By Andrew Doscas
These are the songs I listen to at 2:00 A.M. on a Wednesday night when no one’s around. Now, there are some songs that that while I secretly love, there’s at least one other soul out there who knows about it. Whether or not said soul remembers or cares is beyond me. “Your Song” by Elton John isn’t on this list because everyone knows I secretly love that song. “She Drives Me Crazy” by the Fine Young Cannibals can’t be on this list because I once met a girl in college who loved the Fine Young Cannibals, and in a foolhardy attempt to win her affections I disseminated my liking of this song to her. These are literally the songs no one else knows I listen to.
1) “Feeling This”/Blink 182/Blink 182
Just to set the record straight, I hate Blink 182; I hated them in junior high and I still hate them. They’re just not that good, nor do they do anything for music in general. They played the popular music of the time and became most popular for that. With that being said, “Feeling This” is the sole exception to this universal constant. For better or for worse this song will always remind me of one specific girl I met in college. I guess you can chalk it up to sentimental value or maybe even lust…who knows?
2) “Gumboots”/Paul Simon/Graceland
While my love for the album is no secret, for some reason I’ve never really expressed how great of a song “Gumboots” is. I think it’s because I didn’t even realize how much I loved it, despite the fact that for the entire month of November 2012, it was probably the only song I listened to.
3) “Don’t Do It”/The Band/Rock of Ages
Now, I’m not a fan of covers, nor am I a fan of The Band, but for some reason it’s their cover of “Don’t Do It” that’s become my favorite from the first time one of my history professors played it randomly in the middle of class. Why he did this, I’ll never know, as there wasn’t any semblance of reason to it-but I’m glad he did. It’s more upbeat and rhythmic than the original, Marvin Gaye version, and it’s much truer to its root than the hard rock version done by the Who a few years before. It occupies the perfect middle ground between R&B and rock, and that’s the key to its success.
4) “Genius of Love”/Tom Tom Club/Tom Tom Club
If I had to pick one song on this countdown that I am 100% sure no one else knows I love, it’s this one. (rather defensively) It’s a nice song, so sue me. The signature song of a side project created by half the Talking Heads, “Genius of Love” is a love song, but it’s an inane and absurd love song, which automatically makes it the best kind of love song. It’s a wacky song about how a woman (who occasionally experiments with drugs) loves her boyfriend. It’s a nice song….whatever…I have to balance the Metallica and Guns N’ Roses out with something, right?
5) “In a Little While”/U2/All That You Can’t Leave Behind
Everyone knows I love U2; and anyone who’s not comatose will tell you that the first four tracks on All That You Can’t Leave Behind form one of the best succession of tracks ever. The sixth track “In a Little While” represents the best of what the album has to offer, a sound that is the perfect mix of The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby, with lyrics that can appeal to anyone. The fact that this song was used in Vanilla Sky is probably the biggest reason why I like the movie more than I objectively and actually should. Like “Gumboots”, “In a Little While” is a great song on a great album flooded with more reputable and mainstream songs. Both songs are one of the hidden nuggets on their respective albums.
6) “Cherub Rock”/Smashing Pumpkins/Siamese Dream
The fact that this song was on Guitar Hero automatically makes this song’s placement here a little illegitimate, but that was how I got into the Smashing Pumpkins. I heard this awesome song with a buzzing guitar riff and too much feedback, and then I started to pay attention to the lyrics. When I first heard it, the song reminded me of most people from high school, when I got to college it reminded me of most people I met in college. Lines like “beware all those angels with their wings glued on”, and “tell me all of your secrets, cannot help but believe this is true, tell me all of your secrets I know, I know, I know should have listened when I was told” are some of the greatest lines that 90s rock ever had to offer.
I’m not a fan of Pixies, and I only heard this song through another medium: Kevin Smith’s Zach and Miri Make a Porno. I still really love the song though despite not caring too much about the fact that they are the grunge pioneers. Even though it’s a laid back guitar riff, there’s a malaise to it that is really highlighted by frontman Black Francis’ sporadic shouting throughout the song. It’s probably because of the scene that the song was played in during Zack and Miri, but this song will always remind me of the aftermath of a one night stand; strange that I associate gratuitous sex with Kevin Smith and an alt-rock band that peaked before I was born.
8) “Pretty Little Ditty”/Red Hot Chili Peppers/Mother’s Milk
Most people haven’t heard this song before, but I’m sure most people would recognize the riff as it was covered by a shitty one hit wonder Limp Bizkit knockoff in 2000. For some reason I just think this song is so mysterious. If I was ever going to join a cult, I would want this song playing on a loop during my induction ceremony. The sound of the song itself goes back and forth between this interlocking bass guitar groove and then into some ephemeral eastern influenced guitar sequence. I’m not too into instrumentals, but this may very well be my favorite one.
9) “Interstate Love Song”/Stone Temple Pilots/Purple
There’s nothing I particularly like about STP, as there isn’t really great about them. This notwithstanding, for some reason “Interstate Love Song” always gets me hyped up; it may be because the guitar riff is one of the most memorable riffs to come along this side of “Sweet Child O’ Mine”. The song itself is just a cool sounding song, and that’s all it’ll ever be. I am absolutely ok with this.
Sublime is the most overrated band that people my age listen to. Kids my age listen to them because they thought they would have listened to them back in 1995 if they weren’t too busy singing along to the theme song from whatever Disney movie came out at the time. We listen to Sublime because we think that’s what we ought to do in order to retroactively stake a much for vested claim to our retroactively obsessed culture. With that being said, “Santeria” is still a good song. As much as I don’t like Sublime, I can’t not like “Santeria”. Maybe it’s the baseline, maybe it’s the fact that it’ll always remind me of the same girl, or maybe it’s because I’m completely wrong about Sublime.
 The fact that anyone let alone a girl only a year older than me would consider herself a fan of FYC still amazes me to this day.