Sunday, March 26, 2006

Five Songs I'm Loving This Week

I have a lot of songs I could post this week, and there are weeks when I do post more than five (I think ten is probably the most I've posted at a time), but I didn't get to bed last night until sometime after 4 and sometime before 5 (??? No drinking involved, though) and I've been very busy today with housework, the watching of the DVDs and the looking up of the websites (I'm adopting a very Bill Cosby syntax. I don't know why. I'll stop now.)

Anyways, so I'm going to stick to my usual five songs. I know better than to push myself; I just realized that last week I posted the link for Aberdeen City's "God is going to get sick of me" but completely failed to mention that the name of the band is Aberdeen City. Things like that happen from time to time. There was one week where I just forgot to post the Five Songs list to Myspace.

The first song is by a musician I first heard on Myspace (I get a surprising amount of good music from Myspace). The musician's name is Paul Weinfeld and he records under the name Tam Lin Music. The name of the song is "Floating World" and it can be downloaded from Garage Band. At first the most noticeable thing is the heavy instrumentation; his voice is almost overpowered by the organ (I think it's a keyboard-- My lack of musical ability is showing.), but then he comes to the forefront on what would be considered the chorus; the phrases rise above the music: "and we're still close my brother; we can't find each other, with our heads pulled back into shells".

Secondly, I have "Millie Christine" by The Magic Words; it can be downloaded from their label's website, Agriculture Records. This song is just cool. The heavy electric guitars--the whole song in general, actually--reminds me of classic Throwing Muses. I want to listen to it over and over and be reminded that it is possible to feel excited over something .

They also have a Myspace. I will say this: I've never seen a band post such personal entries in their blog. That's not a bad thing; it's just unusual. I just found this band, but I feel really bad for the person posting the last three entries.

Like the previous song, the next song, Giant Drag's "Kevin is Gay", kicks me (in a good way) and pulls me out of whatever bad mood I'm in. I have no idea what the song is about--except it has something to with the days of the year. I just love the way it sounds--heavy, crashing guitar. Plus she meows at the end. It's cool.

Okay, we're going to travel to the absolute other side of the spectrum of music I listen to. We were at the heavy, thrash-y side of the rainbow, but now we're back at the singer/songwriter, "indie" side. "Light Years" by Vender isn't depressing like some of the stuff I listen to, but it's not what could be considered "upbeat". It's "mid-beat". It's a very lovely song and is one of the songs I'm sure I'll be listening to when I'm very old and have to hire someone to hit "play" for me in Winamp. Maybe they'll know how to get Winamp to populate the "recently added" folder.

I've been meaning to post this last song for a month now, but I haven't been able to find a copy, and I'm trying to give Yousendit, etc. a rest. As a last resort, I would've included it in a podcast.

I have a sometimes warm/sometimes cool reaction to Of Montreal's songs; some of them are a bit too pop-punky for me and the lead singer sounds like he's channeling James Mercer from The Shins (a band I love, but we don't need any imitators) but there are a few songs that I do really like. One of them is "Psychotic Feeling" (The print is very small on the website, so look closely on the left for the download). The name is enough to make me interested in the song, but the song is played and sang with such abandon that it hooks me. I may feel stifled in my daily life (job-related), but it's nice to know that there's something that can help me feel a small sense of freedom, at least for a few minutes.


If you were wondering what Rick Moranis is up to, he has an album now and he's on Myspace. But is he still the keymaster? (Or was he the gatekeeper?)

Also, band name of the week: Heroes of Switzerland.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Okay, well, I have a few bands to write about tonight. I haven't been up to my usual downloading/listening speed because I've been kind of down (I know, I feel sorry for metoo. Always room for a little tragic solemnity in my life). I feel better, now, though. I hope to get back to "normal" soon.

The first song I have isn't the best production quality, but I concern myself less with the quality of the recording and more with the potential of the band. I like this song, and
regardless of how it's produced I like listening to it. It's by a band called Mandrake, and it's called "Broken Record" (click on "music"). I feel like the talent's there and soon enough I'm sure they'll get the resources to develop their songs to their fullest.

I've got two songs from Fingertips Music. This is one of the best resources I've found for new music, and if you sign up for the mailing list, the mp3s will be delivered to you in your e-mail. It's nifty at its niftiest.

The first song is by a band I'd never heard of, but I'm fond of their song "God Is Going To Get Sick Of Me" (though God may not like it). The band's name is Aberdeen City, and the song is faster than most songs I usually go for, but that may be part of its appeal. It actually reminds me of some of the old 80s songs I loved, like "Shell Shock" by New Order. No one may agree with me, but that's okay. I like the song on its own, without any associations with the glory days of the 80s.

