A few days ago, my mom told me about this A-Z contest playlist thing. Basically, a blogger had created a contest where her fellow bloggers made playlists where every song title started with a different letter, the 26 letters of the alphabet. And then she drew the winner and someone one….
So of course I don’t learn about this competition until after I have a chance to win it. Nevertheless, my mom still presented me with the challenge, which I didn’t think would be that hard. And guess what? It wasn’t. In fact, the hard part wasn’t finding a song that started with the letter I or Q or Z (although X is a bit of a stretch – see below), but deciding which song out of hundreds to choose from.
Below is my list of 26 songs, and every single letter of the alphabet is represented. Better yet, no artist repeats.
A is for "All My Days" by Alexi Murdoch: This is my favorite ‘A’ song. Alexi Murdoch is too unknown for the amount of talent he has. The perfect voice. The perfect lyrics. It’s almost not fair how perfect he is.
B is for "Bittersweet Symphony" by The Verve. Chances are if you haven’t heard this song, or at least the famous orchestra that opens the song, you are at most, 10 years old, but then again, you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog, so everyone should know this song. If not by its name, then by that orchestra. It’s pretty distinctive, and it makes for a pretty good song.
C is for "California 2005" by Phantom Planet. I’ll admit that I really don’t like how this song is called “California 2005.” So what if it’s more mellow than its upbeat original? It’s still the same song. The lyrics are the same. The band is the same. They just threw in some whistling and hand claps. Does that really call for a new song title altogether? But kudos again to my hero Alex Patsavas (I posted about her in my last post, you may remember) and Mr. J. Schwartz for putting Phantom Planet up to “covering” their own song.
D is for "Dice" by Finley Quaye and Beth Orton. This is a wonderful song with a nice… oh, who am I kidding, I know absolutely nothing about musical terms like “harmony” or “melody.” All I know are phrases like “this is awesome,” “it sounds pretty cool,” and “it’s so darn catchy.” And, in this case, I can use all of those technical terms.
E is for "Earthquakes and Sharks" by Brandtson. I’ve been listening to this song for over a year and I like it every single time. It never gets old. The pure definition of a timeless classic. At least in my mind.
F is for "Fans" by Kings of Leon. Pretty sure this song is off their new album, Because of the Times. Still good music. Still that same, distinctive voice of Caleb Followill, the lead singer.
G is for "Good Day" by Luce. This song just reminds me of summer. It’s just really happy and it “flows” really well, whatever that means. This song could also have easily gone to another G song by the exact same name. So, sorry Tally Hall, but I chose to go in a different direction. Sort of.
H is for "Hallelujah" by Jeff Buckley. Not enough can be said about this song and just how classic it sounds to me. Jeff Buckley does an amazing cover of a song that is covered a lot. It’s the best I’ve heard, so it says a lot about this song. (It also helps that I have associated this song with a fantastic OC moment, but still.)
I is for "I Want to Hear What You Have Got to Say" by The Subways. The Subways are a band that can go for a “heavier” type of rock (but I still listen to it, so it can’t be that “heavy”) but can tune it down, evident in this case. And then they can combine the two elements, and they do that pretty flawlessly in this song, as well. Plus I love the aspect of the girl singing in this song. Puts a whole new spin on the song.
J is for "Just For Now" by Imogen Heap. I’m not sure if I’ve ever posted about this song, but I chose this song assuming that I haven’t just so that I could talk about Imogen Heap’s spectacularly amazing live rendition of this song that sounds little like the original but a billion times better. This woman has out-of-this-world talent and some cool machines to display that talent. I’ll say that the awesomeness of this video got me through the craptastic week that is winter finals.
K is for "Keep It Together" by Guster. Guster is one of those bands that does the radio-friendly alt-pop stuff, but then goes way crazy and does “Carol of the Meows,” (click for a link to a HP fanvid, which is the best clip of the song that I could find) which is an experience that you can’t really describe. Well, describe well.
L is for "Legendary" by Lou Barlow. This song is so mellow, but really, really good. It starts out pretty slow, but picks up towards the end, but maintains its gloomy sound throughout. Now that’s dedication.
M is for "Marvo Ging" by The Chemical Brothers. The Chemical Brothers have this sort of crazy, instrumental thing going on. Think The Album Leaf, add some more upbeat sounds and mixes, and you have The Chemical Brothers and this wacky, but awesome song.
