10 Best Songs

The 10 Best Grateful Dead Songs

By James Jackson Toth / January 21, 2014
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 »


The 10 Best Pulp Songs

By Ryan Leas / August 8, 2013
Way back before poptimism became a thing that went beyond anti-rockism and into the territory of taking every sound ever very seriously -- I am still not on board with the '70s schmaltz-rock moments of Random Access Memories -- Pulp was a huge amalgam of uncool things. Grunge still reigned here while over in England… More »


The 10 Best Bloc Party Songs

By Ryan Reed / August 1, 2013
Back in 2005, the year of their stellar debut album, Silent Alarm, Bloc Party truly felt invincible. The British quartet wrangled explosive melodrama from the simplest of rock 'n' roll tools: the crossfire guitars of Kele Okereke and Russell Lissack, the caffeinated rhythmic thrust of bassist Gordon Moakes and drummer Matt Tong, and Okereke's snotty,… More »


The 10 Best Shins Songs

By John Everhart / July 25, 2013
The Shins were one of the preeminent pop acts of the '00s, often mentioned as flirting with becoming their decade's version of R.E.M. or Pavement. Frontman James Mercer began the writing of the band's 2001 classic Oh, Inverted World in earnest as far back as 1997 -- while his primary band was still Albuquerque, NM'… More »


The 10 Best Townes Van Zandt Songs

Townes Van Zandt, the elegant Texas troubadour who authored some of the finest songs ever written over the course of his 52 troubled years, was always quick to make it known that he was very much in on the cruel joke of his destiny. During a checkered, if frequently brilliant, recording career -- often derailed… More »


The 10 Best Beach House Songs

By John Everhart / July 10, 2013
Baltimore’s Beach House are perhaps the most unlikely indie success story of the past few years. They play the game by their own rules, turning down high profile tour slots and TV advertisements, and often book small gigs not closely commensurate with their popularity. More »


The 10 Best Daft Punk Songs

By Harley Brown / July 3, 2013
In 1992, Daft Punk's once and future idol Brian Wilson said, "It was a childhood dream of mine to make music that made people feel loved." That same year, Thomas Bangalter and Guy Manuel de Homem-Christo formed the indie-rock band Darlin' (named after the Beach Boys song, natch) with Phoenix's Laurent Brancowitz. They signed to… More »