Sunday, June 9, 2013

20 years in music


There is a temptation in music polls to vote for songs you like which you know are likely to rate well, rather than honestly voting for your absolute favourites. Unfortunately, whatever you do, The Verve will still somehow make it into the top 10. I'm the sort of person who listens to a whole CD at a time, so picking out individual songs is frustrating. Anyway, all of this is to explain why nothing I voted for made it into the Hottest 100 of the last 20 years. The good news is that unlike democracy in the real world, nobody dies because of music polls.

Here's what I put down...

A Perfect Circle - The Hollow 
The genius of Billy Howerdel's composition is a kind of instrumental minimalism and carefully engineered texture.

Pearl Jam - Thin Air
I spent highschool listening to Ten, but this may be one of their best.

Powderfinger - D.A.F

Smashing Pumpkins - Cherub Rock
So many late nights working on uni projects, listening to Siamese Dream and Pisces Iscariot.

The Cinematic Orchestra - To Build a Home
Reprising the D A E motif again in 'That Home' brackets Ma Fleur into an album that wants to be played end-to-end. It's a beautifully understated record.

Modest Mouse - 3rd Planet
I'm trying to limit myself to one song per band, but choosing a favourite Modest Mouse song is like being asked to choose a favourite child.

Mid Youth Crisis - Happiness and Authority
I guess it was either this or Between The Lies for the Network sample. My mum used to call MYC 'that shouty band'.

Audioslave - Cochise

Godspeed You Black Emperor - East Hasting
I know, this is more of a movement than a song. What a chilling build-up.

David McEldowney - Stupid People
I don't know how many times I heard this song before he recorded it. All that time, this song wanted to be slightly more reggae.

Arcade Fire - The Suburbs

A Silver Mount Zion - 13 Angels Standing Guard 'Round the Side of Your Bed

Neutral Milk Hotel - Oh Comely
When Fran├žois described music as 'really important', he didn't mean it in the hollow, critical post-modern sense, but the personally meaningful thing-that-describes-life sense. This song was important to him; I couldn't listen to it for about two years after he died.

Matthew Dewey - Orchestral Suite No. 1
This was a triumph. The English language is missing a word which means "the vicarious pride one feels when a friend achieves something great".

Ben Harper - Forgiven

Muse - Hysteria
Took me ages to transcribe this into my ancient Nokia brick as a monophonic ringtone.

Apocalyptica - Faraway
Not bad for a Metallica cover band.

Michael Franti and Spearhead - We Don't Stop
I didn't really know Michael Franti's work at all (well, other than Television the Drug of the Nation)  before seeing him with Spearhead at Falls Festival 2003. Clare and I listened to 'Everyone Deserves Music' a lot when we started going out.

Radiohead - Like Spinning Plates

The Beautiful Girls - Let's Take the Long Way Home

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