Monday, December 12, 2016

100 Songs for 2016






(1) The 1975 - “The Sound” (video)

While our founding fathers thought it necessary to enshrine patent protection in the Constitution, they did not think it necessary to include any limitations on forum shopping and so, since our founding fathers were all idiots, I spent most of the first quarter of 2016 at a Fairfield Inn in Marshall, Texas litigating a patent dispute between competing telecommunications companies.

Let me give you a little window into my mental state during this period. On many of those endless East Texas days, my physical presence in the courtroom was unnecessary, so I would take the trial prep night shift. I would stay up all night working on the materials other attorneys would use the next day, hand off a binder to someone at 8 AM, then go to bed. I'd wake up in the early afternoon, delirious and completely adrift in time and space. If I was lucky, there would be an hour of downtime before the inevitable next emergency, and I could sneak out for a run before I had to get back to work. I had a pretty nice six-mile loop plotted out in the deep backwoods. It was a perfect route for straight white men and probably not recommended for anyone else. The neighborhood had that kind of vibe.

One day, about halfway through my run, a huge pit bull came racing out of a falling-down barn and headed straight at me.

In that moment, I felt nothing but a deep calm. I remember thinking, "Okay, one of two things is going to happen. One, this dog will be friendly, and it's always nice to meet a friendly dog. Two, this dog is going to maul me, and it will probably be bad enough that I will be able to go home." At the time, both of those outcomes sounded equally satisfactory.

The dog turned out to be friendly.

I mention all of this because I listened to The 1975 a lot while I was in Marshall. Like, a lot. The album came out in January, and for awhile it was the only thing on my phone. So, in trying to explain why this is my Song of the Year, I understand that the answer could be that this album brought me happiness during a difficult time in my life, and maybe it's just not going to mean the same thing to anyone else.

But if you want a more substantive defense of this song, here it is:

Self-awareness is a wonderful thing for people to have in the real world, but I don't know if I want the same level of thoughtfulness from my rock stars. I'm fascinated by pretentiousness, by self-importance, by people who say and do things with absolutely no earthly conception of how ridiculous they look. (I love Oasis. I even love the Oasis albums even other Oasis fans hate. I love Be Here Now. For real.) I don't think its possible anywhere else but music, but I think some bands can get so pretentious that they actually come out the other side into something new and fresh and honest. And, for some reason, it's only bands from Manchester who have been able to harness this awesome power.

If you had a friend who said he planned to perform a song with these lyrics at an open-mic night, you would do everything in your power to stop him. It's not about reciprocation, it's just all about me / A sycophantic, prophetic, Socratic junkie wannabe. But I love that Matt Healy absolutely does not care. I want my rock stars to believe that they are bulletproof immortal geniuses (more on Kanye later), and Healy pulls it off, in the proud Mancunian tradition.

(Plus it's fun to imagine the parallel universe where this is a One Direction song. Is Trump President over there? Did the Cubs win the World Series? Is this what caused the rift in space-time?)

(2) Chance the Rapper - “No Problem” (video)

It wasn't all bad, you know. That's what the thesis of so many retrospectives will be - that 2016 was a singularly terrible year across the board - but there are so many reasons why that's not the whole truth. From a purely selfish standpoint, 2016 was a pretty good year for me, and it was a good year for a lot of other people. Happy couples got married, babies were born into loving homes, so many rescue dogs got adopted. It's just that too many of those joyous occasions happened on the same day as a mass shooting or the election of a fascist. That's what 2016 was. On the one hand, it's possible this is the year the decline of civilization passed some unseen point of no return. On the other hand, there were a lot of good songs.

So every sentence has an unstated preface. 2016 was horrible, but ...

2016 was horrible, but ... 2016 was awesome because it was the year Chance the Rapper became a star. It's not like he was an unknown before. The defining profile on Chance came out in 2013, the same year as his second mixtape, Acid Rap. (Go see him in concert and you'll realize that every person younger than you knows all the words to every song on those mixtapes. Kids don't need to be spoonfed greatness, they'll find it on their own.) "Sunday Candy" was a sleeper hit last year, though technically it didn't have Chance's name on it.

This year, though, Chance the Rapper was undeniable. He got seven Grammy nominations. Chance belongs to everyone now, and we're all better for having him in our lives.

He led a march to the polls and headlined a nationwide tour that Ilana described as "drunk puppet church." He made a compelling case for black joy in a year where that should have been impossible. He was the angel on Kanye's shoulder, which turns out to be too big of a job for one man. He had so many great verses that I gave serious thought to including a Macklemore song on this list. Have you heard this one? Or this one? GQ said his life was perfect, and how could anyone disagree?

This is his part, nobody else speak.

(3) Desiigner - “Panda” (video)

Listen, I understand global capitalism is spiraling out of control, rapidly creating a bloodless hellscape where technology only serves to foster isolation and concentrate extreme wealth in the hands of an undeserving few. I get that. But ... we also live in a world where an unknown teenager from New York can buy a beat on YouTube from an obscure UK producer for $200, rap about how cars look cool on Grand Theft Auto, and wind up with a massive, summer-defining hit. It was the year's most fun song to throw on at a party, to hear blasting from a passing car, or to soundtrack your entrance at Wrestlemania.

So maybe parts of our dystopian future are okay.

(4) Francis and the Lights - “Friends” (f/ Bon Iver) (video)

I saw "Friends" performed live three times in a weekend. I saw Francis, Bon Iver, and Chance the Rapper all close sets with it. So two of the most critically acclaimed artists in the world sketched out their setlists and thought, "Well sure, my songs are good, but we have to bring this thing home with 'Friends'." And they were right to do so. This song is undeniable.

Also, anyone who tells you they could distinguish Francis' voice from Justin Vernon's voice on first listen is absolutely lying to you.

(5) Kanye West - “Ultralight Beam”

Oh Kanye, what happened to us? We all aged decades in about a month, didn't we? The entropy and decomposition hit some of use harder than others, and we all still feel it.

I saw Kanye at the Oracle in Oakland on Sunday, October 23. Kevin Durant was there, and Kanye stopped his set in the middle of "Famous" to point him out in the pit. The show was a spectacle in every wonderful sense of the word. Nothing was too much for Kanye, so he pushed all boundaries, tried to get too loud, too futuristic, too dark, and it just kept getting better and better.

