Monthly Archives: February 2009

Normal Guy

This is going to be an awkward progression.

I bought the Lonely Island’s album “Incredibad” yesterday. They are the guys who write, and frequently act in, SNL’s well-loved Digital Shorts. The album killed me. I spent hour yesterday trying to focus on homework and instead singing along to new classics like “Sax Man”, “Like A Boss” and “I’m On A Boat”. I can’t really justify my worship of this album unless it’s listened to first. And I’m embarassed to post any of the songs, or their lyrics, onto the blog (they involve doing terrible things to desks, mermaids, and aliens, in turn) but I really recommend a spin in iTunes. Friggin’ fantastic.

Now this is where the weird transition happens.

I was making my friend listen to the album yesterday and we started talking about Jorma Taccone, who makes up 1/3 of the group, and how oddly cute he is. She mentioned how it’s weird to take him as a funny guy. I asked why and she told me about this incredibly sad (and appropriately weird) Gnarls Barkley video that he starred in. We looked it up and I was fighting back tears of recognition. The real kind, not the overwrought fake kind. Surreal as the video may be, it will strike a chord with just about anyone. It’s one of the best, most tragic, music videos I’ve ever seen. And the song is pretty beautiful too.

I apologize for the subtitles, but hey, maybe you can double task and practice your Spanish.

Heart Cooks Brain

My roommate and I recently had a frenzied discussion about how Radiohead songs make us cry. We talked about which ones make us cry and what memories are tied to them in such a way that such a thing would happen.

I told her that “Fake Plastic Trees” will forever be my ex-boyfriend’s song and I frequently raise a bitter fist to the sky when I can’t resist listening to.

She showed me a live video of Thom Yorke playing a song called “Fog” and we both listened to it quietly. Very quietly.

Radiohead is one of those bands. Almost any of their songs could make me cry because they have that quality that makes them just perfect for feeling.

I feel like we should celebrate those songs more often.

So here are the saddest songs. The way I see it, at least.

Nude-Radiohead. I wept during their show when they played this. Just like how I choke up every time I listen to this perfect song, or watch this perfect video.

This is Elliott’s memorial wall.

This video always takes me by surprise. It’s odd.

This isn’t the real video, just a mash up of scenes from Lost In Translation, which this singer did the music for. It still fits nicely.

Get your cry out.

Off the Hook

A delight on any cloudy day.

There is this running “stolen footage” gag of writer Jorma Taccone (a writer for SNL and the little brother in Hot Rod-rent it) dancing shirtless and sometime pantsless to the musical guest of the week while Bill Hader looks on dissaprovingly.

For your viewing pleasure:

Jorma dances to Fleet Foxes

Jorma dances to My Chemical Romance

Jorma dances to the Arcade Fire

Jorma dances to Death Cab for Cutie

Pitter Patter Goes My Heart

Went to the Broken Social Scene show on Thursday night.

Some of Broken Social Scene. Some not.

Some of Broken Social Scene. Some not.

They were absolutely fabulous.

I was a little bit hesitant about the show, not in any way a reflection upon their beautiful music, because of the fact that I had never gone to a show for a band that was so experimentally easy. They have a quiet, soaring sound that I was not entirely sure would translate well to a live show.

We lucked out though. They were perfect.

Immediately, the multiple member band (I think there were at least 7 people on stage for most of the night) led into some material from You Forgot It In People, the preferred album of both me and my concert buddy Bryan. Their second song of the night is one of the songs that has made me cry more than any other, “Shampoo Suicide.” You may also know it as the song from the most affecting scene from the excellent “Half Nelson” (rent it now.) Bryan and I swayed in time and I cried a bit, and I think he did too.

Broken Social Scene is composed of a number of facial-haired, middle-aged music nerds with glasses. They’re all very cute in that way. Their guitarist likes to talk a lot, about inane things. He attributed this trait to some pre-show Tequila.

The rest of the band is pretty quiet, but when they did talk they were straightforward, happy to be there, happy that we all seemed to like them.

Also, as a bunch of Canadians, they were happy that “Mr. Bush” was out of office. Band leader Kevin Drew (furry cute), pondered what their future would be like in a post-Bush world after eight years of largely reactionary work. He figured that maybe they’d have to put out an Obama-friendly funk album next.

Listening to Broken Social Scene albums (and Kevin Drew’s own Broken Socia Scene supported solo album, funny they’d put a different name on it anyway) has always inspired thought in me. They’re a perfect walking band. For most of the show I was doing some jerky dancing with my eyes closed, I allowed them the opportunity to take me over.

They were perfect. Even if they didn’t perform “Lover’s Spit.”

Here’s “Fire Eye’d Boy” instead.

We Had New Inventions

My uncle was once the driving force between every single band I ever loved—or hated.

Early memories of being chased out of my front yard by a little red car blasting Insane Clown Posse songs continue to make me want to sock him in the arm at odd moments.

Just the same, as his taste in music improved, so did mine. This leading to stolen Hole CDs, hundreds of illegally downloaded songs when Napster was brand new.

We used to sit around the computer screen in awe.

“Hey, it’s taken like 20 minutes to download the first 23 percent! Dude, this one is going super fast!”

We’re a little bit closer in age, so the dynamic has always been much more older brother than uncle. The kind of brother that is unspeakably irritating and unbelievably wise in the same breath.

