Sunday, May 06, 2007

Five Songs I'm Loving This Week

Before I begin, I just wanted to let you know that I fully plan to have the podcast up tonight. Sorry things got so messed up last week and the week before. I'm trying to be more diligent about working on the post during the week so I don't have to scramble on Sunday.

#Poundsign#, "But Not Tonight" (Thanks to Copy,Right?, though I don't think it's on the site.)

That might've been the easiest time I ever had looking up a band using their band name. Okay, I probably got quicker results the first time I looked up The Flaming Lips, but still--it's not hard to track down a band called #poundsign#--almost all the sites that initially came up in my Google search were related to the band. Too bad they were just mainly articles and other miscellaneous pages--no website or Myspace. They don't seem to have broken up, but the band members may've gone on to be more active in other bands. One of the bandmembers, Alicia Vanden Heuvel, is also a member of another of my favorite bands, The Aislers Set. According to LastFM, #Poundsign# first formed in 1993. Ah, but it was 1989 that I was a Depeche Mode obsessed wanna-be cool chick (but actual dork chick) staring out my window into the night, looking up at the stars, and wondering if my eyes were red-rimmed as Dave Gahan's were apparently in the song "But Not Tonight". I remember feeling a simpatico with Gahan that only someone as close in nature and circumstance as I was to him could feel. You know--I was a 17 year-old virgin who'd never done drugs, had only tasted alcohol once, was American, was in high school, was female, still slept in a yellow and white checkered canopy bed...and he...wasn't. So you understand this song holds a special significance for me. It represented being an adult, and the reflections and sometimes remorses that come with being an adult. To me, that song was everything that lay ahead for me. So, a cover of that song had better be true to the original and respectful of it, without being a shameless copy. This version is not shameless, and it thankfully retains the hopeful melancholy of the original.

#Poundsign# on Artist Direct

Alicia Vanden Heuvel of #Poundsign#

Matt Bauer, "Jordan In A Plastic Bag"

This song always makes me think of Scrubs. Why? Because there's a character called Jordan on Scrubs that is specifically written to be a world-class bitch, and of course all the characters hate her, and I just imagine someone finally, well, you know...I'm sure they have a lot of plastic bags in a hospital. Anyway, besides being the possible swan song of Christa Miller's character on Scrubs, this song is also a pretty meditation on...what I don't know, but it's a nice song.

Website beard, Matt Bauer!!

and we have a connection between artist number two and artist number three. I did not do this on purpose, folks! It just happened.

Feist, "Sea Woman Lion" (Live in Wein, 4/15/07)

I've had this song picked out since last weekend, so it was just a weird coincidence that Matt Bauer also has a cover of this great Nina Simone song on his Myspace. I knew it as "See Line Woman" when Nina Simone did it. I saw one webpage that asserts Simone wasn't the original performer of this song, but I can't find anything else corroberating that. Between Matt Bauer's and Feists version, however, it's hard to choose. I love Feist, but I'll admit it's really cool to hear a man sing it. The Feist version is my favorite (so far) from her new album, The Reminder. I'd rather post the album version (it's clearer and tighter) but a little thing called major label deters me.


Feist, looking very fetching (and not unlike the actress in Casino Royale)

Fionn Regan, "Be Good Or Be Gone" (Thanks to SXSW)

Ireland was the progenitor of the U.S.'s folk music--folk was weaved from country music, which has its roots in the music of the "old country"--the Celtic Isles. It's appropriate, then, that Irishman Fionn Regan creates very beautiful, very traditionally folk music--this song has very minimal instrumentation and an intimate delivery that reminds me of the sincerity and creativity of the American folk of the 50's and 60's.

Website Fionn Regan in The Strokes?

Justin Wiles, "Quiet Dude (final improvise)"

There isn't much information on his website, but there are dozens of songs, including this one, which isn't quiet at all--it brings to mind Elliott Smith, if Smith wanted to write a song reminiscent of the wild west. The best cowboy songs cover a lone man, charged with a burden he can't unload and one he often can't talk about. Wiles plucks his guitar with the ferver of someone who has something imperative to say; there's definitely a story in the lyrics--whatever happened, it sounds bitter, angry, almost accusing. I can't tell if it's about a lover, relatives, a friend, a nemesis, a combination of one or more of the aforementioned, or the world in general, but this dude definitely has something on his mind. One of the last lines of the song is "I feel a break from the mortal coil". That line gives me a shiver up my spine, like I'm out in the expansive desert at night, and I feel the brush of a wolf's fur on my back.


Justin Wiles

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