The night before, he went on a classic Kanye rant about how he was going to skip the Grammys if Frank Ocean wasn't nominated. Frank Ocean. I mean, Blonde was ... fine. It was fine. I'm not personally going to boycott anything in support of Blonde, but whatever.

These were our problems. This is what we had to complain about. The worst thing Kanye could imagine, the injustice he had to correct, was his friend's album maybe getting snubbed.

The future was bright. Kevin Durant was here and the Warriors were going to go 82-0. Hillary Clinton was going to be President and things would keep getting better. The worst thing we could imagine was that maybe things would get better too slowly, and people like me would get into arguments about why things weren't getting better fast enough. We would argue about the pace of progress, but we would assume progress, now and forever. Kanye would always be the rock star deity we deserved.

Two days later the Spurs beat the Warriors by, if I remember correctly, 600 points.

Two weeks later Donald Trump was President. A week later Kanye was in San Jose, praising Trump and freestyling about building a wall in the most childish bid for attention since that Onion article about Marilyn Manson going door to door trying to shock people. Later that week, in Sacramento, Kanye played four songs, ranted for 30 minutes about Drake, Hillary, and Mark Zuckerberg, pleaded with both DJ Khaled and Jay Z to not have him assassinated ... and left. Sentiment quickly morphed from "look at this idiot" to "oh wait, this is a legitimate mental health crisis." The next day Kanye cancelled the rest of his tour. He spent eight days in the hospital undergoing psychiatric evaluation. Life comes at you fast.

There were warning signs about Trump. There were warning signs about Kanye. Now so many things are broken in ways that can't easily be fixed. I sure don't know how to fix any of them. But I know that we can recognize genius when it is presented to us, and I know that we can cling to the bits of brilliance we have. Kanye West is the most transcendent musician of, I dunno, the last decade at least, and all of the unfortunate rants in the world don't change that.

This is a god dream. This is everything.

(6) Petite Meller - “Milk Bath” (video)

From Paul Simon to Ezra Koenig to Petite Meller, the combination of really, really white singers and African backing musicians has led to some of my all-time favorite songs. I could totally sound awesome with Ladysmith Black Mambazo backing vocals, and if I ever get so disgustingly rich that I decide to record a vanity pop album, you better believe I'm going to hire them.

(And Petite Meller, to her credit, is charming and weird and just perfect for this song. Lil Empire was a one-stop party playlist, and the one album from 2016 that I can't imagine anyone disliking. I believe her when she says she'll blow your head off with a whisper.)

(7) Joey Purp - “Girls @” (f/ Chance the Rapper) (video)

First, I don't think Pharrell or Chad had anything to do with this, but this is the best Neptunes beat in like ten years. Second, Chance's verse on this song would be far and away the best verse of the year in any year that didn't include ... Chance's verse on "Ultralight Beam," which is so good that he performs it as a standalone song at shows. Quite a year for Mr. Bennett. Third, Joey Purp once gave an interview where he was asked about his influences and he said:
All types of shit, really. The very first song that I knew all the words to was probably “Triumph” by Wu-Tang. Outside of that, a lot of Sex Pistols and The Casualties and shit like that. Old rock music. A lot of Velvet Underground and Lou Reed. And then of course, the obligatory Dipset and Lil Wayne. My brother was in a punk rock gang. My dad was in a motorcycle gang. I’d always have a rock influence.
That is the best answer to that question I've ever heard. 

(8) Leonard Cohen - “You Want It Darker”

It's not over yet, but I think we can agree that 2016 was The Year When Everyone Died. At this point we're just crossing our fingers and waiting to see how broadly we define "everyone."

When Prince died I went back and listened to Purple Rain and dreamed about the unreleased gems that might be buried deep in the Paisley Park archives.

When Bowie died I went back and listened to Hammersmith Odeon '73 and tried to talk myself into Blackstar as his farewell message to Earth. (And I know it's going to make every single year-end best-of list except this one, but Blackstar is ... difficult.)

When Leonard Cohen died, I got home and Ilana was listening to "You Want It Darker." We left it on a loop, repeating for like 45 minutes. It stacks up with anything on I'm Your Man, and it's a million times better than any band covering "Hallelujah" in tribute. His songs were shockingly immediate and powerful until the end.

(9) Mallrat - “Tokyo Drift”

We are living in a world where slacker a Australian teen can take a break from tweeting about Paris Hilton just an unhealthy amount to drop cross-genre woozy-electo gems like this. And we're taking it for granted. How does this song exist? Where did it come from? How is it so good? Who is this person?

We've destroyed almost everything good this planet had to offer, but we've given teenagers the ability to record music from literally anywhere, and we've also given them the greatest content delivery system ever imagined. That's something.

(If we're being suuuuper-pedantic, it sounds like the "song from 2012" she has in mind is "Two Rivers" by Small Black, which is actually October 2011, but close enough.)

(10) Radiohead - “Burn the Witch” (video)

At Outside Lands this year, as Radiohead launched into maybe their fifth or sixth deep cut from A Moon Shaped Pool, a buddy of mine leaned over and said, "So ... do you like this?" And I had to think about my answer. Eventually I went with "I ... appreciate this." Because Radiohead makes difficult music now. And they didn't always. I know my writing style leans on breathless superlatives, and I know that in the course of this endless post I'll probably refer to a dozen albums as maybe my favorite album of all time, but ... The Bends is maybe my favorite album of all time. Because The Bends is basically twelve songs that could have been radio singles. And OK Computer had some straight-ahead rock songs, but it was easy to see that they were transitioning into something else, and by Kid A they had pretty much arrived into whatever the next world was supposed to be. I get why people might not have wanted that. At that Outside Lands show, Radiohead closed with "Paranoid Android" and "Karma Police" and everyone sang along, and the unstated complaint was "Why don't you just write songs like this all the time?" And I can't answer that question for them.

Kid A came out when I was a freshman in college, and I was incredibly suggestible. Seriously, I could have been talked into joining a cult at basically any time circa 2000-2001. And everyone was saying that Kid A was the greatest piece of music ever recorded, that it transcended the idea of music, but I did not get it at all. I really didn't. But I wanted to. So I listened to it every day, like homework. For awhile I listened to it every night before bed. And this is a super-pretentious thing to do, and it's so incredibly try-hard. I wanted to be cool, and have the right opinions, and understand complicated things. So my motivations deserve to be questioned here. But I lived inside that album. And, eventually, I got to know it. I started to peel away the layers. I noticed things I didn't notice before. I was ready for the abrupt changes. I found little hooks that stayed in my head all day. And years later I still love Kid A. I still listen to it all the time. But it took so much work.

