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  • Essential Tracks: Manchester Orchestra

    Wed, 26 Sep 2007 17:00:07

    Essential Tracks: Manchester Orchestra - The usual: Led Zeppelin, Neutral Milk Hotel... Sesame Street

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    In the fashion of the trusty "If you were on a desert island and could only bring 3 records..." taste-o-meter, we now pose the more technologically advanced question: "If you had a .0000667 GB iPod that holds only 10 songs, what would they be?" Ready for the challenge—and to wow you with impeccable taste—is bassist Jonathan Corley of buzzing, folk-emo outfit Manchester Orchestra.

    "Can you compile a list of your ten favorite songs and give a full description as to why you picked these particular songs?"

    There's a loaded question. I'm not sure where to begin. It is impossible to simplify my favorite music into a list ten songs. I am more inclined to listen to entire albums, rather than individual songs. In fact, it is offensive when people don't have albums on their iPod. I don't have my iPod with me now, and I don't have any music saved to my computer. It's a challenge, anyway. With that said, I guess I have to start somewhere...

    In no particular order:

    Led Zeppelin - How the West Was Won
    "Moby Dick"

    I started playing bass because Andy Hull already played guitar. I learned how to play by sitting in my parents basement with Rage Against the Machine's self-titled record and the three-disc live Zeppelin album How the West Was Won. Rage never had a drum solo quite like "Moby Dick". I'm not sure anyone will.

    The Weakerthans - Left and Leaving
    "My Favorite Chords"
    It's tough to decide between "My Favorite Chords" and "Times Arrow" (which was based off an intriguing book by fellow Canadian James Morrow). I have "Reconstruction Site" playing constantly in my car when I'm actually in town. However, this song seems to be the most meaningful to me. "These are my favorite chords / I hope you like them, too / When I get a new guitar / you can have this one."

    Clinic - Internal Wrangler
    "The Second Line"
    They wear surgeon masks live.

    Take Six - Sesame Street: Sing-Along Travel Songs
    "Down Below The Street"
    "Hey bow-wow-hey-ba-biddy-hey / What's down below the street?" There are some lyrical gems here. I've probably listened to this more than any single song ever. Between the ages of two and four this was my absolute favorite song off my Sesame Street cassette.

    Radiohead - The Bends
    "Fake Plastic Trees"
    Apparently after Thom Yorke recorded this in the studio he broke down in tears. I'm not sure if that is actually true. What I do know is that this is an amazing, amazing song.

    Modest Mouse - Lonesome Crowded West
    "Cowboy Dan"
    Isaac Brock has hands-down the best one-liners of any songwriter I've ever come across. This song—to me, at least—seems to be about a man who's angry with God. He drives out to the middle of the desert and points a gun up at the sky. He's so angry about death that he fires his rifle at the sky and walks back to his car that won't start.

    Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
    "Oh Comely"

    The National - Boxer
    "Slow Show"
    This album is quite possibly my favorite release from this year. Without spending time with any of the previous records, this came out of nowhere. The ability to have such an impact vocally without ever raising your voice blows my mind. Although the drums on "Fake Empire" effectively converted me, I would have to say "Slow Show" would be the song I constantly find on repeat. "You know I dreamed about you / For 29 years / Before I saw you / I missed you for 29 years."

    Dismemberment Plan - Change
    "Ellen and Ben"
    This is story about a couple, and it doesn't really go anywhere. I think that's why I like it so much. Vocally and Instrumentally it's not nearly as abrasive or intense as some of the older albums, but it's simple. Like Simple Sam. Simple Sam. Simple Sam spends every day being simple and maybe thats why I like him so much. I wish you the best, Simpy.

    DJ Bubblegum 4 - Unreleased
    "Dropkick in the Ka"
    One of the best young talents in the Atlanta hip-hop scene. He claims to have lived forever and built the pyramids.

    —The ARTISTdirect Staff

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