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Friday, March 16, 2012

The Top Songs of 2003

I really can’t remember the last time I posted one of these things, but I’ve finally found time to break down 2003 scientifically.  Now that I’m in more modern years, it’s much harder to gauge what kind of impact genres like “dancepunk” and bands like “The Strokes” had because we’ll, they’re already both gone.  Well, almost.  Anyways, here’s the list:

120.  Looks Just Like the Sun – The Broken Social Scene
119.  The Way You Move – Outkast

Why does it seem like Carlos Santana is involved with this song? 

118.  Stacy’s Mom – Fountains Of Wayne

Something that never happened pre-Ipod era:  A girl I work with asked me if I knew this song. I said no.  She played it for me, and I still said no.  Later on, I’d go on to find out I have it on my Ipod.  Point being, 120 gigs is too many. 

117.  In Da Club – 50 Cent

This guy, even though his career is over, converted more people from the word Fifty to Fitty than anyone else in the history of hip-hop.  Not sure if he has any other footprints.  This song kinda sucks if you really listen to it. 

116.  Everybody’s Changing – Keane
115.  Krazyworld – King Geedorah
114.  KC Accidental – Broken Social Scene

I’m not sure if this is an actual song, or an intro to the album.  It kind of reminds of Phish’s “The Curtain” song because of its imbalance, which I like. 

113.  Rich – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
112.  Almost Was Good Enough – Magnolia Electric Company
111.  Thickfreakness – Black Keys
110.  Heartbeats – The Knife
109.  Black Math – The White Stripes
108.  Jessica – Adam Green

This could be one of the best mock songs ever.  It may just be the strings classing it up, but the lyrics are absolutely incredible and sums up the Aughts as good as anything. 

107.  Sleeping In – Postal Service
106.  Fix Up Look Sharp – Dizzee Rascal
105.  Chocolate Town – Ween

I didn’t know Quebec had good songs.  I always thought it was one of those “B-Sides and Rarities” albums, but there are quite a few gems. 

104.  If You See Me Coming – The Black Keys

I wonder how many more years I’ll be sweating Dan Auerbach.  Not sure I’ve ever done this before, but here’s a list of “Guitar players I’ve sweat” since I started playing guitar.

The baton starts with Eddie Van Halen, who passes it to Nuno Bettencourt, who passes it to Slash, who passes it to Robbie Krieger (who sucks, but whatever), who passes it to the two guitar players who go by Jim(i)(my), who pass it to Trey Anasatasio, who pass it to Jack White, who passed it a couple years ago to Dan Auerbach.  Something tells me I’m never going to grab my own baton. 

103.  Woo Hoo – The 5, 6, 7, 8s

It’s a fun ride, especially when you consider the blood bath that’s about to follow and not the numerous commercials that decided that “Songs from Kill Bill” are great for the products. 

102.  Shampoo Suicide – Broken Social Scene

These guys make a good instrumental piece. 

101.  Those to Come – The Shins
100.  Punchbag – A Band of Bees

I’ve never really listened to this album in its entirety, but their genres are all over the place, which makes me want to listen some time. 

99.  You Talk Way Too Much – The Strokes

They stole this from Run DMC, or Mike Keena, not sure which. 

98.  First Song – Andrew Bird
97.  Darts of Pleasure – Franz Ferdinand

I wonder, several years from now, if people are going to confuse Franz Ferdinand with Interpol, and ultimately say “Those bands are so early Aughts!”  My guess is yes. 

96.  A Punchup at the Wedding – Radiohead
95.  A Minha Menina – Band of Bees
94.  Sinkhole – Drive-By Truckers

This is a nice ho-down.  I have to see these guys live before they get older, even though they keep making good albums. 

93.  The Hardest Button to Button – The White Stripes
92.  I’ve Been Riding With the Ghost – Magnolia Electric Company
91.  Keep on Runnin – Cat Power

If Cat Power came out during the Roaring Women of the 90s, the handle never would’ve made it, but in 2003, it’s a great “one of those don’t call me a chick” chick’s name. 

90.  Pacific Theme – Broken Social Scene
89.  The Upper Peninsula – Sufjan Stevens

I just found out the “50 states project” was a gag.  Guess I can’t stop holding my breath for a song about strip clubs, Disney World and Miami when it was to be Florida’s turn. 

88.  Backdrifts – Radiohead

The best beats and whining on top of it you’re going to find out there, if that’s what you’re looking for.

87.  Our Anniversary - Smog
86.  I Was Meant for the Stage – The Decemberists
85.  Fazers – King Geedorah
84.  In My Bed – Amy Winehouse
83.  Anthems for a 17-Year-Old Girl – Broken Social Scene

I always tell people Feist is singing this song.  I’m probably incorrect about this. 

82.  Girl, You Have No Faith in Medicine – The White Stripes
81.  The Coming of Spring – The Rapture
80.  A Wolf at the Door – Radiohead

It’s official, I have a non-electronic Radiohead bias.  This isn’t a typical Zach song, especially when Radiohead is involved, but just hearing them make pure music a la the 1990s version of themselves is quite nice. 

