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  Music Lists


♮   I don't think that any two people have the exact same taste in music. We thought it might be fun to make lists of our favorites, and it proved to be more difficult than we thought.
♮   We imposed restrictions: Rock music only and no repeat artists per list, just so we could keep the numbers manageable. What was surprising was that some huge-name rock bands - like the Beatles, Stones, Nirvana and U2 didn't make it into our whittled down lists.
♮   We didn’t talk very much about our separate lists as we thought about songs, and we didn’t discuss what was actually on our lists or what order the songs were in until we were both finished, so any coincidences are just that.

Too Fake drawing by Kyle LaPan

                               Lyrics from the song "Too Fake" by Hockey      Drawing by Kyle LaPan

Sunnie’s Top 10 Albums

1.   A Thousand Suns  –  Linkin Park    
This is just the best, most creative album I’ve ever heard. Layered, rich with sounds, emotions, languages… It’s intense and cohesive and takes music in an entirely new direction, but it’s also extremely listenable and very enjoyable.

2.   Sleeping with Ghosts  –  Placebo    
It’s hard to choose the best Placebo album, but I like this one because it just speaks to me the most. The songs are all a bit different but have a similar feel. The music is sometimes experimental, sometimes very familiar. The lyrics give each song its own story. The only song I’m not super fond of is “Something Rotten.”

3.   This is All Yours  –  alt-J    
I struggled with this, because the first alt-J album, “An Awesome Wave,” is stunning. But there’s something about “This is All Yours” that hits me in all the right places. It’s a deeply emotional, powerful, creative album built on genius, but very direct, lyrics and elegant but full, raw, rock music.

4.   Thank You, Happy Birthday  –  Cage the Elephant    
For a while a few years back, finding good new music seemed hard, and bands I liked seemed to be falling apart. I was kind of despairing of finding anything that could make me really love music again, but Cage the Elephant did it. I love their first album and really like their third, but this, their second, is, for me, the best. It’s dynamic, raw and edgy.

5.   Digital Ash in a Digital Urn  –  Bright Eyes    
This has probably the best lyric writing of any album I’ve ever heard, and the music that goes along with it is modern, edgy, catchy but unique… Conor Oberst doesn’t seem to care what people think of him- he makes music how he wants it, and that makes it distinctive and wonderful, especially so on this album.

6.   Carnavas  –  Silversun Pickups    
I loved the Silversun Pickups from the very first time I heard “Lazy Eye, ” and the album it was on, “Carnavas, ” was just as good. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything that sounds so steeped in sound- dense, fuzzy, raw, packed with noise and layered vocals, and lyrics that are just as tangled. It’s amazing.

7.   Strata Presents the End of the World  –  Strata    
I’ve never heard anything that sounds quite like “Strata Presents the End of the World. ” The music is polished and rich, mixing electronic, pop and rock, the lyrics are genius, emotional, hard-hitting and honest, and the songs are all slightly different, so they leave a different feel and impact on you.

8.   Your Vegas  –  Your Vegas    
When we first saw Your Vegas, before we knew who they were, the band was sick with the flu, which I later caught, and can tell you, was so bad I thought I might die. Despite how sick they were, the band still managed to stun us. Their one and only album is just as amazing- rich, dark, yet catchy, with great lyrics and musicianship, and vocals that are mind-blowing.

9.   Voxtrot  –  Voxtrot    
Nobody else I’ve ever known has liked Voxtrot, but for me, their sound is irresistible. The songs are catchy and sound light at first, but there’s a lot of emotion buried in them. They’re easy to listen to but stick with you for a long time afterwards.

10.   Only By the Night  –  Kings of Leon    
In the eleventh hour, I switched my number ten and chose this album (before, I’d had the Bravery’s “Stir the Blood. ”) I decided to go with this one because I love the music, I love how dark and edgy but also really heartfelt the songs are (except the ones that are simply blunt, which is appealing in its own way), I love how creative and almost playful the drumming is, and I love Caleb’s voice.

Ann’s Top 10 Albums

1.   A Thousand Suns  –  Linkin Park    
I extoled the merits of this album on the Music page. It is all that and more.

2.   Goodbye Yellow Brick Road  –  Elton John    
This is an album that has sustained itself on my playlist since it came out. Everything about it is superb. The album swings. You can play one track or many at a time. It meant a lot to me when I was living in New York. The day I left there for good, I listened to music while I packed. In the end, I put the title track of this record on very loudly. Then I disassembled my stereo, packed it and left.

3.   Aja  –  Steely Dan    
There was a time when the quality of Steely Dan’s music was second to none. In fact, we played it almost exclusively. Among all of their albums, this was my favorite.

4.   Meds  –  Placebo    
Things got stressful in our lives and I stopped buying records and listening to new music for a while. Placebo came along and had a re-awakening effect on us. Even though they had three popular-in-Europe albums out prior to Meds, I, like many Americans, had not taken note. Sunnie discovered the song “Infrared” and played a clip of it for me. I couldn’t believe I was hearing something so fresh and exciting. Hard to say which cut off this album is my favorite - but I am partial to "Space Monkey." I also had a hard time choosing which Placebo album would be in my top 10. I love the first album, but drummer Steve Hewitt doesn’t appear on that one. Of the two albums that followed, there are songs I don’t necessarily listen to. So, I chose Meds.

