The Best Songs of 2004

The Top 200 Songs of 2004 + Shingles
Chapter 1: The Beautiful Landscaping Stone From Outer Space
Chapter 2: The Slight Spread of a Small Growth
Chapter 3: The Miracle We All Feared
Chapter 4: Extraordinary Benefits vs. The Carpet
Chapter 5: The Age of Miracles
Chapter 6: 25 Song Music Montage: The Spread Continues
Chapter 7: The Shingles Clean-up Committee
Chapter 8: FS=N

Chapter VIII: FS=N

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

25. The Bad Plus
"Layin' a Strip for the Higher-Self State Line"  4:18
Minneapolis, MN

Presenting… a musical performance in an old dusty ballroom. It was dark and abandoned; it did not appear as if anybody had been in this place in years. The shingles were scraped off the old piano, the upright bass, and the drum kit as the band took the stage began playing. Once the band went into song, the lights came on and the empty room was soon full of people dancing and swinging each other around to the music. They were dressed in old western style clothing and the old saloon was completely covered in shingles. As the music sped up in tempo and it became obvious the band was extremely skilled at playing their instruments, more lights came on, the bar opened up, dust and shingles were brushed off the taps, beers were pulled, and when the song was over, everybody clapped. The lights darkened.

24. Elliott Smith
"King's Crossing"  4:58
From a Basement on the Hill
Omaha, NE (1969)-Los Angeles, CA (2003)

The streets outside were cold and dark. A blue light emerged from the street lamps as their illumination was obscured from shingles coverage. Those people who did walk down the sidewalk did not appear overly cheerful. Lights could be seen from some of the windows, but shingles were clinging to most of them. They were scattered across the sidewalk, piled up near the gutters, and growing ubiquitously on parked cars. There was a person lying on the sidewalk, motionless, completely covered…people were too exhausted to pluck them off and simply ignored him. A homeless man in a shoddy alley pulled the lid off of a trash can, the can was also covered with shingles, as was everything inside of it.

23. The Fall
"Sparta 2XX"  3:50
The Real New Fall Album: Formerly 'Country On The Click'
Manchester, England

It was growing increasingly common to see a car overturned on the side of the road completely covered with shingles. Inside the vehicle, none of the passengers were recognizable due to the fact that they were all covered with shingles. All of the dead animals that had been struck by cars were also covered with shingles. Street cleaners were assigned to work 24 hours a day but the budget was depleting and much of the equipment had malfunctioned due to shingles coverage. Fire fighters and rescue crews had the duty of patrolling neighborhoods and uncovering any person they encountered who had become completely covered in public.

22. David Kilgour
"Everybody's on a Ride"  2:22
Frozen Orange
Dunedin, New Zealand

The people of Earth tried everything in their power to carry on with their daily lives as usual. Most remained upbeat, for technically, nobody died because of the shingles. “They’ll just have to keep coming around uncovering everybody,” they declared, “that is, until they find a way to get rid of them.” Too many people were still depending on they, whoever they were.

21. Pluto
"Hey Little"  3:04
Red Light Syndrome
Auckland, New Zealand

Each day they seemed to be spreading faster. People were constantly scraping them off each other while they were conversing on the bus about regular subject matters. If somebody were to fall asleep on the bus, that person ran the risk of becoming totally covered. It was a major inconvenience attaining total coverage while on the bus because people rarely had the time to pluck them all off prior to reaching their destination. It had become customary to pluck shingles off completely covered strangers while sitting next to them, and normally when this happened, they had already missed their stop; most just laughed about it.

20. Matt Pond PA
"Grave's Disease"  4:24
Philadelphia, PA

Venturing outside in the cold became far too dangerous. While outside in the cold, people tend to bundle up in coats and keep their hands in their pockets. Due to the intense freezing, most people would not even notice when their arms or legs had become completely covered. Having the legs completely covered was bad enough, because once this happened walking was impossible and you had to stop and pluck them off of your legs in order to walk again. Having your arms covered was much worse, because once this happened, it was extremely difficult to remove them and it would be just a matter of time before you became completely covered. Once a person’s arms became completely covered and he/she was no longer able to move them, they had to ask assistance from a stranger to remove them or else they would become immobile completely.

