My Top 300 Songs of the 2000s – 200-191

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

200. 50 Cent – I Get Money

Dr. Dre and Eminem’s protege hasn’t released anything of substance, save for this song, in my opinion.  Most would say his first album is pretty good, and that “In Da Club” is an alright song, but they are sadly mistaken.  For some reason though, this song, released late in Fiddy’s career, really took a shine to me.  Maybe it’s the snare hits, the deep synth line, or the rhythmic sampling. Maybe it’s 50’s dumb rhymes.  Maybe it’s because every time I hear this song my thoughts hearken back to a college party when a friend was trying to teach me how to C-walk to this song.  Yeah, it’s probably that last one.

199. The Avalanches – Frontier Psychiatrist

The most divisive song I think we ever played on KTXT (except maybe the “Thorazine Shuffle”), I first heard this song thanks to WOXY (then 97X), and I loved the way all the samples told a story.  It was like nothing I had ever heard before, and the critical world agreed.  These guys have done nothing since this album, but it still managed to make most decade-end lists.

198. A- Old Folks

In the early 2000s, there were mainly two types of music being played on modern rock radio – slow, dirgy, post-grunge nu-metal, and post-punk-pop happy rock.  And while I cannot say that I didn’t listen to both, there is only one I usually stray from mentioning for fear of being banished from the land.  And while some artists from the latter genre lost touch with me (Fenix TX, the Suicide Machines), this song from this group (who get my vote for “most uncreative band name ever”) has stuck around, for whatever reason.  The chorus is infectious, and the lyrics – which make fun of geriatrics – are pretty hilarious, in that good ol’ pop-punk way of being hilarious (juvenile).

197. Ben Folds – Rockin the Suburbs

Mr. Folds has come a long way since that first self-titled disc from his Five.  He had moderate radio success, broke up the group, and ventured solo.  Since then, he has become one of the best selling artists of the past decade, and with little radio or video promotion to boot.  Folds started off with slow introspection, ventured into quirk, and then slowly sank into bland piano pop for children’s soundtracks (parenthood ruins everything).  You can easily guess which era “Rockin’ the Suburbs,” which makes fun of the nu-metal fad of the time, came from.  The album of the same name was his first foray solo, and still his best work without his band.

196. Wheatus – Teenage Dirtbag

I suppose there was a third style getting airplay on modern rock radio, now that I think of it – novelty rock.  We usually see this when a genre has lost direction, and so programmers will pick slightly funny, always hooky, always forgettable music to crowd around the latest Chili Peppers single.  It happened in 1996 with the rise of the Bloodhound Gang, and in 2000, Wheatus got their fifteen minutes via this adorable little song – a subtle homage to Iron Maiden in the American Pie era.

195. The New Pornographers – The Laws Have Changed

Last week, I finally saw this band live for the first time (with Neko Case!) and the show was easily one of the best I’ve seen this year.  And when they played this classic, a minor hit from The Electric Version, my favorite New Porns disc, the crowd went into a fury of dance the likes of which we have never seen.

194. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Satan Said Dance

While their first album remains their best, Some Loud Thunder had one glorious moment, and that moment was the trippy, upbeat, ultra-repetitive “Satan Said Dance.”  It feels as if there’s a subliminal message amongst all those noises, random guitar plucks, and that steady, spooky bass line.  If Satan dances, I imagine this easily made his favorite mixtape.

193. The White Stripes – My Doorbell

Get Behind Me Satan marked a turning point for the White Stripes – Jack and Meg left behind the blues and ventured into more experimentation and pop song craft.  Case in point – “My Doorbell” is an addictive cymbal-crashing piano rock ditty that sends the album into uncharted waters for the Detroit duo.  And they were just getting started.

192. Mae – Anything

My roommate and I were randomly discussing this band just the other day.  I left behind a lot of songs with my adolescence, but this one has stuck around.  It’s a pretty, optimistic, loud, and obscure track from a band I don’t know anything about and can’t name another song from.  But I still enjoy singing along.  Because every once in a while, you need your spirits lifted, even if the source sounds a lot like late-era Incubus.

191. The Decemberists – Sixteen Military Wives

I can’t honestly say I’m the biggest Colin Meloy fan – I suppose the more upbeat tracks resonate with me the best.  And “Sixteen Military Wives” – a comment, as far as I can tell, on the state of media, the ignorance and confusion of our nation, and the ridiculous horror that is war – struck a major chord with my angry, Bush-hating self in the fall of 2005.  It’s my favorite Decemberists track by far.

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