The Best Songs of 2003

The Top 200 Songs of 2003 + The Decoy Project
Part 1  A Very Strange Visitor
Part 2  Ladies & Gentlemen... The Poodle
Part 3  Sofa Kingdom
Part 4  The Plan
Part 5  The Decoy Project I
Part 6  The Trial
Part 7  Prison
Part 8  The Decoy Project II

Part VIII: The Decoy Project II

Press play on the image below to hear this selection of songs in this exact order.

25. The Books
"The Lemon of Pink" 4:40
The Lemon of Pink
New York, NY

A puppet with a pink face and a green mustache walked down the street. The strings could be seen holding him upright, making his little legs high-step, as he walked down the busy street strumming a banjo. However, no person could be seen controlling the strings, and the strings towered through the sky with no end. During his stroll down the boulevard, all sorts of surreal, fascinating, and sometimes disturbing images flashed by… buildings collapsing, fires, explosions, Rovanious and Clovis Hines speaking with a farmer, distorted quick flashes of black and white images depicting The Poodle barking at nothing, and some random guy from the 70’s in suit smiling over the purchase of a car. On stage in an empty auditorium, a beautiful woman was singing. These bizarre images continued to provide the background scenery as the puppet walked all the way to the auditorium, and made his way inside to catch the last piece of her performance. For the song’s finale, the puppet was on stage playing the banjo while the woman sang…this was the woman he had always dreamed of.

24. Yo La Tengo
"Little Eyes" 4:21
Summer Sun
Hoboken, NJ

The puppet, along with the beautiful woman, was accompanied with another puppet—this one with a blue face and big round eyes playing drums—outside the women’s prison performing the song. There were two guards perched in the tower of the women’s prison; one of them had his uniform almost completely unbuttoned and his chest oiled. The two guards were playing cards, glancing down at the courtyard only occasionally. Monica and Gina were standing outside by the fence…since they ruled, and the guards found them incredibly sexy, they were permitted to dress in civilian clothes…which consisted of short black skirts, fishnet stockings, boots, chains, and cut-off t-shirts.

23. Boris
"Feedbacker Part 3" 5:52
Boris at Last -Feedbacker-
Tokyo, Japan

An amplifier that extended as high as the strings of the puppet appeared beside the puppet performing at the women’s prison as he plugged in an electric guitar and turned the volume all the way up. A small engine aircraft that was used for crop dusting fields appeared to have lost control and was headed straight for the prison. This caused the guards to initiate uproar and sound the alarms. They raced to try to get everyone inside, and the crop dusting plane crashed and exploded into the prison. The impact of the explosion caused the guard with the oiled chest to fall from the tower, still holding his cards. His hand consisted of a pair of 7’s, a 9, the 10 of clubs, and the king of spades…the face of the king was a sketch of a smiling Chinese Man.

22. Tindersticks
"Sometimes It Hurts" 4:38
Waiting for the Moon
Nottingham, England

The amplifiers were unplugged. Presenting a duet…starring a pink faced puppet with a green mustache as Stuart Staples and the beautiful woman as Lhasa de Sela. Head guard Barney had a crush on Gina ever since she was placed in prison; to the extreme he lost interest in his wife and masturbated thinking about her on average 26 times weekly. Somewhere along the lines, he felt the two were falling in love, and even contemplated busting her out someday…she was a girl with a need. Another airplane entered, crop-dusted the courtyard, sputtered, and crashed into the wall. With a massive fire in-between them, Barney could only watch Gina getaway…to the tune of “I’ve been climbing these old walls...” The next glimpse showed the guard crying in black and white to Stuart’s interlude, being lip synched by the pink faced puppet.. The entire love affair had been a lie; she did not have any feelings for him whatsoever. Rather than waste his time chasing after them, through an intense blaze at that, the only witness was left heartbroken, walked over to where the puppet and the beautiful women were singing, placed the gun inside his mouth, and killed himself.

21. Palaxy Tracks
"The Wasp" 3:11
Austin, TX

Gina and Monica hopped into the back of the armored truck that sped away in the midst of sirens, explosions, a prison on fire, and they even casually passed a slew of racing police cars en route to the scene. There were also two farmers in the back of the truck. “How much did you have to pay for those airplanes?” You don’t even want to know. Let’s just say, we no longer have to worry about the IRS confiscating more property to be transformed into a strip mall.

