Written by Malvina Reynolds back in 1962, “Little Boxes” was a satiric protest song about suburbia and it was initially a hit for Pete Seeger. The Reynolds version would become the theme song for the TV series Weeds in 2005 which would lead to various covers from the likes of Elvis Costello, Linkin Park and Death Cab For Cutie. This is not only a catchy little tune but its lyrics still resonate and are still very relevant today which makes it a timeless classic we’ll probably hear for many more years to come.
Originally a simple traditional Jamaican folk song about workers loading bananas onto ships at night and waiting to get paid before they finally go home and rest, “Day-O” was made popular by Harry Belafonteback in 1956 and since, the song was covered numerous times and its catchy chorus as well as its fun, bouncing rhythm have now become unavoidable. It was the 1988 film Beetlejuice, however, which introduced many (us including) to the track in one very amusing, iconic scene.
The White Stripes‘ 4th album Elephant was a huge success upon its release and rightly so: some great singles came from it and the whole thing had an iconic quality to it. One of the many cool tracks to be found on the album is “Black Math”, which had the misfortune of following probably the band’s biggest hit to date “Seven Nation Army” but which still kicked butt nonetheless with its fast-paced rhythm and the gallons of energy poured into it.
These two sure could make a hell of a lot of noise.
“Jailhouse Fire” was one of the most memorable tracks on indie folk singer/musician Laura Veirs‘ second album The Triumphs & Travails Of Orphan Mae and introduced many to her unique off-beat style. The song is a bouncy blues tune with a catchy chorus and some good old-fashioned whistling. This is Veirs at her bluesiest and it is pretty darn sweet.
“Le Vent Nous Portera” (translated as “The Wind Will Carry Us”) is a song by French rock band Noir Désir released as a single back in 2002. It is a melancholic, hugely atmospheric ballad with a folky rhythm (provided, funnily enough, by Manu Chao) and some bittersweet vocals which can be found on the album Des Visages Des Figures. It reached number 3 in the French charts and remains one of the band’s most memorable tunes.