Song of the Day: "Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper

>> Wednesday, July 28, 2010

There are some lines in this song that make me really stop and think about my best friend. And its great, because we have changed roles, within the song, so many times, one calling to the other, always. Never on equal footing so to speak, but always there for eachother, ready to catch if needbe.

So, thanks, fish.

"Time After Time" Cyndi Lauper

Song of the Day: "A Better Place To Be" by Harry Chapin

>> Sunday, July 25, 2010

In this humble bloggers opinion, the biggest crime in music history is that Harry Chapin is not even in consideration to be included into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I cannot explain nor accept that fact. If I were to rank the best song writers of all time, he would be 10 ten no doubt. If I were go rank the musicians that gave the most back, he would be right at the top of that list.

But, I will not go on another rant this week. I will save my Harry debate info for a future blog or six.

But, I will share one of the most perfectly crafted story songs of all time. People claim that the ballad is a story song, but Harry takes that concept to another level. This song is a screenplay. It is a novella.

I have posted the lyrics below, read them and listen to the song. Incredible. One of the best songs of all time, easy.

It was an early morning bar room,
And the place just opened up.
And the little man came in so fast and
he Started at his cups.
And the broad who served the whisky
She was a big old friendly girl.
Who tried to fight her empty nights
By smilin' at the world.

And she said "Hey Bub, It's, It's been awhile
Since you been around.
Where the hell you been hidin'?
And why you look so down?"

Well the little man just sat there
like he'd never heard a sound.

The waitress she gave out with a cough,
And acting not the least put off,
She spoke once again.

She said, "I don't want to bother you,
Consider it's understood.
I know I'm not no beauty queen,
But I sure can listen good."

And the little man took his drink in his hand
And he raised it to his lips.
He took a couple of sips.
And then he told the waitress this story.

"I am the midnight watchman down at Miller's Tool and Die.
And I watch the metal rusting, I watch the time go by.
A week ago at the diner I stopped to get a bite.
And this here lovely lady she sat two seats from my right.
And Lord, Lord, Lord she was alright.

You see, she was so damned beautiful that she could warm a winter frost.
But she looked long past lonely, and well nigh on to lost.
Now I'm not much of a mover, or a pick-em-up easy guy,
But I decided to glide on over, and give her one good try.
And Lord, Lord, Lord she was worth a try.

Well I was "Tongued-tied like a school boy, I stammered out some words.
It did not seem to matter much, 'cause I don't think she heard.
She just looked clear on through me to a space back in my head.
It shamed me into silence, as quietly she said,
'If you want me to come with you, then that's all right with me.
Cause I know I'm going nowhere, and anywhere's a better place to be.
Anywhere's a better place to be.'

Well I drove her to my boarding house, and I took her up to my room.
And I went to turn on the only light to brighten up the gloom.
But she said, 'Please leave the light off, oh I don't mind the dark.'
And as her clothes all tumbled 'round her, I could hear my heart.
The moonlight shone upon her as she lay back in my bed.
It was the kind of scene I only had imagined in my head.
I just could not believe it, to think that she was real.
And as I tried to tell her she said 'Shhh.. I know just how you feel.
And if you want to come here with me, then that's all right with me.
'Cause I've been oh so lonely, lovin' someone is a better way to be.
anywhere's a better place to be.'

Well The morning come so swiftly I held her in my arms.
And she slept like a baby, snug and safe from harm.
I did not want to share her or dare to break the mood,
So before she woke I went out to buy us both some food.

"I came back with my paper bag, to find that she was gone.
She'd left a six word letter saying 'It's time that I moved on.'"

You know The waitress she took her bar rag, and she wiped it across her eyes. And as she spoke her voice came out as something like a sigh.
She said "I wish that I was beautiful, or that you were halfway blind.
And I wish I weren't so goddamn fat, I wish that you were mine.
And I wish that you'd come with me, when I leave for home.
For we both know all about emptiness, and livin' all alone."

And the little man, Looked at the empty glass in his hand.
And he smiled a crooked grin, He said, "I, I guess I'm out of gin.
And I know we both have been, so lonely. And if you want me to come with you, then that's all right with me. 'Cause I know I'm goin' nowhere and anywhere's a better place to be."

"A Better Place To Be" by Harry Chapin

Song of the Day: "We're On The Run" by Gold Motel (Now with pie charts!)

