Sunday, February 05, 2006

Five Songs I'm Loving This Week

It doesn't take much to make me sad (just ask anyone who knows my name) but one of the saddest and rawest songs I've ever heard is Cat Steven's "Trouble". I'll never forget hearing his mournful voice over the last few minutes of Harold and Maude, as the inevitable conclusion comes and Harold drives his sporty hearse along California roads. From then on that song became a staple of mine. While the original version is heartbreaking, I haven't heard a version as devastating as Elliot Smith's, only because it must've been so connected with his state of mind at the time. It was recorded right before his death, and if you know any of the details of what happened, then you will understand that these words were vividly real to him, as I'm sure they are real to Cat and as they are to me.

I will warn you, however, that if you leave the song on repeat and go do household chores for 20 minutes, you may find yourself inexplicably crying and possibly making mistakes like pouring the tea directly into the cup of hot water instead of into the filter.

A song I heard recently on MTV's Subterranean (I'm old school--I almost wrote 120 Minutes. I wish.) is "Number 1" by Goldfrapp. I had a horrible time finding a posted mp3, but my friend sent me a copy. The name of the band is very appropriate because the song shines and glitters like some of the best early 80's synthesizer new wave (think Missing Persons) and makes me want to wear a huge white blonde wig and go to a German disco, or something. I used to have a wig that wouldve been perfect.

I've had Cavalier King's "The Unprotected" in my head since I first heard it Friday night. I woke up this morning singing it. Singing in my sleep is not unusual for me, but it is a sign that a song has made a deep impression on me. This song has made a very good impression on me and despite my chronic poverty I may attempt to buy his EP. It would be considered indie music, I suppose, but indie in the way that it's it's own music--not easily categorized. If I had to pick a category, I'd say it's closest to folk-rock.

The last two songs are extremely different. Very different--to the point where I feel weird putting them together. But hey, we all need to make weird associations once in awhile. I've made a ton of weird associations in my life, but whatever...

The first song is guitar-based ambient music. It's the kind of music that makes a pretty decent go at actually clearing my mind and straightening out some of my many errant neural pathways. It's called "Into the Light" (scroll down just a little bit) and it's by Billy McLaughlin.

After much brain-cleaning, it's ready to be messed up again. Here with an oddly hypnotic and just plain jaunty cabaret song is Dresden Dolls with "Coin-Operated Boy" (I have searched but can't find an mp3 of the studio version, but there's a live version under "full performances" that's very indicative of the way the released version sounds). I want to see a Vaudeville show with the Coin-Operated Boy as the star. I bet he'd get a lot of groupies :)

**Listen to some of the covers they have on that site too--I'm listening to "Such Great Heights" now. Simply awesome :)

ETA: I did get a copy of the studio version of the song. Thanks Shane!

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