I'll judge anything. Sporting event, song, band, album, movie, tv show, tv series, viral video, a work of art, your dad's meat loaf, shoes, your bench press technique, term paper... nothing is out of bounds, no matter how broad/abstract or minute. If you want something judged, just email it or find me on my twitter feed (@Hoigaard2) and I'll produce a post dedicated to it, right down to a final judgement/score.

18th March 2013

Photo

This is the most important bracket you will see out of all the “fun” and “quirky” brackets this March Madness. This one is serious. It must be solved.
I am going to attempt to determine The Most Grating Voice In Music. I thought about doing a “Most Grating Voice In the World” and including other celebrities, etc, but that would have been dumb because the top two contenders were people I went to high school with and that would be no fun.
It’s possible (and likely) I missed many noteworthy contenders. These were literally the first 20 names to pop into my head in the span of 3-5 minutes (for what it’s worth, I happen to enjoy a few of them). The names came first and then I divided them into regions.
The seeding was based on little to nothing.
The “winners” are determined by me. No voting, no discussion, nothing. Just me. I’m clearly the most qualified person to decide this.
We’ll be back soon with our first round of games.

This is the most important bracket you will see out of all the “fun” and “quirky” brackets this March Madness. This one is serious. It must be solved.

I am going to attempt to determine The Most Grating Voice In Music. I thought about doing a “Most Grating Voice In the World” and including other celebrities, etc, but that would have been dumb because the top two contenders were people I went to high school with and that would be no fun.

It’s possible (and likely) I missed many noteworthy contenders. These were literally the first 20 names to pop into my head in the span of 3-5 minutes (for what it’s worth, I happen to enjoy a few of them). The names came first and then I divided them into regions.

The seeding was based on little to nothing.

The “winners” are determined by me. No voting, no discussion, nothing. Just me. I’m clearly the most qualified person to decide this.

We’ll be back soon with our first round of games.

4th March 2013

Post

“I Think It’s Great, How You Used To Be Great.” (aka Tecmo Super Bowl and Accepting Mortality)

I’m getting old.

Like every other boy in December of 1991, my parents gave me Tecmo Super Bowl. In fact, my friend’s grandmother worked at a Wal-Mart and got each of us the game a week before it was released. So I like to think that, technically, I’ve been playing TSB longer than anyone I know.

Like every other boy, I played the hell out of it. It didn’t matter which group of friends I hung out with, Tecmo was always a part of our lives. We’d keep record books, log wins, stats, you name it.

Like every other boy, I got pretty good. Won most tournaments among our friends throughout high school and took the dorm championship when I eventually went away to college. I always knew I was good, if not very good, if not elite (again, like every other boy). I would always claim that “I’m not unbeatable, but I’m not sure how many people in the world can beat me in a best-of-7 series.” And for all intents and purposes, I was never really proven wrong.

But that was then. Now?

I’m getting old.

This weekend was my 4th year competing in the “World Series of Tecmo Super Bowl,” Madison Tecmo IX: “Mar1no Royal3” (I won’t go into the rules and minutiae. If you want to learn, use Google. It’s not like this information is difficult to find in 2013. And let’s be real, this piece isn’t written for those with no interest in the subject anyway). When I went to my first tournament, I was nervous. Not so much for the competition, but for the vibe of the event. I was afraid of entering a world full of carbon-copy, walking, talking stereotypes of alpha-male video gamers who play Madden and think it’s their God-given right to be complete and utter dick ooze to their competitors. Happy to say, that is far from the case. The guys who organize the tournament and all of us who play really do pride ourselves on keeping Tecmo a “gentleman’s game.” That’s what makes the tournament so fun and addicting. If I name-drop guys in this piece, I’m going to refrain from describing them as “an extremely nice guy,” because you’d read that about 200 times.

The first two years of the tournament I was happy to get acclimated. I did fairly well for someone who hadn’t played in a few years. Both years, however, I was eventually done in despite holding 10-point leads in the 4th quarter. I was still young enough to believe in my ill-crafted “legacy,” and I left both tournaments with raging disappointment. Despite a 6-2 record all-time in the tourney, I felt gipped.

Last year, the bottom fell out. I went 2-1 in pool play and missed out on advancing because of point differential. After 3 years of trying, I had not yet made it to the Sweet 16. Even though I had some quality wins under my belt (2-0 lifetime against Troy H, who has a 3rd and 4th place finish to his name), I had a fire under my ass coming into 2013. I didn’t have a specific goal. Just, “Be better.” How to quantify that, I had no idea. I figured it’d be like Supreme Court Justice Potter’s definition of obscenity: “I’ll know it when I see it.”

Simply put, I saw it. The format in Tecmo IX was different than previous years. It used to be 4-player pool play, with the top 2 advancing from each group. So if you made the cut, you were in the top 50% of the field. For Tecmo IX, there were 28 groups of 8 players and you played a double-elim bracket within that group, with the top 2 advancing. So even though 56 players advanced, those 56 players were in the top 25%. I advanced, losing only in group play to Jeff Bernard, who eventually finished 4th overall.  I was a top 25% player. I was content. After advancing, I lost 14-10 in my first round game to Chris Vogt, who is a great player (and was featured on the NFL Films Tecmo Super Bowl documentary in 2012). There was no shame in losing at that point in the tourney. The old Ryan would have been pissed that I lost, regardless of how it happened. But now? 

I’m getting old. 

At one point during the day I had a nice conversation with Eric O’Dell, and that moment of clarity regarding my feelings for this tournament, this game, and my “legacy” all hit. We were recapping our games that day, dissecting what plays we could have run differently, decisions we made (good or bad), and the guys still remaining in the tournament. We agreed that no matter how we fared, just coming to the tournament is worthwhile for all the fun, even if we know we can’t win. Said Eric (paraphrasing, poorly), “Let’s be real, I know I’m not going to win. I know my limits, and I’m sure you do, too.” Yes. This was it. Everything I’ve been playing for in this tournament the last 4 years made sense now. We continued to chat on this subject.

Can we beat Chet? Sure. Anyone can beat anyone in Tecmo. But out of 10 games maybe we beat him twice? 3 maybe? 4? Not often, but some, sure.

Can we beat Regulator? Of course. But out of 10 times, do we beat him twice? 3 maybe? 4? Not often, but some, sure.

Can we beat Mort? Jeff B? Sobhi? Certainly. But out of 10 times… You see where this is going.

Point being, I’m getting old. I can no longer regularly play against my friends to stay sharp. My thumb tapping has regressed without practice. Firing up a borrowed NES a week before the tournament every year and practicing against the computer is not going to cut it. And that’s ok. If I could play all the time again, who knows what my game would look like. But I can’t, and that’s ok. I’m a perennial top 64 or 32. That’s my limit. I could hit that 20% chance in a victory over someone to reach the Sweet 16 some year. And then maybe hit another lotto in that round by winning another 20% chance game to get to the Elite 8, and so on. But it gets harder (well, duh). Stringing them together against a field like this is next to impossible. That’s why you see many of the same names at the top every year. It’s guys like me who are around to maybe shock and weed some of them out earlier.

And that’s ok. A few years ago, that thought would have eaten away at me, drove me insane, made me jealous and angry and bitter at the Tecmo world. Now? No. I’m good. And yes, that “good” is a double-meaning. I’m good knowing I’m not what I once was, but I’m also “good” at Tecmo now. Not superior, not elite, not quite great, but solidly good. I’m good. Why?

