Friday, August 28, 2009

The Pitchfork Top 20: 14-10

20-15, here.

14. Jay-Z, "99 Problems"

The only straight-up rap song on the list. Includes a description of DWB (driving while black) and sneaks in some street advice (i.e., cops can't search your locked glove compartment without probable cause or a warrant, so don't say "yes" when they ask). What any of this has to do with a bitch is unclear, but I fully believe that Jay-Z has few or no problems with bitches.

13. LCD Soundsystem, "Losing My Edge"

Maybe especially poignant for someone whose blog is entitled "40 going on 28." I think this also might be James Murphy's funniest song, with its relentless name-dropping in a transparent effort to out-hipster you.

12. Outkast, "Hey Ya!"

Boy, what's not to like about this song, other than the fact that you probably heard it about a million times in 2003? I don't want to crib too much from Pitchfork's description, but they're right on about one thing - this song might be the perfect cross-genre mashup, and that's probably why everyone liked it.

11. Gnarls Barkley, "Crazy"

I'm sorry to even bring it up, because it'll be stuck in your head for the rest of the day now. A few years ago, there was a fascinating article in the New Yorker about a company that claims it can analyze a song and determine, with 80% accuracy, whether it's likely to become a hit. This song's "hit grade" was 755, where anything about 700 is "exceptional." Sounds about right.

10. Arcade Fire, "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)"

You knew there was going to be an Arcade Fire song on here. I can't recall another band blowing up as quickly and convincingly as these guys. The first time they were in SF, they played at Bottom of the Hill (capacity 350). A year or so later, they were at the Warfield (capacity 2400), and then after that Shoreline (capacity 22,000). Sure, part of it was hype, but the bigger part of it was that the songs are so fucking good, and just so unlike anything else that was going on at the time. Think about how many bands have some of Arcade Fire in their sound now.


Anonymous said...

One of the great tragedies of my life will always be missing that Arcade Fire show at Bottom of the Hill. Arrrgh.

TK said...

@ burritojustice -

Tell me about it. I think there was a Great American show in there too that I missed. I seem to remember people saying how epic that one was, too.

I ended up seeing them at the Austin City Limits festival, from about 500 yards away, through a cloud of dust.

periqueblend said...

is funny that you don't consider Hey Ya a genuine rap song..

TK said...

@ Whirlwind -

If "Hey Ya!" is a rap song, then "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard" is a rap song.