Brian’s Ten(ish) Songs

At work we’ve been organizing little unofficial fun activities. (And by “we,” I mean a coworker, Helen.) This includes things like Friday lunches out with the whole department (some of us eat out more frequently than that, but even the brown-baggers are now going out with us on Fridays). There is a weekly lunchroom board game that rotates between Clue, Scrabble, Ticket to Ride, and whatever anyone wants to bring in. Now, we will be having a 10-song swap where you bring in an MP3 player or MP3 files of your favorite ten songs to see what everyone else likes.

I’ve packaged up my songs on a USB stick, and to share with the greater internet, here’s the readme file I included, that contains the track listing (and a JavaScript thinger; but more on that below).

Brian’s Ten(-ish) Songs

There are a lot more than 10 songs that I consider “favorites.” I have about 200 GB of audio (some of it audiobooks), so My iTunes library of 5-star songs holds almost 300 entries (and I’m still not done cataloging everything yet).

Things I specifically did not include:

  • Popular 80’s/new wave/punk tunes. You’ve heard all of this before.
  • Covers. I really like certain cover music, but decided to exclude it from my list to simplify things.
  • Obviously popular well-known stuff: Pixies, Radiohead, David Bowie, etc. Given a tradeoff between popular and obscure, I chose obscure.
  • Only one song per band was selected. Diversity!

I have only been able to trim it down to a list of twenty songs. Feel free to listen to them all, to listen to every other one, or to use the fancy JavaScript song selector at the bottom.

  • Transylvanian Concubine-Rasputina – Rasputina is a band that can be described as “neo-Victorian” or perhaps “cello punk.” Ladies with cellos making rock music.
  • Missed Me-Dresden Dolls – Dresden Dolls is another band with a “neo-Victorian” style.
  • Are “Friends” Electric?-Gary Neuman – I had a hard decision as to whether to pick this song or Down In The Park, but this one won.
  • Bourbon and Division-Firewater – I love Firewater and had a hard time narrowing it down to this one song.
  • Head Like a Hole-Nine Inch Nails – The song that got me into the industrial music genre. On the bus to (I think) Junior High, a friend handed me her walkman and said I totally had to listen to this new band from Cleveland.
  • Linoleum-Tweaker – The drummer from Nine Inch Nails formed his own band and made this is one of his songs.
  • Dead Souls-Joy Division – I like Joy Division and really like this song. It was covered by Nine Inch Nails for the movie The Crow, which is a version I like, but I enjoy the original better..
  • Departure-Bauhaus – I also really like Bauhaus and have a soft spot for trippy spoken-word-over-music type tracks. This is probably the least Bauhaus of Bauhaus’ songs.
  • GO!-Tones on Tail – This is a little more clubby than the rest of Tones on Tail, but I don’t like it any less.
  • Masters of the Universe-Juno Reactor – This one seems to be overplayed at clubs and performances, but I still like it.
  • Come To Daddy-Aphex Twin – At the more “harsh” end of Aphex Twin’s work. He’s a classically trained composer, turned electronic musician. His work varies widely from mellow background stuff to hard electronic.
  • Codeine Glue And You-Chemlab – I originally got this on a compilation album from Cleopatra Records. (Love them or hate them, those Cleopatra compilations were ubiquitous.) I like the energy and the trippy-can’t-quite-make-out-what-he’s-saying/slurring lyrics.
  • Stigmata-Ministry – This version, my favorite, is from the “In Case You Didn’t Feel Like Showing Up” live album. It is very much not safe for work.
  • Wedge-Sow – This is another track that’s sort of a song and sort of spoken-word over a soundscape.
  • A Girl Called Harmony-Attrition – I could just swear that I have memories of this song being played at some club in LA, but I have no recollection of those memories.
  • Buy Us a Drink-Argyle Pimps – They’re white, they’re rappers, they wear vests and golf caps. ’nuff said.
  • Emerge-Fischerspooner – These guys remind me of a modern Sigue Sigue Sputnik — good music and lots of self-hype made to give them the appearance of being more epic than they really are. They make a great show and great music video, as they are a pair of art students studying music in New York with a ton of art-school friends doing costuming, choreography, videography, and whatnot.
  • Idiots Are Taking Over-NOFX – Is this too mainstream? It might be too mainstream. What sold me on this was a student video I saw a few years ago.
  • Powers-Blackalicious – Complex rhymes, great beats; it’s all good.
  • Step Right Up-Tom Waits – I like most (but not all) of Tom Waits and really enjoy the barker nature of this song. I can just picture him at a fair or on a boardwalk trying to get people’s attention.

[This is where the JavaScript “Randomize” button would be, but I cannot easily reproduce it here on the blog]

Each time you click on the JavaScript thinger, it causes 10 random songs to gray out. That way, *I* did not have to trim it down to 10 songs. Each listener could get a different random 10 songs. Or they could choose to listen to all 20.

I’m still not certain the list is quite right. I feel like there are a few other songs that should be in there, and I’m not 100% sure I’d consider a couple of them all-time favorites, but decisions like this are difficult and I only allotted a limited amount of time to make the list so that I would not fret over it for hours and days and weeks.

So it’s done. It may not be perfect and may not be the best representation of my all-time favorite music. I reserve the right to modify the list at a later date!

Posted in: Dear Diary Music Work

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