I’m getting old.

For those of us “in the know,” we can pick out the wimpies very easily when it comes to the game:

“Super Tecmo Bowl? I love that game!” (No you don’t, because that game doesn’t exist. Tecmo Super Bowl, however, does exist and it is the best.)

“Techmo Super Bowl was my favorite game!” (Such a favorite that you can’t spell Tecmo? Got it.)

“I can dominate anyone with the Raiders and Bo Jackson!” (The computer and unskilled friends don’t count. Take the Raiders against anyone in the top 25% and try to stubbornly run w/ Bo every time. See how far you get.)

I’m good because I know that when I hear things like these, I’ve already beaten them.

Many years ago, I had a regular crew of guys I played with. We were very, very good at TSB. One day another friend happened to join us and saw us playing. He made the incorrect statement, “Hey, I’m pretty good at this, can I get winner?” No. To earn the right to play the winner (eventually, me), he would have to play the loser first. A “gatekeeper” before you reach the “throne,” if you will. Someone to weed out the riff-raff, put them in their place and make sure they knew what they were getting into asking for a game against the throne. The new guy was down 35-0 at half. Demoralized. He didn’t make it past the gatekeeper.

I stand here in 2013 no longer on the throne, or near it. I’m now a gatekeeper. And I’m ok with that.

I know ending a piece with a quote or lyrics is so high school, but it’s fitting here. I’ve become the 2nd verse of Atmosphere’s “Puppets.”

“I think it’s great how you used to be great

I can’t hate on how you choose to relate

But I know that you had the potential

I understand why you wanted to let go

A lot of pressure

In the middle of those shoulders

And we ain’t getting nothin’ but older

Ain’t nothin’ changed

But the day we run from

But nobody knows that

Better than you, huh?” 

My name is Ryan Krebs. I’ll never win the World Series of Tecmo, and I’m now mature enough to admit that. But will I stop attending?

Hell no.

See you at Madison Tecmo X: “Bubbas In Paris” (Chet and Josh, I’m sticking by this name suggestion. Gold, Jerry, gold!).

12th September 2012

Video with 1 note

Song #22 - “High” by Jimmie’s Chicken Shack

And we’re back. Just a short one today to get back into the rhythm.

I was first exposed to Jimmie’s Chicken Shack through this song and it’s the one that maintained through years of superfandom. My earliest memory of this song was driving back to our small town with some friends after hanging out for the day in Madison, WI. Somehow we had more guys going back than came there so we didn’t have room in the car. I volunteered to ride in the trunk … (yeah, in retrospect, terrible idea. I know NOW) … And on the ride home, this song came on and I started to scream “HIGH!!!!!!” literally as loud as I could. I’m not talking like deep, bellowing yells. These were shrieking, throat-ripping screeches. Hey, if I was going to ride back there, I was going to make their trip miserable. They couldn’t stop me, that would require pulling the car over. It’s not like they could just turn around and punch me. Joke was on me, though because it entertained them. Even when I’m trying to annoy I bring people pleasure. It’s my cross to bear.

JCS’ album “Pushing The Salmanilla (sic) Envelope” is probably my 2nd-most listened to cd I’ve owned. Start to finish it’s a ball-kicking, high-energy rock monument. They had a unique sound to them, one that lead singer Jimi Haha coined as “mutt rock,” presumably because it’s a mix of a whole bunch of stuff (Kudos to them, they actually made me tolerate reggae on a couple songs). Other tracks (with worthwhile links) I would recommend are Dropping Anchor, Lazy Boy Dash, and Do Right.

I was a JCS superfan back in the day (still am, they’ve just been off the grid for years now), seeing them in concert probably 20 times and owning about 6 different shirts. My favorite shirt in my wardrobe is actually a JCS shirt. It’s a plain grey t-shirt and in smallish print on the sternum it says “Dumb&Ugly&Uncreative.” I want to be buried in that shirt, and I mean that sincerely. It’s starting to fray after 15 years so I’ve intentionally worn it less so as to preserve it for our casket trip into eternity.

And because I was an impressionable youth, for a period of a few months I actually wore my hair in dreads, like Jimi.

Actually, I want to be buried in dreadlocks, too.

Recap (click on titles for links to entries):

23: “Standing On The Corner” by Four Lads

24: “Sooner or Later” by Bliss 66

25: “Head Over Heels” by Tears For Fears

26: “Beautiful” by Joe Firstman

27: “Bombs Over Baghdad” by OutKast

28: “Oh What A World/Art Teacher” by Rufus Wainwright

29: “Let’s Move/Nik’s Groove” by Foreign Exchange

30: “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve

31: “Wrong Impression” by Natalie Imbruglia

32: “What It Feels Like For A Girl” by Madonna

33: “None Shall Pass” by Aesop Rock

34: “On The Roof Again” by Eve 6

35: “Blackwater” by Doobie Brothers

36: “Stale” by Stir

37: “Umi Says” by Mos Def

38: “Watch Out Now” by Beatnuts

39: “Fair” by Ben Folds Five

40: “Missing” by Beck

41: “Possession” by Sarah McLachlan

42: “Without Me” by Eminem

43: “Cast No Shadow” by Oasis

44: “Sandstorm” by DaRude

45: “Guilty Cubicles” by Broken Social Scene

46: “Lately” by Jodeci

47: “Dennehy” by Serengeti

48: “We Fit Together” by O-Town

49: “The Listening” by Little Brother

50: “Beautiful Child” by Rufus Wainwright

51: “Rubbed Out” by Duncan Sheik

52: “Yield/Out Da Club” by People Under The Stairs

53: “Drumming Song” by Florence and the Machine

54: “Stay” by Sarah Bettens

55: “Shower The People/Copperline” by James Taylor

56: “The Secret Life of Morgan Davis” by Ben Folds

57: “Aganju” by Bebel Gilberto

58: “All That You Are” by Econoline Crush

59: “In A Big Country” by Big Country

60: “Rock DJ” by Robbie Williams

61: “All This Time” by Sting

62: “Flowing” by 311

63: “Where’s The Love” by Hanson

64: “Paper Bag” by Fiona Apple

65: “No Excuses” by Alice In Chains

66: “Hey Man, Nice Shot” by Filter

67: “Anna’s Song” by Everclear

68: “I Can’t Go For That” by Hall and Oates

69: “Yeah, Whatever” by Splender

70: “Dead Bodies Everywhere” by Korn

71: “National Holidays” by Spymob

72: ”Plush” by Stone Temple Pilots

73: “D’You Know What I Mean?” by Oasis

74: “Mo Money Mo Problems” by Notorious B.I.G., Puff Daddy, Mase

75: “Us Placers” by Lupe, Kanye, Pharrell, Thom Yorke

76: “Reminiscing” by Little River Band

77: “Remember The Time” by Michael Jackson

78: “The World Ain’t Slowing Down” by Ellis Paul

79: “Girls Only” by HarMar Superstar

80: “Indiana” by The Samples

81: “Kissing A Fool” by George Michael

82: “Mediate” by INXS

83: “Daybreak” by Barry Manilow

84: “Luchini” by Camp Lo

85: “Ladies Night” by Kool & The Gang

86: “Tess” from the Ocean’s 11 Soundtrack

87: “Is It Any Wonder?“/”Crystal Ball”/”Nothing In My Way” by Keane

88: “Sorry” by Gary Allan

89: “Mass Appeal” &  “Skills” by Gang Starr

90: “You and I” by Michael Buble

91: “High And Dry” by Radiohead

92: “Sunshine” by Atmosphere

93: “26 Miles” by Four Preps

94: “Seven Nation Army” by Apathy

95: “Starry-Eyed Suprise” by Paul Oakenfold

96: “Fired” by Ben Folds

97: “Nothin’” by N.O.R.E.

