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Top 100 Songs of 2010: 100-91

Posted by Ben Collins, Today's Soundtrack  December 29, 2010 12:00 PM

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100 - Saigon - Get Busy

Well, we’re here. We made it, somehow. We said it this time last year: “You and me and this $5,000 Blockbuster gift card, we’re going to make it to the end of the year, somehow, even if we have to move to North Carolina to rent Idol Hands."

And we were right. Blockbuster and you and I all survived into this new year. Blockbuster even got an ode.

All we got were these 100 very good songs.

Here are the rules, very basically:

- Each song had to be released in some form in 2010, whether it be on an album, as a single, on the official Marmaduke soundtrack, on a tape taped off of a tape off of your sister’s tape, on an episode of Glee, on an episode of Dog: The Bounty Hunter, or bedazzled and covered in old hair and sent to my doorstep on Christmas Eve.

- Thanks for the present, Joan Rivers.

- No artist or band can be repeated. Those with more than one great song will have both songs listed next to their spot on the list, will probably be bumped up higher on the list, and will be showered in hugs.

- There’s going to be large gaps between rap songs on this. We don’t know why this happened.

- Free Weezy.

We're just wasting precious, precious 2010 seconds at this point. So let's Get Busy.

(Note: Not safe for work lyrics.)

99a. - The Pack A.D. - Everyone Looks Like Everyone
99b. - Teletextile - What If I?
99c. - Laura Marling - Man Sings About Romance
99d. - Amy Seeley - Mile Marker
99e. - Horse Feathers - Drain You (Nirvana cover)
99f. - Jessica Lea Mayfield - Our Hearts
99g. - RTP - All That’s Left (RAC Mix)

Look, we have a problem here. I’m generally averse to lists. They make me antsy. For two reasons:

1) I used the web journalism term du jour Listicle—a combo word for list/article—when talking to an uncle at Christmas dinner about what I do for a living.

“Trust me, I’ve done a lot of listicles.”

This conversation turned very quickly. And,

2) We’ll let The Long Winters’ lead singer/Seattle Weekly columnist John Roderick (who we’ll get to in the 60s of this list) tell you the better reason:

1. Ranking things in order of how much you like them is a coping strategy of 9-year-old girls. I know people like to make top-10 lists because they're fun and easy, and people like to read them for the same reason, but that's Entertainment Tonight reasoning. Year-end top-10 lists are the unicorn stickers and glitter pens of music writing.

Sure, he uses this logic to eventually get to these two sentences consecutively later in the article: “They can't keep you from buying a bad album every once in a while, and they can't ensure that you won't miss out on something great. We're all alone in the world and then we die.”

Nihilism aside, he’s right. It’s completely ridiculous to narrow down to a finite list of 100 songs created this year and slap superlatives on them. It’s a stupid exercise practiced by the stupid to share stupid with stupid.

So I’ve come up with a solution: I’ve made it six songs longer! Longer than that, even, if you count bands with two songs on the list! Completely fair now, I think!

Also, we’re all alone in the world and then we die.

98 - BRONZE - Horses

Pick ‘Em: Most poetic use of sample to begin a rock song in the last five years. Lines set Dec. 29, 12 p.m.; subject to change with knowledge of Brett Favre’s status for this game, as he’s wont to ruin just about anything.

10:1 - Stars - Your Ex-Lover is Dead

“When there’s nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire.”

5:1 - BRONZE - Horses

"We are now approaching lunar sunrise and, for all the people back on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we would like to send to you.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the Earth.
And the Earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light.”

EVEN - Passion Pit - Better Things

“That was our fifth song and I hope you enjoyed it. Now this will be our best song that you have ever heard. The dirtbike’s going on stage. Thank you.”

97 - The Silver Seas - The Best Things in Life

Did I leave this spot open because I knew I’d find a pop song I really enjoy at the last second?

No. That would be totally irresponsible.

96 - Jonsi - Go Do

I’m wondering, watching all these videos from Iceland—from Jónsi, or from Jónsi’s day job as Sigur Rós’s frontman—if we could shoot any piece of film there and make it look gorgeous.

If we shot Sex and the City 3 there, what would happen? Say we decked all of the extras out in hand-me-down Ed Hardy shirts covered in blood and shoelace caps and dressed Kim Cattrall, Sarah Jessica-Parker, and the other two in something similar—like, for example, exactly what they were wearing in those last two movies.

When we got the film back from the Ritz Camera in Reykjavic, would this look like a montage in a Pixar movie? Given Jónsi’s track record—between this video and Sigur Rós’s Glosoli, the best music video ever made—I’d say yes, probably.

