Friday, June 4, 2010

The Horror Playlist: Nickolas Cook (Top 10 songs on my iPod #1)

I decided, as a treat to myself, to take on our Horror Playlist this month. But I went about it a little differently than most of our past guests. I decided to go with the top ten songs on my iPod playcounter this week. Of course, that's gonna change by next week...hell, maybe even by the end of this article. But I think most music lovers will really enjoy what I've put together this month. Watch the videos, enjoy the songs, buy the albums. I plan to do more top 10 playlists, from time to time, just for the fun of it. And, of course, because I love to share my musical finds with other music loving Horrorheads.

1. The Loop-Morrissey
Sing Your Life (1991)

I am a child of the 80s, so The Smiths were, of course, a huge deal for me as a teen. And no, Marilyn Manson, I'm not gay, you asshole. Morrissey is one talented lyricist and knows how to put together a song like no one else. This song is in constant rotation on my iPod. It's got a great bass-line, mixed with a country rockabilly sound.

2. Get Innocuous-LCD Soundsystem
Sound of Silver (2007)

This is one great song! An almost drone like ambiance, with sarcastic lyrics, and a simple but effective keyboard hook. Makes me want to dance every time I hear it. Thankfully, no one can see me do that. I am no John Travolta, although this song makes me think I am.

3. Switch (Marco Bellini & Val Weller Bosomania Club Mix)-Fluke
Puppy (2003)

Another great dance song, with great lyrics, and keyboard and bass hooks aplenty. Fluke is one of the best at creating consistently awesome albums.

4. A Day Like This-Elbow
The Seldom Seen Kid (2008)

Incredibly uplifting song, with a thread of hope in an uncertain world. Great arrangements by a band that deserves a much larger US audience. Of course, they won't get it because their lyrics are for adults, not 12 year olds.

5. Across 110th Street-Bobby Womack
Across 110th Street Original Soundtrack (1972)

The theme song from one of the all time great blaxploitation crime films, composed and sang by one of the all time great soul singers, Bobby Womack. Womack's importance to modern soul is in direct proportion to all the little assholes that have copied his smooth street credible stylings over the last couple of decades and never given him credit. Bands like The Gorillaz know this and included him on their latest release, PLASTIC BEACH.

6. Check My Brain-Alice In Chains
Black Gives Way to Blue (2009)

Love this song! And the coolest thing is that it's not even the best song on the album. But it is the one that's in heavy rotation on my iPod at the moment. Simple lyrics, heartfelt, and full of pains about their past losses within the band. Great harmonies, as usual. Laine Staley will always be missed, but Alice In Chains is still a huge force in hard rock music.

7. Blue In Green-Miles Davis
Kind of Blue (1959)

My favorite jazz composition of all time. There is a sense of melancholy and beauty in this song that truly feels as if it encapsulates my worldview. As I get older, I feel it more and more, with every listen. I've played it, according to my iPod playcounter, a total of 450 times in less than 4 years. That should tell you something about its power.

8. Gimme Shelter-The Rolling Stones
Let It Bleed (1969)

One of the greatest Rolling Stones songs ever! There's a sense of lost innocence and menace about it that truly tells the story of the end of The 60s Love Generation. Released the year of my birth, it's always felt like an important album to my life; this song especially. We went from Woodstock to the Altamont Free Concert all too quickly, folks. This song reminds us that the U.S. dream of love and peace died a bloody violent death.

9. Spoonful-Howlin' Wolf
Howlin' Wolf (1960)

One of the greatest blues songs, by one of the greatest blues-men of all time. Spoonful has been covered by everyone from Cream to Hendrix. It sounds dangerous and dark. Like Howlin' Wolf himself. Written by Willie Dixon especially for Wolf, during his time with Chess Records, it has become a true blues standard. And I love to sing this one. Wolf's voice is like nails and cream.

10. Umi Says-Mos Def
Black On Both Sides (1999)

There is such sincerity in Mos Def's song that anyone can feel it when they listen to the lyrics. He's just a man, he says, trying to do the best he can. Who isn't, right? But the smooth bass-lines and keyboard hooks really propel this one.