98: “Time After Time” by Rod Stewart

99: “Together” by William Shatner

100: “Mad World” by Gary Jules

Songs That Missed The Cut

Explanation of Countdown

Tagged: Top 100 Songsrankings22Jimmie's Chicken ShackHigh

14th November 2011

Video with 10 notes

Song #23 - “Standing On The Corner” by The Four Lads

I had intended on debuting a homemade video for this one and that’s why it’s taken so long to post. As you can see, though, I lacked success with that task. I do promise, at some point, it is coming. In the meantime, enjoy the song for what it is:

It’s a song of a bygone era.

It’s a song of pleasant harmony.

It’s a song that teeters on misogyny.

It’s a song that makes you want to whistle (if you can… I cannot).

It’s a song that makes your bob your head.

It’s a song that somehow makes you want to twirl a cane.

It’s a song that alludes to matchmaking as little more than wandering in to The Bunny Ranch and selecting a prostitute.

It’s a song that hearkens to a time when loitering was not a crime.

It’s a song that your grandparents likely listened to while courting.

It’s a song that borderline endorses rape pre-meditations (“You can’t go to jail for what you’re thinking”).

So, enjoy.

Recap (click on titles for links to entries):

24: “Sooner or Later” by Bliss 66

25: “Head Over Heels” by Tears For Fears

26: “Beautiful” by Joe Firstman

27: “Bombs Over Baghdad” by OutKast

28: “Oh What A World/Art Teacher” by Rufus Wainwright

29: “Let’s Move/Nik’s Groove” by Foreign Exchange

30: “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve

31: “Wrong Impression” by Natalie Imbruglia

32: “What It Feels Like For A Girl” by Madonna

33: “None Shall Pass” by Aesop Rock

34: “On The Roof Again” by Eve 6

35: “Blackwater” by Doobie Brothers

36: “Stale” by Stir

37: “Umi Says” by Mos Def

38: “Watch Out Now” by Beatnuts

39: “Fair” by Ben Folds Five

40: “Missing” by Beck

41: “Possession” by Sarah McLachlan

42: “Without Me” by Eminem

43: “Cast No Shadow” by Oasis

44: “Sandstorm” by DaRude

45: “Guilty Cubicles” by Broken Social Scene

46: “Lately” by Jodeci

47: “Dennehy” by Serengeti

48: “We Fit Together” by O-Town

49: “The Listening” by Little Brother

50: “Beautiful Child” by Rufus Wainwright

51: “Rubbed Out” by Duncan Sheik

52: “Yield/Out Da Club” by People Under The Stairs

53: “Drumming Song” by Florence and the Machine

54: “Stay” by Sarah Bettens

55: “Shower The People/Copperline” by James Taylor

56: “The Secret Life of Morgan Davis” by Ben Folds

57: “Aganju” by Bebel Gilberto

58: “All That You Are” by Econoline Crush

59: “In A Big Country” by Big Country

60: “Rock DJ” by Robbie Williams

61: “All This Time” by Sting

62: “Flowing” by 311

63: “Where’s The Love” by Hanson

64: “Paper Bag” by Fiona Apple

65: “No Excuses” by Alice In Chains

66: “Hey Man, Nice Shot” by Filter

67: “Anna’s Song” by Everclear

68: “I Can’t Go For That” by Hall and Oates

69: “Yeah, Whatever” by Splender

70: “Dead Bodies Everywhere” by Korn

71: “National Holidays” by Spymob

72: ”Plush” by Stone Temple Pilots

73: “D’You Know What I Mean?” by Oasis

74: “Mo Money Mo Problems” by Notorious B.I.G., Puff Daddy, Mase

75: “Us Placers” by Lupe, Kanye, Pharrell, Thom Yorke

76: “Reminiscing” by Little River Band

77: “Remember The Time” by Michael Jackson

78: “The World Ain’t Slowing Down” by Ellis Paul

79: “Girls Only” by HarMar Superstar

80: “Indiana” by The Samples

81: “Kissing A Fool” by George Michael

82: “Mediate” by INXS

83: “Daybreak” by Barry Manilow

84: “Luchini” by Camp Lo

85: “Ladies Night” by Kool & The Gang

86: “Tess” from the Ocean’s 11 Soundtrack

87: “Is It Any Wonder?“/”Crystal Ball”/”Nothing In My Way” by Keane

88: “Sorry” by Gary Allan

89: “Mass Appeal” & “Skills” by Gang Starr

90: “You and I” by Michael Buble

91: “High And Dry” by Radiohead

92: “Sunshine” by Atmosphere

93: “26 Miles” by Four Preps

94: “Seven Nation Army” by Apathy

95: “Starry-Eyed Suprise” by Paul Oakenfold

96: “Fired” by Ben Folds

97: “Nothin’” by N.O.R.E.

98: “Time After Time” by Rod Stewart

99: “Together” by William Shatner

100: “Mad World” by Gary Jules

Songs That Missed The Cut

Explanation of Countdown

Tagged: Top 100 SongsThe Four LadsStanding On The Corner23rankings

24th October 2011

Video with 32 notes

Song #24 - “Sooner Or Later” by Bliss 66

I’ve mentioned my friend Denim (RIP, Jah bless) here before, and this song was at the core of one of my favorite exchanges we had:

Denim and I went to different colleges but I would often visit because, well, his was more fun. Off-topic, I remember one night Denim and I went out with our other friend (Linda, a guy) to a party and Denim was talking to a girl with whom we went to high school as she was vomiting outside. He was leaning over her, making sure she was fine when one of the guys in the house came up and literally kicked him in the face. Like, full-on face kicking. Word leaked inside and once we found out, Linda and I ran outside ready to beat some ass (note: I have never beaten ass and would not have that night, either) when we were stopped by another guy in the house saying the three of us should leave, “I know it’s not your fault, I’m on your side. But this guy is a real wild card. Like coked-up and shit. He’ll honestly kill someone if you try to fuck with him.” So, being who we are, we politely walked away from the house and proceeded to call them in to the police. The party got busted and we sat across the street giggling the entire time and couldn’t have been happier (aside from Denim’s swollen face). We also called 2 of our other friends to tell them the story and they decided at 3am to dress in all black, take 2 cartons of eggs, sneak over to the house and plaster it. Ah, The Crew… 19 years old going on 12. We were awesome. Still are (Note: debatable).

