Todavía me gusta la música

A few weeks ago, I rocked the internet to its foundations when I spent an entire week posting lists of my favorite things to this blog. But even by those low standards, I still managed to under-perform on the music section, a fact that haunts me to this day.

I’ve been digging through my iTunes library lately, both to prepare for my upcoming commute and in reaction to the announcement of the new tracks in “Guitar Hero Rocks the 80s” and Guitar Hero IIGuitar Hero 3 (“Heat of the Moment” + “Paint it Black” = awesome).

And going through my music library just makes it clear how the music I like is so much better than the music that other people like. Really, it’s orders of magnitude better. When you realize that, you see it’s my duty to inform my readers and give them the rich, meaty lists they crave.

My 25 Favorite Songs

  1. “Beyond the Sea” by Bobby Darin
  2. “Tomorrow Never Knows” by The Beatles
  3. “Close (to the Edit)” by Art of Noise
  4. “The Rain Song” by Led Zeppelin
  5. “Rolling” by Soul Coughing
  6. “Levitate Me” by Pixies
  7. “Young Ned of the Hill” by The Pogues
  8. “Angelika Suspended” by Palm Fabric Orchestra
  9. “Full on Idle” by The Amps
  10. “Isobel” by Björk
  11. “Straight to Hell” by The Clash
  12. “Photograph” by Def Leppard
  13. “Song for My Father” by Horace Silver
  14. “Lady Pilot” by Neko Case
  15. “I Hear the Bells” by Mike Doughty
  16. “Red Right Hand” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
  17. “Gimme Shelter” by The Rolling Stones
  18. “Dogs of Lust” by The The
  19. “Step Right Up” by Tom Waits
  20. “Sweet Thing” by Van Morrison
  21. “Let Forever Be” by Chemical Brothers
  22. “Unchained” by Van Halen
  23. “More Than a Feeling” by Boston
  24. “Stand Together” by The Beastie Boys
  25. “Soul Bossa Nova” by Quincy Jones

(Most of those links are to YouTube, so no guarantees they’ll last).

As if that weren’t enough, you get another list! A list of perfect albums. “Perfect” doesn’t necessarily mean my favorite albums, just that they either: 1) don’t have a single bad track on them, or 2) are so strong and build such a momentum that they sail right over the bad songs.

Twelve Perfect Albums

  1. Led Zeppelin IV
    Duh.
  2. Revolver by The Beatles
    The best pop album ever made.
  3. Boston by Boston
    It peters out towards the end, but you can’t start off stronger than this record.
  4. Come On Pilgrim by Pixies
    Surfer Rosa is my favorite Pixies record, and it counts too. But Come On Pilgrim is just a burst of concentrated brilliance.
  5. Haughty Melodic by Mike Doughty
    I was disappointed when I first heard this one, but I think in the two years since I’ve listened to it in its entirety at least once a week. There’s just not a bad song on it.
  6. El Oso by Soul Coughing
    Maybe this list is Mike Doughty-heavy, but you can’t be prejudiced against a guy for making two perfect records.
  7. Hello Nasty by The Beastie Boys
    Yeah, Paul’s Boutique, whatever. This is the only one I can listen to without skipping any tracks.
  8. Odelay by Beck
    For using the entire Becktionary, from Bazootie to Whiskeyclone.
  9. Telecommunication Breakdown by Emergency Broadcast Network
    I love the characters, I love the special effects.
  10. If I Should Fall From Grace With God by The Pogues
    The first four tracks are four of the best Pogues songs ever. On most records, it seems like the musicians put a bad track on because they ran out of ideas or talent and had to throw in filler. On this one, it seems like they had to put in a weaker song just to keep your brain from overloading on uninterrupted excellence.
  11. Time Out by The Dave Brubeck Quartet
    I thought this was one of the best albums ever recorded for at least a year after I bought it. And then I read the liner notes, which explained that it’s a concept album about time changes, and all of the tracks are experiments in non-standard tempo. Which is kind of like hanging out with Superman for a year and right as you’re starting to get bored of his powers, he reveals he’s also an award-winning pastry chef.
  12. Dig Your Own Hole by Chemical Brothers
    This one’s cheating, because the thing dies in the middle with a 6-minute track called “It Doesn’t Matter,” but it doesn’t matter. The rest is unrestrained awesomeness.

Now that that’s done, I can go back to never talking about music.

6 Comments

  1. Bossanova is my favourite Pixies album. I listened to that constantly growing up. Dig for Fire, Velouria, Alison, All over the World. Can’t beat that.

  2. Bossanova has some great stuff, but for me it gets off to an amazing start and then just falls apart in the middle. Still, “Alison” and “Rock Music” and “Stormy Weather” are some of my favorite Pixies songs.

  3. Yeah, I just like the overall sound of that album. You are probably right “Come on Pilgrim” may be the best. We all have our favorites I guess. I had a hard time with “alternative” music that followed The Pixies. Everyone seemed to be copying The Pixies but not doing it as well. I would always go straight back to my Pixies records whenever I heard something new.

  4. “Doolittle” is my fave Pixies, and also one of my all-time fave records, ever.

    Deservedly so. But then it’s got “Silver”, which grinds everything to a halt and knocks it out of the running for perfect record. That’s up there with “Subbacultcha” in album-killing Pixies songs.

  5. A quick scan of my iTunes and I found another dozen perfect albums:

    Aerosmith – Toys in the Attic
    Blackfoot – Strikes
    Blue Oyster Cult – Secret Treaties
    Cars – Candy-O (most would say the debut, but they’re wrong…)
    David Bowie – Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust..
    Fates Warning – Parallels
    Hoodoo Gurus – Stoneage Romeos
    Jim Carroll Band – Catholic Boy
    Leonard Cohen – Songs of Leonard Cohen
    Mighty Mighty Bosstones – Devil’s Night Out
    Pain of Salvation – Remedy Lane
    Television – Marquee Moon

    I didn’t look at my vinyl, so I probably missed some more…

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