Thursday, April 3, 2008

A useless and personal first post

So, alright. I'll catch people up on my professional life soon enough. But, for now, I've got important things to do. Like, songs I am fond of.

My buddy Dennis over at Carmi Neighborhood Watch threw down the gauntlet to make me name my ten favorite songs. Well, Dennis, I'm your Huckleberry.

A couple of years ago I made a list of, basically, my top fifteen songs. I'm still pretty proud of that list, but there are some changes I'd make to it. I won't be making those changes today, as it would take forever, but I will repost my top 15 to give you a basic idea of where I'm coming from.

15. Less than Jake - Never Going Back to New Jersey
14. Add - Let It All Burn
13. REM - Strange Currencies
12. Wedding Present - Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)
11. Jeff Buckley - Corpus Christi Carol
10. Dave Matthews Band - Crush
9. Hank Williams Jr. - Hog Wild
8. Goldfinger - Superman
7. MC Frontalot - Mountain Kind
6. House of Pain - Jump Around
5. Backstreet Boys - I Want It That Way
4. Mos Def - Miss Fat Booty
3. Peter Eldridge - That Which Can't Be Explained
2. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Me and Mia
1. 50 Cent - In Da Club

Since it is so time consuming to make a list like this, in the way I want to make it, I am simply going to update my Top Ten singles of 2007 from Facebook. Ready? Here we go.

10 - Black Kids - I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You
I don't know if the whole EP is any damn 8.4, but this track is undeniably catchy. I've been describing it to people as The Go! Team meets Morrisey and I still think that's pretty appropriate. I can't wait to hear a full length album from these guys. Plus, they're from Jacksonville. Come on, Mike. Why didn't you know about them first?
Stream or download the song here.

9 - Little Brother - ExtraHard
I'm not going to act like I wasn't disappointed in "GetBack", the most recent effort from LB. I think going separate ways with 9th Wonder will hurt them more than help them, but Phonte and Big Pooh can ride a beat as well as anyone. Plus, this song has the distinction of having one of my favorite lyrics of the year. It hopped right up and knocked me on my ass. "'It'd be so nice if you wasn't an elitist.' Bullshit, homie, I'm a grown ass man. Just call it as I see it." Everybody say praise the Lord.

8 - The Shins - Australia
What, you thought I would forget about these guys? It might not be very popular to still like this album. After all, when other people know about indie music, it sort of ceases to be indie. But I'm not going to forget having this in my ear during all of SETC. It would probably still be my most played song on the ol' iPod if it wasn't for a reset I had to do before the summer. "We come in doing cartwheels. We all go out by ourselves."
The video is here. Check it.

7 - Okkervil River - Unless It's Kicks
What a great recent discovery! I know, most people would go with "Our Life Is Not a Movie or Maybe", but this treatise about art and the healing that can come from an appreciative audience is too great to ignore. This is one where I have to tell you to just go look at the lyrics. "What gives this mess some grace unless it's kicks, man?" So good.
A live video, with pretty good quality.

6 - Justice - D.A.N.C.E
I was sort of late to the party on Justice. I love Daft Punk, as my Top Albums list will attest, but I just couldn't see any reason to snatch this. I like a lot of the album, but D.A.N.C.E is really enough of a reason to buy this. They took a lot of the best parts of Daft Punk and...well, that's really it, but isn't a great ripoff still pretty fuckin' great?
If you look at one video on this list, make it this one.

5 - Kanye West - Good Life (Feat. T-Pain)
The first song to grab me from Graduation and one of the two songs I listen to every time I return to Atlanta, if for no other reason than that he name drops it. I had some trepidations coming into Graduation after hearing that "blonde dyke" line, and I still attest that Kanye isn't the greatest lyricist in the world. I am saying, though, that he MIGHT be one of the best producers of all time, not to mention he smartly drafts T-Pain's cybernetic assistance.
Ok, maybe you need to watch two. I love this director.

4 - Burial - Archangel
Trying to describe Burial is pretty hard, so I'll just save that for the Albums list (OMGZ - spoilarz! They're on it.) I heard someone refer to this song as the sound of walking on a rainy city street alone at night. That's as good a way to describe it as any.
Stream it here.

3 - R. Kelly - I'm a Flirt [Remix] (Feat. T.I. and T-Pain)
THIS IS MY JAM! There is no greater tribute to stupid pop music than this song. I'm here dumbstruck to defend why I love this song so damn much. There are many reasons to, but I think the main reason is Kelly's unmitigated conceit. To flirt is all it takes. It will have the desired outcome, as far as he's concerned. It doesn't matter who it is, either. Kels is pure guilty pleasure and I just don't care.
I love T-Pain.

2 - Jens Lekman - Your Arms Around Me
I dare say I'll listen to this song more in the successive years than the top song on the list. One of my greatest discoveries of the year is, without a doubt, Jens Lekman. I can thank OiNK for Jens, actually. One of the funniest, one of the most touching, one of the best songs from one of the best albums by one of the best artists of the year. Simple enough.
This is a very, VERY different version of the song. I STRONGLY suggest you seek out the album. STRONGLY.

1 - UGK - Int'l Players Anthem (I Choose You) (Feat. Outkast)
I haven't really paid much attention to Outkast since "Hey Ya" which, while undeniably catchy, was one of the most overplayed songs of the last decade. For that matter, my only real connection with UGK came on a Dizzee Rascal song. So...why this? From the sample (I Choose You by Willie Hutch), to Andre's energetic, but chill flow ("Hate to see y'all frown, but I'd rather see her smilin'") to the story told (various arcs of relationships) to the lyrics ("We pilin' up the paper on the dining room table / 'cause you able to realize I'm the truth and not a fable."), it is just the best produced, catchiest, not to mention most soulful song of the year.
UGK holds their own on the track, which is a testament to their talent. It's sad that Pimp C isn't here to enjoy the success more, but is there really any better way to go out than with a total masterpiece?
We got yo' back like chiropractic.

That work? Close enough?

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