John’s 300 favorite songs: 200-191

200. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers — “Walls” — Whether played in the “happy” or “sad” tempo, this is a great Petty tune.

199. Epic Hero — “One Fine Day” — The best track by the best band to come out of the Twin Cities that no one has heard of. (They’re also really nice guys who deserve tons of music success.) This tune was part of an album produced by Dan Wilson soon after he called it quits with Semisonic.

198. Fuel — “Bad Day” — Brett Scallions’ sheer vocal passion pushes this downer rocker from anemic to anthemic.

197. Sophie B. Hawkins — “As I Lay Me Down” — Even though the narrator’s travails probably won’t have a happy ending, the soundscape alone is enough to drag a listener out of a funk.

196. Buffalo Tom — “Anything That Way” — It makes me think of a girl I used to like who loved this song and introduced me to the music of Buffalo Tom. I don’t know if that makes me happy or sad, but I knew the song had to be somewhere in my top 300.

195. Hootie and the Blowfish — “Only Wanna Be With You” — The first great song from a band so uncool that they were actually kinda cool. I always liked ’em, and now that their mega-popularity is long past, the mass disapproval has passed too, and we can just appreciate Hootie’s songs because they sound nice.

194. Hilary and Haylie Duff — cover of the Go-Go’s “Our Lips are Sealed” — The already energetic Go-Go’s classic gets cranked up another notch by the Duff sisters.

193. The Perishers — “Sway” — A song that makes you feel unashamed about being a dreamer.

192. Camera Obscura — “Suspended from Class” — If you do get suspended from class, pop in this transcendent tune and you probably won’t want to go back to school anyway.

191. The Wallflowers — “How Good It Can Get” — Sometimes a song is decent until it gets to a certain lyric and then it achieves greatness. On this one, it’s when Jakob sings “But I wish you’d stay/ And just let me in/ ‘Cause everything can change/ But you gotta be ready ’cause you won’t know when.”

Comments
chance's Gravatarboring
# Posted By chance | 7/14/10 11:12 PM
John Hansen's GravatarNow wait a second. I hit you up with a great Tom Petty tune and Camera Obscura’s first hit. Those are at least worth a nod.
# Posted By John Hansen | 7/15/10 1:01 AM
Matt's GravatarBuffalo Toms “Big Red Letter Day” is one of my favorite 90’s discs. The record after that “Sleepy Eyed” is right up there too. They put out a record a few years ago too thats pretty good
# Posted By Matt | 7/17/10 12:28 AM
John Hansen's GravatarReally, you can’t go wrong with any Buffalo Tom disc. Very accessible. I haven’t checked out their latest disc yet; I was pleasantly surprised to see that they are still making music.
# Posted By John Hansen | 7/17/10 9:22 AM

John’s 300 favorite songs: 210-201

210. Foo Fighters — “Long Road to Ruin” — The Foo Fighters have a knack for writing songs that you feel should’ve been written already. It’s like they fill in the obvious gaps of rock history.

209. Michael Jackson — “Stranger in Moscow” — It takes a while to get going, but it’s worth the wait. In the subgenre of songs where the singer just repeats “How does it feel?” over and over, this is my favorite.

208. Bruce Springsteen — “Born to Run” — This song should’ve been overplayed right out of my top 300. But it’s just too much of a masterpiece to leave it off, even if I don’t need to hear it ever again.

207. Velvet Chain — “Strong” — This song, best known for being on the “Buffy” soundtrack, transports me to an imaginary small-town club that exclusively plays good music by up-and-coming bands and draws large, passionate music-loving crowds every night. Like I said, it’s imaginary.

206. Tabitha’s Secret — “Forever December” — An all-over-the-place, atmospheric epic from before Rob Thomas started over-enunciating his words with Matchbox 20/matchbox twenty/his solo work.

205. Janis Ian — “At Seventeen” — It captures that moment when a young, happy person realizes how cruel the world is. It’s a necessary lesson, but that doesn’t make it any less melancholy.

204. Carole King — “Where You Lead” — This song was made for “Gilmore Girls,” one of my all-time favorite shows. I know it came out 30 years before “Gilmore Girls,” but it was still made for it, if you know what I mean.

203. Britney Spears — “Lucky” — Think it’d be awesome to be a celebrity? Then consider the story of (the entirely fictional) Lucky, who wonders “If there’s nothing missing in my life/ Then why do these tears come at night?”

