Read Part 1. Yes, I know it's August.
15. "Automatic Stop", The Strokes
The most overplayed song on my Winamp playlist in 2006. If I didn't primarily listen to music on headphones, my roommates would really hate the fucking Strokes by now. The song is pretty simple. It also essentially repeats its two verses. Eminently hateable, unless you really listen to how awesomely crazy the guitar gets right before the first chorus, and continues throughout. I admire the Strokes for simply stopping abruptly once they'd played all they could out of the song.
16. "Born on a Train", Magnetic Fields
My second-most-overplayed song, and quite possibly the finest pop song ever written about a vampire drifter in love. The Arcade Fire does a very nice cover version.
17. "The Perfect Nanny", Karen Dotrice and Matthew Garber
That's the part I put in! I think I would be an ideal nanny for the Banks children, though I might be blinded by their enthusiasm for rosy cheeks. I have never given a child castor oil nor glue. I also have 20/20 vision, so the issue of mischievous children hiding my spectacles is a rather moot point. I might occasionally smell of barley water.
18. "Comfortably Numb", Scissor Sisters
Pink Floyd meets the Bee Gees, and not a moment too soon. To me, the Scissors' performance implies that the comfortable numbness is located in the nasal cavities. The Scissor Sisters came to dance and rock, not hide inside their hotel rooms dodging their managers. Basically, cokeheads are stealing the anthem from stoners with this cover version.
19. "Who's the Nigga?", rX
I am pretty sure this song isn't racist. However, look at the title. This song might be a profound political statement, but it might simply be a cheap attempt to make it sound like President Bush said, "Nigga" through editing.
20. "Hold yor Terror Close"/"Everyone's a V.I.P. to Someone", Go! Team
Both of these songs are departures from the Go! Team's usual blend of rapping, skateboarding cheers, adventure guitars, cartwheels, and high kicks.
21. "Hoe Cakes", MF Doom
Doom charted on the top songs list already, as Viktor Vaughn. This song is "super", and contains the lyric, "One pack of cookies, please, Mr. Hooper." All the rhymes that Doom finds for "super" are what makes this song great for me: Super/trooper/Mr. Hooper/dupe her/D.B. Cooper/chalupa/King Koopa. Also, there's good beatboxing throughout.
22. "Crooked Teeth", Death Cab for Cutie
In my opinion, a lot of Death Cab's lyrics are really asinine. Not quite as asinine as the Postal Service gets (that cringe-inducing line about who shot JFK from "Sleeping In"). This song takes me back to the good old days of the Forbidden Love EP. In this clip, watch how the bass player sings along:
23. "Who Could Win a Rabbit", Animal Collective
A big guitar jamboree on acid.
24. "The Wacky World Of Rapid Transit", Del Tha Funkee Homosapien
There are not enough rap songs about AC Transit, but that's not Del's fault. A friend of mine recently declared Del "better than Tupac", even though Del has put out far fewer CDs recently. I love this song, but the interludes are even more entertaining than the verses:
"Yo bro, you got twenty-five cent on a transfer?"
"Can't help you."
"Yo man, I wasn't even ridin' the bus, but my Benz in the shop, you know, and my baby mama got my..."
"I don't have time to listen to your stories."
Del also wonders why kids always want to sit in the back, 35 years after the Montgomery bus boycott:
"Kids wanna ride the back
What kinda shit is that?"
Then a guy calls Del "Rosa Parks", for sitting up front.
25. "American Jesus", Dean Gray/Green Day/Bryan Adams
I specifically like the "Summer of the Damned" portion when they mix in "Summer of '69" with the "City of the Dead" part of "Jesus of Suburbia". When I first heard "Jesus of Suburbia", that riff sounded familiar, but I couldn't place it. "City of the dead" = "Standin' on your mama's porch". Technically, the Bryan Adams authorship means this mashup might be more accurately dubbed, Canadian Jesus", but that implies a messiah who died for only 95% of our sins, because of the exchange rate.
26. "Crazy", Gnarls Barkley
Yeah, it's overplayed, but it's not Gnarls Barkley's fault. They didn't even release it as a single. This is the first year in a while that I have been driving regularly, and as such, the first year when I have a real perspective on what is and is not overplayed on the radio. It's not like I could watch music videos on television even if I wanted.
27. "Evil", Interpol
Rock songs can be a lot like comedy sketches, in that the premises are more interesting and thought-out than the endings. The "Applause" sign serves the same function as the fade-out. So when a rock group puts together a bang-up song with a tight, satisfying conclusion, like Interpol does with "Evil", it deserves praise. It's like the Asswipe Johnson sketch in that way, only with a better bass line and excellent piano work from the colorfully-named Sunnyland Slim.
(Note: In real life, Nicolas Cage, who plays Asswipe Johnson in the sketch, named his son Kal-El Cage Coppola, which might be a worse name than Asswipe Johnson.)
28. "Rump Shaker", Wreckx-N-Effect
This song features Teddy Riley, legendary hip-hop producer and the father of New Jack Swing. Riley eventually moved to Virginia Beach where he discovered Pharrell Williams and made the Neptunes his protégés, meaning he's influenced about two decades of hip-hip sound now. Riley also founded Blackstreet and co-wrote "Remember The Time" with Michael Jackson.
- Teddy Riley's verse in "Rump Shaker" was written by Pharrell.
- Wreckx-N-Effect used to be Wrecks-N-Effect until one of the group members was shot to death. The "x" in the group's name is a tribute to him.
- The deceased member of Wreckx-N-Effect enjoyed zoom-a zoom zoom zooming and boom-booming more than any of the others.
- There is nothing in this world sexier than a beautiful woman on the beach in a bikini playing the saxophone.