The second song is by an artist I've put on this list before: David Fridlund. The first song I posted by him is simply one of the most beautiful songs in the world, (In my albeit usually right opinion), "Into My Arms". The song I'm posting tonight isn't "beautiful" in that sense--it doesn't make me feel like I'm transcending some part of reality like "Into My Arms" does--but, it's still a very good song. It's called "April & May", and it's cabaret-ish; almost jaunty. It's different than most songs I post, but I do have very eclectic tastes.

The next song is by one of my favorite bands, Mazarin. I'm always happy when I get a new Mazarin song, and I've never been disappointed. It's called "The New American Apathy" (scroll to the bottom). It starts kind of odd; the first time it came up on my player I didn't see who it was and I started to skip it 'cause I thought "What the"? Then I decided that would be foolish of me, because how else would I hear new music if I immediately skipped something new. I'm glad I didn't skip it because I loved it immediately; after a few seconds of getting over the inital "oddness" of it :)

The last song is by Brendan Benson. He's probably one of the most recognizable "indie" artists I've posted, but he's one of the best of the crop of "young solo male artists" that have been recording the last few years. Sometimes I get my Damien Rices mixed up with my Daniel Bedingfields, and I'll admit I tend to throw Benson in with this lot, but his music is his own, and I do like the songs I've heard from him (and the other artists I just mentioned). Actually, I think he's older than me, so I shouldn't lump him with the "young" artists. I shouldn't lump anyone in with anyone, anyway. I think it's their hair--their hair all looks the same to me. The name of the song is "Cold Hands (Warm Heart)" (scroll down).

Hee Hee! It's the anti-Hi-Fidelity!!! Thanks to Joselito.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Five Songs I'm Loving This Week

Voltaire's song "
See You In Hell" has been out for awhile, but it's one of my favorites of his songs. It's actually appropriate considering how I feel today. I've seen him live a few times (in Jacksonville and at Dragon*Con), and he's got a great show. He's not only a musician, but he writes wickedly funny goth send-ups (he sometimes even devises dances to match) and he's a video producer. He did some of the Scifi channels identification spots a few years ago.

If you haven't heard his music or experienced any of his projects, I recommend that you do. He even has a nifty 80's style band called The Oddz. OOH! He lets you download "When You're Evil" on his Myspace. This was the first song I heard by him, and also one of my favorites. Download this too, if you're so inclined.

I posted a song by the California band Irving over a year ago (I know because I was standing waiting for a bus I no longer take when I heard it for the first time.) That song was "I Can't Fall In Love", and I loved that song despite the unlikeliness of that love being returned, as the song would suggest. The band proves the point further with a newer song called "Jen, Nothing Matters To Me". Their messages may not be Oprahlifting (hey, I just coined a very annoying phrase) but damn I love those songs.

**Completely unrelated observation**

I'm not sure how I feel about a song that automatically comes up with the genre of "softcore/hardcore" attached to it. I don't know why both are included; they're both very separate things. That has nothing to do with any of the songs I'm posting. I'm just looking through my mp3s and commenting without regard to editorial flow.

**End completely unrelated observation**

Okay, back to songs I actually like. This is a band I just heard of for the first time last week. I heard them on Myspace. They have four songs available, but I'm partial to "New Alice." Okay, so I'm also liking "Hanging on a Moment". Not Nikelback, silly. Oh effin' hell--I like all four songs. I admit it. You choose which one you like. And I expect an essay on my desk by morning *cracks whip*.

Hee. I drank too much last night.

One of my livejournal friends posted an old Leonard Cohen song, and Oh My God I'd forgotten how much I loved this song. I don't know how I could forget that--I love Leonard Cohen; he's written some of the greatest songs in existance, in my only moderately humble opinion. Anyways, this is "Suzanne". It rules.

The last song is going to be a retro song. I haven't posted a retro song in awhile (though I guess the Leonard Cohen song is a retro--oh, I'm confusing myself again).

Okay, this song is not similar to anything I've posted tonight; therefore, I propose that it fits in just perfectly 'cause none of these songs match each other. It's The Cocteau Twins, "Lorelei" (some of the younger folks may be wondering what the hell a cocteau is, but trust me--they're awesome. They're old like me.)

Man, I remember where I lived when I used to listen to this all the time. The cd was released in 1984, but I was a late Cocteau bloomer. I didn't get it until '93. It was the same year, when I was 22, that I almost accidently blew myself up because I was on Xanax. Maybe being on Xanax is why I listened to this cd so much. I don't know--what came first, the chicken or the egg? I don't burden myself with such heavy philosophical questions; I just remember that I loved this song.

(Even though my writing is nonsensical, it's an artful nonsensical. It's a craft.)
I'm going to start working on my Five Songs Update soon. It's been a hell of a day. Hangover. I swore off alcohol. I've said that in jest before, but I honestly mean it now.

For now, though:

New podcast

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Five Songs I'm Loving This Week

This is the "I'm doing this in-between Red-Carpet sightings" version of my Five Songs list, so if I say something about Keira Knightly or lambast some foolish person's choice of clothes, then just ignore it. It's Oscar related.

