Tuesday, May 01, 2007

My Top Boss Hitbound iTunes Singles

Russ, Shoo, Anon Com, and Brad have posted their Top 20 Most Played Artists according to their digital music delivery system of choice. I can't figure out how to find the top 20 artists on iTunes so I'll list the top 20 most-played songs. And of course, I'll provide a prologue and then comment on each selection.

As others have predicated, these aren’t the songs that would make it on to an all-time favorites list. They simply encapsulate my inaugural venture into digital music and the somewhat unfortunate practice of listening to singles rather than entire albums.

I should say at the onset that that airplay was heavily influenced by frequent family dance parties. Several of these tunes are among the most requested by my kids. It makes me proud that I’m able to influence their musical taste at an early age so that they might never fall victim to the scourge of Top 40 radio.

I’m surprised that several of their other favorites (Float On by Modest Mouse and Cool by Gwen Stefani [Tessie and Maria in particular]) didn’t make the top 20, which causes me to doubt the accuracy of the iTunes most-popular logarithm. Included in the top 25 was a Todd Rundgren song that I rarely play, except when it shows up in shuffle mode.

Notably absent from this list are any of the bands from my early indie rock years (the Replacements, Galaxie 500, Sonic Youth, the Velvet Underground.) This shows that, unlike baby boomers who never venture beyond the now-classic rock of their youth, Generation X is far more progressive in their musical tastes and thus maintains a stronger connection to youth culture.

Also absent are any of my many favorite slow songs. I’m a big fan of sitting in the dark with headphones on after everyone is asleep and just turning my mind over to the music. I suppose that I’ve compiled so many songs that are good for this purpose that I don’t repeat them enough to make any most-played list. And in the case of Aimee Mann, I tend to listen to her by the album rather than by the single.

And now, without further ado, is my iTunes Top 20 most-played singles.

1. The Notre Dame Victory March - The University of Notre Dame Marching Band
My kids call it the stomping song and it's always good for rallying the troops after too-much TV has left them listless.

2. Ohh, La La - The Ditty Bops
I love this song; I can't believe I missed them at the Underground City Tavern. The kids also like the Ditty Bops, especially the tall one.

3. Sister Kate - The Ditty Bops
I love this song too. It's a cover. Think the Andrew Sisters at their naughtiest.

4. You Really Got Me - The Kinks
My son Victor has chosen this as his personal anthem. He doesn't understand what it's about yet, but he will someday.

5. Do You Want To - Franz Ferdinand
I was kind of surprised to see this so high on the list. I must have worn it out when I first got the CD. Great beat, easy to dance to. I give it a 9.2.

6. You Are Invited - The Dismemberment Plan
I have Acrylic Afternoons, a now defunct WQNA program, to thank for this one. A very simple yet catchy melody.

7. Where Were You - The Mekons
For some reason this song sounds political, but the lyrics suggests lovelornness. I suppose there isn’t any difference. (read into that what you may; I’m not sure what it means.)

8. Heavy 33 - Verlaines
From the popular No Alternative compilation. An eerie and intense number from a Dunedin, New Zealand band.

9. Outtasite (Outtamind) - Wilco
An upbeat song from one of the best bands currently working in America. I’ve seen Wilco live three or four times, but not in the last several years. This song makes me want to buck-up for their increasingly more expensive concert tickets.

10. Joed Out - Barbara Manning
Also from the No Alternative album and a cover of the Verlaines. I love her voice and this a very cool tune.

11. Slow Dog - Belly
Another dance party favorite. I’m not sure what it’s about, but I like it just the same. Tanya Donelly, a former Thrown Muse, has a very expressive vocal style.

12. I’d Run Away - the Jayhawks
These guys should be huge. And since they’re not, they should play in Springfield some time.

13. Academy Fight Song - Mission of Burma
This is one of those songs that early indie rockers cited as a favorite. It should be a favorite of yours as well.

14. Rose of Jericho - Eleventh Dream Day
Fans of some of my early compilation cassettes will remember this song (Melissa likes to dance real slow) from one of Chicago’s best bands.

15. Smoking Daddy - Freakwater
Featuring a member of EDD (see #14), these two women rip it up with their backwoods harmonies.

16. Amie - Pure Prairie League
The first 300 or so times I heard this song I thought it was okay, but not great. Then one day not long ago, while driving to work, I heard it while flipping through 101.9 and for some reason cranked up the volume. It really is a great song.

17. With Arms Outstretched - Rilo Kiley
Another song I cribbed from Acrylic Afternoons. There’s an indescribable allure to this song. It might be Jenny Lewis’ voice, or just Jenny Lewis.

18. Star Sign - Teenage Fanclub
Hey there's a side of me unknown, big deal.
And say, should this unknown force be shown, big deal.

19. Same Old 45 - Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles
We’re going to see them again in Wisconsin next month, marking the fourth state my wife has seen them play in less than a year. I’m really looking forward to the show and their upcoming release.

20. Sunless Saturday - Fishbone
If I played a professional sport that required me to get geeked up before competing, this is one of the songs I would listen to in the locker room.

Well, that’s it. Those of you who are blogless are free to post your top 20 in the comments section.


chazz said...

OK, first time commenting on this site, but I had to chime in with my 2 cents worth on this subject. As somone who has not garduated to the ipod yet, I burned a CD that has these all-time 20 most played songs in my household. In no particular order of popularity;

1. With or Without You - U2: is it about a troubled love or the battle with drug addiction? Who knows, who cares, just a great song.