Anywhooooooo …. This night in particular we went out and were at another house party. I started talking to a girl and Denim kept giving over-the-top sarcastic winks at me from across the room as if to say, “You go, boy!” The girl I had struck up a conversation with at one point mentioned that Bliss 66 was her favorite band, which floored me, because who the hell says Bliss 66 is their favorite band. The lead singer’s parents would probably even pick the Rolling Stones if pressed on the issue. Point is, nobody lists Bliss 66 as their favorite. They’re good, and I had their (note: ONLY) album, but they shouldn’t be anyone’s favorite. Regardless, I withheld my laughter and mentioned that I liked them too and loved “Sooner Or Later,” and all of this was music to her ears (no pun intended). She actually happened to live in the same dorm as Denim, so a large group of us walked back together. Denim and I hung towards the back and I was giving him the story of how her and I had started talking.

(Time-Out… Weird moment as I type this. I JUST NOW remembered her name. This was more than 10 years ago and the name had slipped me until this very second: Veronica. Her name was Veronica. I knew it at the time, but if you had asked me 8 minutes ago what it was, couldn’t have told you)

Back to the story: On the walk, I tell Denim that Bliss 66 was her favorite band. Denim, being all things rock and roll started laughing hysterically. “Bliss 66? Are you kidding me????” Keep in mind, we both liked the band, but it bears repeating: Nobody should list Bliss 66 as their favorite band.

We get back to the dorm and Denim heads to his room and Veronica asks if I want to head to her room (presumably to listen to Bliss 66) and I say sure. No sooner after we get up there does the fire alarm in the building go off. Being a bit older and having dealt with dorm life, I told her to just stay in the room and it’d be fine. She wasn’t having it. We went outside into the freezing cold Midwestern night. While out there, I spotted Denim and he said it was my last chance to head back to his dorm room to crash for the night, otherwise he was locking the door and going to bed. I told him I was going to spend some time with Veronica (I also remember him thinking the fact that her name was “Veronica” was hilarious, too. Denim was pretty drunk that night). So, fire drill was over, we all go back to our determined locations for the night.

Fast forward to the next morning, I knock on Denim and Linda’s door, they let me in and the inevitable “So, what’s the story, morning glory” discussion occurs…

Denim: “So how was Bliss 66?”

Me: “It was more like Bliss 6.”

I’ll always remember Denim’s laugh at that comment. I miss that laugh sometimes.

Often.

Jah bless, buddy.

Recap (click on titles for links to entries):

25: “Head Over Heels” by Tears For Fears

26: “Beautiful” by Joe Firstman

27: “Bombs Over Baghdad” by OutKast

28: “Oh What A World/Art Teacher” by Rufus Wainwright

29: “Let’s Move/Nik’s Groove” by Foreign Exchange

30: “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve

31: “Wrong Impression” by Natalie Imbruglia

32: “What It Feels Like For A Girl” by Madonna

33: “None Shall Pass” by Aesop Rock

34: “On The Roof Again” by Eve 6

35: “Blackwater” by Doobie Brothers

36: “Stale” by Stir

37: “Umi Says” by Mos Def

38: “Watch Out Now” by Beatnuts

39: “Fair” by Ben Folds Five

40: “Missing” by Beck

41: “Possession” by Sarah McLachlan

42: “Without Me” by Eminem

43: “Cast No Shadow” by Oasis

44: “Sandstorm” by DaRude

45: “Guilty Cubicles” by Broken Social Scene

46: “Lately” by Jodeci

47: “Dennehy” by Serengeti

48: “We Fit Together” by O-Town

49: “The Listening” by Little Brother

50: “Beautiful Child” by Rufus Wainwright

51: “Rubbed Out” by Duncan Sheik

52: “Yield/Out Da Club” by People Under The Stairs

53: “Drumming Song” by Florence and the Machine

54: “Stay” by Sarah Bettens

55: “Shower The People/Copperline” by James Taylor

56: “The Secret Life of Morgan Davis” by Ben Folds

57: “Aganju” by Bebel Gilberto

58: “All That You Are” by Econoline Crush

59: “In A Big Country” by Big Country

60: “Rock DJ” by Robbie Williams

61: “All This Time” by Sting

62: “Flowing” by 311

63: “Where’s The Love” by Hanson

64: “Paper Bag” by Fiona Apple

65: “No Excuses” by Alice In Chains

66: “Hey Man, Nice Shot” by Filter

67: “Anna’s Song” by Everclear

68: “I Can’t Go For That” by Hall and Oates

69: “Yeah, Whatever” by Splender

70: “Dead Bodies Everywhere” by Korn

71: “National Holidays” by Spymob

72: ”Plush” by Stone Temple Pilots

73: “D’You Know What I Mean?” by Oasis

74: “Mo Money Mo Problems” by Notorious B.I.G., Puff Daddy, Mase

75: “Us Placers” by Lupe, Kanye, Pharrell, Thom Yorke

76: “Reminiscing” by Little River Band

77: “Remember The Time” by Michael Jackson

78: “The World Ain’t Slowing Down” by Ellis Paul

79: “Girls Only” by HarMar Superstar

80: “Indiana” by The Samples

81: “Kissing A Fool” by George Michael

82: “Mediate” by INXS

83: “Daybreak” by Barry Manilow

84: “Luchini” by Camp Lo

85: “Ladies Night” by Kool & The Gang

86: “Tess” from the Ocean’s 11 Soundtrack

87: “Is It Any Wonder?“/”Crystal Ball”/”Nothing In My Way” by Keane

88: “Sorry” by Gary Allan

89: “Mass Appeal” & “Skills” by Gang Starr

90: “You and I” by Michael Buble

91: “High And Dry” by Radiohead

92: “Sunshine” by Atmosphere

93: “26 Miles” by Four Preps

94: “Seven Nation Army” by Apathy

95: “Starry-Eyed Suprise” by Paul Oakenfold

96: “Fired” by Ben Folds

97: “Nothin’” by N.O.R.E.

98: “Time After Time” by Rod Stewart

99: “Together” by William Shatner

100: “Mad World” by Gary Jules

Songs That Missed The Cut

Explanation of Countdown

Tagged: Top 100 SongsrankingsBliss 66Sooner Or Later24

20th October 2011

Video with 44 notes

Song #25 - “Head Over Heels” by Tears For Fears

Tears For Fears is, essentially, my youth. When I hear their music I become a kid again. It takes me back to sitting on the front porch, trying to sing along to all of their songs in a really deep voice.

The video, too, is pretty much one of the top 10 most 80’s thing ever. Rather than play the video, I chose to just post the song above because I didn’t want it to be distracting from the greatness of the song itself. But, if you want to see a pretty clever take on the video or like seeing the 80’s get mocked, you need to watch this.

I like this song despite the questionable direction of the lyrics. Like, at first you think it’s pretty clearly about a guy who likes a girl but can’t really face it for some reason. But then that whole middle part about Mother & Brothers and breathing clean air and dreaming of becoming a doctor and holding a gun in your hand… well, that’s a pretty bold misdirectional move by the boys in TFF. At that point I don’t know what the hell the song is about. Then they potentially compare love with a four-leaf clover? Maybe? Like, to fall in love you need to be lucky? Or is the woman the actual four-leaf clover? Is she lucky? And then they finish by getting all Hindu and discuss the mind’s eye, as if Buddha spent his free time picking four-leaf clovers and dreaming of becoming a doctor? I just don’t know. Regardless, the sea change within the song that starts around the 2:45 mark still gets me each time, even though I’ve heard the song about 10,000 times in my life. Singing along from that point until the finish is quite addicting after you do it once. (Also, feel free to ignore everything after the 4:10 mark. Seriously, the song’s over. Just leave it be, TFF)

I won’t go into too much more detail here because (SPOILER!) Tears For Fears does in fact appear again on the countdown. But even if you dislike the 80’s, I hope you enjoy this tune.

