Friday, April 29, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge Day Twenty - A Song That You Listen To When You're Angry

Oh. My. Hm. I tend to, um, well...?

I just flipped through my iPod and pretended I was pissed off and stopped at the first song I would want to listen to, which just happens to be "How Soon is Now?" from 1985's Meat is Murder by The Smiths. So that's my answer this time. And you get the full nearly seven minute version, especially for readers of the blog!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

30 Day song Challenge Day Nineteen - A Song From Your Favorite Album

Okay, so I was trying really hard not to repeat any albums or even any bands. But, I've already played a song off my current favorite album, a song off my favorite album from last year, and my all time favorite album from my all time favorite band.

So instead, you're getting a song from my second-favorite album of the moment. It's called "Down By the Water" off The Decemberists' 2011 release The King is Dead. I think it's awesome and also kind of sounds like "The One I Love" from R.E.M.'s 1987 release Document.

You be the judge:

30 Day Song Challenge Day Eighteen - A Song That You Wish You Heard on The Radio

Woops, skipped a day. My bad.

Today's song is a brand new song, which is on an album that hasn't been released yet. But that's not why it's not on the radio. It's not on the radio because radio stations tend to not play music from this band, leastways not traditional commercial radio stations.

The song is called "Helplessness Blues" and it's off the upcoming Fleet Foxes album Helplessness Blues.

Also good for day four, a song that makes you sad. Also good for day 3, a song that makes you happy.

Seriously, I cried once today while listening to this song, and smiled all the way through it another time. But today was kind of a hard day. see here

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge Day Seventeen - A Song That You Hear Often on the Radio

This one was really hard.

And I don't fully understand the visuals in this video.

NPR's "All Things Considered" Theme Music, engage!

Monday, April 25, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge Day Sixteen - A Song That You Used to Love But Now Hate

In 1995, I guess I was entering my "rebellious" phase, though I recently discovered that I wasn't so much rebelling as going through the acts of rebellion, because my parents weren't the type of parents that required rebellion. They were/are pretty awesome parents. I guess I just wanted them to set boundaries so I could push them. Anyway, I got into the band Everclear and in particular, their album Sparkle and Fade. I listened to the CD for something like four months straight.

As I got older, I stopped listening to it and then one day, I think just before college, I did a purge of my CD collection and sold a handful of discs to a used record shop (probably Vintage Vinyl as that was my store of choice in those days), including that Everclear CD. I had listened to each and every one of the CDs I had and I remember very definitely throwing this one in the "get rid of this crap" pile.

Actually, listening to it just now, I can say that while it's not a very good song, it's not a particularly terrible song, so maybe I just negated the whole "pick a song you used to love but now hate" but please let it be known that at one time I loved this song, then I hated it, and now I sort of listen to it with a hint of nostalgia and just a whiff of "what was I thinking?"

The song is "Strawberry" off Everclear's 1995 release Sparkle and Fade. I'ma go demand my parents set a curfew now, just so I can rebelliously break it by at least two hours.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge Day Fifteen - A Song That Describes You

What follows is a transcript of the conversation preceding this post.

Elliot: Day fifteen, a song that describes me. Kathy?

Kathy: (with a pen between her teeth) "Teach me Tiger."

Elliot: about another one.

Kathy: ...

Elliot: Okay, if they have it on youtube, I'll post it.

By April Stevens, released in 1959 as a single.

I...don't know, readers. I just...don't...know.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge Day Fourteen - A Song That No One Would Expect You to Love

Types of songs I hate:

Anything by Nicklecrack/Creed/any one of a dozen carbon copy bands; way-too-twangy country; manufactured corporate pop; the specific type of country song where the guy sings about how his woman done left him and took the dog and he's got tears in his eyes.

The exception: The Reverend Horton Heat, 1999, "Where In The Hell Did You Go With My Toothbrush?" from Holy Roller.

Friday, April 22, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge Day Thirteen - A Song That Is a Guilty Pleasure

The fact that I like the original song is a guilty enough pleasure, but I get so much enjoyment out of the Literal Video version of Tears For Fears' "Head Over Heels" off their 1985 Release Songs From the Big Chair.

"Now the rabbi's walking right behind me/I don't know why he is following me/maybe he wants this book?"

Thursday, April 21, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge Day Twelve - A Song From A Band You Hate

Ugh. Don't care what album it's from. And you can figure it out. That's how much I hate this band.

FYI Nicklecrack: Doctor Hook and the Medicine Show did it way better:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge Day Eleven - A Song From Your Favorite Band

No. Brainer.