5.   By the Way  –  Red Hot Chili Peppers    
Again, fresh new sound captivated me when I first heard “Can’t Stop.” I ran out and bought the album, and have played it start to finish on many an occasion. Yeah, you can listen to the songs separately, but the Peppers and Rick Rubin put this one together to flow like a perfectly scripted movie.

6.   Strata Presents the End of the World  –  Strata    
Something magic happened when Eric Victorino got together with Ryan Hernandez and Strata was formed. The lyrics, the tones, the production - everything compliments everything else. If there were one band I’d like to see back together again, it would be Strata.

7.   Carnavas  –  Silversun Pickups    
I love the Silversun Pickups. I had a hard time choosing between this album and Swoon. I think that Carnavas has more fun memories for me - like the first time we saw them play in a club in Tempe. Brian Aubert kept kneeling down to play to Sunnie, and since I was standing next to her, I got a real good look at his guitar playing techniques.

8.   Dark Side of the Moon  –  Pink Floyd    
You know who you are if you love Dark Side of the Moon. And, like me, you know why you love it. It probably could be explained, but I don’t think I’ll take up this whole page writing thousands of words.

9.   Bridge Over Troubled Water  –  Simon and Garfunkel    
I listened to this album more times than I can count. Nobody plays guitar like Paul Simon. Nobody sings like Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel together, and nobody produces music like Roy Halee. The reason this album only came in at Number 9 is that there is one song on it that I don’t like.

10.   An Awesome Wave  –  alt-J    
Again, an album that is so fantastic, but has one song on it that I will not listen to. (I draw the line when something is too, too vulgar.) But everything else is amazing stuff. I gushed over this album on the Music page.

Sunnie’s Top 25 Songs

I was pretty surprised about what songs I ended up choosing for my top favorite 25. I can’t say these are all the most amazingly written songs (although some are,) but I can say they all mean something to me. I thought my list would be different, before I started writing it, and realized which songs I could take off, and which I couldn’t. The ones I need to listen to all the time, the songs I choose when no one’s influencing me, the songs that mark important pieces of my life- these are what got to stay on the list. It’s a mamby–pamby list, for the most part. I’m a little embarrassed.

1. Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley (Leonard Cohen)
2. Waiting for the End – Linkin Park
3. Everlong – Foo Fighters
4. Twenty Years – Placebo
5. Taro – Alt-J
6. Lenders in the Temple – Conor Oberst
7. Control – Delta Fiasco
8. Going to Jail – Lit on the Flash
9. 1979 – The Smashing Pumpkins
10. Three Seed – Silversun Pickups
11. I’m On Fire – Bruce Springsteen
12. Playhouses – TV on the Radio
13. Scar Tissue– Red Hot Chili Peppers
14. Chin Music for the Unsuspecting Hero– Foster the People
15. Too Fake – Hockey
16. Old Man – Neil Young
17. Today – Jefferson Airplane
18. Flow – Cage the Elephant
19. Ashes to Ashes  – David Bowie
20. Motorcycle Drive By – Third Eye Blind
21. Grapevine Fires– Death Cab for Cutie
22. Champagne Supernova– Oasis
23. Teenage  Dirtbag – Wheatus
24. I Had It Coming – White Rabbits
25. Fernando Pando– The Virgins

Ann’s Top 25 Songs

Sunnie thinks her list is mamby-pamby - check out my #23! I felt bad leaving out some artists who I really love - I mean I had to leave out The Strokes!! And Cage the Elephant! And Moby! And The Psychedelic Furs! and The Foo Fighters! (Hey do you know my theory on the Foo Fighters name? - It’s because Dave Grohl chews gum on stage to keep his throat from drying out, and he constantly has to fight not to foo that gum out!)

1. Win – David Bowie
2. Quicksand – Incubus
3. Easier to Run – Linkin Park
4. Twenty Years – Placebo
5. Taro – Alt-J
6. Catch & Release – Silversun Pickups
7. Losing My Religion – REM
8. After the Sunset – Jake Roche
9. Night Falls – Strata
10. Land Locked Blues – Bright Eyes
11. Meeting Across the River – Bruce Springsteen
12. I Got the News – Steely Dan
13. August Day – Hall & Oates
14. Creep – Radiohead
15. Comfortably Numb – Pink Floyd
16. American Tune – Paul Simon
17. Please Be With Me – Eric Clapton
18. Wild West End – Dire Straits
19. Man Out of Time – Elvis Costello
20. Shell Shocked – Chronic Future
21. Tangled Up in Blue – Bob Dylan
22. Dream On – Aerosmith
23. To Love Somebody – BeeGees
24. Dog and Butterfly – Heart
25. The instrumental version of Welcome Home Sanitarium – as covered by Apocalyptica

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