Alex Chilton, "All of the Time"
Alex Chilton, of Big Star, is one of the leading influences on a ton of later rock bands in the underground. Here, for instance, you can really hear the Replacements. This song was on his solo record Bach's Bottom, but this actually comes from the excellent Ork Records: New York, New York compilation.
Slapstick, "The Geek"
This is what ska-punk should sound like when it's done well. Lots of speed, lots of energy, it gets in and out without hanging around too long. For your "Operation Ivy substitute", you really can do so much worse.
DJ Krush, "What's Behind Darkness"
That menacing throbbing wash of synth that repeats through the song, that's the real shit right there. Add in the distant little squawks of disconnected sax, and this song has me really amped up. OK, it has me quietly nodding my head. Still, yes, hell yes.
Spoon, "Someone Something"
I know I say I don't get Spoon, but I'm obviously a moron. Every time they've come up on this thing, I keep thinking "yeah, this is great!". So, clearly, I actually really like them a lot, and I just won't admit it to myself unless a robot tells me to listen to them? That's dumb. I'm dumb. This song isn't!
Thelonious Monk, "Straight No Chaser"
Dammit, music playing robot, why do you tease me like this? You know I can't discuss how bitchin' this song is!
It's bitchin' y'all! [piano falls on my head]
(NB: as always, with Monk, this isn't exactly the same version as I listened to)