A Response to Pitchfork's Top 500 Songs of the Decade

So now that Pitchfork has gone ahead and informed the musical community what we should consider the best music of the past 10 years (Pitchfork’s Top 500 Songs of the Decade), it’s time to reflect on their choices and respond. I’ll admit it…I like Pitchfork a lot (they’ve gone a long way in recent years to rehab their image as snarky, self-important elitists into simply elitists who know they’re important). I also love lists, so I enjoyed hearing/seeing/reading what they had to say. It’s a very interesting list to either peruse or to study, and there are a crapload of great songs from off-genres for indie-rock diehards to discover. Yeah, there are some inconsistencies between their list and their recently released book, some oddball choices, some surprises, some unsurprising placements, plenty of snubs (ha ha Arctic Monkeys!), and a disproportionate amount of rap and pop than what is covered by their site on a day-to-day basis. But overall they kicked off what will undoubtedly be the biggest “list season” of them all with a fine read.

Anyway, here are some of my favorite songs of the decade that were not included on their list. I was most surprised by the absence of a single Drive-by Truckers song, but would have been most pleased with the inclusion of "Farewell Transmission", "Gimme Back My Dog", "Flashes And Cables", or one of the Marah songs that I've included. And just to clarify one thing, this post is kind of being thrown together without a lot of thought and is not meant to be my official “best of the decade” list by any stretch. Just some of my favorite songs and artists that didn’t make their cut. I’m sure I’m forgetting a bunch. In no particular order:

I‘ll Be Around - Bobby Bare Jr. (mp3)

One / Horoscopic. Amputation. Honey. - Califone (mp3) (mp3)

Flashes And Cables - Centro-Matic (mp3)

Farewell Transmission - Songs/Ohia (mp3)

Arizona - Constantines (mp3)

Vancouver Divorce - Gordon Downie

Naked As We Came (mp3) / Southern Anthem (mp3) / The Trapeze Swinger - Iron & Wine

Faraway You (mp3) / Walt Whitman Bridge - Marah

Lua - Bright Eyes (mp3)

Wolves - Phosphorescent

Taking The Farm - The War On Drugs (mp3)

Kathleen - Josh Ritter (mp3)

Gimme Back My Dog - Slobberbone

Biomusicology - Ted Leo & The Pharmacists

10 A.M. Automatic - The Black Keys

A Damn Good Disguise - The Mendoza Line (mp3)

Zip City - Drive-by Truckers (mp3)

Scared Straight - The Long Winters

Moment In The Sun - Clem Snide

What else did Pitchfork overlook? Please leave a comment!



murufoo said...

I actually liked pitchfork's list a lot, but i would argue that the strokes were snubbed just by virtue of their low placement. However, I would not be surprised if "Is this It" made the top album list next week.

One of the biggest mistakes on their list is the inclusion of "A Millie" to the snubbing of Wayne's mixtape albums "Da Drought 3" and "Dedication 2", both which were released to rave reviews on pitchfork at the time.

My picks from Lil wayne to make the list:
"1000 degreez"
"Sky is the Limit"
"Upgrade U Freestyle".

Instead of the clipse's 'trill', their highest ranking song from Hell Hath no Fury should definitly be "KIs open doors" or even "Mr.Me too" (but pitchfork has a personal hatred of Pharrell's rapping :P).

I didn't see "Master of None" by Beach House on the list, which is a shame.

-Paul M.

James said...


Agreed on Lil Wayne - "A Milli" annoys me, should've been "Sky Is The Limit" or "Ride w/ My...".

I expect Is This It will place very high on their list, as it should. It's not only a kickass rock record but was a sort of "important" record in how it got real rock music back into the public consciousness.

Thanks for stopping by,

soulfuldelight said...

The Black Keys song would have been a good addition most definitely.