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Best Song Ever Draft: Round 11

Jun 17, 2013
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Check out the earlier rounds of the Bro Jackson Best Song Ever Draft: Round 1 / Round 2 / Round 3 / Round 4  / Round 5 / Round 6 / Round 7 / Round 8 / Round 9 / Round 10

There was a time in my life when I considered myself “a music person,” an intense period in the mid-to-late ’90s when I lived in Washington, D.C. Now, you wouldn’t know this from my draft because I only barely picked a single damn song from that era. What was I thinking? I am contrite. I’m taking this opportunity to pay tribute (I mean, I owned a Kula Shaker album, for crying out loud) and also to give myself a rap on the knuckles.

The poor man’s CBGB in D.C. was a little place called The 9:30 Club and you could find me and my friend Afsoon there on any given night of the week. We saw Fastball there, and Silverchair, and K’s Choice, (a favorite still today) and Belly, and Tonic, and Cracker, and The Presidents of the United States of America (EXCELLENT show). I saw Offspring there and it’s still one of the most fun nights I’ve ever had on the planet. I saw Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston smooching in the balcony there one night (right next to Courteney Cox and Adam Duritz) when it was still a question about whether they were together or not. On the night Princess Diana died, I mercilessly booed Sinead O’Connor there when she refused to sing “Nothing Compares 2 U” in her encore and months later, did the same thing to PJ Harvey when she refused to sing “Down by the Water” in hers. I LOVED the music of the ’90s and upon reviewing my draft, I might have replaced a song or two with a song or two from that era…maybe I would have taken “Groove is in the Heart” or “Sunny Came Home” or “Linger” instead of “Free Your Mind,” which ironically is the only song I picked which is actually from that era. Ah, hindsight.

Meanwhile, this draft is still cooking with gas. I loved seeing Rage Against the Machine go back to back to back with Jimi Hendrix and Whitney Houston in this round, and I hated seeing Zack Attack show up, even in a late round – that reeks of Chad Johnson slapping his lawyer on the ass or Michael Irvin showing up in court in a purple zoot suit. It would be one thing if he chose a Zack Attack song and then wrote up a stellar manifesto selling me on its merits, but Chris Marler‘s defense doesn’t hold up even a little bit. You gotta take the process seriously, bro. But then again, who am I to judge? I owned a Kula Shaker album. 1

Your general managers

Fantastico, Fantasy Douche, Eddie Strait, Blake Hurtik, Deion Moskal, Kat Gotsick, Rumford Johnny, Ramon Ramirez, Robert Rich, Andy O’Connor, Chris Marler, David Kallison, Ken Griggs, Josh Klein

ROUND 11

# 141 : Fantastico – “Kashmir” – Led Zeppelin

Needed some Page on the roster, and nothing sounds better with the windows rolled down at a stoplight than “Kashmir.”  The nods of approval from the pedestrians lets you know you’re jammin’ out.

# 142: F. Douche – “November Rain” – Guns N’ Roses

I read once that Axl Rose began working on a version of “November Rain” sometime in the ’80s. That blew me away because I can’t imagine “November Rain” existing before the ’90s (and to be fair, I also can’t imagine the ’90s existing without “November Rain”). The song might start slow with the piano and orchestral opening giving way to Axl’s “I’ve been smoking asbestos cigarettes” voice, but by the time Slash is jamming outside the little church, you know you’re listening to the ’90s answer to “Layla” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The music video is great, if for no other reason than the over-the-top (and probably not very deep) symbolism. Also, when Stephanie Seymour walks down the aisle everyone watching wishes they could be a rock star. I realize that I just wrote a blurb about the music video as much as the song, but “November Rain” is a song that can’t be separated from its video.

# 143: E. Strait – “How I Could Just Kill a Man” – Rage Against the Machine

What was I thinking? The burden of being the first person to pick a RATM song got to me. Not that I’m ashamed. This cover is great and shows off a lot of the band’s strengths. But maybe I should’ve taken another minute or two to land on “Bombtrack,” “Down Rodeo,” or “Killing in the Name Of.”

# 144: B. Hurtik – “All Along the Watchtower” – Jimi Hendrix Experience

I mean, I get how a lot of us drafters here are going for the non-obvious picks a lot of the time. We want to look hip, funny, or, in Robert Rich’s case, ridiculous. But how can Hendrix go undrafted for 11 rounds? Does he have a torn ACL I don’t know about? Did his hands get irreparably burned when he set his Stratocaster aflame in that iconic moment so many years ago? I’m ashamed for all of us.

