1. Einstürzende Neubauten | Headcleaner
I was a freshman in high school when I first heard/saw videos of E.N. I heard them at a time in my life where I was either re-discovering all the oddities from my childhood, or making new discoveries based on music I've listened to for years [thanks to the Internet]. Middle school was a boundless path of discovering rare, interesting, gawkingly odd music as a form of escapism: this was also my introduction to the Internet, so in quick form, it became a necessity to make as much use out of it as possible. That year I had discovered that all of my favorite Noise bands [at that moment] were all similarly related or were contemporaries of one another: Swans, Death In June, Coil, Throbbing Gristle, etc. E.N. was one of them. One thing I liked about them was the intense performative element in their sound and in their live show: It encouraged experimentation where there otherwise wouldn't be any. Their instruments literally looked like they came from a hardware store up the road of a Berlin neighborhood.
2. G-Dep | Special Delivery (Remix) (feat. P. Diddy, Craig Mack, Ghostface Killah & Keith Murray)
I remember growing up thinking that Puffy was swimming in a sea of hundred dollar bills and that he wiped his ass with 1$. I also remember thinking that Bad Boy Records literally made the best remixes in Hip-Hop history. I wanted to be ghetto fabulous so fucking bad, not hood prom ghetto fabulous as it is coined now, I mean id-nineties Mary J Blige, Versace suit and dookie rope Diddy, gold sweatsuit Slick Rick kind of ghetto fab; AKA the black rich. Now, Bad Boy is most known for the Flava In Ya Ear remix by Craig Mack, but I prefer this one. The beat is really sparse and hyper-active: most underground beats from Harlem/the East Coast in general sound like that. It doesn't really sound like any other Bad Boy record to me. Plus, you've got a rare appearance from Keith Murray, who was my FAVORITE emcee growing up. It's sad to see that Bad Boy makes boy bands and boring personality-vacant rappers these days, because they kind of OWNED the 90s.
3. The Fall | Pat-Trip Dispenser
I've known about The Fall forever, but I only recently started liking them. One of my favorite visual artists, Gregory Jacobsen, is a little obsessed with them, and with good reason. Their stream-of-consciousness lyrics and inherently Post Punk presence to their sound that always changes yet is always the same. The bulk of their music I've only heard through live YouTube clips or through videos of Michael Clark choreographed performances, and I truly admire them for sticking around for so long, even if their new stuff makes them sound like old British guys with canes yelling at children playing in the street.
4. Nico | Janitor Of Lunacy
Ok, seriously, Nico is fucking amazing. My mom had a vinyl of Chelsea Girl when I was a kid, and before our record player broke, we used to listen to that and many other gems. Little did I know that Desertshore was basically 10000000000000x better. The whole record is magnificent, sparse, emotional, a bit dark, ominous and wonderful, but the first song had me.
5. Psychic TV | Just Drifting (For Caresse)
One of my all time favorite love songs, as well as one of my favorites from PTV.
6. Rihanna | We Found Love (feat. Calvin Harris)
I'm not too big on liking anything top 40 but I've really become keen on Riri these days, and this is probably one of my favorite tracks of hers. It is a true feel good song, even though the lyrics come from a somewhat dark/heavy place. I hate the fact that the mec-du-jour of the video looks EXACTLY like Wife Beater, I mean, Chris Brown... How long ago did that happen?! She couldn't find any other relatively subversive male models to puppet around in a video about the highs and lows of reckless young love?! Jeez... Anyway, the song is fucking wonderful... !!!!!!!!!!!
7. Terence Trent D'Arby | Wishing Well
I used to act this song out in front of the mirror in my bathroom when I was little. This artist is obviously HEAVILY influenced by Prince [my favorite artist of all time], so of course I was drawn to him immediately - his clothing, his high vocal range, his production style, everything. I have a lot of friends who share my sentiment for 80s classics and one of these friends posted this on their Facebook recently and I freaked the fuck out!!! Ah memories...
8. Björk | Moon
Biophilia is probably Björk's most interesting album. This song in particular is one of my favorites from it because it has such an amazing melodic progression, plus, the harp being played in the song is also a fashion accessory [an instrument fashioned into a makeshift belt]. Björk is just a bad-ass period. Not only can she whoop an annoying reporter's ass, but she can make more musical and visual steps forward than any other artist could dream of doing within a single era of her present being. Yeah, you're jealous.
9. Artery | Into The Garden
Most of my favorite Rock bands are British Rock bands: Any era, and decade, and style. What makes most of them great is the fact that most of those bands were started by art school kids or people who were literally unwillingly sectioned away from the masses and left to experiment in order to keep themselves from being dangerous. I'm not sure if that is the case with Artery, but it sure as fuck sounds like it. When people talk about Post Punk, they usually only seem to want to refer to shitty Brooklyn bands that are comprised of closet-scene kids with skinny jeans and stupid songs with stupid lyrics; it hasn't always been that way. Post Punk means just that: Post PUNK. The era of music when Punk Rockers had to move on to something else. Artery doesn't quite fit the PUNK mold of most of the early post punk bands, but I always liked the amount of familiarity and emotion in their music, the lack of unnecessary gimmickry in their overall sound, their lyrics and their energy on stage. This song hits home pretty close because I had a dream about a melody like this before I heard it [I was age 12, I think...]. I first heard it in an old BBC documentary about Sheffield music, I can't quite remember the name, and for the longest time I couldn't get it out of my head. They have other EXCELLENT songs, hopefully they don't get back together and try to make the exact same kinds of songs again just to prove the non-point of them being halfway between old age and death... *blech*
10. Siouxsie And The Banshees | Dazzle
By far my favorite Siouxsie song! I only found out recently that Robert Smith co-wrote it, which makes since, because it kind of has The Cure smeared all over it. I have always thought that Siouxsie Sioux was one of the only GREAT female singers of all time, and one of the only interesting ones.
+11. The Count & Sinden | Hardcore Girls (feat. Rye Rye)
I fucking LOVE Rye Rye!!! I also fucking love Baltimore club dances and their Dance Music. High energy, noisy, sample-heavy, reverbed to death, glitchy, yet still danceable and interesting. Now, BANG! is probably her best song, but I chose this one because it is the most recent one I've heard. Plus, she's got a bunch of different women in this video: a bald model, two cholas, a female bodybuilder, a grandma, a geek, etc... I point that out because I'm sick of their being only one prototype for the America female population. It's skewed for no reason, everyone is different and we as artists should try and make that known.