A Moon Shaped Pool might have that level of greatness buried somewhere in there. Most critics don't seem to think it does. But I'm never going to find out for myself. I just can't imagine putting that Kid A level of appreciation work into an album that I don't like on first listen. Maybe it's my loss, but that's the truth. So I'm grateful for "Burn the Witch." I'm thankful they came up with one single, one song that offers a payoff on the first listen, and the fifth, not necessarily the five hundredth. Because I get to feel a little bit of the old magic.

(11) Martha - “Precarious (Supermarket Song)” (video)

This is how I want to be. This is how I want to reflect the world. Here is a band of vegan, straight-edge anarchists from bombed-out coal-mining country in northeast England, taking on pretty much all of society's ills at once. This song literally uses the phrase "precarious neoliberal employment." As a band, Martha exists as a rejection of the world around them.

And yet ... their songs are just pure joy. I don't know how that happens, but I want it to happen to me. I want to be unflinching sing-alongs. I want to be bouncy and insightful commentary. I want to be infectious pop songs about how we're all doing our best to pick our way through the wreckage. I want to find joy not in an oblivious denial of the world around me, but in a resolute willingness to face that world head on. I am not there yet, but it helps that I listened to this album several hundred times this year.

(12) Japandroids - “Near to the Wild Heart of Life”

I was going to write a larger introductory essay to 100 Songs for 2016. The centerpiece of that essay was going to be my favorite piece of music writing from this year, Meaghan Garvey’s profile of The 1975, and one specific paragraph:
“Listen.” Healy tends to talk like his mouth is racing to keep up with his brain, but when our chat by the haunted pool turns to his fan base, he speaks with steady conviction, stating what should really be obvious. “Anybody of any kind of intellect understands that the most active people as consumers of music are young women. The most active people on social media, when you come to talking about music, are young women. Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein when she was 18, do you know what I mean? There’s fans of ours that I meet that are far smarter than me. Of course they scream and they go wild — but if I was young and really, really excited, and drunk, and my favorite band was there, I’d be screaming and going wild!” 
He's fired up now. “And you know, I could be really, really concerned and want to appeal to the kind of crusty, liberal, North Londoner [audience]. But trust me. I’m telling you as a grown-up person: If you do what I do every single night, and you get the choice to play to that group of people or a bunch of screaming, younger girls who fucking love you, you’re going to choose that one. Because it means more. It means something to those people. And I’m not going to apologize for embracing this intense emotional investment that I get from people. Because — Because it’s a big deal.”
That really resonated with me all year. I wanted to appreciate music like a screaming teenager, and I wanted to listen to artists who made music with that audience in mind. I wanted to make an emotional investment, and I wanted that investment to be repaid. Most of my favorite live music experiences fit that mold - fighting to the front of the crowd for Chance the Rapper's set at Outside Lands, waiting in giddy anticipation for the predictably late Kanye in Oakland. The first seven songs on this list fit that mold. It seemed like a promising essay topic. I wanted this to be my new philosophy: I don't want bands to make music for people like me. I want bands who seek our emotional investment, not critical acclaim. Death to thirty-something white dude music! 

But, at the same time, I love "Near to the Wild Heart of Life" so much. I love Japandroids, and Brian Fallon, and Bon Iver, and Drive By Truckers, and ... okay, there is kind of a lot of thirty-something white dude music on this list. Maybe not as much as years past, but ... a significant amount. Here at Burn Your Hits, we do our best to avoid, like, the most blatant hypocrisy. So I scrapped that essay (which is to say that you just read most of it).

If you're tracing the lineage of the dominant vein of thirty-something white due music, it starts with Springsteen, filtered through the Replacements, synthesized in the Hold Steady, and now the crown rests with either Japandroids or Titus Andronicus. As Ilana put it, your preference probably depends on whether or not you prefer your rock stars to be on anti-depressants. Japandroids are the soundtrack to an epic night out at a dive bar, Titus are the soundtrack to juuuuuuust barely holding off a panic attack. They're both great, I can't decide.

(13) Brand New - “I Am a Nightmare”

I don't know how I missed Brand New the first time around. Your Favorite Weapon came out in 2001. I saw Good Charlotte in concert at some point in 2001. Deja Entendu came out in 2003. I spent most of 2003 telling people that "I'd Do Anything" by Simple Plan was a perfect pop song. I was in college, drunk and confused and lonely and listening to music something like twenty-two hours per day and obviously looking for a band exactly like this. I don't know what happened.

So yeah, some of you have been listening to these songs for fifteen years now, but I'm that guy who wants to talk about the greatness of "Last Chance to Lose Your Keys" like it came out last week.

(14) Cymbals Eat Guitars - “Wish”

I played saxophone in high school, and listening to this makes my mouth hurt. Dude is just mauling that sax in the best way possible. A bunch of critics have described this song as "strutting," and they are all correct.

This is also a good test case for the existential question, "How high can I rank a song that Ilana absolutely cannot stand?"

The fact that these guys aren't from Philly is really confusing.

(15) Snow Tha Product - “Nights” (video)

This is so good that I'm absolutely claiming Snow for the Bay Area even though she left San Jose for Dallas years ago. Pretty much the only negative response to this song I've heard is that long-time fans think it's too pop compared to her previous work, which was more technically proficient. Usually that kind of proficiency comes at the expense of flow, with rhyme schemes that are basically math problems, but ... actually, her old stuff is awesome too. She's on that Hamilton mixtape, so hopefully she takes over the world in 2017.

(16) Beyonce - “Formation”

Here's the thing about "Formation" ...


Ahahaha, just kidding. Wow. Imagine that. Imagine how narcissistic I would have to be to think that I had something new and interesting to say about "Formation." This song came out in January. It has been used as signifying shorthand for every terrible online argument of the last year (and somehow on both sides!). It's either an anthem for racial equality or directly responsible for the murder of police officers. It's either a fatal blow to the glass ceiling or the reason Hillary lost the election. It either ushered in a new age of revolutionary creative genius or sucked us even deeper into a quagmire of brainless celebrity worship. Every corner on "Formation" has already been claimed.

Seriously, just type in a random URL. Close your eyes and mash the keyboard. You landed on someone screaming a hyperbolic all-caps opinion about "Formation," didn't you?

