Remember when I said I'd be doing a hip-hop battle, then disappeared for 3 weeks? Sorry. I'll get to it eventually, I promise. For now, I'll do another one of these and hope this small gesture will help you to put down the pitchforks.
1. Here Comes Your Man - Pixies (from Doolittle)
A great pop song with a perfect surfish guitar line from the great Joey Santiago. I don't know that the Pixies will ever quite catch on with the masses, and that's a shame. They're one of the greatest (and most influential) bands of all-time, and this song comes from my favorite album of theirs.
2. Melatonin - Radiohead (from Airbag)
A bed of laid-back 80s keyboards saturate this song. By the time Thom starts singing, you can't imagine anyone else singing this song. Short and light and perfect for nighttime listening.
3. Keep Your Head - The Ting Tings (from We Started Nothing)
This song seems pretty much par for the course for The Ting Tings. They can sound pretty obnoxious and childish and borderline unlistenable at times, but that doesn't stop them from being extremely catchy. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I haven't been able to answer that question yet.
4. Watching the Wheels - John Lennon (from Double Fantasy)
The majority of Lennon's solo stuff is pretty hit-or-miss. That is definitely the case for this album...and this song fits squarely into the "hit" category. A good song with a great chorus.
5. The Old Account Was Settled Long Ago - Johnny Cash (from Live at San Quentin)
I love when Cash can take an old gospel song and make it his own. He definitely does that here.
6. It's Not So Bad At All - Matt Pond PA (from Last Light)
This song pretty much sums up my feelings on Matt Pond PA. It's nice, but there's nothing really memorable about it. Yeah, it sounds pretty good, but I never really think to myself, "I really need to hear some Matt Pond PA." It's good to have on in the background, though.
7. The Beast in Me - Johnny Cash (from American Recordings)
A dark song made darker by Cash. There's a hint of sadness and contemplation in this song that comes across by his voice alone. I am amazed how much emotion Cash is able to convey solely through his voice.
8. Don't Go Say That - Grand Theft Bus (from Made Upwards)
This is the first time I've listened to this band. First impression? I'm not really too impressed. It sounds like an emo band that is desperately trying to change its sound, but it's not really taking. Maybe I'm missing something. Maybe I need to give them a couple more listens. Perhaps I will...but it's not doing anything for me at the moment.
9. Can't Truss It - Public Enemy (from Power to the People and the Beats)
I have a hard time believing that this song came out in 1991. The beat is fantastic, and there's really nothing like hearing Chuck D in his prime. By listening to this song, it's easy to hear how big an influence Public Enemy continues to have in the world of hip-hop.
10. Deep Dark Well - M. Ward (from Transistor Radio)
I know that M. Ward is a relatively young guy. Still, every time I hear one of his songs, I can't shake the thought that he has been around since the 50s, honing his sound of blues/folk. I don't always love his stuff, but this song is great.