Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fun with your Ipod.

Nothing much going on here, so I'm putting my Ipod on shuffle and I'll discuss the first 10 songs.
1. Marvelous Things - Eisley
I had already left this band before they wrote this and most of their first record. I think this song is great, especially the melody of the chorus. That being said, this kind of showcases one of the reasons I was never 100% invested in the band. When words like "mermaid entwined shrubbery" are included in lyrics, I quickly lose any ability to relate. They've gotten a lot better with their lyrics, but for a while there they were way too surreal for my taste.
2. Under Pressure - Queen & David Bowie
I'm not a huge Bowie fan, but I love the hell out of some Queen. Whenever I hear this song, I always wonder what Bowie must've thought when Freddie started with all the crazy scatting. PEOPLE ON THE STREETS! DA BA DEE BA DEY!
3. Down With The Ship - Seven Day Jesus
I bought this record after I saw them live with Bleach. They really were great live and Brian McSweeney really does have an amazing voice. Years later, their guitarist, Chris Beatty, would fill in on bass for my old band, The Connotations, a few times. This song is pretty preachy. "The world sucks, only Jesus makes life worth living, etc." Still catchy, though, and that's all that really matters, right?
4. 2+2=5 - Radiohead
The best song off the worst Radiohead record, in my opinion. They could of cut Hail To The Thief down to a really great EP, but as a record, I think it's pretty weak. Everyone was so pumped about them picking up their guitars again, but I think we all expected that to mean another Bends or OK Computer. It didn't. But that's part of what's great about Radiohead, they're too smart to make the same record twice and if nothing else, they're true to themselves.
5. It's Good Coffee, Mrs. Stewart - Uncle Andrew
Uncle Andrew was my first real band. And by "real," I mean that we played shows at places other than our church. I was way too into the band Mineral. Whenever I hear this recording, it becomes clear that I could not have wanted to be Mineral any more. I don't know what I was trying to do with my voice though. Damn, this recording sucks. This song is actually not bad, though, all self indulgence and feigned teenage melancholy aside.
6. Window Of My World - Guided By Voices
Half-Smiles Of The Decomposed is an amazing record, from start to finish. The only other GBV record I had was Do The Collapse and I had mixed feelings about it, but I heard this playing in the record store and had to find out who it was. I was surprised it was GBV because I had all but forgotten them, needless to say, I snatched up this record and have remembered them ever since.
7. We Laugh Indoors - Death Cab For Cutie
God, I love this band, and this is the record that took me from casual fan to passionate devotee. The Hastings in Longview, TX only got one copy of it and I was fortunate enough to snag it on the day it came out. This was before The Day Of The Interwebs, when you occasionally had to work to find the music you wanted. Ben Gibbard makes bitter misery seem so cool, especially in the older stuff.
8. I Don't Know What It Is - Rufus Wainwright
I think that this was probably Rufus' last great record. His arrangements are always so amazingly textured and, if I may, flamboyant. My brother hates his voice, and I can understand that. It's the kind of voice that becomes painfully drony if it's not wrapped around a great melody or hook, which is why I hate his new record. Shit, that part around 3:10 where he says "It was my big moment" is so frakin' great!
9. Kissing The Lipless - The Shins
This was the first Shins that I heard and I hated it. Not really so much because the music sucked but because they had been recommended to me by a guy who was trying to, and succeeding in, stealing my girlfriend. It took me years to forgive the Shins for being liked by such an unsavory character. So after I forgave them, we had a sort of honeymoon period and I probably overplayed this record and Wincing The Night Away. They're great but I do want to say that their drummer sucks ass. He is so fuggin' boring it makes me want to punch kittens.
10. Power Doesn't Run On Nothing - The Thermals
When I moved to Nashville, Cameron had filled my head with stories about how he was always getting free records. My expectation was just short of rock and roll records growing on trees in the park. So, one day, I was at Grimey's Records and I asked them if they had any free records to give me. They looked a little puzzled but the guy behind the counter said "Here man, give this a listen." and handed me a promo copy of More Parts Per Million by the Thermals. It sounded like shit. Like it had been done on a 4-track by someone easily less skilled at 4 track recording than myself, but you had to hand it to them, they certainly sounded tenacious. I was sold. This record, The Body, The Blood, The Machine, is my favorite and it will kick your ass from start to finish.


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  2. I love these kinds of Memes. I'd do one, but I'm ashamed of half of the music on my iPod.

    Also I really love Death Cab for Cutie. A teacher turned me on to them in high school and I've been in love ever since.

  3. I haven't liked a Radiohead record since 'Amnesiac'. Does that make me a bad person? So many people are still so invested in them.

    OK Computer is as close to a perfect record as someone can make, and Kid A is brilliant is well. For some reason I find myself listening to The Bends most, but maybe that's because my tastes have drifted more towards pop indie stuff. Kid A and Amnesiac, while great, just come off as too serious.

  4. I totally remember Seven Day Jesus.. I saw them in concert with The Newsboys I think? I still like pulling out some old Christian rock every now and then...

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  6. The farther Rufus Wainwright moved away from meth, the less interesting his music got. As a friend of mine describes his newer work, "chordchordchord, chordchordchord". I want another "Grey Gardens" for fuck's sake.

    Want Two is probably my least favorite album, and that's just because I've only listened to the newest one twice now. "Old Whore's Diet" could make me jump out of a window.

    Release the Stars has some solid songs I think. It's just not as interesting as Poses.

    And that wraps up my book report on Rufus Wainwright.

    edit: I would turn my nose up at Eisley's earlier lyrics, but then I remember they were written by home schooled Jesus loving teenage girls. I liked that music but yes, they have gotten much better. No offense to Sherri of course, but Stacy is a brilliant little songwriter and her voice is spot the fuck on, like, always.

  7. I agree with everything you just said about Rufus.

  8. Travis, it doesn't make you a bad person. Well, maybe it does. I don't know. Yeah, actually, you probably are.
    Don't feel bad, though. If you go to Scene Hell, I'll be there to keep you company, because of my inability to see "what's so great about Jeff Buckley, REALLY?"

    Have you heard "In Rainbows," though? If not, you really should give it an earnest listen. It may hit some of those Radiohead buttons you long to have hit again, and it is pretty terrific.