This is a list of the songs that I have become obsessed with for awhile. Okay, maybe obsessed is a bit strong of an adjective. I'm referring to songs that I start to listen to over and over for a about a week. During
that time the song is running through my head at work, but after a few days it becomes just another song in my collection. In order to keep a record for which songs have ingrained themselves into my psyche, even if only
for a few days, I'm keeping this list.
2011/09/02 - Frank Turner - "Glory Hallelujah" - (Video) - (Lyrics)
I found this song while researching atheist music for a lecture. I was especially enamored with it and the more I listened to it, the more I use it as my war cry. The folk punk sound and rough English accent really
give the song grit and strength. All through the song he calls out the lies and bullshit of organized religion. The song brings up important points too, why should we wait until we die before we restitute the meek? Why
do we blame demons and devils for problems that we should take responsibility for? Why look forward to paradise after death when we have it in ourselves to make the here and now a better place? This song serves as an
anthem to me, and I will always proudly and loudly proclaim, there is no god, so ring that victory bell!
2011/02/28 - Ludo - "Love Me Dead" - (Video) - (Lyrics)
I loathe sappy love songs, which is why I seem to adore vulgar comedic love songs--and Ludo's "Love Me Dead" is indeed vulgar. The song starts off with the lyric, "love me cancerously," and continues from there. The
song has a wonderful Vaudeville feeling to it with staccato melodies and an overtly anti-sexual theme which the video captures perfectly. There's nothing a woman wants to hear more than, "you're hideous and sexy!" The
thing I like most about the song is how all of the lyrics are both insulting, and yet enduring. For example, "you suck so passionately," sounds terrible, nobody wants to suck, however, she sucks in such a passionate way,
that it's a good thing! Of all the clever lines, I think my favorite lyric of the song is, "you're a parasitic, psycho, filthy creature finger-bangin' my heart." Ah, poetry.
2010/12/29 - Barenaked Ladies - "Bank Job" - (Video) - (Lyrics)
Songs that tell a story are especially nice because it makes visualization so simple. This is the only BNL song from the Are Me/Are Men release that I really like, but I -really- like it. It begins with a rather
enigmatic setup that sounds as though a stage performance went terribly wrong, but as more is revealed, we learn that the performance was, in fact, a bank robbery. In between almost spoken verse is a more melodic chorus
with wonderful organ music. As the story continues, we learn that the bank job failed so miserably because the bank was full of nuns (wonderful BNL humor). Unable to rob nuns, the leader aborts the robbery, much to the
chagrin of the driver. The ending delivers more humor, yet all of it is down-played through the song, making it even more ridiculous and silly sounding.
2010/06/08 - Weezer - "Troublemaker" - (Video) - (Lyrics)
If I ever feel like my ego just isn't big enough, I listen to Troublemaker. Weezer exemplifies big-headedness as they offer up a character make his own rules, and even breaks those! It's all about being the best,
being unique, being far too cool for anyone to comprehend--all the while being an annoyance to the authorities. The constant rhythm and rapid-fire vocals don't give you a moment to slow down, and that's precisely why I
like it. I love to properly embody the song by blasting it at full volume while cruising down the lanes of a quiet suburb.
2010/02/08 - The Sounds - "Midnight Sun" - (Audio) - (Lyrics)
Midnight Sun is my favorite track of the "Crossing the Rubicon" album. The chorus is romantic, offering up praise to the subject of the song, comparing them to a sun in the middle of the night, and saying they are all
the singer wants and needs. However, the verses paint a slight darker picture of not being able to break free from the past. The lyrics, however, are relatively simplistic; the real impact of the song comes from the way
the music makes me feel. The audio has a mild tinge of loneliness--sort of a far-away feeling. It's perfect to listen to late at night when you're thinking about how you felt in relationships long since ended.
2009/10/27 - Slow Club - "It Doesn't Have to Be Beautiful" - (Video) - (Lyrics)
I was a little indifferent to this song when I first heard it, but I liked it enough to give it a second chance. After listening to it several times it became one of my favorites. There is something about the
light-hearted beat that really puts a spring in my step. The repetition of the two syllables at the beginning of each new verse is fun, the video is very active and fun, and it's a blast to sling along. I especially like
the rapid-fire lyrics in the chorus. The actual theme of the song is a sad and messy breakup, but you can't really tell from how happy and cheery sounding the song it.
2009/04/22 - Against Me! - "Thrash Unreal" - (Video) - (Lyrics)
Thrash Unreal is a song about a punk rocker girl who is all grown up. She's not in style anymore, too old for the club boys to find her pretty, and strung out from heavy drugs and heavier drinking. Nobody thinks she's
cool anymore, and nobody thinks she's worth saving, but in spite of everything, she's still a punk and she still says "fuck you" to the world. I especially like the lines, "They don't know nothing about redemption / They
don't know nothing about recovery". The song has a great deal of raw energy pushed through the instruments and vocals, but the message is stronger still. The video doesn't really relate to the topic of the song, but it's
still pretty cool.