>> Friday, July 23, 2010

Some may call me a bit sexist. And some might get bitch slapped. But, to be fair, I do tend to feature more frontmen than frontwoman, and I apologize for that. Well, actually, no I don't. Make more interesting music ladies and you will get your due. Just kidding. If you were to compile a statistical comparison of all bands, you would see that the majority, at least 85%, have male lead singers. Not to say they are all good. Just more. So, I am not sexist, I am historically accurate, bitch.

I have created a completely biased pie chart to prove my point, ish. Below the impressive graphic, you will see a smattering of examples of music for each slice. A couple things you should know... I found said examples by putting my entire library on shuffle and kept hitting the next button, so, that is how I came up with that. You will notice that green is the smallest slice on the pie, however, there are more bands listed in examples that there are in red, that is more of a testament to me and my fascination with bands with dual lead singers than to how "the real world" listens to music, also, I would say 90% of my current favorite bands exist in this example sect. Also, I excluded R&B, HipHop, Country and Yanni, because they are generally gender biased as genres.

Examples of The Peen's: The Temper Trap, Bush, Manchester Orchestra, Damien Rice, John Mayer, Counting Crows, Hootie and The Blowfish, Aerosmith, The Antlers, Phoenix, The Beastie Boys, BOAT, Bon Iver, Cold War Kids, Girls, Fang Island, Fanfarlo, Wakey!Wakey!, Toad the Wet Sproket, Owl City, Nico Stai, LMFAO, fun., Fleet Foxes, The Album Leaf, Secondhand Serenade, Hey Marseilles, Rural Alberta Advantage
Examples of The Vag's: Tegan & Sara, Adele, Lisa Hannigan, Bat For Lashes, Dum Dum Girls, She & Him, Gold Motel, First Aid Kit, Grace Potter and The Nocturnals, A Fine Frenzy, Regina Spektor, Samantha Crain Schuyler Fisk, Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Examples of Interlocking Parts: Slow Club, Chairlift, Los Campesinos! Bishop Allen, The Civil Wars, The Head and The Heart, The Dead Weather, The Dutchess & The Duke, The Hush Sound, The Swell Season, The Tiny Masters of Today, The Weepies, the xx.

But, onto the song of the day, and the reason I went on this sexist rant. Below you will hear a dandy of a track by a band called Gold Motel. I am super stoked to have this album, and I am looking forward to checking it out fully. I had it on for the majority of this writing session, until previously mentioned rant that is, and it twas quite enjoyable. I know I LOVE this song (below), "Safe In LA," "The Cruel One" and "Make Me Stay," and I have a good feeling about the rest of it. Greta, the frontwoman, has such a soothing and enticing voice that I have loved for years, as she was one of the lead singers on the interlocking parts band, The Hush Sound that took an indefinite hiatus a while back. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

The Ten List: Dudes

>> Wednesday, July 21, 2010

So you may or may not be aware that there is a game some couples play in which there is a gray area in which cheating is okay. This sounds strange but there are very specific stipulations and guidelines: they must A) be a celebrity B) not be a celebrity you just happen to know personally and c) you must have confessed this person to your partner on an official "Ten List" i.e. the 10 celebrities you are allowed to sleep with (if that situation should so arise). This has been a grand joke among my husband and I since our high school days. The list of people have varied and many have now become quite laughable (me: Andrew Keegan, Kyle: Alyssa Milano) and others have stuck around (Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio). So I present to you my current Ten List: Dudes - these are the mens that I would (supposedly) forsake my husband for should I ever happen to run in to them at, say, the grocery store and we just hit it off.

Sidenote: Kirsten Dunst has been on my husbands list for, like, ever and we once ran in to her in a Williamsburg train station. She said hello and I hit Kyle and said "go for it" to which he stalled and claims "it wasn't her" (it was).
Another sidebar: I once sat 6 seats from Brad Pitt and went to an after-premiere party he was at- did I score? Of course not. Can you imagine going up to Brad Pitt and batting your pretty eyelashes and coming up with something witty? I think everyone at that god damn party was intimidated by his hotness. Even my husband.

10. Robert Downey Jr.

9. Leonardo DiCaprio

8. Ryan Gosling

7. Justin Timberlake

6. Shia Lebeouf

5. Kyle Howard

4. Brad Pitt

3. Emille Hirsch

2. Joseph Gordon Levitt

1. Ryan Reynolds

Song of the Day: NQ Arbuckle "Postcard From Princess"

>> Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Yes they're Canadian. Yes they're a country band. But they're also folky and alternative-y and delightful. Thanks to Bran for the recommendation I'll be giving this band a good listen or three.

