Sunday, December 20, 2009


This guy I know from the internet posted a challenge to the music-lovin' spoonful of us to rank the 50-100 songs of the decade that we loved best. I'm sure it was a mistake to join the challenge, but this whiskey sour in my hand says otherwise. The relevant info is in the graphic above, but it's well worth your time to read the initial post the initial follow-ups (3 so far). Andy is also keeping track of the other people joining in the challenge. And his posts will probably be better than mine because he's linking to amazon mp3s of cool songs and I'm not linking mp3s to arguably less-cool songs.

Butt hay!

With that bit of preamble behind us, let's dive head-first into the introduction.

I know a lot of people who think this has been a dreadful decade for music or simply gave up on trying to keep up or settled on all the music they'll ever want to hear again and again over and over. Me, I'm terrified of old age and figure the longer I can hold on to popular culture, the younger I stay (I also use a magic painting). So I keep ups. A little. In my way.

I wrote about a number of these songs already, and i'm going to try and not repeat myself even though you may not have read those thoughts yet. I will repost those writings here so you can read them and then they won't be repeated.

100. The xx — Heart Skipped a Beat
I walked inside The Randolph and the blond with the backless shirt yelled, "You missed her! She just left!" I mumbled an apology for my bad timing and found Justin. He was standing behind the bar, "One of you left a bag behind." "That was me." He got me the bag full of comics and plans for comics, we did mutual thanks, and as I made my way for the door, the blond yelled, "Make sure you call her!" I stepped out into super-cold, turned my ipod on to The xx's xx and started jogging (slip-ons and top coat jogging suit). I ran into 30-40 girls in matching black miniskirts and 4-inch stilettos descending a staircase. Futurism! This song started playing and it suddenly made sense to run foll-bore down Grand St. It's clipppy cloppy mumbly dreaminess soundtracked my Sophia Coppola moment and I sideways jump-dodged crowds, laughing with anyone who would laugh back and leaping over curbs and then at, like, three minutes there's a mild crescendo and more regular beat and I'm running faster than fast and everything lights is streaking. I stumble into Two Boots and nearly collapse on the V table, adrenaline and endorphins spilling out of my eyes and Brendan's girlfriend starts feeding me pizza and I turn to Kim and say, "I think I've just added a new song to my list."

99. Yerba Buena — Guajira (I Love U 2 Much)
This is the song of The Hard Grove Saturday morning brunch right around the time the new owners took over. Melissa (the greatest waitress ever), banana pancakes, fresh fruit, coffee that will make you cry anytime you drink what other places call coffee. And this song to wake you up. Do I love it 2 much? Probably not enough.

98. Lightning Bolt — 13 Monsters
1 2 3 4 we must lock the door
5 6 7 8 we must evacuate
9 10 11 12 we must prepare for
13 monsters
13 monsters

If the bass is the monsters, we don't stand a chance. If the base is our last defense, some of us might get out of here alive.

97. Dengue Fever — Tiger Phone Card
At first this song throws you for an Alyson Hannigan: you are a pasty nerd who trots globes and has a hot girlfriend and if only you could be together she would never let go. And then she complains that you only call her and open up when you're drunk. You are such a douchebag, pasty nerd!

96. Christina Milian — Dip It Low
There's 'a bunch of songs on this list and the whole reason is going to be: Out on the town + Girl who dances + (this song) = things popped. Also, she says, "backdoor." Christina Milly On's backdoor.

95. Summer Hymns — Mr. Brewer
We went to see Elf Power back... sometime. 'Old' Knitting Factory. Before they kinda went shit. It's the only time I ever bought anything at a show: an EP of covers and the opening act's CD. No wizards, no abstract sound collages, there might be an accordian, there's definitely some Doorsboarding in the bridge. I love all those Athens bands, but this is the song about shit thinking at work I like best. There might be one abstrat sound collage.

94. t.A.T.U — Nas Ne Dagoniat
I feel like we were all still on the Warren Ellis Forum when someone linked to the video of the hot Russian girls who were running through Moscow to protect their forbidden love. We were so young. I love the airplane whoosh, the chorus on the event horizon of annoying, the electro metal, whatever. It sounds desperateI'll run these rain-soaked streets with you.

93. Kelis — Milkshake
I want her to teach thee. I actually can't figure out how to dance to this unless I'm watching you after she has taught you. Thee.

92. Jabba & Nina Sky — Move Ya Body
I didn't really like this song for a while. I think I was against songs claiming to teach girls how to get dudes in clubs like they needed a song to tell them how to do that. i guess they need it to get the dudes they actually want though. Also, then you have a girl who lipsinks it to you and behind her face is two more Puerto Rican girls. Anyway, Dip It Low rules in effect.

91. Eight Hundred Women — Lady Marmalade

I know somewhere there is a Jada Fire/Lil Kim video. if there isn't... i don't even particualrly love the original, but this one has one has Lil Kim over a real beat, plus Maya and Xtina and Missy and Pink and it's a freaking We Are the World in a ruffled skirt and Bruce comes in and he isn't follwed by Kenny Loggins.