202. Vanessa Carlton — “White Houses” — A great coming-of-age story song, delivered by the ideal-sounding voice for the story.

201. Stiff Dylans — “Ultraviolet” — A whiny-sounding modern punk song that I would dismiss except for the fact that it’s ridiculously awesome.

Comments
chance's GravatarBorn to Run… yuck
sorry
# Posted By chance | 7/12/10 2:16 AM
John Hansen's GravatarI understand where you’re coming from, but I couldn’t say with a straight face that “Born to Run” isn’t one of the top 300 songs of all time. Plus, it’s the entry point to Bruce’s entire catalogue of “let’s break out of here and get a better life” songs, which I celebrate.
# Posted By John Hansen | 7/12/10 2:26 AM
Shaune's GravatarI love the mention of ‘Forever December’. One of my favorite unknown songs as well. Not sure I was suprised to see you knew of it considering how big of a Matchbox 20 fan you were..
# Posted By Shaune | 7/15/10 3:16 PM
John Hansen's GravatarShaune —

You were the one who introduced me to Tabitha’s Secret! That was back in the day when we learned about music just by talking to our friends. I’m glad to see you still dig them; I thought maybe you had moved on. Oddly, I lost my Tabitha’s Secret CD at some point (it might’ve been in a batch of CDs that got stolen a few years back), so I’m glad they popped into my head as I was compiling this list.

# Posted By John Hansen | 7/16/10 1:09 AM
Matt's GravatarBorn to Run would have been much higher for me. And good to see some Carole King on your list. I have a framed copy of Tapestry hanging on one of the walls in my house thats how much I love that record. The Janis Ian track is nice as well
# Posted By Matt | 7/17/10 12:23 AM

John’s 300 favorite songs: 220-211

220. Jewel — “Intuition” — I admit it; I think this song is catchy. I also like how Jewel was doing a parody of sell-outs and got wrongly criticized by people who didn’t understand that it was a parody, but then later sold out by selling this song to a ladies’ razor commercial.

219. Michelle Branch — “Sweet Misery” — Heartbreak has rarely sounded so pretty.

218. Tonic — “Mean to Me” — Whiny or awesome? I’ll go with the latter.

217. Camera Obscura — “My Maudlin Career” — Most bands get self-referential on their second album; CO waited till their fourth. And in typical Tracyanne fashion, even though the lyrics are maudlin, the song is flat-out beautiful.

216. Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson — “Say Say Say” — Sorry, “The Girl is Mine” fans. This catchy number gets my vote as the superior Mac-and-Jack collaboration.

215. The Wallflowers — cover of David Bowie’s “Heroes” — It gets the nod over the original due to a more muscular bass line and the creative use of Godzilla roars among the backing instrumentation.

214. Modest Mouse — “Float On” — Most songs on this list are about things going wrong, but this song nicely captures that feeling when things are going OK.

213. Marvelous 3 — “Grant Park” — Part of Butch Walker’s continuing effort to rewrite ’80s rock history as being even cooler than we remember.

212. Bruce Springsteen — “Long Walk Home” — You can find new meanings on each listen. My favorite line is the Lennon-esque “No flag flying over the courthouse/ No certain things are set in stone.”

211. Keane — “This is the Last Time” — “This is the last time you fall on me for anything you like/ You one last line/ You fall on me for anything you like/ And yes, make everything all right/ You fall on me for anything you like/ And I know I don’t mind.” It doesn’t make literal sense, but I get what Tom Chaplin is saying. And I know I’m probably hearing the lyrics wrong, but whatever.

Comments
chance's Gravatarmore CO i see. very nice…
i knew that you would pick the wrong Paul/MJ collabo.
how dare you not choose Bowie. i’m disgusted w/ you… seriously
Keane. nice. Tim RIce-Oxley (the writer) has a new band. “Mt. Desolation”. you should check it out…
# Posted By chance | 7/12/10 2:15 AM
John Hansen's GravatarI knew you’d be disgusted with me, so I made sure to look up the Bowie version on YouTube before I posted this chunk of songs. Played it back-to-back with the Wallflowers’ version. Jakob and the boys just brought it to a new level. That’s not a slight against Bowie, it’s a compliment to the Wallflowers. On “The Girl is Mine,” they just tell each other “the girl is mine” over and over. It’s kind of cute, but “Say Say Say” has more depth to it. It was a close call, though. I’m kind of surprised you support the one from the MJ album over the one from the McCartney album, since you are a big Beatles fan.
# Posted By John Hansen | 7/12/10 2:23 AM
Matt's GravatarI’m going to agree with you John on the Macca/MJ duet. I think its the better song plus the video was funny. Very 80’s MTV. Another Tonic song?
# Posted By Matt | 7/17/10 12:18 AM

John’s 300 favorite songs: 230-221

230. Hootie and the Blowfish — “Tucker’s Town” — The first time I heard the transcendent opening chords, I wanted to go to Tucker’s Town, wherever that might be.