79.  For the Windows in Paradise – Sufjan Stevens
78.  He War – Cat Power
77.  Dancefloors – My Morning Jacket
76.  Are You Gonna Be My Girl - Jet
75.  Nothing Better – Postal Service
74.  Sit Down. Stand Up – Radiohead
73.  Hard Row – The Black Keys
72.  John Henry Split My Heart in Two – Magnolia Electric Company

This reminds me of the days Pitchforkmedia reviewed actual rock records and not just electronic bullcrap.  I REALLY need to find a good music review website. 

71.  Clark Gable – Postal Service
70.  Free – Cat Power

It’s almost like Jefferson Airplane came back to remind us of the 60s. 

69.  Young Pilgrims – The Shins
68.  Happy Valetine’s Day – Outkast

I haven’t heard this song since 2004 when it was part of a really annoying commercial.  Now that it’s free from commercial overplaying, it’s not a bad tune. 

67.  Have Love Will Travel – The Black Keys
66.  Just Be Simple – Magnolia Electric Company
65.  Y Control – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
64.  Mine’s Not a High Horse – The Shins
63.  Easy Morning Rebel – My Morning Jacket

I can’t believe this song never made it into their cannon of live songs.  It’d be so good live. 

62.  Wherever I End and You Begin – Radiohead

The one thing Radiohead does better than every other band out there is layer their music.  Whatever a Radiohead song lacks (for instance general goodness comes to mind), it overcompensates with texture.  If you take texture out of Radiohead songs … yikes, but I’m willing to concede a #1 seed for them in the layering/texture department (sorry, I’m writing this during March Madness). 

Okay, here’s the final 16 for the layering/texturing … kidding of course (at least for now). 

61.  I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself – The White Stripes
60.  The End Has No End – The Strokes
59.  Sister Savior – The Rapture
58.  Pass that Dutch – Missy Elliott
57.  I Wonder – King Geedorah

This song is very contemplative. 

56.  Lover’s Spit – Broken Social Scene
55.  Move Your Feet – Junior Senior

Go Junior.  Go Junior.  Go Senior. Go Senior.  No, this isn’t that song of theirs, but does have a nice Michael Jackson Off the Wall thing going on. 

54.  Werewolf – Cat Power

Have you ever listened to an artist more than once, that became at least semi-frequent in playlists from that year and then years later wondered why you ever listened to them at all?  That’s Cat Power for me, but you know why?  I invested like 15 bucks in her CD.  I had to like it.  

53.  Automatic Stop – The Strokes
52.  Heathens – Drive-By Truckers
51.  Pass It on – The Coral

I know absolutely nothing about this band and missed them in all my self-denying hipster days.  Great song and I should probably listen to them more.

50.  Red Right Ankle – The Decemberists
49.  Fuck Me Pumps – Amy Winehouse

When I hear her, I get bummed out that I’ll never hear new material from her again.  When I’m not listening to her, I barely remember she died. 

48.  Don’t Look Back into the Sun – The Libertines
47.  Chimbley Sweep – The Decemberists

I’m starting to believe that this is indeed their best album.

46.  Roses – Outkast

Now that I haven’t heard this one (either) in a long time, man it brings back some good times.  Good song. 

I know you like to think your shit don’t stink
But lean a little bit closer see roses really smell like poo poo poo

How can you not love a song where someone refers to poo and poo poo poo. 

45.  Stars and Sons – Broken Social Scene
44.  Slow – Kylie Minogue

I think I like Kylie Minogue. 

43.  Reptilia – The Strokes
42.  Songs for Myla Goldberg – The Decemberists
41.  Pretty (Ugly Before) – Elliott Smith

This pre-dates the rest of the album it’s on and is the beginning of the end of Elliott Smith. 

40.  Mageetah – My Morning Jacket

I believe it’s about his guitar. 

39.  The Gloaming – Radiohead

Even though this falls into the same traps as most post 2001 Radiohead songs, that bass is pretty sweet. 

38.  Whatever Happened – The Strokes
37.  Ball and a Biscuit – The White Stripes

Finding great power guitar since … shit, the glam rock days, is completely cured here. 

36.  Spread – Outkast

If you go to the Compound, click on “Songs Troy Get Gay To”, you’ll find this there. 

35.  So Says I – The Shins
34.  Almost Crimes – Broken Social Scene
33.  We Will Become Silhouettes – Postal Service
32.  Pendulum – Broadcast
31.  Killing – The Rapture
30.  Saint Simon – The Shins
29.  12:15 – The Strokes
28.  Farewell Transmission  –  Magnolia Electric Company

There’s a lot of soul and passion on this one, which is why I can’t call it “indie” music. 

27.  Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone – Ted Leo and the Pharmacists

Where has Ted Leo gone?  I loved this album back in the day and had completely forgot it existed. 

26.  Olio – The Rapture

The first time I heard the Rapture was on my 28th birthday.  I went and found this “CD” in the used rack at Vinyl Fever as it was “promotional.”  I wish I didn’t just realize how long ago that was. 

