Sunday, August 27, 2006

Songs 241 to 249

Back for more after a brief break to plead with my children to nap and to swap loads of laundry. I feel so accomplished when the laundry's done and put away; it's so sad. But, almost nothing in my life is finished, so the sight of empty laundry baskets is awe inspiring. That and a made bed. It's the little things, dear reader. On Friday, my son tripped on the playground at school and bit a hole through his lip. The doctor told me that if I wanted it to look "perfect," I could have a plastic surgeon put a couple of stitches in it, otherwise it would just heal on its own. "Perfect," isn't that Jon-Benet creepy. Iquickly made the "heal on its own" choice, which he seemed to agree with (as did the nice overanxious intern with him). I guess they found it creepy, too. But, today, whilst reading the NYT, I looked up to see him standing next to his sister (they were robot-dancing, of course) and realized exactly why my son tripped over his own feet. He's had an atomic blast-worthy growth spurt and now is taller than she. He's a biggun, that boy! Such cuties, and now back to our show.

Song 241: Joshua Radin, "Star Mile." I believe this was off a Scrubs list. It has an early Simon & Garfunkel feel to it--all the way down to the line endings. Very relaxing and harmonic. The lyrics are sad, but it all sounds so pretty. I can picture rocking my babies to sleep to this.

Song 242: Quad City DJs, "Come on Ride It." I bought this picturing how my kids would like it--and robot dance to it. We've also just bought a new edition of The Little Engine that Could, so this seemed fitting. Over seven minutes of completely pointless party music complete with whistles and choo choo noises for less than a buck. How can you go wrong?

Song 243: Quien Es, Boom! "Our Home, Edna." Tinkling percussion and vague electronica. The vocals are mixed so low, it's kind of difficult to discern them. This song is compelling, nonetheless. There's something there in the music that's missing in a lot of current indie stuff; it has a depth that's interesting and makes you want to listen again.

Song 244: Ray LaMontagne, "Trouble." This is a retro Muscle Shoals song that may be aiming for Otis Redding but actually sounds more like Janis Joplin. His voice is too light for the Otis growl. I don't get the sense he's had enough real trouble to get the gravitas needed.

Song 245: Serena Maneesh, "Her Name is Suicide." Yep, it's more chilly soundscapes from the Norweigan triangle. This doesn't have the bone break sparseness of Sigur Ros, though. It's got a little too much new age-iness about it. And, there are moments when the instrumentation has a 70s feel, like a tv movie theme.

Song 246: Sergio Mendes & the Black Eyed Peas, "Mas Que Nada." I grew up on the Sergio Mendes/Herb Alpert lush production streaming from my parents' stereo credenza. This is a nice street-friendly remix. It would be ideal in a Fame update. There's something about the BEP's sound that's immediately appealing and forgettable at once.

Song 247: The Streets, "Never Went to Church." An odd anthemic song about loss, religion, and a stereotypically British stiff-upper-lip emotionally wrenching father/son relationship. What if R. Kelly were a Britkid chronicling his inability to deal with parental lost? Here ya' go.

Song 248: The Strokes, "You Only Live Once." How could I have gone eight months without a Strokes song? I seem to see one of Fabrizio's many floppy fro'd cousins every day. They're fine enough, but this music seems kind of limited. I feel like one Strokes song is all Strokes songs.

Song 249: Vaux, "Are You With Me?" This was a free download. It's worth that much. Pose-y rock that's too repetitive and seems to rehearse a billion other songs. I can see them being a big deal in their local market, but I think we've all heard this band before.

116 to go.

Songs 231 to 240

I am determined to catch up on so many things this weekend, which is sad since it's halfway through Sunday and I'm still doing laundry and trying to clean off my counters (Surfaces, darling, surfaces!). But, the dog is freshly washed, so I've got that going for me. The Emmys are on tonight, which gives me prime clothes folding time, and dinner's planned. Huzzah! The children made these adorable yet creepy paper/patchwork likenesses of themselves at their new school this week. I bought shadow boxes at my mothership (read "Target") yesterday, and we hung them amidst the stairway photo exhibition. This has lent the whole mise-en-scene a vaguely Night Gallery feel, and I expect any morning to be awakened by my paper/patchwork son and daughter and find my real children inside their shadowboxes. See what 70s tv did to my brain! Ah, cue the music.

Song 231: Band of Horses, "Great Salt Lake." There's something oddly Beach Boys-y about this song. Like if the BB's mated with a grunge band, this would be their indie-club playing children. It's a good song, but I think I'm just sick of plaintive male vocalists. Man up, boys, it's a surprisingly tough world out there; acknowledge and move on.

Song 232: Fleeting Joys, "Lovely Crawl." Ah, the shoe gazing wall of sound is back, with a retro wallpaper courtesy of the latest issue of Domino. Nice genre piece, but the vocals are too deeply mixed for me. It's all a little too murky.

Song 233: The Heavy Blinkers, "Try Telling That to My Baby." Retro 60s pop, but again, the mixing doesn't seem sharp enough to distinguish the many (MANY) elements. Clever repro with a very pleasant feel, though I don't sense much new being brought to the party here--which makes me wonder why they're mining this vein.

Song 234: Joe Cuba Sextette, "Joe Cuba's Mambo." I got this off the So You Think You Can Dance iMix. It's full on dinner/dance mambo joyousness. Slim dresses, pointed pumps, black eyeliner, sticky bouffants--it's all here, dear readers. Mambo!

Song 235: Josh Ritter, "Come and Find Me." This song reminded me of Jim Croce, whom my dad loved. We used to listen to him late at night in our basement on an old credenza stereo, and I remember staying up to catch him on the Midnight Special. He has less bar-earned cred than Mr. Croce, but there's a good soul there.

Song 236: Justin Timberlake, "SexyBack." Yeah, there's no soul here, just plenty of industry savvy. Honestly, this is so cranked with production juice that my dog could have sung it and achieved the same results--which are quite catchy. Still, it's pretty funny to here JT acting all street, when I doubt he's stepped a foot on the street sans moisturizer, sunscreen, and bronzer in a decade.

Song 237: Langhorne Slim, "In the Midnight." Cracking falsetto over a rave-up fiddlin' music track. There's a nice call and response bit that makes me think this plays fairly well live. It sounds a bit too derivative digitally.

Song 238: Love is All, "Talk Talk Talk Talk." Retro new wave that sound kinda Missing Persons-y, complete with the Dale Bozio bleats. There's also some Quarterflash sax mixed in. Very busy. But fun--peppy; only a Euroband would be this faithful. Break out those patent Candies, girls!

Song 239: Mission of Burma, "2Wice." Yep, that Mission of Burma. Nice mid80s college rock--big rolling percussion with top mixed vocals. Full of the arty urgency only a liberal arts education can bring forth. I'm heading to the closet to find my olive hole-y Izod cardigan as soon as this is over!

Song 240: Mystikal, "Shake Ya Ass." I know, Mystikal is a problem (a big problem), but this is a fantastic song. It has just enough hoodoo to evoke New Orleans. I've been thinking a lot about the city since watching "When the Levees Broke" earlier this week. There's a rawness about Mystikal that escaped the No Limit and Cash Money crews--something that elevates this song and captures the essential intoxicating danger of NO.

125 to go.