The Two-Minute Man, Episode 15: What I Like About the Globe Edition

He's got a bad desire.

Five straight weeks with no Tom Petty. I guess there was no Super Bowl bump for him. I never thought the Romantics would be anywhere but the top of the list, but an unexpected nugget from the Boss relegates them to second place.

1. "I'm on Fire" - Bruce Springsteen
On certain days, when I'm not in the mood for an anthem, this is my favorite Bruce tune. Such a mysterious, understated little song with so much tension that never quite reaches the surface. Those Alan Vega-inspired howls at the end are the perfect closing touch.

2. "What I Like About You" - The Romantics
It's about time. I turn the radio on each morning hoping to hear this song and Monday was my lucky day. This is the perfect three-minute pop song, from the killer opening riff to the harmonica solo to the expert use of "Hey!" Perhaps the best drummer-sung song ever?

3. "Southern Man" - Neil Young
The first Neil appearance! This might actually be my least favorite song on "After the Goldrush," which says a lot more about the sheer awesomeness of that album than the quality of this song.

4. "White Wedding" - Billy Idol
It's as '80s as an '80s song gets, but Idol pulls it off. It's hard not to love the various vocal tics that he showcases.

5. "In a Big Country" - Big Country
This song always reminds of a David Spade bit from a Kevin Nealon-era "Weekend Update" when he talked about bands refusing to play their big hits in concert: "When I was 22, I saw Big Country in concert, and, guess what? They didn't even sing 'Big Country'! Why else are you on the planet? It's the name of your band, hard to forget! Huh? Yeah! What? Uh-huh!" (Confession time: I find David Spade far funnier than I should. I actually had my DVR set to record "The Showbiz Show" every time it was on.)

6. "Funplex" - The B-52's
The B-52's are back and sound just as ridiculous as ever. Which is a good thing, of course. On a related note, Fred Schneider's 1996 solo album "Just Fred" is absolutely worth checking out. You can probably find a $1 copy at your local used CD store. It's a crunchy alt-rock album produced by Steve Albini and has one of the best Harry Nilsson covers you'll ever hear.

7. "Girls in Their Summer Clothes" - Bruce Springsteen
The Boss has to be happy that three songs from "Magic" are in semi-regular radio rotation. Back in the day J. Freedom said, "If Don Henley and Brian Wilson wrote a song for Bruce Springsteen, this might be it." Hard to disagree with him.

8. "All I Want" - Toad the Wet Sprocket
Back in the '90s I was always hoping for a mix-and-match between this band and Big Head Todd and the Monsters. Todd the Wet Sprocket and Big Head Toad and the Monsters. Would the bands have been very different? I doubt it.

9. "Dream Catch Me" - Newton Faulkner
Um, who? I thought I maybe recognized the name from a Norton Anthology of poetry or something, but it's just some British dude with dreads.

10. "Crash Into Me" - Dave Matthews Band
If you went to college at a state school in the late-'90s, came back to your dorm room and found a sock on the door handle, there was a 29% chance this song was playing behind that closed door.

By David Malitz |  February 22, 2008; 2:17 PM ET Two-Minute Man
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Are you implying Toad the Wet Sprocket and Big Head Todd and the Monsters sound the same? I guess since they are bands and play guitars, they must be impossible to distinguish from one another. You sir, have absolutely no idea what you're talking about, and have lost all credibility.

Posted by: Steve | February 22, 2008 2:48 PM

Umm, Steve, he's joking. Lighten up a little.

That is one of Bruce's more delicate nuggets. I would have rated Girl's in Their Summer Clothes a bit higher myself, but that's a good list this week.

I really wish they'd lay off the DMB though. They sound way too much like they're trying to grab DC101's market.

Posted by: EricS | February 22, 2008 4:17 PM

The live version of I'm On Fire is nice as well, especially the guitar intro.

I wish the Globe would play the acoustic version of Born in the USA, without the nasty synthesizer, where you can actually hear the lyrics loud and clear. Much better than the studio version.

Posted by: SSMD | February 22, 2008 5:39 PM

I agree with the running order here, except I'd elevate Neil Young to the top spot.

Neil Young has something like 40 albums. He is no doubt one of the most influential and most respected artists of the modern era. Stations like The Globe can only seem to find about 15 tracks on those albums to pound us over the head with. Lucky for us, Southern Man never ever gets tiresome. Nonetheless, it'd be refreshing, and certainly worth writing about if they threw on the title track from Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, or say Will To Love from American Stars and Bars.

Big Country was better when they backed Pete Townsend on Empty Glass. What I Like about you was a moderate hit, that was lovely to hear occasionally - radio followed the Pied Piper when the song wound up in some commercial - now most reasonable people can't stand it anymore. I'm not much for the B52s, post Ricky Wilson, but I understand why people think they are fun.

Newton Faulkner is what's completely bunk about stations like The Globe. There are plenty of new artists out there with the integrity and creativity representing all the authenticity of the oldies they play - but instead they seem to go for the ones that represent the empty clichés of their corporate branding, identity, and slogan.

Where's my ipod.?

Posted by: Radio Is The Sound Salvation | February 24, 2008 3:15 PM

Here's the song I wish they'd play more often on the Globe: How Soon is Now, by the Smiths.

Posted by: Laura E | February 24, 2008 9:26 PM

as much as i love/hate the Globe, i'd like to see some other stations profiled.

maybe a Big 100 or DC 101 or 98 Rock segment? Or maybe NPR's greatest hits??? ;) think about it David...

Posted by: around | February 25, 2008 11:53 AM

I kinda like DMB sometimes (how's that for qualifiers), but man is "Crash Into Me" a terrible song.

Localish (Richmond area I think) band Carbon Leaf does a fairly good cover of "I'm On Fire". Not Bruce, but who is?

Posted by: Va | February 25, 2008 2:31 PM

Your Toad/Big Head Todd comments made me laugh because in the 90's when Hootie and the Blowfish, DMB and Blues Traveler were all new bands, I had no idea which was which. Now I know they don't sound alike...I guess I just kinda lumped them together since they were newish bands and universally decided to call them Hootie and the Dave Matthews Travelers. It's still fun to say to this day!

Posted by: baltimore | February 27, 2008 12:09 PM

I'd also put "Girls in their Summer Clothes" higher in the list. A nice 1-2 finish for Bruce!

I hear "Radio Nowhere" on the radio too - what's the 3rd track from the album being played on the radio, David?

Posted by: njdvlsrule | February 28, 2008 7:36 PM

I remember the 'sock on the doorknob' as it pertained to Sophie B. Hawkins' 'As I Lay Me Down to Sleep.' I preferred 'Territorial Pissings' by Nirvana, but that's another story for another time. Go Radford!

Posted by: Andy | March 4, 2008 1:57 PM

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