19. Erlend Øye
"So Weit Wie Noch Nie"  3:44
Bergen, Norway

A bird dropped from the sky because his wings had become covered and he could no longer fly. Once on the ground, the bird flopped around, raveling his feathers, and spinning upside down on the street. People wished to help birds and it was saddening to watch one struggle with coverage. However, birds feared people as much as shingles and usually ended up making bad decisions trying to flee. There were some successful rescues, but many people turned their heads from the struggling bird as they finally surrendered and succumbed to shingles coverage.

18. Madvillain
"Strange Ways"  1:52
DOOM: London, England/Madlib: Oxnard, CA

People had no choice but to keep their doors unlocked. Typical of the capitalist human race, some degenerates would enter people’s homes while they were defenseless and steal their belongings. But, those belongings soon meant nothing. The doors had to remain unlocked so that rescue units could enter, as well as trusted friends and family members. It was recommended that people remain in groups and have one person assigned each day of the week to uncover those who had been covered- and this was to rotate because this person could not have the exact same sleep schedule.

17. Animal Collective
"Kids on Holiday"  5:47
Sung Tongs
Baltimore, MD/New York, NY

Vacations at the beach had been altered significantly. Martin took a stroll down the beach to check out the babes in bikinis. Instead, he saw a hot bikini model laying on a beach towel completely covered with shingles…he could not tell that she was either a bikini model or wearing sunglasses. A significant portion of the beach had also become covered with shingles, and when the tide rolled out, all that was exposed was more shingles. There was a child out in the ocean holding on to a circular inner tube raft, he was completely covered and who knew how long he had been out there. Another person washed up on the beach, totally covered just like the whale beside him. Martin ventured out too far and he became a standing figure covered with shingles— that is until the wind blew him over.

16. Frog Eyes
"Ice on the Trail"  5:43
Folded Palm
Victoria, Canada

The couple sitting at the restaurant had nothing to talk about. In her mind, although never discussed, she was extremely frightened and was petrified to even be out in this restaurant… the common Cracker Barrel. Her head was filled with nightmarish visions simply looking around the restaurant and she was trying to control her anxiety. Shingles had spread across the floor, covered most of the wall, and the ceiling was totally covered. Her boyfriend seated across from her had shingles covering one of his eyes and she could barely look at him. All of the other patrons had shingles all over their body, one customer was totally covered seated in a chair holding a covered fork, and the waitresses had grotesque blemishes on their faces. When the food arrived, and shingles were covering a portion of the plate and had once again attached itself to her food, she started crying.

15. The Earlies
"Morning Wonder"  5:35
These Were The Earlies
Abilene, TX/Manchester, England

Most of the growth seemed to happen overnight. Sleeping was dangerous and fewer people were actually waking up each day. Lester lived with only his dog and his daughter. He rarely slept and had his alarm set to sound every half an hour. When the alarm went off, he brushed all of the shingles off of himself and constantly had to ensure that his arms did not get completely covered. He was suffering from all of the frightening side effects that come with insomnia, but he always maintained that his dog and daughter would not stay totally covered for too long. As he became unhealthier from lack of sleep, the shingles spread on him faster than on his dog and daughter. Once he became totally covered, the rescue unit uncovered his daughter, but his poor beagle lied curled up in a corner and nobody would help him.

14. Old Time Relijun
"Cold Water"  8:11
Lost Light
Olympia, WA

Presenting… a musical performance in the cemetery! It was dark in the graveyard. A streetlamp switched on revealing the band; they began playing the moment the light flickered. The band: a punk band heavily influenced by the likes of The Cramps couple with the noise rock experimentation in the mode of NoMeansNo. While the band churned out their vile of trash, the sound that instilled more fear into Christian conservatives than even the devil herself, a convoy of vehicles was entering the graveyard approaching the dark spooky tree in which the band was playing.

A back hoe perched itself in the grass and dug a deep hole as the cold mist filled the sky. The hole was not only deep, but long and wide. A series of open roof trailers had also been spread across to be used as a dumpster. Some workers dressed in radiation suits lined the deep hole the best they were able with plastic lining.

