The Menzingers

The Menzingers are a phenomenal band. Heart-on-sleeve punk-rock with superb songwriting. Every tune is a banger, and their album “On the Impossible Past” is the best thing ever.

Tom May (Guitar & Vocals) has picked out his top 5 tracks for you to have a little butchers at. Here you go…

Tom May of the Menzingers:

I love to listen to music. I love it. No, really, I fucking love music. My friends are all musicians. My job is making and playing music. I listen to music all day. Each of my jackets has a designated pocket for my headphones and my phone has a constantly revolving library of whatever happens to get me going at that time. Music can be heard pretty much throughout my entire day whether its quietly watching me in the background or pleading to me out of speakers that I STICK INSIDE OF MY FUCKING HEAD. My favorite songs are the ones that listen back.

Of course different places, different people, different situations, and different times of the day all call for different flavors. One of my favorite times of the day to listen to music is while falling asleep. That slow (sometimes fast) drift away from consciousness can put you out of your life, your mind, your problems, your solutions, whatever. It’s a drug, kid.

These songs are for that time.

They’re for the twenty seconds of consciousness you have left laying on top of the covers in your jeans after walking home from the bar. They’re for the beginning of a four hour night’s sleep in an airport hotel in Helsinki. They’re for tossing and turning in the sweaty mid-July concrete box that is South Philadelphia. They’re for you and your partner to drift away to after a mediocre Tuesday. They’re there to pull your mind off of that dim-witted and fuck-who-knows-intentioned drivel you let spill from your face a few hours earlier. That doctor’s appointment/final exam/job interview/break-up/commute isn’t until tomorrow. Hell they can even drown out that abominable #29 bus and all of god’s creatures who crawl on and off of it.

In no particular order:

Gypsy by Suzanne Vega

I first discovered this song after (lay on the cheese) making the mix from the book “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”. Amongst bands such as The Beatles, U2, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Fleetwood Mac this song really stuck out for me. Her rhythmic picking and airy voice are hypnotic.

The song (to me) is of the wiser of love songs. Its not quite a celebration of a relationship. It’s not quite a heart wrenching tale of rejection or despair either. It’s just comfortably sad. It’s nostalgic.

“Please do not ever look for me, but with me you’ll stay”

Samson by Regina Spektor

So this song is currently my favorite song of all time. There are no bold and earth shattering philosophical revelations. There is no epic hook. However this song is perfect.

The melodies alone tell the same story as the lyrics. The use of an old biblical story (Samson and Delilah) intertwined with modern notions and imagery is just so good. To me the idea is that the narrator goes on to civilize Sansom by cutting his hair (In the original story his hair was the source of his power……and he was also executed by having his eyes plucked out and being crushed by columns). This story ends differently though, it’s much more nostalgic and positive. Although history may have forgotten them this time, it doesn’t matter.

After all:

“Beneath the stars came fallin’ on our heads
But they’re just old light, they’re just old light”

Hood by Perfume Genius

A good friend sent me this song to show me the music video. It’s great. I provided a link below.

I adore his voice. It’s absolutely fantastic. I love how HUGE this recording is as well. It’s warm like a fireplace and takes up as much space as a giant theater. You can get lost in it.

It’s about hiding parts of yourself from whom you love. Ya know, cause deep down you’re probably a scumbag like everybody else.

When the song kicks in in all of its Rube-Goldberg-esque glory the world just becomes a better place. It’s crazy that the song rounds off at a short and sweet 1:59.

“Oh I wish I grew up the second I first held you in my arms
Underneath this hood you kiss I tick like a bomb”

A Real Hero by College & Electric Youth

A little dark 80’s synth music with an often doubled airy female lead over the whole thing? Sign me up.

However the real contemplation here is the subject of the song.

“A real human being and a real hero”? Oh? Who might that be?




“A pilot on a cold cold morn’
One hundred fifty-five people on board
All safe and all rescued
From the slowly sinking ship”

Raglan Road by The High Kings

This is my absolute favorite song to come home to alone to after a weeknight of stool drinkin’ at one of the bars near my house. It embodies such a familiar and warm sadness. I grew up around a lot of Irish folk music. When I was younger I couldn’t appreciate the ballads. Now I can’t get enough.

This is an old irish folk song. There are versions by Van Morrison, Billy Bragg, The Chieftains, and The Dubliners to name a few.

It’s actually a poem written by Patrick Kavanagh and set to the tune of “Dawning of the Day.”

I particularly like this version as it brings a more modern sound to the song. It’s done in more of a hard 4/4 timing and its recorded in a very clear way.

Its a man who decides to fall in love with a girl even though he knows he’s fucked for it. It’s one of those songs that hurts in the best way.

“I saw the danger, yet I passed
Along the enchanted way
And I said ‘Let grief be a falling leaf
At the dawning of the day”

If you liked this top 5, you’ll probably like these ones too:


Here’s Tom’s playlist on YouTube – just click play and they’ll all play through.

For those of you on Spotify, here’s Tom’s list:

Finally, here’s a brand new one from the Menzingers… HOT OFF THE PRESS just premiered at Noisey.

Done. Follow @top5tracks on Twitter. See you next time.

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