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12 More By Weezer

Sometimes an artist just needs 12  more  songs to summarize their career. Case in point... Weezer have released nine new albums in the past twelve years, including four in the last three, which is just insane. They haven't all been great, or even good ( Hurley , I'm looking at you), but cherry-picking some of the best tunes from each record creates a picture of a band that's just as fascinating as they were in 1994. Speaking of that, take a gander at the revised 12 By Weezer , which covers the band's first 14 years. 1. "(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To" (from Raditude , 2009) Like many of Weezer's best songs, this one finds Cuomo casting back to the past using very specific details. It's also in the conversation for the catchiest song they've ever done. 2. "Ruling Me" (from Hurley , 2010)  This one was co-written with Dan Wilson, and the widescreen harmony-laden chorus is exactly what you'd expect when two of t
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12 by Weezer

Here's the drill: 12 songs to summarize an artist's career, in chronological order (of course). This one features... I decided to take an unconventional route for this 12 by, and pretend Weezer have already released a "greatest hits." Here's what I think that would look like:  1) "Buddy Holly", 2) "Undone - the Sweater Song", 3) "My Name Is Jonas", 4) "The Good Life", 5) "El Scorcho", 6) "Hash Pipe", 7) "Island in the Sun", 8) "Dope Nose", 9) "Keep Fishin'", 10) "Beverly Hills", 11) "We Are All On Drugs", 12) "Pork and Beans".  Here's a different take: 1. " Say It Ain't So"  (from Weezer , 1994)  A little bit heavy, a little bit catchy, quiet-loud dynamics. So basically, it's Pixies lite. The song is interesting lyrically because it's basically nonsense until the "Dear daddy..." bridge, which lets out a t

12 More By Ben Folds

Sometimes an artist just needs 12  more  songs to summarize their career. Case in point... You should check out the original 12 By Ben Folds . 1. "Free Coffee" (from Way to Normal , 2008) Ben Folds is far from ultra-famous, but he's prominent and successful enough to receive the perks of celebrity. Here he points out the irony of it, "When I was broke / I needed it more / but now that I'm rich / I get free coffee." 2. "You Don't Know Me" (from Way to Normal , 2008) Ben Folds and Regina Spektor are such a perfect pairing. They need to make a whole album together. 3. "Brainwascht" (from Way to Normal , 2008) This "diss track" was written in response to the Fleming & John song "Wrong," which was obliquely directed toward Ben in the aftermath of his divorce from his third wife (Fleming & John once opened for Ben Folds Five, and John Mark Painter had worked with Ben for several years). Ben gets some good jabs in

12 More by Aimee Mann

Sometimes an artist just needs 12  more  songs to summarize their career. Case in point... For a good number of years in the late '90s and early '00s Aimee Mann was one of my favorite musical artists. But circa 2008 I started to lose interest in her new work, and stopped paying attention. It's been fun to catch up on what I missed. Well, maybe "fun" isn't the right word to describe delving into Mann's often pain-centered worldview. Take a look at the  12 by Aimee Mann  list to revisit the first part of her career. 1. "Freeway" (from  @#%&*! Smilers , 2008) There are few who do "fuck you" songs quite as effectively as Mann. "You got a lot of money, but you cannot keep your bills paid." 2. "Thirty One Today" (from  @#%&*! Smilers , 2008) True story, this album was released two days before my 31st birthday. "Thirty One Today" is about a person taking stock of their life and their choices, and despairin

12 More by Nada Surf

Sometimes an artist just needs 12 more songs to summarize their career. Case in point... In the second half of the 2000s and throughout the 2010's, Nada Surf have continued to create thoughtful indie pop that often doubles as a cathartic therapy session. You don't want to miss the 12 by Nada Surf  list that covers the first part of their career. 1. " Whose Authority"  (from  Lucky , 2008)  Holy cow, had they been listening to Teenage Fanclub, or what?!  2. " Beautiful Beat"  (from  Lucky , 2008)  An an ode to the power of song, but is also the exact kind of song it's about. Just like the snake eating its own tail. 3. "Love Goes On" (from If I Had a Hi-Fi , 2010) A swiftly-moving cover of a great 1988 tune by the Australian band The Go-Betweens. The Nada Surf version replaces the original's flamenco guitar with horns, making it more Stax than Spanish. 4. "The Agony of Lafitte" (from If I Had a Hi-Fi , 2010) When you can make a cove

12 More By Old 97's

  Sometimes and artist needs 12 more songs to summarize their career. Case in point... Old 97's kept chugging along through the 2010s, and show no signs of slowing down. Thank goodness for that. Why not check out the original 12 by Old 97's so you have the whole story? 1. "Every Night Is Friday Night (Without You)"   (from  The Grand Theatre, Volume One , 2010) This album found the band returning to a purer, rawer country rock sound, and this barn-burner is one of the finest examples of that. 2. "Champaign, Illinois" (from  The Grand Theatre, Volume One , 2010) How could I not include a song that references a place about 45 minutes from where I live (and where I've spent quite a bit of time)? That said, its pretty clear Rhett Miller chose the name for its syllabic and phonetic qualities, and not much else. Fun fact: The song is actually a rewrite of Bob Dylan's "Desolation Row," thus Dylan shares 50% songwriting credit. 3. "How Lovely

12 More by Death Cab for Cutie

Sometimes and artist needs 12 more songs to summarize their career. Case in point...  If you stopped paying attention to Death Cab for Cutie around the same time The O.C. went off the air, you should do yourself a favor and take some time to catch up. Before you go on, you might want to check out the original 12 by Death Cab for Cutie . 1. "Little Bribes" (from the  Open Door EP , 2009) A tune exploring the fact that there's a depressing side to "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." 2. "Doors Unlocked and Open" (from  Codes & Keys , 2011) Hypnotic, driving, mysterious. 3. "You Are a Tourist" (from  Codes & Keys , 2011) Melodically rich song full of wisdom about listening to what your heart is telling you. 4. "Unobstructed Views" (from  Codes & Keys , 2011) There are two atheist anthems on Codes & Keys , this and "St. Peter's Cathedral." But while that song focuses on a downer death-is-the-end message,