Way back in November when we posted our first weekly playlist, a reader commented, “I'd love to see you guys do a playlist of songs that last 90 seconds or less.” See, we’re not just throwing it out there without reason when we tell you to leave suggestions for future playlists in the comments. We, unlike your parents who just don’t understand, listen to you. So, here they are as requested: our nine favorite songs under 90 seconds (on January 9 at 9 a.m., get it?).
Subscribe to this playlist on Rdio.
PAUL BARIBEAU - “Tablecloth”
Paul Baribeau is proof that one should never doubt the power a bearded dude with an acoustic guitar can have. His 2005 self-titled debut is full of short gems about relationships that went south and fucked up families, but none captures the theme of bad romance quite like “Tablecloth.” In 77 seconds, the folk-punk singer traces a failed relationship’s trajectory from the beginning (“We danced to a Beach Boys song in our yellow living room with the lights turned off”) to its inevitable end (“Sometimes I wish that I could just chop off the chunk of my life that I wasted on you.”) [BM]
BLINK-182 - "Family Reunion"
Short Music For Short People gave us 101 songs which fit this playlist's sub-90-second criteria, and you could easily just cherrypick it for all nine of the inclusions here. But instead, I'll pull out my absolute favorite: Blink-182's "Family Reunion." Mark Hoppus repeats the phrase "Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, tits, fart, turd and twat" four times before harmonizing with Tom DeLonge, "I fucked your moooooom." Absolute perfection, am I right? [SH]
HOME GROWN -the hidden track after "This Way"
Home Grown were a terrible, terrible band (save for the song "Surfer Girl," which rules). But they sure brought the lulz on 1999's EP Phone Home EP, where they scattered various short songs throughout the actual tracks. My favorite is the one tacked onto the end of "This Way." It's exactly five seconds long, and the lyrics are perfect: "This song is only five seconds long." When I saw this band many, many years ago with Buck-O-Nine and Fenix TX (who were still called Riverfenix, natch!), they played the five-second song probably six or seven times throughout their set. It was easily the best part. [SH]
INTO IT. OVER IT. - “Heartificial”
Week three of Into It. Over It.’s breakout mega-full-length, 52 Weeks, clocks in at a cool 1:07 with “Heartificial.” It’s actually one of the few that fall under two minutes, even with project mastermind Evan Weiss writing and recording a new song from scratch every week for a year. Despite its short stay, “Heartificial” leaves a bee sting to a former lover at fast-forward speed. It’s a certified repeater—the type of song you mindlessly replay until you get your fix. Making metaphors out of his ex’s pacemaker defibrillator (literally an artificial heart), Weiss still makes you feel for his side of the story. “You're running on alkaline/A hollow chest no better than mine.” With full-band IIOI sets finally a reality, this favorite can have the impact it was always intended to carry. [BK]
NAKED CITY - "Gob Of Spit"
I chose this not only because is it one of the best closing tracks I've ever heard (It's the last song on the John Zorn-led avant-everything band's Torture Garden album), it sums up how I feel about lists, period. [JP]
TOUCHÉ AMORÉ – “~”
Touché Amoré are pros at crafting short, yet poignant songs, and their small catalog offers a nice helping of tracks under 90 seconds to choose from. The oddly titled “~” from their sophomore album, Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me, just meets the requirement at one minute and 29 seconds, and frontman Jeremy Bolm makes each second count. His throat-shearing hardcore wail is on full display as he screams, “If actions speak louder than words/I'm the most deafening noise you've heard.” Short songs of the hardcore variety are no anomaly, but one as gripping as this is worth remembering. [BM]
UNITED NATIONS - “The Spinning Heart Of The Yo-Yo Lobby”
The literal narrative of this song is: A bully steals a yo-yo from some poor soul (“It was my favorite toy that I took from a boy/Who I put in his place when I smashed in his face”) then carelessly loses it. To follow the song solely on the surface, however, would detract from its brilliance. Cunningly, brutally and succinctly, United Nations drive their blood-for-frivolity-and-excess point home using metaphor and evoking subtle anatomical imagery to expose multiple societal ills in less than one minute. Listen closely. [CW]
WORLD DOMINATION ENTERPRISES - "Look Out Jack"
Don't even use shorthand like "noise rock" to describe this obscure British trio's sense of sonic firepower and mayhem. A product of Margaret Thatcher's Great Britain, World Domination Enterprises were three secret weapons in search of a culture war. The stories surrounding guitarist Keith Dobson's gear abuse were legendary, like using two treble pedals to cut through everything (including amplifiers). "Look Out Jack" is from the band's only studio full-length, 1988's Let's Play Domination, and if you can't feel the rush from the charging rhythm section or Dobson's terrifying, squealing deathray harmonics, well, you're just not playing it loud enough. Or maybe you need beaten about the face and shoulders with a cement-filled lead pipe, chicken-skin. [JP]
YOU, ME, AND EVERYONE WE KNOW - "I'm Losing Weight For You"
You, Me & Everyone We Know really nailed the "over-the-top dysfunctional pop" motif pioneered by Say Anything on 2010's Some Things Don't Wash Out. The first verse on their most-rushed song may also be their most perfect. "Don't want to sing about girls or what they mean to me/I'm too narcissistic for all the scenery/My mood is never as bright as it seems to be/Transition from Jekyll to Hyde too seamlessly." If lyrics have ever felt like looking in a mirror, this would be it. [BK]
We always like a challenge. So, submit your ideas for future playlists in the comments. Bring it!