March 03, 2007

From the Music Library Vol 1

In order to best avoid working any further on Trig, I present the first in a continuing series of navel-gazing with the assistance of my music library. First up: the 10 most played songs as recorded by Winamp.

1. The Dresden Dolls - The Jeep Song
Play count: 168
Best Moment: The riff on Paint It Black where Amanda sings "I see your red Jeep and want to paint it black."

2. Smoking Popes - Need You Around
Play count: 141
This song absolutely nails the way you can feel helpless when you want someone when they don't want you, but without all the horribly mopey music that those songs generally have.

3. The Dresden Dolls - Half Jack
Play count: 135
I don't know how this song crept up so high. It's good, but it's not the second best song on the album, a distinction I'd give to Gravity, followed shortly by Good Day. And the fact that it's the longest song (nearly six minutes) in my top 10 makes the placement a bit surprising, too.

3. The Postal Service - Nothing Better
Play count: 135
A delightfully bouncy bit of music paired with a very nicely done duet and Ben Gibbard's usually outstanding lyrics. Best line: "I've made charts and graphs/that should finally make it clear/I've prepared a lecture/On why I have to leave"

5. The Dresden Dolls - Gravity
Play count: 134
This is the song that really got me listening to the Dresden Dolls. The vocals start with an entrancing rhythm and it's performed with a wonderful sense of theater and a modulating chorus, a feature that gets me pretty often. Best line: "If I could attack with a more sensible approach/obviously that's what I'd be doing"

6. Anna Waronker - John & Maria
Play count: 120
This has a similar feel to Nothing Better, but with a more plaintive air and a bit more experience. The opening "I wish this was my first time/I wish this was true love" hooks me.

7. The Mountain Goats - Your Belgian Things
Play count: 107
John Darnielle is hands-down awesome. So is "I shot a roll of 32 exposures/my camera groans beneath the weight it bears"

8. Death Cab for Cutie - I Will Follow You Into the Dark
Play count: 105
This song and Liz Phair's Perfect World are my two favorite songs where you can hear the sliding of fingers on the strings during chord changes, an effect that adds intimacy and heartbreak to the songs. With clever lyrics the whole song through, only the relative newness of the song kept this from being higher on the list.

8. Magnetic Fields - I Looked All Over Town
Play Count: 105
That this is the first Stephin Merritt song is surprising for two reasons. 1) I'd have figured the Magnetic Fields would have a higher spot on the countdown and 2) that this and not All My Little Words or Busby Berkeley Dream is the first appearance. Still though, a really good song and it's about sad clowns.

10. Future Bible Heroes - Kiss Me Only With Your Eyes
Play Count: 103
The biggest surprise of the list, because I've had it for the least amount of time by multiple months. Also, for the reasons stated for my surprise regarding I Looked All Over Town. It is just about the perfect song for Claudia Gonson, and belongs with Come Back From San Fransisco and Reno Dakota as songs that just work for her voice.

Honorable Mention: Magnetic Fields - All My Little Words (play count: 100)

A girl that I never got to date figures rather significantly in this list, having introduced me to the Smoking Popes and, by not dating me and having a rather identifiable car, giving The Jeep Song a lot of resonance. She also gets a portion of the credit for All My Little Words being the only song out of the top 10 to crack 100 listens; the sheer awesomeness of Stephin Merritt gets the rest of the credit.