1. “Henrietta” – The Fratellis
I keep running into random people – students, colleagues, cantankerous old sea captains, etc. – who ask me, randomly, if I’ve heard The Fratellis. They’re my favorite new band – they’re like The Kinks meets The Strokes with a little Blur (circa Parklife) and a lot of swagger and madness. They’re also from Scotland. This one’s my favorite of theirs. It’s absolutely the Official Song of Summer ’07. Do not question my proclamation.
2. “L.A. Song” – Deconstruction
I mentioned this before, but it bears a further mention because I just scored the album (which is actually sort of rare) off eBay and it’s gooooood.
3. “Young Folks” – Peter Bjorn and John
What self-respecting Brighton, MA hipster would be without this tune in his iPod? Despite being aggressively cool (and despite having an aggressively kitch video), this is still a really, really good song, whistle solo and all.
4. “Mistaken For Strangers” – The National
More with the hipster B.S., yet I’m pretty sure this is what Joy Division would have sounded like with better production and a slightly less tetchy lead singer.
5. “Running Up That Hill” – Kate Bush
I found this, mostly, because of the almost-as-awesome Placebo cover, but I’ve been listening to the original a lot lately. It’s nicely melodramatic in a very ’80s synthpop kind of way, and makes me want to wear a leotard and do performance art jog more.
6. “Silverfuck” – Smashing Pumpkins
The Pumpkins (as I’m calling them, because only half the band is left) have a new album out on the 10th, and I am happy as a clam about it. However, every time I listen to this 9 minute epic of feedback and tom rolls, I feel like a horny, love-lorn 14-year old again, listening to Siamese Dream on repeat and dreaming of something vague.
7. “Shelter From The Storm” – Bob Dylan
This was played on the series premiere of The Riches, and I’d never really sat down and listened to it until then. It’s been around forever, but it really is heartbreakingly good.
8. “Word Disassociation” – Lemon Demon
I’m a sad Neil Cicierga fanboy. I’m not gonna lie. Potter Puppet Pals, Animutation, I’m there. The kid is a one-man (well, one-man and sometimes-his-sister-and-next-door-neighbor) ball of creative madness, and when I say “kid” I mean “he’s 20 and he’s been at this since he was about 13 and what the hell have you done with your life?” Now he’s in a one-man internet band, too, like all the best people are, and this is his hit jam. It’s like They Might Be Giants after a 12 pack of Jolt Cola.
9. “Earth Intruders” – Bjork
I appreciate Bjork. I’m not a Bjork fan, per say. Sometimes, she makes me kind of stare at the stereo and blink and then steam comes out of my ears and I go all head explodey. And then, sometimes, she writes something this good, where the weirdness balances itself out nicely.
10. “Coming Clean” – Green Day
Again with the 14-year old nostalgia. I’m realizing how good a lot of the unsung tracks on Dookie were, and remembering that feeling of connection. Yeah, Mom and Dad will never understand what’s happening to me. Take that, society.