2) The Delgados, “Is This All That I Came For?”: There’s really no need for explanation. I don’t even like The Delgados; why I have this song on my computer is a complete mystery, but I view it as a sign of sorts. Unfortunately, yes, this really is all that you came [insert: to Harvard] for. But the surprisingly charming harmonies and chiming guitars sweeten the deal.
3) Dr. Dre, “Xxplosive”: In the same vein as the aforementioned Cypress gem, this Dre track is essential listening for me even after venomous upstairs neighbors and inopportunely recited excerpts. This song begs the ever-pressing question: “Can I be real with you? Real real with you?” Yes, you can. It puts things in perspective.
4) Postal Service, “This Place is a Prison”: An undiscriminating anthem suitable for pre-meds trapped in Cabot and Lit-kids trapped…trapped…oh well. Witness: “This place is a prison/these people aren’t your friends.” More impressive is the bit about that all-too-familiar feeling of near-Siberian isolation: “What does it take to get a drink in this place?” Indeed. Respect, rinse, and repeat.
5) Tom Waits, “God’s Away on Business”: This one goes out to the Ec concentrators. See: “I’d sell your heart to the junkman baby for a buck, for a buck/If you’re looking for someone to pull you out of that ditch you’re out of luck, you’re out of luck.” Simultaneously a scathing indictment of recruiting season, an explication of the crimson shade of misery which we face each January, and a really badass song, Waits’ little ditty is pretty simple and pretty perfect.
Other Required Listening: Aerosmith’s “Shame Shame Shame,” Flaming Lips’ “Feeling Yourself Disintegrate,” Junior Boys’ “When No One Cares,” North Mississippi Allstars’ “Lord Have Mercy,” and Pink Floyd’s “Speak To Me/Breathe.”
—Nathaniel Naddaff-Hafrey ’08 is outgoing Campus Arts editor. He unironically channels Jim Morrison, but we love him anyway.