May 30 2011

In Memoriam: The WOXY Modern Rock 500

Memorial Day weekend is a wonderful time – the unofficial start of summer, with BBQ, fun in the sun, and general good vibes for all on a three-day break. But it always used to have a pretty stellar soundtrack – the WOXY Modern Rock 500. If WOXY were still around, you bet I would be listening and listing everything I heard. The WOXY crew compiled a list of some of the finest songs to ever grace alternative radio, new and old, and the #1 song was different every year. After 97X left the FM dial and WOXY went Internet-only, the countdown continued until last year, when the station was suddenly taken from us. But we still have the music and the memories, and so, as a tribute this Memorial Day, I leave you with a sampling of tracks we might have heard today on WOXY.COM.

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Aug 9 2010

My Top 300 Songs of the 2000s – 190-181

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

190. Pete Yorn – For Nancy

There’s no getting around it: musicforthemorningafter is a masterpiece and by far Yorn’s finest hour.  And “For Nancy,” the breakthrough single for the Jersey-born musician, is the finest song off that disc.  A tale of love lost that’s parts optimistic, parts well-wishing, and parts purely bitter, every confusing emotion associated with a breakup is laid out plain here.  That’s always been a specialty of Yorn’s – no confusion, no abstraction, just a straightforward, “it is what it is” approach, musically and lyrically.  Here, when wishing the best/worst for an ex, it reminds me of another great American songwriter.  Don’t think twice, it’s alright, indeed.

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Jul 26 2010

My Top 100 Songs of 2009: The Top Ten

Today I conclude my series of posts showcasing my picks for the best tracks of 2009.  And it only took half a year!

10. Grizzly Bear – Two Weeks

It sounds like nothing they’ve ever done before, so cheerful, so upbeat, so….piano pop.  But it works just the same.  It still feels like Grizzly Bear – the lush production, the layered harmonics.  And the lightbulb-head music video is a fun watch as well.

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Apr 9 2010

My Top 100 Songs of 2009 – 80-71

Today I continue my ten-part series showcasing my personal picks for the best songs of last year.

80. Nickel Eye – Brandy of the Damned

Seems like all last year, the Strokes were running around doing all kinds of different things unrelated to their core band.  Julian and Albert pursued solo projects, while Fabrizio started Little Joy.  The only one that sat around and counted money was Nick Valensi.  Bassist Nikolai Fraiture started the Nickel Eye project, churning out a debut album in January of 2009.  While I was mostly underwhelmed with the majority of the disc, “Brandy of the Damned” is the ultra-repetitive, ultra-catchy standout.

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