Thursday, March 30, 2006

Songs Eighty-Eight to Ninety-Two

I'm blogging ahead as we're leaving for the weekend in celebration of many things: I passed my oral exam and am admitted to candidacy (now I'm ABD twice! time to start a new degree); it's our anniversary; and it's our son's birthday. Yipee!!! I've actually pre-celebrated in the manner of all self-respecting academics--mani/pedi. I had a really intriguing conversation earlier this week with the newish provost of my illustrious alma and continuing mater in which she posited that one could track the influence of merit based aid in the rise of spa services for college students. We both agreed that we never thought about getting spa services as undergrads, yet every coed at the big U certainly sports some fine looking nails and toes. Intriguing. There is definitely a funded research study in there, and blog-america do not even dream of stealing my intellectual property. So, onto a slew of new songs.

Oh, first, I saw the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs last night on Letterman. Still don't get it. As I told my husband, I was there for Siousxie--and she played with a guy named Budgie. What's this band bringing to the party? Okay, now new songs.

Song Eighty-Eight: Deadman, "Brother." It's a bit of a downer and sounds like one of those acoustic cuts they used to tack onto the end of Fleetwood Mac albums. The male vocalist has a Bono-ish feel to his voice. I'm thinking I meant to download something else as this is not really "me." But, carry-on modern day folkies, I feel your pain--and gave you my buck-minus in sympathy.

Song Eighty-Nine: Beulah, "Popular Mechanics for Lovers." I broke down and sought out an OC mix. Amazing how many songs I've bought are OC-features; I'm clearly down with the young people. This has a kinda updated Herman Hermits feel. Jangly, sing-along pop for the post-ironic spa set. Fun and disposable (like the OC, I guess).

Song Ninety: Cobra Verde, "Get the Party Started." Had to buy this. I used to dance my baby daughter across the bed every day to the Pink version. She loved it and has been getting the party started ever since. This version starts with a nice (I hope) "Raspberry Beret" cough allusion. It has more an ominous, Oingo Boingo party feel than a full out BMX party with Pink and Carey feel. Interesting. (According to its website, this band was also on the OC. Good gracious, is that show taking over the musical planet? Be afraid, dear reader. Avoid any stick figure wearing distressed Keds.)

Song Ninety-One: Transplants, "Gangsters and Thugs." A fast-paced punky-pop tune; has a kind of mod-Jam feel with a bit of ska-intonation thrown in. Catchy. The chorus has a nice "seen it all" feel and delivery: "some of my friends sell records, some of my friends sell drugs." Lots of mix-it-up in a moderated drum-and-bass way. Fun debauchery. (Hey, from the website I learned this band features that guy from Meet the Barkers.)

Song Ninety-Two: The Perishers, "Trouble Sleeping." Maybe a bit too slowly paced and MOR. Every once in a while, there's a nice musical counterpoint, but otherwise it drags on in a too familiar way. One would have little trouble sleeping through this (get it?).

273 to go.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Song Eighty-Seven

My husband and his friend the talented orange from television have become obsessed with buying Macs on eBay, so I'm cutting into their BrokeMac adventure for a few moments to blog my tune o' the day. Oh, and what a day! I cut a heart out with a thermal plasma cutter (well, not a real heart, an aluminum one). But, this visit to a welding-environment allowed me to pick up some kicky faux-Timberlands to protect my dogs from the flying sparks. It was super cool! Then, I got to finish off the heart with some kind of mega-power tool edition dremel-y thing. Also, cool. Though, I can now say from experience that no one wearing a welding helmet would wind up with Jennifer Beals's hair at the end of the day. Still, what a feeling! Song eighty seven is by Goldfrapp, "Ooh La La." An angry electronica rave up. It really reminds me of another song, but I can't place it exactly. Her voice is slightly processed with a backing track that would not be out of place in a Final Four arena-setting. Oops, I've just been told he's on a deadline to look at the computer of his dreams (remember Lenny Von Dohlen?). So, I'm out.

278 to go.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Songs Eighty-Three to Eighty-Six

There's a big article in the NYT Style section today about "life coaches." (I'll pause for a second to let that sink in. Life. Coaches. Yep, we're all up against the wall, dear readers.) It mentions the recent send-up of life coaches on The Daily Show. Shortly after seeing that piece, I had to work up an article on buzz marketing for an anthology, and every time the article mentioned trends, I heard the beat boxing noises that accompany the "trend spotting" hand drawn logo with its perfect Kiss Army lightning bolts. It's going to be tough to talk through that one with an editor without cracking up. Blogging of trends, I had to take a break one morning last week when the feathered hair and long scarf guy from Love Monkey turned up on Good Morning America as, like, a real recording artist singing the same ultra-sensitive long-scarf guy song he sang over and over in the show. It turns out his name isn't Wayne, like in the show, but Teddy something with a G (although I don't think he's related to Warren G or Ali G). Teddy. Stuff like this makes me long for the straight-up manufactured and we know it era of the Backstreet Boys. You just know that Teddy has a life coach.

Song Eighty-Three: Nine Black Alps, "Cosmopolitan." I think I got this on a SXSW iMix. It's English white boy regulation alterna-rock with just enough head banging to "keep it real" without slipping over into Darkness territory. There's a nice staccato quality to this song. Although a card-carrying Kiss Army (shout out #2) member in junior high, I gave up rock with a capital R by the 80s, so I'm probably not the best judge. But, this seems like a pretty good song.

Song Eighty-Four: Minus the Bear, "Puchaca Sunrise." Perhaps they dropped the bear because of its omnipresence on the Threatdown. This is a very non-threatening song. It has kinda new wave feel in the breaks that contrasts nicely with the smooth, emotive, now-standard alterna-guy feel to the rest. The change-up adds a level of spice to the song that's missing in a lot of other alterna-pop that seems like masquerading MOR blahness.

Song Eighty-Five: k-os, "Crabbuckit." Sometimes you can judge a song from its title. This is a fun rap romp, kinda like an updated Louis Jordan tune. Very dance-y with cool juke joint jazz breaks, clapping percussion, and an ultra-old school feel. The video for this song is on his site, so it was interesting to find it afterwards and see in images pretty much what I heard. The vocals transition several times adding another layer of interest.

Song Eighty-Six: Guillemots, "Trains to Brazil." This is the current free iTunes download, so how can you not love it? It begins with drums, whistles, and yowling, then somehow moves into something akin to standard Britpop. Intriguing mix of textures throughout. There's a lot of instrumentation in here, and it kind of reminded me of the big mid-80s Waterboys sound at points. The song bops along and is pretty catchy, actually, and it was free!

279 to go.