1. “One More Cup of Coffee,” The White Stripes
If you agree that Bob Dylan was a great songwriter, but can’t listen to his voice for long periods of time, this is a good song for you. Terrific song. Sung by Jack White? Even better. This song comes off of an earlier White Stripes album — during the band’s prime, if you ask me.2. “So Easy,” Ryksopp
I’ve been getting into this more chill music recently. Listening to this song, I feel very Zen, and yet it still makes me want to dance. Good beats too. Lacks in lyrics a little bit, but the sound compensates.
3. “Not Going Home,” The Elected
The ultimate driving song. I pretty much put this song on every time I’m driving. Also has a rebellious youth kind of feeling. The Elected is fun. The lead singer has buggy eyes and a mustache, or at least he did when I saw the band in concert in 2006. It was a little disconcerting at the time, which is why I bring it up.
4. “Standing In The Way Of Control,” Gossip
Powerful stuff. Beth Ditto has a crazy soul voice and she knows how to scream. Accompanies the garage band sound to make greatness. This is off of one of two Gossip albums I have. Both are pretty raw — sounds like it was recorded in a tin can kind of raw. Apparently they are a big deal in the U.K. Here, not as much.
5. “Creator,” Santigold
Santigold’s album “Santogold” is currently my favorite. Every song is awesome. Very high energy — she sounds a lot like M.I.A. This song is my favorite, and brings back great memories of last weekend at Lake Winnebago — it’s a great one to get stuck in your head. The first couple seconds are completely not singable, but that lack of singability doesn’t stop us from singing along and sounding a like a pod of manatees.
6. “Fisherman’s Blues” The Waterboys
Brings me back to youth and never fails to bring instant joy. And also makes me think of old naked Irish men. Definitely watch “Waking Ned Divine.”
7. “Maybe Sparrow,” Neko Case
Neko Case, Neko Case, Neko Case. Every song sung by Neko is beautiful. All-time favorite artist. I think they play her newest release at Starbucks a lot — oh, well. She has such a gorgeous voice. Also most of her songs have a banjo. Banjo rocks. This one doesn’t have a banjo, though.
8. “Trophy,” Bat For Lashes
Bat For Lashes has been a recent discovery for me. I love everything about this song. It is so catchy, Natasha Kahn has a wonderful voice, I love the lyrics, and the beats are awesome. It is actually a little Bjork-like.
9. “Zero,” Yeah Yeah Yeahs
I want to dance to this song! Listening to this song will automatically make me happy, no matter what. At first I was unsure about “It’s Blitz!” — the band’s latest album — since it is so much softer and pop-like than the earlier albums, but I have been converted. The first time I heard the Yeah Yeah Yeahs was at a concert, and Karen O was freaking out and screaming on stage, and it was amazing. This album doesn’t really have that sound, but it is still very good. Nice progression.
10. “She’s Lost Control,” Joy Division
This song is just tight. I have gained a new appreciation for Joy Division, and it turns out the band has more than just “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” “She’s Lost Control” is quite dark. Maybe it’s the dismal lyrics that make it seem so deep and cavernous. Maybe it’s the key that it is in. Depressing? Maybe. Good song? I think so.