20. Black Lipstick
"Yesturdays Horoscope Was Right" 3:01
Converted Thieves
Austin, TX

scene was brewing at the men’s prison. Live music was supplied by Black Lipstick, as focus periodically turned to their performance during the chaos. Every single person associated with this prison was standing along the fence gazing out at the other side. That is, all but two…Jake and Spartacus who were patiently waiting at the fence on the opposite side of the courtyard.


19. Manitoba
"Every Time She Turns Round" 3:39
Up In Flames
Dundas, ON, Canada

The basement of the prison is a dark dungeon made up of black bricks. Down in this dungeon, where some prisoners were being detained in solitary confinement, a banquet was taking place with all of the members who had been chopped in half in the Ghost Ship scene with the band on board that ship starring as Manitoba (now Caribou). As the band played, still bloody from the massacre, the ship’s passengers (now dead, still bleeding from a deep slice wound) performed a dance routine to this song…twirling in their elegant attire; stopping once to clap hands in unison.

Outside in the prison’s courtyard, a riot was escalating. On the other side of the fence, all of the guard’s were staring, drooling while clutching the fence; an elegant plate of doughnuts had been placed just across the fence. All of the prisoners were staring at Clovis Hines, who was on the other side dressed as a woman…and looked poorly as a woman. While the officers were attempting to retrieve the doughnuts, they paid no attention to Clovis Hines, who simply dashed off. On his way out, he launched the plate of doughnuts over the fence, along with a pair of women’s panties. Total chaos ensued.

18. Zwan
"El Sol" 3:39
Mary Star Of The Sea
Chicago, IL

Jake and Spartacus walked out of the hole in the fence that Kyle had cut with wire cutters unnoticed. At press time, they were still unnoticed. Once inside the cargo area of the armored vehicle, Jake was astounded to finally be free. He enjoyed the embrace of friends, and all he ever wanted was his true love Monica. Even though there would never be a threesome, and Monica was far more attracted to Gina than him, Jake now felt as if he were the luckiest person alive. It was all he ever wanted.

17. The Weakerthans
"Plea From a Cat Named Virtue" 3:49
Reconstruction Site
Winnipeg, MB Canada

The Poodle had been given the death sentence by the state, along with a few other animals. All of the animals were rounded up and taken out back to a brick shed. After a person placed all of the animals inside, he ran a hose from his exhaust tank and placed it inside the window, then closed it as tight as he could. He then went inside the van, started it, and kicked back in the driver’s seat reading a magazine.

16. Ted Leo & The Pharmacists
"The Ballad Of The Sin Eater" 5:20
Hearts of Oak
Bloomfield, NJ

We have to ask ourselves what sort of asshole would take this position? Thankfully, much awareness has been raised and this sort of animal cruelty was exposed and enforced more strictly. However, it was but recently when “No-Kill” Animal Shelters came into prominence, and the fact that term even needs to exist speaks volumes. People assumed that it was humane to dispose of perfectly healthy animals by means of excessive exhaust fumes; a torturous process that sometimes took hours. What they never realized was how bad some people hated them for the crimes they had committed against the animals. The “We-Kill” Animal Shelter employees are regarded in the same context as Nazis, Stalin supporters of Ukraine genocide, those who participated in the Indian Removal Act, and the general international consensus of the United States on whole in 2003 after invading Iraq again.

15. Junior Senior
"Shake Me Baby" 3:38
D-D-Don't Don't Stop the Beat
Thisted, Denmark

Fifty bucks says you shitfaces never came up with a plot to bust The Poodle out did you? “You said you were going to do it.” The truck pulled into the parking lot of the SPCA. Monica and Gina emerged from the vehicle looking like badasses, both of them having assault rifles in each hand. They walked up to the entrance, kicked the door open, and stormed inside as if it were a police raid.

14. The Fiery Furnaces
"Name Game / Inca Rag" 3:56
Gallowsbird's Bark
Oak Park, IL/New York, NY

There were children inside, gazing at the puppies and kittens being detained in the cages. Cooper the black and white tuxedo cat was the obvious standout, and all the children stared at him begging their parents to let them keep him. The parents had no interest in a cat. This cat, however, seemed to have interest in everything else. He playfully ran around the pen, tormenting the other kittens, and by hiding inside the waste basket batting at the other cats whenever they went by.

