Wednesday, 18 August 2010

I'm going to mix things up a little bit. Instead of sharing a new album, I'm going to compile a list of my top ten favorite songs ever. I'm hoping that by doing this I can recalibrate my music taste, which is like a vague, unorganized cloud of vapor right now. I've limited myself to one song per artist, so don't worry about 80% of this being Elliott Smith songs (seriously, I would totally do that.)

10. Modest Mouse -Custom Concern (This is a Long Drive For Someone With Nothing to Think About, 1996) Runner-up: Trailer Trash
This song perfectly wraps up my feelings on my existence ("Gotta go to work, gotta go to work, gotta have a job"). Why #10, then? My existence is profoundly dull.

9. Pixies - Gigantic (Surfer Rosa, 1988)
Apparently this is the reason Kim Deal didn't get to contribute that much (lyrically) to the Pixies. I can't see how her sexy, mysterious voice could be considered a bad thing. Okay, so it's pretty much a song about banging a black dude, but... Fuck man, that bass!

8. Jimmy Eat World - Clarity (Clarity, 1999) Runner-up: Drugs or Me
A bunch of people imply that Clarity was the only good Jimmy Eat World album. Apparently it had more depth than songs like 'The Middle'. Bullshit. Jimmy Eat World has always been about simple angst, which is why I love them so much. Clarity just seems more fresh.

7. Cap'n Jazz - Tokyo (Analphabetpolothogy, 1998)
Far be it from me to give Cap'n Jazz anymore credit than they already deserve. I like them, I just think they're grossly overrated. Tokyo is the one of the reasons I love them so much. I found myself thinking "Damn, that kid sounds like he has a stuffy nose. Someone should give him some chicken-noodle soup" when I first heard it, but the raw voice is probably one of it's best aspects. Oh, and the reference to Christopher Cross's 'Arthur's Theme'? /swoon

6. David Bowie - Space Oddity (Space Oddity, 1969)
Sci-fi, quasi-folk, free-form jazz, death, and David Bowie. Sounds like a total winner to me. Space Oddity is one of the grimmest, most melodramatic pop songs I've heard. It's an about an astronaut (Major Tom, but I don't see how an astronaut could be a "major." Maybe he slept with his employer) getting lost in space, the worst death imaginable. David Bowie would go on to dress in drag and sing about "ch-ch-ch-changes" roughly three years after Space Oddity's release. Huh.

5. Sunny Day Real Estate - The Shark's Own Private Fuck (How it Feels to Be Something On, 1997) Runner-up: Seven
You had me at the bass intro. Jeremy Enigk squeezes so much bottled-up anger in this track, yet it's not as heavy as, say, Seven.

4. Beck - Where It's At (Odelay, 1996) Runner-up: Teenage Wastebasket
When my friends ask me what music I listen to, I usually just play some Beck for them. "Oh, you know, folk and sadcore" just isn't as appealing to my peers as "That was a good drum-break". Usually (relatively) happy songs make me more depressed, but Where It's At is pure fun.

3. The Get Up Kids - Campfire Kansas (On a Wire, 2002) Runner-up: Washington Square Park
A song about camping with friends. Not suicide or hopelessness; a campfire. This is how I want my teenage life to be like (i.e., having friends that I would want to spend time with)

2. Elliott Smith - King's Crossing (From a Basement On the Hill, 2004) Runner-up: Last Call
"I am going to stab myself in the chest." That could've been the message of this song, because the whole thing sounds like a suicide note (and the lyric "Because I took my own insides out"). In the context of Elliott Smith's 2004 suicide where he actually stabbed himself in the chest, this manages to get even more depressing. I still get chills when the synth kicks in. This could only be topped by...

1. Wilco - Jesus, Etc. (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, 2002)
Listening to this song is the best explanation there is.


  1. >implying Hunky Dory isn't the best Bowie album

  2. >implying Bowie's best work wasn't with Tin Machine

  3. >implying Jeremy wrote the shark's own private fuck

  4. thumbs up if santeria is an fag xD!!11!!11

  5. hi, i saw kings cross vido this week. Never about Elliott Smith, but thank very much. this is what i was wanting to hear without knowing it existed. thank you.