|Tried to find a cool number 10 on google images, this is as close as I came- from here|
At New Year's this year, a group of us decided we would have a "ten track" party. The idea: Pick your 10 best tracks, put it on a flash drive, 8 or 10 others will do the same, get together, load all on one playlist and set to random. We had the party on Saturday at our good friends' place...was a pretty cool night and got introduced to some really good music - would recommend it as a nice way to expand your horizons and get to know your friends better.
I interpreted the task as - "If I could listen to only ten songs for the rest of my life, which ten would I pick?" Here is my list (in no particular order, soundcloud links where I could find them)
1. Pavement - In the Mouth a Desert (1996)
Had to have one Pavement song - love this one for the windy guitar in the bridges and the powerful snare. My air-drum song on the list. My favorite band. period.
2. Kanye West and Jay Z - Diamonds from Sierra Leone (Remix) (2004)
I struggled to pick my Kanye track - I went for something from Late Registration (I love the brassy, orchestral impact of it) - it was either this one or "Touch the Sky" ft. Lupe or "Gone" with those ridiculous Cam'ron and Consequence verses. I chose Diamonds for two reasons:
1) Jay Z absolutely kills it ( "I'm not a businessman, I'm a business, man")
2) It is a portrait of Kanye at his most ambitious, narcissistic and introspective- big brass, old soul, the love-it or hate-it "forever-ever" in the chorus...
3. The Stone Roses - Waterfall (1989)
This blog may be named after track 2 but its track 3 of their only album that is my actual fave. One of the 5 on this list I didn't have to think twice about (just me or is there a great deal of numbers in the last few sentences?). I find that when that chorus plays and they sing "she'll carry on through it all, she's a waterfall" and it leads into those woozy-post-drug-binge guitars - that I don't think of "her" - so much as me.
4. Vampire Weekend - Walcott (2008)
My favourite Vampire Weekend song. Another no-brainer. Again - not about the words - which are kinda sad/bitter-sweet and hopeful - but the feeling - the sheer optimism of it all.
5. Luniz - 5 on it (1994)
Soundcloud link to the Luniz .The hip hop track that made me love the genre. Other kids my age were on Tupac, Biggie and Bone Thugs at the time (early 1994) - I was about two guys who needed 5 more bucks for a joint (though I didn't that back when I was 10). Classic old skool 90's hip hop joint.
6. LCD Soundsystem - Dance Yourself Clean (2010)
8 minutes have never flown by so fast but its that outa-nowhere transition at the 3 minute mark which just scream "home-run" - no human being can stop listening from that point, at least, none that I have met. This is one of the 5 songs I am mostly like to give someone who has no idea what indie music is, to make them understand that they have been missing some truly awesome shit...
7. The Gaslight Anthem - High and Lonesome(2008)
My sing along rock anthem. The punk influences, the 100 mile-an-hour pace, the references to high school hall's and teenage love, the proto-Springsteen vocals, like all the good parts of "Dancing in the Dark" and "Born in the USA" time-warped themselves to the 2000s.
8. Robyn - Indestructible (2010)
I'll be straight with you - I don't actually care what people think, Robyn is one of my favourite artists. I love her music - it is pop at its most pure and perfectly executed - be damned if it doesn't make you wanna sing along. I picked "Indestructible" from her new album to narrowly pip "With Every Heartbeat" (2007).
9. Lil Wayne - A milli (2008)
I knew the shape of this would be roughly 30-40% Hip Hop - that meant 3 hip hop tracks: Luniz and Yeezy were easy but this one was tough - I wanted a song with deep lyrical content, or virtuoso lyrical ability - in the end it was between this and Lauryn Hill's "Doo-Wop (That thing)". I picked Weezy because no-one else on the planet could've made this song - no one else would have had the balls to record over this beat... and then I think about how Lauryn Hill was the first female rapper who was ballsy without losing her femininty, the only woman who could've claimed at any point to be the best rapper alive and I'm not entirely convinced I did the right thing by picking Weezy but then that baseline hits...
10. Sigur Ros - Flugufrelsarinn (2001)
Sigur Ros make the most beautiful music in the world. No Contest. This is my favourite. I've linked to a shortened version (its actually 8 min long) - but its the 2 minute mark at which this thing just flat out soars. If Mother Nature has an ipod, I imagine this is what she plugs in when she needs to make a mountain or a planet or something.
Others that narrowly missed out but not discussed above: Lauryn Hill's "Ex-Factor" (1998) and The Wrens "This boy is exhausted" (2003)
I don't know that I'll ever be 100% happy with this list but it took me a week to get to this point and I think its a fair summary of my tastes - if something does drop out, it's fair to assume something similar will replace it.