Thursday, January 11, 2007

Remix to Ignition

So, it ended up taking me two days to come back (and I bet this is my last post until Monday at least, because I am going home for the weekend). What can I say? My computer at home is broke, so not only do I occasionally post at work, I exclusively post at work. Thus, if work gets in the way of wasting time on blogger, I don't end up wasting any time (on blogger anyway).

Without further whining and excuses, here is more songs I really like (unfortunately some of these aren't links to the full song, maybe you are better at finding them than me):

Talking Heads - This Must Be the Place - One of my favorite closing credits songs of all time- it is one of my favorite songs of all time anyway, and it happens to be in the credits for Wall Street- even if it doesn't really carry the mood at the end of the movie.

I love this song pretty irrationally, I can't really describe why it is one of my favorites. I just love it. I love that it goes on for more than a minute before the lyrics start. I love that while I can't entirely decipher the lyrics, I can sing along with the whole song. I love the high points: "And you're standing here beside me, I note the passing of time". I love the little keyboard "duh duh dunt" in between lines. It is a song that both describes nostalgia and makes me nostalgic. I feel safe saying that this song wouldn't be made today and certainly wouldn't be a hit if it was. The 80s were often horrible (see: the CIA and South America), but they were doing crazy, off the wall things musically. A lot of which was terrible, but some was incredible, especially the Talking Heads and this song. (Another thing that couldn't happen today: this dirt cheap artsy video for the song)

Johnny Cash - Cocaine Blues - Another song prominently featured in a movie, Joaquin Phoenix does a solid job with it in Walk the Line, but you have to hear the man himself do it. Johnny was a bad, bad man who loved to sing about killing people (at least I think he did, otherwise why do it so often?). This strumming pattern is like a fist banging the words home and this one features him at his most extreme: "Early one morning, while making the rounds, I took a shot of cocaine and shot my woman down. I went right home and I went to bed, I stuck that loving 44 beneath my head." God damn, hide the guns Johnny makes it sound so cool I want to go on a coke and murder bender right now.

Lady Sovereign - Hoodie - Silly, stupid lyrics. But I love the drums and I am a sucker for clapping in songs. I know, I know, idiotic... but catchy.

The Mystery Jets - Diamonds in the Dark - Both this and "You Can't Fool Me Dennis" feature idiotic lyrics: "You can do anything you want, as long as it makes sense." What? Yet, I sing along because it is the kind of idiotic that goes down easy.

The Pink Spiders - Modern Swinger - "My baby's pretty as car crash, sex as the stinger of a hornet in your arm, just another modern swinger". Those lyrics over a pulsating bass line that turns into delicious pop punk ear candy...

Ryan Adams - Oh My Sweet Carolina - Heartbreaker is the best country rock album of all time for my (limited) money. It is tough to follow up and unfortunately Mr. Adams hasn't. Still we have amazing vocal performances like his warbling ode to Carolina, either the state (he's from Charleston I think) or some chick by the same name. "Come Pick Me Up" is an amazing song too.

Wilco - Jesus, ect. - I already mentioned that I like the way "Jesus" sounds. Geez-Us. Wilco has the best body of work every to be grouped under the genre "country rock". My freshman year of college Wilco came to campus to play a free show, and I didn't go. I can't even blame the booze- though I was fucked up- I just didn't know who they were. I was pissed because they didn't get someone I knew about. "Wilco... screw that indie bullshit, can we get some rap or what?" Weep not for the youth, my friends.

Josh Ritter - Kathleen - He rounds out my country rock trifecta. I am seeing some online props for Josh Ritter's latest album, and deservedly so. However, for my money I like Hello Starling. It is a little rawer, more truthful but still retains his lyrical talents. This song features the line I most want to say to a girl, but never will: "All the other girls here are stars, you're the northern lights."

Sufjan Stevens - Romulus - Sufjan is the man! Sure his albums are full of stuff that I don't give a crap about, but the high points are worth the fluff. Illinois features two of my favorite songs, but this is a high point off of "Michigan".

The Unicorns - The Clap - Maybe my fifth favorite song from the album but it was the one I could find online. The Unicorns just wanted to have fun and their album was often silly, but always a blast to listen to.

