So Triple J have been asking listeners for their top ten songs. Ever. And seeing as I’m pretty sure only two or three of mine will make it anywhere near their Hottest One Hundred of All Time, I thought I’d share the rest with you. By which I mean, it’s my blog, and I’ll cry if I want to! (And on the same note, you may notice my interpretation of 'ten' is somewhat liberal...)
Oddly, if I made a top ten list of artists or albums, I'm not sure there'd be that much crossover. I went for songs that are really good at being songs.
Animal Collective – The Purple Bottle. I cannot keep track of how often I’ve listened to this song. My iPod is positively embarrassed. It’s like a choose your own adventure, but in a song! You can hear it a hundred different ways. It’s mechanical, repetitive, dynamic, melodic, intricate. And it’s a love song.
Augie March – The Honey Month, live with the WA Orchestra. I could have done a top ten purely of Augie March songs. Count your lucky stars that I didn’t! While you’re counting, listen to this exquisite little number.
Broken Social Scene – Anthems for a Seventeen Year-Old Girl. This song got under my skin. It’s like a little bouquet of musical motifs that I love: repetition, minimalism, simplicity; but it builds and builds and becomes something else. A quiet revelation one day walking home from school.
The Flaming Lips - Suddenly Everything Has Changed. Even thought The Flaming Lips were one of my best live experiences, I don't listen to them much these days. This one's an old favourite, though, and it's perfect in its own small way.
Iggy Pop – Search and Destroy. There is some kind of genius here. Thrills me all the way down to my toes. Makes me air drum. Magical.
Lou Reed – Coney Island Baby. Actually my favourite Lou song is probably Andy’s Chest, it makes me ridiculously happy (“The funny thing is what happened to her nose - it grew until it reached all of her toes! Swoop swoop, oh baby, rock rock!”) – but this song is something else. It talks to you, and it gets you when you’re not looking…
Mt Eerie – I Hold Nothing. This song reduces life to its simplest parts, moves like clockwork, and thrills me like science. I could listen to it forever.
Joanna Newsom – Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie, from the Ys Street EP. I love Joanna’s longer, more complex songs, but this one is pretty special. Stripped back, simple, sweet and starry, starry, starry.
World's End Girlfriend - Birthday Resistance. The only instrumental track to make it on here, but golly it's a good one. Playful and sublime.
Songs: Ohia – Farewell Transmission. “Mama, here comes midnight with the dead moon in its jaws.” My deep and abiding love for blues and country had to be represented somehow, and if it wasn’t Townes Van Zandt it was going to be Jason Molina.
The Smiths – I could have done a top one hundred of just The Smiths. I nearly went for I Know It’s Over or There is a Light: honesty, melody, brilliant articulation of human anguish, etc. but one of my favourite things about The Smiths is their sense of humour. So I’ve gone with Sheila Take a Bow because it is just the right about of self deprecating and irreverent, it makes your head think and your booty shake! Much like the wonderful Pictures for Sad Children comic below:
Radiohead – Pyramid Song. If aliens came to earth and wanted to hear some of our Earth music (it’s likely, right?) I think I’d play them Radiohead. I’m pretty sure that’s what universally awesome means.
Actually I lie, I think I’d play them Love Cats because A) Resulting confusion about human biology would give us an advantage in the inevitable intergalactic war and B) I wanna see aliens dance, and you gotta dance to that song, man. You just gotta.
P.S. No Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Love, Cat Stevens, Beach Boys or Simon and Garfunkel. This kills me a little bit. And I feel like my dad will be disappointed in me!