# 145: R. Moskal – “I Will Always Love You” – Whitney Houston

I had a long debate about whether to take this Whitney song, or to get her National Anthem from Super Bowl XXV. Ultimately I went with “I Will Always Love You” because I didn’t want to start crying every time it came up on my mix CD when I was driving. Fun game: drink every time she says “love” and drink throughout whenever she holds a note for a long time.

# 146: K. Gotsick – “Blind Faith” – Chase & Status

This song makes me think that I could jump off the top of a tall building and fly like a human-sized bird, gliding for miles on updrafts then swooping low over rolling oceans and undulating wheat fields, using a single thunderous wing flap to rise again, higher than a skyscraper and faster than a Blue Angel. It’s incredible.

# 147: R. Johnny –  “Maps” – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

What can I say, I just love this song. A screeching guitar-filled sad valentine of sorts that’s impossible not to crank to 11. They don’t love you like I love you. Damn right.

# 148: R. Ramirez – “Dance Yrself Clean” – LCD Soundsystem

I think James Murphy made the most interesting and complete music of the 21st century’s first decade. People can point to The Strokes for popular stylings, Kanye West for his universal godliness, and a myriad of baroque indie pop for noisy flair. Murphy’s stuff was original and ambitious–build dance music with live instrumentation, work in the notion of paying attention to the lyrics. Murphy also has a knack for presentation because he thinks like a rock critic (he was hired as a writer on “Seinfeld” coming out of college but turned down the gig)–he writes albums with songs, and gave his LCD Soundsystem project a defined timeline of three records with a band expiration date. It kept the corpus immaculate, and culminated with one of the most memorable and fun-because-we-all-knew-the-words concerts I’ve been to (April 2011, Madison Square Garden, their last show). They opened with this nine-minute masterpiece.

# 149: R. Rich – “Wish You Were Here” – Pink Floyd

My second Floyd song in the draft, and one of the group’s most vulnerable. The ultimate apex of the group’s sadness that former leader Syd Barrett didn’t hang around (physically or mentally) to see the band ascend to the heights of superstardom they reached, and this shit is heavy. It’s a simple song, and the legacy of it will never be tarnished, even after Fred Durst attempted to slaughter it during the 9/11 tribute concert. It’s not a prog rock song, it’s not overdramatic, it’s simply emotional. It means something, and it always will.

# 150: A. O’Connor – “Graduation” – Vitamin C (auto-draft)

Graduation is the time of year where getting my BAC to .50 becomes a lofty prospect. All these people, about to enter “real life,” where idealism and the lackadasical attitudes about drinking at 2 p.m. eat the curb “American History X” style. Work is really the curse of the drinking class. Grad school’s worse. My sister graduated from the University of Texas recently, and until her late acceptance into med school, I was gravely worried for her. I didn’t want her cheerful spirit to rot into something like mine, where post-grad pessimism runs freer than we ever will. Thankfully, she majored in biology. We don’t have to worry for another four years.

# 151: C. Marler – “Friends Forever” – Zack Attack

Because if friends forever is good enough for Casey Kasem then it’s fucking good enough for me. If Jesse Spano didn’t quit the band to go be an addict, this would easily be a first round pick.

# 152: D. Kallison – “There is a Light that Never Goes Out” – The Smiths

Before every hipster in America loved The Smiths, every hipster in England did. But before that The Smiths weren’t even that cool. Morrissey had his followers, sure, but his ego always upstaged his music (insert obligatory Kanye reference here). But as the hipsters started to discover Moz and Marr’s huge discography of brilliance, The Smiths finally moved into prominence. There are so many amazing tunes to choose from– “Panic,” “Cemetary Gates,” “Asleep.” But this song combines the best of what the The Smiths excelled at. Marr’s guitars, ass-shaking bass, and Morrissey’s velvet voice crooning melodramatic lyrics. My entire team could just be “The Queen Is Dead” in order, but I figured that would be too obvious.

