Sunday, December 31, 2006

Songs 276 to 293

All right, we're in the home stretch. Rather than clean on NYE, I'm trying to wrap up things here on the SAFTBRC front. With fewer than 90 songs to go, I'm feeling it. I actually downloaded these songs just before Christmas by scouring a bunch of "best of" lists. I'm not sure I agree that they're the "best of" anything, but I'm starting to run circles trying to find new bands to listen to. If this year has taught me anything, it's that a whole lot of music out there sounds exactly alike. Perhaps if I were more tween, I'd be differentiating these bands by eyeliner brand or suiting fabric or soy milk v. bio. I am clearly so very old.

Song 276: Regina Spektor, "Fidelity." Is it just me, or does she sound remarkably like Nellie McKay? This is a hooky song; nice popping along-kind of vibe. I don't know if the rest of her stuff has this staccato rhythm or if it's a delivery designed to match this one set of lyrics.

Song 277: Mary J. Blige, "Take Me As I Am." This is perfect anthem--grammatical errors and all. Ms. Blige puts her all in each song, and when she sings, "Put my life all up in these songs, just so you can feel me," you know she means it. The driving beats behind the lyrics are solid, too. All hail the queen!

Song 278: Beck, "Nausea." Beck's puppet performance on SNL earlier this year was perhaps the best moment in music for me. This is a great song: catchy, freaky, simultaneously low fi and high tech--total Beck. Rock on.

Song 279: Sophie Milman, "La Vie en Rose." The Piaf classic updated for a Starbucks world. Still, Milman's voice is quite lovely and may be Canada's latest attempt to make up for Loverboy. She does right (if light) by the song.

Song 280: Say Hi to Your Mom, "Blah, Blah, Blah." Okay, I picked this song by the band's name. It's totally undermixed murmuring about drinking blood, blah, blah, blah. The techno beat is very 70s, and their website is very "Structuralism doesn't account for vampires."

Song 281: Midlake, "Balloonmaker." Kind of like Beirut meets e. e. cummings at a one of those post-hippie Canadian band shows. Or, John Phillip Souza marries Brian Wilson and has a child for a new age.

Song 282: Lupe Fiasco, "Kick Push." A fantabulous song much prized on car rides and parking lot waits. I dare you not to sing along with the chorus and draw out the "coast" with as much cool joy as possible. ("I love that song," pronounces my daughter definitively as she walks through the room.)

Song 283: Bound Stems, "Western Biographic." Opens very electronically but then moves into an almost ska-light vibe. A perky song that has a post-Katrina and the Waves feel. Fun.

Song 284: Sparklehorse, "Don't Take My Sunshine Away." Raw low-fi sound, distortion heavy sections, especially at the end. Seems to take the listener in and out of the song fairly intentionally. Has softer lyrics. It's the kind of song you can stop listening to and then realize that you've stopped listening to . . . if that makes sense.

Song 285: Adem, "Launch Yourself." A bit too undermixed. This may be lazy on my part, but I don't want to have to try so hard to listen unless there's a really big pay off, which there isn't here. I'm not all shiny surface, but something needs to be glistening, I think.

Song 286: Hotel Lights, "AM Slow Golden Hit." This is a pretty song with a talky-singy vocal that glides along very closely with the backing tracks. Mellow mood music.

Song 287: As Tall As Lions, "Love, Love, Love (Love, Love)." The lead singer is a little too plaintive, but the chorus is rousing and has a nice upswell under it. The end is too precious for my tastes.

Song 288: What Made Milwaukee Famous, "Selling Yourself Short." Nice pop-y rock-y music with sing along choruses and lots of cymbal work. Probably a really good live band. Very uptempo but a little long--long enough to work in some brass at the end.

Song 289: The God Damn Doo Wop Band, "Rooftops of Bangor." The opening versifying is too long; it would be better to get into the doo wop earlier without drawing it out. It's fun in the vein that runs from the Shangri Las to the Go Gos.

Song 290: Outkast, "BOB." Just the best song ever. ("Dear, 'Bombs Over Baghdad' is, in fact, not the best song ever." "Yes, it is." "No, it's not." "Yes, it is." "No, it's not." --continue for as long as you wish, we did.) I can't find my copy of Stankonia, so I bought it. So should you.

Song 291: Ghostface Killah, "The Champ." Full on old school meets new school with amazing lyrics and anger. The mix recalls "Night of the Living Baseheads" and brings it big time. Who knew GK would be the Wu to break?

Song 292: Maritime, "Parade of Punk Rock T-Shirts." I picked this one for its title. The song is boppy sadness about loss, and it's quite catchy. I like the vocalist's phrasing and the spare arrangement.

Song 293: Shawn Colvin, "Even Here We Are." She's back, and sounds very much the same. Comfort food music.

71 to go.

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