Teddybears - Punkrocker - Iggy Pop absolutely owns these lyrics. This song is featured in a Cadillac commercial, and Iggy's growl probably sold a lot of cars.

Cursive - The Recluse - How come people don't make rock operas anymore? Cursive's The Ugly Organ is a pretty solid example of a rock opera/concept album. Pretty lonely lyrics, but the song keeps it upbeat.
" I wake alone
in a woman's room I hardly know.
I wake alone
and pretend that I am finally home."

Antony and the Johnsons - Hope There's Someone - Sure Antony kind of sounds like a drag singer, but that is the point. I like all the songs about "breast amputation" too, but this one is a nice introduction to the wonderful world of big transsexual music.

My Morning Jacket - It Beats For You - The guys at think that MMJ is pretty much the best thing going. I don't know if I am quite there, but I definitely agree it is a special band. Their sound sticks with you, especially the eery echo on the vocals because Z was recorded in a silo with mics on the top and the bottom. The drums are pared down to a top hat and a snare and the rhythm drives the song from start to finish. Great opening line: " Who could see and not believe? The heart that beats the wavelength."

And of course, I love Steely Dan - My Old School.

Sorry things got a little rushed, but I gotta run to the airport. Have a happy MLK day!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007


Everyone is making end of the year lists, and I feel left out. At the same time, between partying, graduating, moving and generally being broke I didn't consume nearly enough to make a good list of stuff from this year. So I am going to give you a playlist instead. Sure, some of these songs are from this year, but most are just kick ass oldies (meaning last year). I can't figure out how to post the songs, so I will just link to where you can listen to them.

Interpol - Stella Was A Diver and She Was Always Down - In Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs, Chuck Klosterman talks about the dichotomy between weed people and coke people. Sure, many people (including Chuck) do both on occasion, but everyone (save those poor non-partakers) has a preference. Chuck says that weed-heads enjoy sitting around and having intellectual conversations, while coke heads "chase the members of Interpol around New York City". Well, sign me up for two rails of nose candy then, because who needs to talk when you can listen to songs like this?

Arcade Fire - Neighborhood #2 (Laika) - This is my favorite song from one of the best albums of the past few years. The simple drum beat drive the song and the lyrics chant along with them, though unlike Destroyer the lyrics are intelligible and evocative. "When Daddy comes home you always start a fight, so the neighbors can dance in the police disco lights."

The Decemberists - Yankee Bayonet - I've already mentioned that I love this album, and I today this is my favorite song. What can I say? I love male-female duets, Bob and Joan and Carly and James and now this.

Sigur Ros - Svefn-G-Englar - If you heard about a ten minute song, entirely in Icelandic, consisting of electronic music and shrieking vocals, tell me you wouldn't get excited? Sigur Ros's second album Ágætis Byrjun (literally "Good Start") is absolutely gorgeous and I couldn't decide whether to include this song or Starálfur, but went with this one because it has no relations to Tom Cruise (Starálfur was featured prominently in Vanilla Sky).

The Killers - When You Were Young - The Killers first album was the musical equivalent of a bag of potato chips. Delicious (especially when you are a little out of it), but unfulfilling. Sure it was easy to listen to, but did it have to be so stupid? "I got soul, but I'm not a soul-ja" Well, their follow up broke new ground, for them anyway. They went arena rock and the big change was now they weren't easy to listen to and stupid. However, in the midst of hugely successful mediocrity (is their any other kind of huge success?) they did produce one great single, which begs the question: Why don't people use Jesus as a reference point in pop songs more often? Sure, pop songs might talk about praying or getting comfort from our sweet lord, but as a comparison to whoever we are dating? That is rare. Plus, Jesus is just one of those words that sounds good (like Fuck or multi-syllable rhymes). It has a nice two syllable punch, Geez (which you spit)-Us (which is a rising tone that can be exaggerated for added effect).

Alright, work got in the way of freetime at work today, so I will finish my list tomorrow. I know that is only five songs, but two of them are longer than seven minutes, so in total this has a longer run time than your average Weezer album.