Thursday, 25 May 2017

Top Tens: Colin's Top Ten Jeff Rosenstock Songs


I got to see Jeff Rosenstock again on Tuesday night. I absolutely love Jeff Rosenstock. Not just his amazing music but the whole punk rock DIY ethic he lives his life by. The man is an inspiration to everyone that knows of him. He is one of the true, great icons of our generation. People will tell Jeff Rosenstock stories forever. He has had a long and storied career in this little obsession we call punk rock music so I thought it was only right to attempt a top ten Jeff Rosenstock songs. This top ten is my picks from my three favourites of his musical endeavours - his first band The Arrogant Sons Of Bitches, the legendary Bomb The Music Industry and his current project, simply named Jeff Rosenstock.

10. Wave Goodnight To Me Tonight (Jeff Rosenstock - Worry)

Wave Goodnight To Me Tonight Was Written by Jeff Rosenstock as a thank you to those who donated money after the band's van was broken into in San Francisco. It's on the newest album, Worry, and is more of an indie rock song rather than the chaotic punk we might be more accustommed to from Mr Rosenstock.

9. So Let's Go Nowhere (Arrogant Sons Of Bitches - Three Cheers For Disappointment)

The Arrogant Sons Of Bitches and So Let's Go Nowhere were my first bits of Rosenstock exposure and I was instantly hooked. I loved the upbeat, high tempo ska punk. There is also so much of the chaotic nature that has been present in much of Rosenstock's music that endeared him to the masses.

8. Nausea (Jeff Rosenstock - We Cool?)

Nausea was the first single off of Jeff's second "solo" album, We Cool? A big theme of that album is approaching your thirties and wondering what you've accomplished so far in your life. Nausea in particular focuses on this as it tells a story of how Jeff would avoid conversations with family and friends because he didn't know what he wanted to do with his future. How many of us have been there? I certainly have!

7. Festival Song (Jeff Rosenstock - Worry)

Festival Song was definitely the stand out track from last year's album Worry. Starting out with a chorus of "Whoa-ohs", it's immediately a sing-along fun time. Festival Song is a song about playing shows that you don't really want to because of the good money you'll get paid.

6. It's Official! We're Booooorrrrring! (Bomb The Music Industry - Goodbye Cool World)

What I loved about Bomb The Music Industry was just how much is going on in their music. It always felt like a lot of their songs were a jam by people who could barely play their instruments, rather than wonderfully crafted songs by an amazingly skilled group of musicians. This is something that really made BTMI loved - they didn't come off as superstar rockstars they were one of us! It's Official! We're Boring is a song about going against the grain, standing up and doing your own thing.

5. The First Time I Met Sanawon (Bomb The Music Industry - Adults!!!: Smart!!! Shithammered!!! And Excited By Nothing!!!!!!!)

I love the chorus of "As We Get Older Every Day Feels Longer, And Although I Know I Struggle I Will, Do My Best To Never Get Tired" on The First Time I Met Sanawon. It's a proper gang vocal moment that I adore. The whole song is an upbeat, fast paced affair that will get fans dancing and singing as if their lives depended on it. The track sees Jeff return to more of a ska punk sound that he does so brilliantly well.

4. I'm Serious, I'm Sorry (Jeff Rosenstock - We Cool?)

I'm Serious, I'm Sorry is an incredibly emotional song that really shows off Jeff's skill as a songwriter. It's a song that tells the story of the regret that Jeff felt when he went to a party and his friend had a breakdown but he was too drunk to help her. Throughout the song you can really feel the pain that Jeff is feeling. The way the song builds towards its ending is hugely draining, every time I hear this song it really get me and pulls my heart strings.

3. Future 86 (Bomb The Music Industry - Album Minus Band)

Future 86 is a rare slow paced Jeff/BTMI song. The majority of the track is just Jeff and his guitar before he is eventually joined by the rest of the band for the big climax of the song. The song is about being on tour and struggling with life away from your loved ones. This is one of Jeff's most beautiful and touching songs and the way it performed is just masterful.

2. You, In Weird Cities (Jeff Rosenstock - We Cool?)

Every couple has songs that they consider "our songs". You, In Weird Cities is one of mine and Emma's. It's about living apart from the people that you care about and using music to help you feel close to them. This was so relevant to me and Emma at the beginning of our relationship as we lived two hours apart and didn't get to see each other anywhere near as much as we'd like. It's a fast paced punk rock track that starts like a bomb going off and is full of so much passion and energy it's impossible not to love this song.

1. I Don't Love You Anymore (Bomb The Music Industry - Get Warmer)

This was the first Bomb The Music Industry song I ever heard. It's a party song, it's upbeat and you will dance like it's the last time you will ever dance. It's a crazy amount of fun. A lot of people think that I Don't Love You Anymore is a break up song but it's actually about feeling like you drink too much and wanting to kick the habit. Jeff brilliantly uses relationships as a metaphor. I love a party song that actually has a real sombre tone when you look at it more closely.

This top ten was written by Colin Clark.