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.

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2 Comments:

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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