Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Musical Stylings

I write about the books I read each month and you seem to like it so why not tell you about the music I listen to? OK. Maybe you're not interested. But really--what could be MORE interesting than a seven minute slideshow mixing blurry, unphotoshopped images of my children in their Harry Potter costumes with pictures of the Harry Potter cast over the last ten years? What I'm saying is, maybe it's not always about being interesting.

A very nice person gave me an $15 iTunes gift card for my birthday. I would thank them, but they don't read my blog. (Which leads me to ask a philosophical question, If a tree falls in the forest but doesn't read my blog--why would I care?) I've been thinking about what to buy with it since my b-day on 6/18. (See that clock up there on my header? It's a subtle trick I learned from Chris Carter of the X-Files.) I finally spent it yesterday. I didn't want to blow it on any whole albums so I bought individual songs for a treat. I made a playlist of the songs I bought so you can enjoy them for free. I guess I could too. What a waste of money!

I've been into a certain specific aesthetic this year because of The Black Keys. I think The Black Keys sound like a band from the 70s. They are so cool. I love them. Also, I watched the British series "Life on Mars" which is set in the 70s and got me in the mood for 70s-type stuff. [It's a great show, but I can't recommend it even though I love it. Because once you start you won't be able to stop and you'll end up watching the series finale about a porn ring with your eyes closed.] So I'm into that 70s Starsky-and-Hutch-brown-corduroy-pants vibe. That's why I bought "Bell Bottom Blues" by Derek and the Dominoes. You know Derek as Eric Clapton. He is so soulful. That soulfulness has come at a price, of course. It always does. Side note: If someone held a gun to my head and told me I had to choose jazz or blues it would be so easy.  I'd take blues any day. What I'm saying is, Jazz sucks.

Someone Tweeted about how good the Paul Simon Pandora radio station is. I always forget about Paul Simon, you know? It's a great station. I bought "Loves Me Like a Rock." I need more Paul Simon. And if I may say it, so do you.

So then I had to freshen up some of my Fleetwood Mac songs that somehow became corrupted. I agree with Adam Levine that "Landslide" is one of the most beautiful songs ever. Sing it and you'll win The Voice.  Bev had NO CHANCE going up against Stevie Nicks with One Republic--she was robbed! Then again, are there really enough fancy canes (not a euphemism) in this world for Bev AND Adam Lambert? Probably not. I bought "Bleed to Love Her," which is also beautiful. It's just that Lindsay Buckingham is such a d-bag.

I got "Jar of Hearts" by Christina Perri (What? I'm not a robot) and "Under Cover of Darkness" by The Strokes. Nothing makes me want to go back to high school, join the drill team, and choreograph a dance for halftime more than "Under Cover of Darkness." I think it would bring a lot of joy to a lot of people. Well, I do.

"Percussion Gun" is the coolest song title ever and the beginning sounds like an Adam Ant song. I would have paid $100 for it. Period. Have you ever heard "Teacher Teacher" by Rockpile? I hadn't either. I guess its' from the 80s. It's pretty great. I also got Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah." With "Landslide" it's two of the ten most beautiful songs ever. I like Leonard Cohen's version best, but Buckley's no slouch.

I bought "Here Comes Your Man" by The Pixies for no reason other than I like it. At the end of my playlist I included "Sail" by Awolnation. I bought the whole album a while ago and it is good. But "Sail" is such an arresting song. I wanted you to hear it.

Anything else you think I'd like? I know someone will feel obligated to say Radiohead but here's the thing: I don't like Radiohead. I keep trying to listen to it but the sounds I hear when I do are ugly to me. I am, however, open to other suggestions.

My other favorite band: The Civil Wars
Whole albums I plan to buy with future gift cards: Allison Krauss and Union Station, Adele, Amos Lee, possibly Cults and possibly The Decemberists.

I might think this post was boring if I weren't me, so thank you for tuning in.

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  1. Thank you thank you! And the non-blog-reading-friend. I adore your playlists! They've helped me unload many a dishwasher. Well, ok, it's always the same dishwasher. But it's perpetually in need of attention, and your playlists make me more likely to actually take care of it.

    Also, Bev was robbed.

  2. I have a song/video recommendation:
    Janelle Monae - Tightrope

  3. It's totally my pleasure, Laura. I would post a playlist a day if I could get away with it. Thanks for the recommendation, Melissa!

  4. Would it be bad to say that I like the Dixie Chicks version of Landslide better than Fleetwood Mac's? Cause I do. It is a beautiful song.
    You will not be disappointed by Adele. I have loved her for years and her latest album has been on repeat for months and I'm not sick of it at all.

  5. I love the music posts as much as the book ones--keep 'em coming! May I humbly suggest Vampire Weekend as your next favorite band? Because they are awesome. OK, back to lurking...

  6. Jazz DOES suck! And for your next gift card, you might consider "The Greatest Blues Licks Ever Made." 50 songs for $8.99. You can't lose.

  7. Anonymous5:38 PM

    I love your taste in music...if you haven't listened to Neko Case, do.

