5) Tori Amos – Cornflake Girl
This one gets in on nostalgia value. That and as far as I can tell it pretty much is, unequivocally, about that one girl…. Or the apocalypse. Or patriarchy. Let’s face it, Little Earthquakes is the only Tori album that really made any sense. Dig the rosary on the rear view.
4) The Postal Service – The District Sleeps Alone Tonight
I always thought a country western cover of this song would be pretty sweet. I think Keith Urban could handle it rather well.
3) Xiu Xiu – Jennifer Lopez
Hahhaha, no comment.
2) Bob Dylan – Idiot Wind
First off, we can’t go with “Like a Rolling Stone” because it’s not clear that he ever liked the, uhh, protagonist in that little narrative. Besides, I like “Idiot Wind” better. It’s my favorite Dylan song. You learn something new every day.
1) Broken Social Scene – Anthems for a Seventeen Year-Old Girl
Everyone I know of – and I’m not going to disclose names – including me who’s listened to this song much has gotten a little misty-eyed at least a couple of those times. I think it’s because the lyrics seem to indicate a genuine love and need for this person. Half way through you don’t know if the narrator’s a friend or a parent.
5) The Flaming Lips – “Do You Realize??”
A classic “Shut Up! It’s a Good Song!” Song. So do shut up, it’s a good song.
4) Keith Fullerton Whitman – “Modena”
The problem about picking my favorite songs about heaven is that I’ve never been there and don’t really know anything about it. Except that Tony won’t be there, and Marc will get to “drop elbows” on the damned for all eternity. But I’m pretty sure this is what it sounds like.
3) Stars – “Ageless Beauty”
Call me crazy, but what really sells this song is the lead singer’s adorable, though hardly there, Canadian accent.
2) Neutral Milk Hotel – “In The Aeroplane Over the Sea”
There are only two kinds of people in the pop geek world: those who love Neutral Milk Hotel and those who will be first against the wall when the revolution comes. It doesn’t hurt this song’s case that “I see- can’t believe- how strange it is to be anything at all” is the best line music’s produced in at least a couple decades.
1) The Pixies – “Velouria”
It’s hard to tell. Maybe Francis is just singing about his girlfriend who went on a week-long business trip, but it comes across as a brilliantly cosmic retelling of “Evangeline.” Everything that comes from the Pixies is just so transcendent. Their best songs always make me want to weep, laugh, and then drive my car into a tree at 90 miles an hour. And this one’s definitely up there.