Music taste is one of my go-to choices of small-talk conversation. But I got way too into sending music suggestions once to the point where I was suggesting songs faster than my friend could listen to them, so she gave me the idea of making a list. A music list.
The actual “music list” was way less refined than this one, but that’s okay. The following list of songs is going to be, in a slightly non-arbitrary order, a pretty comprehensive summary of my taste in music. (Except for pop music, everyone listens to pop).
1. Paradise by John Prine (Performed by The Other Favorites and some random guy)
Living in Texas has kind of made me feel obligated to listen to country music. While I’m not really sure about the fine distinctions between the subgenres in this area, it definitely has a lot more banjo in it than I’d be comfortable listening to before I moved here. This song takes the number one spot, just because it’s really great. They have a lot of fun singing in the video, and it’s a great song to sing along to; it just generally makes me happy.
Josh Turner is the guy playing the banjo and absolutely murdering a high note in the last chorus. He’s pretty famous on YouTube for his arrangement of Dire Straits’ Sultans of Swing, and all of his videos are pretty cool. I thought the song was better suited to a couple of friends harmonizing rather than just one guy doing so by himself; it gives a more upbeat tone to the otherwise kind of depressing lyrics.
2. Jesus Christ by Brand New
Jesus Christ, I’m alone again. So what did you do those three days you were dead?
‘Cause this problem’s gonna last more than the weekend.
This song has an effect that is pretty unique to itself; the repetitive guitar in the background creates an immersive atmospheric effect that turns this from a song into an experience. The lyrics do really well to complement the haunting instrumentals: they’re just so well-written.
3. Siiiiiiiiilver Surffffeeeeer Intermission by Kanye West
This isn’t a song. It’s a phone call. I’m not going to analyze it because it’s a phone call. Ross and I (attempt) to know all the words when it comes on, and it’s really fun. Keep it loopy.
4. Waves by Electric Guest
The general consensus on Electric Guest’s album Mondo was actually that it was pretty bad, besides their 8-minute Troubleman. I never really got this; I like the whole thing, but if I had to pick a favorite, it’d be Waves, since it was the song that got me into Electric Guest. It’s catchy, upbeat, has a fun synth, and you can clap along to it. What more do you want?
5. Jubilife City (Nighttime) from Pokemon
Nintendo is really good at making music for their games. Like, really good. Pearl was actually the first Pokemon game that I played, back in 3rd grade when I got a Nintendo DS for Christmas. Listening to this takes me back to waiting for recess to start so I could duel and trade with my friends. I kinda miss 3rd grade.
For all of you that don’t have memories associated with this theme, it still has quite a bit of standalone value. It’s like a musical embodiment of the word comfy, and it’s great background music for studying, because it has the subtle effect of making you happy.
6. Dashboard by Modest Mouse
I’ve written about Modest Mouse before. They’re a good band. This is a good song. I’m overusing the repetitive short statement syntactical pattern.
7. Holding On To You by Twenty One Pilots
This is probably the most Twenty One Pilots song that Twenty One Pilots has ever made. It’s actually a revised version of a song by the same name on their second album, Regional at Best.
It also has quite a bit of personal value to me. I caught Chad humming this song one day last year when we were walking to tennis practice, and from there it was just a full-on conversion of my tennis friends to the Twenty One Pilots fandom. The URL of this blog is a lyrical reference to this song. It’s insanely fun to sing along to with friends, it has a lot of energy, and the video is just Tyler and Josh being themselves. |-/
8. Saved by Khalid
Oh man, this song is good. The guitar is so smooth and the lyrics are meaningful in kind of a unique millennial way. It’s by far my favorite off of Khalid’s breakout album, and I’m excited to see the songs he has in store for the future.
9. Can’t Keep My Eyes Off You by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons
Not really any personal value to this one, but it’s a masterpiece.
10. Madness by Muse
Also really good. And in my vocal range. You know those really random moments that go into your long-term memory? This song is in one of them; I was going to swim practice at like 5 in the morning when this song came on the radio. I was really tired, but it was a good song. I think Muse is dropping new stuff soon, so I’m really excited.