(My opinion is that "Formation" is really good, and Lemonade is really good, and sure, I guess I would reluctantly support a non-violent coup to install Beyonce as some kind of benevolent overlord, but wouldn't we all be happier if she just kept making great music instead?)

(17) Bent Shapes - “Realization Hits”

You ever think about how, if you lived a million lives, some of the most probable outcomes would start to repeat themselves? I spent my high school years playing bass guitar in the hardest-working jam band in southeastern Minnesota, western Wisconsin, and a sliver of northern Iowa, but from a sheer probability standpoint I'm not sure if that was the most likely outcome for me. Looking back through alternate realities, I see myself in one of two roles: (a) playing very basic rhythm guitar in a low-fi, super-fuzzy pop punk band with a girl singer (like joyride!, see below), or (b) leading a wordy, snarky, literate-to-a-fault band like Bent Shapes. I can absolutely imagine high school Aaron trying to shoehorn I believe in underachieving / As a systematic tactic to preserve your freedom into a couplet and then spitting it out like it's genius. So I'm fully on board with Bent Shapes living out one of my alternate lives.

(18) Carly Rae Jepsen - “Body Language”

I just think we're overthinking it. The genius of Carly Rae Jepsen (and Taylor Swift ... and Robyn ...) has always been the art of obscuring craft and precision. The goal is effortlessness, weightlessness ... and you have to lock down every single detail to make that happen. There are seven different songwriters credited on "Body Language," which is on B Sides because it (probably correctly) wasn't chosen among the twelve tracks that make up 2015's note-perfect E*MO*TION (which, while we're here, is one of the ten best (maybe even five best) albums of this decade and I'm already pre-mad that it's not going to make any of those lists). And it only works because she makes it look easy.

(19) Car Seat Headrest - “Fill in the Blank”

If your fawning MTV profile is titled "God, Drugs, and Copyright Infringement," I am 100% on board from the jump, no questions asked.

And I don't feel this way right now, but You have no right to be depressed / You haven't tried hard enough to like it is a dangerous but weirdly seductive philosophy that I have given myself over to at way too many points in the past.

(20) Operators - “Cold Light”

Wolf Parade's 2005 debut Apologies to the Queen Mary is, like so many others, one of my all-time favorite albums, and the band's Lennon/McCartney were Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner. One reviewer christened Krug's style as a "manic-pop circus" and Boeckner's as "twitchy Springsteen revivalism."

Left to their own devices on their many solo projects, Krug and Boeckner have stayed true to those identities. Krug's Sunset Rubdown is absolutely a dark carnival, while Boeckner has reimagined The Boss through an icy Canadian prism, first with Handsome Furs, and now Operators. Wolf Parade reunited in 2016 for a largely forgettable EP, which is shame, but it's hard to be too disappointed about that when Krug and Boeckner are doing solo work like this.

(21) Pinegrove - “Old Friends”

A throwback to the days when alt-country had a tinge of punk discord. Every outcome's such a comedown is the line you'll walk away singing, but the song's path forward is much more hopeful: I should call my parents when I think of them / Should tell my friends when I love them.

(22) Kevin Morby - “I Have Been to the Mountain” (video)

A perfect protest song. In a year where we all did our best to dumb down every issue to a slogan or a hashtag, "I Have Been to the Mountain" doesn't offer any easy answers. Morby's not being coy - he issued a press release explaining that the song is about Eric Garner - but he lets you draw your own line from Garner to MLK and decide what to do with the fact that that hopeful speech is almost fifty years old and cops are still killing black men with impunity.

(23) Against Me! - “333” (video)

Trying to come up with a clever insight for one hundred songs is hard. Stereogum's review of this song was just "it rules" and I don't know if I can improve on that, so ...

It rules.

(24) Anderson .Paak - “The Season | Carry Me” (video)

Unexpected highlight of Outside Lands, .Paak's high-energy live show is not to be missed. Dude drums and raps at the same time! How is that possible?

2016's Malibu carries the flag for the West Coast hip-hop renaissance and its jazz influence slots in nicely next to Kendrick Lamar's recent work.

(25) The Rural Alberta Advantage - “White Lights” (video)

If anyone reading this is pure evil and looking to make some quick money, I think you could pair The Rural Alberta Advantage with a big-name stadium-rock producer, smooth out all the rough edges that make RAA so interesting, and wind up with a marketable and oh-so-boring campfire-folk band like Mumford or The Lumineers. You would sell millions of records I would never speak to you again.

Since no one with any pull in the music industry reads this blog, The Rural Alberta Advantage  will remain unique and interesting, and ... playing Bottom of the Hill on a Wednesday night in February. So I'm not sure how excited they are about this whole arrangement.

(26) Justice - “Randy”

I'm sure it was programmed into a synthesizer, so you could argue that it doesn't count, and it's only seven notes, but this is my favorite guitar riff of 2016.

(27) Brian Fallon - “Rosemary”

The first Gaslight Anthem song I ever heard was 2008's "The '59 Sound." It didn't make my 100 Songs for 2008 list because I didn't hear it until later. Japandroids' "Young Hearts Spark Fire" isn't on 100 Songs for 2008, either. Looking back, are those my two favorite songs from 2008? Yeah, probably.

The point here is two-fold. One, these lists are inherently self-defeating and I look forward to finding out how incredibly incomplete this one turns out to be.

Two, "The '59 Sound" is probably still my favorite Gaslight Anthem song. Eight years, three Gaslight Anthem albums, one Horrible Crowes album, and one solo album later, Brian Fallon is still writing basically that same song. It's a great song. I would like him to keep writing it for decades. I will go see him every time he's in San Francisco. But ... it's possible he peaked in 2008. His best creative years are likely behind him.

He's about a year older than me. I try not to think about it.

(28) Jeff Rosenstock - “We Begged 2 Explode”

Takes awhile to get going, but man do I love a shout-along. ALL THESE!!! MAGIC MOMENTS!!! I'VE FORGOTTENNNNNNNNNNNN!!! Playing second on a three-band bill at Slim's on March 15 if you want to come lose your voice with me.

(29) Terror Jr. - “Sugar”

My favorite internet conspiracy theory is that Kylie Jenner is secretly the lead singer of Terror Jr. Anonymous internet music is consistently fun, and, while The Weeknd's music has gotten much better over the years, his persona was way better when no one knew who he was. Anonymous artist conspiracy theories were great back when no one had any information at all and no way to get it (and, realistically, the Beatles could have pulled off something like Klaatu), and somehow now that we have all of the collected knowledge of human history instantly available at all times, it's still possible to pull off some solid intrigue.

