Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

CONTEST – The Pitchfork 500

Lists abound at this time of year – hit up Largehearted Boy for the running tally – but Pitchfok has opted to cast a wider net than “best of the year” for their first foray into the world of physical media. They recently released The Pitchfork 500, a 208-page book dedicated to enumerating, as they put it, “the greatest songs from punk to the present”. Which, to them, is 1976 to 2006. Though to make it that much less contentious (how very un-‘Fork), the selections are not ranked or rated.

I’ve only taken a cursory skim through the volume and it looks like a daunting read. I will guarantee you that I’ve not heard the majority of selections here and would be surprised if I’d even heard of many of the acts. Probably the proper way to tackle an endeavour like this would be to sit down with it, one of those encyclopedic streaming/download sites (Pitchfork is using to assemble a playlist of their selections) and just read and listen. Someday I will sit down and do that. Of course, I also say that someday I will sit down and watch all the commentary tracks in my DVD collection.

But perhaps you’re more interested or industrious than I. Or you’ve got some music geek on your holiday shopping list that you’d prefer to spend $0 on, given the choice. Or you just like free stuff. Whichever, I have one – maybe two, if I decide I’ll never get to reading my copy myself – copies of The Pitchfork 500 to give away, courtesy of Simon & Schuster Canada. But since this is some good stuff and I’ve been giving y’all a free ride of late, I’m going to make you work a bit. To enter, I want you to leave a comment down below (spamproof your email as needed, I need to be able to contact the winner) listing your own 500 50 5 greatest songs from 1976 to 2006. Commentary is not mandatory but obviously encouraged and they don’t have to be the definitive five greatest… just five songs you can heartily endorse. Come on, it’ll be fun! Contest is open to anyone, anywhere, and will close at midnight on December 7.

By : Frank Yang at 10:49 am
Category: Contests


RSS Feed for this post48 Responses.
  1. ChrisD says:

    Since I don’t feel like having a weeks long, non-stop, internal argument with myself, I’m not even gonna try to say that the following songs are the greatest of that period. Or even my definite favorites. What I’ll say is that these are five tracks that are pretty great, mean a lot to me, and came quickly to mind. (no particular order)
    1. Obstacle 1 – Interpol
    2. That’s When I Reach For My Revolver – Mission of Burma
    3. No Love Lost – Joy Division
    4. Teenage Riot – Sonic Youth
    5. The State I Am In – Belle and Sebastian

  2. Cody says:

    I totally agree with the previous post. I’m listing off 5 songs that have dramatically affected my life. They might not be Pitchfork approved, but what is, anyway?
    In no particular order, and I’ll do this quick before I change my mind:
    1) The Otherside – Ohbijou
    2) It’s All Gonna Break – Broken Social Scene
    3) The Chain – Fleetwood Mac
    4) Coffee and TV – Blur
    5) Unmade Bed – Sonic Youth

  3. m.m. says:

    These too are in no particular order. I love how we all have at least one Sonic Youth song in our lists:

    1. The Jesus and Mary Chain – The Hardest Walk
    The whole Psychocandy album is gold, but I think the Hardest Walk best encapsulates their feedback-drenched guitar pop.
    2. Pavement – Frontwards
    Off of Pavement’s Watery Domestic EP, this has to be one of my favourite Pavement songs ever.
    3. Sonic Youth – Eric’s Trip
    4. Beat Happening – In Between
    I’m a sucker for Heather’s vocals on any Beat Happening song.
    5. The Fall – C.R.E.E.P.
    Mark E. Smith

  4. Patrick says:

    1) Better Living Through Chemistry – Queens of the Stone Age
    – Favourite song from my favourite band

    2) Science Killer – The Black Angels
    – Never fails to get my head bobbing, drugs or not

    3) Aneurysm – Nirvana
    – Just a great poppy song and I love the chrous

    4) Killing in the Name – Rage Against the Machine
    – First band that got me into rock (through rap) back in elementary school

    5) Whitewater – Kyuss
    – Just aboslutely love the riff and the ending song on one of my top albums

    ptruckle at hotmail dot com

  5. Eric says:

    13th Floor Elevators : You’re Gonna Miss Me

    for the monkeys trapped in a wheel

    The Kinks : Til The End Of The Day

    for the Yo La Tengo cover

    Sonic Youth : Mote

    for Lee Ranaldo

    Shellac : Prayer To God

    for all the girls we loved before

    The Chamber Borthers : Change Has Come Today

    for today

  6. Graham Perry says:

    Jam – Down in the Tube Station at Midnight: absolute poetry – social commentary – amazing bass line – propulsive drums – ethereal guitar fill – punk’s anger distilled and reasoned by lads just ending their teens

