Sunday, November 14, 2010

5 Song Shuffle Vol. 15 - The "Look at My Bed Head" Edition

My iTunes library, as of November 14, 2010, has 21, 056 songs in it. Some are novelty downloads, some i have because i'm a completionist, some i rarely (if have ever) listened to. So, in this new blog segment, i will let shuffle pick out random songs (without personal editing to hide embarrasing and/or lame songs), and i will write about what i think of them, plus any details i an give about how it was procured. At current rate (and if my iTunes never repeats a song...) this will be the fifteenth in at least a 4,000 part series.

Song #1 - "Got Nuffin" - Spoon

Spoon is a band that, for me, got old pretty quick. I LOVED their Girls Can Tell and Kill the Moonlight records, then didn't like Gimme Fiction, then dug the better songwriting/arranging of Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, and now this one, Transference, sounds like half-baked ideas performed exactly as you'd expect. It is still better than a lot of other music out there, but Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga showed that when they really try, they can be amazing. I mean, come on, "The Underdog?" Song of 2007. This is ok, but nothing special (in fact, this might be the best song on this record). I got this via eMusic. I once, with about 15 other people, saw Britt Daniel do a duet performance at the old Knitting Factory (the bottom room) with Spoon's then keyboard player. He ended with John Lennon's "Isolation" - just thinking of it gives me chills. More of that, Britt - less of the same drum pattern.

Song #2 - "Hello Morning" - Fugazi

The most ethical band on the planet. This is from the 3-song Furniture EP. The band, around this time, released The Argument, my favorite album of theirs, which was much moodier and not as in your face as their prior releases. And this EP is the accompanying piece to The Argument, where they rock just as hard as ever. I own this, specifically, because i once had a gift card to Sam Goody maybe (?) and needed to spend another 2-3 bucks, and there this was. Sung by Guy Piccolo, this song is pretty great - says all it needs to say in just over 2 minutes.

3. "Hackensack" - Pee Wee Russell

One of my favorite blogs is called Singer Saints, which posts obscure/out of print/rare records, many times of the jazz variety. I just got this a few weeks ago (the album is called Ask Me Now!), and haven't given it a good listen yet. However, this is really interesting - it is relatively straight forward jazz without a chordal instrument (like a guitar or piano) - this quartet is just Russell on clarinet, and then bass, drums and the fourth member alternating between bass trumpet and valve trombone (!). Russell was in his sixties when he made this - a rare Dixieland era guy who could still play and adapt his style 40 years later. A really catchy, fun tune - and hey, it is named after Hackensack, NJ. We all win!

4. "Live Wire" - Beastie Boys

A rare-ish track from their anthology The Sounds of Science. This has elements of sixties tremelo-guitar, nineties analog synths, and drone-y vocals. I like this a lot actually. I don't remember much about this song, but i've owned this compilation for ten + years. Wow. Got this album from my parents for Christmas one year.

5. "Say" - Thenewno2

This band is the brain child of Dhani Harrison, George Harrison's son. Dhani is a really talented singer and player, but this debut EP didn't really do it for me. I've heard bits of their album that seem much more in line with what he could do, but i still haven't picked that up yet. Not that this is bad - it just seems easy - not that these tunes are lazy, they just don't push far enough in my opinion. I did just pick up the album from Fistful of Mercy, Harrison's new band with Joseph Arthur and Ben Harper, and that seems a bit tossed off, unlike this. I think Harrison needs a producer with a vision (let's say, a Brian Salvatore type) to work with him and extract something unique and personal out of him. All you have to do is hear his work on his father's last album to know how talented he really is. I had special ordered this EP from the UK when it came out - it is self-titled.

'Til next time,

Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14

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