My Top 1000 Songs #233: 24

[I've been writing up my Top 1000 songs on a daily basis--you can see them all in descending order by hitting the All My Favorite Songs tag.]

What goes on your list of definitive jangle pop songs? Obviously some Byrds and early R.E.M.; maybe some Big Star and Connells and Feelies. But Game Theory's wonderful "24," off their 1985 career peak LP Real Nighttime, has gotta be way up there at the top of the list. Just listen to that chiming guitar! That hum-along melody! Those sweet vocals and subtle ooh-ooh harmonies! In what kind of messed up universe is this not a song on the lips of every single living music fan? (Ok, in the sort of messed up universe where children are slaughtered on a daily basis with military-grade firepower and Congress simply says, hey, guns, whatcha gonna do? But I digress...)

Anyway, amazing song. And of course, as always, we're treated to the late Scott Miller's brilliant wordplay. "And for whatever reason I wish that I had two minds: Opposite signs, parallel lines, wide point and fine." I may have been a mere 19 when I first heard him addressing the uncertainty of young adulthood (if that's what he was saying at all; that could just be my personal spin), but something in the song's poetic and ill-defined lyrics has always felt right to me.

Live in 1984: