Six Month Stickies # 5

May 01, 2010

As usual the tracks of music that got stuck in my head in the last six months, in order. This sticky list is less random melodic infections, and more a closely matched soundtrack for my stupid romantic life.

* Click image to download a .rar of the compilation:

Bob Dylan – Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine)

Already full to the gills with romantic trouble in other sectors of my life, I finally issued a long overdue ultimatum to a girl who had been stringing me on for a year. I told her that if she didn’t stop acting cagey and elusive, and hang out with me before I left for Greece, to not bother contacting me again. Predictably it didn’t work. When she tried to string me along as usual I simply replied by emailing her this song. Nothing like using Bob Dylan to artfully sing your thoughts verbatim to a girl you’ve resolved to no longer be hassled by.

Black Kids – I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You
Klaxons – Golden Skans
The Honeydrips – Fall From A Height
Simian Mobile Disco – I Believe

A few months ago I made an “annoying hipster dance music” mix. Using these four tracks as the theme. I took the completed mix to Greece and played it in the bookstore I was working. Seeing people unknowingly shaking their European tushes, while browsing for books made listening to the songs all the more satisfying.

Grizzly Bear – Knife

I become fixated on this song during my first day exploring the Island of Santorini. I took the day to hike out to a beach favored by the locals singing this song out loud to myself the whole while.

Next time you find yourself on a small Greek island, walking beneath an expansive sunset, ensconced by sweeping hills and the Aegean Sea, try singing the words to this song, you’ll find it oddly satisfying.

Hall & Oates – Rich Girl
Hall & Oates – Maneater
Hall & Oates – Out of Touch

I became dangerously obsessed with Hall & Oates for a while in Greece. You can read all about it here.

Nick Drake – Poor Boy

As usual Nick Drake being amazing.

Paul Simon – Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes

This song became the official soundtrack to my Greek vacation. We woke up to it most mornings to open to bookshop, and it would often linger in my head throughout the day, especially when I would float on my back in the ocean staring up at the sky.

The Knife – Heartbeats
José González – Heartbeats

James, one of my bookshop fellows, introduced me to this lovely cover. Apparently I was the last person to hear it, as it was associated with Apple computers in some way I’ve already forgotten. Anyway, though I prefer the distinct strangeness of the original, there is a wonderful Nick Drake-esque quality to José González ‘s cover I can’t deny.

Josh Ritter – Girl in the War

Another song James introduced me to. The simple conceit of “I have a girl in the war” strikes me as very powerful for some reason. I rather obsessively listened to this song when I was manning the bookshop alone, as I didn’t want to draw worried stares from others for looping this song twenty times.

Black Kids – Love Me Already

Within an hour of my return from Greece, I ended a long drawn out messy romantic entanglement that had stressed me out for months. The cut was clean, and I felt relief to be able to start fresh. However this song really stung to listen to in the week or so after the break up. I actually almost cried once at the part where he sings “Damn it girl just love me already!” something about the frustration, and uncomplicated directness of that cry cut right through me, too perfectly spoke to what I was feeling at the time.

The Byrds – She Has A Way (Bonus)
The Byrds – It’s No Use
The Byrds – I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better

I had to accept after these three songs infected me, that there is nothing random about what tracks of music get stuck in my head. Each of these songs perfectly mirrored my progress in the aftermath of the breakup. In each case the song got stuck in my head before I consciously keyed into the lyrics, then afterwards I would marvel at how perfect the correlation was.

Lyle Lovett – God Will

Once I started to recover from my emotional wallowing I found a bit of comfort in the dry sardonic wit of Lyle Lovett. A simple enough conceit lyrically, perfect for getting stuck in your head when you’re in the home stretch of getting over someone.

Animal Collective – Peacebone
Animal Collective – Water Curses

Peacebone is a fun wild thrash-about, good for when I want to break free, to run around without purpose, only to fall to the ground exhausted and smiling. Water Curses is more exuberantly wild nonsense, which animal collective does better than anyone else.

Yes – Roundabout

This winter I relapsed into progrock, something that hadn’t happened since my college days. This time around I’m better equipped to understand the seemingly endless amount of wonderful song writing choices packed into many of the songs by groups like Yes, ELO, King Crimson and others. This song in particular is so densely packed with interesting song writing choices and so many inventive changes and sections throughout.

Electric Light Orchestra – Sweet Talkin’ Woman

A perfect example of a song that fulfills the knee jerk likability required of main stream pop music with the compositional nutrition and brilliant performance required to keep you full.

Vince Guaraldi – Joe Cool (vocal)

Pretty much a perfect theme song for my pointless dating life.

Devendra Banhart- Insect Eyes

Delightfully creepy in all the right ways. If there is such a thing. What am I saying? Of course there is.

Philip Glass – Etude I: Etude IX
Philip Glass – Etude I: Etude VI

It’s not easy to get solo piano stuck in your head, but Phillip Glass makes it easier with his self described “repetitive structures.” Simple as it may seem compositionally, there is actually a lot going on, and after listening for an hour or so, I always found my next piano improvisation freshly charged with new ideas.

Judee Sill – Crayon Angels
Judee Sill – The Donor (Demo)
Judee Sill – Down Where The Valleys Are Low

I’ve listened to Judee Sill for years. I don’t know why, but lately I found myself unable to get enough. I spent a solid week listening to little else. Something about the biblical insistence in the lyrics, combined with her voice and compositions, is really interesting and addictive.


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