Tuesday, December 8, 2009

100 Songs Week: 61-80

61) Tegan and Sara – Alligator

“Over you, over you, over youuuuuuu …”

62) Slow Club – It Doesn’t Have to Be Beautiful

From the blog (7/22):

This sounds like a combination of Bishop Allen and Tilly & the Wall, which means … well, it means that this REALLY sounds like the FreeCreditReport.com commercials.

Side note – I forget who I was talking about this with (I think Powers), but the guy responsible for those commercials is the same guy who did both the Geico gecko and Geico caveman campaigns. Which means, make fun of those commercials if you want, but that guy could buy and sell you.

63) Wave Machines – Keep the Lights On

From the blog (4/26):

Scissor Sisters-like half-speed vaguely gay white-boy funk. Wow that's a lot of adjectives.

64) Bishop Allen – The Ancient Commonsense of Things

Someone on Deadspin once referred to this song as “gayer than Easter.” That’s pretty accurate.

From the blog (2/18):

My buddy Curt is a big Bishop Allen fan. I'm not quite there yet, but their new album (Grrr...) is slowly winning me over. Another one that's been in recent Taco Tuesday rotation, it's more consistent then their two previous records, and not quite as cutesy (on the other hand, it is called Grrr..., which is about as cutesy as you can be, so who knows). Some bands need a tower of Marshall amps to sound good. Some need a backing orchestra. I'm pretty sure you could play Bishop Allen's whole catalog on a Fischer-Price xylophone and not lose that much, and that's a compliment to the band. These are good, simple songs.

65) VV Brown – Shark in the Water

The poppiest song on this list, and the gloriously mixed metaphors in this one have to be deliberate. As I understand it, there’s a shark in the water … under her bed … howling at the moon. Did she forget anything?

66) K’naan – Wavin’ Flag

This song has been named the official “anthem” for the 2010 World Cup, which means two things:

- You will be incredibly sick of it by this time next year

- FIFA has much better taste in music than any American sports governing body, since apparently they have all named the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” the official anthem of everything ever

67) BOAT – The Name Tossers

I’m still not entirely sure how this list features both a band called YACHT and a band called BOAT, both of whom insist on all-caps spelling. Apparently if I started a band called SCHOONER, it would be awesome by default.

68) Harlem Shakes – Sunlight

From the blog (4/1):

Alright, it's April already, and it's time for me to openly gush about an album for the first time this year. The Harlem Shakes' Technicolor Health. I LOVE this record. Every song on it. Some more than others, but still ...

Anyway, the Harlem Shakes belong to a long line of New York bands that bloggers got sick of before anyone else had ever heard of them. Vampire Weekend, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah ... so many others. So by the time I get around to reading the yawning, so-over-this Pitchfork review of single "Sunlight," I knew I was in for something good.

See, there must be a reason why East Coast bloggers are sick of these guys. And that reason is this: they are so awesome. I'm sure I'll be sick of them too, in a few months, after I've played this album 500 more times.

Anyway, it sounds like a less grating, happier CYHSY. Please listen.

69) Los Campesinos! – There are Listed Buildings

I don’t think there’s another band in the world that could pull off lyrics like “I remember being naked to my waist though not in which direction.” I don’t think anyone else should even try.

70) Phoenix – Lisztomania

Pitchfork explains the title to this one as follows: “At one point in the schlocky 1975 musical comedy Lisztomania, Roger Daltrey whips out an absurdly large phallus and no less than five women simultaneously straddle it like a cannon. It's as insane as it sounds. In the movie, Daltrey plays Franz Liszt, the 19th century Hungarian pianist and composer known for his flamboyant playing style-- hysterical women fought over his handkerchiefs at concerts more than a century before the Beatles.” So, this is a song … about a bad movie … about a 19th century Hungarian pianist.

I would hope that … if I ever start another band … we would write songs about things like that.

71) Silversun Pickups – Panic Switch

Still writing the songs we wish Smashing Pumpkins were still writing. Even though this song has been in heavy (HEAVY) rotation on both Bay Area alternative radio stations, I’m always happy to hear it one more time. I’ve gotten sick of a lot of songs this year (Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody,” for example), but this wasn’t one of them.

72) jj – Are You Still in Valda?

Seriously … this album was released anonymously on a Swedish label … what more could I possibly have to say about them at this point?

73) Conor Oberst – Nikorette

Is it indie to name-check brands, but then to spell their names incorrectly? Is there any other explanation for the title of this song?

74) Bat for Lashes – Daniel

Yeah, I’m out of things to say about British girl-pop, which is too bad, because this song deserves a fawning review. And it reminds me of the Eurhythmics “Here Comes the Rain Again,” which I didn’t think would be a good thing, but here we are.

75) NASA – Way Down (f/ RZA, Barbie Hatch, and John Frusciante)

NASA’s The Spirit of Apollo, as discussed earlier, was an all-star mashup of everyone from Tom Waits to Kanye West, and this song is no exception, featuring members of the Wu-Tang Clan and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. And … Barbie Hatch. I have no idea who Barbie Hatch is. I know she only has 233 MySpace friends, which seems like an incredibly small number for an artist featured on a project with so many musical celebrities. Anyone with information on the mystery of Barbie Hatch should email the staff at tipofyourtonguetopofmylungs.blogspot.com immediately.

76) Animal Collective – My Girls

Prediction: This one is number one on Pitchfork’s Top 100 list. This one or “Stillness is the Move.”

77) Discovery – Orange Shirt

Somehow, Discovery has TWO songs about falling asleep on trains in Japan. How did that happen?

78) The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Contender

Seriously, how are these guys from Brooklyn? This is the most British music in the history of the world. This is more British than “God Save the Queen.”

79) Think About Life – Havin’ My Baby

A song I discovered two days ago. It’s possible that in a month I will wish I had slotted it about fifty spots higher, but for now I’m being conservative. The excellent blog “Ca Va Cool” says: “One of my best friends told me recently that he’s starting a new playlist entitled Happy Songs and that this song was the inspiration for it. Escape the fall of Fall, share a hug with a friend and dance your face off to this infectious Avalanches-meets-TV on the Radio style banger from Canadians Think About Life.”

80) Taylor Swift – Jump Then Fall

I spend the first thirty seconds of this song thinking, “Okay, this is absolutely indistinguishable from Lifehouse’s ‘First Time.’ Why do I like this song again?” I spend the next three and a half minutes being so completely won over that I consider moving this song up a few spots. I know Taylor is everyone’s token country artist, but that’s okay. She’s mine, too.

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