    U2 – One: spirituality – spontaneous – a band at the top looking beyond – a perfect studio jam

    Ted Leo + Pharmacists – Timorous Me – street busker start – a falsetto that doesn’t make me cringe – celtic storytelling – brings me full circle back to the tube station – Ted live personifies rock and roll – total commitment – no roadies – refusal to sell out

    Cloud Cult – Take Your Medicine – how to deal with something that’s worse than one’s own death – commitment to the future – environment – sharing a stage with a cellist and violinist – painters in the background – their music and performance is an Arts buffet

    Green Day – Basket case – captures the dissatisfaction of Western society while feeding it new energy – once again the distillation of rock – guitar, bass and drums

    This is a quick list and I won’t bore you with the close calls; let’s just say that I was 15 in ’76 and each of the above jumps out on almost every compilation disc or list I put down.


  7. boyhowdy says:

    I’m a cover blogger, so allow me this one oddity, which would make an excellent sidebar in such a huge tome: covers of songs which, both as covers and originals, absolutely belong somewhere in the 500. With little effort, we could surely find enough definitive cover/original pairs for our own damn book, but here’s five that spring to mind immediately as vital to the text, and the study it represents:

    Dinosaur Jr. Just Like Heaven (orig. The Cure)

    Grant Lee Philips: So. Central Rain (orig. REM)

    Final Fantasy: Peach Plum Pear (orig. Johanna Newsom)

    Steve Earle: Breed (orig. Nirvana)

    Nirvana: Jesus Don’t Want Me For a Sunbeam (orig. The Vaselines)

    There. Alt-country covers grunge, grunge covers scottish tweepop, neoindie covers freakfolk, proto-punk covers eighties synthrock, and post-jam singer-songwriter covers eighties altrock. Light on the seventies, but it seems to cover a wide swath of the definitive genre-bases, at least.

  8. k. says:

    Gotta go with the classics off the top of my head…

    1. One – U2

    2. Teenage Riot – Sonic Youth

    3. 1979 – Smashing Pumpkins

    4. Dancing in the Dark – Springsteen

    5. Street Spirit – Radiohead

  9. Bill Koch says:

    The Saints: (I’m) Standed – An icon of a debut single. More primal than the Pistols or the Damned. Right place, wrong country.

    The Wild Swans: The Revolutionary Spirit – Seen by many as the greatest double A-side; it worked because its influences weren’t completely rooted in the 60s.

    R.E.M.: Radio Free Europe – For sheer influence alone; the number of American kids who picked up guitars based on this new take of a Byrds-ian jangle riff was astronomical.

    The La’s: There She Goes – Short, sweet and to the point; not to mention those memorable chords.

    The Jam: Going Underground – Their first number one in the UK; it was also the beginning of the end.

  10. Jordan says:

    * Pulp, “Common People”
    [Easy pick, a great tune that defined a whole era and exemplified Cocker’s uncommon ability to be both specific and sweeping in his lyrics.]

    * Bruce Springsteen, “Brilliant Disguise”
    [One of the finest pop songs ever written about relationships. As great as Bruce’s studio take is, the dated production gives some people problems–so track down the nervous solo version found on the Acoustic Tales bootleg, or close your eyes and play a game. “What if Elvis Presley had lived to record ‘Brilliant Disguise,'” Elvis Costello wondered in 2005. Put “Brilliant Disguise” in Memphis in 1969 and let “Suspicious Minds”-era Presley’s mournful gospel voice shadow Springsteen’s. Haunting and completely absorbing.]

    * Prince, “If I Was Your Girlfriend”
    [A typically innovative production and a great vocal, but at its heart one of the more deceptively insightful and mature reflections on a relationship to be found in a contemporary pop song.]

    * Geto Boys, “Mind Playing Tricks on Me”
    [It smacks of tokenism to have one hip hop song on the list, but there’s no room for the many more worth considering. If I have to take one, this edges “Fight the Power” on the basis of FtP’s misguided and later-retracted tagline (“Elvis was a hero to most…”)]

    * The Only Ones, “Another Girl, Another Planet”
    [Because it’s my favourite song ever.]

