How do you choose between your children? That’s the question we posed Big Scary Monsters label owner Kevin Douch when we asked him to compile the all-time Top Ten BSM songs ever to celebrate the milestone of 100 releases. Hear all his choices here, featuring Andrew WK, Meet Me In St Louis, This Town Needs Guns and much more…
So, Rock Sound asked me to sit down and write a list of my Top 10 all-time Big Scary Monsters-released songs. Normally I would refuse, citing the difficulties of choosing between my ‘children’ as a very valid reason, but as we're celebrating our 100th release, it feels like something I could get away with.
Here, in no particular order, are my choices. It should be noted that the majority of these go above and beyond their musical relevance, and actually reads as much like a collection of good memories and fine people as it does a list of big tunes. It doesn't mean I love the other 55 bands we've worked with over the past 9 years any less... except possibly Through Silence, which was a massive mistake.
Secondsmile – ‘Our Great And Secret Show’
I've spent more time on tour with Secondsmile than any other BSM band and this song will always remind me of those great days. This was their first 'proper' video. I make a secret cameo appearance, off camera, in charge of operating the curtains at the beginning. You may notice they stop halfway rather than opening fully. That's because I was drinking a mug of vodka and orange soda at the same time and dropped it down myself. The director shouted at me, as if I didn't feel stupid enough with an orange stain all down my front. Prick.
Kevin Devine – ‘Ballgame’
Technically this isn't released yet (hell, we haven't even announced it, so let's call it a Rock Sound exclusive... We're re-releasing 'Make The Clocks Move' in November) but it's such a good song. Pete from Fall Out Boy listed Kevin in his top 10 lyricists of all time last year, and for Wentz I think he got it right. Damn I love a good pun.
Kevin Devine - 'Ballgame' by RockSoundMagazine
My Awesome Compilation – ‘Our Lives: The Sequel’
One of our very first releases. I used to tell people they sounded like ‘Clarity’-era Jimmy Eat World although I'd never even heard that album at the time. Bigger kids had said it so I just took it to be true. When I finally did listen to ‘Clarity’, nothing else touched my stereo for three whole months. I wrote bulletins about it on MySpace and everything.
My Awesome Compilation - 'Our Lives: The Sequel' by RockSoundMagazine
Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly - The Chronicles Of A Bohemian Teenager Part 1
"Baa, baa, baa, baa, baa..." Come on, we've all sang it.
Shoes And Socks Off – ‘Protect Your PC’
It's the would-be lullaby for the end of a drunken night. Your head's beeping and spinning, your ears are ringing, things are starting to slow down and... a man's mournfully pouring his heart out to you?! When I first heard Meet Me In St Louis (the band Tobias Hayes, AKA Shoes And Socks Off, fronted) I didn't 'get' the vocals. Since then I have released four of his solo records. Go figure.
Shoes And Socks Off - 'Protect Your PC' by RockSoundMagazine
This Town Needs Guns – ‘Panda’
26 Is Dancier Than 4 will always be their 'pop hit' but this song has such a catchy, understated chorus. It's the kind of song which makes me wish I could sing so I wouldn't have to keep humming it meekly to myself. Mexico clearly agrees with me, as this was the 19th most watched music video in the country the day we uploaded it.
Andrew WK – ‘Let's Go On A Date’
What's not to love about this man? This was the B-side on the square (that's right) seven-inch we released earlier this year. I like to listen to it and pretend he's propositioning me. Although, we once went for a curry in London where he ordered all of the hottest items from the menu, told me it felt like a party in his mouth, then puked it up all over the Astoria. So maybe it's best he doesn't sing to me anymore. It's probably best that the dude in this video also stops.
Tall Ships – Books
I loved this song from my very first listen but standing at the back of a completely packed out Old Blue Last, watching every single head nod in unison as the synths kicked in during the bands first ever London headline show was a moment where I felt myself fall head over heels all over again.
Tall Ships - 'Books' by RockSoundMagazine
Meet Me In St Louis – ‘The Torso Was Severed In Mid-Thorax’
As I mentioned earlier, I always avoid showing any sort of preference towards any of our bands but fuck it... ‘Variations On Swing’, MMISL's one and only album, is my favourite BSM release. There, I said it. It's perfect and this song, the opener, sums up everything about them for me. Discordant, urgent, melodic, full of good ideas and over far too quickly. R.I.P.
Meet Me In Sit Louis - 'The Torso Was Severed In Mid-Thorax' by RockSoundMagazine
Hiding With Girls – ‘Marty McFly’
Musically, this wouldn't have a snowball’s chance in hell of hitting the Top 10 (sorry boys!) but it was our first ever 'proper' single, released way back in June 2002, so will always have an important place in the label’s history. When the band finally outgrew the song and announced to the gathered emos at the Camden Barfly it was the last time they'd ever play it live, girls cried. Seriously.
Hiding With Girls - 'Marty McFly' by RockSoundMagazine
I'd like to add that VERY honourable mentions need to go to Talons for 'The Pearl', Adebisi Shank for 'International Dreambeat', Jeniferever for 'You Only Move Twice', Copy Haho for 'Pulling Push Ups', Shapes for 'Trampled By A Horse' and Tubelord for 'I Am Azerrad'. As much as I've joked around in this, narrowing nine years and 99 releases from your favourite bands in the world down to just 10 picks is not an easy thing to do and the chances are this list will change on a daily basis.