Recap (click on titles for links to entries):

26: “Beautiful” by Joe Firstman

27: “Bombs Over Baghdad” by OutKast

28: “Oh What A World/Art Teacher” by Rufus Wainwright

29: “Let’s Move/Nik’s Groove” by Foreign Exchange

30: “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve

31: “Wrong Impression” by Natalie Imbruglia

32: “What It Feels Like For A Girl” by Madonna

33: “None Shall Pass” by Aesop Rock

34: “On The Roof Again” by Eve 6

35: “Blackwater” by Doobie Brothers

36: “Stale” by Stir

37: “Umi Says” by Mos Def

38: “Watch Out Now” by Beatnuts

39: “Fair” by Ben Folds Five

40: “Missing” by Beck

41: “Possession” by Sarah McLachlan

42: “Without Me” by Eminem

43: “Cast No Shadow” by Oasis

44: “Sandstorm” by DaRude

45: “Guilty Cubicles” by Broken Social Scene

46: “Lately” by Jodeci

47: “Dennehy” by Serengeti

48: “We Fit Together” by O-Town

49: “The Listening” by Little Brother

50: “Beautiful Child” by Rufus Wainwright

51: “Rubbed Out” by Duncan Sheik

52: “Yield/Out Da Club” by People Under The Stairs

53: “Drumming Song” by Florence and the Machine

54: “Stay” by Sarah Bettens

55: “Shower The People/Copperline” by James Taylor

56: “The Secret Life of Morgan Davis” by Ben Folds

57: “Aganju” by Bebel Gilberto

58: “All That You Are” by Econoline Crush

59: “In A Big Country” by Big Country

60: “Rock DJ” by Robbie Williams

61: “All This Time” by Sting

62: “Flowing” by 311

63: “Where’s The Love” by Hanson

64: “Paper Bag” by Fiona Apple

65: “No Excuses” by Alice In Chains

66: “Hey Man, Nice Shot” by Filter

67: “Anna’s Song” by Everclear

68: “I Can’t Go For That” by Hall and Oates

69: “Yeah, Whatever” by Splender

70: “Dead Bodies Everywhere” by Korn

71: “National Holidays” by Spymob

72: ”Plush” by Stone Temple Pilots

73: “D’You Know What I Mean?” by Oasis

74: “Mo Money Mo Problems” by Notorious B.I.G., Puff Daddy, Mase

75: “Us Placers” by Lupe, Kanye, Pharrell, Thom Yorke

76: “Reminiscing” by Little River Band

77: “Remember The Time” by Michael Jackson

78: “The World Ain’t Slowing Down” by Ellis Paul

79: “Girls Only” by HarMar Superstar

80: “Indiana” by The Samples

81: “Kissing A Fool” by George Michael

82: “Mediate” by INXS

83: “Daybreak” by Barry Manilow

84: “Luchini” by Camp Lo

85: “Ladies Night” by Kool & The Gang

86: “Tess” from the Ocean’s 11 Soundtrack

87: “Is It Any Wonder?“/”Crystal Ball”/”Nothing In My Way” by Keane

88: “Sorry” by Gary Allan

89: “Mass Appeal” & “Skills” by Gang Starr

90: “You and I” by Michael Buble

91: “High And Dry” by Radiohead

92: “Sunshine” by Atmosphere

93: “26 Miles” by Four Preps

94: “Seven Nation Army” by Apathy

95: “Starry-Eyed Suprise” by Paul Oakenfold

96: “Fired” by Ben Folds

97: “Nothin’” by N.O.R.E.

98: “Time After Time” by Rod Stewart

99: “Together” by William Shatner

100: “Mad World” by Gary Jules

Songs That Missed The Cut

Explanation of Countdown

Tagged: Top 100 SongsrankingsTears For FearsHead Over Heels25

13th October 2011

Link with 36 notes

Song #26 - "Beautiful" by Joe Firstman →

No videos exist of the studio version of this song, so click on the title for a link to the track on Grooveshark.

Some of you may know the name Joe Firstman but not know where you know it from, ya know? (4 “knows” right there. Personal record) Joe was the House Band for Last Call With Carson Daly from 2005-2009. So, there you go.

When I met my wife and we first started the courting process, music obviously came up. Having fine-tuned my senses on what the 22-year-old girls of the world were listening to at the time, I suggested some sensitive stuff (Duncan Sheik, etc) and she ate it right up. In return, she suggested I try out some Joe Firstman’s songs. Being a music elitist hipster at the time, I quietly scoffed at the notion, but I gave him a listen.

Not bad. Not bad. The standout track was this one. He sang it with such heart and really how it needed to sound (although, I’ve always felt he really missed an opportunity to belt out at the 3:35 mark with the line “lie awake.” When I sing it, I prefer to hold it a little longer than he does and simultaneously vibrato up and down a note or two from where it starts. Why? Because I’m a musical damn genius, that’s why. I know the word “vibrato.” Also, to be fair, I actually liked his demo version for a song called “Disaster” more than “Beautiful” but when it came time to put out the song he took it in a different direction and ruined it. Also, the song doesn’t exist anywhere now, probably because he took it in a different direction and ruined it. “Ruin it” becomes a theme… just wait).

My wife was, arguably, his biggest fan. So much so, that for our wedding she wanted to walk down the aisle not to the traditional “Here Comes the Bride,” but rather a solo piano version of Joe’s “Wedding Song." We asked him after one of his concerts in Chicago if any sheet music existed for it and he said no but anyone with half a piano brain can figure it out (which inspired confidence). So, being the remarkable fiance that I was, I sought out anyone on craigslist who could transcribe the song into sheet music for a reasonable sum of money. We found a guy, and dammit, she walked down the aisle to her song. This, was not ruined.

What seemingly has been ruined, to an extent, is Joe’s voice. Because my wife is/was such a huge fan, we’ve seen him basically any time he’s come through the upper-Midwest since 2006. Each time he’s come through, his voice has gotten progressively worse. Finally about a year and a half ago we saw him at a small venue and it was heart-wrenching and just plain awful. Walking out of the venue I remember saying to my wife, “I don’t mean to rain on your parade because I know you love him, but that was one of the worst hours of my life,” and she did not disagree. I don’t know if it’s cigarettes, some liquor, general travel or what, but at that show we realized he can’t sing anymore. He might be done. Yes, he can still fluctuate his voice up and down, but it would be loosely defined as “singing.” For reference, see this video of “Beautiful” which was actually shot long after we had seen him and come to this conclusion. It’s like watching a pitcher in baseball lose velocity overnight.

I hope I am wrong. I don’t mean to slander the guy. Maybe he’s gone in a new direction musically and he’s REALLY bought into it. I don’t know. But speaking for my wife and I (and a handful of other fans we’ve seen at shows), I would implore Joe to do whatever it takes to get that voice back. He’s better than this. But if the voice is gone forever, well, I’ll quote the song I referenced above, “Disaster,” which doesn’t exist because he ruined it: “I wish you the best, it never would have lasted, I want to make the most of my disaster.” 

We’ll always have “Beautiful.”

