Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Favorite Moments in Music: Part Three (30-21)

Ha! By my clock, it's 11:59, so I technically got this off on Wednesday. Below are numbers 30-21, tomorrow will be 20-11.

Oasis - Rock 'n Roll Star

"It's just rock n Roll"

It's been said the 'Definitely Maybe' is an unintentional concept album about wanting to be a rock star, and there's no better example of that than 'Rock 'n Roll Star'. Everything about the song itself is big. The hook is big, the guitars are big, and the half sneering swagger / half hopeful confidence mixture all leads up to a big crashing finale where everything comes together as Liam Gallagher states simply "It's just rock and roll". After all, after all the over-analyzing - all the searching for the hidden meaning - sometimes, it's just rock and roll.

29. The Who - Won't Get Fooled Again

It's sort of bizzare that this song is now an elaborate joke involving David Caruso, sunglasses, and some horrible pun that even James Bond would be ashamed to be associated with. CSI:Miami Probably hasn't done much to improve "Won't Get Fooled"s legacy, but the scream is still the capping moment to a truly great song.

28. P.O.S. - Stand Up (Let's Get Murdered)
"Hey yo... light that shit the fuck up!"

The song is good, and the line referenced above is certainly exciting and overall pretty kickass, but the real reason for this inclusion has more to do with fastastic memories of sitting drunkenly on a hotel room floor in Canada at three in the morning, listening to this song over and over with my best friends. We tried to rap along with it, failing hillariously every time, but this was the one line we had down pat. If I remember right, it went something like "mumble. mumble mumble... something, something mumble... HEY YO, LIGHT THAT SHIT THE FUCK UP!! Ah, this is the best song ever!!" The rest of the hotel must have been very impressed. The best song ever, indeed.

27. Boston - Foreplay / Long Time

Honestly, if a person wasn't aware, it would be easy to think the 'Foreplay' and 'Long time' sections were two completely different songs. Instead, 'Foreplay' turns into an extended intro for a song that it really doesn't share any similarities to - and what an intro it is. Whirling basslines, crazy triplets blasting every which direction. We used to pull it up into Rock Band, and once the actual meat of the song hit, we'd simply start the song over (and for the record, Longtime is actually plenty good in its own right.)

26. Radiohead - Reckoner
" ripples on a blank shore..."

When I got back from my honeymoon, a special present was awaiting me. Unbeknownst to me, the internet was all aflutter with news that the new Radiohead CD was going to be dropped pretty much out of nowhere within ten days. Once I got back home, I happened upon news of this, and the album happened to come online almost exactly when I did. I spent the rest of the evening listening to it. It sounded good on the first listen, but it wasn't until midway through this song that I knew how good. Put over that drum beat, Thom Yorke's voice becomes just another musical instrument, and he puts it to great use here.

25. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - We Call Upon the Author

Another one from last year's list. Nick Cave is truly a fascinating person and a great song writer. Demanding answers to deep questions, then dismissing the answers as wordy rubbish. It doesn't lead to any restful conclusion, so of course the dissonant clatter that punctuates each section of the song makes perfect sense.

24. Shiny Toy Guns - Don't Cry Out
"10, 9, 8"

We Are Pilots is one of my favorite guilty pleasure CDs. 'Don't Cry Out' is easily the highlight of the album - the song just oozes that catchy, likable synth pop sound. Something about the way everything boils over during the bridge as it transitions to the chorus just seems right. The fact that it's just about perfect summer driving music just adds bonus points.

23. Mewithoutyou - O, Porcupine
"In darkness a light shines on me..."

The emotion packed into Mewithoutyou songs (especially when combined with the songwriting greatness of Aaron Weiss) makes for a lot of harrowing moments, but it's quite possible that none of them is on par with the complete release that happens at the end of 'O, Porcupine'. It seems to come out of nowhere and suddenly hits with intense force. Mewithoutyou may be the definition of a "your milage may vary" band, but those who overlook them are missing out on something special.

22. Arcade Fire - My Body is a Cage
"The punctuating organ blast"

Neon Bible's end track starts off slowly, with nothing but Win Butler's voice wafting over a very sparse drum beat. Things build a little more with every successive bit building a little more onto the skeleton. Then, around 2:10, the organ blasts its full power, the drum becomes more pronounced, the background singers become fleshed out. It's as if the song had been hiding behind tinted glass before, and has been revealed suddenly.

21. Aerosmith - Dream On
"Dream on"

You've all heard this (mutiple times, probably), so I don't really need to introduce this. With a few exceptions, I'm not a big Aerosmith fan, but the breakdown in Dream On is everything that is right in rock and roll. Steven Tyler kind of creeps me out, but if you want to see how well that he really does in that part, just check out the results when someone else tries his hand at it (skip to 1:35 if you just want to get to the 'good' part).

(Coincidentally, the "Scream On" treatment probably falls just outside my top 50, just because of how damn funny it is).


  1. O.k. I am really having some trouble with #27. Too me those songs perfectly represent bad 70's rock that was bringing me down in the summer of 1981.

    The rest of the list is top notch however.

  2. I sort of figured that one might catch a little flak. I really don't listen to much music from the 70's, but for some reason, as 'bad' as Boston is, they catch me with my guard down just about every time. I don't listen to them often (I actually don't listen to pre-90's music too terribly often), but somehow it works for me.

    Ironically enough, the idea for this list originated when I heard 'Foreplay' at a hardware store.