top 5

Top 5 Favorite Love Songs

Well, it’s that time of year again. It’s Valentine’s Day, the day when couples across the globe come together in a Hallmark-approved celebration of their love and bitter singles like me feel strangely compelled to remind everyone of the fakeness of the holiday and how if you really love somebody you don’t need a special holiday to make you show it. The central dilemma of Valentine’s Day is the conflict between true love and obligation – if you put on some big romantic display on this day of all days, are you really doing it because you love your partner or because you feel like that’s what you’re supposed to do every February 14th?

I don’t know, maybe I just look at Valentine’s Day this way because I’ve been single for it every year, so I feel like I’ve always been on the outside looking in and don’t know what it’s like to share it with someone. The highlight of my Valentine’s Day every year is getting my Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in the mail, the exception being last year because that’s the day Radiohead announced that The King Of Limbs would be coming out later that week.

Dear Kate Upton: If you’re reading this, I want you to know that you can teach me how to dougie any time. Love always, Wannabe Valentine #239,570,816.

But we’re not here to talk about any of that stuff, are we? Of course not! We’re here to count down my top 5 favorite love songs in honor of Obligatory Love Day. The fun begins as soon as you click “Read the rest of this page”!



Top 5 Lists I Didn’t Get To Do On My Show

During my tenure at WMUC2 as the host of Listen Up!, I did 34 shows. Only two of them ended without a Top 5 list – three if you count the Top 20 Shortest Songs list, which I did as part of an experiment to see how many songs I could squeeze into two hours – and only one of those was because I didn’t have an idea for the week. The other was because my show was cut short by a Maryland baseball game.

Terrapins baseball: Interrupting my radio shows since 2009.

Of course, along with the 32 lists that made it to the airwaves, there were several list ideas that I never got to do. Most of the time it was because I had a hard time thinking of five songs with which to fill the list, which kind of defeats the purpose of the whole “Top 5” thing. But that’s what happens when you try to classify songs into excessively specific categories, especially because my brain isn’t quite the encyclopedia of music knowledge that I would have liked for it to be. It certainly would have made filling these lists a lot easier!

As always, the fun begins after the jump.


Top 5 Favorite Bass Guitar Songs

What do you think of when you think about your favorite bands? Maybe their singer has a great voice, one that could get you ready to kick some ass or move you to tears, depending on the band or the song. Or maybe their guitarists come up with some of the coolest riffs and solos you’ve ever heard, making you want to air guitar along, boot up your copy of Rock Band, or even learn the instrument yourself. Or maybe the drummer is just completely insane, pounding away at the skins like he’s got an extra pair of arms.

But there’s another guy in the band whose contributions can be pretty easy to overlook since his instrument of choice is usually lower in the mix than everything else. Yet without him, the band’s sound wouldn’t be quite as full. And if you listen closely, you just might hear something cool in its own right. Today, my friends, we gather to celebrate perhaps the most underrated instrument in rock n’ roll — the bass.

My top 5 favorite bass songs are coming up after the jump. And I know a lot of big-name bassists are absent from this list. So really it’s more like my favorite bass songs among the stuff I listen to most often. But feel free to list your favorites in the comments!


Top 5 Favorite Driving Songs

Everyone’s got songs that they love listening to while driving their cars. The music brightens your mood and makes you want to sing along. It’s something fun to do between stopping at that stupid red light that always catches you while you’re in a hurry and cussing out the jackass who just cut you off so he could drive under the damn speed limit even though there’s nobody behind you for about half a mile. And you’d better enjoy it while it lasts because once you get to work the only station you’ll be listening to all day will be the soft-rock/adult contemporary station that plays “Hey, Soul Sister” by Train three times an hour.

In other cases, the music is full of fast-paced rhythms and heavy riffage that makes your adrenaline start to flow, and you start thrashing the steering wheel all around, driving like a maniac… WHIPLASH!

…I’m sorry, that wasn’t very funny. See, if you start driving like a maniac, it puts you at risk to hit a telephone pole or something, and then your head will jerk backwards and you might actually get whiplash. Or at least that was a problem before they started putting those headrests on the front seats. Well, the whiplash part, anyway. I’m pretty sure maniacs crashing into stuff is still an issue.