# 153: K. Griggs – “Watching the Wheels” – John Lennon

I made a pledge to myself before I started this draft that my team would not include a song by the Beatles, Rolling Stones, or Eagles. The former two I actually love, but I knew I’d have to either overpay for them or people who were much bigger fans deserved to honor them if they wanted. A-la Jeffrey Lebowski, I just hate the Eagles. With that said, this tune was released posthumously and I think it’s one of his best. This was a man content with who he had been and who he was becoming. “I’m doing fine watching shadows on the wall.” I wonder what Plato would think?

# 154: J. Klein – “Let Me Clear My Throat” – DJ Kool

A couple of years ago I went to a concert at a very divey bar where they had over 20 bands, with each playing one ’90s cover song. The first set consisted of a lot of the exact songs you would expect to hear, a lot of Weezer/Nirvana/Soundgarden, most notably capped off by an absolutely killer version of “”Semi-Charmed Life.” They then took a 30-minute break, before the impromptu MC of the set came out to announce that the first set had been the “Rock Set” and the second set would be the “Rap Set.” I almost dropped my beer in excitement, then actually did when the first band came out with a full horn section and played this song. The initial horn line from “The 900 Number”  is an absolute classic (Ask Ma$e about it.), but true kids of the ’90s will remember where they were the first time DJ Kool asked them for more music in the monitors. And really, at some point in our lives, isn’t that we all need?

The Teams Through 11 of 14 Rounds

Fantastico

“Paradise City,” Guns N’ Roses
“Microphone Fiend,” Eric B. and Rakim
“Try a Little Tenderness,” Otis Redding
“Spacy Oddity,” David Bowie
“Let’s Get It On,” Marvin Gaye
“Welcome Home (Sanitarium),” Metallica
“Do You Realize,” Flaming Lips
“One More Time,” Daft Punk
“God Only Knows,” Beach Boys
“Beat It,” Michael Jackson
“Kashmir,” Led Zeppelin

Fantasy Douche

“Suspicious Minds,” Elvis Presley
“Layla,” Derek and the Dominos
“When Doves Cry,” Prince
“To Live and Die in LA,” Tupac Shakur
“Real Love,” Mary J. Blige
“Amarillo by Morning,” George Strait
“Chicago,” Sufjan Stevens
“Since U Been Gone,” Kelly Clarkson
“Alison,” Elvis Costello
“Midnight Train to Georgia,” Gladys Knight & the Pips
“November Rain,” Guns N Roses

Eddie Strait

“Billie Jean,” Michael Jackson
“Public Service Announcement,” Jay-Z
“Gimme Shelter,” Rolling Stones
“You Oughta Know,” Alanis Morissette
“Can’t Tell Me Nuthin’,” Kanye West
“Victory,” Puffy, Biggie, Busta
“New Noise,” Refused
“You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” Randy Newman
“Come On, Ride the Train,” Quad City DJs
“Poison,” Bell Biv Devoe
“How I Could Just Kill a Man,” Rage Against the Machine

Blake Hurtik

“Like a Rolling Stone,” Bob Dylan
“Dazed and Confused,” Led Zeppelin
“The Weight,” The Band
“Life During Wartime,” Talking Heads
“Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag,” James Brown
“Jesus Etc,” Wilco
“Maggie May,” Rod Stewart
“Down by the River,” Neil Young
“Say it Ain’t So,” Weezer
“Marquee Moon,” Television
“All Along the Watchtower,” Jimi Hendrix Experience

Deion Moskal

“Welcome to the Jungle,” Guns N’ Roses
“In the Air Tonight,” Phil Collins
“Bohemian Rhapsody,” Queen
“B.O.B.,” OutKast
“Only The Good Die Young,” Billy Joel
“Closer,” Nine Inch Nails
“Beautiful People,” Marilyn Manson
“1979,” Smashing Pumpkins
“Dirt Off Your Shoulders / Bittersweet Symphony,” Jay-Z / The Verve
“Lake of Fire,” Nirvana
“I Will Always Love You,” Whitney Houston

Kat Gotsick

“It’s Tricky,” Run DMC
“Hotel California,” Eagles
“Comfortably Numb,” Pink Floyd
“Total Eclipse of the Heart,” Bonnie Taylor
“Have a Little Faith in Me,” John Hiatt
“Turn the Page,” Bob Seger
“Free Your Mind,” En Vogue
“Let it Be,” The Beatles
“All I Do is Win,” DJ Khaled
“Jungle Boogie,” Kool & the Gang
“Blind Faith,” Chase & Status

