The Two-Minute Man, Episode 7: Even Christmas Doesn't Excuse the Chipmunks Edition

Hey, I never thought that Steely Dan would claim the top spot on one of these lists either. But in a relatively weak field, "Reeling in the Years" takes top prize, barely beating out Daltrey and Townshend, who get points docked for making a mockery out of the song's most memorable line.

1. "Reeling in the Years" - Steely Dan

Apparently the solo in this tune is Jimmy Page's favorite of all time and it's hard to argue with that. Someone in the comments section for the video linked above said that in concert these days that solo is played by on sax. Which would be a brutal injustice. Anyone have any insights there? And is it just me or did Thin Lizzy take some inspiration from this tune?

2. "My Generation" - The Who
Yeah, it's pretty classic, sure. But it doesn't hold a candle to the version done by the Zimmers!

3. "Short Skirt/Long Jacket" - Cake
You always know a Cake song when you hear it. It will be a little funky, there will be a pretty-to-very killer guitar riff and some bizarre spoken-word vocals from John McCrea. It's a formula that has worked well for them. More than a decade after "The Distance," the band is still playing large concert halls.

4. "You'll Be Coming Down" - Bruce Springsteen
Bruce sounds kind of tired on this one, but I like when he sounds that way. You know who doesn't sound tired here? Max Weinberg. His snare cracks are monstrous. I suppose Brendan O'Brien deserves some of the credit for that, as well, but it's more fun to say good things about Max.

5. "Under the Milky Way" - The Church
This is what alternative radio sounded like before Nirvana. Pleasant enough, but I do miss the distortion.

6. "Buffalo Soldier" - Bob Marley
I don't have much to say about this song but I'll offer up this hypothesis: If throwing a party in college, Bob Marley is the most agreeable soundtrack, with the Beastie Boys coming in a close second.

7. "Christmas" - The Who
Of all the Christmas-related tunes I could have caught on Christmas morning, this one was pretty welcome. It could have been - and was - plenty worse, as evidenced by the cellar dweller on this list.

8. "Stay (Wasting Time)" - Dave Matthews Band
True or false - Dave Matthews Band will still be selling out amphitheaters every summer in 2017? I'll have to go with "true," as long as Dave doesn't get that "artistic" itch to do something other than play the same ol' hits for the same ol' folk.

9. "Daughters" - John Mayer
Even John Mayer himself is pretty embarrassed by this song, as he pleaded with his label not to release it as a single. He lost that battle but won a Song of the Year Grammy for his troubles. Which bodes well for "Hey There Delilah" in February, I suppose.

10. "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)" - The Chipmunks
If you ever wonder why some Jewish people get grumpy around Christmas, it's because 1) we don't get any presents and 2) we have to endure an entire month of hearing songs like this on the radio.

By David Malitz |  December 28, 2007; 5:51 PM ET Two-Minute Man
Previous: Best Shows of 2007, Redux (This Time With Acts You've Actually Heard Of!) | Next: New Favorite Thing: Vol. 1, No. 1


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The numerous and varied studio guitarists heard soloing throughout the considerable Steely Dan catalog of music are responsible for some of the most tasteful, well-crafted, and memorable guitar lines to be found in rock music. And the guitar work on "Reelin'...," great as it is, isn't even close to being their best.

SD gets a lot of flack by subsequent pop culture poseurs, but they occupy a unique niche in pop music. Furthermore, they're one of the few bands from the 20th century whose music will be both remembered and respected well into this century and perhaps beyond...

...When truly crap bands dominating "The Globe's" lame-o playlist (e.g., REM, INXS, Live, etc.) are deservedly forgotten. It's pretty sad when 94.7 is the best thing going radio-wise hereabouts, and indicative of the pathetic state of local radio.

How I miss KCMU/KEXP. Not perfect, but infinitely better on my commute than anything to be found in DC.

Posted by: Blutorg | December 28, 2007 9:46 PM

Anyone at a stop light in a car at age 16 blasting Steely Dan would get left behind in my dust. When it comes to listening to vital music where it counts- in a car at age 16, in a sweaty nightclub the night you turn 21, in a garage, practicing your first song with a band at age 14, Steely Dan are nowhere to be found.

Keep your turtleneck on grandpa and play that Steely Dan cd.

Posted by: DCer | December 29, 2007 12:20 AM

As a fan of most of these bands,I think Dave Matthews Band is underrated. Consistently delivering great live shows, and if you think they play the same hits, you haven't been to a show in a while.

This summer's show at Nissan only had four songs that could be considered "hits", and four new songs. Guilty for playing to the same folks, but what do you expect when you continually put on a great show?

Posted by: Hemisphire | December 31, 2007 12:08 PM

"Anyone at a stop light in a car at age 16 blasting Steely Dan would get left behind in my dust."

Well, I doubt many people would have been playing Steely Dan last year.

(I'm assuming you're about 17 here, since that's what your comment sounds like.)

Posted by: Re DCer | January 2, 2008 12:11 PM

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