N is for "Naked As We Came" by Iron & Wine. When the talk on the TWoP OC boards was about the final song to play on The OC, I really could not think of a song that could be played. So I Googled “the saddest songs,” and came upon this one. It’s really not that sad, but it’s beautiful and I could totally envision it as the final song to ever grace an OC episode.
O is for "Oh Yoko" by John Lennon. John Lennon sings the same thing over and over again in this song, but it somehow works. Maybe because of the upbeat sound. But I’m guessing it’s more because he’s John Lennon and he can do whatever he wants.
P is for "Paint the Silence" by South. This used to be my favorite song and deservedly so. It’s pretty long, but it doesn’t have the feeling of being dragged out like other long songs do. It has some great lyrics, too, which also helps. And it was on The OC twice, which helps even more.
Q is for "Quiet" by Rachael Yamagata. After Imogen Heap, Rachael Yamagata is my favorite female artist. Her first LP, Happenstance, is so beyond flawless it’s not even funny. She has this amazing, deep, sort of husky voice, and she’s so different than all of the other female “singer-songwriters” out there. And yes, I have to use quotes, because half of those girls don’t even write their own stuff. Yes, Ashlee Simpson, Hilary Duff, Avril Lavigne, and Lindsay Lohan, I am looking at you.
R is for "Rough Gem" by Islands. This is a slightly different sound than what I usually listen to. It has that Caribbean sound to it. I think it’s probably the steel drums, but at least we known that Islands are self-aware of their sound.
S is for "Stay With Me Tomorrow" by Patrick Park. I’ve really gotten into Patrick Park more lately, especially some of the songs off his new album, Everyone’s In Everyone. Anyway, this song is on that album. Going back to the final song on The OC ordeal, this was one of the songs that I thought would be the last one when I heard it was a Patrick Park song. I could totally envision the final scene (totally different from what actually happened, but that’s aside from the point), but I was just off on the song. Give it a listen and tell me that it doesn’t sound like a series-ending song, though.
T is for "Transatlanticism" by Death Cab for Cutie. Final chapter in the final song on The OC story (kind of strange that I picked three songs that fit into this little story, though, isn’t it? Or maybe I did it on purpose in order to relay my story to everyone. Who knows?!). Many of the posters over on TWoP thought that this would be the perfect song. I was still content on “Naked As We Came,” but I decided I had to give this song a listen. And I became obsessed. This song is really like four songs in one. It transitions flawlessly.
U is for "Umbrellas" by Sleeping at Last. I read about this song on a music blog and fell in love with it. It’s got a pretty “soft” sound, but it builds up wonderfully and the climax in the song is amazing.
W is for "We Will Become Silhouettes" by The Shins. The best of both worlds! The Shins covering a Postal Service song. This song is off the Such Great Heights EP (I think), and has a much different sound than the original, which is a lot slower and more electronic. But, hey, that’s the best thing about covers.
X is for "Chicago X 12" by Rogue Wave. I know, I know. But couldn’t it technically be “X 12, Chicago?” No? Well, then you go find a song starting with ‘X.’ I’d be delighted to take a look at your results (or lack thereof). Anyway, off of Rogue Wave’s new album, Asleep at Heaven’s Gate, which I love.
Y is for "Young Folks" by Peter Bjorn & John. Chances are you’ve never heard of Peter Bjorn & John, but that you have heard this song, which is kind of everywhere. Read on (from a TWoP recap): “a song so over-licensed it now plays whenever I send an email, receive an email, am approached by strangers, see a blue or green car, or think about what shoes to wear today.” Here’s a more fitting analogy: Remember The Fray’s “How to Save a Life”? Remember how it was like a rite of passage that any television show with an audience of at least 10 million (give or take a lot) used that song, preferably in an episode-ending montage? Okay, well, Young Folks is like “How to Save a Life,” except instead of television shows, it’s car commercials. Sort of. It’s hard to explain.
Z is for "Zak and Sara" by Ben Folds. One of the few songs that talks about a Sara without an ‘h’ (and even includes that description in the lyrics!). Also, one of the few songs to start with a ‘z.’ I included it for both of those reasons.