Sunday, April 19, 2009

Shuffling V




1) Death To Everyone by Bonnie 'Prince' Billy: Will Oldham's music is often dark and dire, but it's usually in an impressionistic and withdrawn way. At the same time, he has an understated, dry sense of humor. Notice the way he frequently sneaks in sex references in his music, and his often brilliant choice of covers. For a good idea of what I mean, take 'Death To Everyone', which bludgeons you with the notion that "death to everyone is gunna come": you are going to die. But, this "makes hosing much more fun"; once you know that 'hosing' refers to, err, knockin' boots, then the song takes on a new meaning.

2) Appels + Oranjes by The Smashing Pumpkins: You know what, I don't care, Adore is an awesome album. I spent a good part of my younger days listening to almost nothing but Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails, Tool, and Radiohead, so this song brings back a lot of memories. And I still enjoy it today, in fact. Oh, also, song titles like this were partially reponsible for my obsession with writing and language, the way I constantly arrange and re-arrange letters in my head and make up alternate spellings and pronunciations.

3) Everyday by Yo La Tengo: I know this happens for a lot of people, but I sometimes listen to albums so many times that even from the first sound I already know what album/song it is. 'Everyday' is one of these. Hearing those first seconds of buzzing electronics and the flaccid, foggy drums flips several switches in my head, makes me heart rate slow down and my mood turn to relaxed and nostalgic. I would also award this song top marks for perfectly setting the tone and 'feel' of And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out. The first time I heard this album I hated it, though it began boring and ended boring. Now I adore it and understand that not every album needs to be full of melody and dynamic, catchy songwriting.

4) Dragonfly Pie by Stephen Malkmus: It's safe to say that I would follow Stephen Malkmus wherever he wants to go, musically speaking. He doesn't always hit a home run but his work is always interesting and frequently brilliant. I wasn't immediately keen on this track or most of Real Emotional Trash, but if you've got a classic rock/guitar loving bone in your body, its charms eventually wear you down.

5) The Race Is On Again by Yo La Tengo: I got sidetracked for this one because my brother-in-law called and then two friends started IMing me. But this is one of those tracks where I can hardly remember what album it's on. Yo La Tengo have been consistently good for a long time but you could probably criticize them for being too varied and too consistent. Don't get me wrong, I love I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One and I'm Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass but they are kind of the same game plan.

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