Monday, July 14, 2008

Top 5 Songs For a Monday Morning

(Note for Ryan and Tim - After trying to scan old posts, I've noticed now that it's better if the individual entries are bolded - along with "[name]'s Top 5:" and "Honorable Mentions" - to better set the important text apart from the commentary. I propose we use this format from now on, especially since it's easier to put the html in.)

Another list idea borrowed from High Fidelity. I'm unsure what criteria I want to use to judge whether a song is good for a Monday morning. I think personally, it's going to be (a) a personal extra-favorite, and (b) something that's uplifting or powerful in some fashion. Really, these are the songs I use to feel good and be thankful that I know how to find music I like. Ryan and Tim can use alternate criteria for your own lists.

Dan's Top 5:

1. "All Around The World" - Oasis - This is pure sunshine somehow harvested and stored in musical form. I'm just waiting for that point at 5:34 when they break into that "Laaaa la la, la La la, la La la la La-La Laaaaa." At that precise moment, it's like balloons and confetti are raining down on me, and I should probably be having some psychedelic drug experience that made hippies claim the word "love" as their own. If it's in my car, then I have the volume cranked and I'm singing/shouting along. God help anyone who happens to be in the passenger seat.

2. "Stockholm Syndrome" - Muse - The best Muse song ever if Black Holes and Revelations didn't exist. To see this song played live is a real treat, and it's usually their last song. Accomplishes both being uplifting (the piano arpeggiation behind the lyrics, "This is the last time I'll abandon you") and extreme, powerful, ass-kicking (literally every other moment of the song.) If only I had discovered Muse between the release of Absolution and Black Holes and Revelations, then I probably would have listened to this song every single day, while constantly being blown away. Wait, no... that's what I did anyway.

3. "My Iron Lung" - Radiohead - This used to be my favorite Radiohead song ever, but now the spot is disputed. Anyway, I feel this is a superb example of balancing a simple, quiet, melodic two-chord verse with a raw study of ass-kickery in the chorus. It also scores bonus points because it was the band's follow-up to "Creep" from the prior debut album, and the lyrics reflect how the success of that single had constrained their creativity ("this is our new song / just like the last one / a total waste of time / my iron lung"). Creep is alright, but I hate it for being the atypical signature song that people identify with this band.

4. "Everyone's a V.I.P. to Someone" - The Go! Team - I remember putting "uplifting" as a possible criterion for populating this list, so I realized that I just had to include a Go! Team song. At first, I was averse to this song because it was introduced with the banjo, but then I realized that I don't hate the banjo, just a majority of music that features it. I now regard this as one of the best feelgood instrumental tracks I know of, possibly even better than "Feelgood By Numbers," ironically, which is on the same album.

5. "Novacane" - Beck - "Monkey, baby!" This is one of my favorite badass songs, and probably should have been included back when we did Top 5 Songs to Blast While Driving. When the song peaks at "NOVACANE!" you feel like you could probably punch or shoot something. You know, one of those faux-badass moments. However, the energy isn't sustained, and the song quickly settles back down for the bizarre effects-laden outro, which really takes away from the force of the song.

Honorable Mentions: "Sabotage" - The Beastie Boys, "Feelgood by Numbers" - The Go Team, "The Number of the Beast" - Iron Maiden, "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" - R.E.M., "A Town Called Malice" - The Jam, "Invincible" - Muse, "The Infanta" - The Decemberists

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