Song of the Day: "Handlebars" by Flobots

>> Monday, July 19, 2010

We have a major breakthrough people. MAJOR. Today, marks the first time that Stevie and I have been in the same room when a blog was created. We picked the song of the day together. Crazy concept, right? I was not sure we would be able to work well together with out the 3000 miles between us, but, she just called me a jackass and it felt like she was still in Brooklyn.

So, today, you get to kick it like its 2008.

"Handlebars" by Flobots

Band of the Week: Andy Hull

>> Sunday, July 18, 2010

I try not to repeat bands/music/sessions. But this just needs to be shared.

I feel a little down today, like my eyes want to break down the dams for no real reason. It's interesting. Well, with that in mind....

I give you Andy Hull. The frontman of two of my favorite bands, Manchester Orchestra and Right Away, Great Capitan! He is honoring us, via with an acoustic set of songs from the most recent M.O. release.
He sings like crying, and it feels perfect.
On the unfinished list for best modern/current songwriters, he is in the top 3.
His side project RAGC is releasing their 3rd and final album this year. It is a trilogy puzzle piece of a record, completing a story of a Sea Capitan just trying to get home. And I have high hopes for it.

Overall, this just feels right on this sunday.

I hereby present, Andy Hull as the Band of the Week.

"I Can Feel A Hot One" (Easily one of my favorite songs of all time. When I re-write my top 100 songs of all time, this will surly fall in the top 50)

"I've Got Friends" (Surprisingly impactful acoustic version.)

"My Friend Marcus" (I suggest you listen to the lyrics. Brilliant and sad.)

"100 Dollars" (wow, the emotion, the pain, the voice)

"The Only One" (bonus clip. Great song)

And, my all time favorite Andy Hull song....

"How I Waited" (So hard to find a quality version of the track)

Song of the Day: "Bullet" by Steel Train & "Bullet" by Scarlett Johansson

I am not easy to shock or surprise anymore when it comes to music. But sometimes a band with gumption will do something so unorthadox that it cannot help but take me aback a little. Like when Radiohead was giving out "In Rainbows" for a donation, or when Bishop Allen released an EP a month for an entire year. I mean, those are a game changers. I purchased every EP that Bishop Allen put out, even the hard to find "August" live in concert one. And still to this day, they are one of my favorite bands. And Radiohead just readjusted the perspectives of all the music executives in the world with that ingenious stunt.

It's proof that sometimes things can still catch me off guard.

This band did one of those things. Steel Train is a New Jersey band that I try support but have not ever really championed (I do now). I was a fan because the lead singer is one third of the creative force that is the band fun. whom I love immensely. But, back to the point, outside of their self-titled album being fairly fantastic, they did something that I have never seen before.....

If you go to their website and buy their record directly, you can also receive a copy of "Terrible Thrills Vol. 1," which I implore you to do. TT V.1 is their exact record, but rerecorded and covered by an assortment of some of the best female frontmen (frontwomen?) in the INDIEstry. (Featuring, Scarlett Johansson, Tegan and Sara, Holly Miranda, Deradoorian, Alia Shawkat, Nellie McKay, Amanda Palmer, Greta Salpeter, Rachael Cantu, Charlotte Caffey & Astrid McDonald, Anna Waronker, and Rachel Antonoff). Yeah, all those girls. Clearly great, right?
Honestly, it is something to behold. It is an entire record that is so different from the original, that it may even be better. I cannot get over it. It's genius. I would bet that you will start seeing this trend from other mid major bands to help get a bit more exposure.

Below is a great dichotomy of the records. Both songs overlap and share the same space, and yet are so different.

"Bullet" by Steel Train

"Bullet" by Scarlett Johansson

Song of the Day: "Catch My Disease" by Ben Lee

>> Thursday, July 15, 2010

I promise song of the day is not going away. I just have not been able to get to my computer until nearly 11pm every night, and then, it just feels too late to work it all out.

But, not tonight. This song of the day kinda picked itself. It is one of my favorite songs, (although, I do prefer the acoustic "live on the mountain" version) and it just lightens up my mood.

It has the kinda of levity that 98% of all music is missing, and that 99% of all music needs.

