Just to check whether k.d. lang's version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" is as good as I thought it was, I played it back to back with John Cale's version from "Fragments of a Rainy Season" (pretty much my favourite Cale album). I'll be damned if Cale's version didn't sound cocktail lounge-y next to lang's majestic performance. The girl has pipes, but you didn't need me to tell you that. With most singers, the song is just a pretty piece of poetry that makes you take notice of that person's enunciation more than you normally would. In k.d. lang's capable hands, "Hallelujah" sounds like the first and last word on all things related to love (with the exception of, naturally, "If You Could Read My Mind", and you can bet your left arm that I'd love to hear her cover *that* some day).
Thanks to Idolator for the link to the WOXY Modern Rock 500 List. I don't outright hate any of their top ten songs, but I count only one song in my personal pantheon ("Love Will Tear Us Apart", duh), three that I burned out on more than fifteen years ago and don't feel the need to hear ever again ("Sunday Bloody Sunday", "London Calling", "Blister In The Sun"), and five that I like but with reservations, as in "me likee but am glad that I don't listen to the radio anymore or else I'd surely be as burned out on them am I was for the previous three ("Creep", "Paranoid Android", "How Soon Is Now", Radio Free Europe", "Smells Like Teen Spirit"). The odd man out is the Pixies, a band that I never really got into, and therefore I never got around to liking them or getting burned out on them. The Pixies have become fixtures on Top ___ Lists over the past few years, much in the same way that the Ramones suddenly appeared on the same lists around ten years ago. The pop-punk Green Day disciples used to be everywhere, not indie rock is back in a big way, so the Pixies have stolen the slot that's seemingly reserved for all non-Smiths/REM/Clash 70's and 80's modern rock. In a few more years, the Pixies will be out in favour of a pioneer band in whatever will be big in modern rock circles in a few years time. I vote for either MBV (something called emogaze might take off) or Chemical Brothers (if big beat electronic music comes back via the likes of LCD Soundsystem-ish rock/electronic hybrids).
Matthew Sweet, "Sick of Myself" at #489 = a crime.
After several weeks with No Age's "Nouns", it's grown on me to the point that I'm convinced it's a masterpiece.