Recap (click on titles for links to entries):

27: “Bombs Over Baghdad” by OutKast

28: “Oh What A World/Art Teacher” by Rufus Wainwright

29: “Let’s Move/Nik’s Groove” by Foreign Exchange

30: “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve

31: “Wrong Impression” by Natalie Imbruglia

32: “What It Feels Like For A Girl” by Madonna

33: “None Shall Pass” by Aesop Rock

34: “On The Roof Again” by Eve 6

35: “Blackwater” by Doobie Brothers

36: “Stale” by Stir

37: “Umi Says” by Mos Def

38: “Watch Out Now” by Beatnuts

39: “Fair” by Ben Folds Five

40: “Missing” by Beck

41: “Possession” by Sarah McLachlan

42: “Without Me” by Eminem

43: “Cast No Shadow” by Oasis

44: “Sandstorm” by DaRude

45: “Guilty Cubicles” by Broken Social Scene

46: “Lately” by Jodeci

47: “Dennehy” by Serengeti

48: “We Fit Together” by O-Town

49: “The Listening” by Little Brother

50: “Beautiful Child” by Rufus Wainwright

51: “Rubbed Out” by Duncan Sheik

52: “Yield/Out Da Club” by People Under The Stairs

53: “Drumming Song” by Florence and the Machine

54: “Stay” by Sarah Bettens

55: “Shower The People/Copperline” by James Taylor

56: “The Secret Life of Morgan Davis” by Ben Folds

57: “Aganju” by Bebel Gilberto

58: “All That You Are” by Econoline Crush

59: “In A Big Country” by Big Country

60: “Rock DJ” by Robbie Williams

61: “All This Time” by Sting

62: “Flowing” by 311

63: “Where’s The Love” by Hanson

64: “Paper Bag” by Fiona Apple

65: “No Excuses” by Alice In Chains

66: “Hey Man, Nice Shot” by Filter

67: “Anna’s Song” by Everclear

68: “I Can’t Go For That” by Hall and Oates

69: “Yeah, Whatever” by Splender

70: “Dead Bodies Everywhere” by Korn

71: “National Holidays” by Spymob

72: ”Plush” by Stone Temple Pilots

73: “D’You Know What I Mean?” by Oasis

74: “Mo Money Mo Problems” by Notorious B.I.G., Puff Daddy, Mase

75: “Us Placers” by Lupe, Kanye, Pharrell, Thom Yorke

76: “Reminiscing” by Little River Band

77: “Remember The Time” by Michael Jackson

78: “The World Ain’t Slowing Down” by Ellis Paul

79: “Girls Only” by HarMar Superstar

80: “Indiana” by The Samples

81: “Kissing A Fool” by George Michael

82: “Mediate” by INXS

83: “Daybreak” by Barry Manilow

84: “Luchini” by Camp Lo

85: “Ladies Night” by Kool & The Gang

86: “Tess” from the Ocean’s 11 Soundtrack

87: “Is It Any Wonder?“/”Crystal Ball”/”Nothing In My Way” by Keane

88: “Sorry” by Gary Allan

89: “Mass Appeal” & “Skills” by Gang Starr

90: “You and I” by Michael Buble

91: “High And Dry” by Radiohead

92: “Sunshine” by Atmosphere

93: “26 Miles” by Four Preps

94: “Seven Nation Army” by Apathy

95: “Starry-Eyed Suprise” by Paul Oakenfold

96: “Fired” by Ben Folds

97: “Nothin’” by N.O.R.E.

98: “Time After Time” by Rod Stewart

99: “Together” by William Shatner

100: “Mad World” by Gary Jules

Songs That Missed The Cut

Explanation of Countdown

Tagged: Top 100 SongsJoe FirstmanBeautiful26rankings

19th September 2011

Video with 23 notes

Song #27 - “B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad)” by Outkast

One of the most spastic, outrageous, awesome videos I have ever seen. The video is how I discovered this song, in what was one of my favorite Song-Discovery stories.

It was Sophmore year of college. Still early on in the semester, probably 2 weeks into the fall term. My roommates and I are sitting around watching BET on one TV and playing Tecmo Super Bowl on the other. Our neighbor, Scott from across the hall, was over with us. We were still in the get-to-know Scott phase, but so far he had seemed like a good enough guy.

There was a natural lull in the conversation at one point, and as if it were timed by Jah himself, we heard the first couple twinkle notes of this song and then Dre 3K started in with a monster opening line and the music just blasted us in the face. We all turned towards the TV, jaws agape, eyes wide open. It was the most perfect blend of power verse and music video any of us had seen. Within a couple seconds, we started screaming almost incoherently:

-“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH”

-“WHAT THE F*** IS GOING ON????? I NEED MORE!!!!!”

-“GIDFGIDSFJGODSIFGJODIFGJDS!!!!”

-(Maniacal giggling)

Outkast had done it. They had created the most hype thing ever. The verses were hot, the beat kicked you in the nuts, and the video was off-the-rocker insane. Purple grass, kids sprinting, a crazy woman in a white mask bouncing to the beat, girls in bikinis, gospel choirs, a Lawrence Taylor jersey, and a monkey… A MONKEY!

As the song finished, the way we all reacted was almost identical to the South Park kids reacted after seeing the Terrance and Phillips movie trailer (about 1:05 in, if you’re being picky). Scott sprinted out of our apartment and across the hall, and we all assumed he was going to masturbate to this most perfect song. 45 seconds later we heard the most soul-shaking rumble from their apartment. Scott had hopped on Napster, downloaded the song, and now we had access to it any time we wanted (RIP Napster).

To this day when I hear this song I think back to that September afternoon. We became true buds with Scott that day, thanks to Outkast. Also to this day when I hear this song? I want to get ripped on Ritalin and start bouncing around screaming.

Recap (click on titles for links to entries):