So now I’m gonna hit you with a couple honorable mentions, and then the top 5 will follow after the jump.


Queens Of The Stone Age, “Go With The Flow”


Muse, “Knights Of Cydonia”

(Incidentally, these songs also happen to have two of the coolest music videos ever made. Coincidence, or part of something greater? … It’s a coincidence.)


Top 5 Favorite Original/Non-Traditional Christmas Songs

Hey everyone! Believe it or not, I’m still alive and finally writing another post. You can chalk up that lengthy hiatus to having lots of stuff to do for school. I had a whole bunch of papers to write and several exams to prepare for and I just wasn’t in the mood to write after all that. And I’d wanted to write a commemorative post celebrating the one-year anniversary of this blog, too (I registered with WordPress on New Year’s Eve 2008). I’d also planned on writing this post a lot sooner, since the holiday season only lasts so long.

But here I am, late to the Christmas party… and the New Year’s party, for that matter, but I’ve never done much for New Year’s anyway. The most I ever do is watch a movie or that Three Stooges marathon on AMC, then switch over to Dick Clark and the Times Square ball drop, have a glass of Bailey’s Irish Cream, and then it’s right back to the Stooges for a little bit longer. In the immortal words of James Blunt, “My life is brilliant.” (No links for those of you who are still traumatized by “You’re Beautiful.”)

In this episode, Curly goes crazy and asks Moe and Larry to rip his ears off after being subjected to James Blunt a few times too many.

So in the spirit of the season that has officially passed us by (my mother actually just took down our Christmas decorations today), here’s my Top 5 Favorite Original/Non-Traditional Christmas Songs. No “Frosty The Snowman” or “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” here, folks. All those songs have been done to death, but people keep doing them anyway. If I have to listen to one more version of freaking “Jingle Bell Rock,” I’m going to lose my mind.

See, back when I worked in a supermarket during high school, they played nothing but Christmas music during the holiday season. Because they apparently didn’t want to offend any non-Christians by playing songs about Jesus, that meant the soundtrack was pretty much limited to every version of “Frosty” and “Rudolph” and “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” that has ever been recorded. I still haven’t quite recovered from this.

So today we celebrate artists who dare to write their own Christmas songs — and actually succeed at it!


Site Modifications!

Hey everyone. One last post for today, and then I’ll be done for now. I promise.

With the additions of the new features on my site, I’ve decided to make some changes in the navigation of the site. You’ll notice that there are certain tabs at the top of the home page that aren’t there anymore. You’ll also notice that there is a new tab called EXTRAS. I decided to tinker with the hierarchy of the site’s pages so the navigation bar doesn’t look so cluttered. This post is a guide to help you with the changes. There will also be a navigation guide added to the About page.

The Extras page is an index of all the stuff that isn’t directly related to my show — rants, Colin’s Collection (posts about albums I’ve bought), ENJOY THE GENIUS, Picks Of The Week, and my newest feature When Bad Songs Happen To Good Bands can all be found there. To find ENJOY THE GENIUS, Colin’s Collection, and WBSHTGB, click Extras and then click Featured Series. Picks Of The Week now has its own page and there is a link to it on Extras.

There’s another new tab on the navigation bar called Minis, which is short for Mini-Playlists, which is an idea I have that (if all goes according to plan) will make this show a more interactive experience for YOU, the listener. Click the Minis tab and read all about it!

Top 5 will stay on the navigation bar because it is directly related to the show. Playlists will stay on the bar as well.

The Downloads page has been moved under the Show tab, and there is now a link to it on the Show page.

That should just about cover all the modifications, and hopefully it won’t be confusing. If you have any questions or comments about these changes, post them in the comment section for this post or the About page.

Top 5 Songs That Officially Made Me A Fan Of The Bands That Wrote Them

(originally aired on Dec. 5, 2008 show)

I have a real knack for coming up with really really long titles for these lists, don’t I? And there are more long list titles where that came from, trust me.

