Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Top 25 on my iPod (latin name: Dorkus Malorkus)

A few weeks ago I was chatting to Natalie about music and made a comment about how I had considered doing a post on the top 25 songs on my iPod, but I was vaguely concerned about what might be on there - let's be real, there's more than an even chance of at least two Partridge Family songs and probably 17 Doris Day songs. And maybe a Nickelback number... I should say upfront that I'm not really a 'music' person. When I was a young 'un I did hang out with a lot of people 'in the biz' - musicians, sound mixers,  festival organisers and so on, so I was aware of a lot of music, saw a lot of bands, hung out in a lot of (smallish) live venues, etc. However, I've never been (nor had any desire to go to) a stadium concert or a big music festival, and the most well-known performer I've ever seen is probably Harry Connick Jr in about 1991. I tend to like a specific type of song, and this list makes it fairly obvious what that type is - upbeat, jangly guitar music that occasionally borders on country and/or rockabilly.   

Bands - Andy Prieboy  
Andy Prieboy is one of the very few performers I would make an effort to go and see live if he were to tour again. He appeals to me for several reasons - he has a wry, intelligent sense of humour, he's a wonderfully low key live performer, and his musical style could probably be best described as 'Gilbert and Sullivan go to art school'. There's so much fun in his music, but he's also capable of writing some truly moving and unique love songs. If you've never heard of him or his music, I highly recommend checking him out. And if you ever have a chance to see him live, do it. 

Behind the Wall of Sleep - The Smithereens  
This is from an album called Especially For You that I have owned in several formats and have been playing pretty much non-stop for about 25 years. It still stands up today and I love it, but this is my absolute favourite Smithereens song, and probably one of my top 10 favourite songs of all time. 

Cannon Song - Stan Ridgway  
Another I'd definitely go and see if he toured again. There's a connection here with Andy Prieboy  - they are both former members of Wall of Voodoo (though not at the same time, I believe). Like Andy, his music is very theatrical and hard to categorise, though this is probably one of his more over the top songs, from an awesome album called Songs That Made This Country Great. 

Cruel To Be Kind - Letters To Cleo  
I also have the Nick Lowe version of this song, and I love both, but obviously I must love this one the most. It's from the soundtrack of 10 Things I Hate About You and I rarely play it at work because I can almost never stop myself from singing along to it. 

Decent Cup of Coffee - Weddings Parties Anything  
I am seriously surprised that this is the only Weddoes song in my top 25, because I have most of their albums on my iPod and I play them frequently. Possibly my all time favourite band, definitely my all time Australian band, and the lead singer, Mick Thomas is (for me) one of those celebrity crushes where you literally entertain the fantasy that one day you might meet them and click and live happily ever after. If it's at all possible to be insanely in love with someone you've never spoken to, then I'm in love with him. I did actually see him in my local pub a couple of times in the mid-90s because he lived a few streets away from me, but I was way too intimidated to go and speak to him. Ridiculous, because by all accounts he was a friendly, normal guy and I knew a ton of people 'in the biz' who knew him and were friends with him. If I'd been braver, I could be Mrs Mick Thomas by now. *sigh* 

Don't Stand So Close To The Window - Paul Kelly  
A beautiful song about an illicit affair. I first heard this being played by a guy I worked with while drunk off my arse on Lambrusco Gully Wine. My memories are hazy (thanks to the Lambrusco Gully Wine) but I believe that Harriet Archer and I made him play that song every single time we were all together and he had his guitar. 

Dream Catch Me - Newton Faulkner  
I don't have much to say about this. I know next to nothing about the singer and I've never heard any of his other songs. I just like this one because it's toe-tapping, upbeat and has that jangly guitar sound I love so much. 

Fell Off A Mountain - Big Bam Boo  
Big Bam Boo's album Fun, Faith and Fairplay was one of my favourites in the 80s and I had it on vinyl, then cassette, then CD. I had forgotten about it for years and for some reason it popped into my head fairly recently. I found it on iTunes and it's (thankfully) as good as I remember it being. They have that big, jangly guitar, slightly rockabilly sound that I just love. In hindsight, they're not fantastic singers, but the exuberance of this song makes up for it. 

The Fourteenth of February - Billy Bragg  
Billy Bragg is probably better known for his working class hero anthems from the early 80s and his 'comeback' boppiness in the early 90s. This is one of his later songs from the mid-90s when he'd mellowed quite a lot and become Britain's Favourite Cuddly Communist. It's a sweet, simple love song and I adore it. 

The Great Beyond - REM  
REM seems to be one of those bands that everyone likes in some form - whether it's just their massive single EverybodyHurts (which I hate), or their early indie anthem It's The End Of The World As We Know It, or just one of their many albums. They've just always been there and they appeal to a lot of different kinds of people. I like a ton of their songs and have several of their albums. I wouldn't say I love them, but this song is a particular favourite.

The Guitar Man - Cake  
I'm a Cake fan. I loves me some Cake. I think what appeals to me most about this song is the tiny guitar bit in the middle of the chorus. The first time I heard this was when I saw the video, which is freakin' adorable and probably a large part of why I love the song so much (despite hating the original version). 

Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley  
I'm surprised by this one - I'd have expected to see The Last Goodbye in this list, but not Hallelujah, which is a song I like but don't love or deliberately seek out. Not sure how it got in there! 

If Today Was Your Last Day - Nickelback  
It had to happen. This is the one and only Nickelback song on my iPod and it had to come up in this list. I'm not going to lie - I briefly considered pretending it wasn't there. This is another song I grew to love through really liking the video, and I am slightly ashamed to admit that although at first I liked the video 'ironically', I have come to just - well - like it. And the song. Shut up. Don't you judge me. 

