I’m a big fan of lists, specifically top ten lists. Maybe it’s my incessant love for John Cusack’s character in High Fidelity, Rob Gordan, or my obsessive compulsive behavior. I don’t know. Either way, I thought I would be kind and let you in on some current music I’ve been flavoring.
“Flavoring? Is he off his chain,” you say.
Yes, flavoring. It’s a noun, but I’m changing it up. Things relate to me in tastes (Hey, I’m a former fat kid), so I went with that word. If you prefer, I could have said: “Either way, I thought I would be kind and let you in on some current music I’ve been jamming out to.” But then I’d sound like a douche bag with a backwards cap (essentially, my former self).
Here’s a self fulfilling top ten list of the songs I’ve been currently spinning lately. Most of them, if not all, were released sometime last year or within the past few weeks. If you’ve heard them, good for you. If not, well, here’s some input. That’s the whole purpose of this post, right?
10. Wu-Tang Clan – 8 Diagrams – “Wolves”
Even if the album is about as consistent as a typical David Lynch narrative, there are moments when the group shine. “Wolves” is one of them. George Clinton’s additions are superb. Example: “The fox, is kinda foxy/Mr. Wolf, he’s the guy/ Who chased Red through woods and ate Grandma/ But a dog is a dog is a dog is a dog/ Unlike the wolf, who made a widower of Grandpa.” Keep chanting that and see if you catch some odd stares.
9. The Magnetic Fields – Distortion – “Xavier Says”
Not too long after I reviewed the album, I fell in love with this song. Comparisons to Jesus and the Mary Chain aside, Stephin Merritt really captured a melancholy pop song here. The raw disturbing echoes and the dwindling lyrics are really moody and given the weather this time of the year, absolutely necessary. It’s not the stand out track off Distortion, but it’s something to write home about.
8. Rivers Cuomo – Alone – “Superfriend”
It’s been wanted by about every Weezer fan for close to a decade and with good reason. This is a sweet number that’s so familiar to the old Weezer we’ve grown up to love. It’s untouched quality (” What the hell am I doing?/ Thinking with my willy”) adds such a bold taste that’s been lost since the Green album days, or maybe earlier. I’d go so far as to say this song is worth the price of the album alone.
7. R.E.M. – Out of Time – “Radio Song”
Okay, so maybe the album came out in 1991, but everyone is back to talking up one of alternative music’s greatest bands ever, R.E.M. This opening track, and fourth single off the album, is everything the band has ever been. Stipe’s usual yet dignified expressions on the world (“The world is collapsing/ Around our ears/I turned up the radio/But I can’t hear it”) co-exist perfectly with the interludes of rap. Bliss.
6. Rilo Kiley – Under the Blacklight – “Dreamworld”
Fans either love or hate this album, but I really can’t get enough of it. Then again, I never really enjoyed the folksy side of Rilo Kiley. To me, they were and have always been at their best on The Execution of All Things. Vocalist Jenny Lewis sits out mostly on this track, but what really keys me in here is the ambient guitar work. It’s gorgeous. Check out this particular performance if you don’t believe me.
5. E.L.O – On the Third Day – “Showdown”
By far my most random inclusion here. But I really haven’t stopped listening to this song lately. It’s epic. The violins, the harmonies, and the beat are all arguably one kick ass tirade. It’s a song that gives you a hint how it might have been living in the ’70’s, which is not so much a surprise given the release date (1973). Random and odd, but nonetheless, a killer tune.
4. Radiohead – “Jigsaw Falling Into Place”
What else does the world need to hear to realize the excellency that is this album? Between sporting the cover of Rolling Stone and petitioning the internet with various web streams, Radiohead is everywhere. Yes, this is the single. No, I didn’t like it when I first heard (God knows why). But by now I’ve come to my idiot senses. The start of the song gives me goosebumps. Not the books, kids.
3. Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend – “Walcott”
If my overwhelmingly positive review of this debut didn’t clue you in, then maybe this will. Vampire Weekend is good. They’re damn good. This song, one of the last ones off the album, is scintillating with mouth watering choruses and motivating guitar parts. It’s the running song for anyone opting to jog instead of sprint, if that makes sense. It doesn’t, but just go with it.
2. The Mars Volta – The Bedlam in Goliath – “Ouroboros”
This album came out Tuesday and I’ve already re-listened to this song maybe ten to fifteen times. It’s kind of the same reaction I had when I first heard “Cicatriz E.S.P.” off of their 2003 “debut”, Deloused in the Comatorium. Frontman Cedric Bixler-Zavala really outshines himself here with some outstanding vocal work, alongside blistering percussion and ricochet guitar art. I love it. They’re back.
1. Interpol – Our Love to Admire – “Pioneer to the Falls”
It’s odd that I’d ever have an Interpol song on the top of any list I’d make. For one, I’m not that big of a fan and I’ve consistently labeled them a Talking Heads knock off, or second coming of Joy Division without the fanfare. However, this song really hits in the right places, especially when vocalist Paul Banks calls out, “You fly straight into my heart” over and over again. Check it out (via Deadflowers).
Well, that wasn’t so hard now, was it? I probably won’t drag you along like that again, but for those who made it this far, thanks for reading. Hope you found some songs worth listening to.
What songs have you been listening to? Tell us.