Thursday, September 07, 2006

55 Tracks - My Must-Have Songs
Remember long, long ago, way back last week, when Sounds Like Canada in the Summer was still on CBC and Jian Ghomeshi shared his Must-Have Song of the Day. Karen wasn't too impressed with Jian's choices, and she asked if I would want to post a list of my choices.
Shit, that's like asking a masochist if they want their bum spanked! Yeah, I want to make my own list of must-have songs! What a blast this will be, I thought.
So Jian listed 55 songs altogether and I will do the same, but you know what? It is incredibly hard to stop at 55. I had to limit myself to one song per artist. And do you know how hard it is to choose one Belle and Sebastian song? Or one Smiths song? Or one Clash song? Or, sweet baby Jesus, one Matthew Good song, or one Weakerthans song, or one Constantines song? Damn near impossible, I tell you. I did allow two Radiohead songs, though, even at having to leave off the Flaming Lips and the Libertines, because after all Radiohead is the most important band in the world. And that's only fair.
This is a strictly personal list - I'm not judging the merits of these songs against any others. They are either all-time favourites of mine, or else songs I'm grooving on right now. Chances are in a couple of months, this list will look quite different. And I would probably insist it be called 75 Tracks.
So, Karen, even though you might find my musical taste is disturbingly similar to Jian's, I still hope you enjoy the list, and I hope the rest of you do, too. And I'd love to hear your lists.
55 tracks

1. Planet Claire – the B-52’s
2. Get Me Away From Here, I’m Dying – Belle and Sebastian
3. Like Eating Glass – Bloc Party
4. Blood of a Young Wolf – Buck 65
5. Ever Fallen in Love – Buzzcocks
6. Hold On, Hold On – Neko Case
7. Clampdown – the Clash
8. Young Lions – the Constantines
9. Belgium or Peru – Cuff the Duke
10. On the Bus Mall – the Decemberists
-Christine Fellows
11. Blood – Editors
12. Edge of Town – Elliott Brood
13. Migrations – Christine Fellows
14. The Fallen – Franz Ferdinand
15. At Home He’s a Tourist – Gang of Four
16. Long Way to Fall – Mary Gauthier
17. Strange Days – Matthew Good
18. The Ring – Sarah Harmer
19. The Pearl – Emmylou Harris
20. Sit Down – James
- Ian Curtis (Joy Division)

21. Happy When It Rains – Jesus and Mary Chain
22. Transmission – Joy Division
23. Live It Out – Metric
24. Galang – M.I.A.
25. King of Carrot Flowers Part I – Neutral Milk Hotel
26. The Cloud Prayer – AC Newman
27. Temptation – New Order
28. Bleeding Heart Show – New Pornographers
29. The Art of Carrying On – Novillero
30. Wave of Mutilation – the Pixies
31. Fairytale of New York – the Pogues and Kirsty MacCall
32. Buona Sera – Louis Prima
33. Movin’ On Up – Primal Scream
34. Exit Music (for a Film) – Radiohead
35. Idioteque – Radiohead
36. Bastards of Young – the Replacements
37. Words We Never Use – Ron Sexsmith
38. Common People – William Shatner and Ben Folds cover
39. I am the Cancer – Sloan
40. A Rush and a Push and the Land is Ours – the Smiths
41. Can’t Con an Honest John – the Streets
42. Get Down Moses – Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros
43. Psycho Killer – Talking Heads
44. Speak Slow – Tegan and Sara
45. Feeling Oblivion – Turin Brakes
- Chad Vangaalen
46. Blood Machine – Chad Vangaalen
47. Blister in the Sun – Violent Femmes
48. Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole – Martha Wainwright
49. Chelsea Hotel # 2 – Rufus Wainwright cover
50. Left and Leaving – the Weakerthans
- Thom Yorke
51. I am Trying to Break Your Heart – Wilco
52. Tarantulove – Hawksley Workman
53. Germ-free Adolescents – X-Ray Specs
54. Atoms for Peace – Thom Yorke
55. Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner – Warren Zevon


Anonymous said...

You reign all Listdom, my dear.

A good 80% of your list I am completely & totally unfamiliar with so I'll have to trust that your choices were as sublime as they usually are but woohoo...

I DO meltingly concur with all Radiohead & Thom Yorke, though!

hilary m. said...


