Sunday, April 30, 2006

Five Songs, Chapter Seven

“Safe Sound” by Trespassers William

I discovered this band the way I’ve discovered a few others since moving to New York -- drunkenly listening to a random sound display at the Union Square Virgin Records late one night. That was a while ago, and the song that I kept replaying as I swayed there (blogs lend themselves to sharing too much, n’est-ce pas?) was a gorgeous cover of Ride’s “Vapour Trail.” I eventually dragged my probably-sobering-up-by-that-point self to the cashier, along with the whole album, Different Stars, and it's strong. I recently downloaded their new one, Having, and haven’t listened to the whole thing enough to form an opinion. I have, however, listened to this first track a bunch, and here’s the opinion: Nice.

“No Time to Cry” by Iris Dement

I’ve heard this song many, many times. The first few listens, I kept waiting for it to feel cheesy. Never happened, and at this point it's safe to say it never will. Heartbreaking old-school stuff, pure and simple.

“Bad Reputation” by Freedy Johnston

I’m not a big fan of Johnston’s generally -- I like him, but his songs seem to be the tepid, too-well-constructed type that people praise for being similar to spare short stories, and if I wanted to read a short story, I’d pick up a book. Plus, his voice is not great. But this song earns that praise while still being dynamic and begging to be played again as soon as it’s done. I’d put it on a fairly short list of examples that an aspiring songwriter should study. Also, it ran over the closing credits of Noah Baumbach’s Kicking and Screaming, a very good movie that, as far as I can tell, is still unavailable on DVD even though they seem to be releasing entire box sets of outtakes from Diff’rent Strokes and the like on a daily basis. What the hell is going on out there in DVD Land, anyway?

“Bullet Proof...I Wish I Was” by Radiohead

There’s a moment in this song -- it comes at the 1:45 mark -- when Thom Yorke starts cooing the word “proof” and a beautiful electric guitar line suddenly joins the fray. (The same essential moment is repeated at 2:36.) And the point is this: Remember when Radiohead wanted to make us happy? Weren’t those just the best of days?

“Dynamite Walls” by Hayden

This is just a good song. Can’t a song just be good sometimes, without all this analysis? Jeez, people.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know what else is nice on that Hayden cd? "All in one move you changed my way of thinking." How do you feel about Neko Case? I like when she sings, "I'm holding out for that teenage feeling," because, you know, who isn't.

11:08 PM  
Blogger Deevulge said...

Stumbled across your blog while wandering around the internet looking for some lyrics...

I must say, I am impressed with your descriptions of these songs - you have a way with words that is enticing.

11:55 PM  

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