28: “Oh What A World/Art Teacher” by Rufus Wainwright

29: “Let’s Move/Nik’s Groove” by Foreign Exchange

30: “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve

31: “Wrong Impression” by Natalie Imbruglia

32: “What It Feels Like For A Girl” by Madonna

33: “None Shall Pass” by Aesop Rock

34: “On The Roof Again” by Eve 6

35: “Blackwater” by Doobie Brothers

36: “Stale” by Stir

37: “Umi Says” by Mos Def

38: “Watch Out Now” by Beatnuts

39: “Fair” by Ben Folds Five

40: “Missing” by Beck

41: “Possession” by Sarah McLachlan

42: “Without Me” by Eminem

43: “Cast No Shadow” by Oasis

44: “Sandstorm” by DaRude

45: “Guilty Cubicles” by Broken Social Scene

46: “Lately” by Jodeci

47: “Dennehy” by Serengeti

48: “We Fit Together” by O-Town

49: “The Listening” by Little Brother

50: “Beautiful Child” by Rufus Wainwright

51: “Rubbed Out” by Duncan Sheik

52: “Yield/Out Da Club” by People Under The Stairs

53: “Drumming Song” by Florence and the Machine

54: “Stay” by Sarah Bettens

55: “Shower The People/Copperline” by James Taylor

56: “The Secret Life of Morgan Davis” by Ben Folds

57: “Aganju” by Bebel Gilberto

58: “All That You Are” by Econoline Crush

59: “In A Big Country” by Big Country

60: “Rock DJ” by Robbie Williams

61: “All This Time” by Sting

62: “Flowing” by 311

63: “Where’s The Love” by Hanson

64: “Paper Bag” by Fiona Apple

65: “No Excuses” by Alice In Chains

66: “Hey Man, Nice Shot” by Filter

67: “Anna’s Song” by Everclear

68: “I Can’t Go For That” by Hall and Oates

69: “Yeah, Whatever” by Splender

70: “Dead Bodies Everywhere” by Korn

71: “National Holidays” by Spymob

72: ”Plush” by Stone Temple Pilots

73: “D’You Know What I Mean?” by Oasis

74: “Mo Money Mo Problems” by Notorious B.I.G., Puff Daddy, Mase

75: “Us Placers” by Lupe, Kanye, Pharrell, Thom Yorke

76: “Reminiscing” by Little River Band

77: “Remember The Time” by Michael Jackson

78: “The World Ain’t Slowing Down” by Ellis Paul

79: “Girls Only” by HarMar Superstar

80: “Indiana” by The Samples

81: “Kissing A Fool” by George Michael

82: “Mediate” by INXS

83: “Daybreak” by Barry Manilow

84: “Luchini” by Camp Lo

85: “Ladies Night” by Kool & The Gang

86: “Tess” from the Ocean’s 11 Soundtrack

87: “Is It Any Wonder?“/”Crystal Ball”/”Nothing In My Way” by Keane

88: “Sorry” by Gary Allan

89: “Mass Appeal” & “Skills” by Gang Starr

90: “You and I” by Michael Buble

91: “High And Dry” by Radiohead

92: “Sunshine” by Atmosphere

93: “26 Miles” by Four Preps

94: “Seven Nation Army” by Apathy

95: “Starry-Eyed Suprise” by Paul Oakenfold

96: “Fired” by Ben Folds

97: “Nothin’” by N.O.R.E.

98: “Time After Time” by Rod Stewart

99: “Together” by William Shatner

100: “Mad World” by Gary Jules

Songs That Missed The Cut

Explanation of Countdown

Tagged: Top 100 SongsOutkastB.O.B.rankingsBombs Over Baghdad27

12th September 2011

Video with 5 notes

Song(s) #28 - “The Art Teacher” and “Oh What A World" by Rufus Wainwright

Let me start off by talking about “Oh What A World.” I urge you to watch that one. The performance of that song in concert is as close to a religious experience as I’ve felt in the last 10-15 years. The simplicity of the song (it’s really only about 8-10 lines in total) is surprising because it’s such an epic, grandiose power piece. If nothing else, just skip ahead to about the 2:15 mark and watch it the rest of the way. You will find Jesus. And I dare you to find anyone who is having as much fun in one tiny moment as Rufus is from the 2:15-2:22 when he delivers “But not in love, still I think I’m doing fine.” That’s the most blatant blissful moment you’ll see from an artist in concert.

Back to the Rufus-concerts-as-religion thing for a second before I get to “The Art Teacher”: It took me 30 years to get to New York City. Literally just to GET there. I’d long had dreams of making it in NY doing, well, something (I really never quite knew. Just this weird nondescript renaissance man type of dream, I guess). But circumstances never quite lined up, not even for a simple trip. Then my wife had a New York trip required for her job in December of 2010 and I realized this was my opportunity to tag along. I know you’re not supposed to put too much stock into your first visit somewhere (anyone who went to Savannah, GA one time and loved it, then went back to find a completely different experience the 2nd time around can attest to this), but after that visit I understood the concept of a city itself being a romantic experience. My first full day there I just walked around Midtown looking at nothing in particular and then spent an hour at 30 Rockefeller, just staring at the tree and the building itself (at that moment, my dream really began to take shape and become clear). Then it started to verrrry lightly snow on our walk to Carnegie Hall to see Rufus Wainwright play his first solo show there. His opening song? This… and I nearly cried. Not to sound too full-of-it, but that moment still gives me soul-trembling shakes of happiness and clarity when I think about it to this day. It was my Lt. Dan moment.

So, “The Art Teacher.” Holy shit, did I have a monster crush on my Jr High art teacher. In my defense, every heterosexual boy that passed through those doors felt the same way. Looking back, I think I goofed around in her class specifically so she would pay attention to me, scolding-be-damned. Lord knows I wasn’t getting any attention for my art skills. Sure, I could make a shitty painting and call it “surreal,”*** but my skills were more in the make-everyone-laugh-and-then-have-the-teacher-come-over-and-lean-in-close-to-me-while-scolding-and-then-I-continue-to-try-and-“flirt”-back mold (****Sidebar: The thing nobody talks about in art, if you paint something shitty and weird, just call it “Surrealist” and you get a free pass. One such piece I created has been hanging, framed mind you, in my parents’ basement since 1993). Through luck, coincidence, or the most serendipitously serendipitous thing in history, I got to coach her son in Little League many years later. While the kid was a good athlete in his own right, you bet your tail I treated him like he was Babe Damn Ruth. I look back at my younger and more vulnerable days now and realize how silly I was. Schoolboy crushes are entirely common (and as my wife has mentioned to me an uneasy number of times, so are schoolgirl crushes on their coaches…), and are really just a right of passage into adolescence. In reality, nothing would ever come of them.

But if it would have, I would have hit that faster than you can say “Rembrandt.”

HARD.

Recap (click on titles for links to entries):

