Sunday, May 24, 2009

Top 25

I've been thinking about my top 25 musical artists and for the past week or so I've been thinking and listening and creating this list. I'm sure as soon as I commit it to print I'll realize I've missed one. Some of these people may be on the list for one song or one album. Some are on the list because the teenager inside said so even though I haven't taken it off of my shelf to listen to in years. So here's the list in alphabetical order because I couldn't possibly rank them.

Bob Dylan: The day I found out his name was Robert Zimmerman was like a child finding out there is no Santa. Even though this list is not in ranked order, I have to say this is probably my favorite. The songs never grow old. I remember being in high school and my mom said "how can you listen to his voice." My teenage mind didn't understand how you could not love it.
Bo Diddley: The first CD I ever bought was a Bo Diddley album because I thought the cover was cool so it had to be good. I was right. I got to see him a few years ago and I loved how he was still a dirty old man in his old age. The second CD I ever bought was one is perfect.
Bjork: I don't even know what to say about Bjork. I haven't really listened to her in years but through college she was in constant rotation. You should also see her movie Dancer in the Dark. Bring tissues.
Daniel Johnston: Best song lyrics. Best artist. See The Devil and Daniel Johnston
David Bowie: So this was before my time but I remember discovering David Bowie in college. So good. I love going to the eye doctor and getting my pupils dialated so I can look like him.
Delgados: I wish this band would reunite so I could see them.
Flaming Lips: If I had to pick one soundtrack to my life, most of their records would do. The best live show ever! I hope to be a dancing santa clause or elf on stage with them some day. I'm counting on Ben to make this happen.
Harry Nilsson: The Point. I'm not all that familiar with Harry Nilssons other work but I love this story. I have pictures in my mind of driving around in my future with my adorable child singing along to this album.
Hawksley Workman: I have to give Ben credit for this one. He is the only person that I've ever met that listens to this guy. Hawksley Workman is amazing and bizarre.
Hole: Angry, rebellious high schooler. I still put this one on and jump around my house from time to time and I never make a trip back home without it.
Led Zeppelin: I wish I were cool enough to have listened to this for years but Led Zeppelin has only entered my library in the last several years. So good. I can't believe the White Stripes have made a career out of ripping them off.
Leonard Cohen: I'm listening to this right now. So good.
Michael Jackson: I've loved Michael Jackson since I can remember. I used to watch The Making of Thriller doc at my aunts house. In middle school my best friend Sarah an I discovered the Jackson 5 and we would sing it at the top of our lungs all summer long.
Modest Mouse: Drunk 21 year old me listened to this too much for my own good. I'm not sure it should be on the list but at that age it was in the right place at the right time and every time I pull out Modest Mouse I feel like I'm time traveling.
M. Ward: I think his songs are going to be timeless.
Nina Simone: I have so many Nina Simone records. I love her voice.
Neutral Milk Hotel: Both of their records are brilliant. I remember listening to them in college walking around campus trying to keep from skipping and throwing my arms in the air.
Pavement: I've liked Pavement for a long time but you can't spend much time around Ben without LOVING Pavement the way he does. So many of their songs sound like summer to me.
Radiohead: I think Radiohead was perhaps one of my first band obsessions. I always grew up listening to music, mostly oldies and loving them. I think Radiohead was my gateway drug to rock n roll.
Ray Charles: Cosby Show, I have the Cosby Show to thank for many things.
Silver Jews: So good. Another timeless sound. When I listen to this music I feel like I've heard it before but in that really good way.
Sparklehorse: I always feel like I'm underwater in slow motion when I listen to Sparklehorse.
Stevie Wonder: Today we were at a wedding and Ben said that when he hears Stevie Wonder he can smell the vinyl in our house. It's true. There was a time when this record didn't leave our record player.
Television: For years I had bought records but had no working record player to go along with them. Ben bought me one when we first started being friends and he bought the reissue of Marquee Moon to go along with it. It's in every jukebox in our neighborhood but no matter how many times I hear it in a different environment I can close my eyes and be in that apartment again.
Weezer: They have made so many bad records since the Blue Album and Pinkerton but those two albums were in heavy rotation all through high school for me. My best friend Meri and I used to do some mean air guitar. Unfortunately their last album made me laugh out loud. Terrible.

Honorary #26: Everclear: Ok, ok so over the last several years I have become a music snob and realized that my high school obsession with Everclear is a little embarrassing to me but I loved them and I can't really deny it. They wouldn't even make the top 100 of my favorite artists now but they were my favorite in high school and I'd be fooling myself to skip over them. I still have their SIGNED CDs in a box hiding in my studio and every once in a while I bust them out and sing at the top of my lungs.


Whosies said...

love and recognize most of them. where is Van Morrison? My Brown eyed you remember when?...we used to sing...sha lala...

Lewis said...

Boy isn't that the sad truth about Weezer.

Thanks for the list, I will certainly be trying some new stuff now.

BIO said...

read your list and I feel like I know you better if that's possible. Bob Dylan? congratulations, RIGHT answer. Daniel Johnston? I'd say the covers are best, BAD art, ouch. Hole...YES, waaaay underrated band, BEST band to come out of Grunge, hands down. Spot on about Weezer, the first two were a set, complete...should've packed up then. These were in heavy rotation in grad school for me. The other shocker, besides Dylan, was Everclear. So Much For The Afterglow...I accept, Masterpiece of adrenalin. ROCK ON!