229. Doves — “Pounding” — As the name suggests, it has a pounding beat, but that’s just the starting point for a band that knows how to layer sounds in the catchiest possible way.

228. Katy Perry — “I Kissed a Girl” — A pseudo-controversial piece of yummy bubblegum.

227. Collective Soul — “Goodnight Good Guy” — With its quick-hitting chorus (“Who’s gonna lift you up …”), this was/is my favorite track off the band’s hook-laden debut, even if I now realize it might have religious undertones.

226. Ivy — “Edge of the Ocean” — What would a song about the edge of the ocean sound like? Exactly as pretty as this.

225. The Polyphonic Spree — “Hold Me Now” — If you aren’t perked up a bit by this song, you’re pretty down.

224. Third Eye Blind — “Never Let You Go” — 3eb tailed off quite a bit after their first album, but at least they still had this stadium gem up their sleeves.

223. Dan Wilson and Bic Runga — “Good Morning Baby” — Everyone’s thought “I hope I’m gonna make it through another day” at some point, and this is a nice companion piece for that feeling.

222. The Thorns — “I Can’t Remember” — This supergroup could’ve been the next Traveling Wilburys, but wasn’t. They gave us one great tune, though.

221. The Lonely Island — “J*** in My Pants” — “Saturday Night Live’s” Andy Samberg and his band deliver the funniest song you’ll find on YouTube. To protect the easily offended, I won’t link to it. But if you’re not offended, seek out the fan-made nerd remix also.

Comments
chance's Gravatar221.!
i love the lonely island
my favourite track of theirs is “boombox” w/ julian casablancas
# Posted By chance | 7/10/10 12:14 PM
Matt's GravatarThat Thorns record is frustrating but then again Matthew Sweet is a pretty frustrating artist. I have a ton of his discs to prove it. It’s funny because the songs were suppose to be independent of the other artists but also in harmony but they all just sound like Sweet triple tracked his vocals.
# Posted By Matt | 7/17/10 12:13 AM

John’s 300 favorite songs: 240-231

240. Michael Jackson — “Black or White” — A classic riff, and the song has an interesting subtext because it came out during the time that MJ’s skin color was changing from black to white due to a rare medical condition.

239. Filter — “Hey Man, Nice Shot” — This is the first heavy, scary-sounding song that I actually found myself liking.

238. Ash — “Girl from Mars” — One of the rockingest songs about loving a girl from afar (so far, in fact, that you don’t even know her name).

237. Ben Folds — “Not the Same” — The beat(s) of this song get into your brain and never let up, and it’s done entirely with piano and vocals by one man, the talented Mr. Folds.

236. Sixpence None the Richer — “Kiss Me” — It turns out that it is possible to want to cuddle with a piece of music.

235. Michelle Branch — “Goodbye to You” — If you’ve ever had someone take an exit from your life for any reason, facial tissues might be in order while listening to this.

234. Oleander — “Are You There?” — Just a straight-up, unapologetic groove monster.

233. Camera Obscura — “French Navy” — When I first popped in the “My Maudlin Career” album and heard Tracyanne’s “Spent a week in a dusty library …,” I suspected I might have a new favorite band on my hands. Eleven tracks later, I did.

232. Four Star Mary — “Pain” — This is the sound of The Bronze (on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) right here.