13. The Kills
"Wait" 4:48
Keep On Your Mean Side
London, England

Monica and Gina went in firing. They fired shots in all directions and demolished the front office. There were holes in the coffee pot that was spilling coffee from each of the bullet intrusions. The framed sketch drawing of a smiling Chinese Man roasting another human being over a rotisserie with an apple in his mind had busted and fallen on the floor. As the smoke cleared, Monica beat the male security officer down with the butt of her gun, and bashed his face completely in. The secretary attempted to call the police, but Gina strangled her with the telephone cord and beat her in the face with the phone.

12. The White Stripes
"Black Math" 3:04
Detroit, MI

All of the kids and other customers were ordered to stay down. Without hesitation, Monica and Gina beat up another guard, demanded his keys, and forced him to unlock all the doors…quickly. After he unlocked all of the cages, and all the animals inside were set free, Monica and Gina kicked him down to the ground and stomped him. They busted out the display window in which the featured pets were located and freed all of them.

11. The Strokes
"You Talk Way Too Much" 3:05
Room On Fire
New York, NY

Warrants had been issued for Monica and Gina; the two fugitives were considered armed and dangerous. The riot in the men’s prison was briefly mentioned on the news for a just a second before the program was interrupted with something more important. Bombs had been dropped in Baghdad, killing massive civilians…that wasn’t important either. A celebrity had died. Americans were consumed with something else.

10. The Exploding Hearts
"Throwaway Style" 2:58
Guitar Romantic
Portland, OR (3 of 4 members killed 7/20/2003)

A small yard separated the SPCA office and the shed in which the animals were being put to rest. This yard had a fence, and a mean looking guard dog protecting the premises. “OK,” said Monica, “I’m not going to shoot a dog.” Kyle murmured under his breath, “You’re fucking useless.” Monica turned around and gave him a death stare and prepared to beat him senselessly. “We had a plan,” Kyle said out loud, “just watch a pro in action.” Satchmo opened up a briefcase and unveiled an inflatable doll, rubbed some scent on the vagina, and simply tossed it over the fence. The guard dog barked, sniffed at it, and soon was mounted on top of the inflatable doll humping it. It was a bizarre spectacle to say the least, but they were able to simply open the gate and walk right passed.

9. Imitation Electric Piano
"Small Science" 4:40
Trinity Neon
Brighton, England

The Poodle barked as if to say something important. FLASHBACK: (there is no sound, just music, with The Poodle providing occasional voiceover narration—barking) The Poodle was all alone in a dark forest. Up in the distance was a white house with the light on. It appeared as if The Poodle was barking at the home. Upstairs, his raccoon friend who had been captured came to the window and gazed out at The Poodle. Throughout the night, owls flew around, and the full moon took on the face of Godzilla as it smiled cheerfully. In the morning, the raccoon was placed into a van and taken to a clinic that performs experimental testing on animals.

8. The Raveonettes
"Noisy Summer" 2:24
Chain Gang Of Love
KĂžbenhavn, Denmark

The man was seated in the vehicle reading a magazine. He unfolded the centerfold and it was a sketch drawing of a smiling Chinese Man doing a hula-hoop. Suddenly, his window was busted out with a rifle and he was dragged out of his vehicle and brutally beaten. Gina shot the lock of the shed and all of the animals were freed just in time. The Poodle, somehow, did not run away with the rest of the dogs, stayed close by to Monica. After the animals were all let out, Gina and Monica dragged the badly beaten guard from the van and locked him in the shed. They kept the vehicle running, and completely ignored his cries for help as they dashed away laughing about it.

7. Songs: Ohia
"Farewell Transmission" 7:22
The Magnolia Electric Co.
Lorain, OH

A product that only had appeal to brainless suburbanites and bimbo trophy wives was being tested on animals. Even though the product had limited appeal, it was sure to earn enormous dividends because those that it appealed to had excessive money to spend on useless products. At the laboratory, the lab tech injected the raccoon with the substance and it had a terrifying effect. The raccoon immediately went into violent convulsions as the pain was excruciating. These lab techs were unfazed by the effects of the raccoon and merely tossed him aside in a closet with the other failures. Although the product was proven to have harmful effects on animals and the natural environment, the product was sold to suburban consumers anyway. This triggered an alert with The Grand Scheme of Things Board Committee who decided that it was necessary to take appropriate action.

