1. “Young Lovers in Town,” The Bottle Rockets
This song reads more like a joke than any of the other Bottle Rocket’s stuff I know. The lyrics seem totally mismatched with the boozy, barroom atmosphere until you get to that last line.2. “1st Thing’s 1st,” Phantom Planet
I arrived a little late to the Phantom Planet party, but I still enjoy this album. The mixing on the guitars on this track is so good; it almost distracts me from the stellar vocal work.
3. “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea,” George Harrison
George must have been on a mission to record the cutest arrangement of this song possible. It’s pure sap, from the tuba and ukulele to the way he sings the word “twist”, but I love it.
4. “Sun King,” The Beatles
I would like to go on record as calling this the sexiest song ever recorded. Period.
5. “Life on Mars?,” David Bowie
I actually didn’t own this until [the Bad Plus album] Prog came out. I heard their version, realized I had always loved the song, and decided it was about damn time.
6. “Bedlam,” Elvis Costello
I might be the only Costello fan who actually enjoys this album, and even I’ll admit it has its slow parts, but it’s tracks like this that prove Costello can scream a line better than anyone could hope to sing it.
7. “Shadow Dance,” Dave Holland Big Band
This track blows my mind. My iPod says I’ve listened to it 9 times, and I still can’t tell you when the band comes in. It’s magic.
8. “Stepfather Factory,” El-P
This isn’t the greatest track, but the production here is incredible. If everyone were making beats like this, the world would be a better place.
9. “This Magic Moment,” Lou Reed
This comes off a Doc Pomus tribute album. All of the tracks are awesome. Man, whatever happened to Lou Reed?
10. “Ask Me ‘Bout Nothin’ (But the Blues),” Boz Scaggs
Something about the way he sings this just makes you believe everything he says. Plus, his band is capable of the best slow burn in the business. What a good song.