You know how some albums go from sweet to sour over 20 listens? Or get even better — go from sweet to sweeter? I’m not talking about those that sound dated 5, 10 years later. I’m talking about those that change over the course of 2-3 months. Why does that happen? Read the rest of this entry
On the morning of Dec. 4, 2007, I listened to the Postal Service album “Give Up” for the first time. I was on the commuter bus and for some reason the combination of music and movement always spurs creative activity in my head. I had, of course, already heard the first two singles (which are also the first two tracks) from the album before. In fact, I had been obsessively listening to “The District Sleeps Tonight” for several months. As I worked through the tracks I had never heard before, I got this weird feeling that the album was science fiction. And by the time I got to “Brand New Colony” I was convinced. And then I got this image stuck in my head that turned into the phrase “Up in the Aerie, the Poet’s lover.” I dismissed it, but it returned. I thought it a bit precious, but then more started showing up. And then I got this idea. Why not write a cycle of connected short short stories based on each track on the album? I wrote a few notes on my PDA (a hand-me-down from my boss that I mainly use for calendar and tasks) and a few more when I got to work. Read the rest of this entry
1. The lyrics from “All My Friends” by LCD Soundsystem
2. The shouts and strings on “No Cars Go” by Arcade Fire
3. The harmonies on “Falling Slowly” by The Swell Season
4. The drumming on “Pink Thoughts” by Moving Units
5. The bass line from “Two Kinds” by Film School
6. The rhymes on “Paper Planes” by M.I.A.
7. The pipe-organ on “Intervention” by Arcade Fire
8. The synths on “Knife (Covered by CSS)” by Grizzly Bear and CSS
9. The clapping on “It Started With a Mixx” by Los Campesinos
10. The intro and piano on “Sherry and Her Butterfly Net” by the The Most Serene Republic
11. The cover version of “Ceremony” by Radiohead
12. The vocal performance on “1-2-3-4” by Feist
I have to give credit to The Current’s Song of the Day for introducing me to many of the songs above.
Notice there’s no guitar work listed above. Nothing stuck. I’m willing to go back and find a guitar line that will stick in my head. Any suggestions?
NOTE: The song links go to everything from YouTube! to Last.fm to wherever I could get a good version of the work. The links to the bands go to their Web sites. I’d recommend The Most Serene Republic’s Web site in particular because they stream all their songs. Good stuff.
I am one of those people who tends to develop mini-obsessions. For a few weeks or months, I’ll order the same type of thing in every restaurant I go to; listen to the same song or songs over and over; read the same genre/style of books. Anybody else do that? Maybe not. But whatever — I’m now going to subject you to my list of current obsessions. Feel free to share your own, make fun of mine, etc. Read the rest of this entry
I have had the house to myself for the past two weeks and as a result my own tastes hold sway (and since the only thing they have to hold sway over is me, there’s been a lot of sway-ness). Much to my chagrin, I have discovered that there are some things that I’m a major sucker for. Read the rest of this entry
I freely admit that I have never read or seen any of Harold Pinter’s works. But still. Are the members of the Swedish Academy really sure that they picked him for this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature? Didn’t they really mean, I don’t know, say, Phillip Roth or Orhan Pamuk?
It helps that I’m a sucker for crunchy, fast guitar playing and gravel-voiced vocalists. Social D has long occupied this pure almost iconic space where punk, rockabilly and classic rock meet (a sort of punkier version of the Replacements, less bluesy version of the Rolling Stones), and although some find that space derivative, it totally works for me.