Now you need to put it on iTunes or something, I'd buy the whole damn thing (If I had any money on there). Well, I probably wouldn't buy it all, cause most of it I already adore. But there's a lot of stuff on there that I want to investigate more.

hilary m. said...

Did I just rhyme my last two sentences?

Oh dear...
school's already getting to me.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

We are just a couple of list junkies, aren't we Michelle? It was so much fun and simultaneously frustrating to put together 55 songs.
Thom makes me all melty too.

hahaha Hilary, you're a poet and you don't know it, but your feet show it, they're Longfellows and the smell like the Dickens.
I can rhyme too (but not well).
You should list as well -it's fun!

mellowlee said...

Holey kamoley! I had to copy that list so I can check out songs I haven't heard yet. Thanks Barbara :)

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Some of those very same songs will be coming your way, Mel, but that is still a work in progress.

Anonymous said...

Lists are the stuff of life. I'm still working on my list of stuff I have lists for.

Teddy said...

I'm not even going to look at your list... not until I get mine done. Which, judging from past events and milestones missed, might take a while.

Rules... one song per artist, any genre, any year. But why was it 55? weird number.

Will said...

Great list Barbara, but if you're anything like me you're going to be haunted by the ones you didn't pick.
They'll come to you in the middle of the night (LOL). Joni Mitchell sitting in the corner of the bedroom with her acoustic singing "Barbara, why didn't you pick me ?"

Karen said...

Woo hoo! Thank's so much Barbara! I'm going to check those songs out this weekend. I'm sure your list will turn out to be SOOOOOO much better than Jian's crappy picks.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

A list of stuff you have lists fro - that's brilliant, Michelle! And hits very close to home for me, as my life is comprised entirely of lists.

Looking forward to checking out your list, Teddy. The reason for 55? That's how many episodes of SLC in the summmer there were, and one song was picked each episode. I figured if J Gho had to keep it to 55, I'd better as well.

Oh no, I forgot Joni! The River! Yes, Ben, I did detect a few disgruntled ghosts creeping about the bedroom last night.

Thanks Karen. I hope you still think so after the weekend. But even if you hate them, well we're all about diversity, aren't we? Have fun with it!

WolfHeart RavenHorse said...

Hey there's no James Blunt on that call that a list with no James Blunt!!!???? hehehe

karen said...

Excellent list. Lots of choices that would be on my list also. And my god I am SO pleased to see Mr Shatner made it on there! Don't get me started! That album ROCKS. The man is a genius and the collaborations are inspired.

Allison said...

Awesome list, Queen of Lists you are. Now your job it to make mixed cds of those ;P Joking.
I'm really surprised you narrowed it so well.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Oh damn it, Bev, I knew I forgot somebody! Harharhar, you hilarious, girl!

Kees! Another Shatner fan! I agree completely - he is a total genius. And Has Been is a completely brilliant album. (It doesn't hurt that Ben Folds and Henry Rollins can actually sing, but.) I love that cover of Common People!!!

Thanks Allison; it was HARD! You know, I'm not sure if that has the right flow for some mixed cds, but that is not a bad thought, with a little tweaking...

Serah said...

Faboulous list of course!!!!!!!!
I will forgive you for putting Radiohead in twice and leaving out the Flaming Lips b/c I know you still have love. Making list of favorites is fun and painful, it's like not putting one of your children on the list isn't it! Radiohead IS the only band that ever mattered after THE CLASH!
Yeah for Metric and MIA, I wasn't expecting them to make your 55 list, this round anyway!

Deb said...

Masochistic bum always manage to crack me up, despite my state of chaos and confusion right now. I can start my day with a smile after I visit here and that's just fantastic - thanks.

I'll confess, I'm like Michelle and 80% I don't know of either - I'm ashamed to say I've been under a rock musically for a while now. I love music but am growing very "stale" in that my collection hasn't had much variety for a number of years. But I think you're wonderfully diverse and very, very cool - so I think I'll take your word for it (and when I do get a minute to breathe, I'll definitely be exploring this list). Rock on girl!!!

(My list will be kind of "outdated" and boring, but will give it a whirl later....55 is gonna' be tough)

Barbara Bruederlin said...

It almost killed me to leave out the Flaming Lips, Sarah. As Ben suggested, Wayne Coyne will no doubt be creeping around my dark house in the middle of the night, shaking his head sadly at me.
I'm glad I could surprise you!

