Sunday, February 22, 2009

Songs That Might Otherwise Pass You By


See Me River, "Ed Jackson"

Before you get lost in the sway of this song, get carried away by the breezy melody, I'll go ahead and give you a heads-up on the subject matter. It details the truly tragic and bizarre story of a man who set his apartment on fire and then shot himself because his landlord was forcing him out of where he'd lived for 80 years. I hope that didn't deflate any of the melodic beauty of the song for you. The song is aesthetically pretty--leavening my emotions, relaxing and dissolving much of the tension I've built up over the week. The guitar skates on top of the melody; barely touching it--just skirting the song like a flock of birds on a calm, steady lake. The singer's voice is soothing--taming and caressing the rest of the song. Smooth, but with a hint of gruff to keep it from being overly polished. So my advice: listen carefuly to the lyrics, read the explanation of the story in this KEXP article, bow your head and think of Ed Jackson for a few minutes, and then close your eyes and enjoy the song. You'll probably still remember the grisly details of the lyrics, but it's possible to appreciate this song on both the aesthetic level (pretty!) and the topical (WTF? He did what?).


The Society Of People Who Wear Black (SOPWWB) think they see a colorful shirt in the distance. They must pounce quickly, lest it get away and corrupt the world.

QR5, "Revisited Gone"

This is a little bit of an older song (3 or so years). I have such a fondness for this band, though, that I'm willing to go against my usual M.O. of posting relatively new songs (less than six months or so). I originally planned to play "Dreams" (available for stream on their Myspace) but the only mp3 I found expired. Back when I started writing this blog, I only wrote very short blurbs about the songs I featured, but I remember how much I loved QR5's "The Easiest Lines" and "Fallen Tree"..I may have been short-worded then, but those songs resonated with me. When I heard "Dreams" and "Revisited Gone" today, I remembered exactly who they were and I relived the same reaction I had almost four years ago when I first heard them. The voice is warped in a wiry, wrought iron kind of way. Like he's wrapped his voice around so many songs that it's started to bend into the shape of the instruments. The music is relaxed, in no hurry to reach whatever destination the singer intends. It's content to exist, much as I am as I listen to it.

Thanks to Cable and Tweed for the mp3 link

No one hates Brady jokes more than I do ("Here's a story...), so I'll just simply write "QR5".

Architecture in Helskinki, "That Beep"

This is one of the bands that I've heard of for years, but I hadn't heard much of their music; something in their name suggested to me that they were a Scandinavian Metal or Industrial band, so I never thought much about them. Well, they're pretty opposite of a Metal or industrial band, unless those bands play pop music--sweet, sweet, techno pop music. Pop music that'll stick to your shoe. I can't tell you for sure what the song's about--the lyrics are kind of incongruous. I think she's talking to an ex (though maybe only a one-night ex).. She said she never knew the person's middle name, but she's waiting on his/her "dynamite". She also talks about evil lovers and eights and nines. Maybe she's a cylon. I think it doesn't matter much what the lyrics mean :) I think it's just good fun, and for someone like me who listens to ALOT of heartbreaking, sincerely contemplative folk music, a little fun helps buoy me back up.


I wonder if I'm the only one reading this old enough to remember Romper Room. This reminds me of that show.

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