"bunch of crazy white people... "

Every Billboard Modern Rock Chart #1 through 2005, listed in order of preference.  

25. XTC, "Ballad Of Peter Pumpkinhead"

May 30 - June 12, 1992

They make being a messianic martyr sound so easy. Oliver Stone LITERALLY bawls his head off whenever he hears it, back and to the left. Back...and to the left.

Peter Pumpkinhead was too good
Had him nailed to a chunk of wood
He died grinning on live TV
Hanging there he looked a lot like you
And an awful lot like me!


26. Offspring, "Come Out And Play"

September 30 - August 6, 1994

It was God's way of celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Repo Man soundtrack.

It goes down the same as the thousand before
No one's getting smarter
No one's learning the score
Your never ending spree of death and violence and hate
Is gonna tie your own rope
Tie your own rope
Tie your own


27. Lit, "My Own Worst Enemy"

April 10 - June 25, 1999

I'm deeply grateful for tales of hungover regret that sound nothing like Tom Waits.

Please tell me why
My car is in the front yard
And I'm sleeping with my clothes on
I came in through the window last night
And you're gone


28. Presidents Of The United States Of America, "Lump"

October 21-27, 1995

Part of Weird Al's problem after "Smells Like Nirvana" was that he was releasing parodies that were actually less ridiculous than the originals. With "Lump" and "Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)," he even picked songs that could be mistaken for him. This was an aesthetic mistake almost as crippling as the loss of his accordion.

Lump sat alone in a boggy marsh,
totally emotionless except for her heart
Mud flowed up into Lump's pajamas
she totally confused all the passing pihranas


29. R.E.M., "Losing My Religion"

March 16 - May 10, 1991

I once got clotheslined by one of a gang of my fellow "gifted" students chanting "R.E.M. sucks!" at a party in fifth grade (they were partial to Color Me Badd). I walked around school with the cassingle for this song in my pocket. I yelled at a friend of my mom's who asked who that awful band she saw on SNL was ("they had a mandolin..."). I almost wept with joy when they swept the MTV awards and laughed with conspiratorial glee as Michael Stipe revealed his political t-shirts. To paraphrase Chuck Klosterman, they told me that my perceived outcast status was a sign of my intelligence and sensitivity. At the very least, they were a Led Zep for the codpiece-phobic.

Every whisper
Of every waking hour
I'm choosing my confessions
Trying to keep an eye on you
Like a hurt lost and blinded fool
Oh no I've said too much
I set it up


30. Everclear, "Everything To Everyone"

December 20-26, 1997

A prime example of what makes the alternapop era (basically between Woodstock II and Woodstock III) so beautiful. Post-Cobain Johnny Cougars inspired equally by calls for innovation and commercial appeal to surround their energetic invective with oodles of loops, giving the subject of Art Alexakis' irritation (who may well be himself) a reason to "do that stupid dance." Post-grunge responding to electronica, artists both more eccentric and accessible than those whose cultural breakthrough cleared the slate a few years before - alternapop was the new wave of the 90s!

You say they taught you how to read and write
Yeah, they taught you how to count
I say they taught you how to buy and sell
Your own body by the pound


31. The Wallflowers, "One Headlight"

March 8 - April 11, 1997

I'd like to thank the Dismemberment Plan's rhythm section for ripping this track off wholesale for "Superpowers," rescuing the groove from Jakob Dylan's ridiculous ash mouth and letting their infinitely more intelligent singer turn a song that's great inspite of itself into one of my all-time favorites ("yeah, yeah, yeah" is "hey, hey, HEYYYY" backwards).

She said it's cold
It feels like Independence Day
And I can't break away from this parade
But there's got to be an opening
Somewhere here in front of me
Through this maze of ugliness and greed


32. Lemonheads, "Into Your Arms"

November 6, 1993 - January 7, 1994

When people use phrases like "pure pop," I can't help but think of jackboots and impure popsters being thrown behind barbed wire, so I won't be going there. Especially when Evan looks like he could start belting "Tomorrow Belongs To Me" at any second.

I know a place where I can go, when I’m alone
Into your arms, into your arms I can go
I know a place that’s safe and warm, from the crowds
Into your arms, into your arms I can go


33. Green Day, "Longview"

June 11-17, 1994

Jerking loud, jerking hard, with a minimum of metaphors. They're lucky Tipper wasn't paying attention.

Bite my lip and close my eyes
Take me away to paradise
I'm so damn bored I'm going blind
And I smell like shit


34. The White Stripes, "Seven Nation Army"

July 12 - August 1, 2003

Their weirdness is a bit of a falsehood. Led Zeppelin II and Violent Femmes are strong catalog sellers; it's logical bands would profit from an audible influence. What's weird is how few actually show any.

And I'm bleeding, and I'm bleeding, and I'm bleeding
Right before the lord
All the words are gonna bleed from me
And I will sing no more
And the stains coming from my blood
Tell me go back home


35. The Verve Pipe, "The Freshmen"

May 3-23, 1997

"A soggy prowoman morality tale aimed at frat rats, who are urged not to drive girls to suicide by dumping them. When Brian Vander Ark finally emotes the chorus, it's like, I dunno, grunge lives." - Robert Christgau

For the life of me, I can not remember
What made us think that we were wise and we'd never compromise
For the life of me, I can not believe
We'd ever die for these sins
We were merely freshmen


36. Bush, "Comedown"

September 23 - October 6, 1995

Gavin emoting his sweet little head off (I think he's getting dumped) over an increasingly gunky din of post-Pixie guitar. That I took this for offensive carpetbagger nonsense tells me just how much superficial bullshit clogged my adolescent head. That I continue to enjoy hearing a retro-alt ninny spew awful poetry over guitar overdubs reminds me that there's still some cleaning to do.

there's no blame only shame
when you beg you just complain
more I come more I try
all police are paranoid
so am I so's the future
so are you be a creature
what do you say do you do
when it all comes down


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    Anthony Is Right Popular Boogie Fever Land Of A Thousand Dances


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