The convoy of trucks approached with their headlights beaming, while the band continued to assault their instruments, the microphone, and lay down a beat so tight that some of dead buried underneath wanted to rock out in their shingles filled caskets. When the dump truck arrived, it dumped a massive amount of shingles covered bodies into the hole. The bodies were unidentifiable, and could have been young, old, people, dogs, cats, or celebrities. They were not dead, and the goal was to uncover them once a means had been developed to prevent spreading. Many more dump trucks arrived on the scene, and the large hole was completely filled. The weather outside was cold, nearly freezing, and the rain came pouring down on top of the shingles covered bodies who were abdicated and freely exposed to the weather.

13. Electrelane
"Enter Laughing"  3:45
The Power Out
Brighton, England

During the daylight hours, the world still experienced similar joys; especially since those most affected with shingles had been dumped into a hole at the local cemetery. This disburdened more time and energy to cogitate the ultimate resolution. Gone was any expectations of punctuality and there was no more starting work at 8:00 AM. Furthermore, laws were made in order to prevent any sort of rush hour; businesses were imposed fines if too many employees were required to start at the same time. Many days began with the designated waking family greeting each person, removing their shingles, and providing whatever means necessary for that person to go about their day. People were arriving to work much later than usual, and a person would be considered a genuine dickface if he or she made any sort of snide comment about tardiness. The affiliated employees would merely joke, share stories, and to each other’s shingles provocation; more often than not, the supervisor who made the derogatory comment wound up in the hole at the cemetery.

12. Oneida
"The Winter Shaker"  4:36
Secret Wars
New York, NY

Eventually, all work related operations were shut down completely. An international state of emergency was declared, and all persons were required to assist with shingles control. Even though The National Guard and the military had been summoned and given authority, the citizens were becoming unruly. Furthermore, the military lost the desire enforce curfew and suppress rioting. There was now only one goal, and that was to survive; or to avoid being completely covered with shingles. Nobody paid for anything, windows of stores were broken for emergency supplies, and the only purposeful matter of any significance from retail businesses was food and medical supplies. It was intended to be only a temporary commotion, because they were working on a solution, and people remained certain that “they” would “think of something.”

11. Secret Machines
"Nowhere Again"  4:16
Now Here Is Nowhere
Dallas, TX/New York, NY

For Taylor, the shingles brought about a major improvement in his life. He had more than a few obstacles thrown his way and was actually attempting to resolve several major issues. There were numerous financial troubles, bill collectors, and harassment from the police. They had made some threats to even take away what little wages he had, and he felt as if he were on the run. Taylor actually tried to contract shingles, but for whatever reason, had only developed a few patches here and there. Once all monetary seeking operations were shut down, and all the attention was diverted to the shingles, he became somewhat frivolous. He was no longer being watched and his troubles temporarily seemed to vanish. This was the beginning of what was to be a new era, and this one was going to be much better.

10. Destroyer
"Notorious Lightning"  5:58
Your Blues
Vancouver, BC, Canada

Throughout the world, there were hostages being confined in prisons for a variety of reasons. As the shingles crisis heightened, the prisoners declared that they were not willing to spend the end of humanity trapped in a prison. Furthermore, their services may have been necessary as they could contribute to stopping the spread of shingles outside the walls; they were of no value inside the prison. Even though the ailments that caused them to commit crimes in the first place had been disbanded, they were still being forcefully detained while many of them became totally covered. The political hostages became the most angered and began an all-out revolt. Other prisons followed suit, unplanned, at the exact same time. Within a few hours of intense rioting, (there was outside assistance from the civilians) the prisons were destroyed, and all persons currently detained in jails, prisons, or camps were set free. And yes, someone had to fall.

9. Modest Mouse
"Satin in a Coffin"  2:35
Good News for People Who Love Bad News
Issaquah, WA

The servants entered the President’s corridors of the white house and discovered the President lying motionless on the floor totally covered in shingles. They had been appointed to remove the shingles from the President daily, and it was considered removal of his shingles took precedent over the entire rest of the population. He had done nothing to prevent the spread of shingles, yet was continuously trying to dictate the procedures as to how it needed to be accomplished. The servants poked the American President with a stick, looked at each other, shrugged, and declared, “Fuck him.” Without removing a single shingle, nor assisting with any other members of the so-called “first” family, the servants locked the white house door and left smiling. When elected, his peers assumed he was the most powerful man in the world; in the midst of a major crisis, the President of the United States was no longer acknowledged worthy of anything.

