I picked the single. In my defense, this wasn't the first song I'd heard from the album (a friend had sent me a mix with "Hotel Yorba" on it), but this was the one that I would rock out to after eight or nine beers. The second most surprising hit song of my lifetime ("Smells Like Teen Spirit" will forever hold that title.)

5. "Portions for Foxes" - Rilo Kiley (More Adventurous, 2004) This song hits some highlights for me: driving around Rhode Island in summer 2004, finally feeling somewhat settled in; back in L.A. with Mrs. Hepster the following spring, stuck on the 405; the first rock show after I became a parent. Plus one for the vocals on "I do the same thing, I get lonely too".

4. "No Children" - Mountain Goats (Tallahassee, 2002) The perfect MG song (sorry tape hiss purists): funny, biting, and depressing all at once. The title, I assume, refers to the fact that we should be thankful these two never procreated.

3. "The Bleeding Heart Show" - The New Pornographers (Twin Cinema, 2005) In my head, this song would begin playing in the birthing room as Mrs. Hepster went into labor, and the babies would start popping out when they got to the "we have arrived" part. And all the nurses would sing along to the "hey-la"s. The doctors would be all, "That was pretty cool," as I held my newborn daughters. Was uninformed about: music options in delivery rooms, amount of time twins take to come out, effervescent spirit of nurses, musical taste of Ob-GYNs. Still, though. That would have ruled.

2. "Fluorescent Adolescent" - Arctic Monkeys (Favourite Worst Nightmare, 2007) Just for this first verse:
"You used to get it in your fishnets
now you only get it in your nightdress,
Discarded all your naughty nights for niceness
Landed in a very common crisis
Everything's in order in a black hole
Nothing seems as pretty as the past though
That Bloody Mary's lacking your Tabasco
Remember when you used to be a rascal?"
That pretty much sums up getting older and settling down, doesn't it?

1. "One Foot In Front of The Other" - Bright Eyes (Saddle Creek 50, 2003) OK, I know this was re-recorded as "Landlocked Blues" for Wide Awake (and would therefore be ineligible) but this version is so superior, that yes, my favorite song of the decade is only on an out of print compilation. Scour eBay for this, Hepcats, it's well worth it. Here's a live version just to give you a taste. Seriously, though, the Saddle Creek 50  is the balls.

So there we are. Thanks for sticking with us through the end, Hepcats, it's been some kinda alright. More soon!

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