I was having a conversation with someone the other day about how the word “epic” has become overused, and what actually merits the description. When pushed for a definition, the closest I could come was to say that it was something that was so engrossing it created a desire to become wrapped up in it.
Which is exactly what ELEL achieves on their single “40 Watt.” From the first bars of the track incorporating a combination of synth that almost sounds like steel drums, hand claps and a badass slow drumbeat, I get totally sucked into this song every time. The second the distorted and electric vocals hit with the first “40 Waaaaatt Liiiiiiiightbuuuuuuuulb” I’m hooked and engrossed. The song is a shimmery, hazy, delicate thing of beauty – give it a listen:
Can you believe we are halfway throughout the 10′s?
Holy fuck. what the hell happened?
I was at a random gathering of humans this past weekend when The Killer’s Mr. Brightside came on and everyone collectively lost their minds and screamed and sang the lyrics as if their very being of existence depended on it (yours truly included). The next day, a friend commented on the situation and it got me thinking, now that we are a half decade clear of the 00′s, what was that generation’s go to dance floor rock anthem?
Is Mr Brightside truly the “Don’t Stop Believin” or “Living on the Prayer” of the 00′s? If not, what was?
Let’s take a look at a few popular songs that could potentially be the new rock floor anthem of the 00′s. Since I basically have ignored the radio since the internet came along, I will stick with indie-ish music in my epic search for the defining 00′s dance floor anthem.
White Stripes – 7 Nation Army Perhaps the most memorable riff and music video of the 00′s, this song really isn’t really danceable beyond a few freakout moments during the breakdown. Also, Hotel Yorba was better (although I once played that at a wedding and no one danced to it)
Modest Mouse – Float On
Amazing chorus, a constant beat and uplifting lyrics make this track a contender, but Isaac Brock’s vocals are just off kilter enough so that you can’t really fully memorize the whole song.
Franz Ferdinand – Take Me Out
The first time I ever heard this song, I had to listen to it again because I didn’t know what the fuck just happened. Then I spent a while trying to figure out if I should sneak it on to my best of 2003 compilation which I had just sent out a week before or something (I did). As awesome as this song is (and don’t you forget it is completely awesome), I don’t think people identify with this song emotionally as much as some of the other contenders on this list. They will just jump up and down to that glorious riff though.
The Walkmen – The Rat
Criminally underrated 00′s classic doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. Despite it’s frenetic beat, it is probably way too dark to dance to on a glorious Saturday night although if you are pissed at someone, it would be pretty epic to scream “Can’t you hear me now, I’m calling out your name” at them. Actually any line from this song would work.
The Libertines – Can’t Stand Me Now / Don’t Look Back into the Sun
Too British, although you can bet some British lads are dry humping each other on the dance floor whenever this track plays at some greasy pub in London.
Arcade Fire – Wake Up
Life changing opening WHOOOOAAAAOOOOOOOAAAOOOAAAHHH part but then it descends into too much sadness before the inevitable end of track freak out. Wake Up is great but takes the audience through too much of a emotional gamut to be a true rock out anthem. No one wants to hear “our bodies get bigger but our hearts get torn up” during a dance floor rock out anthem moment.
Bloc Party – Banquet This song probably wasn’t as big as I think it was. I just remember mistiming one of the choruses at the Dance Cave once and put my hands in the air at the wrong time, which allowed my friend to laugh at me, forever scarring me on this song. This Modern Love however, is one of the ten best songs of the 00′s.
The Strokes – Last Nite
The runner up – memorable music video, good time vibes and lyrics everyone can sing in their sleep. The only thing that knocks this Strokes song off the mountain is that it’s actually impossibly cool. People can’t get dramatic to it. You can’t do group hugs on the dance floor to Last Nite for some reason. Also some people might argue that Hard to Explain was better even though the lyrics are too fast to be an anthem. No one would argue Somebody Told Me is better then Mr. Brightside, on the other hand.
The Killers – Mr. Brightside
In the end, it has to be Mr. Brightside. This song, like most Killer songs makes no sense lyrically (although if you read song meanings, there are literally essays trying to decipher this). The crazy thing about this track is, no one really cares that it makes no sense. It’s frenetic, dramatic and incredibly easy to memorize. Perhaps we all have listened to it so many times that we all have it memorized, I am not sure. Maybe it’s Brandon Flower’s enunciation. Who knows. Perhaps the magic of this track is that after the first chorus the song just repeats itself! It’s basically Dora the Explorer or something for drunk adults. Either way, completely danceable with karaoke lyrics, you simply can’t go wrong. I also think people like to sing the words “Destiny is calling me”. In a drunken haze, it can make the night seem bigger then it actually is.
By no means does this make Mr. Brightside the best song of the past decade, but when you are feeling nostalgic about the 00′s on a dance floor somewhere, you know you’ll get hit hard when this track gets played.
It’s getting dark outside. It’s late at night, you’re all alone, and you can’t shake the feeling that something bad is coming down the pipeline. You wonder if maybe it’s the ominous synthesizer music that brings on this feeling and then it hits you – you are a character in a John Carpenter film!
At least that’s the feeling I get while listening to “Night,” a track off of Carpenter’s upcoming debut album of non-soundtracks recordings, Lost Themes (out February 3 on Sacred Bones records). While it’s not actually the theme to one of his films, it’s certainly of a piece with the scores Carpenter penned for such classics as Halloween, Prince Of Darkness or They Live! Give it a listen and fill your head with imaginary scenes from films Carpenter never actually made.
And as a bonus, enjoy the video for “Big Trouble in Little China” from Carpenter’s cheese-tastic old band The Coup de Villes, also featuring Nick Castle (who played Michael Myers in the first Halloween) and Tommy Lee Wallace, the writer and director of Halloween III: Season Of The Witch, which, let’s face it, was the best of the Halloween movies. Silver Shamrock!
It’s best to keep your expectations realistic. Sure, maybe Prince Charming is waiting just around the river bend … but the likelihood’s low. Which is why I say hats off to Saint Motel for keeping their expectations low in the title track from their 2014 EP My Type:
“You know you’re just my type/You’ve got a pulse and you are breathing.”
Add to that stellar lyric some woodwinds and hand claps and you know I’m hooked: