"If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?" Will Rogers
Question #92841 posted on 01/30/2020 8:45 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board writers,

What are your top 5 favorite songs?

Extra credit: what's your favorite song that you're least likely to share with others? Maybe it's a guilty pleasure you don't want people to know you like, or an unpopular genre, or you have some other reason. Why the secrecy?

- songbird

A:

Dear Songbird,

My top 5 favorite songs mean what are the 5 songs that I don't skip over and play on repeat on my Spotify account at this very moment... So if you had asked this last week it would have been something different!

In no particular order (and the last two songs Carl played for me and made me cry):

Mainly because I'm in Utah and I feel like all of the people I interact with are members of the church, I deny that I like Lizzo. For the main reason she swears like a sailor! (But I'm from California and I'm desensitized to that.) Especially her two songs Truth Hurts and Good As Hell. But they are so dang CATCHY. I dare not listen to them on my Spotify since Carl and I share an account. Once one of her album covers came up on the screen when he was on Spotify and he was like wutttttttt?! So, that was an awkward moment. But what got me listening to her was the Aristocat Lizzo parody that was going all over Instagram (there's even a full version of it, but not as good). 

Lastly, I occasionally like to listen to my hard rock, metal, and screamo. (Thanks emo/scene high school sophomore me.) Do I admit this to people? No. People would look at my perky self and think that doesn't fit with who I am! I mainly listen to this type of music when I'm working out and doing cardio so I can just keep myself pumped up to continue running. Also, if I'm pretty upset I'll listen to it just to get some steam out. 

I've been figuring out what music I want to listen to while I go into labor, and Carl was somewhat shocked at some of the song choices I've made. But if I'm going to push a baby out of me, I need to be pumped! Through the Fire and Flames is a CLASSIC 'get pumped up' song for me, so obviously I'm going to listen to it. (It was also in my Homework Playlist to get things DONE back when I was still a student.) Also I found this rock song that's pretty cool and it's also going on my playlist. (Also I'm listening to it right now and Carl Jr. is rocking out in my stomach so it's obvious that he already likes this song.) Carl asked that I listen to my playlist via earbuds so I don't taint our babies ears with my music, hah! I told him not to worry, that the "Circle of Life" was going to be the song that Carl Jr. first listens to when he's born. 

So, JUDGE ME. See if I care! Okay I care.

-Goldie Rose

A:

Dear Songbird, 

Honestly, I can't believe you would ask me the hardest question ever. I really like the way Josefina answered the question because it alleviates the pain of only being able to pick 5. Also, I'm making Coldplay it's own category because it's pretty boring if I give you my 5 favorite songs and they're all Coldplay and you get no other information about music that I like.  

Oh, and the other thing... please don't judge me or think that I'm the most boring person you've met in your entire life just because my favorite songs are SO generic. Because they are. But I am still a fun person sometimes, I swear it. 

Favorite Coldplay Songs (right now, anyway)

  1. "Up & Up"
  2. "Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall"
  3. "Champion of the World"
  4. "Hurts like Heaven"
  5. "Politik" 

Songs that are always my favorite (not 5. I make the rules now.) 

  1. "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" by U2  (though I could write a whole other answer about my favorite U2 songs, let's be honest)
  2. "Living in the Moment" by Jason Mraz
  3. "Have It All" by Jason Mraz
  4. "She Will Be Loved" by Maroon 5 
  5. "For Emma" by Bon Iver
  6. "Everybody Wants To Rule the World" by Tears for Fears
  7. "Walls" by The Lumineers
  8. "Cold as Ice" by Foreigner

Songs that are my favorite right now 

  1. "Higher" by Blanks
  2. "Let It All Out (10:05)" by COIN
  3. "Canyon Moon" by Harry Styles 
  4. "Circles" by Post Malone
  5. "Sleep Through the Static" by Jack Johnson
  6. "Salt and the Sea" by The Lumineers

Songs that I'm a little embarrassed about liking

  1. "Look What You Made Me Do" by Taylor Swift
  2. "Papaoutai" by Stromae
  3. "Break my Stride" by Matthew Wilder (I don't know why I just love this song so much and I know so many people that hate it) 
  4. "My Life Would Suck Without You" by Kelly Clarkson
  5. "Stressed Out" by Twenty One Pilots 
  6. Also probably my whole playlist of foreign music (i.e., not U.S., Canada, or British artists, probably not in English. The music is GREAT. I just think that other people might not like it because it's not in English and uses different modes and has different styles. Regardless, there's a whole planet of music being made and I feel dutifully committed to listening to more than just "White" music.) 
If you email me I might even send you a playlist of my favorites so you can see more than just this list.

Cheers, 

Guesthouse

A:

Dear Songbird,

Why do you ask such difficult questions? I can't definitively say that these are my top 5 favorites of all time, but I love all of them and they would rank high on my list.

"The Luckiest" by Ben Folds Five

"Serenade" from The Student Prince.

"Lazy Eye" by the Silversun Pickups

"You Worry Me" by Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats

"Blackbird On the Wire" by the Beautiful South

I'm probably least likely to share that one of my favorite songs is "Out There" from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I don't want to be seen as a stereotypical cast member whose entire life revolves around Disney, but I think it's a beautiful song with a beautiful message.

Love,

Luciana

A:

Dear You,

I will do you one better and give you my top 25 Taylor Swift Songs. Is that the same as my overall top 25? Close. I literally just listen to Taylor Swift and sports radio. So that's me.

Peace,

Tipperary

P.S. If I had to pick 1 non-Taylor Swift jam I'd pick "Into the Unknown" from Frozen 2. That song slaps. 

A:

Dear chirpy,

My music taste has been described, with affected politeness, as "eclectic" by those poor unfortunate souls who have had to live through car rides during which I have control of the music. Now their burden can be yours to share, if you're brave enough.

Also, a top 5 list seems almost as hard to pick as a singular favorite. So I'm going to give you this list with the caveat that the order within my top 5 doesn't really matter. With one obvious exception.

1. Wasteland by Against the Current: For all my grumbling about how hard it is to pick a single favorite anything, this is one category (perhaps the only category) where I am not even a little bit uncertain. This song is perfect. The blend of synthpop and rock is on point, the lyrics are personally meaningful to me, and the climax is incredible. It sort of hearkens back to my embarrassingly cringeworthy high school musical choices in a way that's more emotionally mature and enjoyable.

Just for fun: I had a long-standing argument with 2E about whether or not this was the best song on the album, which only ended when we saw this song live in concert in 2016; Costanza took to the stage immediately before performing to introduce the song with the note that it was her favorite song on the record. I'm not typically one to gloat, but I spent the first minute of the song with the world's smuggest grin on my face and the rest of it in some kind of euphoric trance. Aside from my acceptance to the Board, it was one of the best days of my life.

2. Dirty Laundry by All Time Low: I really like this band a lot, and I could listen to Alex Gaskarth sing all day, which is unusual for me since I tend to be picky about male singers. Good song, I like the message, and while I've heard some purists aren't too happy with the album's shift away from their usual rock and closer to pop, I happen to think the entire album is excellent.

3. Rose-Colored Boy by Paramore: I am, in fact, the half-empty girl and not the rose-colored boy.

4. A.M.D.K.J. by SCANDAL: SCANDAL's more recent previous work has been pretty experimental and their sound has steadily moved away from their usual rock towards a heavily autotuned pop style, which is not exactly to my taste. This is their newest single and a strong return to form. Songs that I loop repeatedly aren't common, but this one makes the cut. Go ahead and skip if Japanese music isn't to your taste...your loss.

5. Shadowlord (from the NieR Gestalt & Replicant Original Soundtrack): In my head, I divide my music into two general collections. The first is "typical" music much like the previous four songs; the second is instrumental and atmospheric music I listen to mostly for inspiration or for setting a particular mood when writing and/or brainstorming. I find music to be pretty helpful in getting through writer's block. Originally, I wanted to split this question and provide 9S' Top 5 for each of the two categories, since the latter contains music I'm not likely to share even though I love it, but the semester is currently threatening me with some combination of exhaustion and mental breakdown, so you'll have to content yourselves with this one selection. I haven't played through the first NieR in its entirety, but the music is wonderful, mostly because Emi Evans' vocals are nothing short of incredible. I don't think you need to know anything at all about the titular Nier or his conflict with the enigmatic Shadowlord to appreciate this song (although a good helping of context takes the song from merely grim to haunting.)

If this list doesn't live up to the "eclectic" appellation, I don't know what will. Rest assured I've plenty more, some of it stranger, to share.

Geuninely,

9S

A:

Dear Wren,

This question was really difficult, so I'm cheating so that I can share more. Hope you don't mind. 

Always favorites:

  • Brother - Gerard Way - This song is by one of my favorite artists, the lead singer of My Chemical Romance. Gerard struggled for years with substance abuse, and both he and his brother struggled with severe depression. This song addresses both of those issues, as well as the general supportive relationship between Gerard and his brother.
  • Piano Man - Billy Joel - I mean, some of these songs probably don't need an explanation. But boy, do I love a good song about the human experience.
  • Killer Queen - Queen - My sister and I once listened to this song on repeat for 90 minutes straight while we were getting ready in our shared room over Christmas break.
  • Vienna - Billy Joel - Not going to lie, I hadn't ever paid attention to this song's lyrics before September, when I heard Ben Platt's excellent cover in Netflix's The Politician. But I've been listening to it on repeat since then and I don't think I'll ever stop. Besides just being really good, it also speaks directly to some of my career-related anxieties, so this is a favorite of mine.
  • Someday - The Hunchback of Notre Dame Cast Album - Did you know that Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame was made into a musical? The show never made it to Broadway because of how expensive it is to produce, but we still have the gift of the cast album and easily accessible bootlegs on YouTube (if that's your thing). "Someday" is probably my favorite track, but you should listen to the entire thing. It is musically, lyrically, and thematically stunning. I like to listen to it on Sundays while I'm getting ready for church.

Right now favorites (aka, I've been playing these on repeat):

  • Mercurial - Picture Atlantic - Besides just kind of being a jam, this song's lyrics describe my life way too frequently. I mean, the song's first line is "long, I've slept in way too long." So.
  • everything i wanted - Billie Eilish - I interpret this song mostly as Billie's response to her newfound (well, newfound-ish) fame, but it can be interpreted and related to much more widely than that. It's just a very chill, pretty song with relatable (if kind of depressing) themes.
  • Bad Religion - Frank Ocean - Another song about unrequited love (because you haven't heard enough of those). But it's beautiful, and it compares the experience to a "bad religion." The whole thing is especially interesting to me when I think of it in terms of literal religion and how it affects how we love and are loved, especially in the context of LGBTQ issues. I don't think it's meant to address that (like, at all) - but that's the subject that's been on my mind lately, and brains have a funny way of connecting songs to our personal experiences.
  • American Teen - Khalid - This is just a fun, kind of dreamlike (read: heavy on the synth) song about the American teenage experience. I don't know how it nails the feeling of being a young person so well, but it does (at least for me).
  • Sober II (Melodrama) - Lorde - Language warning on this one. This is the title track of Lorde's second album Melodrama, which is excellent all around. I've been listening to this particular track on repeat mostly because I like, well, how melodramatic it is (and how Lorde is kind of cheeky and up-front about acknowledging it). I don't know, it's just a good song. But so is the rest of the album - definitely go listen to the whole thing!

Guilty pleasures - Songs I'm less likely to share, unless you're a close friend (or a stranger on the internet, I guess):

  • Any song by My Chemical Romance. MCR is a rock band and was a big part of the emo/scene culture in the early 2000s. I was young then, but I heard some of their songs for the first time in high school, and they've since become my favorite band. (Actually, they broke up in 2013, and just got back together and played a reunion concert on December 20! I watched a livestream of the entire thing on Instagram. It was magical.) Lately, I've been listening to "Boy Division," "Tomorrow's Money," and "Thanks for the Venom" all the time, but I like most of their songs. I especially love their album The Black Parade. I don't generally tell people that I'm a fan of the band because of how heavy some of their songs are; it doesn't really fit with the personality I present to the public. Plus, they were popular in elementary and middle school and it's slightly embarrassing that I like them now, as an adult. But they're good, what can I say?

