My Top 1000 Songs #392: Battle Of Who Could Care Less

[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.]

Pretty sure this was the first Ben Folds Five song I heard. I'd somehow overlooked their 1995 self-titled debut, but 1997's follow-up, Whatever And Ever Amen, was getting all sorts of press and "Battle of Who Could Care Less" leapt onto my radar screen. Great song right from the start. I couldn't think of many piano-based indie bands at the time (still can't): aside from some piano's occasionally interjecting themselves into guitar songs like "Books About UFOs" or "The Card Cheat," I tended to associate the instrument with the soft pop of the likes of Elton John and Billy Joel.

So hearing a kinda snarky, indie rock song with some slacker bite that fit in well with much of what I was listening to in the 90s, but with a noticeable lack of guitar (albeit the bass doing some impressive double duty), was pretty cool strictly on an aesthetic level. Throw in Folds' colorful wordplay and attitude and a fun, catchy hook, and I was on board. He's written better songs, sure, but this one remains special to me, one of those songs that perfectly captures a certain time.

Live 2001: