My Top 300 Songs of the 2000s – 40-31

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

40. Junior Senior – Move Your Feet

Lost to the forgotten one-hit wonder ether that is the early 2000’s indie world, Junior Senior’s most memorable track is one of the decade’s best, and definitely one of the danciest.  The duo was a profile-worthy pairing – a skinny little straight guy and an overweight, flamboyantly gay guy.  The spirit was one of fun-loving shimmying and partying, and “Move Your Feet” is the highlight.

39. Fall Out Boy – Sugar, We’re Going Down

2004 brought Fall Out Boy up from just another pop-punk group to the giant stadium-show universe of mainstream rock and “biggest band in the world right now” status, and they have From Under the Cork Tree, Pete Wentz’s arrogrance, and “Sugar, We’re Going Down” to thank.  But mainly the last one, because it’s a pretty powerful, catchy song.

38. Primus – My Friend Fats

After 12 years, Primus are finally returning this year with a new full-length and massive touring schedule.  But in between Antipop and this new endeavor, we had the experimental, jammy, awesome EP Animals Should Not Try to Act Like People.  And the best song, the most overlooked one, in fact, is the creepy criticism of alcoholism, “My Friend Fats.”

37. Toadies – Hell Below, Stars Above

The title track to Toadies underrated second album is agressive, punchy, pleading, and earnest…..for about two minutes.  The final two change direction entirely, abruptly turning the track into a quasi-spiritual, optimistic, lighters-in-the-air affair.

36. Queens of the Stone Age – Feel Good Hit of the Summer

They may be re-releasing the self-titled debut before Rated R, but for most, the first taste we had of Queens was “Feel Good Hit of the Summer,” and what an impression it leaves.  Cementing his place as the modern day’s bad ass rock star, Homme lists his favorite recreational pleasures for the entirety of this introduction song – “nicotine, valium, vicodin, marijuana, ecstasy, and alcohol.”  And who could forget c-c-c-c-c-cocaine?

35. The White Stripes – Black Math

The recent breakup of one of the finest groups in recent memory is certainly a drag, but as Jack and Meg have requested, we still have the music to enjoy for years to come.  And my favorite White Stripes track by far is this stomper, a short, but sweet classic from Elephant that features one of the best breakdowns in rock music history. Fact.

34. Weezer – Hash Pipe

We could sit here and dwell on the fact that Weezer’s comeback led to their eventual sucking really hard and making terrible, godawful music.  But I prefer to focus on the beginning of that comeback, which was actually quite spectacular.  For one thing, it gave us the Green Album and Maladroit, two great Weezer albums….their last two great ones, to be exact.  And it gave us the hard-rocking “Hash Pipe,” the raunchiest, rowdiest comeback single to come from a bunch of 90’s nerds ever.

33. The National – Mistaken For Strangers

Boxer transformed the National into a Big Indie Band, and while the melancholy moods were still there, the sound transformed as well.  The growth and slick production of the band is evident in “Mistaken For Strangers,” a well-crafted, powerful use of structure and melody that puts highlights like “Abel” in the dark.

32. The Bloodhound Gang – The Bad Touch

Say what you will about the juvenile Bloodhound Gang, they write catchy tunes.  Jimmy Pop is deft at rhyming, even if his similes are on the 6th-grade playground side, and “The Bad Touch” is the group’s ultimate creation, a sweet synth-laden send-up to sex, with the finest (worst) pickup line quite possibly ever put to a novelty pop song.

31. Eminem – Kill You

Remember Slim Shady?  That crazy alter-ego of Eminem’s before he went all “I’m Not Afraid” and “Lose Yourself” and all that “this is your moment” optimistic bullshit?  Man I miss that guy.  Nowadays, whenever Em “brings” him out, it feels forced and contrived.  Here, as on the majority of Eminem’s first two albums, it feels genuine, fresh, brilliant, funny, witty, and, in the process, extremely offensive and, for modern hip-hop, revolutionary.  Just another example of someone who should have quit while they were ahead.

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