Best,

Josefina

A:

Dear winged singing creature,

I feel like my favorite songs are constantly changing, but here's some of the classics I keep coming back to:

  1. Astonishing from Little Women the musical. I saw this play in high school, loved it, and this song has been my motto since. "Here I go and there's no turning back - my great adventure has begun! I may be small but I've got giant plans to shine as brightly as the sun."
  2. The Theme from Monsters Inc. YOU LAUGH BUT LISTEN TO IT. Every time I hear it it puts a huge smile on my face and makes me want to start dancing. One day I will find the sheet music, start a jazz band, and play only this song on repeat.
  3. Rabbit Hole by Mindy Gledhill. This really helped throughout my faith crisis. "Even when you're broken there are always door to open, new dimensions to explore - but you won't know until you're in a thousand pieces on the floor."
  4. Non-Stop from Hamilton. I like listening to this and pretending I'm Hamilton and that I'm working nonstop when I'm really just sitting at my desk jamming out to music in an attempt to procrastinate.
  5. Ain't Got a Dime to My Name by Bing Crosby from Road to Morocco. I love singing "There's nothing quite as grotesque as a man at a desk looking outside at the sun" while sitting at my desk looking outside at the sun. *Single tear*
Finally, my favorite song I'm least likely to share with others: Super Cool from The Lego Movie 2. Guys, I can't express how much I love the Lego Movies. And this song. I mean, it doesn't get much better than sitting in a theater after the movie just ended and listening to "It's the credits! Yeah that's the best part - when the movie ends and the reading starts! You can keep your adventure and all that action cuz the credits of the film are the main attraction!"
 
Yes, I sit in LA traffic and belt along to this song while avoiding other drivers' confused looks. I'm not ashamed of it. 
 
-guppy of doom
 
 
A:

Dear AUX cord,

Songs I am currently binge-listening:

"Tokyo Drifting" - Glass Animals ft Denzel Curry
"Purple Hat" - Sofi Tukker
"Good Luck" - Broken Bells
"Moon Tatoo" - Sofi Tukker
"Obsessed" - Maggie Lindemann

All-time, defined by the obsessiveness by which I first encountered the song divided by the amount of joy I get listening to it now

"La Tortura" - Shakira
"Suerte" - Shakira
"Over My Head" - The Fray
"Miracle" - Caravan Palace
"Just Can't Get Enough" - Black-Eyed Peas

Suerte,

--Ardilla Feroz

A:

Dear Songbird,

Let's mcfreaking do this!

Current Favorites:

These are the ones that I could listen to on repeat right now. 

  • "Sorry, I'm busy" by The Harmaleighs
  • "Fog" by The Regrettes
  • "Funny Business" by Alice Merton
  • "Stop Talking" by Miya Folick
  • "Strawberry Blond" by Mitski

All Time Favorites:

I'm not going to come out and say that these are my top five songs of all time. They are, however, five of my top songs of all time. I just keep coming back to these songs over and over.

  • "The Louvre" by Lorde
  • "Amy AKA Spent Gladiator 1" by The Mountain Goats
  • "Brainy" The National
  • "I Wanna Get Better" by Bleachers
  • "Can You Blame Me" by Matt and Kim

Ones I Don't Share:

If we're really close friends, I'll probably share all my songs with you unless I know they make you uncomfortable. Most of the songs I don't share with people either have more curse words than I think other people would be comfortable with or are about depression and/or suicide and are just bleak. For me, it's comforting to listen to songs about depression, etc. because it helps me to feel like I'm not alone and that other people have made it though what I was/am going through.

Curses:

  • "Juice" and "Truth Hurts" by Lizzo
  • "Pancake" by Jaded with Ashnikko
  • "NFWMB" by Hozier
  • "Seashore" by The Regrettes

Ones That are Just REALLY SAD (mostly The Mountain Goats, honestly):

  • "Prowl Great Cain" by The Mountain Goats
  • "Heretic Pride" by The Mountain Goats
  • "Autoclave" by The Mountain Goats
  • "Love Love Love" by The Mountain Goats
  • "Lakeside View Apartments Suite" by The Mountain Goats
  • "Cry for Judas" by The Mountain Goats
  • "No Children" by The Mountain Goats
  • "Some Other Way" by The Extra Lens 

For the record, The Extra Lens is really just a band made up of The Mountain Goats' frontman and another guy, so really I just have a weakness for John Darnielle writing about trauma, I guess.

-Quixotic Kid

A:

Dear you,

I haven't been able to identify five of my favorite songs, but I realized that one of my all-time favorites is by Chicago. I mean seriously it has rhythm, oddities, harmonies, and solos.

-Sunday Night Banter