90. Justin Timberlake & Timbaland — SexyBack
No one even knew it went somewhere and then it was back and we were all like where did it go? This is it? This isn't sexy. Did you get a haircut or something? And then we went out and it was all like, "oh, this hair is fantastic."

89. Britney Spears — Toxic
Knock her all you want, but this is a song. it's not genius, but its... it's a song. It's a little weird. That whisling thing. Weirder people didn't make this something weird and she' the least weird person who ever lived./ Man, maybe it was Cathy Dennis. the internet tells me Touch Me (All Night lOng) was a hit in 1984. Holy fuck, how the fuck old are we? Cathy Dennis I was too young to be listening to that song. it's a good thing i don't have kids.

88. Kelly Clarkson — Since You Been Gone
This song isn't weird at all. This song is like those stories where Germans used computers to write the perfect joke. I flat out HATED this song even though Marcos told me I could use it as an excuse to look at her ass. And then we imagined what it would be like to be in her bancd. Playin drum and watchin her ass. That seemed like the worst reason to like a song. And then one night a lot of people were really drunk and that chorus blasted out and we were all jumping and shouting it and it was that rave scene in the 2nd matrix only awesome.

87. The Roots — The Seed (2.0)
Man, even people who loved the Roots didn't like the Roots in the 2000s. We were always excited about them, and then they did shit like Game Theory. It was like being that cartoon dog in a desert hat whith the cloth that hangs from the hat and you're running across the sands to the oasis and the dancing girl and it turns out it's a mirage and you're eating sand and that girl is Bugs Bunny and he doesn't even stick around. Any way at one point they hooked up with Cody Chestnut and mad e song about sticking sperm inside of you and they were on one of those late Night shows back when it still wasn't common place to take about semen in music aqnd then we were excitied about the Roots because holy hell, that's the opposite of the 15-minute anti incest rape poems they usually leave you with. And then they left us.

86. Shakira — Whenever, Wherever
I know, you're sick of it. You know why you're sick of it, because we loved it so fuckin g much we kept playing it and playing it. Fuck you telling me to play some real music and you put on some Dan Foggleberg. That voice is amazing. I would go to war with this song playing. The begining of Finding Private Ryan I would play this as i hity that beacj.

85. Dead Prez — Hip Hop
Dead Prez was never this good except when they wwee this good. This is the last great anthem of hiphop. i actually watched Chappelle's show because I heard this playing and walked in the room and was all, "What;s this then?"

84. Mclusky — To Hell with Good Intentions
I said a couple months ago that this didn't hold a canle to lightsaber Cocksucking Blues but then i was listening and I realized I was wrong all that time. marcos and kenny had about thirty of these guys albums before i ever heard of them. Fingering pulses they were. You can sing it with conviction and not believe a word. My love is bigger than your love.

83. Tweet & Missy Elliot — Oops
When Cindy Lauper did it, people still debate it. It was funny seeing an old lady suddenly realize what was going on. For this song alone, the answer to the Wu is always Missy.

82.'s —Woo Hoo
i didn't know it was a cover until now. I thought it was just a song that sounded like a cover. Like A Tarantino movie. I'm dancin' with myself right now. The lack of fully complete two-minute songs is a sin in this day and.

81. Ghostface — Nutmeg
The last time i wrote about this song i just copy and pasted the first verse. This time: Holy fuck! Ghostface raps the way i wish i could right. Is this shit scampi? It's not scampi! Imagine if it was scampi! Universal death threats. I don't even need a lot. i just want to write one thing that gets me one Universal Death Threat. it that so much to ask? Bleedin in the cell.

80. The Decemberist — The Infanta
I had some The Decemberists playiong. i must've gotten it from kenny. it was playing that way stuff plays and you couldn't tell anyone about it while it was even happening and then this kicks in and my ears perk up and then there's something about Collin Quin on your back and those drums are just on a mission and i couln't get to the computer but is it possible that he's saying that "We'll all cum crazy in Fanta?" Remember that commercial with the girl who looked like a less busty versian of Sofia Vergara. Mmmmm... Sofia Vergara.

Now I wanta fanta.

Whiskey Sour Number 5 instead.

79. Lindstrom — Grand Ideas
I haven't posted it hear yet, but on a message board I like i posted my responce to the 200 songs on Pitchfork's Top 500 Songs of the Decade. It's where i first listened to any Lindstrom and then Chris Breach tried to convince me to listen to more in his Australian accent and i gave in. I'll post that whole busineess soon, but for now. So I listened to more and I thought one song was another and I put in in the list and I was listening and i like it great but I was thinking no that's not the song I wanted in here. i hav e a very specific Lindstrom song in mind and had better be real and not just a song i imagainde, so i just went back and listened to my lindtrom and I was getting pissed because this is the last song of the post i should be doing the pull out but intead I'm staying in. Then i found it and it was an imagined amalgamation of songs at all it was one real song all by itself. it's a techno bit of that robot motorcycle theme song that tangarine Dream did for that show and but it's got these epic sweeps that take your helmet off and you can feel the wind and there's a girl singing and you know you're gonna crash into the rocks unless there's a ramp or a fjord but there's always a fjord and the crooks can't get way.

