10 Best Songs

The 10 Best Nirvana Songs

By James Jackson Toth / April 4, 2014 - 12:10 pm

The story goes something like this: Sheriff Kurt moseys into town just long enough to purge the spandex-clad outlaws before riding off into the sunset forever, leaving behind the Clinton Administration, Lollapalooza, and lucrative major label deals for flannel-flyin’ underdogs everywhere. More »


The 10 Best Joy Division Songs

By Jonathan Dick / April 1, 2014 - 10:53 am

In the seemingly infinite discussion of influence, Joy Division’s place in the halls of music’s most revered is just as sure as the band’s equally esteemed mythos. Generations of fans old enough to have remembered the band’s breakthrough in 1979, and the countless more born well after the 1980 suicide of Ian Curtis, hold the… More »


The 10 Best Hold Steady Songs

By Brad Sanders / March 11, 2014 - 1:10 pm

Rumors of rock and roll’s demise have been greatly exaggerated for almost as long as there’s been rock and roll, so it’s not like this generation has a monopoly on rockist panic. But as today’s most popular rock acts cease to be rock acts — Mumford And Sons’ pop-folk, Eric Church’s country-fried wallop, the car-ad… More »


The 10 Best White Stripes Songs

By Carl Williott / February 26, 2014 - 1:09 pm

The White Stripes were Occam’s razor manifested as rock. Underneath the misdirection and mythology, it was just two people, wearing three colors, obsessed with one musical concept: the beauty of simplicity. More »


The 10 Best Dirty Projectors Songs

By Elliah Heifetz / February 19, 2014 - 3:31 pm

When Dirty Projectors mastermind and bandleader Dave Longstreth sings about being “in the gray mesh shorts” of his alma mater, honestly, I freak out a little bit. When he croons, “I boogied down gargoyle streets, searching in every face for something I can believe,” my stomach burns. Every time I hear about how his “college… More »


The 10 Best Beta Band Songs

By Miles Bowe / February 6, 2014 - 3:18 pm

When Rolling Stone released their best albums of the ’90s list, Nirvana’s Nevermind stood predictably at the top. I’m not saying that it doesn’t deserve it, but didn’t you just know they’d pick that? It makes complete sense. Later, we got the ’00s list with Kid A at #1, with the safer bet as runner-up. More »


The 10 Best Grateful Dead Songs

By James Jackson Toth / January 21, 2014 - 12:23 pm

To certain elitists, the name “Grateful Dead” represents an impasse; like the phrase “slap bass,” it is a combination of words whose very invocation can instantly elicit the gas face. It is not my intention to refute the negative connotations associated with the band — airheaded solipsism, boomer excesses, self-indulgent musical masturbation — nor do… More »


The 10 Best Killers Songs

By Elliah Heifetz / January 14, 2014 - 11:37 am

2004 was, more or less, the Year Of The Pretty Boy. Or, if not that, the Year Of The Not That Masculine Dude. The Guy Who Has Lots Of Feelings And Dresses Well. Think about it: Kanye put out his high-fashion, post-gangsta The College Dropout; Arcade Fire got emotional on their cathartic Funeral; Usher sang… More »


The 10 Best Bob Dylan Songs

By Timothy Bracy And Elizabeth Bracy / December 17, 2013 - 12:29 pm

So, here we’ve finally arrived: “Bob Dylan’s 10 Best Songs,” the Iraq Invasion of long-form rock journalism. Uncalled for and utterly unwinnable, contending with a thousand-song catalog so rich, varied, mysterious, and fraught with social and artistic context that the very notion of its distillation courts nothing less than madness. Why not rank Shakespeare’s 10… More »


The 10 Best Eminem Songs

By Joseph Schafer / December 3, 2013 - 12:58 pm

At this point, I propose the music-loving community respectfully consider The Marshall Mathers LP II to be hip-hop’s version of the film Prometheus — both are decent efforts that, had they not been made by such esteemed artists (Eminem and Ridley Scott, respectively), and not been sequels to masterpieces, probably would have garnered more critical… More »