95 - Gotye - Eyes Wide Open

From The Guardian: “Gotye (pronounced "Gaultier", as in French designer Jean Paul) is a 27-year-old singer-songwriter/producer born in Bruges, Belgium, but living in Melbourne ... He’s a techno magpie who creates new songs out of snippets of crackly old second-hand vinyl, cassettes, VHS tapes and MP3s - Elvis albums, '80s pop compilations, Herb Alpert brass constructions, hip hop beats, Gregorian chants - together with a smattering of live instruments. The trove of ancient music is the legacy of his former neighbour, an old woman who passed away back in 2000 and whose late husband hoarded dusty platters. Gotye chops and dices said relics with psychotic finesse in his home studio.

If I told you I tried not to like this song because I thought it was too poppy, would you believe me?

94 - The Kissaway Trail - New Year

Some resolutions:

- Pants. More often than not, pants.

- Check out that Seinfeld show everyone’s been talking about.

- Take your grandmother’s advice: Don’t give Glenn Beck the attention he’s looking for and he’ll probably just go away, no matter how many times he tries to jab you in the ear with his yardstick.

- Hands to yourself at the YMCA.

- More Danish bands. More danishes.

93 - The Fling - Wanderingfoot

Things with no discernible start or ending:

- Money falling from the Red Sox’s money tree this offseason. Not that there’s anything wrong with that whatsoever. I’m thinking we should sign Andy Pettitte to the baseball’s biggest contract as backup Wally just to see if we can pull it off.

- This run of Hyundai commercials with hyper-annoying Pomplamoose jingles as background music. Could be worse. Could be the chicken dance. That’s the only way it could be worse.

- Weeks in a row where I’m forced to say, “Is a tiny Shaquille O’Neal available in a Tamagotchi and/or Polly Pocket-like form for use at private parties or other social events?” He’s already the best athlete/public figure this city has ever had in terms of embracing his role in the city. Just throwing this out there: Is this guy the best celebrity we’ve ever had? He’s not just rolling his baby down the street in sunglasses with his wife. He conducted the Pops by surprise last week. If Matt Damon did that, Boston would collectively get pregnant immediately. And,

- This song.

92 - Phosphorescent - It’s Hard to Be Humble (When You’re From Alabama)

So this is where David Letterman is so impressed by a performance that he tells the band to “leave a card.”

There’s some kink in this song and I’m not sure what it is. The lead singer sounds like an itchy Buddy Holly who is always stuck in a long, dark hallway. That scared me away from it.

I’m wrong.

When David Letterman likes a band, it’s a subjective truth. America will like that band. I will catch up.

David Letterman excitedly applauding his musical guest is like Roger Ebert enthusiastically recommending a movie or Mike Vick doling out life advice: See that movie, and do the exact opposite of that advice.

Conan is the same way. Watch him gush over Regina Spektor a couple of years before she helped you hum your way through every one of your Starbucks transactions.

91 - Jason Collett - Love Is A Dirty Word / Lake Superior

This would be an ideal place to bring up the fact that gay rights took an almost incalculable leap this year. I could bring up how America’s funniest sitcom couple—even to consensus straight people—might be a gay couple on ABC’s Modern Family. I could talk about how Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has been repealed to the protestations of only the ornery. I could mention how the Westboro Baptist Church went to protest the Laramie Project in this state twice this year and, each time, their hatebus drove away in embarrassment without ever getting a chance to stop.

But I’d rather just talk about how glad I am that Dan Savage is very famous now.

He’s a columnist at The Stranger in Seattle. He started the It Gets Better campaign, which implores high school students—gay or not—to pass on suicide brought on by bullying. His cause even got adopted by Dr. Phil. That’s how in-line with public opinion this dude has become.

And this is good. Because he’s capable of paragraphs like this:

My dear old Catholic ma came to visit me from Chicago recently—for a whole week. Mom stayed with me at my new apartment, where she got to meet my new boyfriend, which went something like this: "Isn't he a little young?" "He's 24." "Well, he doesn't look 24." "You got me, Mom. He's 12 years old. I'm the president of NAMBLA. I met him at Baskin-Robbins. I'm going to jail for this. But before I do, I'll sponsor him at his confirmation, okay?"

And if you want to cry, you can read this.

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About the author

Ben Collins can't help but search beyond Feist for the zeitgeist of Today's Soundtrack, his pick of a song or songs capturing the mood or events of the moment. His musical tastes vary from Strawberry Fields to The Magnetic Fields, from Low to Skee-Lo. A North Shore native, Ben has worked at The Boston Globe and Spin and is an Emerson grad. Make your own nominations to him at ben.t.collins@comcast.net or on Twitter @globesoundtrack. More »

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