My Top 300 Songs of the 2000s – 250-241

Today I continue my ongoing feature showcasing my personal picks for the best songs of the past decade, posting ten songs at a time.

250. Rage Against the Machine – How I Could Just Kill a Man

For most of the decade, 3/4 of Rage were in shitty solo projects or the inevitably dreadful Audioslave.  The other 1/4 released a new song every once in a while and lived off his earnings from the 90’s (that one is Zach).  There were a few reunion shows – most of which sent people to the hospital – but overall the boys weren’t really raging much in the 2000’s.  But at the turn of the century, before the nasty breakup, Rage put out their final studio album Renegades, a pretty kickass covers album.  And although this Cypress Hill remake is a pretty straightforward take on the original, it still hits hard, the way these guys always knew how to.

249. The Queers – Homo

If my friend Dave had never put this in the radio station’s computer playlist at KTXT and dedicated it to our hetero friend Burgers on his Tuesday night show, I probably never would have heard it, laughed my ass off, downloaded it, and worn it out on my own time.  Thanks for the memories, D-Ward.

The Queers – Homo

248. Shugo Tokumaru – Future Umbrella

Another artist I discovered through my music directing stint at KTXT, Shugo is all Japanese and totally awesome.  EXIT was a perfect little album for the summer of 2008, and “Future Umbrella” is one of my favorites from it, a simple instrumental hum-along track that will be stuck in your head for days and days.

Shugo Tokumaru – Future Umbrella

247. Nickel Creek – Spit On a Stranger

When I heard this in high school, I had only heard one Pavement song (not this one) and two Nickel Creek songs (including this one).  I was new to the game, but I surmised that the band had taken an indie classic and made it their own.  This cover works so well it sounds like they wrote it, and so, it’s my favorite song from Nickel Creek.  But not Pavement.

246. Oysterhead – Grand Pecking Order

It took me a while to get used to Les Claypool’s solo material straight out of the peak Primus days – the Frog Brigade stuff was definitely more jammy and less funky.  So Claypool’s collaboration with Trey Anastasio of Phish and Stewart Copeland of the Police, Oysterhead, was a welcome new project.  While “Mr. Oysterhead” feels more like something off of Antipop, the title track from this group’s lone album is pure Les, freaking out along with a couple of not-so-similar, but very talented, musicians.

245. Angie Aparo – Spaceship

This guy (yes, it’s a dude) would go on to become a successful Nashville songwriter, but Aparo had a minor hit on alternative radio at the turn of the century.  And I feel like I’m the only one who remembers it.

244. The Futureheads – Decent Days and Nights

Their work has fallen off a bit lately, like most indie bands of this era with this style (Franz Ferdinand, the Hives, Hot Hot Heat), but that first self-titled album was near flawless.  “Decent Days and Nights” is a solid introduction to a band with a tight-knit hold on punk cadence, infectious melody, and thick British accents.

243. MGMT – Kids

Their new album sounds nothing like their first, but it was that debut (and particularly this song) that propelled this band to overnight superstardom.  And while Congratulations has nothing to offer in any vein resembling the lovely synth pop of Oracular Spectacular, I can guarantee you will never be able to escape this song – or that keyboard line – for the rest of your life.

242. The Darkness – Hazel Eyes

Everyone knew the Darkness were a one-trick pony when they came out, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t totally rock.  While you can’t top Permission to Land, I thought (alongside maybe twenty other people) One Way Ticket to Hell and Back was a solid sophomore disc.  This forgotten gem, along with that trademark falsetto, is my hands-down favorite from it.

241. Interpol – PDA

Another awesome 2000’s band cursed with the burden of living up to expectations after an impeccable debut.  Say what you will about their later work, but there’s no argument – Turn On the Bright Lights is the best Interpol album.  “PDA” was probably the most popular song off that album, and for good reason – a perfect Interpol 101 course, featuring that steady plod, layered guitars, and that Joy Division-esque croon.  And that chorus might be the best thing they’ve ever written.

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