Top Five Most Hummable Indie-Rock Smash Hits of the '00s

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The aughts saw indie rock really go mainstream, from movie soundtracks to television advertisement appropriations to Jay-Z and Solange Knowles coming out as Grizzly Bear fans. Below are the five indie-universe songs that got the most external play in the '00s, and likely spurred the most debates over what "selling out" meant in an age when a band of rag-tag ne'erdowells with a dedicated fanbase can easily place on (or even top!) the Top 40 charts by moving 50,000 to 90,000 physical or abstract units in its first week. (Weird times, folks; weird times. I mean, members of Sonic Youth guest-starred on Gossip Girl. Death Cab for Cutie were on the Twilight: New Moon soundtrack. Sears used Stephen Malkmus's distractingly daft, kindercorny "Phantasies" to pimp a 13-hour sale. I know, right?) And did I mention that all of these songs are super-duper hummable?

1. Gorillaz "Feel Good, Inc."


 
Indie-underground denizens hardly have dibs on Britpop/world-bop/melting-pot impressario Damon Albarn -- Blur's "Song #2" has been rattling bleachers in stateside sports arena crowds for more than a decade, after all -- but we like to pretend he's all ours. (After all, the world at large isn't holding its breath for a follow up to 2003's Think Tank. Or is it?) Gorillaz, Albarn's on-and-off project with old pal/illustrator Jamie Hewlett and a rotating cast of collaborators, offered him a chance to fuck around with notions of culture and representational smoke'n'mirrors -- and in 2005 offered us "Feel Good, Inc.," a supremely meaningless, totally bumptious bit of nonsense that spawned a mesmerizing disturbing alternate-reality video, introduced a new generation to rap elders De La Soul, and helped Apple sell a lot of iPods.

 
2. Modest Mouse "Float On"



Psychosis. Nervous breakdowns. Bad luck. Longtime, long-suffering Modest Mouse fans will tell you that the group has had its ups and downs since forming in the 1990s. But after the release of "Float On" -- a lithe, infectious piece of strut-pop that worked hard to conceal the fact that it was actually strutting - the storied Modest Mouse curse started to fade. "Float On" was everywhere, and rightly so. Front man Issac Brock could suddenly afford a personal assistant. Legendary Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr came aboard, temporarily. Now they're almost famous.


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