The best songs in the world. At this moment. To me alone.
"Down Home Girl" by THE COASTERS: I had no idea when I started putting this post together that Tuwa's Shanty had their own post going about the Alvin Robinson version of this song. His post pretty much nails everything I love about this song, too, so you might as well head over there to download their track. The first time I ever heard any rendition of this Butler/Leiber song was on THE ROLLING STONES' cover-filled Now LP. The Stones' version is sexy, but The Coasters just lay the mack down on this mother. (BONUS TRACK: "Down Home Girl" by OLD CROW MEDICINE SHOW)
"Jealous Guy" by DONNY HATHAWAY: God bless you, Soul Sides. I can't imagine living my life without hearing this song, and I owe it all to Oliver Wang's blog, and more specifically, the awesome CD of funk and soul gems he curated. I wish I could put out my own album, if only in the hopes I could introduce a song to someone that could move them as much as Hathaway's cover of John Lennon's classic has moved me.
"Incinerate" by SONIC YOUTH: Bloggers have been all over this song for a while now, but I don't care -- this song is just gorgeous and encapsulates everything great about one of my favorite bands. Listening to this you can hear all of the influence these guys have had, on bands like the Smashing Pumpkins, The Pixies, Yo La Tengo, 18th Dye and more. While I enjoyed Sonic Youth's past couple of albums, I really think their new record, Rather Ripped, is exceptional and up there with some of their best albums (Sister, Daydream Nation, Goo, etc.. (BONUS TRACK: A 1988 Peel session from Sonic Youth, where they cover The Fall's "Rouche Rumble")
"For Your Information" by THE CEDARS: Please, God, tell me someone out there can tell me more about the Cedars. What I've learned, I got from a fantastic blog called Little Hits. Everyone I have played this song for has been stunned to find out that these guys were from Lebanon. This song, from 1967, was a huge hit. . . in Turkey. It's a damn shame they never blew up worldwide, because this is the coolest blend of the Middle East and Western pop music I've ever heard, and that includes "Norwegian Wood."
"Lloyd, I'm Ready to be Heartbroken" by CAMERA OBSCURA: It's a fact -- I'm a huge sucker for a girl with a quirky accent, and Camera Obscura's Tracyanne Campbell has a great sexy, Scottish one that turns words like "down" into something that sounds like "doyne." This track is a mini-masterpiece, with soaring strings, a church organ and percussion straight out of a Phil Spector tune. (BONUS TRACK: "Teenager" by CAMERA OBSCURA)
"Quiet Town" by JOSH ROUSE: I've confessed previously to my guilty love of Josh Rouse's pitch perfect brand of lite-rock. Yacht Rock be damned, this guy is just plain SMOOOOTH. "Quiet Town" is from Rouse's newest album, Subtitulo, an album dedicated to Rouse's newfound home in Spain. (BONUS TRACK: Here's a repost of one of my favorite Rouse songs, the imitation Smiths-y-ness of "Winter in the Hamptons")
Pimps of Gore is back, bitches.