231. TLC — “Waterfalls” — A fresh, anecdote-driven way of sharing the message “If it sounds too good to be true, it is.”

Comments
chance's Gravatarfrench navy is probably my favourite CO track
# Posted By chance | 7/10/10 12:12 PM
John Hansen's Gravatar“French Navy” barely made the cut for me. Being the first track on the disc, it got overplayed in my Jeep last year. A good song, but I’ll have better CO stuff coming up on my list.
# Posted By John Hansen | 7/10/10 1:39 PM
Shaune's GravatarI can’t hear ‘Hey Man Nice Shot’ without picturing you “Rocking Out” at the High School senior party.. good times 🙂
# Posted By Shaune | 7/15/10 3:19 PM
John Hansen's GravatarShaune–

That is interesting. You forgot that you introduced me to Tabitha’s Secret, but I had forgotten that I was obsessed with “Hey Man, Nice Shot” in June 1996. I don’t remember rocking out, but I’m glad you were entertained by it. I remember a bunch of girls dancing to the Macarena (which, rest assured, will not be in my top 300) at the senior party and wondering when they had time to learn all those dance moves. It was pretty impressive. Also, I remember it was just a bunch of us dudes hanging out, plus Danielle, the token girl. Just a bunch of guys having a good time, having a good time, having a good time.

# Posted By John Hansen | 7/16/10 1:13 AM
Matt's GravatarLove love love that second Ash record. I think I listened to Goldfinger and Girl From Mars a million times when that came out. It was so good you almost forgot they were a bunch of kids. Tim Wheeler writes some pretty catchy tunes.
# Posted By Matt | 7/17/10 12:10 AM

John’s 300 favorite songs: 250-241

250. Britney Spears — “Sometimes” — If pop songs had flavors, this one would taste like strawberries.

249. Tonic — “Head on Straight” — For some bizarre reason, I and the Grammy Awards voters were the only people who liked Tonic’s “Head on Straight” album. It consistently rocks, although oddly, there isn’t one song that stands out from the pack, so I’ll choose the title track as the default representative.

248. Black Eyed Peas — “My Humps” — It takes a certain brilliance to create a song this stupid, so I’m giving due credit.

247. Flickerstick — “Chloroform the One You Love” — Flickerstick are such romantics.

246. Franz Ferdinand — “Dark of the Matinee” — It goes through a lot of musical twists and turns, and you don’t want to get off the ride.

245. Rick Springfield — “I’ve Done Everything For You” — It gets right to the point: “I’ve done everything for you/ You’ve done nothing for me.”

244. The Killers — “Mr. Brightside” — Brandon Flowers’ imagination runs wild (but not in a good way) as he thinks about a girl he likes. And yet he looks on the bright side. A classic example of the music and lyrics being out of sync in an intriguing way.

243. Stereophonics — “Have a Nice Day” — The Stereophonics are my all-time favorite band that sounds like the Goo Goo Dolls. Including the Goo Goo Dolls.

242. Guided By Voices — “The Brides Have Hit Glass” — GBV seemed like it made catchy-on-the-first-listen pop tunes without really trying. And yet sometimes there was a little extra depth there.

241. Bruce Springsteen — “Sad Eyes” — “Sad eyes never lie.” Another truism from Bruce.

Comments
chance's Gravatar246. and 244.
🙂
# Posted By chance | 7/8/10 3:55 PM
John Hansen's GravatarChance, are you doing a series of drive-by blog postings today? Does that mean you dislike the other songs or you are just indifferent? I need to know when I have horrible taste in music as well as when I demonstrate good taste.
# Posted By John Hansen | 7/8/10 3:58 PM
Matt's GravatarThe Grammy people liked Tonic? I never really got into them. I think the only reason you like them is because Emerson Hart did the theme song for American Dreams. I heard a single from the new Stereophonics album the other day it was pretty catchy. I cant tell you what that Flickerstick song sounds like but they were the best band on Bands on the Run. They should do another one of those shows. I hate that BEP’s song.
# Posted By Matt | 7/17/10 12:02 AM
John Hansen's GravatarI liked Tonic pre-American Dreams. Emerson Hart put out a nice solo disc a couple years ago, too, but the most recent Tonic record is pretty bad. I recall that I loved the third Tonic record, “Head on Straight” and you said it sounded cliched to you when I played it in the video store. For some reason, it got a Grammy nomination.
# Posted By John Hansen | 7/17/10 9:18 AM

John’s 300 favorite songs: 260-251

260. Gnarls Barkley — “Crazy” — For about a month in 2006, I thought this was the catchiest song ever. I’m not as crazy about it now, but the craftsmanship is still undeniable.

259. Bruce Springsteen — “Darkness on the Edge of Town” — One of my favorite early epics of Bruce’s. It probably has a more specific meaning, but I just think of the literal darkness on the edge of any town in the USA and how your mind wanders when you think of what’s out there, be it scary, exciting or whatever.

