Playlist for week ending 11/4

Recently I dug out a CD I’d burned of random songs and was playing it in my car. I was reminded that I’d actually made this compilation for a friend who then insisted liner notes be included with it. So I wrote them for her. Oddly it’s not much different than what I do every Friday here. So here you have it my recycled playlist:

Jun. 17th, 2006

Liner Notes:
Only Living Boy in New York” was one of the unknown gems from ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’, I heard first my senior year in high school, I’d had enough of new wave, it was my uber political year, fueled by 60’s music. As sweetly poetic as this song is, it’s always felt really sad and aimless to me. I also really love the idea that “I’ve got nothing to do today but smile.”

Steady as She Goes” got me with the first beat. Jack White builds songs by deconstructing other songs. There’s a bass line straight out of Elvis Costello and a guitar riff you’d swear was Peter Buck, but no wait it’s vintage Led Zeppelin. This song has such an amazing groove (not to mention being a beautifully crafted pop song) and the backing vocals, holy fuck I can’t imagine how long that took to get them that tight. That’s not an easy harmony, it’s all over the place and Brendan Benson nails it. The lyrics are both tongue-in-cheek and sweet.

Janie Jones” is one of my favorite Clash tunes, mostly I included this because it’s got a great driving beat and I like to sing along to this one. heh At the risk of ruining this song for everyone in the future, there’s always been one thing about the song that has bugged me, naturally I couldn’t just ignore it. Yesterday while driving home listening to it I had a really fucked up thought. The song goes:

“An he knows what hes got to do
So he knows hes gonna have fun with you
You lucky lady!”

The “You lucky lady” thing has always made me think “WTF” cause it doesn’t sound like he means any of that. It’s always sounded kinda creepy to me. Yesterday I imagined the lyrics in the context of being abducted by a serial killer. It fits. It’s also distorted my perception of the damn song and I’m not sure I like it so much now. lol god I’m a fucktard.

Without You I’m Nothing” I included so Mart could hear it. It’s almost impossible to determine that it’s David Bowie unless you knew it was him. There’s an alternate extended dance version that’s about 9 minutes too long IMO. I do like the sonic distorted guitars.

Anytime is a good time for a Leonard Cohen song. “Hallelujah” happens to be my favorite, sung by Rufus Wainwright it’s perfection. “Hallelujah” is one of a handful of songs I go looking for covers of, it’s a song with so many layers, I’ll never tire of it. I have a hard time not crying when I sing this song; and I always sing this song. It’s silly to say “I’ve had this song in my head for the last week” because it’s been in my head for years. I’m pretty sure that if I ever see Rufus Wainwright perform it live, I’ll have to be sedated. There’s something so intensely personal I feel about this song, I doubt I can ever put it into words.

After “Hallelujah” I needed something to recover. “Fool’s Gold” is a good recovery. Groove on, bob your head. This song requires nothing of you, just relax and enjoy the ride.

Peter Gabriel changed my life (perhaps I should be more explicit; listening to Peter Gabriel dozens of times while using psychedelics changed everything for me). He certainly changed my musical taste. I absolutely love Afro Celt Sound System, a fantastic blend of really accessible tribal beats with melodic guitars, mandolins and backing vocals. This song just screams to be heard outdoors. Here’s “When You’re Falling” by Afro Celt Sound System, featuring Peter Gabriel.

Placebo has the most ‘off’ vocals ever. They’re beautiful and off-putting at the same time. Marrying them to a female voice makes it work. “Meds” is a song I find amusing in the age of ‘happy pills’. I’m the only person I know not on some kind of pharmaceutical. Oh the irony there. Depending on my mood, I feel like both the main character of the song, and the one asking “baby, did you forget to take your meds?”

Bedbugs and Ballyhoo” is my favorite Echo & The Bunnymen song. Another song with a groove I can’t help but move to. I also really dig singing this one.

Leaving So Soon?” is my favorite track off the new Keane record. I loved their first album, with it’s piano and melancholy songs, the new album is a fantastic follow up. Now with added guitar and extra production. I love the lyrics too “You must think I’m a fool. So prosaic and awkward and all” pretty well sums up how I feel a lot of the time. heh

I’ve discovered a newfound appreciation for the Talking Heads. I always liked them, but I felt like as much as I liked them I didn’t quite ‘get it’. I do now. “Girlfriend is Better” is classic Talking Heads.

