Monday, October 23, 2006

Five Songs I'm Loving This Week

(Sorry for the delay--Blogger was down last night)

Syntax, "Pride"

This song's been around for a few years (since '04), but I just downloaded it, so it's sort of new. I've been listening to a tiny snippit of it for a few weeks now (which doesn't mean it can't be a "song I'm loving this week"!) but when I downloaded it, I neglected to change the tag, so it only showed up by song title. No band name listed. I've been running around for weeks now thinking "Man, I love that Pride song. Too bad I don't know anything about it and only have a minute-long snippet." Well, this week I decided I was going to take back the song! I was going to give it my best effort and find a complete copy with the band name listed. Of course Google gave me lots of hits for "Pride (In The Name of Love)". Thanks Google--I first heard that song over 20 years ago. I'm fine as far as that song goes. Thanks to the fine folks at, though, I found the original snipped I'd downloaded. It was cake (and ice cream with cherry topping) to find the band and a full mp3 from there. Yay for me! Yay for diligence!

"Pride" is alot different from the other songs of theirs I heard; the others seem to be more electronica oriented. I like electronica, but I love the soulfulness and earnestness of this song. Even if it's an anomoly amoung their other songs, it's a wonderful anomoly (frome the album Meccano Mind).

cover of Meccano Mind

Their website is down, but here's a fan's Myspace. This site leads to another Myspace for a band called Fatal which has at least one of the members of Syntax, Jan Burton. There's not a lot of information on Fatal, though (the website listed isn't valid), so I don't know if the other member of Syntax is in Fatal.

Oh well, I have the one song, anyway.

The Decemberists, "O Valencia"

Okay. I haven't liked The Decemberists until now. I've found the previous songs I've heard to be whiny and unbearably pretentious (when you like the kind of music I do, you learn to put up with a bit of pretentiousness). But!!! I am an open-minded person. I listen to politicians when they talk, though I know it's most likely bullshit. I don't laugh uproariously (out loud) when employers say they have their employees' best interests at heart, and I'll listen to music from a band I usually don't like. It's happened many times--I love one song and hate another from the same group of musicians. I'd only be hurting myself if I ignored this song based solely on my opinion of other songs I'd heard. So, I gave it a chance, and I'm glad I did--it's a really good song, with virtually no pretentiousness (from the album The Crane Wife).

cover, The Crane Wife

Their Website and Myspace

Kapow! Music, "Surfear"

I don't understand the name of the band or the song, but that's okay. As I said earlier, I like electronica. I like it much like I like iguanas. I'd never have an iguana as a pet (they get up to 6 feet!), but I like them and like to be around them for small amounts of time. Similarly, I like electronica, but I'm not going to bring it home, raise it and bring it to the vet regularly.

Once in awhile, though, an electronica song will get me in a certain way. The last one was the James Figurine song I posted a few weeks ago (I love that song. It's still posted--I can't bear to take it down). This song, "Surfear", has got me also.

It has no lyrics--the only thing for me to latch on to are the myriad, weird keyboard lines. They're frikkin' quirky! Yes, I said quirky. I know alot of people don't put stock in the word "quirky" as an accurate description, but I'm not sure what else to call it. It's enjoyably weird; therefore, it's quirky (from Ambient: Music For Computer Games).

Kapow! MusicJohn Ribo, AKA the guy who is Kapow! Music

Their Myspace and their Website.

Josephine Sweet, "Sad Refrain"

This is the alias of singer-songwriter D. Mangione, from Birmingham, Alabama. I've known D. for almost 17 years. I became friends with one of her best friends from high school, and their circle of friends adopted me. I was always a little different because I didn't go to their high school, and therefore could read (it's a joke with their high school--they all had t-shirts that read "If you can read this you didn't go to Trussville high school). I remember I had some other friends who lived in the same apartment complex as she and her family did, and instead of going to school, I'd disappear there for days at a time (if anyone needs to know why it took me 10 years to get through college, that's a good example of one of the reasons) and hang out with them and drink.

She was playing guitar and singing back then, and I remember I'd bug her to play the same songs over and over. In hindsight, I bet my constant requests probably did annoy her; those songs had very emotional meaning for her, and I'm sure they brought up difficult memories for her each time she played them. Back then I was drunk most of the time, though, and all I knew was I I thought those songs were pretty.

Choosing the song I was going to use for this post was difficult. It was a draw between this song and "Hearts To Hearts". I was going to use the second song because I couldn't stop singing it and it mentions another friend of mine, Jean-Paul. In the end, though, "Sad Refrain" is a little mellower and a little sadder (though they're all very reflective) and I thought it might make a better intro to her music. She has one of the most beautiful voices I've heard--I really miss being in someone's apartment and hearing her play just a few feet away.

Josephine Sweet
D. Mangione, AKA Josephine Sweet

Her Myspace and Website. More information can be found here.


Elf Power, "Why Can't I Touch It"

(Insert Mark Foley joke if you wish. Hey--it's timely, at least.)

I love Elf Power, but I actually just heard this song for the first time recently. It's from their 2002 album Nothing's Going To Happen. They have a lot of cds in their roster, so it's going to take me awhile to catch up with all of them.

This song is a little different than some of their others; where many of their other songs I can describe as "druid rock", there's nothing ancient about this song. It's a pretty traditional rock song, which is something I want once in awhile. Part of the reason for the difference is that this is a cover; it was originally done by The Buzzcocks. The bass line is fantastic--probably responsible for some hearing loss, but once in awhile i've just gotta tear up my mp3 player, y'know? (I realize I describe them as "druid rock", yet there's a song on this album called "Hot Love". Sounds more Van Halen than Old Celtic, but whatever.)

Elf Power
Elf Power

Their Website and Myspace.


Too tired to do podcast. Too tired to finish Tori review. I also didn't vacuum or wash all the clothes I needed to. For that I apologize to myself and the world in general. I'll do better. I did hang a curtain in my kitchen, though! (cue loud applause).


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