Monday, August 17, 2009

Favorite Moments in Music: Part Two (40-31)

...In which we continue our journey to find one random internet user's favorite moment in music. Numbers 40 through 31 today. I was lazy yesterday, and posted the first ten without listening links. I've amended this, and they should all be there, and today's should be working as well. Listen away!

40. Metallica - One
"The machine-gun riff"

This one is almost too easy. 'One' is great, anyway, from the opening guitar line to the ridiculous solo that gets laid down in the second half of the song. The part that everyone always seems to talk about, though, is the "machine gun riff". One would think that it lasted five and a half minutes, but it actually lasts a couple of seconds, and doesn't even bookend the song, as there's another solo or two after it. Even so, it's easily the most memorable part of the song for me, and it would seem I'm not alone in that sentiment.

39. Grizzly Bear - While You Wait For the Others (live)
"All we want"

This was number three on last year's list, and I have to say that while Veckatimest is pretty darn good, I still prefer the 'Morning Becomes Eclectic' version of this song. The bridge still gets me every time I listen, and the lead back to the last chorus is still awesome. Check here for what I had to say about it last year.

38. Foo Fighters - The Best of You
"The best - the best - the best"

The Foo Fighters have no small supply of explosive crescendos, but my favorite has got to be the one found in "Best of You". As is often the case with my favorite bits of songs, everything about the song comes to a slow stop, before Dave Grohl begins shouting out the hook.

37. Bob Dylan - Like a Rolling Stone
"How does it FEEEEEEL"

As a disclaimer, I feel that it's important to note that I'm not really all that much of a Bob Dylan fan, nor do I have any reference or context to try to make any grandiose statement about his music. That being said, who can possibly resist 'Like a Rolling Stone'? Feeling schadenfreude toward someone who's been taken down a peg or two has universal appeal, and when the singer half-shouts "HOW DOES IT FEEEEEL!?", the listener knows exactly how it feels - on both sides of the coin.

36. Blonde Redhead - Spring and By Summer Fall
"Comet-tail guitars"

'Spring or By Summer Fall' is a decent song. Dreamy vocals, fuzzy guitars, and an overall feeling of being in a fog permeate the majority of it, but in between the verses the real hook to the song takes off. This guitar line, done by what the AllMusicGuide review descriptively called "comet tail" guitars, is about as blissful as anything I've heard. They're almost shoegazey, without the extra heaviness or disoriented feeling that that particular tag often assumes - just beautiful and soothing.

35. Viktor Vaughn - Let Me Watch
"Vik trips up"

Daniel Dumile (MF Doom, Viktor Vaughn, DOOM, etc, etc, etc...) is always at his best when he's in character, and he's rarely been as good or in character as he is in 'Let Me Watch'. The song chronicles the short-lived romance between Viktor Vaughn and a young girl. She thinks he's a rogue with a heart (spoiler alert: he's not). Things take a hillarious turn toward disaster when Vik's true intentions are found out. The girl goes apoplectic; Vik goes home empty-handed. Her furious rantings and his barely-interested responses take an already good song to the next level.

34. Mew - Fox Cub/Apocalypso
"As threatening as Mew could ever sound"

Mew does not make angry sounding music, prefering to usually craft loud, but wandering songs around extremely vauge lyrics. However, toward the end of "Fox Cub" (a relatively docile affair), a darkness begin to build in the music, leading up to some absolutely jagged sounding guitar in the opening notes to Apocalypso. The beggining rushes forward as if propelled by angry hornets until that ghostly, oddly high-pitched voice pulls things back together. The rest of the song sounds pretty standard for Mew, but there's still that dark undercurrent.

33. Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution - Here's To Life
"Every rebel soldier wasn't fired..."

I have envy in my heart towards my brother, he's actually seen BotAR in concert. He says they're amazing. I can believe it. My favorite song of theirs is a missive at the writer's heroes who were all taken (or took themselves) from the world far too early. The bridge slows the pace as Tomas Kalnoky sings "every rebel soldier wasn't fired... some have quit", before later raising a toast of sorts to them all and affirming (probably mostly himself most of all) "here's to life".

32. Nobuo Uematsu - Advent: One-Winged Angel

Allow my inner nerd to get sidetracked for a moment here. Nostalgia aside, the version of "One-Winged Angel" that shows up on the original Final Fantasy VII soundtrack doesn't really pack the punch that it once did (that's not a slam against classic VGM - I actually own the soundtrack to FFVII, and continue to enjoy it - there's just no reason to listen to that particular version of the song when better ones exist).

Now that we've establised that, the Advent Children version of One Winged Angel showcases just how good a composition the original had the potential to be. The orchestra crashes all around as rocking guitars chug away. The thing everyone remembers about this OWY, though, is the vocalists. That the lyrics are in Latin makes it all the more ominous sounding, and when the name of the game's antagonist is shouted out, it just plain kicks ass. I may be a video game nerd, but this song stands up just fine against anything else out there.

31. Viva Voce - Alive With Pleasure
"The begining / ending"

With the first notes to The Heat Can Melt Your Brain, Viva Voce decided not to waste any time. They launch directly into an extremely catchy guitar & drum stomper. Turns out, though, that the begining is completely misleading. The meat of the song is nothing at all like the opening, it feels grafted on from a different song. The middle is beautiful and all, but it doesn't really feel right until the buzzing guitar comes to take back the song.

Note: I've included the semi-bizzare music video, because it's the only version I could find.

The list continues with 30-21 tomorrow!!


  1. Agree with #40, #38, #37. Not really familiar with the rest.

    Back before the internets provided all of our music I read about One but hadn't heard it. It took me weeks to track it down but when I did, Holy Cow! The anticipation didn't ruin the moment at all and in fact thought that the write up didn't even come close to doing the song justice.

  2. #38 is a good one. I wrote about "Best of You" way back when on Music Video Sunday.

    PS - This is Part II, I believe, not Part I again.