You are too kind, Deb. I'm very glad that my weirdness is doing some good in this world anyway, and I hope that things start to improve for you and your family.
I'll be very interested to read your list when you get around to it - you may just surprise yourself!

Anonymous said...

i don't see anything by that blunt guy....or what the hell was his name billy ray something...a dumbass country song from several years ago achey breaky was on a juke box in the pub of a town i was working in...i wanted to beat that machine with my sledge hammer and cut it to little pieces with a chain saw

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You should have done that, Kelly. The world would have owed you a huge favour. I can think of a few "musicians" who need the sledgehammer treatment.

Maureen said...

a whole new list of music to investigate :)

John Mutford said...

While I knew most of the artists on your list, I only knew about half the songs. I checked out the rest- as best I could. I really like Turin Brakes, thanks. The chick who sings for X-Ray Spex is cool. Recently a friend of mine sent me a Warren Zevon song trying to sway me on him. "Werewolves Of London" will be playing when I get to hell, I hate it that much. My friend sent me "Finsihing Touches". While better than "Werewolves" it didn't sway me on the "genius of Zevon". "Roland" however, is a damn cool song. Like Stan Rogers if he rocked.

However. I'm a big Hawksley Workman fan and for the life of me, cannot understand "Tarantulove" being your pick. It's good but he has so many better tunes(in my humble opinion).

Feel free to finish the next 45 and make it an even 100 any day!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Just what you need, Maureen! More chores to do!

Wow, John you have been busy!
I love that Turin Brakes song. I really know next to nothing about them, but Will from New and Used Records turned me onto them.
Yeah, Poly Styrene! Isn't her voice absolutely amazing? I've heard it described as having the ability to peel paint, but I love it.
hahaha at "like Stan Rogers if he rocked" - oh snap!
About Tarantulove, I agree there are lots of really great Hawksley songs and it was tough to decide, but in the end I went with an old favourite,although I almost chose one from Treeful of Starling.
You know what, it would have been a lot easier HAD I done 100 songs. D'oh! Why didn't I think of that?

Will said...

wow, my my my. what a list ... so so many of my favorites as well. happy to see turin brakes in there. and "the cloud prayer" - what a song. "temptation" as well. and, um, everything else.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I'm so glad you approve of the list, Will, with your impecible taste in music. And thanks again for the Turin Brakes songs; it is absolutely gorgeous.

Barbara said...

I am proud I know at least 1/8th of the songs you just listed. Shows I am paying some attention to your advice.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Yay Barbara W! I was actually wondering what you would think of the list...

Ruhee said...

Live It Out, Hold On Hold On, The Bleeding Heart Show ... is that SLOAN I see?! ... Psycho Killer -- this is an awesome list!!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Why thanks Ruhee! Yes, that is indeed Sloan that you see, and I didn't even add it to appease you, but because it is deserving. Although maybe I should have gone with Coax Me...

Ruhee said...

Some of the Sloan B-sides are actually unbelievably deserving of status like this, in fact. I believe Eva's got them all - check out At the Edge of the Scene, Summer's My Season, Pretty Together, or their heart-melting cover of Paul McCartney's Waterfalls. That last one - when Jay sings "polar bears," I think he could stop an ice age.

You know, the Bleeding Heart Show was a song that I always had a mixed relationship with until recently. I really disliked the first half, but as soon as the second half came on (the big "hey la la" or whatever) I loved it to death. A lot of the time I would just forward past the first bit and listen to the second half over and over. Go figure.

phlegmfatale said...

Oh wow, I've been thinking of "At Home He's A Tourist" by Gang o' Four for weeks now. I was a fan of old and still have the original stuff on vinyl.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Oh yes, Ruhee! Sloan's cover of Waterfalls is wonderful (and I can't stand Paul McCartney). Jay is just so adorable with his "don't go chasing polar bears".
Bleeding Heart Show is a builder of a song, that's for sure. The hey las are very rousing. I don't actually skip to them, but I sure wait for them.

Oh very nice, PF. Mine's a cd. Funny you should mention Gang of Four - I just recently wrote a piece for the Stroumboulopouli blog about past stories on The Hour about music, and the Gang of Four piece was one of the things I mentioned.