Here's what I want: I want it to be true that Kylie Jenner is the singer for Terror Jr. ... and I don't want anyone to ever be able to prove it.

(30) James Blake - “I Need a Forest Fire” (f/ Bon Iver) (video)

I think some people (myself occasionally included) don't appreciate James Blake because his music sounds so easy. Sure, you just set up a bunch of loops, and they intersect in interesting ways, and that's it, there's your song. I'd love to get a bunch of effects pedals and try to prove myself wrong, but I would be there's more to it than that.

Also, Bon Iver put out a great album this year, but Justin Vernon's first two appearances on this list are as guests on someone else' songs. The guy was busy.

(31) The Japanese House - “Face Like Thunder” (video)

Postal Service influence, The 1975 production credits, alien, androgynous female vocals. This is headphone pop perfection.

(32) Posture & The Grizzly - “Elliott”

The fact that it's spelled with two L's and two T's means she's crying to Elliott Smith, not T.S. Eliot, which is notable because, when he asks if she cries to Big Star in the second verse, we could save everyone a lot of time and just have her cry to Elliott Smith's cover of "Thirteen." If I ever got a chance to interview Posture & The Grizzly, I would only ask them questions about this, and that's why I'm not a music journalist.

Also, the Deleting pictures off your phone / In hopes that they burn line is a fun update on Mitch Hedberg's bit about getting in a fight in a tent, then storming off and trying to slam the flap. "How am I supposed to express my anger in this situation?" Millennials are really missing out on not having physical photographs to destroy after a breakup.

(33) Miranda Lambert - “Vice” (video)

Someone on Singles Jukebox referred to the backing arrangement as "smeared," and that is absolutely perfect. There are just synths and guitars slopping everywhere on the chorus, and Lambert's voice just floats over the whole thing, trying and failing to find a secure foothold.

(34) The Hotelier - “Goodness, Pt. 2”

And it sounded like something you'd say!

(35) Porter Robinson - “Shelter” (f/ Madeon) (video)

It definitely makes me old and uncool that I don't really know who either Porter Robinson or Madeon are, but man do I love EDM that sounds like Passion Pit.

The chopped female vocals here come from Amy Millan (of Broken Social Scene and Stars), which speaks to an admirable devotion to craft - even if you're going to process vocals to the point where they barely even come off as human speech, it makes a difference if you get someone who can really sing.

(36) The Weeknd - “Starboy” (video)

The lyrics to this song constitute like 90% of my total knowledge of really nice cars. The Weeknd is probably the only artist who can believably brag about owning a Rolls and drop a super-nerdy Star Trek pun in the same line.

(37) Pkew Pkew Pkew - “Before We Go Out Drinking”

The Four Stages of Listening to Pkew Pkew Pkew: (1) "This is so stupid." (2) "Okay, this is actually really catchy." (3) "If this had come out while I was in college, my friends an I would have listened to it so many times." (4) "If this had come out while I was in college, my friends and I would have died of alcohol poisoning."

(38) Kano - “This is England” (video)

UK grime got really brass-heavy in 2016, which is always a good idea, and this is a prime example. (Here's another one.)

Also, I haven't done the necessary diligence yet, but this is maybe my favorite video of the year. Kano, who has always marketed himself as a hard man from the streets, drinks tea with a bunch of old white dudes, visits an amusement park by himself, and generally has a wonderful time. It just seems hard to imagine, like, A$AP Rocky doing the same thing.

(39) Martha - “Ice Cream and Sunscreen” (video)

"We do politics but we play pop." I love this band so much.

(40) The 1975 - “She’s American”

I don't think we've spent enough time on this. Do you realize how good you have to be to call your album I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it and still have people take you seriously? The 1975 are that good.

(41) Beyonce - “Daddy Lessons” (video)

As with "Formation," I think we're all pretty well set on think-pieces about what Beyonce's return to her country music roots means for the future of race relations in this country, or whatever. I think the most interesting fact here is that this song was written by a girl from Queens who, as far as I can tell, has never written a country song before. That's quite a debut. It's already maybe the fifth-best Dixie Chicks song.

(42) Frank Ocean - “Solo”

If I was Frank Ocean, and I had the ability to generate this much breathless hype anytime I wanted to, I would absolutely mess with the music press way more than he does. Could he release a collection of the automated responses you get when you call Comcast customer service and still get an 8.0 or higher from Pitchfork? I say yes, but it's up to Frank to find out.

(43) Chance the Rapper - “Finish Line/Drown”

A perfect representation of the glorious circus that is Coloring Book. Chance enlists T-Pain and Kirk Franklin for a gospel sing-along, raps about his Xanax addiction, then cedes the stage to Chicago's Next Big Thing for a fragile spoken-word coda. This year, Chance smashed everything together, and it all worked.

(44) Jeff Rosenstock - “...While You’re Alive/Perfect Sound Whatever”

WORRY. packs seventeen songs into thirty-seven minutes, with the second half collapsing into itself like a punk-rock Abbey Road. The album's climax and thesis statement is sandwiched between the final two songs, with Rosenstock exclaiming

It’s not like the love that they showed us on TV. It’s a home that can burn. It’s a limb to freeze. 
It’s worry. 
Love is worry.

In a way that somehow makes those words sound like a triumph.

(45) Fred Thomas - “Brickwall”

Not sure if I really wanted a song about watching all your friends grow up and move to the suburbs, but now I have it. And all your friends / every single one of them / they're unavailable / they're obsessed with taking pictures of their children / they got one foot out the door / they were born with one foot out the door. Fred, come on man ... you're bumming everyone out.

(46) Bent Shapes - “New Starts in Old Dominion” (video)

You’ve got a crippling debt, reason to be upset, and the right to believe order is just around the corner is the worst commencement address ever, but it's not wrong.

(47) Bleached - “Sour Candy”

I will never understand how bubblegum punk like this isn't wildly popular. This just seems like music that literally everyone would like.

(48) Virgin Suicide - “Virgin Suicide” (video)

Finally, that Danish update on "Friday I'm In Love" you've been waiting for.

