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Tuesday , December 14, 2010
Heavy Rotation: Van Dyke Parks, Imperial Teen, the Black Angels + More!
We always take the "mixed-up" maxim of fashion at heart here at nogoodforme.com, and so we've got nearly everything this week: perfect pop gems from the 60s, sexy Euro faux-disco, straight-up rock stompers and French chanteuses. (Okay, we don't have everything, but one day one of us will find that perfectly compact black-metal-meets-Motown hit and then our Heavy Rotation collection will be complete.) As always, hit it up at the jukebox on our homepage and let us know what you think!
Van Dyke Parks, "Do What You Wanta"
This song exemplifies precisely why I am incapable of "getting over" the sixties. Songs just aren't this good anymore! I don't know- maybe all the A+ melodies that exist were used up forty years ago, and now songwriters are stuck with D-grade hooks for the rest of eternity? It amazes me that this little kicker is only one minute and fifty-nine seconds long; in a spirit similar to "She Loves You," it packs those two short minutes densely full of fun, folly, gaiety and unabashed positivity. Van Dyke Parks' intensely adorable speech impediment doesn't come across so much on Song Cycle, but on this 1966 single, his delivery sounds sweetly askew, as does a toddler's. His blissful pronunciation of "Waw-awn-ta" strikes a chord with my maternal instinct in a way that I can safely say no other rock song ever has. (Laura)
Mirwais, "Disco Science"
I haven't gotten the new Madonna record yet and I feel real bad, since it's been out a whole three days and all. Instead I'm revisiting Music, which was produced by Mirwais, whom I know virtually nothing about except that he's responsible for this piece of genius I scored off the Snatch soundtrack. Snatch is basically pretty bad (sorry, Mr. Madonna!), but I was mega-obsessed when it came out, mostly because I either wanted to be Benicio Del Toro or at least go out with Benicio Del Toro. Still, there's a whole bunch of pretty killer scenes, especially the Dog vs. Rabbit one that "Disco Science" plays in. Plus, all songs ever created should totally sample "Cannonball," don't you think? (Liz)
The Raveonettes, "Lust"
I predict I'm going to post nearly every song on this record eventually, that's how much I'm digging the latest Raveonettes record. This song is like a perfect introduction to this band: it has this sugary girl-group pop core, but it's dressed up in the noise of nihilism and despair. If that's too high-concept for you, here's a more poetic take: it sounds like L.A. at night, when you've got a sunshine hangover from the day and are settling into your desolate high-rise at dusk. And if that's too obtuse to get a grasp on: this song is great to make out to. If that doesn't help you grasp the gorgeous core of how this song works, well, I can't help you at all. (Kat)
Imperial Teen, "Yoo Hoo"
My favorite thing about Imperial Teen is that the one time I went to see them - fall of '96, opening for the Lemonheads in Providence - Roddy Bottum and I had the same shirt on. It was this ugly, white-stripe-collared, red polyester short-sleeve I'd found at a Salvation Army in my hometown, and somehow Roddy had chosen to wear the exact same thing on the exact same night. Magic! Anyway, they played "Yoo Hoo" during that show, even though What Is Not to Love was a few years away from being released - I remember staring up at one of the amazon girls in the band as she sang the back-up vocal, completely gaga for her. I've kind of lost track of Imperial Teen over the years, but this album and Seasick still sound boss to me. (Liz)
The Black Angels, "Young Men Dead"
I was going to post a Black Angels song from their latest record, Directions To See A Ghost, but alas, the opening section of it was so eerily similar to Liz's Imperial Teen track that it was weird. (Does this prove Laura's theory that top-grade melodies were used up four decades ago? I have no idea.) So instead I'll give you the opener of their last record, Passover, which is gloriously anthemic swamp-rock at its sexed-up best. You can debate all about the relevance of rock 'n roll and the death of guitar-based music or whatnot, but the song just rocks, and sometimes that is all you really need in a track. (Kat)
Sylvie Vartan, "Baby Capone"
If I were facing off with Frank Sinatra at a roulette table in Monaco circa 1963, I would tip the cocktail waitress and request she put this song on while getting me my next Bloody Mary. In this fantasy, my name would be Baby Capone, and I'd wear red lipstick and probably overdo it on the leopard print. This song is uncanny in its ability to evoke the semblance of a time or place that I can feel, though don't necessarily understand. I listen to a lot of music from The Past, and mostly it just sounds like "good" or "music" to me; this historical relic of a pop song, however, has a compelling and sort of spooky energy that makes you feel like you've been transported back to the days of jet-setting, white collar crime-heavy, James Bond-ian livin'. This single's B-side, "Zum Zum Zum," is equally nostalgically fascinating; perhaps more appropriate for soundtracking those hazy, lazy long-ago afternoons I spent tanning on a yacht wearing a white monokini while Dean Martin fed me strawberries. Oh, those were the days! (Laura)
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