1. “Dragonforce,” Fury of the Storm
I like picturing this song being played by Beaker from the Muppets. I think his facial expression fits lead guitarists perfectly.2. “Arnold’s Pizza Shop,” Jerky Boys
“If you want pepperoni and bullets, you’ve come to the right place.” The Jerky Boys had some hilarious skits, most famously the “You Kicked my Dog.” I definitely recommend this one to anyone who has not heard it.
3. “Evaporated,” Ben Folds Five
I love this song. Ben Folds was one of my first musical loves. He writes both playfully and profoundly. But anyway, I don’t really have to convince anyone here that Ben Folds is great.
4. “We Like to Party,” Venga Boys
It’s difficult to resist at least head-bobbing to this song. Especially where it goes dat-dat-dat-dat-dat-da-da. Dat-dat-dat-dat-dat-da-da.
5. “The Internet is for Porn,” Avenue Q
I saw this musical on Broadway back in 2004 and immediately went after the soundtrack. It’s hilarious! And as for this song.well.it certainly endorses one school of thought.
6. “Falling Slowly,” Once Soundtrack
It’s so simple, yet so beautiful. And the lyrical line makes that high note on the chorus just irresistible. Mads and I LOVE this song.
7. “Galapagos,” Smashing Pumpkins
I love the Pumpkins because they layer different parts ingeniously and have a great sense of macrostructure to their songs. This is an underappreciated song on what is probably their best-known album (Mellon Collie). I also like to cover them, not just because they write some beautiful songs but because I feel like I can bring a bit more pleasant vocal tone to them. People who know Billy Corgan’s voice realize this isn’t bragging. And who could match the tone of “Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage” more accurately than he can?
8. “The Star-Spangled Banner,” Sandi Patty
Hardcore patriotism meets 80’s dramatics. The last thing you’ll notice about it is how incredible her voice is, as this rendition features a full orchestra and a nice deceptive cadence into the final note of the “first verse.” I want this to be played at a sporting event sometime.
9. “The Batty Rap,” Robin Williams for the Ferngully Soundtrack
This isn’t usually the first song to be played at Disney Sing-alongs, but.it’s Robin Williams rapping! Which reminds me.I also recently re-watched my Robin Williams Live on Broadway DVD. This is much different from that.
10. “Tomorrow Never Knows,” The Beatles
I was talking music with my uncle a few years back and he told me that Revolver was the most innovative Beatles album and that this song was a big part of it. This highly experimental song proves worthy of exploration, as its “twangy” Indian sound preludes the similar, but more popular “Within You Without You.” Its bird-like crowing is actually Paul McCartney’s laughing sped up and played backward; the lyrics, while obviously referring to a psychedelic state, also bring up themes of living “within” and “without,” “being” and “seeing” and ultimately one’s existence in the world. Good song!