Friday, July 29, 2011

Song of the Day: Sonic Youth - Schizophrenia

I'm having a shitty day so far and can't decide whether to rock out and potentially exacerbate my insanity or try to calm down with a soothing track. Thus, I choose both, in song title and sound. Seeing Thurston Moore last night really just made me want to hear Sonic Youth, and this track couldn't be more appropriate today. From Sister - one of their best albums - here's "Schizophrenia."

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Song of the Day: Kurt Vile - Jesus Fever

The Bob Mould show last night was a success, so tonight we're off to see Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) and Kurt Vile (Kurt Vile).

While Mould surprised me by rocking out with the electric guitar (it was not the laid-back evening I anticipated), Vile surprised me with a mellower album. When I saw his band tour for Childish Prodigy, they were LOUD, and I suppose I expected his next one to continue in that vein. And while there are some rocking moments, my favorite song on Smoke Ring for My Halo is probably its quietest: "Jesus Fever."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Song of the Day: Husker Du - Hardly Getting Over It

I'm unbelievably excited about seeing Bob Mould tonight at Largo, where he'll be reading from his new book and playing songs. I've been a fan of his since Sugar, and he has such a huge body of work that I have no idea what to expect.

I've posted two of his solo songs before, so I thought today I'd share some Husker Du. This is latter day Husker Du, more illustrative of his solo work than the band's punk beginnings. But it's a great song, and I had trouble deciding between the softer original or the live, rocking version from The Living End. Since I'm imagining a laid-back evening, I went with the former.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Song of the Day: Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc.

This song just felt appropriate today. Though I'm not a huge fan of Gorillaz, they sure do have some great singles.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Song of the Day: Amy Winehouse - You Know I'm No Good

I'm not going to win any originality points for posting an Amy Winehouse song today, but I was saddened yet unsurprised to see that she passed away over the weekend. I'm unfamiliar with her debut, but Back to Black is a fantastic album, and it's always depressing when someone with that much talent fucks it all up. Here's my favorite song from the LP:

Friday, July 22, 2011

Song of the Day: Def Leppard - Foolin'

When I was posting songs last week from recent Amoeba purchases, I conveniently neglected to mention that one of these purchases was Def Leppard's Hysteria. This wasn't because I was embarrassed about it; rather, it's because Hysteria kind of sucks.

So why did I buy it? Well I purchased Pyromania not long ago, and had a revelation - Def Leppard is kind of awesome (and not even in an ironic way). Plus, when I was a youngster, everybody was listening to Hysteria, and it was the greatest. But I put off revisiting the album, as "Pour Some Sugar on Me" is pretty unbearable to me. Sure enough, I was disappointed in the album, and another childhood memory is tarnished.

Instead of focusing on the bad, let's hear some Pyromania. As much as I want to post "Photograph," I'm giving a slight edge to "Foolin'" - yes, the intro is a little cheesy and makes me think we're going to power-ballad territory, but once the "Is anybody out there?" part starts, the vocal overdubs and guitar riff really slay me.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Song of the Day: The Rosebuds - Limitless Arms

I've declared my love for The Rosebuds before, but in looking back at this post, I realize I mistakenly quantified my adoration by writing that they are one of my favorite Raleigh bands. In fact, they're one of my favorite bands, period.

This fact made itself apparent to me last night, as I listened to their new album, Loud Planes Fly Low (truth be told, I only listened to the first side - twice). What I heard was quite different from previous albums; while I would consider them basically a pop/rock band, they experimented with dance on Night of the Furies, and this new album (at least the first half) seems much more soft rock (and by that I mean no disrespect). Ivan Howard's voice, always one of the band's biggest strengths, sounds even better in these slower songs - check out "Limitless Arms" for proof.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Song of the Day: Bjork - Bachelorette

While I'm not a Bjork acolyte, she has a number of songs that completely blow me away. Today's song of the day, "Bachelorette," is one of them, but what truly takes the song to another level is the video - and how often can you say that?

It helps, of course, that the video is directed by Michel Gondry, director of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (one of my favorite movies). He brings the already surreal imagery in the lyrics to life, and though I'm not smart enough to understand what is going on in the video, it's a feast for the senses.

