Sunday, June 29, 2008

Favorites among favorites, revisited.

This entry has spent many months in gestation. Tonight, it was finally time to induce labor.

I stole the idea from someone on Last.fm. Brilliant, just brilliant, I thought when I stumbled upon her journal entry. (Even more brilliant is her other journal entry, which shall also be pilfered.)

When I first read her entry many months ago, I immediately wanted to put together a list of my own. But it's been a monumentally daunting task. I came up with a rough draft while flying home to Houston some time last year. But I couldn't commit to my selections enough to finalize them. How many spots to give to old-timers? How many to give to current favorites, who, given my often short attention span, may no longer be favorites in a couple of months? Hell, I struggled for another couple of hours just now scooting bands in and escorting others out. But I'm at peace with my choices now ... I suppose.

Here are my top 17 favorite bands of all time, arranged in reverse chronological order by the approximate date on which I fell in love with each. (17 because that's my favorite number.)
SHOUT OUT LOUDS
first song: the comeback
fell in love with: shut your eyes
current favorite: hard rain

MEW
first song: the zookeper’s boy
fell in love with: the seething rain weeps for you
current favorite: snow brigade

BRITISH SEA POWER
first song: remember me
fell in love with: childhood memories
current favorite: trip out

PHOENIX
first song: too young
fell in love with: holdin’ on together
current favorite: everything is everything

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE
first song: ibi dreams of pavement (a better day)
fell in love with: swimmers
current favorite: 7/4 (shoreline)

STARS
first song: set yourself on fire
fell in love with: elevator love letter
current favorite: life 2: the unhappy ending

THE RADIO DEPT.
first song: against the tide
fell in love with: strange things will happen
current favorite: ewan

INTERPOL
first song: obstacle 1
fell in love with: obstacle 1
current favorite: obstacle 1

CLUB 8
first song: everlasting love
fell in love with: better days
current favorite: the beauty of the way we’re living

MY BLOODY VALENTINE
first song: soon
fell in love with: when you sleep
current favorite: sometimes

SAINT ETIENNE
first song: mario’s cafe
fell in love with: spring
current favorite: new thing

COCTEAU TWINS
first song: carolyn’s fingers
fell in love with: cico buff
current favorite: orange appled

THE SMITHS
first song: how soon is now?
fell in love with: there is a light that never goes out
current favorite: there is a light that never goes out

THE CURE
first song: just like heaven
fell in love with: just like heaven
current favorite: just like heaven

ERASURE
first song: oh l’amour
fell in love with: victim of love (vixenvitesse mix)
current favorite: i love saturday

DEPECHE MODE
first song: strangelove
fell in love with: everything counts
current favorite: but not tonight

NEW ORDER
first song: bizarre love triangle
fell in love with: bizarre love triangle
current favorite: primitive notion

But I'm gonna cheat a bit, because it was agonizing to leave out this band. They're actually my current favorite, but I couldn't justify bumping off any of the others to let in this relative newcomer. Maybe in another few months. For now, they get a very honorable mention in their very own space.

THE EMBASSY
first song: it never entered my mind
fell in love with: it never entered my mind
current favorite: beggin’

A throwback of sorts. Very reminiscent of Pet Shop Boys, but with newer synthesizers, deeper bass lines and stronger integration of guitars. That and they're Swedish ... as are three of my top 17. (Add in one from Denmark, and that's a pretty big Scandinavian bloc. Hmm ... I've just noticed that only one among the 17 is American. Go figure.)

It'll be fun to take a look at this (and update it) in a couple of years.

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