The Two-Minute Man, Episode 4: Does That Make Me Sentimental? Edition

It was a pretty good week on everyone's favorite environmentally conscious, not-quite-classic-rock, terrestrial radio station. When Talking Heads can't even crack the top half of the countdown, things could be a lot worse.

1. "Crazy" - Gnarls Barkley
It's always a bummer when a truly fantastic song gets so overplayed that simply hearing those first few notes causes an involuntary shudder. It happens pretty regularly. Back in May 1998 I was thrilled that I couldn't go 15 minutes without hearing "Ghetto Superstar" on the radio. By August I never wanted to hear from Pras again. Same thing happened with "Hey Ya" a few years ago. But once the song finally disappears for a few months and you hear it again, it's a pretty exciting moment. That's how I felt hearing "Crazy" earlier this week. (Note: This rule does not apply to "The Macarena.")

2. "London Calling" - The Clash
I can't hang with J. Freedom when it comes to name-dropping - why try to compete with the best, anyway? - but I did interview Joe Strummer once for my college newspaper. He was definitely the most famous musician I ever talked to, but he chatted for far longer than our allotted 30 minutes and was consistently engaging, funny and honest. That last one is the key, and it defined his musical career. The Clash may have been the definition of punk, but they were great because they had so much soul.

3. "Twist and Shout" - The Beatles
As someone born between the years of 1973 and 1983, I will always identify this song with the classic Von Steuben Day Parade scene in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." The great rock-n-roll lore behind this song is that the Beatles charged through a full day of recording and had only a handful of minutes left in their session for John Lennon to lay down a vocal track. His voice was almost shot but he sang his heart out and nailed that first take.

4. "(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes" - Elvis Costello
"Oh I used to be disgusted / And now I try to be amused." That Declan McManus knows how to write an opening line.

5. "Into the Mystic" - Van Morrison
After a week in which I heard a two Collective Soul songs, I was more than happy to hear some Van the Man to start my day. It's a great morning song - just the right amount of soothing and uplifting. What current artist sounds like Van Morrison? Is there even anyone?

6. "Once in a Lifetime" - Talking Heads
If the rankings were based on how fun it is to sing along, this one would rank higher. Who doesn't love to break into an all-nervous-energy David Byrne impression and say, "Well ... how did I get here?" Wait, that's just me?

7. "Radio Nowhere" - Bruce Springsteen
Hey, have you noticed that the opening guitar riff sounds a bit like the one from that "867-5309" song?

8. "Black Hole Sun" - Soundgarden
The video is still plenty disturbing, 13 years later. And the song is still woozy, grungy and 4,298 times better than "Spoonman."

9. "You Can Leave Your Hat On" - Joe Cocker
Every song that gets played on this station gets analyzed and market tested to the max. Except for a few hours on Sunday nights, or during some "Under the Covers"-type segment, no song sneaks by. My point is, that for some reason, this annoying piece of '80s garbage has passed whatever test needs to be passed for a song to make it onto the airwaves. Might be time to change that criteria.

10. "Take the Long Way Home" - Supertramp

See above. Change '80s to late '70s.

By David Malitz |  December 7, 2007; 2:46 PM ET Two-Minute Man
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i generally agree with your list, ESPECIALLY the part about #9 and 10. I was thinking the EXACT same thing the other day when i heard that insipid Joe Cocker song. They should stick to playing that "Wonder Years" song of his.

As for you placing "Crazy" over "London Calling," i'm really going to have to strongly disagree with you there. Sure Crazy is a good song, but seriously, London Calling is just da bomb and it's more than a classic song - it's a work of art.

Posted by: around | December 10, 2007 11:28 AM

oh and thanks for naming that Talking Heads song. i've always wondered what it was called and figured it was somewhere along the lines of "And you may ask yourself"

Posted by: around | December 10, 2007 11:32 AM

Once in a Lifetime: great song, but overplayed for me. Not so much on commercial radio, but at bars, parties, friends' houses, and other locations. Same with Psycho Killer, Take Me to the River, and Burning Down the House. The band has a deeper catalog than most people realize (though also very inconsistent). Best song never heard on the radio, bars, parties, etc.: Thank You for Sending Me an Angel. Runner up: Houses in Motion.

Posted by: SSMD | December 10, 2007 11:42 AM

Gnarls over the Clash? NO WAY! Very strong top 7 by the Weasel this week. Maybe the program manager is on vacation.

Posted by: Seth | December 11, 2007 3:11 PM

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