2. Winona's Big Brown Beaver - Primus: the title says it all. One of the funniest videos you will ever see as well. Great bass lines.

3. New Years Day - U2: the more things change, the more they stay the same. Their best song.

4. Pictures of You - The Cure: underated new wave, great song, great in concert.

5. Midnight Rider - Allman Bros: the lonely road, being alone sucks. Smoke 'em if you got 'em.

6. Layla - Derek and the Dominos: lusting after your best friends wife, how nice is that. Also figures prominently in my favorite movie, GoodFellas.

7. Jane Says - Jane's Addiction: just a simple gal looking for love. Very cool live version.

8. Brass Monkey - Beastie Boys: funny, funny, funny. So funny, it's my wife's ring tone on her cell. My kids dig it, don't know what the heck it means though.

9. Been Caught Stealing - Jane's Addiction: the kids like the barking dog at the begining of the song.

10. Voodoo Child - Stevie Ray Vaughn: remake of Hendrix classic. Best guitar riff at the beginning.

11. Born to Run - Springsteen: can't go wrong with an all-time classic. The fun of being young.

12. Fire - Jimmis Hendrix: just listen to the drums in this one. Also played well in "Less than Zero" as Robert Downey Jr is getting baked out of his mind in a club.

13. Alive and Kickin' - Simple Minds: going back to the college days on this one. Just a cool song.

14. The One I Love - REM: their best song. Is it about love or lack-there-of ?

15. Spirit of the Radio - RUSH: some of the best musicians talking about the power of radio.

16. End of the World As We Know It (and I Feel Fine) - REM: the all time greatest song to slam dance to.

17. So What'Cha Want - Beastie Boys: my kid's favorite song ever. The old man likes it too.

18. Check It Out - Mellencamp: about not wanting to grow old.

19. London Calling - The Clash: an all time punk classic.

20. I Wanna Be Sedated - Ramones: being out on the road with nothing to do for far too long. Along with the Clash, they helped start the "punk/new wave/alternative" music scene.

So there it is, a pretty wide mix of songs and styles. Chew on that for a while........Chaz

BlogFreeSpringfield said...


That's an interesting mix of the mainstream with the alternative. I suspect that you're conservative by nature, but have been influenced by some very hip friends over the years. There's also a strong NY/NJ vibe in your selections. Do you know a guy named Taggart?

Thanks for commenting,

chazz said...

BlogFree, Taggart??, that name rings a bell. A lot of influences over the years, not the least of which were many days and VERY LATE nights sitting around with some extremely, ummm, intoxicated friends from Central Illinois. Conservative, yeah, maybe, but with a twist of hip. You can never go wrong with the Beastie Boys. My kids absolutley love them, and with 3 boys of my own, it only makes sense.

By the way, have you ever just sat down and listened to a Primus CD ? Funky.

Keep the cards and letters rolling.


BlogFreeSpringfield said...


I saw Primus at Lollapalooza '93 and of course I'm familiar with My Name is Mud, but I've never owned any of their work.

You know, you could have named your sons after the Beasties instead of naming them after hockey players. But then you would have two named Adam, which might lead to some confusion.


nancy said...

"Johnny Was a Racecar Driver" is the best Primus song ever, though I'm not positive that's the actual title.

nancy said...

Oh for the love of.....

It's "JERRY Was a Racecar Driver", not Johnny, although I'm not sure THAT's the actual name of the song either.

Cam Cameron said...

Too many good songs, such a poor memory.

A little music listening advice. No matter what the song is I have found that it is greatly enhanced by doing one thing.........turning it up......loud!......to eleven!

Unless you have some seriously expensive equipment it is typically not sophisticated enough to bring out the subtleties in music to the point where you can get the true flavor of what the song is. Often times, music can become background noise as opposed to the focus of your attention. The best attention getter is to crank it up and enjoy it as it was meant to be.

Is it possible Dan that this was the case with you and the song "Amie?"

A few suggestions for those who like up-tempo stuff to exercise to:

"She" - The Kiss version is awesome, the Anthrax cover is super awesome. (I'm willing to bet that you would even break down and enjoy it Dan)

"Dirty Water Ocean" - By Green
Apple Quick Step

Several ("Walking Through Syrup", "Spring", "Intact") by "Ned's Atomic Dustbin" off the "Are You Normal" CD.

"Butt Town" - Iggy Pop

"Knock Me Down" - Red Hot Chili Peppers (Possibly the best song ever created)

Questions? Comments? Complaints?

I use a web site called "All Music Guide" to get info on, and sample music from, various bands. Anyone have other good sites for this endeavor?

Anonymous Communist said...

Nancy, it is "Jerry was a Race Car Driver," and it is one of the greatest songs of all time.

BlogFreeSpringfield said...

Cam "I'll lose my job in three years because management bypassed Quinn for Ginn" Cameron,

I think that there may be something to your volume theory as it pertains to my late awakening to Amie. I've found that music, and movies as well, take on a higher level of intensity when heard through headphones.

I usually preview songs through iTunes. I did find the C/net site for free MP3 downloads http://music.download.com/?tag=navtab

It's mostly indie and lower profile stuff, but that's where the quality can usually be found if you're willing to sift through it. I've downloaded over 20 free songs over the past couple of weeks. I highly recommend it.

Thanks for commenting,