Saturday, July 29, 2006

Five Songs I'm Loving This Week

They Might Be Giants, "Am I Awake?"

I say this with all love for They Might Be Giants. I used to listen to the album Flood every day, several times a day in my early twenties. My college dorm roommate and I had a dance we made up for "Birdhouse In Your Soul". With that said, I was dismayed as they slipped further and further into Kiddieville. Now kids songs are great if you're just really nostalgic (AKA drunk) or if you're a kid. Otherwise, I may like my music slightly goofy, but I still like it to be geared to adults.

I downloaded "Am I Awake?" on a lark because I figured maybe I'd actually like it. When it came up on my MP3 player I hadn't listened to it, and I didn't know who it was. My first thought as the first blips and bleeps came through was "what is this Euro-crap I've downloaded?" Well, a few seconds later more instruments came in and the vocals started. I re-assed my initial opinion--definitely not Euro-crap. Not crap at all. I liked it. It sounded oddly like They Might Be Giants--if They Might Be Giants were covering a Pet Shop Boys song. An incongrious notion, but I really liked what I was hearing. I was bowled over to find out it actually was They Might Be Giants. Who'd a thunk? It's almost dance! John Linnell's got this wonderful robotic-like delivery in this song, and the whole thing is unlike any TMBG's song I've heard. It's from an EP they released two years ago called Indestructible Object on Barsuk records. (By the By, Barsuk is home to a lot of bands I love). Long live TMBG!!!

Headlights, "Signs Point to Yes (But Outlook Not So Good)"

Oh my! You gotta love it for the name of the song alone! But how about loving it for the song itself? It's like Mates of State gone California Pop. Lots of hazy, blasting guitars and punchy keyboards. The vocals are a tad screechy-emo, but not so much that it deters my love of the song. The song is from their debut album Kill Them With Kindness. Here's a nice article on them from Popmatters (the comparison to Rainer Maria is very appropriate, I think). Their website.


Black Fiction, "Magic Hands"

I posted a song by this band on my podcast last week; "Spread The Disease". Man, I love that song. It was a toss-up which song went on the podcast and which one the blog 'cause i love them both. I decided "Spread The Disease" should go on the podcast 'cause it's such a groovin' little song, it needed to be listened to immediately. "Magic Hands" is groovin' too, but it's not as hyper as the former song. It's more steady and more contemplative, though it does break out into weirdness about halfway through (that's a positive thing where I come from). I keep saying groovin' 'cause they have a very 60's psychedelic sound, which is one of the things that first attracted me to them.

The Hourly Radio, "Not A Victim" (direct link)

This is a band that I posted about several months ago. They quickly became one of my favorite bands with the songs "First Love Is Forever" and "Lost And Found". They have a new(ish) album out, History Will Never Hold Me. So far, this is my favorite song from it. It doesn't make me want to faint like "First Love Is Forever", but maybe a song like that is only supposed to happen once in a lifetime. I'll let this song stand on its own merits. I can't help but love a lyric like "call me vicious, call me defensive, call me the reason you can't get connected, but don't call me a victim". I love the guitars, too. The strumming guitar at the beginning gives me chills. The later guitar part is loud and crashing, and the bass and drums are both awesome. Pretty close to perfect. Their Myspace and website

The Hourly Radio

Hallelujah Hills, "Wave Backwards To Massachusetts"

Okay, I'm in love with this song. Totally flurried, all kinds of squee in love. The band behind this song needs some explanation. I recently discovered this band that it is awesome called The Stairs. Some of their songs are going on my podcast and may go here, actually. Well, I found out also that they've just broken up--just as their latest album, On Sleep Lab came out. Turned out some of them are going to Ivy League colleges or something. is for four years, but music is forever! Rock on!!! Don't let the band die!! Anyways, I guess the band's dead, but some of the members went into Hallelujah Hills. A little more info on Hallelujah Hills (and The Stairs). The lineage kind of confuses me, but here's an article that explains a little about it. There's another band they're related to--Motel Candlewasters--that I'm going to post on next week. I just have to get the lineage straight--what members are in it, etc.

Bonus MP3:

Bananarama, "Cruel Summer"

I was talking with someone (well, typing--it was on Livejournal) about being an 80's child and how that's our decade. I'll always have a fondness for MTV VJs, New Wave, early Madonna, The Brat Pack, etc., 'cause that was the time in which I "came of age" (or at least came into my dorkiness). I mentioned that even 20-odd years later I still think of "Cruel Summer" when it's the middle of summer like this and it's hot as hell. The song's even fitting to my life right now. So, in honor of the decade I love, and because it is a frikkin' cruel-ass summer, I'm including this song! Also, here's the video ('cause the experience wouldn't be complete without it.) The one with streaky-blonde hair (not the one with the scarf, the other one with streaky-blonde hair) has Boy George makeup. It must've been melting.

I wonder if I could make money giving seminars on 8os music? I totally could! (I feel a best of the 80's post coming on...maybe sometime this week).

Bananarama (there were prettier, later photos, but this was their look during that time period, so it makes more sense to use this one...).

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