Hmm now that I’m thinking about it, perhaps this collection wasn’t the best one to share, nor is it the best to write liner notes to. “No Surprises” is another song too close for me to ever explain why I picked it and what it means to me. ‘OK Computer’ is one of the best albums start to finish ever made. I regret that I saw Radiohead twice before ‘OK Computer’ and spent both times backstage drinking beer and being too cool to listen to “that lame-ass ‘Creep’ song”. They have proven to be much much more. “No Surprises” is the song you leave as a suicide note when you can’t take your suburban rut any longer.

“A heart that’s full up like a landfill,
a job that slowly kills you,
bruises that won’t heal.
You look so tired-unhappy,
bring down the government,
they don’t, they don’t speak for us.
I’ll take a quiet life,
a handshake of carbon monoxide,

with no alarms and no surprises,
no alarms and no surprises,
no alarms and no surprises,
Silent silence.

This is my final fit,
my final bellyache,

with no alarms and no surprises,
no alarms and no surprises,
no alarms and no surprises please.

Such a pretty house
and such a pretty garden.

No alarms and no surprises,
no alarms and no surprises,
no alarms and no surprises, please. ”

I swear to god I’m not sure I have any clue what the song “Girl” by Beck is about. I’m a little wierded out by the lyrics (and that it was sent to me by a guy I repeatedly refused to get involved with). I do however enjoy the ‘casio’ feel of the opening, and the song itself is good to drive to.

I wonder if John and Exene had any idea what they were onto when they made “Los Angeles“. Remember when music was this good, this revolutionary? I always preferred my punk with a socio-political edge.

Wow Freudian much? X will always remind me of my ex. “Hey Ya” was the last conversation aobut music I had with my ex. I like that it’s so totally over-produced, she liked his outfits in the video. Reading that makes me giggle.

Fatboy Slim, what a freak genius. Brilliant and more brilliant. I can’t hear this song without seeing the video with Christopher Walken tap dancing through it. Holy shit, can I say freak and genius again? I’m sure I look like I’m having a seizure when I sing/dance in the car while listening to this song. “Weapon of Choice

My introduction to this band could be an allegory about my life. I went looking intently for one thing, found three others and made a wonderful discovery along the way. I googled “White Rose Movement” and this band popped up. I’ve always been fascinated by the story of Hans and Sophie Scholl and the White Rose Movement, recently there was a movie made that was nominated for an Academy Award for foreign film. It lost, but I wanted to know when it was coming out on DVD. Naturally I see a band called “White Rose Movement” and I feel compelled to check them out. “Girls In The Back” was the first single. I watched the video, stunned that the lead singer looks like a poutier version of Ian Curtis (Joy Division). The song is a decent pop song. As an aside, the whole skinny jeans emaciated looking boys thing is horrifically unsexy. If I can see your hipbones you need a fucking sandwich or to seek medical attention.

It’s taken me 4 years to reclaim the Cocteau Twins from the abyss of breakup land. I suppose they’ll always remind me of Kim, but I can at least listen and enjoy the music. I picked this song, because I have a VERY fond memory of being stoned, listening to this and knowing exactly what Elizabeth Frasier was singing. Even though it was the ‘hit’ it’s still one of my favorite songs. Cocteau Twins’ “Iceblink Luck

Ever Fallen In Love” is one of those catchy beat songs you find yourself singing along with even though you can’t remember who sings it. Great driving beat. It’s the Buzzcocks by the way ;)

I saw Rusted Root open for The Grateful Dead, they were fantastic live. “Send Me On My Way” is a great summer song, it begs to be played outdoors.

I’m going to try not to read too much into the titles of the last 3 or 4 songs… hahaha sometimes what’s right in front of us is too obvious and overlooked. So Dr. Freud, what do you think my subconscious is doing?

If I had to make a list of my favorite songs of all time, “Passenger” would be in the top 10. I love to hear it covered. Iggy’s version is my favorite, but I like to hear it interpreted by different bands. It seems a fitting end to a CD I made to listen to in my car.

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