"Catch My Disease" by Ben Lee

The Alphabet List: Letter "H"

>> Monday, July 12, 2010

So, I was just going to hope you would forget about this list series, reader. But, alas, my afternoon at my co-bloggers welcome home barbecue was ruined (read, thrilled that someone besides myself would bring up the blog) with persistent (read, one) questions about "What happened to The Alphabet List?"

Yeah, thanks to awkward encounters, The Alphabet List has returned with the difficult letters. I am just happy to have "H" and not "I." Good luck Stevie.

Dread. That is how I felt about this letter, until I scrolled through my iPod a bit, and I think I'll be able to power through. I think the tricky part will more of the order rather than finding enough.

Band of the Week: BOAT

>> Saturday, July 10, 2010

Time for a good weather tunes. Local band does good. Easily the catchiest (spell check says thats a real word) songs of 2009.
Get on the BOAT everyone.

Below you will find 5 tracks, the first 4 are from their fan-fucking-tastic 2009 release "Setting the Paces" and the last one is my favorite pre-Paces track from their "Let's Drag Our Feet" album, released in 2007.

Band of the Week: BOAT
"Lately (I've Been On My Back)" This was my number 6 song of '09 and Stevie's number 3. So that should tell you something.

"Friends Since 1989"

"Prince Of Tacoma"

"Name Tossers"

"(I'm A) Donkey For Your Love"

Band of the Week: Why?

>> Thursday, July 8, 2010

We all have one of these bands in their ipod. Those bands that you forget all about. That never cross your mind, or that you reach out to listen too. But then, there is that one day, where you are uncomfortably hot driving along the water front, speakers maxed, thinking that, perhaps your loud music will help cool the pedestrians, when among the thousands of possible songs that could come on, you get something both perfect and unexpected. That, in a not so nutshell is WHY?

The creative nature of this band is something to behold. Its like they look at "traditional" methods of instrumentation, and say "fuck you!" Just watch the videos below, look at how he is playing piano in "A Sky For Shoeing Horses Under" or how the guitar is being beautifully abused in "The Vowels pt. 2" and you will understand what I mean.

Band of the Week: Why?

"These Hands/January Twenty Something"

WHY? - These Hands / January Twenty Something from anticon. on Vimeo.

"A Sky for Shoeing Horses Under"

WHY? - "A Sky For Shoeing Horses Under" from anticon. on Vimeo.

"The Vowels pt 2." (Live and Rooftop Unplugged)

Song of the Day: "Untitled 101" by Peter Wolf Crier

>> Monday, July 5, 2010

I am half asleep right now. So, do not expect anything sharp or witty out of me in this post. I like this song, and its a great song to shut your eyes too. Which is all my eyes seem to want to do right now. Now, its not mellow per se, but, it has a quality. Juslisen.

"Untitled 101" by Peter Wolf Crier

Song of the Day: "The Only Living By In New York" by Simon and Garfunkel

>> Friday, July 2, 2010

So, as a roadside request from Stevie, I bring you the song of the day. Now, I am sure she has her reasons for this song, and I am sure they are deep and meaningful. Hell, I am sure her trip from New York back to the plentiful Pacific Northwest makes this song even more impactful, but I am not going to talk about that. Nor am I going to give you all my reasons for loving this song although I do so love it. Because I think that this is one of those songs that 100 people would have 100 different, highly personal reasons for loving and caring about it.

Listen and love.

I apologize for the video. I generally do not like to use slide shows, but this is the best I can find.

"The Only Living By In New York" by Simon and Garfunkel

Song of the Day: "Feel It In My Bones" by Tegan and Sara

>> Thursday, July 1, 2010

So, I was searching and settling on songs for SOTD options today. Just was not feeling anything. I think its this damn flu bug I have going right now.
So, I had settled on a Peter Wolf Crier song that I am really kinda digging right now, but its not like I love it. I was just like "well, I guess I could do some PWC today, get a blog out there, get it over with." And that sucks. I want all my blogs to have heart. Now don't get me wrong, this is a great song that you will hear soon, but when my heart is in it.

As of today my heart is into this melodic heart break of a song by Tegan and Sara. Now, I have always claimed to be a little anti these sisters. But, I think that is due to my "I hate everything trendy" attitude I used to carry around. OK, that I still carry around. But, when i actually stop hear the music that I am so unabashedly bashing, I am stricken back. I swallow my words ladies. You win.

"Feel It In My Bones" by Tegan and Sara