Day 99-- favorite songs, part 2

Here's the wrap-up of my top ten favorite songs.

5. "Try," Michael Penn. This just came out of the blue. I had almost forgotten how much I love this song! A perfect slab of power pop. Penn's voice is great, the hint of resignation in the lyrics is haunting, and P.T. Anderson's video does nothing to hinder the track (Penn and Anderson are friends, and the musician not only acted in Boogie Nights, but scored Hard Eight). And yes, that is Phillip Seymour Hoffman running around. This is my song of choice for my headphones when running.
4. "The Break," Urge Overkill. Christmas 1995. I got Urge Overkill's swan song Exit the Dragon and Matthew Sweet's Girlfriend, along with the Star Wars computer game Dark Forces. I played that game a lot and listened to those CDs a lot too. "The Break" failed as a single, and the band eventually deep-sixed. But the track is smart, unconventional, and heavily in debt to '70s AM radio. It's catchy in that weird way that doesn't really hit you until weeks later, when you find yourself humming it as you pump gas or layer butter on a bagel. Blackie O's jazzy, minimalistic drumming compliments the dead spaces between the crackling, lurking guitars and King Roeser's howl. I'll take these guys over Jet or any other "real rock" bands any day of the week.
3. "September Gurls," Big Star. The perfect pop rock song. Big Star were the most important cult band of all time. "September Gurls" is one of their best songs. It's always stuck with me because Alex Chilton sounds so weary as he sings, tidal waves of romanticism lapping toward the shore. And the tinny, almost hollow sound of the rhythm guitar is hypnotic, not the mention the trebley pop of the bass (listen closely and you can hear the strings rattling off the pick guard). "December boys got it bad." I love Big Star. Long live Big Star.
2. "Girlfriend," Matthew Sweet. If you listen the lyrics, you'll get how dark they are. I won't talk this song up. Just listen to the breakdown at the end.
1. "Car," Built to Spill. I'm thankful that I never had a hard time finding the answers to big questions. But for three minutes I've can understand the teens that did, the ones that didn't understand love or God or themselves, and I could do so with one of the most beautiful songs written.

posted, with grace and poise, by Jason @ 12/13/2006 09:42:00 PM,


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