  11. Christian Kindschy says:

    Iron and Wine – The Trapeze Swinger

    Paul Westerberg – Mr. Rabbit

    Paul Simon – The Obvious Child

    The Clash – Bankrobber

    Pavement – Spit on a Stranger

  12. Ken says:

    Not ranked…..and subject to change tomorrow….

    Claude Pate: “My Turn” (from The Iowa Compilation). One of those right place/right time harmonic convergences….I listened to this constantly just as I left college and entered “the real world.” I still heed the warning about “gin and tonic weekends/with the office friends”

    Eleventh Dream Day: “Coercion” (from their first LP….Prairie School Freakout) Lots of Chicago bands from the time of this release went on to bigger things, but EDD still keeps putting things out and challenging their listeners.

    The Feelies: “Dancing Barefoot” (flexidisc from The Bob). Captures the ability to turn a cover into something (for me) more memorable, more visceral, and more personal than the original

    The Replacements: “Answering Machine” (from Let it Be). Big noise, bigger heart. Came into my life at exactly the right time, and it hasn’t left yet

    Husker Du: “Celebrated Summer” (from New Day Rising). Because “getting out of school meant getting out of hand.” Well, perhaps not so much for me as I might have wished, but the song always took me there in spirit….

    * * *

    I appreciate the two Jam songs above….I could have picked either one, but I defer to those who got here first…

    Looking at that list…..I *do* continue to buy music….but it looks like it stopped moving me around 1993 or so. :-\

  13. dB says:

    I’m going to break it up into two categories so I don’t have to keep battling myself

    Most Important songs from 1976-2006

    5. Pulp – “Common People” – encapsulates every aspect of Brit-pop and the 90’s (good or bad)

    4. Nirvana – “smells like teen spirit” – personally I can’t stand to listen to the song, but to coin a cliched sports phrase, it is what it is. I still can’t comprehend how Nirvana was this otherworldly creation when they were no more than a Pixies/Vaselines/Wipers cover band to me..I guess it’s a right time/right place situation.

    3. Ramones – “blitzkrieg bop” – still defines “the scene” today

    2. Sex Pistols – “God save the Queen” – not even a great song but no doubting it’s importance in the landscape of music in the past 30 years.

    1. a) Jesus & Mary Chain – “Just Like Honey”
    1. b) Cocteau Twins – “Sugar Hiccup”
    Along with the Cocteau Twins’s atmospherics, the JaMC brought the feedback and tremelo that went on to define my favorite musical genre of my 31 year lifetime..”shoegaze”. Sure they were simply the 80’s version of the Velvet Underground, but still the JaMC and Cocteaus were the two bands who influenced pretty much all of the shoegazers. There would be no Slowdive, Lush or Pale Saints without the Cocteau Twins and there would be no MBV or Ride without the JaMC. Not only that, but the Cocteaus defined what then became the “4AD sound” and the Jesus & Mary Chain were the favorite band of Alan McGee who would form the other great indie label in Creation. It’s like chocolate & peanut butter…can’t have one without the other…

    and my personal faves from 1976-2006

    5. Go Betweens – “cattle & cane” – simply the best pop song ever…even better than anything the Beatles ever did. Had they come out of England instead of Australia they would have been every bit as famous/popular as The Smiths.

    4. Wire – “12XU” – best pure punk song ever…even if you think artsy punk is’s jaggedly melodic and pure minimalism. There would be no Mission of Burma, P.i.L, Gang of Four, Joy Division if there was no Wire…you can argue they were the first “post-punk” band even though Pink Flag came out in the heart of intial wave of punk releases.

    3. My Bloody Valentine “Sometimes” I don’t know why it’s my favorite MBV song, all I can think of it’s the first song that stood out when I brought Loveless home for the first time since Loveless was the first “shoegaze” album I owned. It helped keep me away from the “grunge” music that everyone else was listening to while in high school.

    2. Sonic Youth – “teenage riot” – Bought Daydream Nation & Goo my freshman year of high school in 1991. It was the song that first motivated me to search out more independent music. Then when you get a little older you realize that no one is cooler than Thurston Moore and that he’s the biggest music geek around.