6. Black Eyes
"Yes, I Confess" 4:09
Black Eyes
Washington, DC

Not only was this company testing this deplorable product on animals, which alone was bad enough, they were utilizing brutal tactics to obtain these animals. They were offering money to any person who would bring them live raccoons, or whatever animal they could capture, and paid the person accordingly. People would basically go on a witch hunt in order to hunt and trap live animals in their natural habitat—which was the case with the raccoon who was best friends with The Poodle. The Grand Scheme of Things Board Committee had to watch on a television screen all of the atrocious acts being conducted to animals just so they could be used in the testing of a product that most people found completely useless; and those in which it did appeal were completely annoying. In the midst of watching the innocent raccoon, cute by most standards, suffer in agony, the committee reviewed all of the elements with the case and decided animal testing for needless products needed resolved once and for all.

5. Sleep Station
"Last Parade" 4:36
Oakland, NJ

Back in their kitchen, with time working against them, the group was gathering their most essential belongings. Ruth had arranged a private jet to fly them to New Zealand and start a new life. During the time Jake, Monica, The Poodle, and Spartacus were in prison, Ruth was able to make new living arrangements, fabricate new passports, and other tweaking that needed done for now they were fostering fugitives. They also now had a cat named Cooper; Monica could not resist while they were at the animal shelter. Lastly, there was much hostility towards Spartacus, and they had arranged to meet with a hired hit man for his disposal—who never said whether or not he was going to assassinate him. The hit man merely had to hide him away until the group made it safely to New Zealand. Monica thought about America as she walked off the porch, “I’m never going to live your lie.”

4. Gaslight Radio
"Tina From Robina" 4:25
Z Nation
Melbourne, Australia

Once they were on the plane, all would be well. But, getting to the plane was a stressful mission. Furthermore, they had one more stop left to make. Walter and Charlie had to take extra precaution not to get into an accident or get pulled over. Monica was prepared for a shootout with the police if one needed to happen. They all felt as if everybody was staring at them—it is difficult to grasp the notion of being wanted by the police. Maybe it was all in their minds, but the entire trip to the assassin’s house, people chased after them, running along the truck on foot—there were thousands of sprinters chasing after them. A group of bicyclists raced behind them, joining the runners. Soon, people followed the vehicle with roller skates; then there were skiers in the middle of the road following them; then a few random old people on riding lawnmowers.

3. Beulah
"Wipe Those Prints and Run" 7:35
San Francisco, CA

They entered the home and migrated to the living room. The carpet was black and white zebra striped and the walls were painted with red psychedelic circular patterns similar to the Mink Lungs album cover. Even the chairs were some sort of Nuevo artistic design from some sort of a futuristic science fiction movie, even though the owner of the home appeared normal and claimed to loathe sci-fi entirely. The chair in which he sat had purple legs that rose three feet from the ground; his feet could not touch the floor, and the couch was midnight blue and decorated with a smiling moon embedded into the fabric. On the wall, hung a photograph of a sketch drawing of a Chinese Man rowing a boat. Only this time, it was the entire group; he wanted to meet with all of them… not just Rovanious and Clovis Hines. The man wearing a tuxedo walked into the room with The Assassin and pointed at Spartacus. The entire group was startled when The Assassin immediately drew his gun without hesitation and fired at Spartacus. With a loud boom and a cloud of smoke, the bullet struck Spartacus in the middle of the forehead and his head deflated like a balloon.

2. Broken Social Scene
"Shampoo Suicide" 4:05
You Forgot It in People (#1 Album of the 2000's)
Toronto, ON, Canada

The raccoon was feeling euphoric, breathing heavy, and on the verge of death. A shadowy figure entered the room, injected the raccoon with another shot, and then closed the door. After the injection, the raccoon rolled around and began foaming at the mouth; his body twitching. He arose and walked down a narrow hallway that was glowing with green lights. He staggered back and forth, colliding into the walls that at first seemed to be higher than mountains but kept getting shorter. The raccoon made his way to the end of the hall, opened a door, and then suddenly he was on a fire escape. As he inhaled the fresh air, the world around him was a dizzying blur as people on the ground watched in horror at the raccoon on the 13th floor fire escape. Once to the steps, the raccoon stood upright, took one step down, and then fell all the way to the bottom. Everything went black.