The first track off their first full length, I give you "Seven" by Sunny Day Real Estate, from Diary, 1994.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge Day Ten - A Song That Makes You Fall Asleep

We had this on a Walt Disney Lullabies Volume II VHS tape when I was growing up. It's from the Disney Short "A Cowboy Needs a Horse" and is called, aptly, "A Cowboy Needs a Horse." Starts at about the :30 mark.

Monday, April 18, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge Day Nine - A Song That You Can Dance To

This video kind of gives me the creeps. Why is this old dude filming this young dude dancing like Michael Jackson? WHY? The Band is Peter, Bjorn & John, the album is 2009's Living Thing and the song is "It Don't Move Me."

Sunday, April 17, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge Day Eight - A Song That You Know All the Words To

The song is called "Darling Buds of May" and it's by a band from Slough, England who go by the name of Brother. And it's awesome.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge Day Seven - A Song That Reminds You of a Certain Event

Spring 1999, Sunny Day Real Estate is on their How It Feels to Be Something On tour. They stop at Mississippi Nights on Laclede's Landing. I pressed my parental units to let me go, even though I was 16 and it was a Tuesday or Wednesday night. It's a testament to the type of relationship we had, that my parents allowed me to go; we talked about how much I loved Sunny Day Real Estate, and since I never tried to hide my music from my parents (I used to make them listen to it with me, and they often and still do like some of what I play for them), so I got to go. I saved enough money for tickets, a T-shirt, and I had enough to buy CDs from the opening bands in case I wanted them, or maybe another T-shirt. I had never heard of either of the opening bands.

The first was a group called MK Ultra, and I liked them enough to buy their latest CD (it came with a free poster, too!) and then I stepped into the restroom. I peed next to this really really tall dude, and that says something coming from me. I had to look up to see him. As we washed our hands, I asked him if he liked the first band. He said yes. I asked him if he had heard of the second band, and he said no. I said I hoped they were good, and he said he hoped so, too. So I get back out and work my way up front, and the second band gets up and plays this tune, and they blow my freaking mind away, especially the drummer. After their show, I ran up to the merch table and bought their record (they were out of CDs, and it was either a record then or pay for a CD and they'd mail it to me, I didn't trust that).

The most amazing part? THE TALL DUDE WAS THE DRUMMER.

The tune is called "Crystals" and it's off the self-titled release by Heroic Doses.

Friday, April 15, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge Day Six - A Song that Reminds You of Somewhere

Remember that time we were in Boston, and we were driving down the Mass Pike listening to The Get Up Kids? And we were listening to the Red Letter Day EP, and there we were on the Mass Pike, and Zach was driving Martha's parents' van, and Martha was in the front seat having recently recovered from a second bout with a brain tumor, and we we were coming back from the beach where Zach's brother Fitz had gotten in a really funny jab at the other Elliot, and then the song "Mass Pike" came on, and we all sang it at the top of our lungs? That was abso-freaking-lutely aMAzing.

True story.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge Day Five - A Song that Reminds You of Someone

This song will always and forever remind me of my daughter, Juliette, for the line at the 2:44 mark.

I've already shared this song on the blog, but here it is again because I will never get tired of it. The title track of last year's Grammy winning The Suburbs by indie rock giants Arcade Fire.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge Day Four - A Song that Makes You Sad

Last year, before South by Southwest, NPR Music released a free sampler of music which included one song from each of the bands booked for their showcase at the festival. Among them was a song I had heard once before and had thought it was rather catchy, in a "Oh, neat melody and good harmony along with standard broken-hearted boy wants girl to love him lyrics." So, you know, good, but not great.

How wrong I was. I got the sampler and listened to the song and noticed...something. Something in the lyrics, so I listened to it again. And again. And again and again and again. I made Kathy listen to it, and she heard it the first time.

The song is called "Airplanes" and it's off 2010's Gorilla Manor, the debut album of a band called Local Natives. There is an official video posted on Youtube, but I want you to listen to this unfettered, and I want you to focus on the lyrics. And tell me if you get it, and tell me if you can see why this song makes me sad.

Official Video Here

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge Day Three - A Song That Makes You Happy

I won't give you a whole list of what it could be but isn't today. Instead, I'll just give you one lyric from the song: "I'm So Happy Got Me Singin' La La La." How can you not love a lyric like that? Well, I guess it depends on the band that's singing it. Like, if it were some angst-ridden suburban white boy garage band singing it with mountains upon mountains of irony, then no, it would probably not be worth liking.

But this is by Pokey LaFarge & the South City Three. It's off their 2009 release Riverboat Soul which, by the way, just won Best Americana Album at the Independent Music Awards and it's called "La La Blues."