    1. Leonard Cohen – “everybody knows” – heard it in the movie Pump Up the Volume sometime in high school around 1994 and it forced me to search out some of his other work. Previously before I heard this song I never listened to anything that would fall under the umbrella “singer-songwriter”….that then led me to Bob Dylan, Nick Cave, Mark Kozelek etc.

    my apologies to Ride, Pogues, Clash & Buzzcocks songs that were squeezed out of the final draft…

  14. Tammy says:

    Throw your arms around me ~ Hunters & Collectors

    Other people’s houses ~ Paul Kelly

    Black Metallic ~ Catherine Wheel

    Tokyo ~ Bruce Cockburn

    Tomorrow Wendy ~ Concrete Blonde

  15. Michael Ligon says:

    5 of my favourite songs from 1976 to 2006 off the top of my head, songs that were crucial to my musical tastes:

    Jesus and Mary Chain – “Darklands” (toss up between this and “The Hardest Walk”, their early material was the best)
    The Shins – “New Slang” (one of my favourite songs ever)
    U2 – “Where The Streets Have No Name” (one of the most uplifting rock songs I’ve ever heard)
    The Magnetic Fields – “100, 000 Fireflies” (lovely, lovely)
    Sloan – “Deeper Than Beauty” (hard to choose just one Sloan song, but this one’s up there)

  16. Brian S says:

    Top 5 Ever
    1. Hunters & Collectors – Throw Your Arms Around Me
    – beautiful song of love
    2. Sloan -Deeper than Beauty
    – a song of cute naive schoolboy love
    3. Bloc Party – Pioneers
    – great song about the desire for change but frustration at not achieving the unachievable ideal
    4. Doves – Pounding
    – Fun kick-ace track
    5. Toploader – Dancin in the Moonlight (cover)
    – great song of lovin and dancin and fun

  17. Lauren says:

    5. Belle and Sebastian – Don’t Leave the Light On, Baby
    4. Tom Tom Club – Genius of Love
    3. Guided By Voices – As We Go Up, We Go Down
    2. Daft Punk – Around the World
    1. Talking Heads – Found A Job

  18. Lauren says:

    Oops! Missed a few!

    Slowdive – When the Sun Hits
    Wire – French Film Blurred
    Radiohead – In Limbo

  19. Bruce says:

    How very High Fidelity. And in the spirit of spontaneity required by those Championship Vinyl exercises in brevity, here goes:

    The Clash: I Fought The Law
    Not their song, but they owned it. Because The Cost of Living EP was one of the first punk singles I ever bought, and I played it to death. And I had no idea what was yet to come from these guys.

    Echo & The Bunnymen: The Cutter
    Maybe not important in the purest sense, but a song that never fails to get my blood racing. When the horns come in, it’s like shooting into the stratosphere.

    Joy Division: Atmosphere
    As an indulgence in melancholy, it has no equal, yet also strangely uplifting. Those chimes give me the chills every time.

    Cocteau Twins: Aikea-Guinea
    Simply bliss. I never, ever tire of this song and the sheer magic it evokes.

    Swervedriver: Duel
    Pure, visceral, driving (sorry!) energy. A gem with so many diverse parts so beautifully woven together. The ascending chord progression leading into the chorus is as perfect an expression of ectasy as you can get with loud guitars.

    A couple of these choices would probably be different tomorrow, but such is the nature of trying to nail down so few favourites. (I can see why Pitchfork went for 500!) Of course, there’s been a lot of music I’ve loved since then, but having lived with them longer, these songs have taken on greater meaning for me. And many of these can be held directly responsible for later music I’ve gravitated towards.

  20. Bob says:

    Call me a cranky old man, but most of my faves fall into the pre-76 category (with my all timer Bob Dylan’s Tangled Up In Blue missing the cut by one year.) Still, here’s what I came up with:

    1. So. Central Rain: R.E.M. – Michael Stipe during the marble-mouthed drawl years. The fact that the verses border on indecipherable only makes his desperate plea of “I’m Sorry!” in the chorus sound all the more genuine.

    2. Last Goodbye: Jeff Buckley – That voice. That incomparable voice. The song perfectly encapsulates the feeling of loving someone so much that it becomes an enormous sacrifice and challenge to have to admit that, despite that love, you cannot be together. Could’ve sounded sappy (my description certainly does) but in the vocal chords of Buckley, it just sounds beautiful.

