I thought I would take a few days to ponder my list, but really I came to the quick realization that there's no effing way I can pick just five songs to call my "favorite". 50 or 100, maybe, but I always have such a hard time with this.
The last thing in the world I want is to make a list and then have to deal with the inundation of phone calls and text messages and im conversations from the likes of Why Can't I Be You by The Cure saying things like "What the eff dude?!?! We've been friends for 20 years and you can't even put me in your top five!?" I don't need any of that MySpace-esque drama.
I thought it would be easier and a better idea if I narrowed the parameters a bit. Like "favorite songs from the year 1998" or "favorite songs about broken hearts" or "favorite songs by Glaswegian bands" or .... you get the point.
I recently downloaded some applications that I would like to encourage everyone to also download. Mostly the one from Simplify Media, which allows users to browse and listen to each other's iTunes catalogs. My iTunes catalog only represents about 8-10% of my actual music library, and I'm taking strides to get all of my cds uploaded, but it's a massive undertaking. If you already have the application, or if you download it, please feel free to invite me to join your network. My name with them is dlee71. I'm rather enjoying being able to see my friends' catalogs.
Also, if you use Google's instant messenger, you can see what your buddy is currently listening to. It only works with the standalone application rather than the one that operates withing gmail. Also feel free to invite me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to your contact list there.
Anyway, getting back to the point, I randomly decided to pick five of my favorite songs by bands/artists whose name starts with the letter B. Here goes. Although the first song listed is my hands down favorite in this category, these are in no particular order:
- God Only Knows by The Beach Boys. From the 1966 album Pet Sounds.
"I may not always love you, but as long as there are stars above you, I'll make you so sure about it. You'll never need to doubt it."
Its affiliation with the HBO show Big Love notwithstanding, this is absolutely in my top songs of all-time. Every time I hear this song, no matter how many times, I get a little choked up. It's about limitless unconditional love, and I'm a sucker for that sort of thing. As with most Beach Boys songs, the vocal harmony is the thing. In this case, it isn't until the 2:08 point of the song that we get that trademark of the overlapping layers of harmony. It's freakin' genius. On the Pet Sounds boxed set, there's a vocals only take that's jaw-dropping. Incidentally, this was one of the first songs where Carl was the featured vocalist.
In my opinion, this is second only to He Stopped Loving Her Today by George Jones as far as heatbreaking love songs go. I also get a little misty every time I hear that one.
- Double Dare by Bauhaus from the 1980 album In the Flat Field
"I dare you to be real; to touch a flickering flame"
Kevin Haskins wasn't really a technically gifted drummer. He was, after all, in a punk band. Not just any punk band, mind you. Actually "punk" was on its deathbed by the early '80s, and while Joy Division emerged from punk, and pretty much invented a brighter, happier "New Wave" with Love Will Tear Us Apart, Bauhaus emerged from punk and invented somthing much darker than punk -- "Goth". Anyway, Haskins isn't exactly ripping it to shreds here, but my favorite part of this song is the very simple drum line. I guess it's because the production of it puts the drums so far out front, and it sort of makes you "feel" the music. I always listen to this song as loud as possible.
Make no mistake. Daniel Ash is killing it on guitar on this song, but it's produced such that the guitar plays second (third) fiddle to the drums and bass. Okay, it plays fourth fiddle to drums, vocals and bass. But it kicks ass.
- Almost Crimes by Broken Social Scene from the 2004 album You Forgot it in People
"We've got love and hate. It's the only way"
I LOVE this band. I LOVE this song. It's got a lot working for it. Leslie Feist is pretty much the #1 thing. There's a silly little saxaphone solo at 1:50, and a ton -o' crash cymbal (which I dig). I also really like the way the vocals don't quite harmonize, but they kinda bounce off each other. Not in a bad way, though. I could probably listen to this song all day long. I don't dance at all. Not even at weddings or other occasions where dancing is pretty much required. However, this song makes me want to shake my ass in a most ridiculous fashion.
- I am The Cosmos by Chris Bell from the posthumously released 1992 album I am the Cosmos.
"Just when I was starting to feel okay, you're on the phone"
This is about a guy who gets broken up with, and he's convinces himself that he's the cat's pajamas, and he thinks he's okay. However, he's beat up pretty bad, and torn about the idea of reconciliation. I like the bit at the very end. After a bunch of "I really want to see you again/I'd really like to see you again" lines, there's a single line that goes "I never want to see you again". At first listen, it isn't that impressive, but give it a couple of listens, and pay attention to the structure. It's phenomenal. The bass line is amazingly complex, and the time signature gets all goofy. From what I understand, this song is damn near impossible to perform.
- Possibly Maybe by Björk from the 1994 album Post
"As much as I definitely enjoy solitue, I wouldn't mind perhaps spending a little time with you"
This isn't as musically "busy" as most of her songs, but I love it nonetheless. One of my favorite bits is at 3:32 with the whine of the lap steel and her line "How can you offer me love like that". It repeats the same ordeal at 3:40, but the first time it happens, it always gives me chills. I also absolutely love the way there's a tiny bit of "crackling vinyl" added to the mix. Genius.
I don't intend to make a habit of naming my "favorite" songs from each letter of the alphabet, and I suppose I'll be getting some angry emails from the likes of Bettie Serveert, and Belle and Sebastian and especially Barcelona for not including them in this little top five. Sorry.
I don't know who's been tagged and who hasn't. To be honest, I don't even know if this thing is on.
Just for fun, though, I'll "tag" Sherry from Scarlett Ice, and Dave from Sidearm Delivery.
Please also note that the Canes blogoshere is becoming quite crowded. I have added Beth. And Hockey, written by Beth Ellison and Paperwhites in Season written by "Magnolia Mer" to my list of Canes blogs. Both have been blogging for a couple of years, and have recently put more and more focus on hockey. Both are women. It's pretty cool that not only do the Canes have one of the most represented teams in the hockey blogosphere, but also that there are more and more women doing it. Although this isn't the most scientific way to prove this, if you look at the listings at hockeyblogs.org, you'll see that only 8 teams have better representation than the Canes among registered bloggers. Five of those eight are "Original 6" teams.
It's hot as hell. I think I'm going to the movies.
EDIT ----- After hours of internal debate, I've decided that I will make a top five songs list for every letter of the alphabet. There hasn't been much to write about this summer, so it'll keep me busy for almost a month. Since I started off with B, I'll back up, do a list of bands starting with A, then move on to C and so on. Enjoy, and feel free to comment.