Rumford Johnny

“Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” Rolling Stones
“Rhiannon,” Fleetwood Mac
“Scenario,” A Tribe Called Quest
“The Waiting,” Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
“Paul Revere,” Beastie Boys
“Blue Eyes Cryin’ in the Rain,” Willie Nelson
“Where Did you Sleep Last Night,” Leadbelly
“Up Around the Bend,” CCR
“Straight Outta Compton,” NWA
“Rehab,” Amy Winehouse
“Maps,” Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Ramon Ramirez

“Happiness is a Warm Gun,” The Beatles
“Worms of the Senses / Faculties of the Skull,” Refused
“Cowboy Song,” Thin Lizzy
“Ms. Jackson,” OutKast
“I Was Made to Love Her,” Stevie Wonder
“Maybelline,” Chuck Berry
“Tender Years,” George Jones
“My Boo,” Ghost Town DJs
“Respect,” Aretha Franklin
“In My Life,” The Beatles
“Dance Yrself Clean,” LCD Soundsystem

Robert Rich

“Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” Pink Floyd
“Helter Skelter,” The Beatles
“99 Problems/Points of Authority/One Step Closer,” Jay-Z/Linkin Park
“Stan,” Eminem
“Paranoid Android,” Radiohead
“Pull Me Under,” Dream Theater
“Eulogy,” Tool
“The Thunder Rolls,” Garth Brooks
“Mirrors,” Justin Timberlake
“Rocket Man,” Elton John
“Wish You Were Here,” Pink Floyd

Andy O’Connor

“Overkill,” Motörhead
“Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell,” The Stooges
“Desperado,” The Eagles (auto-draft)
“Love Shack,” The B-52s (auto-draft)
“Thong Song,” Sisqo (auto-draft)
“Informer,” Snow (auto-draft)
“Thank You for Being a Friend,” Theme from Golden Girls (auto-draft)
“Rack City,” Tyga (auto-draft)
“American Pie,” Don McLean (auto-draft)
“All my Life,” KC and JoJo (auto-draft)
“Graduation,” Vitamin C (auto-draft)

Chris Marler

“Baba O’Riley,” The Who
“Sympathy for the Devil,” Rolling Stones
“Man in the Mirror,” Michael Jackson
“God Bless the USA,” Lee Greenwood
“Circle of Life,” The non-Elton John version for some reason
“No Diggity,” Blackstreet
“Will You Be There,” Michael Jackson
“Juicy,” The Notorious B.I.G.
“N****z in Paris,” Watch the Throne
“Use Me,” Bill Withers
“Friends Forever,” Zack Attack

David Kallison

“Just Like Heaven,” The Cure
“Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Nirvana
“Fast Car,” Tracy Chapman
“Tiny Dancer,” Elton John
“All of the Lights,” Kanye West
“Sounds of Silence,” Simon & Garfunkel
“This Year,” Mountain Goats
“Holland, 1945,” Neutral Milk Hotel
“Blister in the Sun,” Violent Femmes
“The Biggest Lie,” Elliott Smith
“There is a Light That Never Goes Out,” The Smiths

Ken Griggs

“Hoochie Coochie Man,” Muddy Waters
“Heart of Gold,” Neil Young
“Dead Flowers,” Townes Van Zandt
“Exhibit C,” Jay Electronica
“Lawyers, Guns, and Money,” Warren Zevon
“Free Bird,” Lynyrd Skynyrd
“I’ve Always Been Crazy,” Waylon Jennings
“I’m Not Like Everybody Else,” The Kinks
“Jockey Full of Bourbon,” Tom Waits
“How Do You Want It?,” Tupac Shakur
“Watching the Wheels,” John Lennon

Josh Klein

“I Want You Back,” Jackson Five
“Cry Me A River,” Justin Timberlake
“Humpty Dance,” Digital Underground
“Hallelujah,” Jeff Buckley
“Atlantic City,” Bruce Springsteen
“Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” Will Smith
“Kiss,” Prince
“You Can Call Me Al,” Paul Simon
“With or Without You,” U2
“Let Me Clear My Throat,” DJ Kool

Notes:

  1. For the uninitiated, Kula Shaker was the brainchild of Hayley Mills’ son Crispian. Their songs are written in Sanskrit.

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