Sunday, September 23, 2007

4 Songs

On a weekend where both Eugene and Tim have posted about new music, I figured I'd better blog about music too. I don't have a TV, and I haven't been to any shows, but since I last reported on the state of my iPod (5 months ago), I've acquired 2.73 GB, 640 songs, and 36 albums. And, to the shame of having a John Mayer album, I can now add a Fall Out Boy album. My full music library no longer fits on my 4 year old iPod and I can listen to music on shuffle and think "what the hell is this?" or "I have this?"

Here are four songs that found their way onto my iPod in the last 5 months (and if any of you guys has some odd desire to actually listen to what I'm listening to, let me know):

1. Okkervil River - John Allyn Smith Sails

The only song that for which I haven't found an appropriate YouTube video, but you can listen to the entire album, The Stage Names, on their myspace page. I've already expressed my love for Okkervil River, but I just can't help myself. A lot more rock and with a more modern sound than their previous albums, but with somewhat of a draggy middle where things get a little too twee. "Unless It's Kicks" is probably the best song: a driving rock anthem to not letting being in a rock band wear you down. But it cannot beat "John Allyn Smith Sails" for pure awesomeness. The song starts acoustic, with a narrative about the poet John Berryman and his 1972 suicide, then segues into a cover of "Sloop John B." the traditional most known by its cover by the Beach Boys. "Sloop John B." people! Listen to it

2. Elliott Smith - Waltz #2

I found a live version of this song off the XO album somewhere and it's great: sad and sweet, melacholy and anger over the people we should know best but who are forever out of reach. Here's a similar live version:

Truthfully, I don't own a single Elliott Smith album; I'm fearful of spending the money and finding that his whisper-singing drives me nuts ("speak up! I can't hear you!"). And finding the original album version of the song does nothing to reassure me (it's audio only):

With the heavy drum line, it make me imagine that they're playing in some honky-tonk bar. And someone please explain the backing vocals to me. Why?!

3. The Smiths - Girlfriend in a Coma

I've been singing this 2 minute ditty for days now. I can't explain it, but I know it's brilliant (because "it's serious"?).

4. LCD Soundsystem - Someone Great

This song hasn't been released as a single yet, so I'm not sure if this is the actual music video for it (and the song seems to be a little faster than my album version) but whatever:

LCD Soundsystem has gotten a lot of press as sort of confessional indie music with an electronic dance music soul. The album, Sound of Silver, is pretty good, although I kind of think that "Someone Great" is the only can't miss track. But I can't help but wonder: who is supposed to listen to this music? What sort of giant electronica wave is LCD Soundsystem supposed to be on top of? Most people listen to electronica when they want to stop thinking and start dancing. Are people really going to start listen to it on the radio while their driving to work? Are they going to play this in Starbucks? What are we, French? (Yeah, I really don't know what makes me think that this is what the French do.)


Eugene said...

Dang, now you have put back GF in a Coma into my head again! The koffee shop at Yale used to play this ad nauseum, and it drives me nuts because it's so catchy I can't get it out of my head. And no I have no idea why a song about a comatose GF is suppose to be catchy.

Jackie said...

Sorry, Eugene!