2008/12/16 - Lisa Loeb - "Furious Rose" - (Video) - (Lyrics)
I don't know how "Furious Rose" didn't become a single on Firecracker, as it is not only my favorite song on the album, but my favorite Lisa Loeb song entirely. It's written to take place during the Victorian
era, specifically about woman being psychoanalyzed by Sigmund Freud. Freud tries to prove her insanity, but the woman is merely depressed and misunderstood. The lyrics are very symbolic, "wild plums and agrimony" for
example, refer to independence and gratitude. The simple woman knows this, but schooled doctor does not. The musical arrangement is very powerful, complementing the depth of the lyrics, but also adding much needed whimsy
to some parts of the song.
2008/11/10 - Fight Like Apes - "Jake Summers" - (Video) - (Lyrics)
What can I say? I like squeaky female singers. Jake Summers is about... well I don't have a clue as to what it's about. It seems to be lauding a man named Jake Summers who met a woman from the Isle of Man, and they
started a rock band together. Of course, nobody in the band is named Jake Summers, and the only Jake Summers I found was a gay porn star. The video doesn't help because it doesn't have anything to do with the song, or,
at least I don't think it does, who can tell. Anyway, the song rocks some serious socks. It has a heavy beat, plenty of noisy distortion and rapid vocals that sound wonderful, even though they make no sense whatsoever.
Jake Summers is the man!
2008/10/28 - Voltaire - "Death Death (Devil, Devil, Devil, Devil, Evil, Evil, Evil, Evil, Song)" - (Video) - (Lyrics)
Voltaire is the master at making hilariously morbid songs and "Death Death", off his latest album, is wonderfully perky. I first heard it live at a Voltaire concert and it's been stuck in my head ever since. I was
literally bouncing along with the tune as he sang it. After the concert, I was able to hear it on his album and it sounds even better with the backup instruments. The violin and cello really help it out and add to the
humor of the final verse. This is just a wonderful sing-a-long tune.
2008/09/16 - Blue October - "Hate Me" - (Video) - (Lyrics)
"Hate Me" is a terribly emotional song. It's about a man who wants the best for his mother, so he wishes for her to truly hate him. Thinking that he'll never be able to make her proud of him because he's so much of a
screw up he wishes for her to completely forget about him. It really speaks to that masochistic side that we all have where we never feel that we lived up to someone else's expectations, as well as what happens when
altruism goes too far. Justin Furstenfeld's vocals are really powerful in this song, especially in the final verse, and I'm always a sucker for the cello. The video pushes the emotional envelope even further by bringing
us to the funeral of his now deceased mother, and all he has left of her is a answering machine message of her saying she loves him. The single has about two minutes cut out of it, so make sure you hear the album version
2008/08/20 - Kimya Dawson - "Loose Lips" - (Video) - (Lyrics)
Like most people, I first heard this minimalistic anti-folk song in the movie "Juno" along with several other songs by Kimya Dawson. The song is extremely perky and bubbly even though most of the lyrics don't make any
sense at all. I really like the anti-masochistic message, "If you want to kill yourself, remember that I love you," along with the use of modern technology, "Send me an IM I'll be your friend." Although I find the protest
aspect of it rather disingenuous, I still agree with it. Overall, the song just makes me happy, and I love it.
2008/05/14 - Hedwig and the Angry Inch - "Wig In a Box" - (Video) - (Lyrics)
I originally saw Hedwig and the Angry Inch several years ago. I didn't expect to like it, but the movie is spectacular. I really love this song in particular because it has such a motivational quality. Even though I'm
rarely seen cross-dressing I can still relate to the underlying aspects of the song. Stephen Trask's lyrics are a perfect fit, and John Cameron Mitchell's voice really soars in the song. I like the other songs from the
musical as well, especially "Origin of Love", and Tommy Gnosis' version of "Wicked Little Town", but this song is my favorite.
2008/03/19 - Goldfrapp - "A&E" - (Video) - (Lyrics)
I first heard this song being played in Barnes and Noble and purchased the Seventh Tree album because of it. The song is named after the emergency room abbreviation for accident and emergency, which is mentioned in
the lyrics. It's seems to be about a person wondering how a relationship went from being so casual to something so intense, but now it's over and they're very sad. However, the pain is slipping away. Alison Goldfrapp's
vocals are really carry the song well, and the music is slow, but upbeat with plenty of ambiance--it's wonderful.
2007/12/10 - The Fratellis - "Cigarello" - (Audio) - (Lyrics)
I came across this song in a large collection of random indie music. The first time I played it I wasn't really listening to it, so I only heard it as background music, but it made enough of an impression in me to
warrant a replay. Even though the lyrics don't make much sense, and the vocals are difficult to understand, the energy of the music will cause even the stoic to want to get up and dance. It has a wonderful speedy tempo
and a mob-mentality unrefined sound that really sucks you in.
