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.