Friday, August 3, 2007

Top 5 Songs I Bet You've Never Heard Before

So, this is apparently pretty tricky, but it's a testament to people like me who love it when they're "insiders" - people you turn to when you want to hear something new and good. Feel free to comment if you've actually heard anything that anyone else posts.

Dan's Top 5:

The Green and Yellow TV - The Wolves Are Out Tonight - I'm actually pretty sure that less than a thousand people know of this band. I stumbled onto a CD of theirs, ordered it, and this was the first track, and it sounds a tad like if the Beach Boys wanted to do Alternative music.

New Order - Regret - My biggest risk here is Tim, as New Order is one of the Killers' main influences, and this was a single. Nonetheless, the song is too good to be left out of this list. Arguably the last great song of the 80's, as it was released in 1989 and sounds really, really good. It could even be released today, and people might mistake it for a Killers song.

Stellastarr* - Arlington Queen - Actually a single that hasn't appeared on an album. It was good enough to stand on its own. The chorus really rocks, and is the lone reason I picked this song.

Starsailor - Silence is Easy - Phil Spector produced this song, but split after creative differences with the band for the rest of the album. This is one of the best songs on the album (of the same name), apart from "Four To The Floor."

Liquido - Narcotic - I heard this one over in Ireland. It may also be a risk, but I think it's one of those songs that's fairly big in Europe that no one has heard of here. I still remember being shunned for not knowing who Robbie Williams was.

Honorable Mention: Honest Bob and the Factory-to-Dealer Incentives - Hey

Ryan's Top Five

Stop me if you've heard these... I'm grasping for a couple of these. Everything I like, I share with people. Often to a fault.

1. Badly Drawn Boy - "Fewer Words" - His tribute to Elliot Smith, this song is short, simple, acoustic, and beautiful. Also, in concert he said, "That's my favorite song...ever."

2. Fiona Apple - "Extraordinary Machine" - This album is mesmerizing, and in this song she sounds most like a 40s era French singer...kind of. Also a really good lyricist. This song is Nilssonesque, which, in my world, is quite a compliment.

3. The New Pornographers - "Twin Cinema" - A rockin' little number. Sounds kind of like The Old 97s.

4. Adem - "Ringing In My Ear" - A British band, they opened for Badly Drawn Boy when we saw him a few years ago. Softer music, but lovely nonetheless. They're really good with bells, too.

5. Corn Mo - "Robert Holiday" - He opened for Ben Folds. You really have to see him to believe him, but it was a pretty cool show, and this song was his best. From wiki: "Corn Mo is a the stage name of Jon Cunningham, a Brooklyn-based musician. Corn Mo sings, plays the accordion, keyboards, and sometimes performs as a one man band. His music style is a mixture of circus music, glam rock, and humorous novelty songs."

Tim's Top 5:
I'm going to make the naive assumption that someone here has listened to Big Star #1 Record/Radio City as some point, hence bringing the diversity of not having five Big Star songs on the list. Here, I'm just including one song per band, since otherwise it'd easily be five Guided by Voices songs. I'm also being consciously mainstream here, since it's one thing to summon a track from the depths of humanity, it's another to open people's eyes to stuff they just barely overlooked.

1. Guided by Voices - I Am a Tree - While in most of my social circles, I could not make this claim, I dare say that no one on this blog has probably ever heard anything from Guided by Voices except for Teenage FBI (College Football 06) and probably Glad Girls (a putrid song co-opted by radio because it was so simple). I Am a Tree is ironically my favorite Guided by Voices song since it's the only song that didn't have any input from Robert Pollard, scion of GbV. Doug Gillard had recorded the song with Cobra Verde or Gem (I don't remember which), and when Pollard decided to grab Cobra Verde, make them his band and call them Guided by Voices, this track apparently caught his attention and got thrown onto the album. But it's as great a rock song as I've ever come across.

2. Sense Field - What Difference Does It Make? (The Smiths cover) - This is a fair assumption that only I've heard it, because as best as I worked to circulate it, it was from an EP titled (appropriately) Under the Radar recorded in advance of an album that was then never released by Warner Bros. I don't care much for the Smiths, but this I later learned was one of their best songs. That said, the cover sounds virtually nothing like The Smiths, hence my appreciation for it. The bad news...since Itunes seems to reject my MP3 transplants, I'll soon never hear it again.

3. Matthew Sweet - Do Ya (ELO cover) - See #2. I don't like ELO, though this song I do enjoy, the cover was from a warm up from Conan O'Brien, and although it's been released on an album (Live from 6A), there's little to no reason to own said album besides this song.

4. Groucho Marx - Omaha, Nebraska - It's a novelty song by Groucho Marx...what are the odds anyone in this state has heard this song besides me? Not good. But it's pure Groucho, a song I'd routinely make a standard if I ever reached dream job #1. If I ever try and go on the fool's errand of identifying favorite first lines, it's a shoo-in.

5. Pearl Jam - Bu$hleaguer (live in Council Bluffs, IA) - It's been released on a CD, and really I'm not cheating, since I'd accept any live recording, but Pearl Jam mostly eschewed from playing this anti-Bush diatribe on tour. It's a shame, because as dull and lifeless as it is on Riot Act, it's an absolute masterpiece that captures just why the song should have been a rallying cry were anyone still listening to Pearl Jam at this time.

Bare Jr. - The Most, any number of songs from Pavement, Ok Go - This Will Be Our Year (excluded since there's a dangerous chance Ryan's listened to Future Soundtrack for America, not because it's not great), Serge Gainsbourg - Je t'Aime Moi Non Plus - excluded since it's basically just recorded sex...which isn't to say it's not good music, Ramones - I Believe in Miracles - no one listened to the Ramones' new tracks in the 1980s...and they probably shouldn't have, except this one, New Radicals - Mother We Just Can't Get Enough

Tory's Top Five

I also share songs like Ryan said, and some of these are going to be on the assumption of the three other people on here and their taste in music ie knowable bands, but songs not heard by them.

1. Mum - "The Ghosts You Draw on my Back" - It's just an incredible song. Experimental and whatnot, with insanely creepy singing. If you can't get past the voice, then you probably won't like this band at all, but if you enjoy it, then it's incredible.

2. The Black Keys - "Don't Let the Sun Go Down" - Heavy blues inspired band that I did not hear until Black Snake Moan came out. This is the second list they appear on.

3. Explosions in the Sky - "Have you passed through this night" - An instrumental band, though this song is accompanied with a spoken word bit. Out of the few recent instrumental bands I've listened to, EITS ranks above them all, especially with this song.

4. Paolo Nutini - "These Streets" - He had a hit with New Shoes, but this song really shows what he can do as a songwriter. The basis that he is rather new is how he's made this list, but he performed at the world concert thing, so maybe this is a miss.

5. Bright Eyes - "Oh, you are the roots that sleep beneath my feet and hold the earth in place" - I am pretty sure none others on this board listen to Bright Eyes, so I used this song that is not on one of his own albums, but a compilation he did with Son, Ambulance. It is one of his best songs, and one of the first that I ever really heard.


Vulpes Ryanis said...

You might not believe this, but "I Am A Tree" is the ONE Guided By Voices song I have heard...Cortney sent it to me in high school.

Roughly Speaking... said...

you must only have had Madden in 06 then, because Guided by Voices was on the soundtrack for NCAA Football 06 (with Desmond Howard on the cover for no apparent reason).

Vulpes Ryanis said...

That was the dark year, where I had neither, as it was my senior year and I made a deal with myself that I would play all the madden I wanted the following year after I had graduated. Of course, the following year, Madden blew.