8. The Arcade Fire
"Wake Up"  5:35
Montréal, QC, Canada

There is a common cliché that all people need to live their lives accordingly in a manner that will protect the children. A child’s safety is the primary reason all people must live, even if they do not have any kids, and even if the children in regard are idiots or bullies. The shingles will protect the children. Winy ass kids had become too much of a hassle and it was too bothersome to keep scraping shingles off the little bastards. One day, Child Services confiscated all covered children and dumped them into a separate hole in the cemetery—babies included (especially the babies because they were completely useless and nothing but a burden). Teachers were instructed to stall and prolong lectures until all of the children in the classroom became totally covered, and then sneak out of the room simply leaving them there.

7. Dogs Die in Hot Cars
"Apples and Oranges"  3:50
Please Describe Yourself
Glasgow, Scotland

Even after the emergency had been declared and the children were completely neglected, a woman went into labor. It’s not as if she could help going into labor, and she was independent and fully able to control her own shingles without assistance. Nobody ever helped her, nobody did her any favors, and that loser boyfriend of hers had already been dumped into the hole. It’s human nature, however, for a physician to assist with a pregnancy. She lay on the bed, screaming in pain, clutching the hands of the nurse, biting the pillow. There seemed to be more blood than usual as major complications arose. Finally, the baby came out. When its head emerged from the mother’s womb, it was completely covered with shingles; as was the rest of the baby, which did not move or cry… nobody was even sure if it was still alive. The woman held the shingles covered baby, smiling and crying at the same time. After a few minutes of holding the child, they came in and took the baby, tossed it under an incubator, turned out the lights and left.

6. Scissor Sisters
"Return To Oz"  4:40
Scissor Sisters
New York, NY

An older man was sitting all alone in the dark gazing out the window. He had several patches of shingles on his face and he reminisced on what the world used to look like. The man recalled images of pretty landscapes, tranquil settings, and a warm pleasant beach.

In the royal palace, a queen was speaking to somebody on the phone…the rest of the royal family was completely covered and lying off in the background. He arose from his chair and walked down the steps. As he walked the steps in the dark, with dim moonlight shining through from the outside, flashes of what the world used to look like raced through his mind. Once upon a time, the city was beautiful.

Once outside, it was dark. The streets and grass were covered with shingles as they crunched underneath his feet. He looked up the sky and the moonlight revealed he had more shingles than he realized.

The lab techs attempted to devise another solution. However, the laboratory was acquiring more and more shingles coverage and no solution was underway. (2:37) People emerged from the alleys and from the corridors of the streets; each of them grotesque looking and the shingles on their faces made them resemble both a werewolf and a scarecrow. In rapid succession, they each received a quick close glance focusing on their hideous blemishes that became even more noticeable.

(2:51) {Viewed as if spinning around in circles} The morbid looking monstrosities became distressed. They jumped on top of cars, raised their fists in the air, and desperately pleaded to the Gods, “please help me friend from coming down, I’ve lost my place and now it can’t be found.” Their once abandoned faith became their only hope.

The Earth was as disgusting as the return to Oz, with the grass covered with shingles, the homes gloomy, and everything appeared brown and dreary.

5. The Helio Sequence
"Blood Bleeds"  4:26
Love and Distance
Portland, OR

Assemblages of soldiers from every nation ascribed to explore the Earth by foot and procure the alien stone that had jeopardized the embodiment of humanity. The driver, the landscaping owner, and Mrs. Henderson emulated the photographs they had taken of the stone and exhibited them everywhere; they became, by far, the most familiarized images ever recorded. The search seemed everlasting as the aspirants traveled thousands of miles. They came equipped with flame throwers and explosives to demolish shingles in order to improve vision and uncover concealment; crevices and possible hiding places were disintegrated.

