Two days ago, we talked about our Top 5 Track 6′s. In that post, we mentioned the idea of the whole post came from my good friend Jeff King. He’s apparently been thinking about this topic for years, so without further ado, here’s his list of Top 5 Track 6′s:
“Holland, 1945″ by Neutral Milk Hotel, on In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
At once, this song is exuberant, beautiful, and haunting. It is difficult to capture the horror and pain of the Holocaust while expressing hope for mankind’s redemption by utilizing a badass rhythm/brass section, yet Jeff Mangum et al. have done so. Not sure that putting this hipster anthem at the top was the best idea, but it was one of the reasons I began taking notice of the sixth song on numerous albums.
“I Don’t Want to Get Over You” by The Magnetic Fields, on 69 Love Songs, Vol. 1
We have all suffered through heart/soul-wrenching heartbreak and the inevitable resulting pain. When a lover has left us in the lurch, nothing is more comforting than a friend’s sympathetic ear, or more temporarily satisfying then a bottle or a rebound fuck. That is why God created the Magnetic Fields. There are so many different angles on their three-disc opus 69 Love Songs. I included this track because it sums up the spirit of the disc, there are so many songs about sadness and pain, but to me, this track is their statement of purpose. It claims that, “without this pain, I’d cease to be. Why escape the pain when I can embrace it?” I like the unique approach to a commonly utilized theme.
“Rooster” by Alice in Chains, on Dirt
This one is definitely an attention-grabber. Jerry Cantrell wrote it as a tribute to his father, who fought in Vietnam and he possessed amazing insight into the thoughts of a fighting man overseas. The drudgery, discomfort and moments of terror are all well-captured. Also, we listened to Alice in Chains all the goddamn time when I was in Afghanistan.
“Something for Joey” by Mercury Rev, on Boces
Mercury Rev is one of those bands people tend to overlook. Everything they’ve done since 1995 is radically different from their first three albums, which were more energetic and full of eclectic arrangement (for example, plugging a guitar into a 1960’s television). This track combines the wild sonic experimentation and their ability to write pretty, catchy hooks. Also, it reminds me, just a little bit, of Tears of a Clown. And the video featuring Ron Jeremy and Mercury Rev in space is fuckin’ rad.
“Old Man” by Neil Young, on Harvest
Since I was about seven or so, people have been telling me that I’m a grouchy old man. I’m glad that on Harvest, Neil Young can relate.