Top 10 Bands to Listen To on a Crisp Fall Afternoon

I was going to wait to start this run of Top 10 lists, but seeing as how today might be the last dry day we see here in Portland until, I dunno, fucking June probably, I figured I’d jump the gun a bit and introduce the Top 10 Bands to Listen To on a Crisp Fall Day.

We had started a Top 10 list over on the Facebook page once, but then moved to a more informal system where people could scribble down their picks on our dry-erase board in the kitchen. Democracy! People can add, remove, change, or call into question any of the songs on the list, should they choose. It should also be noted that some of the choices on these upcoming lists may have been influenced by drugs and/or alcohol, but always in a controlled environement and in the most repsonsible manner humanly possible. We swear.

1) The Kinks

I don’t think we really need to defend this choice. The Kinks are the perfect fall band. A little meloncholy, but not too depressing. Upbeat, but not in a way that says, “Let’s go to the beach.” Maybe it’s all the Wes Anderson films, but The Kinks should be playing whenever the leaves are changing, no matter if you’re in the mountains of Colorado or the streets of New York City.

2) David Bowie

It’s inevitable that David Bowie will be on many of these lists because, let’s face it, he’s the coolest motherfucker around, and maybe knows magic. You can’t tell me that eye of his doesn’t look straight into the far away future. Anyway, superpowers aside, only some Bowie can be listened to in the fall, but thankfully there’s a plethera of material to draw from, and I think “Oh You Pretty Things” is the perfect theme song for our American Fall. Occupy, brothers and sisters.

3) Paul Simon

I imagine Paul Simon is what you listen to on the last road trip home for the winter. Plus, is there really any a bad time to listen to Graceland? No, there isn’t. What a ridiculous question.

4) Sun Kil Moon

Formed by Mark Kozelek after Red House Paintes went the way of the dinosaur, Sun Kil Moon is Kozelek’s typical singer-songwriter style of music. The group has only released a few albums, and in my humble opion, the band’s debut album “Ghosts of Great Highway” is the best work, weaving in tales of boxers who died at the age of 23. The band followed up with a strange Modest Mouse cover album before finally just becoming a one man show of Kozelek again. The man is a sad bastard, but he does play some beautiful fall day tunes.

5) John Coltrane

Unlike Mile Davis’s modal jazz period that can be listened to on any occasion, John Coltrane’s brand of softer jazz following the end of the bebop era is somehow heavier than the trumpeter’s songs (even though they played together on several albums). Perhaps its the saxaphone itself that creates a deeper tune, not quite to the dark edges of Charles Mingus, but still blue.

6) Feist

Everyone loves Feist, even your parents. It’s okay. The Canadian songstress deserves our love, even though Broken Social Scene got a little lost when she and Emily Haines left.

7) The Wu Tang Clan

There was some push-back on this choice, but I’ve always felt like The Wu Tang Clan were a more contemplative group than their contemporaries, much like Outkast. Perfect headphone jams while you wait out in the cold for your bus.

8) Elliot Smith

Come on. You knew this would be on here. Aren’t you suprised it wasn’t up higher on the list? Us too. Oh well.

9) The Cure

Also a no-brainer. The Cure created one of the best albums of ever with Disintegration, and later became yet another cautionary tale of what happens when great bands get old and keep dredging up the same old shit. But past all that, I think people forgot that very early material from The Cure was pretty fucking rocking and not so much goth. Damn kids these days.

10) Ben Folds Five

I don’t know if we’re all just a bit emotionally scared after hearing “Brick” on the radio every goddamn day during our formative years, but I think Ben Folds Five will always be sad despite Ben Folds being a fairly humorous guy. While Folds’ solo work is excellent at times, there’s really nothing as great at the original trio, who provided some much needed flare and jazz background to the piano-pop.

Well, that’s the list everyone! Hope you enjoyed the round-up of videos too. It took for-fucking-ever to find some decent ones. Just so you know. I love you. Now it’s your turn. Agree with the list? Have your own Top 10? Let us know by commenting here. Thanks for reading!

-A