In Your Arms - Kina Grannis  
I discovered this song (and this singer) thanks to Julia from Boredom Abounds. I just loved it immediately and I've since downloaded the whole album and play it often. Girls with guitars - I'm sold. 

It's A Shame - Monie Love 
I found this fairly recently, having forgotten it was on my iPod. I love it when I happen across random songs I'd completely forgotten about. I loved this when it came out and played it to death - 90s girl rappers - just as sold as girls with guitars. I don't like the modern day ones though. 

I Want You To Want Me - Letters to Cleo  
Another where I have both the original and the cover and obviously prefer the cover, and another Letters to Cleo song from the soundtrack of 10 Things I Hate About You. Ridiculously upbeat and I again, I am unable to resist singing along every time I hear it. 

Killer - Whitley  
Another one where I know nothing about the performer (is it a singer? is it a band?) and don't know any of (his? their?) other songs. I saw it on one of the Foxtel music channels back when we had them and Noodles used to watch them pretty much 24/7 and it grabbed me. It has a great animated video, which - again! I am not nothing if not consistent - is probably what made the song so appealing to me in the first place. 

Oceans Apart - The Bogmen  
So a few months ago I was lying in bed watching Hall Pass on my laptop. It's an okay movie - not terrible, but nothing great either. This song came on over the credits and I loved it instantly, leading to a mad Google search to try to find what it was called, since the words 'oceans apart' are never mentioned in the lyrics, making the soundtrack credits useless. One thing I'll say for Farrelly Brothers movies (and there are very few things I will say about their movies) - they always have a good soundtrack. Crash Test Dummies' cover of XTC's The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead from the soundtrack of Dumb and Dumber is another of my top 10 favourite songs of all time. Not sure why it's not on this list, actually. 

Right On Track - The Breakfast Club  
A classic 80s one hit wonder that still stands up today. I never tire of this song - it's ridiculously catchy and upbeat. Nothing more to say about it, really. 

Runaway Train - Soul Asylum  
Remember when the lead singer of Soul Asylum was dating Winona Ryder? No? Just me, then? Ugh. I'M SO OLD. This is just a typical 90s jangly guitar song. It's the kind I like! 

Shaking Hands (Soldier's Joy) - Michelle Shocked  
You know what else I really, really like? Bluegrass! I may be a dork, but I'm an eclectic dork. 

Someday, Someway - Marshall Crenshaw  
This guy sounds so much like Buddy Holly that he actually played Buddy Holly in the movie La Bamba. (Spoiler alert: he dies in a plane crash.) This is one of the most infectious, boppy, upbeat songs I can remember from the 80s and I've never tired of it. Trivia: Marshall Crenshaw also wrote 'Til I Hear It From You', one of my favourite Gin Blossoms songs. 

Someone Like You - Adele  
My shower song. I belt it out in the shower and probably terrify the guy who lives next door to me. Nothing more to say about it - you all know the song, pretty much everyone loves it. Glee murdered it in a mash up. As they do. 

Something In The Water - Brooke Fraser  
I think this chick is a New Zealander but I can't swear to it. I also think this is technically Christian pop, which I also can't swear to. Regardless of who this girl is and what her genre is, I find this song chirpy and catchy and I love it. I've listened to the rest of the album but I don't like a lot of it - I really only ever play this one. 

Yes - McAlmont & Butler  
I have had this song on heavy rotation pretty much since the day it was released. It's my favourite, favourite, favourite shower song of all time, definitely one of my top 3 favourite songs of all time generally and I invariably end up singing it in my head at some point most days. The reason I finally decided to do this post is because I was reading the NME Top 100 Songs of the 90s on the weekend and this one was #9. I figured that it was 100% guaranteed to be on my Top 25 most played list, so no matter what other uncool stuff could possibly crop up (Marty Robbins, Counting Crows, Gene Pitney, Hall & Oates....) Bernard Butler would be enough to redeem me.


  1. I quite like your taste in music Dee :) both Paul Kelly and Billy Bragg get me everytime.

  2. You got me with Stan Ridgway! I have a few of his (and Wall of Voodoo) CD's. He has quite a way with lyrics and I love his twang :)

    1. Awesome! Did you ever see him play when he toured? He was fantastic. :-)

    2. Nah, but I wish I had!!!

  3. Love that Newton Faulkner song too. You have quite an eclectic taste, i like that!

    1. That song is SO catchy. I hear it often in shopping centres or supermarkets and find myself singing along. ;-)

  4. Good post Dee - there's a couple in there I don't know even though I love me some songs. Waaaaay back in the day when I worked as a waitress at the National Press Club we used to play the 10 Things soundtrack as our packing up the room CD and it always makes me think of that.

    Runaway Train is still a great song and i like Paul Kelly too. I'll also put my hand up and say there are quite a few Nickelback songs I like too (but my mum says I'm cool). I need to have a crack at something like this myself. How do I figure out what the most played songs are?

    1. You should have an automatic playlist on your iPhone or iPod called Top 25 Most Played. You may have to plug it into iTunes to see it.

    2. I'm almost frightened to see what's on it... Actually I just had a look and it's pretty much all new. Huh. Lots of Mayer and Urban though, which is unsurprising.

      Re-reading your post and i just picked up the Gin blossoms reference. I friggin love the Gin Blossoms, Hey Jealousy is one of my all time favourite songs.

      Also I too have picked up catchy songs from Julia's blog. Is good.