I seem to discover lots of news bands that I like every year, and since this particular day of the challenge doesn’t ask me to pick my favorite – just a band I like – let’s keep it simple and pick one without overthinking it. Because if I start thinking about this one I’ll be here all night.
Two-Door Cinema Club is one of my favorite finds of the past couple of years. Crisp, smart indie pop that owes a great deal to the late ’70s New Wave and bands like XTC and Haircut 100 (although when they’re asked about their influences they don’t really talk about New Wave). Love this one. Continue reading Something good can work: 30-Day Song Challenge, the Sequel, day 28 – a song you like by a band or artist you first discovered in the past year
It seems that America now officially believes in torture as a primary tool of investigation. And back in 2008, I did a little story on how, believe it or not, we are using music as an implement of torture. So I suppose today’s challenge has a dark side, huh?
Mercifully for those suspected terrorists in captivity, DJ EIT (Enhanced Interrogation Techniques) lacks imagination (although, +1 for the “Barney Theme Song” and Meow Mix jingle). Still, nothing at all from the Disco era? Continue reading DJ Enhanced Interrogation Techniques: 30-Day Song Challenge, the Sequel, day 27 – a song you think would be an effective instrument of torture
We’re going in a slightly different direction today. I mean, for a variety of artistic and intellectual reasons I’d love to have dinner with the greatest bands ever – The Fabs, The Stones, The Who, Zep, Floyd, U2, REM, Van Morrison, and a bunch of others. Then there’s this class of really cool, past and present indie artists from then and now, like Jeff Foster and Don Dixon and The Lost Patrol and Jag Star and Paul Lewis and Fiction 8 and Space Team Electra, but I have had dinner with some of them (and have reasonable expectations of dining with the rest of them some day).
But today, I’m thinking about personal realities. Continue reading Another heart has made the trade: 30-Day Song Challenge, the Sequel, day 26 – a song by a band or artist you’d like to have dinner with
So much of popular music is about sex and nothing else, and we have seen more sexcess than we probably know how to process. Perhaps so much that we occasionally grow numb to it.
I can think of dozens of really sexy women in music, but since it seems like sexy is a prerequisite to even get in the door, it really takes a bit extra to rise above the noise.
Enter Alison Goldfrapp. Continue reading Ooh la la: 30-Day Song Challenge, the Sequel, day 24 – a song by the sexiest artist you know
The guy can’t sing (phrasing, anyone?) He can’t write songs. And while I’ve heard guitarists defend him, I’ve personally never seen or heard him play anything that strikes me as being more than sort of marginally competent.
I would ask you to explain to me what the big deal is, but I’m afraid you’d try. So here’s a song by Dave Matthews, and the less said about it the better. I don’t necessarily recommend that you listen to it.
Moving along…. Continue reading I just don’t get it: 30-Day Song Challenge, the Sequel, day 22 – a song by the most overrated band or artist you can think of
Here’s one I’ve been waiting on.
Few things reveal more about a society than its music. Plato explained that when modes of music change, the fundamental laws of the state change with them. Argue chicken and egg on this if you like, but Jimmy Swaggart bitched about it and Pop Will Eat Itself sampled his rant in the intro to Cure for Sanity. Plato, Jimmy Swaggart and PWEI can’t all be wrong.
Whether music causes the widespread rot of the fabric of society or merely holds a mirror up to it, the disturbing truth is that we live in the Age of American Idol, the shallowest, most cynical and relentlessly vapid corporate put-up job in entertainment history. Continue reading Meanwhile, American Idol is sucking your brains out like a zombie apocalypse: 30-Day Song Challenge, the Sequel, day 21 – a song by a band or artist that has never achieved the level of fame they deserve
I’ve always felt strongly attuned to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s famous short story, “Ethan Brand.” The title character forsakes his life to search the world for the unpardonable sin. He finds it. It ends badly for him. The nature of the sin?
He remembered with what tenderness, with what love and sympathy for mankind, and what pity for human guilt and woe, he had first begun to contemplate those ideas which afterwards became the inspiration of his life; with what reverence he had then looked into the heart of man, viewing it as a temple originally divine, and, however desecrated, still to be held sacred by a brother; Continue reading So lonesome I could fly: 30-Day Song Challenge, the Sequel, day 20 – a song that could easily have been written about your life
When we’re kids we like the damnedest things, don’t we? There was a moment, I guess during the summer of 1972, when my two favorite songs were the Jackson 5’s “Rockin’ Robin”…
Continue reading Hot Rod Robin: 30-Day Song Challenge, the Sequel, day 19 – a song you used to love, but that you have now outgrown
So many places I haven’t been, so many places I want to go, so many songs about places. But I guess the place I haven’t been that I want to see the most is Scotland.
My favorite Scottish artist is Fish. And as he sings here, when he was still with Marillion, he was born “with a heart of Lothian.”
Perhaps I was, too, just a bit… Continue reading 30-Day Song Challenge, the Sequel, day 18 – a song that makes you think of a place you’ve never been
And I’m back from several days of packing and moving, just in time to find this emotional and spiritual landmine waiting for me. [sigh]
When you’re a kid in America, nothing is as tangibly magical as Christmas. The excitement, the presents, the lights, the sheer spectacle of the entire world gone shimmery. And nothing is more special than family, the entire family gathered together, the food, the sense of absolute belonging. You are home, in every way it is possible to be home. Or at least that’s how it was for me. Continue reading 30-Day Song Challenge, the Sequel, day 17 – your favorite holiday song