    3. Beyond Belief: Elvis Costello – Elvis has always been a master songsmith, but on this one the lyrics flow like gravy, almost as if they’re easing through an obstacle course. (Whatever, I know what I mean)

    4. There Is A Light That Never Goes Out: The Smiths – Reminds me of desperately wanting to be an angsty teenager, even though my perfect life was not really conducive to such angst. The most angsty thing to happen to me at 15 was the time that the barber accidentally cut off my sideburns.

    5. Waste Of Paint: Bright Eyes – This is the one song in the Conor catalogue that actually warrants those Dylan comparisons. I don’t always buy into the whole Bright Eyes aesthetic, but on this one he’s selling it pretty hard, and whether he’s being genuine or not, I bought it.

  21. Aimz says:

    Most of my all time favs are pre-’76, but here are a few that never get old for me scattered over the Pitchfork-approved time frame:

    1. Sugar Mountain – Neil Young (1979)
    2. I Will Dare – The Replacements (1984)
    3. Whiskey Bottle – Uncle Tupelo (1990)
    4. Melt Show – Old 97’s (1997)
    5. Stevie Nix – The Hold Steady (2005)

  22. Jack says:

    This is great fun. Here’s my entirely instinctive list in no particular order:

    1. Echo And The Bunnymen – “Villiers Terrace” (1980)
    2. Junior Murvin – “Police And Thieves” (1976)
    3. Interpol – “Obstacle 1” (2002)
    4. Broken Social Scene – “Almost Crimes” (2002)
    5. Sigur Ros – “Svefn-g-englar” (1999)

    UK, Jamaica, NYC, Toronto and Iceland represent!

  23. J.P. says:

    No order. Just throwin’ out some faves from within the timeframe.

    Steve Earle – Guitar Town
    Great visual imagery. It’s one, big rollicking hook combined w/classic storytelling about life on the road. “Gotta keep rockin’ while I still can / got a 2-pack habit and a motel tan” Indeed!

    Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots
    One of the great pop songs of all time. Lyrics are both abstract and straightforward all at once. Irresistible hooks and melodies. Takes sledgehammer to dislodge this song from your head once you’ve listened to it.

    Fountains Of Wayne – Radiation Vibe
    Does power pop get any better than this? No, it does not.

    Bob Marley & The Wailers – Waiting In Vain
    Man waits for love, love may or may not come. Man, as the title suggests, doesn’t want the waiting to go w/out reward. Absolutely skanktastical love song.

    The Cure – Just Like Heaven
    Swirling, swirling, and still more swirling melodies all wrapped up in pop package that could only have come from the haunted/tormented ghosts that live in Robert Smith’s heart.

  24. Ryan says:

    Well, seeing as how everyone loves a list, I thought I would throw my 2 cents in.
    Here they are (in no particular order)

    Elliott Smith – Junk Bond Trader
    It’s hard to choose just one Elliott Smith song, but I always tend to listen to this first whenever I’m in the mood.

    New Order – Ceremony
    If you haven’t heard it, check on youtube for Radiohead’s cover of this song. So damn good.

    Daft Punk – Da Funk
    Pretty much changed the way I looked at electro, and walking dogs.

    Spoon – My Mathematical Mind
    Again, another song by a band that it’s nearly impossible to choose one standout song from.

    The Cure – Lovesong
    Been one of my favourites for around 20 years now, that’s gotta mean something.

  25. juepucta says:

    My 5 – crap, this was hard – reminded my of why i hate lists:

    Ceremony – Joy Division
    Vapour Trail – Ride
    Chinatown – Luna
    Nightswiming – REM
    Heroes – David Bowie


  26. Tualla says:


    1) Wrens – Everyone Choose Sides.
    Best song about the demands of being in a rock band and trying to figure out if it’s worth it.

    2) Husker Du – Divide and Conquer. ‘Invent some new computers, hook up the global village’

    3) Magazine – Permafrost. Cold murder. Viscous song

    4) Tom Waits – Hold On. This is a gold standard of a song

    5) Elvis Costello – I Want You. ‘Its the stupid details that my heart is breaking for/ Its the way your shoulders shake and what they’re shaking for/ Its knowing that he knows you now after only guessing’. This song STILL scares me.

  27. blair says:

    I almost wish I didn’t look through everyone’s before I started typing–I think a couple of people coerced my thinking…

    Anyway, so here it goes, in no particular order. I guess the “why” behind these picks is because when I first heard these songs I was, for lack of a better word, stunned. And when I listen to them today I still am stopped in my tracks.

