Saturday, August 16, 2008

Songs That Might Otherwise Pass You By

~~Happy Birthday, Madonna~~

**I'm going to take a break the weekend of August 29th-31st (two weeks from now) because I'm going to the greatest event in the world--Dragon*Con. I won't have a post that weekend (Labor day weekend), but I'll still have my normal podcast and blog post next weekend.**

Pete and the Pirates, "Ill Love"

I should save this for Talk Like a Pirate Day, but that's over a month away, and I get ansy. This taut, energetic pop song pulsates with the freedom of losing one's fear and opening oneself up. The song has a DIY independent feel that's becoming lost to anyone but the guys and girls in the back of the independent music stores (which in turn are being lost to Best Buy). The opening guitar lines remind me of a Guided By Voices song, and of course that already puts me in a good mind. The song itself is in the same vein as the great pop/punk songs of the 80s: a little Soft Cell, a little Clash, some Madness, definitely some New Order and, as I mentioned, a lot of GBV (though I didn't know about GBV until the 90s). Though this is a unique band with a unique sound, they have the feel of some of my older, favorite bands. It makes for a song that's new and inventive, but harkens back to an era that was itself incredibly groundbreaking.


Neither Pete nor his pirates are on a ship. And there is no rum to speak of, nor a parrot.

Sky Larkin, "Molten"

Speaking of pop/punk, this is a perfect example of modern pop/punk. "Molten" is an excellent description: the guitar shreds through the melody, dragging the song through it's shattered wake. The singer taunts us as she wraps her voice inside and around the melody, sounding a little like Bjork from the Sugarcubes days. She is the counter to the guitar's aggression--her voice smooths the tension out a bit, but don't let it fool you: you're still not likely to come out unscathed


Sky Larken really are as badass as I said they are. Really.

Neil Halstead, "Queen Bee"

Now for some very peaceful, unshredded counter-programming. This is folk at its finest, and most calming. It's about as harsh as lemon mint tobacco, and just as pleasant. You might find yourself drifting off while listening to it, smiling for no apparent reason. Yes, you may look goofy while listening to this song. Get over it. You might also find yourself wanting to learn guitar (if you don't already), so you can find a solitary rock somewhere and just play all day, no audience except maybe a few frogs and/or squirrels.


Neil Halstead wonders if he brought his toothbrush. (What? That's what I always wonder when I'm in a hotel room. I also wonder what I would see if I took a black light to the bed sheets, but that might be a little out of the ordinary.)

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