Check them out soon at NPR's Tiny Desk Concert Series which they played today, April 12, 2011. The video should be available by sometime next week I would guess...

***Editor's Note: Yes, there might a bit of nepotism going on here. My cousin is the harmonica player in this group, but that doesn't negate my choice. They are getting tremendous national and international buzz and just released a 7" on Jack White's Third Man Records. So my shameless plugging of family is justified on this occasion.

Happy Yuri's Night

50 Years ago today, a Soviet Cosmonaut named Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit the Earth in a spacecraft. Today, we remember him not as a Soviet but as a citizen of the world.

For more info:

Yuri Gagarin on Wikipedia
Vostok-1, the spacecraft that took Yuri to space.
Yuri's Night

Monday, April 11, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge Day Two - Your Least Favorite Song

It could have been "How Far is Heaven" by Los Lonely Boys, a song famous in my household for an incident in which I vehemently changed the radio station while driving, sparking a spirited and lively debate between my wife in the passenger seat and myself. But it's not that.

Could be that terrible "Friday" song by Rebecca Black, but I don't blame her for its terribleness. She didn't write it, she just recorded it, so the blame goes squarely on the idiot who thought "Tomorrow is Saturday and afterwards comes Sunday" would ever be a good lyric. So it's not that.

It could be "Hot Dog" off of Led Zeppelin's In Through the Out Door, a song made worse by the fact that it's a terrible song by an awesome band on an otherwise good album. But not this time.

It could be any number of songs from the likes of that king of Twitter, he-who-shall-not-be-named (his initials are J.B. and Dwight from The Office thinks he's a crime fighting beaver), or some of the other terrible pop-music-factory cookie-cutter songs released since the invention of pop music (because let's not be too rosy-eyed nostalgic, crappy music came about only slightly after the invention of music itself), but it's not.

It's not even some angsty corporate "emo" like Panic! At the Disco or anything like that.

Nope, the song I picked is truly terrible because NOBODY who likes it seems to have paid any attention to the lyrics, and because of that we have all been subjected to it across various radio-station platforms from contemporary to top 40 to classic rock for the past thirty years.

But first, let me run something by you; it's a story I'm working on. The story is that this guy is in a relationship, and he is bored with the girl he's dating. Rather than talk to her about his problems, or even man up and just break the relationship off, he answers out a sleazy personal ad in the paper. He agrees to meet this new girl at a bar. When he gets there, he discovers that the person who responded to his ad is the girl he is already dating. What's more, she responded to the ad because she was bored with the relationship, and rather than talk to him about her problems or even woman up and just break the relationship off, she took out a sleazy personal ad in the paper. When this discovery is made, they just laugh about it and go off on a wild romantic getaway and have crazy rainy beach sex for a week.

The problem I'm running into here, and I'm sure you'll agree, is that I'm having a hard time making either of these characters likable. The guy is clearly an asshole for planning to cheat, but then the girl is also. They push each other away because they don't communicate. Also, at the end, neither of them is mad that the other one was planning to cheat. My thought is that this sows the seeds for both of them to cheat later, and that they've convinced themselves that it's okay because the other was planning infidelity anyway.

What, you want me to actually reveal the song.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge Day One - Your Favorite Song

So I heard about this thing that's happening on Facebook called the "30 Day Song Challenge" which is basically one of those internet meme things that gets you to post for 30 days straight on the same topic and, since it's been over thirty days since I've posted, I figured maybe I'd do that here instead of on Facebook, give you all something to look forward to every day. So here goes.

Day 1: Your Favorite Song

This is always a loaded thing for me. I don't really have a "Favorite Song" per se, as it changes all the time. Looking at the rest of the 30 day list, I can rule out a couple of my favorite songs because I can use them for later things very easily.

So instead, I'm going to share my favorite song that has been released so far in 2011. Again, even this is a toss-up. There have already been quite a few I've been really into, including "Darling Buds of May" by the band Brother (my current ear worm), "The Bizness" by (it kills me to have to type like this) tUnE-yArDs off the upcoming album W H O K I L L, "What I Must've Done" by The Rum Drum Ramblers off Mean Scene, not to mention any number of tracks off of Bright Eyes' The People's Key or The Decemberists' The King is Dead or "Second Chance" off Gimme Some by Peter, Bjorn and John. And now you've got tons to check out, right? Sweet.

But no, for this I've picked my favorite off 100 Lovers, the new album by gypsy-punk rockers/mariachi-rockers/indie-rockers DeVotchKa. The song is called "All the Sand in All The Sea" and it's got everything I love about this band. Give it a listen.