    Califone, “Electric Fence”–“you sleep like an angel, sparrows beneath your eyelids”

    Slowdive, “Catch the Breeze”–I guess everyone has a music moment that’s transcendent, moving, an epiphany, etc., however cliche that might be. For me it’s the 2:48 mark in this song (doubly so in concert).

    U2, “Bad”–just because I listened to it on repeat for about three years running.

    New Order, “Temptation”–[see above]

    My Bloody Valentine, “Sometimes”–I’ve got no words for it…

  28. Bias says:

    The Cure – from the edge of the deep green sea
    a row with the girlfriend,a bit drunk,feeling bad;this song on repeat,loud…and wake up 5 hours later.It didn’t left my head since then.
    Mogwai – New paths to Helicon Pt 2 (BBC session)
    this song makes everything look better and it has one of the saddest endings ever
    The sound – a new dark age
    “here it come’s…a new dark age” from 1982 but each decade it is relevant again
    Joy Division – Passover
    “Closer” was the weirdest thing I had ever heard(1980) and this is so hauntingly sung
    Sigur Ros – Von (live version era 2001)
    again something that was totaly different.This song begins (live) with dissonant strings,like 4 different mountainrivers coming together to form a slow stream, and then the rest of the band joins…sheer bliss

  29. mitch says:

    a lot of these people have very good pics. it’s hard to pick 5. i hate not picking anything by The Cure or The Clash, but. you said commentary is not mandatory but it helps. i think these songs speak for themselves. in no particular order:

    1. AL STEWART – “year of the cat”
    2. DOVES – “there goes the fear”
    3. COCTEAU TWINS – “love’s easy tears”
    4. PETER SCHILLING – “major tom”
    5. LUSH – “sweetness and light”

  30. Ramone666 says:

    Today I think I go for:
    1. Richard Hell & The Voidoids – Blank Generation
    2. The Clash – White Man In Hammersmith Palais
    3. Buzzcocks – Ever Fallen In Love?
    4. Grant Hart – 2541
    5. Palace Brothers – Ohio River Boat Song

  31. Roger says:

    Thanks for putting up the contest, great site.

    Bjork – amphibian
    The Cure – Same Deep Water as You
    Radiohead – Lurgee
    Micheal Jackson – Billie Jean
    George Michael – Freedom ’90

  32. nowhere says:

    1. Arrah and the Ferns – Skylark
    2. At The Drive-In – Pattern Against User
    3. Born Ruffians – You Said I Said The Sun Took The Sky
    4. Sufjan Stevens – Chicago
    5. Weezer – Only In Dreams

  33. Franny Glass says:

    Chameleons-Perfume Garden
    Stone Roses-I am the Resurrection
    My Bloody Valentine-Soon
    Abba-Dancing Queen
    Nick Cave-Straight to You

  34. Ryan says:

    The cliched “songs that changed my life”

    Pavement: Summer Babe
    Elliott Smith: Angeles
    The Pixies: Monkey Gone to Heaven
    Radiohead: Idioteque
    Belle and Sebastian: If You’re Feeling Sinister

  35. Rob Stewart says:

    1. Being Boring – Pet Shop Boys
    – after all these years, I still tear up to the lyrics: “All the people I was kissing/Some are here and some are missing/In the nineteen-nineties”

    2. Oliver’s Army – Elvis Costello & the Attractions
    – from the Dancing Queen piano to the artfully obtuse lyrics, this had me from the start

    3. If We Never Meet Again – Reckless Sleepers
    – difficult to choose just one Jules Shear song, but this line haunts me: “if we never meet again/if goodbyes remain unspoken”

    4. Snowbird – Mark Eitzel
    – who’d have thunk that Anne Murray was singing a song of such melancholy and heartache?

    5. I’ve Been to a Marvelous Party – Divine Comedy
    – Neil Hannon resurrects Noel Coward in a 3 and a half minute review of a louche and unrestrained life – exciting and pure genius (x2)

    Another day, I might have chosen:
    You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb – Spoons
    Promise You Made – Cock Robin
    Superstar – Sonic Youth
    Love Will Tear Us Apart – Joy Division
    One Less Shadow – Sexsmith & Kerr
    Black Mirror – Arcade Fire
    Same Old Drag – Apples in Stereo
    King of Carrot Flowers – Neutral Milk Hotel
    A Sleepy Company – Olivia Tremor Control

