Hipster music authority Pitchfork recently unveiled their list of the top 500 tracks of the last decade. Naturally, I’d never heard 400 of the songs. So I figured instead of crying about it, I’d get a few of the most fanatical music lovers I know to do their own Top Tens of the decade that still is. Every day this week you get a new list (with 5 honorable mentions). The list is in no specific order; the best ten songs out of ten years of recorded music is enough of an honor (and enough new stuff for you, dear reader, to devour).
Today’s list comes from nate, a recent journalism grad student at Syracuse who happens to run one of the finest LiverpoolFC blogs on the internet (and believe me, I don’t like complimenting him in public, so it’s really quite good), Oh You Beauty. He also got me into Blackstar, Aesop Rock, Atmosphere, and countless other bands, so that was nice of him. Here are his Top Ten
Bring on the indie rock and hipster hip-hop! Not quite twee as fuck, but I’m not really emphasizing my masculinity with these choices either. Sigh. Nine American acts, though, which is honestly more than I thought I’d have. And no room for what’s probably my favorite band – of Montreal.
It was hard enough slimming this list to 15, so we’re not going through the headache of breaking them down further than a Top 10 and Honorable Mention.
Broken Social Scene – Almost Crimes: (iTunes)
I can listen to this song anytime and anywhere. An out-and-out rocker, almost out of place with the rest of the album. Plus, Feist.
The New Pornographers – The Jessica Numbers: (iTunes)
Similar description as the last track, and it’s little surprise that they’re the two I’ve listened to most often according to iTunes. Plus, Neko Case.
Los Campesinos! – We Throw Parties, You Throw Knifes: (iTunes)
First song I ever heard from Los Campesinos, before they were signed to any record deal. I’m not throwing that out to look cool – there’s no chance of that happening regardless of what I write – I’m just surprised that their first song is still my favorite after two spectacular albums and a solid EP.
The Shins – Australia: (iTunes)
The rest of their catalog is hit or miss, but this is a perfect indie-rock pop song.
Queens of the Stone Age – Go With The Flow: (iTunes)
I never would have guessed QotSA would have a ‘breakout’ single. I also never thought I’d still love the song six years later.
Ra Ra Riot – Ghost Under Rocks: (iTunes)
Phoenix – Listzomania: (iTunes)
2009 Song of the Year.
White Stripes – The Air Near My Fingers: (iTunes)
I still have no idea why this didn’t come out as a single. I almost wore grooves into this CD listening (on a Discman, no less. Remember those?), mainly to this track, while walking to and from work in London. Even though this album was recorded in England, it made me feel like home.
Sage Francis – Makeshift Patriot: (iTunes)
The best and only truly relevant song about 9/11. Sage Francis is the best lyricist in hip-hop. This is not up for discussion.
At the Drive-in – One-armed Scissor: (iTunes)
I still can’t believe this song came out this decade; I could have sworn I was in high school (Ed note: lol, old). Either way, this song (and ATDI as a whole) was far better than high school. I miss ATDI. The Mars Volta is too weird.
Arcade Fire – No Cars Go: (iTunes)
In honorable mention for the quality of the first two albums; it’s hard to pick a stand-out song from either. Rebellion (Lies), any of the first three in the Neighborhood suite, or Intervention are solid choices, but this track just seems to sum up the band. I’ve also probably been listening to Neon Bible too much lately.
Interpol – Obstacle #2: (iTunes)
It’s really a pity that Interpol’s first album was by far their best, and it’s only been a downhill ride to mediocrity since.
Silversun Pickups – Lazy Eye: (iTunes)
Similar to The Shins‘ “Australia,” an utterly perfect pop song that vastly surpasses the rest of their work.
Aesop Rock – Daylight: (iTunes)
Aesop Rock has to be on this list, even it’s only in honorable mention. And while I’ve probably listened to “Coffee,” off of None Shall Pass, more in the past couple of years, this song’s still the best example of Aesop.
Arctic Monkeys – Leave Before the Lights Come On: (iTunes)
Released as a single between Arctic Monkeys’ first two albums, but it’s a lot more in tune with their debut. I still can’t help chanting “I’ll walk you up; what time’s the bus come” along with the last lines of the song. Memories.