258. The Weakerthans — “One Great City” — This song happens to be about Winnipeg, but that Canadian Plains town is just a stand-in for every listener’s hometown and our mixed feelings about it.

257. Butthole Surfers — “Pepper” — It’s probably my selective memory, but it seems to me like instantly catchy tunes from random bands hit the airwaves every other week in the ’90s. This is a prime example.

256. Natasha Bedingfield featuring Sean Kingston — “Love Like This” — I’m going to get Weak Sauced on this one. I don’t care. It’s too adorable to not be on my list somewhere.

255. Doves — “Words” — This song has so much going on instrumentally that it brings up happy thoughts of going the circus. That’s an odd correlation since I’ve never been to a circus and don’t care to.

254. Treble Charger — “Funny” — I love it when hooky throwaway pop-rock bands suddenly crank out an emotional mini-epic.

253. Lady Gaga — “Poker Face” — This song sounded awesome to my ear before I knew exactly what Gaga was saying (particularly the “Can’t read my/ Can’t read my/ No you can’t read my …” part). That’s a mark of well-crafted pop.

252. Norah Jones — “Don’t Know Why” — Whenever I want to hear something that sounds pleasant but doesn’t require any thought whatsoever, Norah’s my go-to gal.

251. The Refreshments — “Banditos” — You know a song’s awesome when everyone’s singing along with it without precisely knowing the words: “Something, something, something, Jean Luc Picard, and the United Federation of Planets, and they don’t speak English anyway.” And then the chorus about the world being full of stupid people (which, paradoxically, everyone can relate to; does that mean we are all stupid people?). Whatever. It’s good stuff.

Comments
chance's Gravatari love 252.
# Posted By chance | 7/8/10 3:43 PM
Matt's GravatarI have to admit I still pull out that Refreshments disc on occasion, especially in the summer. That song Interstate is really good.
# Posted By Matt | 7/16/10 11:52 PM
John Hansen's Gravatar“Banditos” is such a “going to the beach in the summertime” song. I’m not sure why exactly, but that’s what it calls to mind for me. I’m not familiar with the rest of the disc. It’s one of those “knew it from the radio” entries for me.
# Posted By John Hansen | 7/17/10 9:15 AM

John’s 300 favorite songs: 270-261

270. Bruce Springsteen — “Streets of Philadelphia” — Another Boss song where you start off like “Well, that beat’s pretty repetitive and obvious” and then you get into the lyrics and a few minutes later you’re a puddle on the floor.

269. Chantal Kreviazuk — cover of John Denver’s “Leaving on a Jet Plane” — I like “Leave your cubicle chair spinning and a trail of dust behind as you blast out of town” songs, and this one doesn’t really work because I tend to travel by Jeep rather than jet plane. Still, I like it. Kreviazuk’s version was made for “Armageddon,” which is either the worst or best movie ever made, possibly both.

268. The Old 97s — “Buick City Complex” — A standout track off the band’s consistently catchy “Satellite Rides” album.

267. Weezer — “Hash Pipe” — I found myself a bit bored at a Weezer concert in Fargo, N.D., because they played a long string of slow stuff. Then Rivers Cuomo introduced the next song with “This one’s for my mom” before blasting into the hammering riff of “Hash Pipe.” The whole Fargodome went nuts, rightly so.

266. Weird Al Yankovic — “The Night Santa Went Crazy” — I admit it, I enjoy me a good Weird Al tune every now and then.

265. Semisonic — “Closing Time” — Before this song existed, a waitress or bouncer would just yell out “Closing time!” at the end of the night. How un-poetic. Playing this song is much classier.

264. Dan Bern — “Black Tornado” — The first musician friends I made on my first entertainment beat in the early Aughts, Fargo’s own Brooks West and Josh Harty, loved to rip through this song together. It was always a highlight of their shows.

263. The Jayhawks — “Smile” — “Smile when you’re down and out.” Good message, and the prettiness of the song doesn’t hurt, either.

262. Pete Yorn — “EZ” — Pete came out of nowhere to record 14 tracks of pure spun gold, “musicforthemorningafter” in 2001 (this track is the standout), and then tailed off on future albums. I’m not giving up on him, but I wonder if there are some artists who have one amazing work of art in them, and then they are spent.

261. The Smiths — “There is a Light that Never Goes Out” — Who else but Morrissey could sing about being creamed by a double-decker bus and make it sound so beautiful?

