Zack’s Top 10 (or 11)

Before I make my first post, I would like all of you loyal readers (all 8 of you) to head over to Good Weather For Airstrikes , a music blog run by our good friends Derek and Everett. These guys, and Derek in particular, is the reason why I wanted to make this blog, and I also make contributions to GWFAS from time to time (like this one) so be sure to check them out. Derek also designed the header for ATG, so if you enjoy it, shout him a holler. On with the post…

Hey ya. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Zack and I am a senior in high school in Washington, DC. I enjoy cheeseburgers, music, the Washington Redskins, and my right hand. My musical pallet might be more diverse than the other four guys, but that’s not to say that my tastes are better (they are). I enjoy upbeat indie rock, smooth basslines, dance grooves and the occasional bass-laced hip-hop. I also completely overuse and abuse the words “awh yeah”. Before I explain my list of songs, I must first tell you that it is physically impossible to choose 10 songs to sum up the music I enjoy, and I could only narrow the list down to 11, so deal with it. Without further adieu (pronounced ÃH-DÈW), here are my top 11 jams, in no particular order.

1. Neutral Milk Hotel – King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 1

This song was released in 1998, and NMH has since disbanded, much to my dismay. I used to listen to this song in 8th grade, and it still makes me feel all warm inside. Just an all-around beautiful song.

2. The Faint – Glass Danse

This song is so good it makes me want to create a new genre of music solely to do The Faint justice. This genre will be called dancetastica. My body convulses at the 1:25 point in the song, and I can’t help but dance like only white boys with complete and utter lack of rhythm can.

3. Talib Kweli – Get By

As I said before, I do enjoy hip-hop, and Talib might be my favorite MC, along with DJ Shadow, Jurassic 5, and The Roots. This song just flows so well and Talib does something that ordinary rappers cannot; keep a complex beat from stealing his thunder. Talib overshadows a ridiculous beat by dropping unbelievable rhymes. This song was an easy choice.

4. Belle & Sebastian – I’m A Cuckoo

It was hard for me not to choose a song off of B&S’s newest album, The Life Pursuit, because I thoroughly enjoy every track, but I had to go back one album to find this gem. Quite possibly the happiest, most upbeat song I have ever heard, I’m a Cuckoo finds its way on to my car stereo every day on the way to school. Any song with the opening lyrics “I’m glad to see you, I had a funny dream, you were wearing funny shoes” is alright by me.

5. The Decemberists – July, July!

Warning: When listening to The Decemberists, you might want to have a dictionary handy. Lead singer Colin Meloy has been known to use words such as “joie de vivre” and “fecundity”, but don’t worry, you don’t need to understand the lyrics to enjoy the music.

6. Ted Leo & the Pharmacists – Walking to Do

Ted Leo is my favorite musician ever. I have seen him live four times and hopefully will be seeing him again when he comes to the Black Cat March 24th. While his music is perfect for any mood or situation, it is best heard live. He, along with those wacky pharmacists, put on a passionate live show, and I demand that every reader of this blog go download any of his albums, especially his 2004 release, Shake the Sheets. In Walking to Do, Ted makes a reference to DC, his and my hometown. “Rock Creek Park to The Ave., and on past the zoo, there’s a whole lot of walking to do”

7. Death Cab for Cutie – Brothers on a Hotel Bed

I love Death Cab, and anything Death Cab-related. This happens to be one of my favorite songs of theirs, and this is the re-release version that appeared on their newest album, Plans. After hearing this song, I spent an hour on my keyboard trying to figure out how to play the opening piano line.

8. The Futureheads – Hounds of Love

This track is a cover of a Kate Bush song, though this version is “less lame” than the original, according to Derek. The song starts with incredible back-and-forth vocals and never slows down. These guys are big in the UK, which, unfortunately, means nothing in the US. Goddamn you Paul Wall and Natasha Beddingfield.

9. Mates of State – Goods

I must quote Derek again on this one, as I couldn’t put my love for this song into words. “The point where the “bah-bah-bah-bahs” explode into a “wa-oh-oh!” at the beginning of this song (the 0:22 mark to be exact) is one of my favorite musical moments of the past year, and the rest of the song is just as fantastic”. ‘Nuff said.

10. Spoon – The Way We Get By

I had a hard time choosing between this song and ‘I Turn My Camera On’, but I came to the conclusion that I love any song with pianos, so this song was the logical choice. My girlfriend (and possible future contributor) will hate me for choosing this song over ‘I Turn…’ but it’s a sacrifice I am willing to make in the name of the good lord Spoon.

11. Sufjan Stevens – Casimir Pulasky Day

The first time I heard this song might’ve been the most moving and emotional five minutes and fifty-four seconds of my life (and if you haven’t noticed, exaggeration is kinda my shtick). I happened to see Sufjan last fall in DC, and he quickly became one of my favorite artists. I love all of his work, and recommend that everyone check out Illinoise, Sufjan’s most recent masterpiece.

That concludes my top 11 post. I hope you enjoyed my music and descriptions, and hopefully you found some new music along the way. Stay tuned for the other top 10 posts which will be up in the next few days (blogging is hard). Peace out.

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10 Responses to Zack’s Top 10 (or 11)

  1. sabrina says:

    When I turn my feelings on, I turn my feelings on inside-feel like I’m gonna ignite. I saw them stars go off,
    I saw them stars go off at night and they’re looking alright.

    excellent choices. and i am the 2nd best fan next to chris rowe…plus i’m zacks biggest fan ever, so yeah.

  2. Alex says:

    Aww that is too cute. Everyone of us needs to get a girlfriend so we can double our readers…

  3. This post has been removed by the author.

  4. Derek says:

    a) “I’m Zack’s biggest fan ever” is a lie Sabrina, and you know that. Just ask Zack to reminesce about the night’s of passion we’ve spent together and realize that there’s a reason Zack gave me that “#1 Grandpa” mug for Christmas. b) Also, regarding Alex’s comment and completely contradictory to “a)”, I call being Adrian’s girlfriend. c)”wah-oh-whoa1″, and d) awh yeah.

  5. Adrian says:

    Yeah, Derek does have dibs on me, especially after that clothing optional hot-tub session with boyz.

  6. sabrina says:

    to Derek: Zack will never have a bigger fan even through the bonds of your homo-erotic love for each other…its on.
    (however i fully support a relationship w Adrian)

  7. Zack says:

    girls, girls, please dont fight over little old me. theres plenty of zack lovin to go around.

  8. Austin says:

    Yeah the clothing optional hot tub party was pretty legit….

  9. Chris says:

    haha I totally could’ve guessed 7 of those songs just from always hearing zack’s music. The thing you got going for you in this list is that it would make an awesome mix.

    Amazing list, I’m gonna make a mix and call it “Zacky-Zoo’s Dancetastic Awh Yeahs.”

  10. Austin says:

    “Zacky-Zoo’s Dancetastic Awh Yeahs.”
    ….awwhhh yeah chris rowe

  11. Anonymous says:

    ‘the way we get by’ gets me on the chorus. I thought Diana Ross and the Supremes were the last of the tambourine until I heard this song.

    additionally Get By is an all around hot song from sample to song lyrics. Certified HOT.

    lastly, i love zack friendly. a whole bunch.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Enjoyed a lot!
    » »

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