The 10 Best Sunny Day Real Estate Songs

By Ryan Reed / November 19, 2013 - 11:40 am

Earlier this season, South Park aired an episode titled “Goth Kids 3: Dawn of the Posers.” Within, the animated town’s resident outcasts are brainwashed into thinking they’re “emos,” instead of goths, which is truly horrifying stuff since they idolize Edgar Allen Poe — not, say, Morrissey. Overall, it’s a pretty one-note episode, but the hilariou… More »


The 10 Best M.I.A. Songs

By Claire Lobenfeld / November 6, 2013 - 4:01 pm

M.I.A. is supposed to be a messenger, but the mission of her music is often obscured by critics’ and listeners’ schismatic view of her work. But before her war with the NFL, her allegiance with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, or those goddamn truffle fries, she was a neon prism at the end of a long… More »


The 10 Best Pearl Jam Songs

By Ryan Leas / October 17, 2013 - 1:17 pm

Pearl Jam’s status as an artist can be a hard one to quantify. They entered the scene as one of the biggest bands in the world, and after a few years vanished from the mainstream audience radar, even though they continued, and still continue, to be an absolutely monolithic touring entity. Every fan knows the… More »


The 10 Best New Pornographers Songs

By Timothy Bracy And Elizabeth Bracy / October 11, 2013 - 1:03 pm

By 2000, American fans of indie music had become well accustomed to great acts bussed in from Canada. From the emphatic brilliance of the criminally underrated Sloan to the majestic lo-fi fuzz rock folk of Eric’s Trip, the Northern Invasion that now buffets our borders was already well on course. Still practically no one wa… More »


The 10 Best St. Vincent Songs

By Ryan Leas / October 3, 2013 - 12:49 pm

She is not of this world. That sentence was all my friend used to describe a St. Vincent show I’d missed. Annie Clark, the woman behind St. Vincent, seems to have that effect on people. Specifically men, specifically indie rock dudes. This, inescapably, has often boiled down to the fact that Clark is a woman. More »


The 10 Best Frightened Rabbit Songs

By Ryan Leas / September 19, 2013 - 2:39 pm

Frightened Rabbit is on a hot streak. Starting with September of last year and the State Hospital EP, then through the release of Pedestrian Verse in February, and finally last Tuesday with the Late March, Death March EP, the band has given us a succession of great releases in just under twelve months, consistently operating… More »


The 10 Best Decemberists Songs

By Philip Cosores / September 12, 2013 - 1:37 pm

Though the current fad is to compartmentalize indie rock of the last decade as something quaint, narrow, and somewhat embarrassing, the Decemberists shouldn’t have to worry about the fickle listening preferences of tastemakers. Even at the height of indie rock’s move to the mainstream, the Decemberists were never cool. Their early LPs, 2002’sCastaways And CutoutsMore »


The 10 Best Mastodon Songs

By Doug Moore / September 6, 2013 - 12:05 pm

OK, so music culture has become increasingly atomized. There’s enough music out there, and enough services to parse it, that anyone can build a library of obscure artists that cater precisely to their incredibly abstruse micro-tastes. This means that unifying cultural-force bands have become rare unto extinction. We all know this. More »


The 10 Best Le Tigre Songs

By Claire Lobenfeld / August 30, 2013 - 2:40 pm

Le Tigre was a band that was never supposed to be. What was initially founded in 1998 as a backing band for riot grrl legend Kathleen Hanna’s lo-fi electronic solo project Julie Ruin ultimately became this trio of “underground electro-feminist performance artists.” Along with zine-maker Johanna Fateman and video and visual artist Sadie Benning, Hanna… More »


The 10 Best Soundgarden Songs

By Ryan Leas / August 22, 2013 - 3:52 pm

For a while there, it seemed like people forgot about Soundgarden. If you got into Soundgarden in the ’00s, you got into them during what was a bit of a wasteland for the band. While their peers and contemporaries flared out tragically (Alice In Chains, Nirvana) but in ways that solidified legacies, or others continued… More »