Six Month Stickies # 4
September 13, 2009
As usual the tracks of music that got stuck in my head in the last six months, in order.
This sticky list is a bit more lyrically focused than usual.
* Click image to download a .rar of the compilation:
Ghostland Observatory – Stranger Lover
I imagine a gaggle of twenty somethings spending a night on the town in a big city, tumbling over each other in subway cars and breaking into impromptu pillow fights with couch cushions and getting kicked out of whatever slick martini lounge they tore through.
Chairlift – Bruises
This was the soundtrack to my Parisian romance.
Highly recommend listening while gently smooching a cute Austrian girl, with the window open looking out over a chilly spring afternoon in Paris.
I drowned myself in this album, from the first listen, on repeat for a month. Something about the unique tone and mood of this album struck a chord with me and satisfied a long dormant craving I didn’t know I had.
Fever Ray – If I Had A Heart
Dangling feet from window frame
Will I ever ever reach the floor?
More, give me more, give me more
Crushed and filled with all I found underneath and inside
Just to come around
More, give me more, give me more
Fever Ray – Triangle Walks
A delicious mix of electronic instrumentation with island/jungle connotations, gives this song a visceral underpinning of earthy mystery and engaging darkness.
Fever Ray – Coconut
I love the calm rhythmic pulsing, with the subtle echoes to create space and yawning strings playing over top for lift.
Elton John – Daniel
I heard this song play in a store in New York, and when I got back to California I suddenly felt a desperate craving for it. There is something really engaging about the awkwardly present exposition in what we’re believed to be an address to his brother. Like why would you say to your own brother: “Daniel my brother, you’re older than me.”
Kate Bush – Breathing
I’m not sure if I already went into my deep love of Kate Bush in one of my previous sticky lists,
but suffice to say she is up there with Brian Eno as an artist who really can’t do wrong in my book. I have such an enormous amount of respect for her and her work. This song is a good example of her talents, there is so much going on it’s easy to not catch all the great song writing choices constantly being made, but it’s that very reason Kate Bush songs reveal themselves in new ways after many listens.
The Radio Dept. – Your Father
I like this song for its quirky lazy wistfulness. The languid guitar, peppery drums, all the various plucky jangly sounds sparking around like fireflies.
We were only kids when we first laid eyes on each other
I think the song really comes together with that line.
Belle & Sebastian – Sukie In The Graveyard
This is why I like Belle & Sebastian.
Angsty schoolyard quirky rock for people who don’t take their melodrama too seriously.
She had a slut slave and his name was Dave
She said ‘Be my photo bitch and I’ll make you rich’
He didn’t believe her but the boy revered her
She had an A1 body and a face to match
She didn’t have money, she didn’t have cash
I go through distinct Elliot Smith fazes every couple years. This time it came back around centered around a few songs I had previously overlooked. I find myself with a new found appreciation for how effective his understated bass lines work and for his lyrical content, which I had previously not given him much credit for.
Elliott Smith – Baby Britain
Sticky point (1:36):
You’ve got a look in your eye when you’re saying goodbye
Like you want to say hi
I don’t know why but that line really cuts through my cynicism and creates thick and satisfying poignancy. He has a real gift for expression beautifully simple sentiments like this.
Elliott Smith – Independence Day
Another beautifully simple sentiment.
Expressed exactly right (1:54):
You only live a day
But it’s brilliant anyway
The Books – Enjoy Your Worries, You May Never Have Them Again
The books are right on the line of original/unexpected musicality and straight noisy nonsense. But I really feel that their talents work wonderfully in this track. Everything is in perfect balance.
But really what makes this track special is the Jewish woman’s monologue and the inspired moment at the end:
1:58 – 2:02
That moments sends shivers up my spine.
Blonde Redhead – Elephant Woman
Blonde redhead is a perfect example of one of the bands I loved to listen to when I was in college but for whatever reason have little to no interest to hear again. At least not until a friend put this song on a mix she made for me. Even though I had heard it many times before,
something new opened the song up to me.
