ten songs I’m into right now… that i have time cuz the election’s over (nov. ’08)

20 Nov

1)  “Pictures of Matchstick Men,”  Camper Van Beethoven

The Doom Buggies were on WMFO last week playing live, and I tuned in just in time to hear the start of their cover of “Pictures of Matchstick Men,” which they played in the Camper Van Beethoven style (it’s originally by Status Quo.)  However, as I heard that distinctively repetitive minor key riff at the beginning, I thought “Holy crap! They’re playing “Phat In The Whole” by The Marginal Prophets,”  which actually samples the Camper Van Beethoven version.

In other words, I mistook a cover of a cover of a song for an original song that sampled a cover of an original song.   This happens more than you’d think.

2) “Al Gore”, Monkey Bowl

Monkey Bowl played this song in Slacker Uprising, the new Michael Moore film about the 2004 election (it’s available for free at his website.)  Monkey Bowl’s mostly a digital one-man band, so of course I love him, and he actually got Al Gore to talk over a part of his song, which just makes me love him more.

3) “Dream Cars,” Neon Neon

Discovered this one on NME Radio, which streams live through iTunes.  It’s a ’60s style soul vocal over ’00s style electro production, which of course makes it sound like it was written in 1988.  In a good way.  Also, it’s apparently part of a concept album about John DeLorean.  No word of a lie.

4) “Pearl,” Chapterhouse

As the weather gets cold, I start listening to more Shoegaze.  Simple as that, although this one has a particularly sweet melody and, in the latter half of the song, uses the same backbeat as “Kiss Them For Me” by Siouxie and the Banshees.  Oh, and dig the early ’90s fabulousness of the video – all swirly effects and watery stuff and really earnest lead singers with really earnest hair.

5) “If I Were A Boy,” Beyonce

Beyonce (or Sasha Fierce, as she’s sort of calling herself these days) always suprises me, because I’m not a huge fan of modern day R&B, and yet…. she just rules.  I caught her on SNL the other night playing this song, and was blown away.  It’s a pretty standard, classic pop song motif – playing with traditionally masculine imagery in an attempt to inspire empathy in her male lover – but Beyonce, who can be equal parts strong and vulnerable, really sells it.

6) “Wagon Wheel” Old Crow Medicine Show

My roommate Olivia played this song for me.  She prefers Against Me!’s cover, but I like this one.  It’s actually a re-working of an unfinished Bob Dylan tune, and it’s a great, great country folk song.  It’s probably the song on this list that my Dad would like the most.

7) “Beyond The Sea,” Bobby Darin

I can’t explain this one – I’ve just been singing it a lot lately.  Mostly in my kitchen.

8) “Isolation,” Joy Division

This one makes sense, because I finally saw Control (the Ian Curtis biopic – not bad, the kid playing Ian is way too good looking for the part but captures Ian’s performance style perfectly), and there’s a scene in the movie where the band is recording this tune.  Also, it’s winter, so walking around Somerville to the desolate sounds of Joy Division gels aesthetically.  This song was recorded in 1979 and must have sounded like the future incarnate.

9) “Marvin, I Love You” Marvin The Paranoid Android <—OMG FREE DOWNLOAD!! ^_^

Yes, that Marvin.  It’s a novelty song co-written by Douglas Adams himself about a sad little robot who discovers a love note hidden among his old data files.  It’s bittersweet and very silly – and, come to think of it, was recorded around the same time as “Isolation.”  It’s the sunny side of desolate early 80s synthpop.

10) “Sometime Around Midnight”, The Airbourne Toxic Event

This might be my favorite song of the entire year.  If you haven’t heard it, go listen to it.  Now.   Seriously.  It’s so well written, I sort of hate them for it.

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Posted by on November 20, 2008 in Uncategorized


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