The 200: 16-1

So we’ve reached the end. The Top 16, plus one.

16            What Do All the People Know   The Monroes

15            Post-War Blues     Dan Mangan

14            The Life Of Riley   The Lightning Seeds (You Tube)

13            In Circles    Sunny Day Real Estate

12            Waiting For The Great Leap Forwards  Billy Bragg

11            Carry Me Ohio      Sun Kil Moon (You Tube)

10            Panic      The Smiths

09            The Band Played Waltzing Matilda   The Pogues 

08            Audiowhore   Archers Of Loaf

07            Two-Headed Boy  Neutral Milk Hotel

06            Wolf Like Me        TV On The Radio

05            Roscoe   Midlake                 

04            Understanding Jane   The Icicle Works (You Tube)

03            Civilian   Wye Oak 

02            White Lightning    Lowlife

(Secret Unranked Bonus Song) (You Tube)

01            The Bleeding Heart Show    The New Pornographers


16, 02 – Most of the songs on this entire list are from acts that had something of a shelf life. Neither of these did. The Monroes were a San Diego band that released an EP featuring the song, then suffered the common fate of a failing label, shelved albums, etc. before petering out. Lowlife was a Winnipeg-based band that released a single 7-inch, and White Lightning wasn’t even the lead single, even if, in my opinion, it is rock and roll in its purest form.


09-08-07 – If Rum, Sodomy and the Lash, the Pogues’ second album, isn’t my favorite record of all-time, then it’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel that earns that distinction. And if the Pogues are not my favorite band, then it would be Archers of Loaf. I saw all three of these acts on reunion-type tours, which isn’t the place you want to see them, but it’s hard to begrudge them the money that mostly eluded bands like these the first time around.


05 – I’ve written a lot of song parodies on Baseball Think Factory through the years. My two favorites were an 88 Lines About 44 Women remake about pitchers, and a version of Roscoe for Derek Jeter.


03 – The 2.37 mark of this song is my favorite moment in music history. It’s simply orgasmic.


Secret Unranked Bonus Song: The answer to the oldest/second-oldest question can be found if you click on the You Tube link. For my money, it’s simply the finest song ever written, but I didn’t think about it until after I’d thrown the rest of the collection together. And it might not really fit on this particular list.


01 – I read a recent run-down of the best New Pornographers albums of all-time. It ranked Twin Cinema somewhere on the lower side of the band’s catalogue, which isn’t consistent with most observers’ rankings. More remarkably, the reviewer managed to write up his critique of the album without even mentioning The Bleeding Heart Show, which may not be the top-ranked song of all-time on any other list, but is surely the band’s biggest song and the one they closed out my birthday show with. That list reeked of Slate-style contrariness. I hope mine didn’t.








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