Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

In the world of Pitchfork and hipsters, it's not the coolest thing to like mainstream… well… anything. Independently run coffee shops, preferring Mac over Windows, vinyl vs. CD, buying unbelievably plain sweatshirts at American Apparel… it all seems to be the way of life.

I'm not even going to say I don't fall into these trendy (often logical) traps. But the point I'm making is sometimes the mainstream can't be taken for granted. That being said I started thinking about some of my favorite rock songs that have been unbelievably overplayed and yet hold their value to an incredible extent, sometimes getting better with time. I've come up with five (well, I've got probably hundreds more, but there's that whole college education I should probably attend to):

1) The Verve – "Bittersweet Symphony"

Culprit: Commericals, Sporting Events, The Olympics
Why: With over-the-top strings, Richard Ashcroft on mic, and noteable lyrics ("I'm a million different people from one day to the next"), this song was guaranteed to be epic from the start.

2) Smashing Pumpkins – "1979"

Culprit: Every "alternative" station on the planet
Why: I feel like this is a song everyone loves but forgets about until it comes on the radio, iPod shuffle mode, or party. Again, great lyrics ("I know you better than you fake it"). Something about this song seems timeless.

3) The Rolling Stones – "You Can't Always Get What You Want"

Culprit: Commercials, Classic rock stations, Movies
Why: According to High Fidelity this one should be immediately disqualified for its involvement with The Big Chill, but I'll let it slide. This is one of those songs you stumble upon when you're flipping through stations, and by the end of it, you're air-drums on your steering wheel like Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire.

Yeah, I realize that was three movie references in two sentences.

4) The Flaming Lips – "Do You Realize??"

Culprit: Commercials, High School Senior Slideshows, Any mix CD ever given to someone trying to "get into new indie" (see also: Wilco – "Jesus, Etc.)
Why: From its phaser-ridden countdown to its wall-of-sound made up of bells, tom drums, synth, strings, acoustic guitar and key changes, this track is not only good on the ears, its lyrics pluck at your heart strings, too.

5) The Faces – "Ooh La La"

Culprit: Car Commercials, Movies
Why: The song catches you with folky guitar and a catchy chorus, but swallows you whole once you realize how hearbreakingly honest the lyrics actually are.


What are some of yours?