Anyway, this top 5 is a list of the songs that basically secured my status as a fan of these bands. In other words, if I had ever been on the fence about these bands, these are the songs that got me off that fence. For some, I had already liked a few songs but hadn’t felt the urge to add some albums to my collection until I heard a song on this list. With others, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the band at all and was pleasantly surprised by what I heard. And in a rare case or two, I found my previous opinion of the band being completely shattered. These were the songs that sealed the deal, the songs that made me want to check out some albums by the artists on this list. And in each case, I’m so very glad I did.


Top 5 Favorite Song Titles (For Now)

(originally featured on the Nov. 21, 2008 show)

There are plenty of ways to make a song memorable for your listeners. You could write really intelligent, thoughtful, or clever lyrics that people can relate to or think about long after the song’s over. You could be a master of melodies, crafting instantly recognizable hooks that never ever ever get unstuck from the listener’s head once they get stuck in it. If you’re particularly awesome at your instrument of choice, you could play a really cool solo that fits right into your song like a hand inside a glove.

Or you could always give your song a really hilarious title. And no matter what you think of the bands on this list, you have to admit that they do have a knack for amusing song titles.

That said, if you don’t like “emo-punk…” ABANDON ALL HOPE, YE WHO ENTER HERE. Because there are going to be two such songs on this list. And since this is strictly about the song titles, I figure I don’t have to do too much of a write-up beyond listing other amusing song titles by the bands on this list.


Top 5 Songs I Really Wish Would Stop Getting Stuck In My Head Whenever I Meet A Pretty Girl

That is one seriously huge mouthful.


Oh, shut up, Mr. Dirty-Minded Inner Voice. You know I was talking about the title of this post.


Um… sure.

Anyway, as if this intro wasn’t enough evidence that I’m weird, there’s also this top 5 list. It’s strange how sometimes music can provide such a fitting soundtrack to your life, as if your iPod is reading your mind or something. Like, here’s an example… the other day I had “Green Gloves” by the National stuck in my head even though I hadn’t listened to it in a while. And sure enough, my iPod started playing “Green Gloves” that same day. (Not that I’m complaining, because “Green Gloves” is a good song.)

Okay, I’ll admit that’s kind of a stretch. But my iPod also seems to put on a soundtrack of songs that fit my mood. Maybe that’s just me subconsciously choosing to play songs that suit whatever mood I’m in. Still, it’s odd to consider just how many of them seem to come up within close proximity of each other.

It even applies to the radio sometimes too. I remember I was on my way home from a counseling appointment and listening to a rock station when all of a sudden the new (at the time) Puddle Of Mudd single comes on. It’s the one that goes, “Maybe I’m the one who is a schizophrenic psycho.”

But the trend that gets to me the most is when I get a song stuck in my head that lowers my confidence when I pay attention to the lyrics. Like, for example… one of these next five songs is practically guaranteed to get stuck in my head somehow whenever I meet a pretty girl. I like all of these songs, too, so I’ll listen to them anyway. But if I listen closely and start thinking about the lyrics (or even particular lines that stand out), it can really do a number on me.

Yeah, I know it’s just music. But music can be a pretty powerful thing when you listen closely. That’s why it’s so magical. I just wish these next five songs would stop casting their particular spells on me!

And yeah, this is meant as a self-deprecating post. I figure it’s always best to have a sense of humor about yourself, because if you didn’t you’d drive yourself crazy.  That said… not all of this post is going to be funny. Now, on with the list…


Top 5 Scariest Songs In My Collection

(originally aired on Nov. 7, 2008 — the Halloween special)

Hi, everybody! (Hi, Dr. Nick!)

Did you all have a fun and romantic Valentine’s Day? Did you get to spend some quality time with your sweetheart? Take him/her out to dinner, maybe see a movie, trade cutesy little gifts, that sort of thing? Are you still on a high from a weekend full of love and happiness?

I hope so…

Because I’m about to completely obliterate that high.

For my Halloween special back in November (I would have done this on Halloween, but I was in Philadelphia for the World Series parade), I decided to count down the five scariest songs I possess in my collection. Some of these songs made the list for creating a spooky atmosphere. Other songs are here for their lyrical concepts. And there might be one or two that are able to effectively combine the two. Brace yourselves, everyone.