  8. I don't like Radiohead, but I find I tend to like covers of Radiohead songs. So they've got writing talent? Off the top of my head, Jamie Cullum's version of "High and Dry" and John Mayer's "Kid A" are both grood. Great and good.

  9. I like Guster. Have you heard them? Give a listen to Jonah, Hang On, or This Could All Be Yours.

    How about:
    Kris Allen - Live Like We're Dying
    David Wax Museum - Born With A Broken Heart
    The Submarines - You, Me and the Bourgeoisie
    The Envy - Don't Let Go
    Keane - The Frog Prince or Is It Any Wonder?
    Royal Wood - A Mirror Without

    If you like Paul Simon, try Xavier Rudd's Messages

    and for fun, April Smith's Colors and Movie Loves A Screen

    I might need to send you another iTunes card :)

  10. Wofgang Amadeus Phoenix by Phoenix might change your life.

  11. I like that our musical taste dovetails. That's why I kept reading.

  12. Phoenix
    Paul Simon's latest
    Pete Yorn
    Pete Yorn
    Pete Yorn
    more Derek and the Dominos
    Allman Brothers
    These keep me treadmilling...

  13. I may not have stressed Pete Yorn enough... the following video is one of those rare video's that actually complement the music

  14. I don't mean to be a demanding public (and I realize I do make a lot of demands in your comment section, but it's my gift), BUT, why not a weekly playlist? You do the heavy lifting joyfully for the rest of us. It's your gift.

    And might I suggest your readers SEND YOU GIFT CARDS? That's a good idea.

  15. There are some really great suggestions already. I might add that if you like Janelle Monae that you might wanna listen to some Raphael Saadiq.
    Love That Girl is my favorite:

  16. I remember that Teacher Teacher song! I think that makes me old. Love that entire playlist, all good stuff.

  17. Here Comes Your Man is my favorite Pixies song ever.
    If you like Allison Krauss (bragging: seeing her live in September!) you might like Nickel Creek or the Avett Brothers.

  18. I thoroughly enjoy your blog, especially your book lists and music posts/playlists.

    I say you should go for the Decemberists - it's my new favorite. :)

  19. Anonymous11:25 PM

    I have no musical stylings to speak of (other than that I love Motown and folk/acoustic and quite a bit of indie stuff and almost everything from high school choir). I do like a couple of songs on this list, so I might listen to the whole playlist and see if I can learn anything. I should send you my iTunes gift card, except I think I'll put it towards and audiobook.

    Dean and I watched a couple episodes of Life on Mars and kind of liked it, but I'm glad we didn't keep up now that I've heard your warning.

  20. Anonymous11:32 PM

    Also, "It's not always about being interesting" is my new favorite alternate blog title, if I may steal it, in case I ever need an alternate blog title. (My previous alternate blog title was "Crumbs In My Cleavage," which I would never actually use.)

    Oh, and you share my husband's birthday. Happy birthday last month!

  21. we've been on a pixies' "here comes your man" kick (i don't understand the recent cover), along with the kinks' "lola" - it's helping my daughter learn to spell. anyway, i'm stoked i can finally listen to your playlists now that i'm back in the states.

  22. I love your playlists. Thanks for a brighter day!

  23. Nice playlist.

    The Decemberists are playing at Pioneer Park tonight for free!

  24. I've been needing some new songs to freshen up my playlist, so thanks! I always forget how much I love Landslide until I hear it again.

  25. I love your music posts! And your book and movie posts. I read every word of them.

    I find some similarities in our respective tastes (dovetail is a good word) so I'm sad you don't like Radiohead. What is it about "We've got heads on sticks / We've got ventriloquists" that doesn't speak to you?

    Just kiddin'... but really, Thom Yorke is so weird and awesome. And did I mention weird? Next time you are in a dancey mood, give "Idioteque," "Backdrifts," and "15 Step" another chance... for me.

    I like Decemberists because I love the sea shanty angle. Yet I cannot listen to an entire album all the way through because the singer's voice grates on me. My husband can, however.

    Your taste seems to be really in line with his, actually. Looking over his CDs (he is obsessed with CDs and refuses to give in to the electronic file revolution) I see things like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, U2, the Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, the White Stripes, the Shins, the Decemberists, The National, and assorted butt rock left over from his Ogden days. The two of you should trade ideas, if you ever meet. I don't think you have! How about Ben Folds or old Ben Folds Five? Also good and also a little weird.

    Matt likes Radiohead too, by the way, and I'm sure he would always pick blues over jazz.

  26. This is the best playlist you've ever composed. That is to say, it's my favorite and everyone else should be of the same musical opinion. I was about to suggest Adele, but you snuck her in at the end there. Bravo, bravo!

  27. Ah, I don't forget about Paul Simon. I keep a book of all his lyrics on the coffee table under the big BOM so my kids will be able to quote all the words to A Poem on the Underground wall and St. Judy's Comet, and come to understand he is the best songwriter of all time.

    Jazz is irritating.


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