My Top 300 Songs of the 2000s – 290-281

Today I continue my ongoing feature showcasing my personal picks for the best songs of the past decade, posting ten songs at a time.

290. Les Claypool – Iowan Gal

Where do I begin?  Les is one of my all-time favorites, and his past decade work will be represented well on this list through his Oysterhead project, solo work, and songs from his main band Primus.  Needless to say, I’m a die-hard fan; I first discovered Les and Primus back in 1996 when my cousin Joe brought Pork Soda to my house during a Christmas visit.

Claypool’s solo work is weirder and leans toward jam-band noodling sometimes, but “Iowan Gal” is good ol’ Les, mostly just him and his mighty bass guitar slapping, popping, and showing off.  It’s funky, humorous, and a return to form from the great weird one.

289. The Walkmen – The Rat

I’ve heard this song all decade, beginning with a debut on 97X, but this band didn’t really begin to stick with me until I saw them live last year at Monolith.  Wow.  What an incredible performance, and I received an equally awesome encore at ACL a month later.  This song, from Bows + Arrows, is their “hit” – essentially meaning it’s the last song they play live and everyone knows all the words.  The song is energetic and raw, but what really got me going was the vocalist’s sheer talent.  The guy’s got pipes, and it shows both live and on this studio track.

288.  Rob Mayth – Barbie Girl ’06

Yes, you read that correctly.  “Barbie Girl” ……the 2006 version.  That summer was my, well, let’s call it the “addicted to club music” summer.  And what better way to wax nostalgia during that time than with a respected house DJ remixing a 90’s one-hit wonder favorite of mine, Aqua.  It’s banging, it’s layered, it’s smooth, and it’s way better than the original.  And that means a lot coming from me…..because I love the original.  Yes.  Yes I do.  No shame.

287.  Limp Bizkit – My Generation

Most people today would just pretend they never played these mooks’ albums when they were in 8th grade, cranking the bass so your mom wouldn’t hear the yelping “fucks” from the worst (the Durst) frontman in rock music history.  There’s no denying now that I’m not in junior high anymore – Limp Bizkit were, overall, pretty terrible.  By the time Chocolate Starfish…. came out, they were re-treading old territory, their best work behind them, whatever that means.  But that album, the lone “listenable” album they put out that decade, had some killer hooks and licks from the backing band – we shouldn’t ignore Wes Borland’s contribution to heavy drop-D riffs, because he usually nailed it.  This is the best song from the band this decade – just do what you normally do: make sure no one’s around, mess with the EQ to drown out Durst’s atrocities, and bang your head.  Because you know you want to.

286. Kanye West – The Good Life

A solid producer, a mediocre rapper, and a down-to-earth gentleman (ha), West took over the hip-hop world this decade, and he churned out some pretty awesome hits in that time.  His best work, though, for me, is from Graduation.  And the inclusion of T-Pain didn’t hurt; I love that auto-tuned fool.

285. Snow Patrol – Run

Some of this list is just me recognizing significant moments in my life that are gone forever.  I think every couple should have a “song,” and for me and my high school sweetheart, this was it.  I really can’t stand this song now, for many reasons: it’s annoying, the lyrics are trite, I’ve heard it way too many times, and the girl it reminds me of broke my heart in a million pieces.  Life comes with lessons, and those lessons have a soundtrack.  On the other hand, I love this song because it makes me think of one of the best times in my life.  Friends are like songs: some you keep around, and some fade away.

284. Arcade Fire – No Cars Go

Okay, you were all right, and I was wrong: Funeral is wayyyyy better than Neon Bible.  But Neon Bible was really great, guys.  I mean, REALLY great.  And near the end came the highlight: this song.  I had many favorites from that album; for a long time I kept going back and forth between “Intervention” and the title track.  But in the end, “No Cars Go” is a brilliant six-minute track that shows the band at their finest.

283. OK Go – C-C-C-Cinnamon Lips

OK Go isn’t one of my favorite bands or anything; I was introduced to them with “Get Over It” on my local college station like everyone else (look for that track on this list later on).  But I’m a sucker for catchy songs and melodic hooks, and these guys have plenty of them.  And according to my sister, who loves them loads more than I do, they’re pretty fun live.

282.  Mindless Self Indulgence – Shut Me Up

My freshmen year of college, thanks to KTXT, I had a short fling with this band.  I was listening to You’ll Rebel to Anything pretty much nonstop, and I downloaded their entire discography….what a waste of hard drive space. Hindsight’s 20/20; turns out my love for MSI was short-lived.  They’re kinda dumb, and they didn’t really write many good songs like “Shut Me Up.”  It stands the test of time because it’s pretty much their best song ever.  It’s stupid, overproduced, and radio-ready, and MSI need to do more of it.  And it’s the finest tune to use the whip-cracking sound effect since “Baby Got Back.”

281.  Linkin Park – One Step Closer

Hybrid Theory was, like every other male my age, the lyrically vague, angsty soundtrack to my nu-metal-loving life.  Parents didn’t understand, girls wouldn’t date me, homework blowed, and having zits sucked.  Life was hard.  Thank god for these guys.  Meteora was great too, but after that they turned into a band my mom likes.  I was way too old to care at that point, but nevertheless, their best song is still their first single ever – an angry introduction to a band with promise, mixing electro, metal, and hip-hop.  So shut up when I’m talking to you.

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