But as I mentioned, the song is fantastic on its own:

Here's the video. Is it easy to see the parallels between this and Eternal Sunshine?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Song of the Day: The Stooges - Down on the Street

I love how you can barely understand what Iggy Pop is singing in this, and the riff during the "c'mon!" part is too good. I was in the mood for dirty rock and roll today, and early Stooges albums always manage to cure what ails me.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Song of the Day: Neil Young - Tell Me Why

I spent some time this weekend organizing my digital music and realized I had yet to unzip the massive Neil Young Archives file that was part of the Blu-ray set. Young is one of my favorite all-time artists (hence why I dropped $300 on the Blu-ray version of the Archives box set), and while I have lost some interest in his current music, it's amazing to me that he is still relevant 40 years after his career started.

His Decade best-of is what began my fascination, but he has so many great albums that a compilation only scratches the surface. One of the first great albums I purchased, and the one that is still my favorite, is After the Gold Rush. It includes one of his best known songs ("Southern Man"), but there is not a dud in the bunch. In fact, it leads off with one of my favorite Young songs, featuring his trademark whine, acoustically strummed guitar and beautiful harmonies.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Song of the Day: Jorge Ben - Apareceu Aparecida

I'm ending my "Amoeba purchases week" with Jorge Ben's "Apareceu Aparecida." I became interested in Ben through his album with Gilberto Gil, and while I'm no Brazilian music expert, I really like what I've heard so far. I bought Ben's Forca Bruta album as a reissue of the 4 Men With Beards label, who have reissued quite a few classics (including Television's Marquee Moon), so I figured this would be worth it. And it is, as I can't stop listening to it. If anyone has any other Brazilian albums in this vein to recommend, please let me know.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Song of the Day: Talking Heads - Stay Hungry [demo]

Up next from last weekend's Amoeba purchases: Talking Heads. I really have gotten into the Talking Heads over the past few years, but this was probably an unnecessary purchase. It's likely a bootleg of demos they did for CBS records in 1975, before their debut album was released. The sound quality isn't great (this stream actually sounds better), but it's pretty interesting to hear rough versions of these songs.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Song of the Day: Interpol - Obstacle 1

I said I'd be sharing my Amoeba purchases this week, and today is a 7-inch single from Interpol's debut album.

I jumped on the Interpol bandwagon early, seeing them at the Cat's Cradle with a few hundred other people and buying a first pressing of their debut album. I jumped off big time after the second album, scared off by bad reviews and eventually, bad first-person experiences.

Sunday's LA Times included an article (it's actually a snippet of his new book) by Simon Reynolds, author of Rip It Up and Start Again, that made me think of Interpol. In it, he writes about the current obsession with "retro" music, and how many bands seem to be recycling older sounds (the current number of bands with an '80s sound is staggering to me).

With their first album, Interpol was accused of ripping off Joy Division, but it seems that when they started to try something different with the third album, people like me jumped ship (to use a different metaphor). Is it because the songs were bad? Would I be happy listening to another Interpol album that sounded like the debut? I have to think the answer is Yes, as their first album is one of my favorites. But to quote Reynolds: Could it be that the greatest danger to the future of our music culture is ... its past?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Song of the Day: The Rolling Stones - I Am Waiting

As I mentioned yesterday, I spent quite a bit of money at Amoeba this weekend. Two of my purchases were Stones' reissues of Let It Bleed and Aftermath. I own both already, but I bought my copies when I first started collecting vinyl and thought that these would be hard to come by; thus, my copies are warped, dirty, and basically sound like shit.

The latter reissue is the UK version, which has a different tracklisting than the US version I own (both versions, however, have today's song of the day). I can't listen to "I Am Waiting" without thinking about The Royal Tenenbaums - while not the best track on the album (that would be "Paint It Black" or "Under My Thumb," but you know those songs), it does have one of the most memorable choruses (or is it the verses?). Hear for yourself:

Monday, July 11, 2011

Song of the Day: The Police - Synchronicity II

I went on a bit of a shopping spree at Amoeba this weekend, once again spending enough money that the cashier gave me a free Amoeba bag. I'll be sharing some of the other purchases soon, but today I'm going with the 12" single of The Police's "Synchronicity II." Most of the Synchronicity album is more pop than rock (eventually leading to the terrible "Don't Stand So Close to Me '86"), but this track is more reminiscent of their earlier albums (minus the reggae).

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Playlist: May/June 2011 blog songs

FYI - you can adjust the volume by moving your mouse over the 3 bars on the right