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.
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!
- 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.
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!