2007/09/04 - Rilo Kiley - "15" - (Lyrics)
Who doesn't love a good song about underage sex? Although I'm not a huge fan of Rilo Kiley's latest album, this song is by far my favorite off of it. The lyrics are so suggestive that they make you think of your old
high school days, "bruised like a cherry, ripe as a peach." I especially like the line, "does your daddy have a shotgun?" The brass gives some jazzy strength to the overall sound and I love Jenny's vocals in this style.
2007/05/14 - Nightwish - "Planet Hell" - (Audio) - (Lyrics)
While this isn't Nightwish's best song in my opinion, it is the one that I currently have stuck in my head. Much like their other music, Planet Hell is epic and powerful. It also has the standard Nightwish symbolism
of mythology that is rampant in their music. "Save yourself a penny for the ferryman" is an obvious reference to Charon. Lyrics aside, the intensity of Marco's vocals give the song more power than usual and the chanting
just makes it sound so titanic. I like to play it really loud with my windows down at stop lights because I'm "that guy".
2007/01/03 - Jimmy Buffett - "A Pirate Looks At Forty" - (Lyrics)
I was looking through some of the artists whose work I'm not very familiar with and I stumbled upon this gem. It is a very mellow, yet emotional, song that reminisces about the romantic times of the Caribbean pirates.
Jimmy explains his fascination with the lifestyle and how he's not only too far ahead in the centuries, but also too far ahead in years. The song is very touching and it really makes you pine for those younger days and
simpler times--even if you're not yet that old. Most men can relate to these lyrics; "I've done a bit of smugglin'", "I go for younger women", and "yes I am a pirate". Yes, yes, and yes.
2006/11/30 - Youth Group - "Under the Underpass" - (Audio) - (Lyrics)
When looking over a friend's MySpace profile I saw the band Youth Group (an Indie band from Australia) and decided to try them out. I picked up their latest album Casino Twilight Dogs and listened to it a few times. I
almost immediately liked the album, and my favorite song on it is Under the Underpass. The song, like the others, is very mellow and smooth. The lyrics explain some kids who sneak out at night to hang out under an
underpass. They stay up all night enjoying themselves, but in the day they have to go back to doing their lame menial shelves. It certainly makes me reminisce about the times when I would hang out with my friends and
stay up far longer than I should, knowing that I had to work the next morning. The song really captures that for me.
2006/09/29 - Metallica - "The Unforgiven II" - (Video) - (Lyrics)
There are a lot of early Metallica fans who were severely disappointed with the Black Album, and even more disappointed with Reload. They wanted the speed and power of early Metallica and that certainly isn't present
in their music anymore. The Unforgiven is a metal ballad that speaks of the wasted life of trying to live up to The Man, and The Unforgiven II is a sequel telling about the closed life that is the result. These songs may
not have the strength in sound, but they make up for it with the power in words. The message to these songs is important and meaningful to youth. I first heard The Unforgiven II on the radio at work and felt disappointed
in Metallica for not being able to come up with something new, but after actually listening to it I now adore the raw emotion it possesses.
2006/08/09 - Gamma Ray - "Heaven or Hell" - Audio) - (Lyrics)
I was looking though a person's Deviant Art page and I noticed that they had some similar tastes in music. I saw the band Gamma Ray as one of their favorites, and since I hadn't heard of Gamma Ray I decided to download
some of their music. The first song I heard by them was Heaven Or Hell. I was instantly impressed with the song and its fast and strong rhythm with powerful vocals and chaotic instruments. Unfortunately, the rest of their
music didn't captivate me as much as this song, but I still really like this one.
2006/07/14 - Liz Phair - "Love Hate" - (Lyrics)
This is a great example of the inexperienced youth and the cynically mature. I like the fact that she explains that no matter how much you try and change things they're pretty much going to stay the same. While I
disagree on the long term, I certainly agree on the short term. Sometimes impatient people want to completely alter the entire foundation of society overnight and they just don't understand the consequences. I don't care
much for politics, and this song lets me relate very well. I also love the happy up-tempo sound as she bashes on liberals.
2006/06/27 - Metallica - "Whiskey In the Jar" - (Video) - (Lyrics)
I'm kind of on a Celtic binge right now, thus the song. Whiskey in the Jar is an old Irish song dating back a couple of centuries. Metallica covered the popular Thin Lizzy version of the song which differs in lyrics
from the more traditional Irish versions, but the message remains the same. The powerful guitars and gruff vocals make this version really cool. I first heard Metallica's version when Garage Days came out, but I didn't
actually start diggin' the song until last year.
2006/06/14 - Dropkick Murphys - "The Dirty Glass" - (Lyrics)
I love the back and forth singing between the bartender and the ex-drunk; they argue like an old couple through the whole song. The female's vocals are softly feminine, but just a little rough around the edges to make
her sound tough. The rapid chorus is really fun to sing along with, and that lovely Celtic sound really makes the song beautiful.