Comments
Seth's GravatarI’m going to comment on this list of 10 first and then work my way back. Two words, John: Weak Sauce. First off, the good. Streets of Philadelphia, Closing Time and Smile are solid choices, quite appropriate for the ranking. Well done. Liking 3 out of 10 actually isn’t bad. But, and that’s a big but, I kind of hate the rest

No. 269 — Blah, if a cover makes it, it has to be UB-40 (Fallin in love with you)/Johnny Cash (Hurt) good. This is not.

No. 268 — You obviously have a soft spot for this song, but this is top 300. Not worthy.

No. 267 — Hash Pipe? God I hope you have a shit load of Weezer songs left bc this doesn’t even make the top 15 of their greatest hits. My name is jonas, no one else, el scorcho, tired of sex, say it ain’t so, undone, buddy holly, in the garage, why bother are just a few that are better.

No. 266 — I love Weird Al actually. Good christmas song but other choices (unless they’ll be later included) — Eat it, Amish Paradise, Fat, Smells like Nirvana — would have been better suited for this list.

No. 264 — See No. 268

No. 262 — Indifferent on this one. Would I download it or remember it? No.

No. 261 — Overrated. Not a big fan.

# Posted By Seth | 7/6/10 5:02 PM
John Hansen's GravatarSo more like mild sauce that surprises by having a little extra bite every now and then. Indeed, I have a soft spot for some tracks because they invoke memories, and I make note of those. Like I said, I liked all 300 of these songs at some point. Would I go out of my way to listen to Hash Pipe now? No, but for about a week or so in 2001 I thought it was cool, and I have that concert memory of Weezer sucking but pulling out one awesome/ridiculous song.
# Posted By John Hansen | 7/6/10 7:07 PM
Seth's Gravataryeah, mild sauce better sums it up. I do like diversity.
# Posted By Seth | 7/6/10 7:31 PM
chance's Gravatar261. is G-R-E-A-T
# Posted By chance | 7/8/10 3:40 PM
Danielle's GravatarJohn, Rivers must have read your blog. I saw them in concert last night and they opened with Hash Pipe! When you saw them in Fargo was it with Pete Yorn?
# Posted By Danielle | 7/10/10 8:12 PM
John Hansen's GravatarYes, in 2001 I believe. And I was the only one in the Fargodome who went for Pete Yorn. I loved his first album and never really liked Weezer. It was the typical opening-act thing. He was fine but there was no crowd energy to help him out. I remember he came on stage and said “Hi, I’m Pete,” and that was it for his banter with the audience. Then Weezer was boring and I went and grabbed a seat way in the back. Then they broke into Hash Pipe about mid-set and the whole place exploded. That is weird that they open with it now. It should be saved for when they need to add energy to the show.
# Posted By John Hansen | 7/10/10 10:13 PM
Matt's GravatarI dont think Weezer have ever really been known as a good live band so you only liking the one track isnt surprising. The bass player from Semisonic is in a different band now called The New Standards. They do this kind of jazz, swing thing but are really good. Two other former Mpls rockers are in the band, too. They do jazz covers of The Replacements and Britney Spears and other odd stuff. Dig the Old 97’s track. I have an interview set up with Rhett Miller for next week so I’m excited about that. He seems like a nice dude so should be fine. They have a four song covers ep out right now. There’s a real nice cover of REM’s Driver 8 on it.
# Posted By Matt | 7/11/10 4:21 PM
John Hansen's GravatarThat is awesome that you are interviewing Rhett. Are the Old 97s playing in Fargo again? I saw them in ’98 (I think) at the Fargodome when they opened for Matchbox 20. They were better than Matchbox 20, but I was the only one who noticed. You should ask Rhett why he puts “Question” on all of his records, and also mention that you played it when you asked your wife to marry you.
# Posted By John Hansen | 7/12/10 2:17 AM
Matt's GravatarThe Old 97’s are playing here next weekend. Talked to Rhett the other day and he’s a hell of a nice guy. I think I have a bit of a man crush on him now. I was trying not to be too fanboy so I didnt really ask him anything personal to me. He did mention he used to spend summers in Brainerd when he was a kid so that may be of interest to you
# Posted By Matt | 7/17/10 12:05 AM
John Hansen's GravatarThat’s cool that Rhett is a nice guy. I thought the Old 97s were from Texas. Had no idea about the Brainerd connection. When I lived in Brainerd someone told me that Linkin Park had a lake cabin up there, and I just prayed to God that my editors didn’t find out about that and make me try to write a story on it. Who is opening for Old 97s and where are they playing at?
# Posted By John Hansen | 7/17/10 9:13 AM
matt's GravatarRhetts parents had friends in brainerd so they’d come visit in the summers. The show is at the venue. David wax is opening. Check out his band if you get a chance. Rhett handpicked him for the tour.
# Posted By matt | 7/17/10 10:51 PM