Unfortunately, the Earth was unrecognizable as shingles covered the ground that was once green grass. No matter where they looked, and they searched everywhere, there was no sign of the stone anywhere. Instead, they witnessed countless disturbing visuals that are prone to cause nightmares for life…dead bodies lying the forest, shingles covering natural wonders of the world, animals suffering in pain having convulsions on the ground, and knowing that their whole world, the world they had called home, was now more than 90% covered in shingles.

4. Liars
"We Fenced Other Gardens With the Bones of Our Own"  5:27
They Were Wrong, So We Drowned
New York, NY

Sitting alone in the bedroom caused insanity. The few remaining people were growing intensely irritated and desperate. The bedroom walls were totally covered, as was the bed, the windows, and maybe even the person they used to sleep with. Anger would totally consume them as people lost their composure and trashed their own rooms, busted their own windows, and screamed in a state of panic. With nothing to do but reflect on the failures of the own race, people found themselves in depleted mental conditions.

A press conference was held, and the world leader insisted that the world was not going to end. Nobody is going to die. At very worst, we’ll all be covered in shingles, perfectly healthy, until they all just vanish and go away.

The statement resonated something. One large group of people blamed the big businesses and the government… they had the wealth to terminate this spread but felt it was more important to salvage their assets. If the world became totally covered, and if one day they were all miraculously rescued, there were certain elements that needed abolished in order to salvage some dignity; confessional narratives about their pathetic existence would seem shameful when relating a once precious lifestyle to an advanced alien race.

This group of people, without any deterrence from any governing official or so-called authority, marched to the Federal Reserve Bank and completely destroyed it. They had access to heavy machinery, street cleaners and bulldozers; this equipment was no longer being used by anybody else. Factor in an array of powerful explosives, the converted Anarchic-Communists completely obliterated the Federal Reserve Bank. All of the assets stored within were burned, and they repeatedly ran over the remnants of the building until it was totally annihilated and crushed into sand. They unloaded all devices for destruction, detonated every bomb, and continued the assault until the entire area was flattened and covered again with shingles.

After the mission was successfully accomplished, they celebrated, and fell soundly asleep. And, they too became totally covered with shingles, snuggling comfortably amidst smiles and pleasant dreams knowing they had accomplished something special; they may someday be recovered, but the Federal Reserve Bank would never exist again.

3. The Fiery Furnaces
"Paw Paw Patch" 4:38 + "My Dog Was Lost But Now He's Found" 3:30
Blueberry Boat
Oak Park, IL/New York, NY

(A.)The number of soldiers was gradually dwindling, but their means to locate the stone was growing more desperate. Massive explosions were taking place in forests as bright balls of fire was lighting up the dark sky. Torpedoes and landmines were being detonated to lift more shingles from the ground and even create holes. Lasers and blitzkriegs were conducted in order to temporarily uncover large areas of the Earth with hopes of locating the stone. The oceans and seas seemed impossible, and many of the soldiers had grown so exhausted, that once their legs were covered, they simply fell face first into the water. Once the smoke cleared and the fires faded, all of the soldiers were down on the ground totally covered, and the stone was never found.

(B.)Mass was held at the church. The minister prayed to God to grant the human race the strength to find the stone. During the prayer, in which all members of the church had joined hands, bowed their heads, and closed their eyes, we saw flashes of what was taking place outside the church. A young girl crouched into a corner crying, she was all alone. “Jesus, we are in our time of dire need.” A woman sitting on a chair clutching a shingles covered dog, she looked afraid, stern looking, as she became covered. “If you find it necessary to cleanse the Earth with these shingles, we ask your forgiveness for all of our sins.” A man standing at the top of his steps became completely covered and fell face down the stairs. The scientists in the laboratory had become completely covered, the Grand Canyon was totally covered, and now, so was the minister.

2. The Walkmen
"The Rat"  4:28
Bows + Arrows
New York, NY

A family stayed awake, huddled together in the bedroom. They would take turns taking naps, arising for food, and never left the house. While one of them slept, another would shine a flashlight on that family member and do nothing but pluck shingles during that rest. This continued non-stop and they all were crying as they had to keep plucking shingles. Because the human body requires rest, there was no way this could continue. Each member of the family was growing more and more frustrated and throwing periodic fits of rage. One person accidentally dozed off, and then all three of them were covered with shingles.

