Thursday, September 16, 2010
Pitchfork’s list covered a lot of ground but it was almost entirely missing punk, hardcore, emo and metal which, in my opinion, had greatly impacted and progressed music in the 90s. To supplement my examination of the 90s (via Pitchfork’s Top Tracks of the 1990s), the following is a list of my top 100 of my favorite tracks that they missed. It features some songs that I would consider glaring missing entries. Keep in mind when reading this list that they gave a spot (not even the last one) to “The Humpty Dance”. The cover for the article is from the forgotten classic I am an Elastic Firecracker by Tripping Daisey. The list was compiled as I thought of them so don’t look too much into it. A player with all the songs is below followed by the full list.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
There isn’t too much to say about the tracks that made the top 20 in Pitchfork’s Top 200 Tracks of the 1990s. It is a solid group of songs and I enjoy every one of them. There were some very cool surprises among the bunch like Belle & Sebastian’s sad-bastard-music classic “The State I Am In”. I also like the choice of My Bloody Valentine’s “Only Shadow” which certainly influenced countless future shoegaze bands. However, there were some selections seemed very suspect. The fact that Nirvana’s seminal 90s benchmark “Smells like Teen Spirit” didn’t crack the top 10 seemed like it was simply Pitchfork sticking their noses out at all the similar lists that had the track at #1.
The artists featured in tracks 50-21 of Pitchfork’s Top 200 Tracks of the 1990s have the best music videos of the bunch. This harkens back to when Mtv actually played music videos and they still made an impact on the success of an artist. I know, it’s hard to imagine! As testiment to how great these music videos truly were, many of the directors (Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry) went on to become some of our greatest cinematic directors today. Some of the best of the best music videos can be found below.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Songs 100-51 from Pitchfork’s Top Tracks of the 1990s have some of my favorite picks on the entire list. The first one that jumped out at me was “Start Choppin” by Dinosaur Jr. Not only is this one of my favorites but it is indisputably one of the greatest guitar-rock songs ever written. The solo that J. Mascis pulls off in the track is nothing short of astonishing and is sure to impressed anyone who considers themselves an admirer of guitar solos.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Here is the second part of my coverage of Pitchfork’s coverage of the best tracks of the 1990s. This installment has a much better selection of songs and features many that I constantly keep on my playlists. The first of note is “Good Morning, Captain” by Slint. From the very first time I heard it, the song became one of my all-time favorites. Nothing sounded like it before and not much has sounded similar since. It’s unique in it’s spoken-word style telling the story of a sinking ship which is paired with a dark, ominous post-rock accompaniment. The breakdown includes what I consider one of the greatest screams in the history of rock when vocalist Brian McMahon cries out “I miss you!” in the song’s climatic peak. The lyrics alone make for a nice little narrative. The image above is the cover to Slint’s 1991 masterpiece, Spiderland.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
I had never been to Zuzu, which rests between The Middle East upstair and downstairs, but I was anxious to check it out. It was an unusual space for a performance by energetic rock bands but worked out pleasantly. It was small and had no stage so the performances were quite intimate. The left wall was lined with mirrors which made for interesting effect and there was a bar located on the right. There was not much else to speak of in the small venue. It seemed more fit for DJs and dance nights which I was told is exactly the primary function of Zuzu.