The audience cheered. A standing ovation! They kept clapping and applauding. Eva had been selected employee of the month at The Grand Scheme of Things Board Committee and was preparing her acceptance speech.

#1! Mojave 3
"Writing To St. Peter" 5:58
Spoon And Rafter
London, England

We had received a red alert for a multitude of reasons… animal testing, capitalist gains, same crap same planet same species. But we devised a marvelous plan. All it required was some DNA from a raccoon’s natural state from universal plane #382,714 and we injected into the dilapidated species on planet Earth to interact with the chemical injection implemented by the capitalist corporation. Let’s have a look. FLASHBACK: This is what happened.

The moment the raccoon was captured, an idea came across Kyle and Walter’s mind to rob the bank. In order for this product to take off, the corporation needed 34 million dollars. That 34 million dollars was to be delivered by Walter, but instead was stolen by the entire group.

A key factor in ensuring that this questionable 34 million dollars go untraced from the bank to the corporation was the lazy security guard, who had taken a payoff and forged some documents so that other beneficiaries could also receive their payoff…which was to come out of that 34 million dollars. People who were to receive payments from that 34 million dollars had to do so discreetly in order to not get caught…meaning, they could not show tellers their ID’s, or receive a check from a questionable party…that of a lobbyist.

Among those who accepted the payoff was key members of the government, the DEA, and the FDA who agreed to receive a large sum of money in exchange for allowing a questionable product to go on the market. The member of the FDA who accepted this bribe was seen at the bank striking The Poodle with a rolled up newspaper.

If you were paying attention, and could have visually seen all of what took place, another person who was shot and killed in the bank was the same hillbilly that apprehended the raccoon during the Lay it Down Slow music montage. In order to get to the raccoon, he had to assault the man in the tuxedo and The Poodle.

All other people shot in the bank were unknowingly involved with animal testing, one being the person who initially injected the raccoon, another being a chairman who funded the entire operation…his child was deemed poisoned and therefore splattered all over the floor.

Ever since being assaulted, the man wearing the tuxedo has been working for a hired assassin with intentions on saving his good friend the raccoon. You may recall that a man wearing a tuxedo entered the room with The Assassin and pointed at Spartacus. Why did he point at Spartacus?

At the bottom of the fire escape, where the raccoon took his plunge, there lied Spartacus. The DNA from universal plane #382,714 caused a reaction when mixed with this particular chemical and transformed the raccoon into Spartacus. The Grand Scheme of Things Board Committee had devised a notion that once something steel protruded through his head, he would be transformed back into a raccoon. Therefore, they had to make him wear a helmet to prevent this from happening.

As Spartacus sat on the couch and deflated, and the others watched in horror, The Assassin and the man with the tuxedo stood there and smiled. Once he was fully deflated, his skin was unzipped, and The Poodle’s good buddy the raccoon stepped out of the skin of Spartacus completely unscathed.

The Poodle looked so happy that he jumped into the air. He immediately ran over and hugged the raccoon who gladly accepted the embrace and hugged him back. Camera flashes filled the room, bright lights flashed from every direction as The Poodle and the raccoon slowly spun each other around in a long friendly hug with their faces buried in each other’s shoulders. Copper the kitty cat danced with them.

Every person in the group smiled. The pink faced puppet with the green mustache and band of other puppets appeared in the room…and there were lots of them for this performance. The pedal steel provided an intriguing atmosphere and the pink faced puppet ripped some noisy notes over an otherwise beautiful luscious backdrop as the room was filled with fabulous colors and swirling lights. When the song ended, everything went to black…except for one pleasant voice.

“Have fun in New Zealand.”

END CREDITS. Broken Social Scene
"Cause = Time" 5:30
You Forgot It in People (#1 Album of the 2000's)
Toronto, ON, Canada

Written, Directed, and Music Compiled by Tony J. Neal

Band info and images provided by rateyourmusic
Playlists created on 8tracks
Ghost Ship written by Marc Hanlon & John Pogue

Other images by: http://fc04.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2010/246/c/0/extremely_cute_raccoon_by_photomonger-d2xy519.jpg, http://intimatecelebs.com/celebs/stormy_daniels/stormy_daniels_stormy_daniels_a_woman_with_guns_2_cW11yeF.jpg

Originally written for the screen in 2003; re-written for the web in 2012

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