(49) case/lang/veirs - “Best Kept Secret”

It's so hard to write about happiness. A reliable sign of mediocrity is an artist exclusively wrapped in cynicism, scoring points for "cutting" lyrics. When I first encountered this song, about a man described as "the best kept secret in Silver Lake" who wants to "teach guitar to half the kids across L.A.," I assumed it was a witty takedown of some self-important gentrifying antihero with a messiah complex. That's an easy song to write. But this one isn't that. According to songwriter Laura Veirs:
I wrote this about my friend, the L.A.-based guitarist Tim Young. He’s the guitar player on the song (and on all the album tracks) so it was sweet to record it together in the studio. He’s an unsung gem of a musician and a dear friend of mine.
K.D. Lang added:
It was done in one or two takes, and it went down super-fast. We were all dancing. It just had so much joy. 
That shouldn't work. That should be cheesy and heavy-handed. That shouldn't be what Pitchfork called "a gold-rush fanfare of horns and guitars." It's a simple sounding song, but the degree of difficulty on this one was off the charts.

(50) Bon Iver - “22 (OVER S∞∞N)”

22, A Million was consistently inventive and interesting, but there wasn't really a breakout single on it. On the other hand, Justin Vernon will probably take the 9.0 from Pitchfork at the expense of my complaining about how his art doesn't fit my blog format.

(51) blink-182 - “Bored to Death” (video)

[Unnecessarily long build-up to an epiphany that many of you probably see as self-evident] One of my favorite podcasts (that's definitely an acquired taste) is Street Fight Radio, hosted by two anarchists from Columbus, Ohio. Recently they've been getting deep into really stupid online conspiracy theories, discussing them with such a weird empathy that I honestly can't tell if maybe they've gone over to the other side and joined the flat earthers. Anyway, recently they were talking about how one of the guys from blink-182 (I think Tom) is really into aliens now, and emailed John Podesta about trying to get a bigger audience for one of his favorite alien experts, and the email came out in the Wikileaks hack. After gently mocking the email for a couple minutes, one of the hosts stopped and countered that, well, blink-182 should get a pass forever on any and all craziness because "they basically decoded what going through puberty sounds like." [/Unnecessarily long build-up to an epiphany that many of you probably see as self-evident]

If that's true, and I think it is, we need to stop and recognize what a singular accomplishment that is.

I don't think the TRL-punk ethos that blink invented is just a relic of the late-90s. I think bored, over-caffeinated teenagers will always listen to music like this, the same way beginner-level stoners will always listen to Bob Marley and car-stereo showoffs will always listen to Dr. Dre. I don't know how many bands of the last couple decades can say the same.

(52) Neck Deep - "Can't Kick Up the Roots" (video)

Okay, so I put these two back to back on purpose to prove the point I made above about blink-182. The next generation of SoCal pop punk comes from ... Wrexham, northern Wales. The blink sound is cross-generational and trans-oceanic. (And sure, it could be that this is ultimately a bad thing, but that doesn't make it any less true.)

(53) Petite Meller - “The Flute” (video)

"Milk Bath" video was shot in Senegal, "The Flute" video was shot in Mongolia. I'd like to spend one day in Petite Meller's head and just spend all day walking around thinking "Yes, everything in the world is possible and I should do it. Yes, all of my ideas are amazing and I should follow them wherever they may lead."

(54) James Vincent McMorrow - “Rising Water”  (video)

I'm consciously trying to avoid writing about the election in every single one of these blurbs for a number of reasons. One, most election reaction pieces have been terrible. This is the best thing written about the election. This is the second best thing. There really is no third best thing. Two, it happened so recently, and I've been interacting with most of these songs for most of the year. It's dishonest for me to say, "This song makes me think of how much I hate Steve Bannon," if it came out in February.

This song in particular instilled in me a feeling that has been magnified by the election, but has been with me for months, even when we were all sure that at least this one electoral disaster would be averted. Alive in spite of rising water. And there's literal rising water, for sure, but for me this song speaks to an unstated but shared understanding that so many of our foundations are crumbling. It's a kind of resolute disappointment. A willingness to fight even with the understanding that all of this was avoidable, and that we did it to ourselves. Alive in spite of rising water. I don't think this song is actually about any of that. But that's what it does to me.

(55) D.R.A.M. - “Cash Machine” (video)

I'd never recommend judging a book by its cover, but this is the cover of D.R.A.M.'s album. AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HIS MUSIC SOUNDS LIKE. I'm not the first person to call it "euphoric," but I'm going to do it anyway. This song makes me incredibly happy. A worthy successor in the micro-genre of rapping about money over a Ray Charles sample.

(56) A Tribe Called Quest - “We The People …” (video)

You write this incredible song about intolerance and fear, then you die, then intolerance and fear take over. Can't imagine Phife Dog wanted his legacy to play out that way, but hey, at least you get to live forever.

Also, you made Spice Adams do this.

(57) Francis and the Lights - “See Her Out (That’s Just Life)” (video) 

To be honest, I thought we had reached the limits of what could be accomplished with vocal processing, but I was wrong. This is fresh and exciting. Also, if I ever change the tagline on this blog, Just give me the headphones / turn up everything is a solid contender.

(58) Hot Hot Heat - “Kid Who Stays in the Picture” (video)

"Bandages" came out fourteen years ago. It wasn't even that big of a hit (peaking at #25 of the UK charts, never cracking the US Top 100). It would be a compliment to even call Hot Hot Heat a one-hit wonder. I'm so grateful to bands who persevere in the face of decades of commercial indifference. This is their farewell album, and they've earned a better sendoff than this, but I'm glad they made it as far as they did.

("Goodnight Goodnight" should have been a huge hit and I still hold a grudge that it wasn't.)

(59) LVL UP - “Hidden Driver”

If you love Neutral Milk Hotel and lyrics about the nature of free will, this song is for you.

(Since that's probably not the biggest demographic, I'll just go ahead and recommend it everyone.)

(60) Car Seat Headrest - “(Joe Gets Kicked Out of School For Using) Drugs With Friends (But Says This Isn't a Problem)”

A late addition to the list, and my pick for the song that I'll look back on and wish I had ranked higher. Also Ilana's new favorite song to howl along with in the car.

And then I saw Jesus
And he said,
“Who are you to go against the word of my father? 
And who are you? The scum of the earth?”
No, we are just, we are just, we are just teens of style

(61) Pinegrove - “Aphasia”

For a song about the fear of not being able to find the words ... these are some pretty good words. Nah things go wrong sometimes / Don't let it freak you out.

(62) Brian Fallon - “Nobody Wins” (video)

Second song Brian Fallon has written referencing a tommy gun, neither is as good as "Tommy Gun" by the Clash. I think Fallon would probably agree with that assessment.

