1. Hoover - 'Father'
This is a "gateway" band for me from college. If I heard this album for the first time today, I might not get into it, but that's only because I'd be impatient. File sharing massive amounts of music has made me this way...I'm less inclined to give bands deserving chances. I'm glad these bands aren't my children, because I'd have Protective Services taking away my seed and letting the county raise them.
2. Blackalicious - 'A to G'
Good song, though I'd definitely categorize it in that "nerd-hop" variety of rap where rappers who grew up in suburbs write songs that are the hip-hop equivalent of ancient greek philosophizzzers holding rhetorical battles with each other.
3. Jay-Z - 'I Just Wanna Love You'
From his Unplugged album, which is brilliant.
4. Postal Service - 'Clark Gable'
Shit. This band is like Indie Rock easy listening and it lacks any semblance of balls. While making this list, my iPod had the headphones plugged in, though not in my ears, but I could hear the musical buzz when the first three tracks played. When this track came up I couldn't hear anything...because they are nothing. Oblivious nothing. This is the musical equivalent of a Mazda Miata or a hybrid bicycle -- it's a half measure, a compromise.
5. The Futureheads - 'He Knows'
Yet another song that gained access to my iPod as part of a sampler downloaded so I can hear new stuff. This band's impact is the musical equivalent of a sparkler with about a quarter-inch of that burny stuff that actually makes it sparkle. I can't forget about them fast enough. Next band, please.
6. Delia Derbyshire - 'Blue Veils and Gold Sounds'
Well I'll....a fine, fine Lady just walked into the room. Delia helped found the BBC Radiophonic workshop in the Sixties that pioneered electronic music. They just started experimenting and then ended up doing soundtracking for the Dr. Who series. She's a tweedy, hyperEnglish matron complete with an outrageously fucked up grille. Funny thing is, the collection of Radiophonic Workshop hits I listen to has a Delia track that's pure hotness...it could totally be ganked for a krunked out jam. Before there was Missy, before there was Foxy, Before there was Salt, Before there was Peppa, even before Xanadu, there Was Delia.
And she looked like this:
That's right, hold the door for the Lady.
7. Air - 'All I Need'
The members of this band lead impossible lives...as in, they have a musical laboratory/studio in the middle of Paris. They show up everyday around noon, play around, and sell tons of albums. It's sick.
8. John Lewis - 'The Stranger'
Jazz. Some say that jazz sits at the heart of our nation's most important musical contributions...This argument is a little harder to make once you hear the lyrics on an album like Kool Keith's 'Sex Style,' but I suppose that hip-hop owes a lot of its spirit to Jazz, so we won't quibble too much. This song really has nothing to do with any part of this particular argument, though. Anyway, it's a smooth piece.
9. Attila the Hun - 'The Commission's Report'
This is from a series of 1930's Calypso music I have. The entire series highlights political Calypso music. It's so nerdy you need a license to listen to it. A nerd license. Steve Buscemi's character from 'Ghost World' is the commissioner of the committee that issues these licenses. You can only listen to this while wearing a sweater vest and not having a girlfriend.
10. Handsome Boy Modeling School - 'First and Then'
This song features Dres from Black Sheep. The weird coincidence is that the first Black Sheep album is indispensable, but everything after that is sorely disappointing. The First HBMS album is practically seminal, but the second epitomizes the term "nonessential." This song is from the second album, but is actually pretty decent. It just proves that life isn't black and white...it's all kinds of grey. All kinds of grey, indeed.