29: “Let’s Move/Nik’s Groove” by Foreign Exchange

30: “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve

31: “Wrong Impression” by Natalie Imbruglia

32: “What It Feels Like For A Girl” by Madonna

33: “None Shall Pass” by Aesop Rock

34: “On The Roof Again” by Eve 6

35: “Blackwater” by Doobie Brothers

36: “Stale” by Stir

37: “Umi Says” by Mos Def

38: “Watch Out Now” by Beatnuts

39: “Fair” by Ben Folds Five

40: “Missing” by Beck

41: “Possession” by Sarah McLachlan

42: “Without Me” by Eminem

43: “Cast No Shadow” by Oasis

44: “Sandstorm” by DaRude

45: “Guilty Cubicles” by Broken Social Scene

46: “Lately” by Jodeci

47: “Dennehy” by Serengeti

48: “We Fit Together” by O-Town

49: “The Listening” by Little Brother

50: “Beautiful Child” by Rufus Wainwright

51: “Rubbed Out” by Duncan Sheik

52: “Yield/Out Da Club” by People Under The Stairs

53: “Drumming Song” by Florence and the Machine

54: “Stay” by Sarah Bettens

55: “Shower The People/Copperline” by James Taylor

56: “The Secret Life of Morgan Davis” by Ben Folds

57: “Aganju” by Bebel Gilberto

58: “All That You Are” by Econoline Crush

59: “In A Big Country” by Big Country

60: “Rock DJ” by Robbie Williams

61: “All This Time” by Sting

62: “Flowing” by 311

63: “Where’s The Love” by Hanson

64: “Paper Bag” by Fiona Apple

65: “No Excuses” by Alice In Chains

66: “Hey Man, Nice Shot” by Filter

67: “Anna’s Song” by Everclear

68: “I Can’t Go For That” by Hall and Oates

69: “Yeah, Whatever” by Splender

70: “Dead Bodies Everywhere” by Korn

71: “National Holidays” by Spymob

72: ”Plush” by Stone Temple Pilots

73: “D’You Know What I Mean?” by Oasis

74: “Mo Money Mo Problems” by Notorious B.I.G., Puff Daddy, Mase

75: “Us Placers” by Lupe, Kanye, Pharrell, Thom Yorke

76: “Reminiscing” by Little River Band

77: “Remember The Time” by Michael Jackson

78: “The World Ain’t Slowing Down” by Ellis Paul

79: “Girls Only” by HarMar Superstar

80: “Indiana” by The Samples

81: “Kissing A Fool” by George Michael

82: “Mediate” by INXS

83: “Daybreak” by Barry Manilow

84: “Luchini” by Camp Lo

85: “Ladies Night” by Kool & The Gang

86: “Tess” from the Ocean’s 11 Soundtrack

87: “Is It Any Wonder?“/”Crystal Ball”/”Nothing In My Way” by Keane

88: “Sorry” by Gary Allan

89: “Mass Appeal” & “Skills” by Gang Starr

90: “You and I” by Michael Buble

91: “High And Dry” by Radiohead

92: “Sunshine” by Atmosphere

93: “26 Miles” by Four Preps

94: “Seven Nation Army” by Apathy

95: “Starry-Eyed Suprise” by Paul Oakenfold

96: “Fired” by Ben Folds

97: “Nothin’” by N.O.R.E.

98: “Time After Time” by Rod Stewart

99: “Together” by William Shatner

100: “Mad World” by Gary Jules

Songs That Missed The Cut

Explanation of Countdown

Tagged: Top 100 SongsRufus WainwrightOh What A WorldArt Teacher28rankings

30th August 2011

Video

Song #29 - (Tie) “Let’s Move” and “Nic’s Groove" (both instrumentals) by The Foreign Exchange

The Foreign Exchange has one of the coolest stories of how they met/formed ever. Back in the early aughts, Phonte was one part of the (awesome) group Little Brother (possibly my favorite verse in hip-hop ever begins at 1:15 of the song) and they were pushed up through the website Okayplayer (also big into The Roots, others in that sect of hiphop). On the message boards, a dude/producer from the Netherlands started reaching out to Phonte and exchanging beats. Over the course of a few months, boom, an entire album was created. Nicolay’s beats and Phonte’s rhymes. 

(Side note, I want to name a dog Phonte some day. No disrespect to the man himself, I just think that’s a sweet name for a Corgi or something.)

I bought the album right when it came out after hearing a couple samples on the boards. It was an instant classic. It didn’t leave my car stereo for roughly 4 months. Every track was smooth and when you finished the album you were like “That’s it?”… And then spin it again. While I love Phonte’s work on this album and everything he’s ever touched, the beats really stood out to me. I always wished that I could get my hands on an instrumental version of the album. Sure enough, shortly thereafter they put one out. Nicolay earned it. 

Nic’s beats amaze me every time I hear them. He’s put out some of the most amazing remixes of the last decade. Like “The Yo-Yo" and "Light It Up" for instance. I look forward to any and all beats he puts out, period.

The songs for this selection I find just so powerful yet pleasant. I can’t tell you how many times I lobbied my wife to have the instrumental for “Let’s Move” be the entrance song for the grand march at our wedding. Doesn’t the song give off kind of a sly Disney-animated-movie-princess-montage vibe? It’s hip enough to get your head bobbing, but low-key enough not to piss off the old white folks. It’s a combo that’s been pulled off maybe 4 times in the history of music, and Hall and Oates own at least 3 of those instances. Put this song on the list of “If a documentary is ever made about Hoigaard, this song needs to be included on the soundtrack.” Preferably over footage of our wedding, so I get my wish.

(Note: Nobody knows, cares, or remembers what your grand march entry song is. So believe me, I’m not bitter. Really, though, how sweet would this have been?!?!?! If you’re curious, we went with this. Perfectly reasonable alternative……………… But it’s no hip-hop Disney Princess song.)

Recap (click on titles for links to entries):

30: “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve

31: “Wrong Impression” by Natalie Imbruglia

32: “What It Feels Like For A Girl” by Madonna

33: “None Shall Pass” by Aesop Rock

34: “On The Roof Again” by Eve 6

35: “Blackwater” by Doobie Brothers

36: “Stale” by Stir

37: “Umi Says” by Mos Def

38: “Watch Out Now” by Beatnuts

39: “Fair” by Ben Folds Five

40: “Missing” by Beck

41: “Possession” by Sarah McLachlan

42: “Without Me” by Eminem

43: “Cast No Shadow” by Oasis

44: “Sandstorm” by DaRude

45: “Guilty Cubicles” by Broken Social Scene

46: “Lately” by Jodeci

47: “Dennehy” by Serengeti

48: “We Fit Together” by O-Town

49: “The Listening” by Little Brother

50: “Beautiful Child” by Rufus Wainwright

51: “Rubbed Out” by Duncan Sheik

52: “Yield/Out Da Club” by People Under The Stairs

53: “Drumming Song” by Florence and the Machine

54: “Stay” by Sarah Bettens

55: “Shower The People/Copperline” by James Taylor

56: “The Secret Life of Morgan Davis” by Ben Folds

57: “Aganju” by Bebel Gilberto

58: “All That You Are” by Econoline Crush

59: “In A Big Country” by Big Country

60: “Rock DJ” by Robbie Williams

61: “All This Time” by Sting

62: “Flowing” by 311

63: “Where’s The Love” by Hanson

64: “Paper Bag” by Fiona Apple

65: “No Excuses” by Alice In Chains

66: “Hey Man, Nice Shot” by Filter

67: “Anna’s Song” by Everclear

68: “I Can’t Go For That” by Hall and Oates

69: “Yeah, Whatever” by Splender

70: “Dead Bodies Everywhere” by Korn

71: “National Holidays” by Spymob

72: ”Plush” by Stone Temple Pilots

73: “D’You Know What I Mean?” by Oasis

74: “Mo Money Mo Problems” by Notorious B.I.G., Puff Daddy, Mase

75: “Us Placers” by Lupe, Kanye, Pharrell, Thom Yorke

76: “Reminiscing” by Little River Band

77: “Remember The Time” by Michael Jackson

78: “The World Ain’t Slowing Down” by Ellis Paul

79: “Girls Only” by HarMar Superstar

80: “Indiana” by The Samples

81: “Kissing A Fool” by George Michael

82: “Mediate” by INXS

83: “Daybreak” by Barry Manilow

84: “Luchini” by Camp Lo

85: “Ladies Night” by Kool & The Gang

86: “Tess” from the Ocean’s 11 Soundtrack

87: “Is It Any Wonder?“/”Crystal Ball”/”Nothing In My Way” by Keane

88: “Sorry” by Gary Allan

89: “Mass Appeal” & “Skills” by Gang Starr

90: “You and I” by Michael Buble

91: “High And Dry” by Radiohead

92: “Sunshine” by Atmosphere

93: “26 Miles” by Four Preps

94: “Seven Nation Army” by Apathy

95: “Starry-Eyed Suprise” by Paul Oakenfold

96: “Fired” by Ben Folds

97: “Nothin’” by N.O.R.E.

98: “Time After Time” by Rod Stewart

99: “Together” by William Shatner

100: “Mad World” by Gary Jules

Songs That Missed The Cut

Explanation of Countdown

Tagged: Top 100 SongsThe Foreign ExchangeLet's MoveNic's Groove29rankings