A requisite for being a music fan is the interest in making lists. There’s something innate in us: we like to qualify our taste against our taste. What was your favorite album of the year? What are your favorite 41 songs of the year? Who’s your favorite electroacoustic ambient grindcore band based out of Dedham, Massachusetts? These are questions music fans love to — and have to — answer.
I love setting up different challenges for this sort of discussion, and I thought I’d share one with the Arcanian crowd. It’s the best of your best: Mark down your 11 favorite artists (11 representing the number of songs on the greatest achievement in art, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot). Then list your favorite song by each artist. Then put them together as a playlist. See how it looks.
Padre’s first child’s namesake
After the jump, my list, then some discussion:
The Best of Padre’s Best
1. I Am Trying to Break Your Heart (Wilco)
2. I Am the Walrus (Beatles)
3. Magic (Ben Kweller)
4. One Big Holiday (My Morning Jacket)
5. Lose Yourself (Eminem)
6. Dear Chicago (Ryan Adams)
7. Champion (Kanye West)
8. Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground (White Stripes)
9. Do the Evolution (Pearl Jam)
10. Jigsaw Falling Into Place (Radiohead)
11. Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright (Bob Dylan)
First thoughts: fairly uneven mix. It’s always hard to synchronize rap and non-rap songs, but I did the best I could. It’s definitely rockier than I expected — tracks 8-10 are all fairly loud — and there’s less “noise” kind of stuff, other than the lead track. It’s also not terribly “creative” (which music snobs will hate), but when it’s all said and done, it’s hard to justify including Better Than Ezra’s “At the Stars” over, say, “I Am the Walrus,” even though I like it more as a song. I thought there would be more soft stuff as well, but, as football-coaching people say, it is what it is.
The interesting part is how it’s certainly not my 11 favorite songs of all-time. I’d probably have a few more Wilco songs involved, and that’s not to mention some “lesser” acts (as they pertain to me) getting involved.
A few things to wrap this up:
First, off the top of my head, my favorite songs that didn’t make it:
Windfall (Son Volt)
Lover, You Should’ve Come Over (Jeff Buckley)
Parting Gift (Fiona Apple)
Triumph (Wu-Tang Clan)
Bird Stealing Bread (Iron & Wine)
And just for fun, the last artists to be cut from the experiment:
Iron & Wine
Join the fun in the comments.