Fits under Retro but Awesome too - fifteen years since its 1999 release, and what says retro more than guest lyrics from fricking Noel Gallagher of OASIS? It's still awesome though, the drums are sick and it's the Kid's number one pick this week. The low-fi, dreamy-trippy video was directed by Michel Gondry, when he was just starting out, and was a favorite of mine for ages; "Let Forever Be" is still my go-to song for sleepy Mondays when I need to get my energy up.
Featured because I'm going to see her at the Boston Opera House tonight!
I've never seen her in concert, but I've listened to her music for nearly twenty years. I'm a little nervous. People assume it's because I'm going solo, but that decision was mine: I honestly want to be able to listen and not have to make little filler conversation. It's that anticipation that makes me nervous. It's a great yank back into my teens and early twenties, and a lot of her songs, I associate with some pretty significant people and moments. I'll know most of the words to everything she sings. I haven't been to a show like that before. Should be an experience.
Plus, Boston. I love the city, and I haven't been in ages. Going in early to wander around before the show, likely with my headphones on, sifting through memories with these songs as the soundtrack:
I'm in awe of Gotye's production talent. Both "Heart's a Mess" and his Grammy-winning record "Somebody That I Used to Know" sound deceptively simple, often repetitive, with odd little sounds coming in and out; on first listen, it doesn't sound complicated to put together. But when you really listen to all the elements, the progressions, the instruments that weave in and out, it's masterful. This guy is a musician to the core.
I just came across this release, which was originally on The Great Gatsby soundtrack last year, but a new version was just released this spring. I'm pretty obsessed with it. It's a slinky, quirky, odd yet mournful love lament, a six-minute longing to "Pick apart the pieces of your heart / Let me peer inside / Let me in where only your thoughts have been / Let me occupy your mind as you do mine....."
Man, has it already been seven years since Santigold came out with her first album? She's undergone a name change since then, from Santogold to Santigold (due to copyright issues) but I still love her odd voice and her innovative raps and sounds; she gets a lot of comparisons to M.I.A, so if you're into her, you'll like Santigold. Warning: "Creator" is weird at the start (let it go for a bit, reader, until the rap and beat come in), but that thumping bass is killer, and I am in love with the chorus: "Me, I'm a creator / Thrill is to make it up / The rules I break got me a place / Up on the radar."
Her better-known single was "L.E.S. Artistes", another killer, poignant as all hell song for someone like me who is striving to fulfill a dream: "I can say I hope it will be worth what I give up...."
It's funny to be at an age when I can recall when the Killers first showed up on the scene with their double hits "Mr. Brightside" and "Somebody Told Me." I remember they were one band of many, alongside other "The" bands like The Hives. I remember that they were young and good-looking, that lead singer Brandon Flowers was known for being a bit of an arrogant dick, their songs catchy, radio-friendly, and likely here and gone tomorrow.
But flash forward to 2014, and The Killers have been steadily present over the past ten years; they have a slew of hit singles, one epic classic in "When You Were Young," and are still churning the new music out, like "Shot at the Night," which is actually the first song of theirs that I have every downloaded. It's epic and 80s-esque, wistful and soaring, and I love it.
I saw up-and-coming band Magic Man last year in Providence (and wrote about the experience and my prediction that they were about to break through - which came true with "Paris"). After their set, I went over and talked to Alex, the lead singer, asking about the band's influences. The first band mentioned? The Killers. They've become a staple in the music scene, influencing new generations. How funny to see the evolution.
Back with a multi-video post on one of my favorite bands, and the source of my ringtone!
Labelled as an "alternative dance band" with "dirty electric beats," LCD Soundsystem broke through in 2002, and broke up in 2011, but they are legendary on the alternative music scene. If you or your family are looking for some danceable, quirky sounds and fun lyrics, you should check out their catalog.
A review of just a few of their singles:
First, the mentioned ringtone: It's 1min, 4sec in of "Someone Great", right when the synth-melody comes in:
Second, "Daft Punk is Playing at My House" (must be played on speakers for the full jam effect! Awesome while blasted in the car and you can hear the bass in your lungs):
Third, one of their more "accessible" singles, "I Can Change." I adore the sly, bouncy 80s vibe and the lyrics. My favorite? "Love is a curse, shoved in a hearse / Love is a open book to a verse of your bad poetry...."
Fourth, a more obscure pick that sounds like nothing, but give it time. The odd, stilted lyrics are awesome, once again: "Acting like a jerk / because you are an actual jerk / and a reminder that sometimes friends are mean." And when the synths kick in halfway through, man, it's good.
For a view on their last days together as a band, I recommend their music documentary 2012'a SHUT UP AND PLAY THE HITS.
Over the past few months, I've noted that the Kid seems to be picking up lyrics to songs very quickly, often singing them from heart after a few listens. It's pretty neat; he keeps to the beat, he has inflection and key changes, and copies the phrasing. He might be a future musician; I wouldn't be surprised, given how much he loves music.
"White Winter Hymnal" is a very recent addition to his library - he's heard it before, as I downloaded it a few years ago, but this past week, he heard it and asked for me to replay it several times in a row. It's now referred to as the "I was following the I" song, in his own words.
Gorgeous harmonies, very cool video, with a hint of malevolence; always a winning combo.
A few weeks back, my mother came in from Sauble Beach, Ontario, to help care for me post hip surgery. She stayed for a week and a half, and was her usual, awesome, former-nurse self, occasionally yelling at me to rest already (I'm not very patient with healing). She returned to Canada on a Monday 6AM flight. I was able to drive, so I took her into the airport for 5AM.
On the way back, I snapped this picture of the sunrise:
.... And I heard Sylvan Esso's "Coffee" for the first time on the satellite radio. It was such a surreal moment: half-asleep on the highway, a little sad and lonely to see my mom go, but this lilting, gentle, cool beat and sing-song voice moving through my car.
I now associate this song with sunrise and my mom. It's kind of cool.
I am an angry club kid in disguise.
It's true, though people might have a hard time believing it. But in between all my other indie picks, you'll find songs by Die Antewood and Rage Against the Machine and Japandroids (featured in an upcoming favorites post); loud-and-louder, and aggressive.
And the best club experience I ever had was in Toronto, when I was about nineteen, and my friend took me to an honest-to-God rock dance club. I wish I could remember the name of it; but it was full of gargoyles and red velvet, and I vividly remember dancing to Rammstein's "Du Hast."
A long introduction to make note that I love to blast "Ghost Town" when I am alone in the car. I am *that one* who is headbanging a little on the highway. But I don't much care if you stare.
This week's Kid pick can also go under the category of "likely to cross over into the mainstream." It already seems to be happening on regular radio, and fast. While it's a little more "pop" than I typically like, it's incredibly catchy and an odd mix of amusing and sad. I recommend a listen.
Warning: my three-year-old isn't at the point yet of questioning what he hears, so that's why it's an official MSM pick, but not necessarily good for all children. If you have a kidlet who will ask "what's a sex club?" then think about skipping it. Then again, not much more explicit than anything else that's on the radio (Beyonce's Drunk in Love, for starters, geesh).