Thursday, August 18, 2005

10 Songs I'm Currently Digging

So I was logged into my Myspace account recently and saw this on my internet bulletin board, posted by a girl by the nickname of High Voltage!

List 10 songs that you are currently loving ... it doesn't matter what genre they are from, whether they have words, or even if they mostly suck, but they must be songs you're really enjoying RIGHT NOW. Give a short reason why you like each song if you can. Post these instructions, the artists, and the 10 songs.

I thought that the prospect of going through a list of 10 songs that I'm currently listening to a lot seemed like fun. So here is my list of 10 songs that come with my recommendation.

1. "Neighborhood #1(Tunnels)" by: The Arcade Fire album: Funeral - The lyrics to this song can be found here. I mention the lyrics because, to me, this is a very transportive song lyrically speaking. There's something incredibly evocative about the notion of a neighborhood buried by snow and people tunneling from window to window to meet up for a rendezvous in the middle of town, forgetting everything that they used to know. It's romance, I suppose, wanting to be alone with a lover after the world is drowned out. And the way the music moves! Wow! Incredible.

2. "All The Love In The World" by: Nine Inch Nails album: With Teeth - There's something rather understated about the first two thirds of the song, but then as soon as you hear the piano and the regular beat you just know it's building to something. I guess at first the song seems to be all about bitterness and resentment, but the fact that there's the aforementioned crescendo after the piano sounding out there's an affirmation.

3. "All These Things That I Have Done" by:The Killers album: Hot Fuss - For the life of me I can't figure out what this song is about, but damned if I can get the "I've got soul, but I'm not a soldier" part out of my head. It's too damn catchy. There are times when I could literally sing that part out loud to complete strangers even when there's no music playing at all and it's in a library or a funeral or somewhere completely inappropriate to sing songs by The Killers. Also, check out a pretty catchy chorus:"You know you've got to help me out." Bah. This song is infectious!

4. "11th Fret" by: Gordon Downie album: Battle Of The Nudes - "So this is fucking off by degrees and I suppose we turned out to be not-quite-hawaii" Once again Gord Downie flexes his obliquity with lyrics that jump from image to image at a torrid pace culminating in "a fleck of new snow on the eyelash of cow and we melt away, melt away, melt away now." I've been trying off and on to learn to sing along with this one, but it's always so hard to keep up with his delivery. I dare say that Gordon Downie is some sort of diabolical genius.

5. "Someone's In The Wolf" by: Queens Of The Stone Age album: Lullabies To Paralyze - I've cited this song as being part of a mix of songs that I listen to when I'm working on my collection of poetry known as Sometimes Sinister and, really, I should have cited this song as being the one that started me down the road to a collection of poetry that strove to be sinister. The guitar riffs are fuzzy and brutal and they suggest doom. Lines like "you don't find your way, the way finds you" have such bad connotations, at least in my eyes. And the crescendo is all about raw fear and it ends with the sound of a knife chopping.

6. "Worlds Apart" by: ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead album: Worlds Apart - Definitely not a radio friendly offering from Trail of Dead with profanity all over the fucking place, but when you look past the swear words there's a political statement overtly at work here. "Look at those cunts on MTV with their cars, and cribs, and rings, and shit. Is that what being a celebrity means? Look, boys and girls, here's BBC. See corpses, rapes, and amputees. What do you think now of the American dream?" Amazing stuff. It's just too bad that Trail of Dead doesn't get more recognition to their contributions to the landscape of modern music.

7. "Fix You" by: Coldplay album: X&Y - The latest single from Coldplay's X&Y is sad. Chris Martin has a great voice for this sort of song. I'm so glad that Coldplay was able to parlay what at first seemed to be a whole career off the song "Yellow" into a whole career of a much richer catalogue of music. I just love it when the whole chorus of voices start in with "Tears stream down you face..."

8. "Be Yourself" by:Audioslave album: Out Of Exile - I find it baffling that anybody could possibly hate this song, but I'm sure that somewhere out there somebody hates this song. Chris Cornell has taken a simple, yet powerful message and turned it into a song: "To be yourself is all that you can do". How is that for affirmation? There's something so positive about that statement.

9. "Lost In Hollywood" by: System of a Down album: Mezmerize - If there is one thing that I don't like about SOAD's latest album it's that Serj Tankian's vocal presence has been co-opted somewhat by the vocals of Daron Malakian. I suppose I just have a bit of a preference for Tankian's voice, which can almost sound like a Viking coming through the mists on his way to battle. "Lost In Hollywood" is the song on Mezmerize that best proves the splitting of vocal duties between Tankian and Malakian can not only work, but work extremely well.

10. "The Widow" by: The Mars Volta album: Frances The Mute - Is The Mars Volta pretentious? Quite possibly. That might also be why I like them so much. It's great to have the odd band come along who intentionally diverges from pop stereotypes to deliver an album, or in this case a song, that tries to become a genre unto itself. I can almost see this as a song being sung in a smoky jazz club with it's refrain of "cuz I'll never sleep alone", but it's not a jazz song. I just love acts who you can't name other bands that sound like them. Beautiful stuff.

So there it is. Ten songs that I'm currently digging. I still owe you a Sometimes Sinister mix, but I assure you it will be posted soon. I tweak it from time to time and I want to finalize it before I post.


Mike said...

Damn, am I out of touch musically. I've got a few of these albums, but I haven't dove into them with the vigour that I used to. Thanks for the recommendations.

Michael said...

When I bought Funeral by The Arcade Fire I liked it, but it really wasn't until the first single "Rebellion (Lies)" got stuck in my head that I decided to give more time the album. When I listened more closely I found that it was a truly amazing disc. I think I really need to find a way to go see them in concert at Red's in October. The damn show sold out in its first day and I didn't even hear that they were coming until like a week after the tickets went on sale. Poor me.

Anonymous said...

well theres always scalpers.

Michael said...

They will likely be my last hope of scoring tickets to that show. I really hate the idea of supporting scalpers.