I think i'll just keep typing instead of breaking off into bitier sized bits. We'll stop when it's time.

78. RJD2 — The Horror
Supposedly kompact is starting a samples-based horror sub-label in 2010. It sounds awesome and exactly like the sort of thing that will suck in a month. Good on them. I love horror not like one of thaose guys that will buy any movie with blood on it, but I like horroe the way I like anything with stuff in it. I love it when it's good. This song is the horror of time. Time just keeps getting more and more fucked up who did this to time? Was it the guy in Metropolis? There's a breakdown and you think maybe i can hide from time under this back deck while the cops trawl through town looking for the two guys dressed like ninjas that were settting fire to the roofs of cars, but then time kicks back in and you realize that timetimetimetimeTIMEtime is man's horror. i thought it was the cops, but it was time all along!

77. AR Rahman & M.I.A. — O... Saya
When this movie came out, i knew exactly when this song played. I'm still pretty sure it was in the awesome half when they were all kids and not the less-awesome part when they were adults and one of the hottest women in the world was one of them but suddenly this wasn't a horror movie about being a minority in india, it was some kinda heist movie. Whatever. M.I.A. shines like Ludacris here droppin a verse you wish shoe'd put on more songs and those drums are all toms or maybe down-tuned snares or something and then it does that thing where what you were listening to stops and and then it comes back in. That seems like a low criteria, but when it happens here, it happens.

76. Bloc Party — Flux
I got into this song and a friend of mine told me she hated Bloc Party with the heat of a thousand. I didn't want to tell her that a video for a dance song with kaiju fighting made me love not-Blur. I love them more than Blur. there! Iasid it. I'm typing while blinking really fact just to fget the right affest that you shoulf get whil e listening to this song.

75. Victoire — A Door Into the Dark
So one thing that happened when I was doing this list once i knocked it down from 578 songs to 100 was that when I was ordering things i wasn't sure if i was ordering them out of actual love or out of a notion that they might play really well together in a mix if I organized them in theis order. I'm still not sure who made this list: daddy who likes one better than the other or mommy who just wants us to stand in a nice compostion for the Christmas picture. i mean, do i really like this violin piece better than Flux? But I think also i thought, if i was in a bar, i would be happy to hear this song, but i'd go nuts if they played this song instead abut maybe that's because no bar is going to play some violin music i ganked from the web one night... i don't even know where from except that it was promotional maybe If i ever go into a bar and someone plays this i will go bugnuts though and i'll probably like it even more because i'll finally hear it in a place I'd never expect to hear it and maybe I'm having a great night to and that will certainly add to it, I'm sure.

74. Nosaj Thing — Fog
Now this, this I might hear in a bar one night. I might because I heard something else in a bar once and I couldn't believe it but I will get to that later because that song is in this very list. Possibly in the ceiling! There's actually a bit of horror in this too. It's supposed to be LA dubstep, but I don't think anyone knows what that means. I like Nosaj Thing a lot, and he's very consisten on one level but when this kicks in and it kicks in on my 2009 part 4 playlist a lot but when this kicks in I want to do something nasty bbut then i realize no one else can hear the song and they won't appreciate it.

73. Yeah Yeah Yeahs — Maps
When Andy first announced this challenge i think kim jumped in and threatened to kill anyone who didn't have a song on their list and i didn't even know what the hell that song was so i looked for it so Kim wouldn't kill me because I don't want him to kill me and screw something up and then get caught and have to go to prison and then Tasha will have to raise the baby by herself but then i found the song and realized it ws a song from this album and i don't love that song nearly as much as I like this song which is exactly how the Pretenders would sound if they came back and surprised everyone with awesomeness. Brink it on, Kim!

72. Tool — The Grudge
Unable to control stop lud whena whin. We went to see The National this year and because of the weather we got free tickets to go see the next night's show which was going to be headlined by Tool and My Bloody Valentine and i almost didn't go down the shore the next day because Oh My God I've always always wanted to see Tool and My Bloody Valentine and someone was trelling me I could see them and I scould see them by walking over to the concert from my apartment and it would be a beautiful night. But i went down the shore for love, and then i had a really great time with everybody and some of it was pretty damn transcendent in the ocean just past the breakers on a weekend when the waves and the... Undertow was strong as hell. Anyway, when you're out in the ocean and everything is right with the world and you look like a fucking adonis in one picture welll you think a bit about Tool. Their best songs weren't from this decade, but the best song of the decade that they wrote has waters crushing you into gold. I didn't get to see them live, but those fucking waters crushed me into gold and i've been fucknig gold ever since.

What the hell is next I don't remember!

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