  36. Tyler says:

    Off the top of my head (& in no particular order)…

    The Catherine Wheel – Black Metallic

    The Skids – The Saints Are Coming

    The Viletones – Screaming Fist

    The Hives – Hate To Say I Told You So

    The Undertones – Teenage Kicks

  37. Tyler says:

    …so hard to pick just five, so…

    6. Wreckless Eric – Whole Wide World

    7. Teenage Fanclub – Everything Flows

    8. Otis Redding – These Arms Of Mine

    9. Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers – Dignified & Old

    10. Sinead O’Connor – Nothing Compares 2 U

  38. jnuh says:

    In no particular order, subject to change at any given moment…

    How To Disappear Completely – Radiohead [Kid A]

    Broken Man – Crooked Fingers [Crooked Fingers]

    Sigur Ros – Untitled #8 [ ( ) ]

    Minerva – Deftones [Deftones]

    Over The Ocean – Low [The Curtain Hits The Cast]

  39. Krals says:

    Bleeding Heart Show – New Pornographers
    Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf) – The Pixies
    Hoppipolla – Sigur Ros
    Lucky – Radiohead
    Running to Stand Still – U2

  40. Kasia says:

    Temptation – New Order
    No other song makes me think about being loved quite like this one. It may be the fact that I really do have green, blue and grey eyes but every time I listen to this one I get a pang of nostalgia and a secret smile.

    Coffee and TV – Blur
    This song sounds like life should -sweet and carefree (esp. when coupled with the most beautiful dairy music video ever produced) but its sung like a recollection of good times. I just find it to be honest – I think we all wish someone would “take me away from this big bad world and agree to marry me” so that everything would be as great as it was. Everytime I listen I can’t help but feel comforted – like someone else is there wanting to elope with me to paradise.

    Love Will Tear Us Apart – Joy Division
    One of those songs that inspired me to learn the guitar, summarizes every heartbreak in my life and sounds good no matter who covers it. This song responsible for every band I have ever started.

    This Must Be the Place – Talking Heads
    Walking down the street listening to this tune makes any miserable trek through Queens Park a pleasure. Who can’t help but bop their head a little when that guitar riff hits? David Byrne’s lyrics make me think of home, family and innocent fun. When I listen, I grin ear-to-ear and feel like the day will be brilliant.

    Running Up that Hill (A Deal with God) – Kate Bush
    Kate Bush was a pioneer for many great female artists today. A prolific songwriter with one of the most distinctive voices in business any list would be incomplete without her. In particular, Running Up That Hill is a gem in songwrititng. It makes think, “damn I wish I wrote that”. But most importantly, it reminds me of my mom playing Kate Bush records when I was little – oh warm fuzzy feeling.

  41. Luke says:

    Train in vain – the Clash
    Holland 1945 – Neutral Milk Hotel
    Major Label Debut(fast) – Broken Social Scene
    Heartbeats – The Knife
    Modern Love – David Bowie

  42. Amadeo says:

    Blur – Popscene.

    I think it has to do, first, with my undying love for Blur, and secondly with the way it encapsulates all the fakery, sentimentalism and raw neediness that goes with belonging in a scene, any scene, in the form of a 3 minute blast of a song. Also: horns.

    The Specials – Ghost Town.

    Probably because, in some ways, it feels close to home, with the desolation and lack of fun and dance, and because it’s an spectre made record.

    Guided By Voices – Motor Away.

    The ultimate get-away song, the one that always makes me wish I had wings (or an extremely powerful engine built into my body).

    The Fall – L.A.

    Once again cities, decay, and the sensation that you’re driving without any goal, forever and ever, in a city that never ends.

    Pavement – Carrot Rope.

    I always found it oddly affecting that they had decided to go out like this: all singing together, with nonsensical lyrics that are closer to a nursery rhyme or children’s poem than to ironic lazyness and a sense of fun that makes me smile every time I listen to it.

  43. Jeff says:

    Earth, Wind & Fire – September
    A beautiful melody that’s upbeat but rings with melancholy beneath it. Also happens to be one of the best soul/funk songs ever written.

    Talking Heads – This Must Be The Place
    The best song ever written that manages to be both happy and sad simultaneously.

    Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
    Changed the way rock was percieved it could be. Raw, primal, pure, and totally visceral!

    M.I.A. – Bucky Done Gun
    Changed the way pop was percieved it could be. Crazy beats and vocals more importantly.