(63) Kamaiyah - “How Does It Feel” (video)

Oakland MC having her own throwback G-Funk party. "How Does It Feel" was a late-2015 single, but the album came out in 2016, so it sneaks in. If you're going to be a stickler for rules, sub in the equally celebratory "Out the Bottle."

(64) Cloud Nothings - “Internal World”

New album coming out in January, "Internal World" gets the nod on this list over "Modern Act," the band's first pre-release single. Both are worth your time, but this one is just a hair catchier. I'm not the one who's always right.

(65) joyride! - "Girls Who Wanna Realize Themselves"

I love San Francisco indie bands so much because, holy crap, how can you afford to live here? 2016's Half Moon Bay is delightful from start to finish, and I'm making it a goal of mine to see them in concert in 2017.

(66) The Avett Brothers - “Ain’t No Man” (video)

The year's best song for stomping along, and the song Dr. Dog is kicking themselves for not writing years ago.

(67) Ingrid Michaelson - “Hell No” (video)

The thing with Ingrid is that I don't believe her. This was marketed as a kind of kiss-off empowerment anthem, the multi-tracked vocals on the chorus standing strong in solidarity. I don't buy it. The honesty here is in the verses and the most affecting part is absolutely the mumbled "I get it, whatever" at the end of each verse, a kind of extension of the "let's not make it harder than it has to be" refrain from "Girls Chase Boys." (This one isn't quite as good as "Girls Chase Boys," largely because "Girls Chase Boys" is perfect.) It takes a real gift to make defeated resignation sound as catchy as this. She's probably not taking him back, but I don't think she's happy about it.

(68) Kanye West - “Waves” 

In 2016, Kanye's genius is almost as much curation as creation. (It's okay, the same thing happened to Dr. Dre.) One of The Life of Pablo's high points is absolutely the part where he just plays "Panda" for like a minute. And many of the other highlights come from Kanye's willingness to trust Chance the Rapper. There's an incredible video from Zane Lowe's BBC show where Chance plays first-draft demos of "Famous" and "Waves." Are they better than the final, Yeezy-approved versions? I'll let you be the judge of that. (The answer is yes.)

(69) Little Mix - “You Gotta Not”

Basically what "No Scrubs" would have been as a Spice Girls song. The guy is lame, he's broke, he lives with his mom, he smokes cigarettes. But then, the lyric that has obsessed me for months:

Is you afraid of Blue's Clues? (You gotta not!)

What could that possibly mean? Is it a reference to the children's TV show? Why would the guy be afraid of Blue's Clues?

At first, I thought this was some weird British slang thing, but Meghan Trainor wrote this song. There's no way she knows more slang than I do.

(70) JoJo - “F*** Apologies” (f/ Wiz Khalifa) (video)

JoJo can really, really sing, and it's a shame that some label exec thought she needed Wiz Khalifa's help to sell records. Wiz' verse is the worst thing on this list, and I firmly believe his name-drop set the Uber IPO back at least six months.

As for JoJo's triumphant return, have you read any of the profiles written about her? There are some.

(71) Sigala - “Say You Do” (video)

I'm on the record as strongly in favor of someone re-writing "Always Be My Baby" every five years or so. Start working on your 2021 submissions now.

(72) Cymbals Eat Guitars - “Dancing Days”

Better than "Dancing Days," maybe not quite as good as "Those Dancing Days." Still pretty great.

(73) PUP - “If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You, I Will” (video)

PUP played over 250 shows in 2014. No jury in the world would convict.

(74) Conor Oberst - “You All Loved Him Once”

Since this is Conor Oberst we're talking about, you have to read this as autobiographical, which means he's comparing himself to Julius Caesar, which is a pretty Conor Oberst thing to do.

Ian Cohen at Pitchfork thinks it might be about Bernie Sanders, which I don't see at all.

(75) Drive By Truckers - “Filthy and Fried” 

As Ilana pointed out, masterful use of the "One Headlight" keyboards.

Two decades into a prolific career, DBT seemed more important than ever in 2016, good old boys from Alabama touring on Skynyrd/Allman rock in front of a "Black Lives Matter" banner and a new album including at least two songs explicitly referencing police shootings. While plenty of bands were making similar statements in San Francisco or Portland, DBT was emphatically not preaching to the choir, writing op-eds about the shame of the Confederate flag before touring the south.

Plus they played "One of these Days" at their last SF show, which is still their best song and I'd never heard it live before and it was incredible.

(76) Animal Collective - “Golden Gal” (video)

Animal Collective have been trafficking in in experimental weirdness for so long that, from them, a straight-ahead pop song about Golden Girls is pretty much the strangest thing they could have done.

(77) Bleached - “Wednesday Night Melody” (video)

Pitchfork said this sounds like Jimmy Eat World covering "Drift Away," which doesn't sound like a compliment, but it is.

(78) Rogue Wave - “California Bride” 

My first concert was Reel Big Fish at the Hollywood Theater in La Crosse, Wisconsin, probably some time in 1997. Apart from that, if you can believe it, growing up in rural Minnesota didn't give me the opportunity to see much live music. It wasn't until college that I started going to shows more regularly. I would venture down I-94 to Minneapolis for concerts, which I only did a couple times a year, sometimes alone. Since these concerts were events for me, I would get there when the doors opened and watch all of the opening bands, no matter who they were. In 2004, I saw the Shins at First Avenue, right before they started changing lives with Natalie Portman. The first band on that bill, who I had never heard of, was Rogue Wave. I left thinking, "Cool, they kinda sound like a weirder version of The Shins." Twelve years later they're still here, an indie-rock institution in their own right. I feel like we've been through a lot together.

(79) Drake - “One Dance” 

It's possible no one should have as much self-confidence as Drake has right now. It can't be good for his long-term mental health and stability. But right now Drake believes the force of his personality is enough to make a song a hit, and that's the only explanation I can come up with for how we wound up with a lead single this minimal. Seriously, that piano line is the star of the show, and any other rapper buries that under ten layers of unnecessary production just to make sure it bangs. So let's keep telling Drake he's the best and see what else he can come up with.

(80) Skepta - “Man” (video)

It's basically four minutes about how Skepta doesn't want to have his picture taken with you, but that beat is undeniable (and apparently it's a Queens of the Stone Age sample).

