Sunday, July 22, 2007

Songs That Might Otherwise Pass You By

St. Vincent, "Now Now"

This song is an interesting, incongruous (but very clever) mix of assured, mature, emotionally engaging vocals and lyrics and very nursery-rhymish, child-like instrumentation and backing vocals. It's almost like the adult is having a conversation with her "inner child" (sorry for the new age reference.) The music fades in on a few simple, very twinkling notes. Then, what sounds like a children's chorus comes in like a sub-conscious Greek Chorus, echoing the singers very mature, very assured assertations that comprise the lyrics. The singer (Annie Clark, who's really the whole band) says she's not "the carpet you walk on...the feather at your feet..the pawn to your king...", and more. The chorus agrees, until it breaks in with "You don't mean that, say you're sorry". Ow! Rough having your inner children discounting every positive statement you say! Despite the dichotomy, though, I know I'm going to have the Greek Chorus running through my head all day, in addition to the part where she says "I'm not any, any, any, anything". I hope that line doesn't seed in my head or something. I might end up having some problems with my inner children.


Teri Hatcher gone wild (no, really it's Annie Clark of St. Vincent)

Jenny Toomey, "Charm City"

This is from her 2001 album Antidote (though I'm planning on putting one of the songs from her 2002 album Tempting on my podcast next week). I realize 2001 isn't exactly new, but I just heard these songs and I think they're awesome. The one rule for getting into Cerulean's Love of Music: Awesomeness*. This song has a bluesy quality that I love, but that I expect more from Bonnie Raitt--someone who came from a roots-music perspective. Y'know, though, I'm not really surprised. The music I love (the "indie" music, the eclectic music) delves into all genres. I'll post a straight-up country song sung by a girl with tatoos all over her (yes, The Duhnks, I'm referring to you). That's one of the things I hate about the label "indie". It means nothing regarding the style of music. It could be any style, but some people think it means "Bright Eyes". And I hate those people.

Anyways, I've gone way off track. The point is, this is its own song; categorization isn't easy, and so it shouldn't be. She's got a gorgeous, very plaintive voice and the song moves along with speed and the ease of knowing it's doing exactly what it's supposed to be doing--rocking (yes, I said it). Also, the ending is awesome--violin seems to collide with violin. It's violin on violin violence. I love it.

*speaking of which: Barney from How I Met Your Mother totally got nominated for an Emmy, totally due to awesomeness and rockitude!

Good (but older) article on Jenny Toomey
Label she co-created (and co-ended) in the 90s, Simple Machines.
(No Myspace listed)

Jenny Toomey and friend

Kicksville, "Sansun" (see below)

Trying to find information about this band is daunting. Their website has very little but a few links, most of which lead to a record label that they're not listed on under "artists". Then there's a link to their page on a social networking site that I can't decipher because for some reason my computer mangles some social networking pages. There are also links to other mp3s.

It's appropriate that the band is enigmatic, because their song "Sansun" is so flowing and at ease that's it's almost intangible. When I finish listening to it, the only thing I'm aware of is complete relaxation, and the memory of a melody sung fluidly in a completely (to me) foreign language. I'm completely ignorant when it comes to African languages, but the vocals in this song remind me of the African vocals in Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes", so I'm just going to display my unlearnedness and claim that the language seems to be of African origin. Of course, I will be completely embarrassed if someone says "Lola, he's singing in English". Then I will profess to not being able to understand spoken English, though I am quite proficient in written English. Not understanding the lyrics at all doesn't harm my appreciation of the song. It's hard for me to listen to this just song once; I want to put it on repeat and recline in a hammock somewhere reading the new Harry Potter book I got yesterday. I don't have a hammock, though, or anywhere to hang a hammock.

Kicksville's Myspace is no help in understanding their origin. In fact, I feel more like they're from another planet. The Citizenry of Kicksville has a Myspace. I know--I don't understand anymore, either. Even the guy from their label can't put it into words. They're an experience.

(I found this page through the magic of googling. It has credits for all the songs and mp3s. I still don't know what language "Sansan" is in, though).

Enter The Flavor Hut

Download "Sansan" (mp3)
from "Enter The Flavor Hut"
by Kicksville
Ropeadope Digital

More On This Album


Anonymous said...

Howdy -

Welcome to Kicksville! FYI, the language on Sansan is Bamana, from Mali, West Africa. Oh, and our label has us listed here:


**this message has been brought to you by the Kicksville Dept. of Records

Lola said...

Thank you for commenting! I'm glad to know I had the right continent for the origin of the language :) I would've really been embarrassed if it turned out to be Icelandic, or something else totally off from what I guessed!