Thursday, June 29, 2006

Five Songs, Chapter Ten

"Everyone's Starting Over" by the Diggs

This is a Brooklyn band I recently discovered, and I’m hoping to see them play in a couple of weeks. Thus far, they sound like a solid, straightforward rock band. Some songs clearly betray a UK/shoegazey influence -- not unlike Longwave, another current New York band -- but this song is pretty much a rave, and it has a great, simple lyric at its center: “I won’t give you false hope, but everyone’s starting over.”

"He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's the Pilot" by Grandaddy

I guess these guys broke up recently. I was never that familiar with them, but I love this song. It's nearly nine minutes long (good bang for your buck on iTunes, if nothing else), and its epic pretensions have as much to do with structure as length. It starts slow, picks up a bit, then picks up another bit. Then it nearly stops, then picks up a bit, then turns into what sounds like a group of Gregorian monks chanting while someone plays Nintendo in the background. (OK, I’m not selling this.) With repeated references to "2000 man" and a poor man's OK Computer sound, it's a bit dated in its millennial menace, but just go with it.

“Still D.R.E.” by Dr. Dre

Not because I listen to a ton of hip-hop (could you have guessed that it’s not generally mopey enough for me?), or because it’s a good song, which it is, but because Dre sets a very high bar for cool when he makes the following line sound legitimately tough: “Still rock my khakis with a cuff and a crease.”

“I Wanna Stay Home” by Jellyfish

I like this song, but I only think to mention it here because I heard it the other night when I stumbled across Career Opportunities on one of my eight hundred HBO channels. I didn’t watch for long -- I don’t really want to watch it, and if I ever do there’s no rush, since it’s on one of those HBOs almost every night -- but the use of this song caused me to do a double-take. I remembered it from late high school, which would have been the early 90s. And it turns out the movie was released in 1991. Wow. You know how some people argue things like, “the 1960s really ended in 1972, with Watergate”? Well, I've always found that kind of argument silly, but carbon-dating Career Opportunities made me realize that the 80s didn’t really end in the 80s.

“Untitled” by R.E.M.

This is the first R.E.M. song I’ve listed in this recurring feature, which could mislead you into thinking they occupy some normal space in my music collection and psyche. Don’t be misled. This is the last song on Green, and it’s so catchy and loosely structured that you could probably play it on a loop for a solid three and a half hours before I complained, or even realized what was going on.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Darling, your lists make me want to blog back at you, blog back at the world. But, ultimately, I'd just rather sleep. Ok this is a regional semi-sequitor. So the "D.R.E." song you list, immeditately made me think of WDRE which was the New Wave/Alternative radio station on Long Island during my youth. Which brought back a rush of playlists and memories of dancing in a club called Malibu surrounded by guidos who thought they were rebels. Gee, JayDub, I'm not sure if I should thank you for triggering such nostalgia or kick you in the shins. I think you should conduct a poll. -- Tavia

9:34 PM  

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