    My Morning Jacket – Golden
    The most timeless song written in the dictated time span. If you let it, it will haunt and possess you with it’s simply, direct, and honest lyrics and beautiful melody.

  44. Ryan says:

    5. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists – Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone
    Ted Leo is everything a live artist should strive to be: energetic, enthusiastic, inspiring, hard working, and encouraging. Every show I’ve been to, I’ve left thorough exhausted and ecstatic. Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone was the only song of his I had heard when I decided I needed to see him in concert.

    4. Daft Punk – Harder Better Faster Stronger
    This song taught me that I like electronic.

    3. The Decemberists – A Cautionary Song
    My introduction to the band that has become my livelihood. Reminiscent of pirates, swagger, and olde tymes of yore, I instantly fell in love with the quirky charms of this unique band.

    2. Ben Folds Five – One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces
    Ben Folds Five was the band that caused me to really listen to music. One Angry Dwarf, the opening track on their sophomore album, Whatever and Ever Amen, is the essence of everything great about this band: humor, technical proficiency, pop hooks, lovable lyrics, and amazing energy.

    1. The Get Up Kids – Ten Minutes
    No other song reminds me so much of my high school experiences. For better or for worse, it’s like a time capsule, taking me back to different times.

  45. Sam says:

    I feel the need to add the disclaimer that these are liable to change from day to day, but here we go (in no particular order):

    Use It – The New Pornographers

    The Trapeze Swinger – Iron and Wine

    Closing Time – Semisonic

    My Favourite Accident – Motion City Soundtrack

    All The Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands – Sufjan Stevens

    It’s ridiculously hard to choose just 5, and looking at them now I feel like I should change a few, but that could go on forever so I’m sticking to these ones.

    sachy88 at gmail dot com

  46. Matt Hawker says:

    Given the book’s mission to provide an alternate history of the past x amount of years, “one that extends beyond the typical Baby Boomer approved canon….” I sincerely tried. Really, I did. But it was a tough task. Instead, I took into account Chromewaves Toronto-centric focus I decided to throw down my top 5 Toronto tracks from the ’77 to present period. No Montreal, Vancouver, or Winnipeg allowed. All Big Smoke artists. No specific order…

    The Demics-New York City: Originally from London but early gigs were in Toronto and they re-located within their first year before they released anything.

    Handsome Ned-Put the Blame on me: A rich man’s Blue Rodeo.

    Tangiers – Keep the Living Bodies Warm: More of a personal choice. First Toronto Band that I really loved. 19, fresh out of high school, all my friends are off at school while I’m enjoying freedom and driving to the “Big City” three, four nights a week to awkwardly haunt the horsehoe, sneaky dee’s and the palace. The nucleus of the band broke up before the second album and they got progressively shittier through their next two releases until the point that they delivered the most disinterested set I’ve ever seen in London, ON on a cross-canada tour opening for…

    The Deadly Snakes- I Want to Die: who saved the night and turned in a barn burner. One of many I was lucky enough to see before their demise. An alternative universe exists, free of BSS and the Arts n Crafts crowd where the Snakes sit atop the Toronto heap with a sneer and a soulful swagger. They refuse to hate on the Constantines for getting uppity. Good lads.

    Paul Aucoin – Various tracks: Seriously. How many fucking awesome albums from the past 7 years or so have his incredibly modest fingerprints on them. Then there’s the Hylozoists on top of that. But seriously, read through the liner notes of most of your favourite Canadian bands and you’ll find his name everywhere.

  47. Brian says:

    Spiritualized, Smile: “When you shine, You know you take a massive part out of me.” Wow.

    New Order, Everything’s Gone Green: Primal dance music.

    The Field Mice, Sensitve: After 437 listens, still gives me goose bumps when the two guitar lines cross over one another.

    Low, Hatchet: Sell out? Perhaps, but what a perfect groove!

    Kraftwerk, Numbers: What would the last 30 years be without electro? Yes, we would have survived, but it would have been BORING.

  48. Matthew says:

    I believe the best songs of all time came from the 1990s. When I think of the best song, I think of lyrics, composition, and of course a song that never gets old. You’ll never forget the first time you heard these songs playing:

    1. “Wonderwall” by Oasis
    2. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana
    3. “No Rain” by Blind Melon
    4. “Better Man” by Pearl Jam
    5. “Name” by Goo Goo Dolls