25.  Shanty for the Arethusa – The Decemberists

There are very few songs I can label “An Official Song of Gasparilla”, which is a greater compliment than one outside of Tampa would think. 

24.  Mundian To Bach Ke – Punjabi MC (w Jay-Z)

The black Brad Pitt is a great line.  I’d be the Polish Brad Pitt, or maybe the Tampa Brad Pitt.  I think Brad Pitt is the white Brad Pitt, so I can’t claim that one. 

23.  Date With the Night – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

I saw this video on MTV around Aught 4, which is mind boggling because I stopped watching MTV around ’94, and I’m quite certain they didn’t show videos in Aught 4, let alone a Yeah Yeah Yeahs video.  It must have been one of those other video music channels, like Palm or something. 

22.  Anti-Matter – King Geedorah

I know very few people (if one single person) who knows this album.  I don’t hang with the hip backpack rap grouptons listening to the Cool Kids either, so that’s probably the reason.  Anyways, if you listen to one King Geedorah song this summer, make it Anti-Matter. 

21.  Turn a Square – The Shins

Perhaps one of the greatest testaments to this album is that I always think “acoustic folk” when I think of it, but now that I’m listening to the songs individually, they’re very different (and not acoustic folk) and only blend together so well because the album is so grand. 

20.  Comfortably Numb – Scissor Sisters

Aside from having one of the greatest band names ever, this is one of the most fun covers I’ve heard in my entire life. 

19.  Me and Giuliani Down By the School Yard - !!!

If the Scissor Sisters isn’t one of the best band names ever, then !!! has to be.  Try to put that band name in a sentence on a Word doc and not get an improper grammar squiggly line under it. 

18.  I Need Your Love – The Rapture
17.  Maps – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

It’s surprising that they’re doing as well as they are.  It seems like they should have faded, but their 2009 album was great. 

16.  Steam Engine – My Morning Jacket

This album was my first MMJ experience, and it was sold back to Vinyl Fever because I couldn’t stand the singers voice.  Crazy. 

15.  Cause = Time – Broken Social Scene

Though these guys never quite again did anything as good as the You Forgot It In People album, they’ll always have it, and this song is my highlight from it. 

14.  Gone For Good – The Shins

I’m excited for the new album ‘n all, but there’s no way the Shins ever regain this form and I don’t think they’ll even try. 

13.  99 Problems – Jay-Z

I’ll never forget hearing the news that Phish jammed this one out with Jay-Z, and thinking how horrified female Phish fans must have been. 

12.  2 + 2 = 5 – Radiohead

One of music’s greatest crimes is Radiohead’s pretentiousness.  Knowing they have powerful rock songs like this in their arsenal and they refuse to make them in favor of trance music is quite sad. 

11.  Echoes – The Rapture
10.  The District Sleeps Alone Tonight – Postal Service
9.  Hey Ya! – Outkast

Every now and then, someone comes along and writes a great pop song that everybody from little Timmy to Grandma Gertrude has to love (and Timmy and Grandma have some catchy dance in the video to remind you that you have to like it, no matter what your demographic is).  This is 2003’s version of that song.  This is one of those, “if you hate this song, you have some kind of personal issues” songs. 

8.  Run Thru – My Morning Jacket

Basically, everything music is about. 

7.  Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes

It’s hard to believe that no one in rock music understands the Jimmy Page school of basing a song off of a great riff any more.  Any band and their mom can play this song, but apparently, with today’s shitty bands, only one guitar player can write it (maybe two, because I’m sure Auerbach could too). 

6.  Kissing the Lipless – The Shins

Every song on Chutes too Narrow is incredible, so it’s harder with them, to pull one from the others and say “This is their best song in 2003!” than it is say, the Decemberists or My Morning Jacket, but this … well, THIS IS THEIR BEST SONG IN 2003!

5.  House of Jealous Lovers – The Rapture

I’m pretty certain they didn’t invent dancepunk, but I’m very certain they perfected it here. 

4.  One Big Holiday – My Morning Jacket

This is their “crossover” song, or the one that’s going to pull you in if you’ve never heard a My Morning Jacket song before. 

3.  Los Angeles, I’m Yours – The Decemberists

This will always be my favorite song of theirs.  Any time L.A. is made fun of in a song, especially this well, I have to like it.  Too bad they never did a follow up about Miami. 

2.  Such Great Heights – Postal Service

This is probably the best electronic song ever.  As someone who is not a fan of the genre, it’s probably a “fan’s” opinion and not an educated one, but if one is “educated” in electronic music, that means they’ve most likely missed out on Creedence, and therefore no shit about dick.  (had to go Darren Rockanello there). 

1.  Golden – My Morning Jacket

Ultimately, this is the song that made me fall in love with Jacket.  It may not have had the production that Z would have a couple years later, but this was the one that “I had to learn on guitar to woo betties”.  Basically, it’s the modern day “Loving Cup.”

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