A Galling Omission From Time Out’s “100 Best NYC Songs” List

03/08/2012 12:55 PM |


Yesterday, Time Out published their “100 Best NYC Songs” list, and while it’s as perfectly inclusive and ultimately flawed as any of these lists ever are, there is one semi-recent song missing that I feel like we should all just collectively enshrine in the canon of modern New York City song classics. (And for which no XTC, Le Tigre, or Wu-Tang love can serve as ample substitute.)

“Myriad Harbour,” from the otherwise so-so 2007 record Challengers, is maybe Dan “Destroyer” Bejar’s finest moment as a New Pornographer. It has this perfect balance between bewildered and bored, amused and bemused, that sort of perfectly emulates the push/pull of excitement and exhaustion brought by being in a metropolis. It gives present-day Brooklyn equal time to the city in a way that reflects the last decade of change, rather than feeling wistful for a Manhattan social scene that lots of us don’t really interact with all that much, honestly. And while top-10 includee “New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down” is aimed squarely at deflating old city cliches, Bejar’s take is more a celebration than a you-missed-it diss, which makes us feel slightly better about our life choices. Man, is there a more evocatively loving tease/social observation written about Williamsburg in the 00s than, “All the boys with the homemade microphones have very interesting sounds/ All the girls falling into ruin, breaking daddy’s hearts just to hang around”? (And sure, there are tons of dudes hanging out in Bedford Ave. coffee shops right this second, and many girls making very interesting sounds in Bushwick practice spaces too, but it’s a song, not a graduate thesis.) While most of the listed songs are home-town celebrations, “Harbour” captures an equally valid outsider view—wide-eyed wonder mixed with minor anticlimax—that’s easy to relate to even if you moved here a decade ago. And it still sounds soooooo good.

New Pornographers – “Myriad Harbour”

So there. Which favorite NYC song of yours did they snub?

Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeff_klingman, if you do that sort of thing.

4 Comment

  • Yep, agreed. Santigold’s “L.E.S. Artistes” was also absent.

  • Sonic Youth, “Hyperstation” (1988): (this brings me back to that time and place, it’s just a perfect evocation, the music and the words, I don’t care that it didn’t make it, lets keep it our little secret) :

    “Falling out of sleep I hit the floor
    Pull on some rock t’s and I’m out with the door
    From Bowery to Broome To Greene
    I’m a walking lizard
    Last night’s dream was a talking baby wizard”

  • Consider us rightly schooled, Jeff: you make a watertight case for a song that buzzed right past our hivemind. (And gjk, congratulations: you’ve just succeeded in making this longtime SY devotee feel like a proper jackass.)

    Seriously, thanks for having a look; we’re happy to be called out.

  • Good idea for a list. Glad to see the Dolls get the proper love – Subway Train is one of the greats. #1 choice is kind of a disaster, but oh well.

    I wouldn’t expect it to make the list, but “Cadillac Moon” by Mink DeVille is a great New York song.