John’s 300 favorite songs: 280-271

280. Everclear (pictured) — “Wonderful” — It’s nostalgic (the ‘Star Wars’ poster on Art Alexakis’ bedroom door) and upbeat at first glance, but it soon becomes clear that it’s sarcastic and negative.

279. The Ramones — “I Wanna Be Sedated” — I thought about using The Offspring’s cover from the “Idle Hands” soundtrack, but then realized that would be ridiculous because it merely mimics the excellent original.

278. Oleander — “I Walk Alone” — Out of the batch of heavy-ish rock bands from the late ’90s, I always connected most with this Sacramento outfit because of its pop sensibility and Tom Flowers’ distinctive voice.

277. Bruce Springsteen — “Darlington County” — It might have the most quotable lyrics of the “Born in the USA” tracks. For example: “Our pas each own one of the World Trade Centers/ For a kiss and a smile I’d give mine all to you.” And later: “I see Wayne handcuffed to the bumper of a state trooper’s Ford.”

276. Marvelous 3 — “This Time” — Butch Walker’s roommate wears dirty sweatpants and drinks all his booze, but Butch is ready to put his foot down about that and other issues in his life: “This time will be the last time …”

275. Kings of Leon — “Use Somebody” — Lead singer Anthony Followill has a gift for communicating his feelings entirely through the inflection of his voice. The lyrics fit, but they are almost superfluous.

274. Regina Spektor — “Fidelity” — Regina is generally a bit too quirky for my tastes, but her breakthrough tune has the right mix of hookiness to go with the quirkiness.

273. Beach Boys — “Feel Flows” — Not many songs sounded like this when it came out. It influenced a lot of future pop-rockers, and it also stands the test of time.

272. Avril Lavigne — “Girlfriend” — Just a straightforward pop tune that communicates a common feeling: Wanting what you can’t have and imagining what it would be like to do something about it.

271. The Beatles — “I Want to Hold Your Hand” — No, this isn’t a song that I go out of my way to listen to. However, when I consider that none of the other 299 songs on this list would exist without it, I figured I had better give it a nod.

Comments
chance's Gravatargood choice with the ramones.
although regspek and the beatles are top 10 all time for me…
i’m not big on either of those tracks 🙁
that being said, i appreciate your commentary for 271!
# Posted By chance | 7/5/10 2:49 PM
John Hansen's GravatarIndeed, the “Hold Your Hand” selection is more for what the song means to everyone who likes pop music, rather than for the song itself. Plus, I love how they used it in “American Dreams.” It seems like when that song came out, everyone realized music was changed forever.

“Fidelity” is a cute song. That’s how I know you are a huge Regina fan; you dismiss her most famous song in favor of the deeper album tracks.

# Posted By John Hansen | 7/5/10 5:59 PM
Matt's GravatarI have to admit I’ve listened to that Everclear record a million times. There are a few clunkers on it like an unecessary cover of Brown Eyed Girl but its a really solid break-up disc. You should check out the song Learning How to Smile. Art used to write some really good songs. Too bad he’s a huge douche. Good call on Regina even if it isnt her best song. Love, love, love the Beach Boys and Feel Flows is a great song. Cameron Crowe made good use of that in Almost Famous. They’re mostly lauded for the Pet Sound album which is brilliant but they recorded a few great ones after that when they all grew their hair
out and took a lot of drugs. Feel Flows is on Surfs Up which is a pretty dark album. You can buy it together with the Sunflower album now which is excellent as well
# Posted By Matt | 7/11/10 12:37 PM
John Hansen's GravatarI am not a fan of the “Songs from an American Movie” volumes. Compared to “So Much for the Afterglow,” I find them hard to listen to. Indeed, no one understands Art’s obsession with covering “Brown Eyed Girl” all the time. It’s not like that song had to be rescued from obscurity. I’ve been told by multiple sources that Regina has better tunes than “Fidelity”; I just haven’t heard ’em myself. “Feel Flows” is totally on here because of it’s use in “Almost Famous.” I might have another song coming up on my list that was also put to good use in that movie; you can probably guess what it is. And I might have more Beach Boys coming up as well. We shall see.
# Posted By John Hansen | 7/11/10 2:16 PM
Matt's GravatarI still really like the first Songs from an American Movie, but Sparkle and Fade is still my favorite Everclear disc. And as much as I love Van Morrisson, Brown Eyed Girl needs to die. That guy wrote some of the best songs ever and all oldies radio and bad wedding DJ’s can find to play is that song? Is your other Almost Famous song American? Or Tiny Dancer? Those are the ones that stick out to me
# Posted By Matt | 7/11/10 4:16 PM
John Hansen's GravatarI’ve heard from multiple people that there are other good Van Morrison songs. I will have to look for them someday. What will the other “Almost Famous” song be? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see, won’t we?
# Posted By John Hansen | 7/12/10 2:13 AM

