My Top 300 Songs of the 2000s – 300-291

Today I begin a project that will take awhile, and one I should have started a few months ago, near the end of this past decade, like most respectable blogs/zines did: I will be showcasing and analyzing my Top 300 Songs of the 2000s – that is, the top 300 songs of the past decade.  I will do so in intervals of ten per post.  Let’s do this!

300. Cat Power – He War

I didn’t think much of this song when I first heard it on WOXY FM (then known best as 97X – BAM!) back in, I’m guessing, 2003.  It didn’t really have a catchy chorus, and it was incredibly unconventional compared to the rest of the modern rock radio dreck I was listening to at a high school.  Then again, 97X opened my eyes to a lot of great music.  “He War” really grew on me thanks to heavy rotation and a certain burned CD I blared from my shitty yellow 1978 Ford Fairmont.  I don’t really have another favorite Cat Power song; her work has never resonated well with me – but this track has stuck with me throughout the years, and earns a spot as one of the decade’s best.

299. Papa Roach – Last Resort

The year was 2000, and nu-metal was all the rage; I was knee-deep in it.  Out of junior high and into high school, why wouldn’t I be?  I listened to Amarillo College’s FM90 nonstop, and I first heard this song while sitting alone in my room doing nothing.  A typical day after school, I’m sure.  It’s instantly catchy; the riffs are unmistakable and infectious.  Now that I’m 23, the lyrics now feel banal and trite – if this were released today, I would probably hate it.  But it wasn’t.  I immediately called the station to ask the DJ what the hell that song was, and, with that info, downloaded it that day on an illegal-era Napster using a 56k modem.  No shame; I still rock this track occasionally.  It’s part of my nostalgic life, and therefore, part of my decade.

298. A Perfect Circle – Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums

If you would’ve asked me in ’06 or ’07 what my favorite APC song was, I wouldn’t have said anything off of the failed (and underrated – probably my favorite from this group) covers album Emotive.  But times and tastes change – even though I experienced this band live and bought all their music, nothing resonated with me the way Keenan’s other band Tool did.  The songs never stuck, even great singles like “3 Libras,” “Judith,” or “The Hollow.”  No, this track, a Tool-esque original in the middle of a politically-charged covers disc, was the one that I kept going back to.

297. Neon Indian – Mind, Drips

The first of three songs from the Austin-based chillwave forerunner.  There’s plenty of 2009 music to represent that year for my list, actually.  It was a great year for music; Alan Palomo and company probably provided the soundtrack to my lazy summer this past year.  To ignore a year and its music because it was recent would be ridiculous; it was, after all, part of the past decade.  That said, this song is prime Neon Indian and one of the best tracks off of my pick for best album of 2009, Psychic Chasms.

296. Mark Farina – Dream Machine (J Boogie Remix)

I really got into the original during my 97X binge in high school, and it also was a staple of KTXT, my now-defunct college radio station at Texas Tech.  The remix, however, with its “shake yo’ body” samples, was too addictive not to include on this list.  I haven’t heard anything else by Farina OR J Boogie, but I can surmise this is probably prime work from both.

295. TV On the Radio – Dancing Choose

I picked Dear Science as my favorite album from 2008, but I would probably rearrange that today.  And it’s definitely not my favorite TV On the Radio album (that would be Return to Cookie Mountain), but it’s still a great album from a great band.  And this song is the highlight – one of the danciest, catchiest, and funkiest tracks the band has ever done.

294. Twilight Singers – Teenage Wristband

Being based in Cincinnatti, WOXY FM generally loved everything from Greg Dulli, whether it be old Afghan Whigs or this band.  I never really got into either group, but, man, this song.  From that looped piano line in the intro to Dulli’s shrieking chorus at the climactic end, there’s a mood to this 4-minute tune that just transfixes me every time.  And I’m a sucker for female backup vocals, too.

293. Breaking Benjamin – Skin

I blame my past love for this band on Conrad Curry, a close high school friend who, to this day, shreds on guitar like no other man I’ve witnessed.  We even tried to play some of their songs in our townie cover band, but I couldn’t sing that high.  He loved riffs; so did I, and this band was full of them.  They were pros and minor-key dark verses and upbeat sing-along choruses.  We wore those first two albums out, he and I.  The first, Saturate, was my favorite, and this single was, and is, my favorite from the band.

292. Yellowcard – Ocean Avenue

Okay, a pop-punk band with a fiddle.  Not the greatest idea, and there’s really nothing else in their catalog that had too much of a lasting impression on me, though I did rock that major label debut pretty hard at age 17.  This first single, though, from start to finish, is a keeper.  Too catchy and poppy, with simple crunchy riffs – how was I going to say no?  The lyrics are hilariously trite, but, hey, like I said, I was 17 and in love….so whatever.  Let your waves crash down and take me away…..

291. Iron and Wine – Boy With a Coin

Of everything this man has done, The Shepard’s Dog is the closest to a masterpeice.  I knew I wanted at least one song from Iron and Wine on this list, and “Naked As We Came” came close, but when it came down to it, the structure and progression of this song shines the brightest for me.  Hearing the change in sound from album to album has always been a treat, but “Boy With a Coin” perfectly illustrates the maturity of Samuel Beam on his finest disc.

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