70. The Ballad of Bjorn Borg - Pernice Brothers (2006)
I am a Swedgyptian, my mother from the Sodermanlands of Sweden, my father from the northeastern Mediterranean coastline of Egypt. It may seem like they came from different worlds but the distance in miles from Eskilstuna to to Alexandria is 2,045, about 400 miles less than the distance between my first American home (hometown of the Isley Brothers and the Jonas Brothers) and my current American home (hometown of Snoop Dogg and Billie Jean King). Though we were raised definitively American, my parents still had their idols and gods from the homeland: Umm Kulthum, ABBA, King Tutankhamun, IKEA, etc. But the Big Two were the late Egyptian president and war hero Gamal Abdel Nasser and the swarthy-yet-Swedish leering tennis legend Bjorn Borg. No one, to my knowledge, has written a song about Nasser, who was always photographed as if the photo would some day appear on a postage stamp. Someone has written one about Borg and it's a nice one.
69. Chocolate Rain - Tay Zonday (2007)
I'll let Tay (a fellow former Golden Gopher) explain everything:
68. Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa - Vampire Weekend (2008)
I wanted to them to say more about Peter Gabriel and his evil reign on the sensibilities and broken heartstrings of American smart women. I wanted them to say so much more but at least we know Peter Gabriel is, as I've always maintained, "unnatural."
67. L.A. Arteest Cafe - Stew (2003)
My favorite songwriter from the glorious turn of the century, Stew has slowed down his musical output, preferring to hobnob with theater folks and Spike Lee. Well, whatever, as I wait for the next release from Stew or his band The Negro Problem, I'll listen to the old stuff, like this final (unhidden) track from his most recent (un-soundtrack) solo album. "And the lullaby flight attendants passing magazines." Oh and one more thing, Stew: Come back to L.A. New York doesn't understand you. We promise to give you the space you need. That one time I saw you and Heidi in the Grove parking garage, I didn't bother you and hound you for autographs and rough mixes, did I?
66. The Group Who Couldn't Say - Grandaddy (2003)
Get away from the computer. Go outside! The weather is beautiful. It's team-building time!
65. The Laws Have Changed – New Pornographers (2003)
The second best mix CD/tape anyone has made for me was from my friend Rebecca. She made two of them actually; the one I'm talking about is the second CD. One of the songs was by the New Pornographers. It wasn't this song, however. Rebecca, if you had chosen The Laws Have Changed instead of July Jones (admittedly, a nice song), you would have made the BEST mix CD/tape anyone has ever made for me. You came close though. And what's up with the Facebook silence? Say hello once in a while.
64. Seven Nation Army - White Stripes (2003)
What is this now - FOUR straight songs from 2003? Could '03 be the year I was referring to when I wrote in my 100-to-91 post "stare in gape-jawed disbelief at the over-representation of one particular year (it was a year of transition)"? Maybe. Maybe not. But ask yourself this: Was 2003 a year of transition? Was it? ... ... (waiting for your response) ... ... Exactly! And how about we just say what we all have meaning to say for years? Jack White is a multitalented can-do-no-wrong badass genius who puts most rockers to shame. And Meg is nice too.
63. Chocolate Town - Ween (2003)
Ween aren't going anywhere. No. They're here forever. I imagine these two retiring on a Delaware River houseboat (on the PA side of course), having massive house parties with monster amps and home-brewed kegs, grandchildren dancing with uncles, aunts dancing with milkmen. This song happens to have the best and most succinct insult put to post-milennial song: "get your punk ass back to the dog show." I think it works well for various reasons:
- The person is being called a "punk ass." Timeless and always effective.
- They go to dog shows. (Yes, I know, I've been to a cat show. Whatever. I liked it.)
- They're not just going to the dog show; they're going back to the dog show.
- The insult has nine words of one syllable each. It can be uttered in quick, pointed bursts. Try substituting a multi-syllable word in there, it just doesn't work: "get your punk ass back to the dog convention..." "get your punk ass on its return trip to the dog show." See, nowhere near as good?
62. The End Is Near – Fiery Furnaces (2009)
I think I'm ranking this song too low. I think I will regret this.
61. How a Resurrection Really Feels - The Hold Steady (2005)
Nope, you're not escaping without some Craig Finn. So you don't like his voice? (And I'm assuming this because everyone I've ever made listen to The Hold Steady or Lifter Puller says the same damn thing and how could you NOT like that voice?) Forget about the voice. Concentrate on the guitar. Still can't tune out the voice? Okay, just read the words:
They wrote her name in magic marks
On stopsigns and subway cars
They got a mural up on East 13th
That said "Halleluiah rest in peace"
Halleluiah was a hoodrat
And now you finally know that
She's been disappeared for years.