(81) The Weeknd - “Sidewalks” (f/ Kendrick Lamar) 

KENDRIIIIIIIIICKKKKKK!!! Tough to pick out a second representative from Starboy, but if Burn Your Hits stands for anything, it stands for Kendrick >>> Everything, so this gets priority.

(82) Skogsrå - “Out of Time” 

Since you asked, a Skogsrå is a mythical forest creature from Swedish folklore. According to Wikipedia, it appears in the form of a small, beautiful woman with a seemingly friendly temperament. However, those who are enticed into following her into the forest are never seen again. On "Out of Time," that mythical forest creature starts with the "Get Lucky" guitars and ends up with a choppy but enjoyable dance track ... never to be seen again.

(83) Los Campesinos! - “I Broke Up in Amarante”

Since it's been awhile since I've claimed that an album is one of my all-time favorites ... Hold On Now, Youngster is one of my all-time favorites. I still believe these guys have one more great album in them, and I'm hoping its coming in 2017.

(84) Kiiara - “Gold” (video)

Eventually the weird fringe things you love will be commodified and repackaged for widespread pop consumption. But, if you're lucky, the mass-market version hangs on to some of what made the original special. You can draw a five-year trend line from Purity Ring's "Ungirthed" (#2 on 100 Songs for 2011) to "Gold." It's a worthy heir.

(85) Letters to Cleo - “Can’t Say” 

"Power Pop" is an essentially meaningless genre distinction, and I doubt two people have ever agreed on its definition. Basically, power pop is for people who think Big Star's #1 Record is the greatest album of all time (which is probably true). The most power pop song of all time is "Surrender" by Cheap Trick. There was a lot of excellent power pop in the mid-1990s (Matthew Sweet's "Sick of Myself," say, or Fountains of Wayne's "Radiation Vibe"). Past that, the boundaries start to break down.

Anyway ... this is a really good power pop song.

(86) The Veronicas - "On Your Side"(video)

Cool Swedish production, warm Aussie heart. Probably the first song about pledging eternal devotion that also includes a reference to throwing up on public transit.

Also, we talked a lot about the resurrection of JoJo this year, but the triumphant return of the The Veronicas is just as exciting. "4ever" came out in 2005. "Untouched" was 2007. That is a lifetime ago. Good to have them back.

(87) Red Velvet - "Russian Roulette" (video)

For the second year in a row, I have listened to exactly one K-pop song, enjoyed it, and really didn't do anything to seek out additional K-pop songs I might have also enjoyed. Basically what I'm saying is that if anyone wants to make me a 2016 K-pop mixtape, I will gladly accept it, but I'm not sure I have the energy to put it together myself.

(88) The Sun Days - “Don’t Need to Be Them” (video)

Not nearly enough Swedes on the list this year.

(89) Diarrhea Planet - “Life Pass”

Imagine telling co-workers you had a great time last night at the Diarrhea Planet show. I almost hope they stop writing great songs like this so I never find myself in that position.

(90) Margo Price - “About to Find Out”

I only hear about awesome country artists when they get big enough to appear on Saturday Night Live, which makes me feel really out of touch. Better than nothing, I guess.

(91) Crying - “Wool in the Wash” 

It's like 75% pleasant indie-girl rock, but then there's a guitar solo that splits the difference between Van Halen and "Digital Love," and once you've heard it the whole song becomes potential and anticipation.

(92) Teenage Fanclub - “I’m In Love” (video)

Celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of Spin naming Bandwagonesque album of the year over Nevermind.

Twenty-five years later, they're still right.

(93) Hurry - “Fascination”

Hurry fall into that unfortunate linguistic space where they get categorized as "pop" despite not selling any records or experiencing any of the other trappings of success. I would read an essay explaining the process by which the music press decoupled "pop" and "popular," but I can't imagine anyone has the appetite to write it.

On this list, Hurry check in one spot behind obvious influence Teenage Fanclub. If it makes them feel any better (since I'm sure they read this), I prefer the whole of Guided Meditations to Teenage Fanclub's Here.

(94) Ariana Grande - “Into You” (video)

2016 was, for the most part, a Max Martin-less year. Maybe it's our fault, maybe we did something to upset him. Because that Justin Timberlake song from the Troll soundtrack was garbage, and the P!nk song from the Alice Through the Looking Glass song was fine, and honestly, Max, are you just doing movie soundtrack songs now? Do you need money or something? Do you have a tax problem? For some reason he wrote and produced SEVEN songs on the Ariana Grande album, which is consistently solid, and this is the best of the lot, but ... come on man, I need more. These are dark times.

(95) Future - “Fly Shit Only”

Beat sounds like a sample of "Street Spirit (Fade Out)." Would like to hear an entire album of Future rapping over Metro Boomin' interpretations of The Bends. (It would be called The Bandz)

(96) Mutual Benefit - “Not for Nothing” (video)

Mutual Benefit have been making fragile, beautiful songs like this for five years now. They don't demand your attention, which is my excuse for why the exquisite "Let's Play / Statue of a Man" missed my 2013 list. Not making the same mistake this time.

(97) Nick Waterhouse - “Katchi” (f/ Leon Bridges)

Any artist who sticks this closely to the stylistic conventions of the past risks being dismissed as a novelty. Leon Bridges found a way to make the fifties style seem relevant in 2015, but I'm not sure Nick Waterhouse gets all the way there a year later. For whatever reason, I just can't take him as seriously. It sounds like a gimmick to me. Doesn't mean the song isn't fun, though.

(98) Marshmello - “Alone” (video)

Like so many songs, I was introduced to "Alone" via the best music site in the world, The Singles Jukebox (and I say this even though they rejected my application to write for them). The panel's reactions to this song were fascinating. This time of year, when so many year-end lists start to look very similar, it's easy to wonder if there really is such a thing as objectively "good" music or if there's just a media echo chamber that feeds off itself. To see this song receive passionate 0 and 1 scores next to passionate 9 and 10 scores reaffirms my faith that we're all just trying to convince each other that the stuff we like is better and that really no one can claim any authority to make that decision. And it turns out I like at least one big, dumb EDM song.

(99) DMA’s - “Step Up the Morphine” (video)

A touching tribute written after the passing of the guitarist's grandmother. Imagine a parallel universe  version of Oasis where someone in the band possesses the capacity for empathy.

(100) Lambchop - “In Care of 8675309”

Just a warm bath of a song. Twelve minutes of processed vocals and largely inscrutable lyrics. Let it wash over you.

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