John’s 300 favorite songs: 290-281

290. Gin Blossoms — “Hey Jealousy” — The Gin Blossoms knew the ’90s were here before a lot of their contemporaries did, as this 1992 song demonstrates.

289. Natalie Imbruglia — “Torn” — Natalie is all torn up by a recent breakup, and her emotions come through in this song that was overplayed even as the singer herself managed to disappear from the pop charts.

288. Mariah Carey — “Always Be My Baby” — Although Mariah and her boyfriend have broken up, she knows that at some point they’ll get back together because he will always be her baby. Or will they? That’s the heart-wrenching question that lurks underneath this delicately catchy tune.

287. Courtney Love — “Sunset Strip” — A well-written song that becomes more powerful because of who is singing it, especially when Love croaks out “Look at me for the very last time …”

286. “Team America: World Police” theme song — Due to the explicit lyrics, I’ll let my readers find this clip on their own. Suffice it to say that it’s a great track to blast on Independence Day, but you’ll probably want to do so in your home or car rather than at a park or your workplace.

285. John Fogerty — “Centerfield” — In addition to being about baseball, this song sounds like what baseball would sound like if the sport was transformed into music. A ballpark classic.

284. Bruce Springsteen — “My Hometown” — A powerful song that sounds the death knell of small towns. It’s easy to toss this aside if you’re looking for a more rocking Boss cut, but I’m always surprised by how the riff catches my attention along with the message.

283. Smashing Pumpkins — “Believe” — I believe Billy Corgan let James Iha record this rough-but-beautiful track as a B-side to the band’s “1979” single.

282. The Killers — “All These Things That I’ve Done” — There are dozens of catchy moments that got people to run out and buy the band’s breakthrough “Hot Fuss” album. For a friend of mine, it was the part where Brandon Flowers repeats “I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier.” Amen.

281. Rilo Kiley — “The Frug” — Little Jenny Lewis from “The Wizard” tells us that she will do the Frug and various other dances, but she will not do the Smurf. Of course, the ridiculousness of the topic is part of the song’s charm.

Comments
Chance's Gravatari can’t begin to tell you how much i LOVE 282!
also, i’m impressed that someone else around here also listens to rilo kiley.
guess what. j. lewis sings vocals on two songs on the b. flowers solo album that comes out in sept.
they’re both from Vegas if you didn’t know. 🙂
# Posted By Chance | 7/5/10 2:42 PM
John Hansen's GravatarThere might be more Killers and Rilo Kiley coming up on the list. We shall see. That will be an awesome collaboration between Brandon and Jenny. Didn’t even realize they were both from the Vegas scene. Looking forward to it.
# Posted By John Hansen | 7/5/10 5:55 PM
Matt's GravatarThere are a few really good tracks on that Courtney Love disc. The first single “Mono” should have been a big hit for her. It’s a messy disc though. I like Centerfield just because its the title track from an album that holds one of the more interesting music stories of the last 30 years. And the Gin Blossoms are way underrated. They recorded a bunch of Big Star sounding singles in the 90’s and should be looked on better
# Posted By Matt | 7/11/10 10:41 AM
John Hansen's GravatarYou introduced me to that Courtney track via one of your mix discs. The depth of the lyrics is somewhat Butch Walker-esque. Interesting; I always thought the Gin Blossoms were somewhat overrated since they had three hit songs that all sounded identical. I kind of have a soft spot for them since they are one of “my” bands from the ’90s. Maybe I should try more of their stuff.
# Posted By John Hansen | 7/11/10 2:11 PM