I’m waiting for my iPod to charge, so I figured I’d write a happy song post as a foil to the sad song post. I’m starting to make this list and realizing happy bands make happy songs and lots of them. =D
- The Pixies – Here Comes Your Man: As if it weren’t enough in 500 Days of Summer… this song screams sunshine.
- The Cure – Just Like Heaven: A lot of The Cure songs are absolutely infectious with their high-speed sliding barre I-IV-V chord progressions and fast rhythms. This song takes the cake, especially with a particularly joyous cover on mandolin and guitar. The guy is off-his-seat happy.
- Hoots and Hellmouth – The Good I Know You Know: Good ol’ joyful country rock with a whole pile of affirmations and positivity.
- Jukebox the Ghost – Hold it In: JtG is another band where it’s hard to pick the happiest song of the bunch. Super happy pop. On the surface just lyrically cute, has double claps (because double claps make any song better), but shows some complexity with quick time signature changes.
- Bellman Barker – In their Defense: A D.C. band with a lot of great little Beatles harmonies, and sunshine-y jangly guitar. They’ve moved on stylistically, but their old stuff really shines for being different and uncynical.
- The Specials – Hey Little Rich Girl: Old-school ska. It doesn’t really get better or more fun than this. It is impossible to not dance to this song.
- Jack Johnson – Banana Pancakes: Every one of his songs makes me think of nice weather. I just like the idea of banana pancakes.
- Yuki Hsu and Yoo Seung Jun – Can’t Wait: A song about the anticipation and euphoria of seeing your love again. Really cheesy pop (synth harpsichord!) with a Korean guy rapping in English and cloying female Chinese singer. I like to put this song on repeat sometimes and sing along. This song always reminds me of my freshman year of college when it was very popular. (Also at 1:24 in the video is she playing with a tampon?)
- Usher – Yeah: Club anthem, yeah. But I can’t think of many songs that can get people revved up for dancing or in general. I don’t know if Jock Jams still exists, but this is the perfect candidate.
- Sam Roberts – Them Kids: Great Canadian artist. Another highly danceable song, and was in fact my cousin’s first dance at her wedding. It is a rally call against cynicism to some degree. Watch out you non-dancing hipsters.
First post in a long time, but was compelled by a conversation with my friend J. We were discussing some of the saddest songs we’ve heard, so I’m listing a few off the top of my head. There are definitely plenty more that take on all sorts of heart break. These are amongst the ones that hit me hardest.
- Jason Isbell – Dress Blues: Describing the unexpected losses of war and the impact on an entire community.
- The Bee Gees – I Started a Joke: A song often sung by some soldiers in Vietnam, this song takes on a whole new meaning
- Al Green – How Do You Mend a Broken Heart: another song written by the Gibbs, a lot of it is just the way this song is sung by Green that makes it intensely emotional.
- Death Cab for Cutie – Tiny Vessels: I could have listed about five songs for DCFC that are sad. This is the one that has been the most relevant to me. If you’ve ever been on the end of a breakup that you don’t understand, this song is for you.
- Ra Ra Riot – Dying is Fine: When thought of in the context of the death of their drummer, John Pike, this song takes on a whole new meaning.
- Jars of Clay – Fly: A song written for a woman who had cancer, and her husband who promised never to let go of her hand until she passed away.
- Rachael Yamagata – What if I Leave: A song about a relationship in its death spiral, and having the strength to walk away.
- Vic Chestnutt – Flirted with You All My Life: At first you think the song is about the inability to gain the affections of a woman, but then you realize he’s flirting with death and suicide. Particularly sad in the context of his eventual suicide. This song will make you shiver.
- Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’: This is more to do with the song’s potential to be sad. If you slowed this song down substantially, it can become a very depressing song. It goes to show that how a song is played makes a huge difference on how it’s interpreted.
- Ben Folds Five – Brick: Ben Folds’s experience of assisting his girlfriend with getting an abortion. Non-political, and just reaffirms that an abortion is never an easy decision.
Saw The Weakerthans at 930. It was a pretty awesome concert once they started to kick into gear. Sadly, that really only happened with the last song of their regular set and during their encore. As good as the earlier stuff was, it was a little too much like listening to the album on my stereo. We got a nice little treat during the encore, while waiting to tune up in between songs there was a slightly whispered, garbled-word cover of The Cure’s Close to Me.
But what made this concert hilarious was that as we were walking out, I heard this:
“I enjoy farting in a crowd.”
Note: I started this post the other night. I’ll leave it as is, but finish it. I am off to Berkeley for a wedding and a special treat that you will hear about when I return.
I can’t wait for the day I can afford to not have a roommate. It leaves me here writing a post at 3:30 in the morning. So I figured I would offload a bunch of thoughts that have been rolling around for a while.
Korean food cart at 14th and L: 6.75 will get you a sizeable portion of bulgogi or chicken teriyaki with white rice, kimchi and an iceberg lettuce salad with soy dressing. Reasonably tasty. Support small business! Update from last week: They now have breakfast sammiches and “spice chicken.” My friends and I are hoping for a spam, eggs and kimchee breakfast sammiches or spam pajun.
2 Amys: fried mussels in a tempura-like batter with lemon is the perfect way to start a meal or paired up with a few more small things for a meal
Granville Moore’s: Made it out while the chef from the French Laundry was there. Fantastic mussels – elephant garlic, tamarind or bacon and leeks options were all delicious. Not overcooked, mealy mussels here. Sea salt and vinegar gastrique left something to be desired, but dijon mayo was definitely pretty good. Fries could be a little crisper.
Greek Deli: Hie yourself over to Greek Deli on 19th Street between K and L for really good gyro and fantastic meatballs. The tzitzaki sauce is fabulous.
Max’s Kosher Cafe: Oh man. Falafel with toppings. None of that dried up, hard chickpea crap. This is soft and delicious. Add toppings. Woot.
Maxim or Kam Sam: Those cheap lunch boxes with rice and three food choices for about $5. You’d be hard pressed to find a better deal.
Music Continue reading
It’s 2:30 in the morning, but after going to this show I felt like I needed to get this down. First off, remember when I saw the kids from Le Loup at Andrew Bird. Interestingly enough, Jim told me that they’re going to be opening for Andrew Bird. Which… really… HOLY CRAP. I continue to be more and more amazed by their story. I remember Jim telling me that he had originally bought tickets to the Rosebuds/Bowerbirds show, and then he ended up having to sell his ticket since Le Loup was opening for them. Now, imagine that they’re opening for what I guess is at least a few of the band members’ idol, and definitely mine.
And all with good reason. Le Loup finished off the night, which was already well approaching a very unreasonable hour. Tons of folks stuck around because well… it was AMAZING. How is it possible for a band to get exponentially better?
I wrote about their gig at Unbuckled, which showed amazing improvement over their Black Cat show. Compared to what I would call a logistical nightmare at the Black Cat show, Unbuckled was much stronger. But tonight, I would say I think I get them. Continue reading