The first song is by Jonathon, Inc., and it's called "Reading Between the Lines". The first time I heard it I thought it was little slow for me, but then something about the way he turns the phrases "days begin to separate" and "I don't want to be on the other sign of convincing" just totally won me. I really like the way the melody lifts in those parts.

The song is available on their site, and they also have a really nice-looking Myspace site. Oh, and they're Canadians! Canada produces some of the best music, in my very knowledgable opinion ;) I'd like to buy this record because it sounds like their albums run out of print after awhile.

Is that Charleze Theron? Very understated tonight.

"Dreaming While Awake" by Plain Jane Automobile is really nice--It's very languid; almost shoegaze-y, but it doesn't become lost inside its own introspection. I like it. They're fellow Floridians, too. Cool, huh?

The next two songs are from South By Southwest's roster. One day I will go to SXSW. Not this upcoming day because---well, I wish I could go. Anyone? Anyone in Austin? Sandra Bullock? Don't you still live there? (You look fabulous tonight, btw). Matthew McConaughey? You're hot and I'd play bongo drums with you after the shows. Contact is my favorite movie (really). Please?

The first one is by Julie Doiron, and it's called "Snow Falls in November". There's always a
temptation to compare an artist to other artists. That's generally not helpful in describing someone or something (like saying a couch is like a sofa. Okay...) but I will just say that her voice reminds me of Leslie Feist's, and her music would be at home on the same label or on the
same cd shelf as Feist's. Like a lot of Feist's songs, this song is light, lively and extremely engaging. It makes me want to stay somewhere and wait for November (even if I would miss SXSW, which I'm unlikely to go to anyway).

I am really fond of the next SXSW website-featured song, "Forever and a Day" by Her Space
Holiday. It's really just one guy (a lot of "bands" I like are really one musician) and though I haven't heard any of his other songs, I will say this song is fantastic. Oh God--here she goes with more comparisons. Okay, so the song reminds me of The Eels. I love The Eels, so that's not a bad thing at all. It's probably been hard for him to escape those comparisons (sorry), but they are inevitable. Bright pop song + Guy from California= Eels Comparison. The song stands on its own, though--all comparisons aside.

Lastly, I'm not sure how many people reading this (Actually I'm not sure how many people are reading this period) remember 1988. I remember it very well because...because I have a really good memory for one who was so young in 1988, or something. Anyway, one of the best things about 1988 was The Travelling Wilburys. It was the last time we saw Roy Orbison--I remember because in the video for "Handle With Care", a chair is pointedly left empty to signify where he would've sat. Of course now George Harrison is gone, also. I don't know if Jenny Lewis will leave two chairs empty in her video for "Handle With Care" (would be an awesome idea, though, huh?) but hearing her version takes me back to 1988. I miss Roy's voice, of course, but her voice is one of the best "country" voices we have now and the song is served well by her friends Conor Oberst (also Rilo Kiley labelmate & label-owner), Ben Gibbard (former Rilo labelmate) and M. Ward (just one of the most awesomest singer/writers out there). They understand and totally capture the magic of the original. They let the song be the star, as it should be.

Man, speaking of stars--Rachel Weisz is so pretty. Why couldn't I have been her? That would've been awesome.

Bonus: There's no way to download Blow Up Hollywood's "Coming Home", but it's a nice song (and I keep imagining Frank 'N Furter up on the stage with eye makeup streaming everytime I hear the phrase "coming home"). You can hear it on their Myspace. Also, they do have some mp3's available on their site; I haven't listened to them yet. One of them may end up on my Five Songs list.

Also, I'm learning how to do podcasts on GCast. The quality isn't as good (40KBS), but you
know how it goes. At least it's an easy way to hear the songs. You can either download the whole podcast as an mp3, download each song as an mp3 or subscribe to the podcast. If anyone wants to subscribe but doesn't know how podcasting works, just reply here or e-mail me and I'll walk you through it. I'm not going to be including any recent (or so I've decided for now) big-label songs because I like to remain un-sued. With that said, if anyone wants off my podcast, just let me know and I'll delete it. I don't expect anyone I include to be unhappy about it--it's free advertisement, and most of the bands I like need to be exposed more.

Anyways, my podcasting skills are still in the, uh, tadpole phase so what I have up now is just an experiment. I expect to start including podcasts to augment my Five Songs list. At some point I may use that format instead of posting the links--it's certainly a lot easier!

So, have I been mispronouncing Jake Gyllenhal's name this whole time? It's pronounced "Jillenhal"? Damn. That means I've been misprouncing Maggie Gyllenhal's name, too. Damn--shamed twice. At least I can spell it, though. According to, he's thanked in
Phantom Planet's Guest album. I have that cd. I never noticed.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I really like Sigur Ros' new video.

Also Beth Orton's "Conceived Video" (scroll to the bottom)