Monthly Archives: November 2010

Obsessions

There are some songs I listen to over and over and over during certain periods of my life. Historically speaking, the times when I’ve obsessed with songs have not typically been the best times. I’m always surprised that I can use a three-or-so-minute piece of music as an ink blotter for my issues and still love it to bits and pieces–because I always do. I guess knowing how much a song has done for you makes it better, not worse. This is definitely one of those songs.

I got into Fiona Apple during a shitty time, while I was making shitty decisions, but hey, at least I made good decisions of the musical variety. I kind of adore Fiona Apple, a lot. Piano is one of my favorite things in the world, and she’s got this incredible voice, and just the right influences to utilize that voice to its full potential.

“Paper Bag” is my favorite Fiona Apple song by a fairly large margin. I love her voice, love the lyrics, love the jazzy (there’s a horn section!)–especially the jazz piano. She was a piano prodigy, you know? Basically, just…listen to this song. I know I have…like, eighty badjillion times.

Hunger hurts, and I want him so bad, oh it kills
‘Cause I know I’m a mess he don’t wanna clean up


Deep Voices and Cold Weather

With it being so very cold outside, I am deeply grateful for the space-heater which has recently come to inhabit my room, preventing it from being the same frosty temperature as the rest of our poorly-insulated house. Equally-happy making is the down comforter I brought up from home after Thanksgiving. Basically, the room is really cozy and you probably want to visit like right now.

Autumn is possibly my favorite season (even though I love all the seasons). There is rain, gray weather, and colorful leaves. And rain, seriously. Also, the cooling weather makes spending an afternoon curled up with a book, or a laptop, warm things, and a cup of delicious tea even more appealing. This, of course, necessitates a choice of sountrack that feels appropriately wintery. I have many rather bizarre theories on what makes certain music more suitable to certain weather conditions, and I will probably get into them at some point, assuming I keep this whole blogging thing up.

For the moment, I will leave it at this: certain sounds resonate better with me certain times of the year. That does not mean I dislike them the rest of the year, just…sometimes they’re just right. For some reason, deep-voiced indie rock feels very, very wintery to me. Good, baritone vocals with nice, brooding lyrics make me even happier to curl up with some blankets. So that you might enjoy this feeling as I have, two songs!

Midlake is a ridiculously cool band that was formed by some music students who were studying jazz at University of North Texas. The fact that they are trained musicians definitely comes across. This song, off their 2010 album The Courage of Others, is kinda folksy, really melodic, with really nice harmonies, and an intricate guitar part. I am a sucker for all of these things. I am also a sucker for the sweeping chorus, which the whole song builds to,  and the pretty lyrics. Well, actually, it’s kind of the chorus. This song is not quite in strophic form! It’s kind of through-composed, which is pretty spiffy. But you’ll know what part I mean when you get there! At any rate, song! Here’s “Children of the Ground” by Midlake.

We’re raised in a town
Where they jump on your back and sing
Leave an imprint on your shoulder blades

I also cannot make this post without including a song by The National. If you do not already listen to The National, just…start now. Noooooow. They are from Brooklyn, and consist of the very deep-voiced Matt Berninger and two pairs of brothers. Everything they do is fantastic, and this is not the only song of theirs that will show up here. It is off their newest album, High Violet, and something about this song just tugs at my heartstrings from the first note of the instrumentation. There’s all sorts of things going on there that I adore, so I’ll leave it at shit’s perfectly-produced, Bergninger’s vocals are fantastic, and everything together is just…almost too good. This song is poignant in a way that I can’t place and fantastic in a thousand ways that I can. Here is “Conversation 16” by The National. You know you wanna.

Fall asleep in your branches
You’re the only thing I ever want anymore



EPs are fantastic

But bad for my moneys. Since they’re so cheap, I just assume I can buy all of them, and it’ll be fine, really. But they do add up, and I will eventually run out of money, and it will be partially the fault of EPs. Here is a song from my most recent EP purchase, Through the Treesby Family of the Year. It’s kind of fantastic, and only $4 for your choice of high-quality digital download.

I don’t have super amounts of trivia about this band. What I do know (that which last.fm has told me) is that they are a six-piece from LA, have pretty, harmonic boy-girl vocals, and are catchy as fuck. I dare you not to get this song’s main riff stuck in your head–seriously, just try it. This song (and the whole EP) sounds like a breezy, summer day. Also, it’s adorable.

Here is “Chugjug” by Family of the Year

If you like that, you can buy the EP here:

http://www.familyoftheyear.net/


Hello world!

I’ve wanted to try my hand at a mostly-music blog for the longest time,  so uh, here it is.  Nothing super meaningful to start it off, just a song.

Ra Ra Riot is a band I knew about for a really, really long time before I actually got around to listening to them. I knew they’d be good, and I’d most likely like them, I just…didn’t bother. The impression I’ve gotten is that other people have had similar experiences. Now that I’ve finally heard them, I’m sorry I didn’t get around to it earlier, ’cause they are really pretty awesome. This song, off their 2008 album, The Rhumb Line, is a good example of why. There’s cello! And violin! And a big, awesome chorus. Other things I really like: the drums, the lyrics, like everything. So, without further gushing, here’s “Ghost Under Rocks” by Ra Ra Riot.

…Wait! One more thing first. Cool story, bro time. Well, not really cool–at all, but interesting? The band’s original drummer, John Ryan Pike disappeared after a Providence, RI show on June 2, 2007. He was found in Buzzards Bay the next day, presumably drowned. The EP version of this song was recorded shortly before his death, which makes it kind of creepy.  Okay, NOW the song.

Here you are you are breathing life into
Ghosts under rocks like notes found
In pocket coats of your fathers
Lost and forgotten