Hopefully, there's a big thing there that embeds the player into this page. If not? Here's the link, below are the notes on my ten songs. At twenty three minutes total, it's short as I like. You don't have to sit through much.
Obviously, this whole list could change tomorrow and is by no means definitive, etc etc.
Statues by The Steal.
"Don't wait to be found!"
I remember the first time I heard this song, and it well, cleared away all the silt and residue around my heart, veins and arteries. Seriously. When I got to the "DON'T WASTE YOUR YOUTH" moment, I felt that gunk slowly be obliterated. To this day, it remains a charm or a ward. 40 odd seconds of rejuvenation.
Warbrain by Alkaline Trio.
"kiss you one last time/before you brought the horses in/before the storm of '59."
Ignoring the Hot Water Music and Bouncing Souls references "I need that song / those trusty chords will pull me through" "I need that song / a night on earth will pull me through," I remember Warbrain being a thing where I could say I wanted to kiss a girl and it didn't sound trite. I remember the woman in combat boots and a dress and a wicked smile.
...But You Are Vast by Crime In Stereo.
"you are no good for me/you are the bent and blackened spoon/you are the butane/you are the bedroom"
One of my curse songs. I can't be the same person I was when I heard it, when my relationship was disintegrating in front of my eyes and I couldn't hold it together and all these feelings were goddamned new, but maybe I can tell you that it's one of Crime In Stereo's best songs and it'll hurt you in the ways that the best music knows how to do effortlessly.
Sadie Hawkins by Dessa.
"A little bit of melancholy/never really did hurt anybody/even if it's a sickness/I'm oddly convinced/at least it's honest."
A rap song! A song about feeling like bad news. I loved Dessa's music when I heard her verse on Low Light, Low Life, but this lyric cemented it. The chorus is gold, too. Technically, it's on the Doomtree crew record in which the artist credit is Doomtree, but Dessa's the only rapper on it and she does it live, so it's a Dessa song.
Come Out 2Nite by Kenickie.
"it's dark and it's savage/but it's only neon/so come out and grab it"
Another female voice! This can't last. I like Phonogram and so I believe I am required by law to like this song. Put here mostly as a reminder of 2010 when it was exciting and Phonogram girded me for what was coming and told me to dance. Phonogram of course is the comic that the Young Avengers team would do before Young Avengers about Britpop and how music is magic. If I was to do my favorite Britpop song, I'd do Stutter by Elastica.
The Disaster March by The Lawrence Arms.
"Scrape your voices on the stars"
It doesn't last! Here we come to a Lawrence Arms song, sung by Brendan. I went from a high school graduation party in the far south suburbs to go see this band release their b-sides record. This song isn't on that record, but it does close out The Greatest Story Ever Told in a properly epic manner, Hot Shots and Down Periscope references included. I ended up talking with this same Brendan (it was his birthday and he was staggeringly drunk) about Roberto Bolano and The Savage Detectives. That conversation still makes me smile. You listen to a band, seeing something you recognize or admire in their music, and hardly ever do you get to discover and adore the same things with them. Put differently, the Lawrence Arms, no matter where I am, make me feel at home.
Instinct by Strike Anywhere.
"We may never sing this one/it's just here/as a light to help you"
I can't imagine not hearing this band, I can't imagine not being affected by (vocalist/lyricist) Thomas' almost superhuman kindness, I can't imagine hearing this song and not caring. I won't say why it's here, but you'll figure it out. I did an interview with Thomas about this record, which isn't called My Solidarity, but Dead FM, and you can find it here. It remains one the absolute favorite things I've ever had my name on. There are bands that are like compass points to me, and on that piece of machinery, Strike Anywhere is one of the cardinal directions.
Cooper Fields by Blacklisted.
"more like suicide king/less like ace of hearts"
George Hirsch (vocalist/lyricist) does something that's hard. He writes songs about his failing relationship (maybe marriage) in a way that's dramatic but never accusatory. If there is a finger pointed at someone else, give it a couple moments, George will point one at himself, too. I was thinking of just leaving that lyric there, without comment. Of the many bands that play hardcore, Blacklisted is one of the few bands who'se every release commands my immediate attention.
Life Caught In The Rain by Envy.
ENVY IS THE ILLEST but no, really, the first time I ever thought a guitar riff was beautiful was this song's chorus. Band's Japanese, so even I could cite the lyrics, something irreducible would be lost.
Year Of The Hex by Frodus.
"nothing burns like a hurt for money/trade love for dividends/in the end inherit nothing"
I call this song YEAR OF THE FUCKING HEX because, well, listen to it. It's nasty. It's loud. It's heavy. Of all the songs here, this one feels like a weapon. It ought to be brandished like one. A fun story: This record (And We Washed Our Weapons In The Sea) sat in limbo for a year or so, back in 1999 or 2000. Anyway. What Frodus did, was back when people had Napster and Limewire and those services, if they saw you had Frodus records in your library, they would put one of the And We Washed Our Weapons In The Sea songs into your library without telling you. You'd wake up, look at your computer and go, "huh, I don't remember this" and voila, you were listening to The Earth Isn't Humming or Belgian Congo or Red Bull of Juarez, or perhaps even this one.
Love this band.