#1! Bluebottle Kiss
"Underneath the Pier"  8:41
Come Across
Sydney, Australia

One person recalled the shingles clean-up committee. That had been a fun time, and he decided to walk around that morning and scrape off as many shingles as he could. A few other people emerged on the street and decided to join him, they weren’t as festive this time around. Nobody spoke a single word to anybody, and as they looked out in the distance, they could see nothing but shingles. But, they kept trudging along, scraping shingles away with their feet, scraping shingles off the cars, and wherever they could.

(Just passed the 3:00 mark of the song) One of the people in the group dropped to the ground completely covered. The other three turned around and looked at him, but shrugged it off and ignored the situation. They felt their legs getting covered, scraped at them slightly, and then threw down their ice scrapers in defeat. The girl in the group fell into a car and rolled over the hood once her legs became covered. She simply lied on her back on the ground, staring blankly into the sky, until the rest of her was totally covered. The third guy dropped. And the fourth: of this particular group, he would always be the last man standing. His legs became covered, but he refused to go down, kept walking without fighting back. And then his arms. He was trapped motionless standing in the street. While standing in erect walking proudly position, (4:00) he too was covered.

(4:00-til the end) Collage of images set to music. The streets were completely covered. All of the houses were completely covered. Inside the homes, people were lying still on the floor as if they were dead, totally covered with shingles. Downtown skyscrapers were totally covered. The Eifel Tower in France was totally covered. Mountains of trees and beautiful landscaping were totally covered. At a busy intersection, all the cars were covered, the drivers in the cars were covered, and the traffic signal was completely covered as it swayed in the wind. All schools were covered, all furniture, people were sitting on sofa covered, but the figure could still be distinguished. Throughout the entire world, 99.7% of it was now covered with shingles.

(7:06) A man was standing in the bathroom looking in the mirror. His reflection revealed that his face had been totally covered, and his entire left arm was covered as well. The white t-shirt was not all the way covered, nor was his right arm. He was attempting to remove the shingles from his left arm with his right arm when it began to stiffen up. Once his right arm began to become with shingles, he panicked, did everything in his power to prevent this from happening, banged the arm against the porcelain toilet seat, spun around and fell to the floor, knocking over everything in the bathroom, and crashing onto the floor hard. Once he fell, he too became covered with shingles.

(7:42) A cat was halfway covered, it was his back half, and the front half was only partially covered. The cat went into convulsions, flailing around the room attempting to free himself from the shingles. It was too no avail. Once the cat crashed into the wall, knocking the shingles covered frame onto the floor, he submissively relinquished and conceded defeat. When the shingles covered the rest of him, the world was 99.9% covered.

(8:19) There was a small patch of concrete in a city that no person could identify in this condition. It was the last remaining patch of the Earth that was not totally covered. One shingle sprouted, gradually more of them inched their way across, and soon, that patch of concrete was in the exact same condition as 100% of the Earth—completely covered in shingles with no means to ever remove them.

End Credits: Bluebottle Kiss
"So Slow"  3:58
Come Across
Sydney, Australia

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

None of the original songs were ever intended to be used in this type of format.
Descriptions in no way shape or form intended to be a truthful reflection or interpretation of the song or the artist in reference.
All characters and themes completely fictitious and any similarities to actual people living or deceased are coincidental.

Band info and images by rateyourmusic.
Playlists created on 8tracks
Other images by Better Propoganda
Top image by:http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f181/immortaleddie/wasteland.jpg
Bottom images: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7016/6688990037_3df5e9e9b8_z.jpg, http://www.globebloggers.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Business_Team6-Happy.jpg, and http://drpinna.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Happy-Old-People.jpg
Dedicated to The Twilight Zone, "genius" status for over 50 years, created by Rod Serling
Creepshow reference written by Stephen King
Alien reference written by Dan O'Bannon and directed by Ridley Scott
The Wind in the Willows reference written by Kenneth Grahame
And, thanks to all bands who released quality music in 2004, particularly Bluebottle Kiss whose finale for Underneath the Pier spawned this entire chronicle.

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