But things have gotten better as we have grown older. No longer taunting me with awful rap-metal, now he just sends me extremely enthusiastic texts about what songs I need to immediately look up on playlist.com (not necessarily stealing, and much faster than Napster.)

And five minutes later, the clarifying, “Have you listened to it yet?”

Almost never.

His tastes have gotten better, and less frightening, with age.

So the dynamic is better. I have things to bring to the table now too. CDs to be burned, zip drives to be filled, and a shiny new iPod that is so very much fun to play with.

And he has songs that I would never have given a second glance.

At the beginning of the school year, he sat me down in a front of the computer and had me listen to a song so beautiful and sad that I started to tear up into the keyboard. A song about a poetry-writing, suicidal robot.

Grandaddy (the sad robot band) is this brilliant band from the late 90s and early 00s. My uncle calls them the far superior, American version of Radiohead. I call them amazing, but please don’t bring superiority over Radiohead into this. No matter which way you look at them, they are fantastic and weird. Kind of like an American Radiohead.

A few weeks later it was insanely enthusiastic text messages about this guy who mixes all my favorite things about Beirut with electronic bleeps and bloops and an effect that I shall continue to call vocoder.

He told me they were called Alaska in Winter as I sat there with a goofy grin on my face. Before asking me if I wanted to know why they were named that.

“Because the dude went up to Alaska during the winter and made this album.”

Enough said, I suppose.

In any case, we’ve become collectively obsessed with this dude and even more so when he released a second album a couple months ago which was even better than the first one was. We are now collectively biding our time until this guy comes to Seattle. I am crossing my fingers that Beirut will be in tow.

Anyway, the music is sweet and sad and perfect. Again, amazing and weird.

After years of trying to get it right I think we’ve got a pretty good music exchange going.

Positive Tension

I just found out that Bloc Party is coming to Seattle in April. I am excited out of my mind.

They are all very cool and cute. And their music is ridiculously danceable and in turns romantic.

I have long had a crush on their lead singer, Kele Okereke, because he is British and handsome and has a totally hot staccato burst of a singing voice.

Though, the other day my friend and I had a long conversation about how Kele and Tunde Adebimpe (TV on the Radio singer) might have to fist fight and/or wrestle before we decide who is cuter and smarter.

Tunde sings for a band that might be the second best working today (after Radiohead, of course.) He is a brilliant lyricist and his voice makes me swoon and he comes across as charming as hell in every interview I’ve ever read with him. Also, he is ridiculously cute.

I propose that fight happen soon. Though, you can certainly try to make your own violence-free decision:

Kele Okereke, Bloc Party

Kele Okereke, Bloc Party

Tunde Adebimpe, TV on the Radio

Tunde Adebimpe, TV on the Radio

It is the battle of the sexy Nigerians.

To help here is Bloc Party’s video for “So Here We Are”. As well as TV on the Radio’s beautiful short film for their cover of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Modern Romance”. Enjoy, and choose wisely.

The Longest Winter

Many things have happened in the near two months that I foolishly neglected this vehicle for my narcissistic rumblings.

I think another update list is in order.

1. My old roommate moved over to a different learning community. I missed her and was deathly afraid of having some skinny blonde girl with a Patrick Dempsey poster move in before I met my new roommate, who is totally cool and asks me to please turn my music up. I think that is rad.

2. I watched Slumdog Millionaire again. Everyone else should too.

3. No longer will I be ashamed. I like reggaeton. A lot. Especially Calle 13, though I suppose they are more like extra cool reggaeton.

4. Freaks and Geeks led me to a new obsession, luckily only enforced by my obsessive playing of one song. “Box of Rain” by the Grateful Dead. My love for this one song does not make me a hippie. I think.

5. I have yet to find the perfect study music. This may explain my total lack of study skills.

6. I had my first college crush (supremely unsuccessful.) In an act of wishful thinking, I made a wishful playlist that I entitled “If.” Unfortunately, it never had a chance to make it onto an actual CD (curse my poor social skills.) I think that my lack of skill when it comes to crushes puts my awesome mix making to waste. It’s not as if I am particularly strategic, or even logical, but I feel that people should choose their mates over their mix-making skill. I should therefore be chosen first. Case in point, “If”:

1. This Charming Man-The Smiths

2.Magic Spells-Crystal Castles

3.The Size of Our Love- Sleater-Kinney

4.So Here We Are-Bloc Party

5.Burn Your Life Down-Tegan and Sara

6.Lost in the Supermarket-The Clash

7.Transatlantique-Beirut

8.Box of Rain-The Grateful Dead

9.Thirteen-Kind of Like Spitting

10-Say Yes-Elliott Smith

11.Close Your Eyes, We Are Blind (Remix)-Alaska in Winter

12.In Between Days-The Cure

13.Affection-Darci Cash

14.Almost Blue-Elvis Costello

15.That’s the Way-Led Zeppelin

16.Nocturne No. 2, Op. 9 in E-Flat Major-Chopin

17. Colors and the Kids-Cat Power

18. Lover’s Spit-Broken Social Scene

Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.

7. I’m going to go see Broken Social Scene in two days and then Kool Keith (Dr. Doom vs. Dr. Octagon) in two weeks. It’s been too long since I’ve seen a concert (two months.) Two too many.