Four Fancy Boys Club writers- Matt Drufke, Brandon Andreasen, Michael Grace and Jake Drummond- each chose 16 songs from their first two years of high school that had a profound impact on them. From there, the March Music Madness bracket was born.
From now through Friday, we’ll reveal the songs that made the cut by region and doing our first round. You can vote at our Facebook or our Twitter or at the polls at the bottom of this page.
We wish the best of luck to all the challengers.
Drummond Region: The Songs
#1. Welcome to the Black Parade – My Chemical Romance: Perfect song. Perfect album. End of discussion. No questions will be taken. I don’t care if the emo cat girl on your bus ride to work is screaming the lyrics while you read this. She is right to do so. Admittedly, I’m saying this in hindsight, because when I was a young boy, I was far too entrenched in my small Illinois farm town’s weirdly prominent ska scene to think it was cool. Egg on my face, I suppose.
#2. Rehab – Amy Winehouse: One of the biggest hits off her sophomore album Back to Black, and one of eight singles that helped her to break her own Guinness record for most singles to simultaneously chart in the UK. Even as a person with minimal pop music knowledge, I can confidently say that nobody made a banger like Amy did and that continues to be the case to this day.
#3. Umbrella – Rihanna (ft. Jay-Z): At this point, it’s common knowledge that Rihanna is a god-damned hit machine, with Umbrella being one of her biggest. For several years following, whether you liked it or not: This. Song. Was. Everywhere.
#4. Poker Face – Lady Gaga: Already a jaded, punk-rock asshole by 15, Lady Gaga exploded onto the scene to make me say, “Oh shit, maybe pop music doesn’t inherently suck after all.” Therefore, it’s no wonder one of her biggest debut singles took a top seed in the mid 2000’s division.
#5. Misery Business – Paramore: Okay, now we’re getting into the territory of stuff I listened to on purpose in my early high school days. This was the anthem of every girl who’s hair straightener was putting in mad overtime in 2007, and seeing as how Hayley and the gang are still crushing it to this day, I can’t blame them.
#6. MakeDamnSure – Taking Back Sunday: In a similar vein to Misery Business and Black Parade, this song echoed the halls surrounding the Hot Topic of my local mall for days on end. Though the band sounds fairly different today, they’re responsible for one of the biggest mainstream emo hits of all time.
#7. Low – Flo Rida (ft. T-Pain): If you were in high school when this song came out, you could not go to an extracurricular event where this song didn’t play. Homecoming dance, football game, pep rally, you name it. I still don’t know what Apple Bottom Jeans are, but I’ll be damned if T-Pain singing about them didn’t get people up and moving.
#8. When You Were Young – The Killers: Sure, it’s no “Mr. Brightside”, but most songs aren’t. I vaguely remember this being the last big single from the Killers before they started to fade from the forefront a bit, but the song still rings in my memories today. After all, you couldn’t progress through career mode on Rock Band 2 without it.
#9. Jigsaw Falling Into Place – Radiohead: Though In Rainbows was a huge album, my Radiohead phase was VERY short-lived. My friend Dave showed me this album and I thought, “Okay, being different and moody sounds like it will make girls want to talk to me.” It absolutely didn’t. It did, however, make other guys who like Radiohead want to talk to me, and uh…yeesh.
#10. Time to Pretend – MGMT: Remember that whole thing in the 2000’s where you could tell what the hot new upbeat indie rock song was because it would be in every fucking movie and commercial for an entire fiscal quarter? This was that song of the era I’m covering. It’s a nice little jam when Big Media isn’t blasting it into your ear holes with a pressure washer.
#11. The Pretender – Foo Fighters: A Foo Fighters single is always a safe bet to get the crowd going at an event, and “The Pretender” definitely went harder than others. Pour one out for late, great Taylor Hawkins.
#12. Dashboard – Modest Mouse: In the eyes of a few, Isaac Brock was the king of the 2000’s; my buddy, Zach, in particular. You couldn’t go more than 10 minutes in his car without him booting up some Modest Mouse on the ol’ iPod Touch, and “Dashboard” was most definitely in the rotation.
#13. Stuck Between Stations – The Hold Steady: The Hold Steady were around plenty before Boys and Girls in America brought us this track, but as a kid who just discovered them, seemingly before any of my friends did, I thought I was real hot shit. Craig Finn can talk-sing at me whenever he pleases.
#14. A-Punk – Vampire Weekend: I never had an issue with Vampire Weekend, and “A-Punk” is a great introduction to them. However, they were the go-to favorite band for a lot of the pretentious AP kids I grew up with. I sometimes wonder if their weird sense of superiority at a bumfuck-nowhere high school got them anywhere in life. Anyway, this band sounds like an argyle sweater, and sometimes, that’s nice.
#15. The Diary of Jane – Breaking Benjamin: Early on in this era, I had a fun little jaunt with this particular brand of edgy, half-metal butt rock. Breaking Benjamin wrote pounding anthems for teenage boys who drank a little too much Bawls Guarana and unironically bought a bunch of their wardrobe at Spencer’s Gifts.
#16. Thrash Unreal – Against Me!: This is what FBC’s Matt Drufke would describe as my “#55 in your playbook, #1 in your heart” pick. I love this song to pieces and this band means the absolute world to me to this very day, but I am willing to concede that this track may not have the recognition it needs to have staying power in this bracket, so I’ll let mainstream recency bias do the heavy lifting for me.
Round 1 Voting!