1) New York State of Mind- Billy Joel:Yes, this was far, far too overplayed in the month or so after the attacks, but listening to it in its original form, it's a soft solitary, sad ode to his favorite city. I picture a young Joel standing on an apartment's roof looking out over the city with a beer in hand just as the sun goes down. He's come a long way from Hollywood whether it was for a gig or to visit his best girl, but now he gets to unwind from the long tedious, likely heated drive and savor the metropolis in all its charm. I don't care what a dickish slate writer says, Joel's all right here. Basically, the calm before the storm as it were
2) A Pair of Brown Eyes-The Pogues: My Boy Shane seems to have predicted certain tragedy about 16 years before it occured, but I'm not trying to spout any conspiracy theories here: Shane says the song was about talking to a war veteran in a pub just as the narrator was going through a breakup, but this song could easily apply to 9/11 too, besides, who didn't want to drink and cry for a few hours after watching all the news coverage?
3) Two silver trees-Calexico: This is from the Nevver blog and it has a nice haunting melody and whispering to it, capturing the specter of death and paranoia that hung over the city and nation for weeks afterward
4) All is Violent, All is bright: Another meloncholy piece courtesy of the Nevver blog, a bit cheesy with the guitars at first, but then it gives off a good tense industrial vibe
5)Hallejuah- Jeff Buckley: I don't think there's any explanation necessary for this one, although I sort of prefer John Cale's version better if only for the vocals. But this is very beautiful on its own, especially the guitar solo.
6) This Mess we're in- PJ Harvey and Thom Yorke: I haven't listened to PJ Harvey that much, but she works nicely with Yorke's (good and emotional, mind you) wailing though I have to give the prize for vocal work here to Yorke, he's the hero of this tragic love story and does a hell of a job with it. A good mix of mourning and fear here; I picture a man stumbling from the wreckage and squinting through the sobbing, confused crowd trying to find someone, anyone he can clutch on to for help.
7) Oh Comely-Neutral Milk Hotel: from the one and perhaps only both surreal and heartbreaking album ever. The lyrics seem absurd, but with the acoustic guitar and Jeff Mangum's strained voice? god damn. Just get Aeroplane Over the Sea, seriously.
8) I really feel(Lunar Flex) Drum Club; Another ominous industrial sounding track, complete with middle eastern chanting. Very primal scream like like except slower and apocalyptic. Listening to this, you can picture a taxi slowly moving through a wrecked city.
9) The National Anthem- Radiohead: I could see this song used in a Bourne Identity film, it's a perfect five minute summary of a panic attack with Thom wailing a mantra about large crowds(everyone's around) and attempting to hang onto sanity(Hanging on). My most favorite Radiohead song ever is probably Idiotique for it's almost pogo-esque beat against bleak lyrics, but this may very well be at a close second(well, okay, second place is probably Paranoid Android). I guess then you could say Kid A is an electronic, paranoid version of Aeroplane over the sea?