Friday, February 24, 2012

Song Obsessions

 Below are six tracks I can't stop listening to.  This time around I seem to have a lot of messed up love songs in the roster (big surprise!):

"Thirteen" by Big Star from Keep an Eye on the Sky  (Find it in the catalog!).
The lyrics to this song are so simple and innocent, "Won't you let me take you home from school/ Won't you let me meet you at the pool/ Maybe Friday, I'll get tickets to the dance/ And I'll take you, ooh."  However, Alex Chilton's vulnerable and world-weary vocals suggest that he knows that this young love won't last very long. 

"All Dolled Up in Straps" by National from the Cherry Tree EP (Find it in the catalog!)
Since seeing them live, I've been revisiting the National's earlier, pre-Alligator albums which I really haven't listened to all that much.  And, man, have I been missing out!  They have some really great early albums.  "All Dolled Up in Straps" from their Cherry Tree EP really stood out for me.  The lyrics are pretty dark.  It seems to be about a guy accusing his girlfriend of cheating on him, or a guy worried that the girl he's stalking might be seeing someone else.  Somehow, the song still manages to be catchy.  I also adore Matt Berninger's voice on the song.  It sound rawer than his later work, like he's singing with a sore throat.   

"Under Your Spell" by Desire from the Drive soundtrack (Find it in the catalog!).  
I listened to a lot of 80s-inspired disco pop like Sally Shapiro, The Chromatics and College in grad school.  The late night vibe and bitter-sweetness really appealed to me. So naturally I fell in love with the Drive soundtrack as soon as I saw the film.  This song is my favorite though; it's a nice obsessive love song.

"One Sunday Morning (Song for Jane Smiley's Boyfriend)" and "Whole Love" by Wilco from Whole Love (Find it in the catalog!). 
I really enjoyed the last Wilco album.  If I had listened to it earlier in the year, it probably would have been in my top ten of the year.  These are my two favorite songs from the album.  "Whole Love" is a short, sweet love song that sets the stage for the epic and beautiful closer, "One Sunday Morning (Song for Jane Smiley's Boyfriend)". 

"Civilian" by Wye Oak from Civilian (Find it in the catalog!). 
I hadn't really listened this band too much before seeing them in concert, but I was blown away by their performance.  This song is full of anxiousness and builds slowly up until the crazy guitar work at the end.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Christopher Reimer, 1986-2012.

Christopher Reimer, guitarist of the Canadian noise-rock band Women, passed away at the young age of 26. Women have released two critically acclaimed albums including their self-titled debut and Public Strain.  After Women went on indefinite hiatus, Reimer joined the Dodos as a touring guitarist.

I became a fan of Women after hearing their excellent track, "Black Rice" from their debut album.  Their follow up album Public Strain was one best albums of 2010, due in large part to the stellar guitar work.  If you haven't checked out one of their records, I highly recommend both albums.

Christopher Reimer's sister, Nikki, created a memorial website for him. The National Post in Toronto also had an article in tribute of him.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Happy Groundhog Day!

"This is the one time where television really fails to capture the true excitement of a large squirrel predicting the weather."- Phil Connors (Bill Murray) from Groundhog Day (1993). 

It's time again for everyone's favorite holiday this side of Flag Day!  There really isn't too much you can do to celebrate, beside humming the Pennsylvania Polka to yourself or driving down to Woodstock- if you are feeling really festive.  However, it is a great excuse to watch the classic Bill Murray movie again, arguably the best thing about the holiday!  As for the actual weather predictions, it looks like there are conflicting reports: Punxsutawney Phil says six more weeks of winter and Woodstock Willie is more optimistic.

Check out the movie!