The Knife – Heartbeats
Another song off my friends mix that infected me.
The Postal Service – Nothing Better
The postal service is another example of one of my listen-in-college-only bands.
But suddenly one day I woke up with this song stuck in my head.
Luckily it didn’t last long.
Elliott Smith – Punch and Judy
Not much to say about this song. Just nice and delicately handled.
Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Want To Have Fun
I heard this Cyndi Lauper song in a friend’s car driving down to L.A. She’s a composer and was dissecting the anatomy of Cyndi Lauper’s voice. Remarking that the shivering duel note quality of the ways she sings “Girls” is actually a rather difficult thing to pull off. Hearing a composer applaud Cindy Lauper’s technique disarmed the unexamined prejudice I always had against her as a simple pop star tied to a specific time in pop culture. And it wasn’t until months later that this dormant new found respect for her broke the surface and I suddenly felt the need to listen to this song.
I was in Berlin at the time and it rather confused my friend to see me suffering through sudden Cyndi Lauper cravings. After the obligatory teasing, she actually turned me onto her favorite Cyndi Lauper song which wasted no time in becoming the next song on my sticky list.
Cyndi Lauper – When You Were Mine
My friend took advantage of my weakened state to infect me with this choice Lauper song. Now I vaguely associate Cyndi Lauper with her and Berlin, which is kind of an awkward combo.
Silver Jews – Smith & Jones Forever
Another song that got stuck in my head while in Berlin. The seed was planted while I was still in California and began listening to Silver Jews, but broke out in full force during breakfast one morning before a long day of walking through stern, stoic German streets. A good fit.
Smith and Jones forever
Smith and Jones forever
Smith and Jones
forever together forever and ever
together forever and ever.
Mew – Introducing Palace Players
Mew is one of the few bands in my music library that sound like nothing else in my library. This track of their new EP is a perfect example. I can’t really imagine any other band writing this song. Such a well handled off beat, and the way it tumbles into the release at the one minute mark
sends energy coursing through my body.
Vivaldi – Stabat Mater RV.621 – 1. Stabat Mater
I’m a sucker for a composer who knows his way around strings and voices. And Vivaldi is definitely one of them. This is probably my favorite piece by him. For me it’s all about 2:00 – 2:30It might be the most affecting 30 seconds of music I know.
The Knife – A lung
I got into this song hard. I felt the need to listen to it on loop for 3 days straight, for reasons I still don’t understand…
The White Stripes
I finally got into the White Strips as I was finishing work on a film, so I spent many a long night rocking out to these sharp guitar licks and crashing cymbals until the early morning.
The White Stripes – Ball and Biscuit
This song really builds up well to it’s release points. At each one I’m inspired to jump into the air and break out into my little nerd jig which involves flailing elbows and pained lunges.
The White Stripes – I’m Slowly Turning Into You
Not much to say about this song. Just ass shacking rock that feels good.
The White Stripes – A Martyr For My Love For You
While the straight ahead narration is cute the first time, it does get old on repeated listens. Still it didn’t stop it from getting stuck in my head.
The White Stripes – The Denial Twist
Far too relevant to my romantic life currently. Got to work on that.
The Byrds – You Ain’t Going Nowhere
I made it a goal to delve into country music recently. I solicited a few recommendations from knowledgeable friends, and this early cross over country song from The Byrds was the first to infect me. I won’t even bother enumerating all the things this song does right. I just like everything about it.
Kate Bush – Wuthering Heights
This song got stuck in my head after two separate and non related occasions people I was hanging out with showed me the youtube video for this song for the purpose of laughing at it, as they thought it was obvious that her dancing and performance etc. were awkward and ridiculous.
But I of course found it to be like all of her work, namely amazing and likewise found her dancing a perfect fit for the song and the song itself brilliant.