Sunday, June 15, 2008

Songs That Might Otherwise Pass You By

(Podcast show notes are in the post before this one)

Autopilot Is For Lovers, "Pessimist"

Both their website and their Myspace is short on information about the band (aside from the singer's connection to the line "Take My Wife...Please"), but I'm hooked on this song. Mournful, expressive and pleading, the vocals stretch over the song, entertwining with a punchy, commanding accordion that ushers the listener into the tempest. The music and her voice churn like a tornado, sweeping up all in its way, gathering whatever's in it path, merging it all together, until you feel part of the maelstrom yourself. The band reminds me a little of a female-led Devotchka, and since I adore Devotchka, there ain't no wrong there.

Buy at Rhapsody

Autopilot Is For Lovers

Computers Vs. Banjos, "Give Up The Ghost"

Ooh! Electronica and traditional American roots music together--that's awesome. In much the same way I think it's possible to have science and spirituality co-exist and compliment each other, I've never understand why some people are either "electronica" people or "acoustic" people. I have an appreciation for a wide array of instruments and methods of playing them. I love hearing musicians mesh instruments together that typically aren't put in the same arrangement. I remember when Madonna's Ray of Light album came out, with its mixture of Indian sounds and electronic beats fused into Madonna's brand of dance music. It was pure genius, and I believe a seminal moment in her career. There is no reason for seemingly disparate styles of music to remain isolated. Some people don't think of electronic music as really being music; to me it's as much a part of that category as any other style, just arrived at using different means than traditionally employed (I couldn't be such a New Wave fan if I didn't think that way). So my instinct is "why not mash them up?" Beau Stapleton, half of the duo, states on his Myspace that he's "been searching for ways to blend the folk textures and songwriting with the more experimental sounds of rock and electronic music." "Give Up The Ghost" features an intense, almost aggressive Americana, amplified through cords and plugs, filtered through the Technology Age. Roots music is leaving the front porch and mixing with the city dwellers.


Computers Vs. Banjos (Photo by Laura Crosta)

Butcher The Bar, "Leave This Town"

When I first heard this song, I thought it was pretty, but I didn't think of it much past that. Then a minute or so in, I began to feel the song push me, like a current pushes a drifting, relaxed indie music podcaster/blogger. My mind began to fill in the visuals for the lyrics. The line "I'll leave town tonight, if only Western Civilization feels alright" makes me think of years ago (15 or so) when I would beg my friend Jamie to drive us around at night after work (we worked evenings), just observing the stillness of the city, the darkness of the night (well, if we were far enough away from the city) and not thinking about the next day, or any days. We'd eventually run out of places to go, and he'd start to say "Well, it's getting late" and I'd try to think of places to go we hadn't been that night. I'm not even sure why I didn't want to go home--I lived on my own, so it's not like I had any worries at home--well, except the fact that I had no money to pay rent (working part-time is not the cash-cow it may seem), little money for bills and maybe no money for food. Oh, that's probably why I didn't want to go home. Good times (well, except for the no money part). Still, I remember really wanting to just take off so many times--where, I didn't know. This song reminds me of that feeling, though.

Label Site

Someone looks like they've been butchering some late nights :)

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