Hey! It’s a Top Ten list! (Top Ten is one of my favorite Alan Moore series, by the way, and it makes me sad that he let some other writer take over and RUIN IT.)
1. “But I’m sitting at home, sipping this miso.” From Orange Shirt by Discovery. So a guy from Vampire Weekend and a guy from Ra Ra Riot got together and made an album with three songs that I really like, which is more songs than Vampire Weekend and Ra Ra Riot ever managed to do separately. I’m not quite sure, but I think Orange Shirt is about dating a Japanese girl while you’re living in Japan and she prefers conversing via text rather than face to face. I like the line about miso the best because 1) I can understand it and know I’ve got it right and 2) Miso is so very Japanese!
2. “If you want, I’ll give you eternal life. Well, not so much life, but have you ever seen a good zombie movie?” From what is possibly the best vampire song ever, Blah Blah Blah by Say Hi (To Your Mom). This whole song is awesome. Vampires, Star Trek quotes, a drum machine! I love you, Erik Elbogen!
3. “Isaiah fought, but was easily bested. Burned his body for incurring my wrath.” From The Rake’s Song by The Decemberists. This catchy little ditty is about how the self-called rake murders all his children after his baby machine of a wife dies in childbirth. It’s incredibly disturbing, yet I find myself humming it all the time.
4. “I have five clocks in my life, and only one has the time right. I’ll just unplug it for today.” From Daylight by Matt & Kim. This cheerful song is the perfect remedy to The Rake’s Song. In fact, it’s on my playlist immediately following, so I don’t sit there and suffer the guilty feeling of liking a child-murder song. I’m not sure what Daylight is about, but it’s really fun to listen to. It just seems happy. I like this line particularly, ’cause the guy just really doesn’t want to know what time it is. I wonder why.
5. “It’s twenty seconds to the last call.” From 1901 by Phoenix. Lately, somebody’s been using this song in a television commercial. (Some people consider that sort of thing “selling out,” and let me tell you, if I had written a song and someone wanted to use it in a commercial and pay me money for it, there would be no stopping my path down the road to selling out.) I like songs that reference last call. You’ve got 20 seconds to get your last drinks, people! Get on it! Phoenix is a French band, but their English is quite good.
6. “Yoku Wakanai.” From Yoku Wakanai by Otal. “Wakarimasen” is Japanese for “I don’t understand.” Make sure you pronounce it right, or no one will understand you. “Yoku Wakanai” is Japanese for “I really don’t understand.” (Although, if you buy the song from iTunes, the translation is “It doesn’t understand,” which is just stupid. Stupid, stupid iTunes.) That’s the only lyric in the whole song I can understand, but it’s quite pretty.
7. “It’s the same old covers, the same old lovers that warm us through the night.” From Tokyo Sky by Stellastarr*. Couple things here. 1) I’m always cold, so lyrics about keeping warm make me happy. 2) Frak you guys for the asterisk in your name. What is up with that? “Stellastarr” wasn’t indie-rock enough? Like your music though!
8. “Come down, come quickly. Look at the lights in the big city.” From Coast of Carolina by Telekinesis. This is a close one, what with the line about the smoke coming from the sewers possibly being toxic also being one of my favorites, but this line wins in the end for reminding me of my love of big cities. This song is also in some sort of commercial, but it’s only got the “Nah nah nah-nah-nah-nah-nah” part.
9. “Like that good Hole album, I can live through this.” From Camp Out by An Horse. Live Through This was a really good Hole album, I don’t care how bad Courtney Love sucked then and continues to suck now. Thanks for the reminder, Kate Cooper and Damon Cox! (I also like the line “My hips won’t give anything away.”)
10. “When the spring brings the sun, I’ll finally sleep, I’ll finally feel better when the winter’s gone.” From November was White, December was Grey by my hero, Eric Elbogen. This whole song is about how bad winter sucks and how you’re trapped inside because it’s too godforsaken cold to go outside, and he’s paced so much he’s worn the carpet out and why is it still winter dammit? Even when the weather is temperate to hot, I like this song, but it especially speaks to me now as I suffer through sub-zero temps.