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Thursday , July 1, 2010
Heavy Rotation: The Breeders, The Kingsmen, John Cale, Warpaint, Clinic
So Venus Zine published this piece about how "Breeders' Pod was (and is) more influential than Nevermind." Which is a compelling argument, but the essay itself just left me cold: I don't care if Steve Albini considers Pod one of his greatest works, I don't care if Ariel Pink has "discernable sonic ties to Pod," I don't care if Pod has weird trippy artwork instead of a cover photo of fat baby in pool. Does anyone care about all that, really? Do you care?
Funny thing is, at this point, I'd probably desert-island Pod over Nevermind: The latter hasn't aged all that well for me, which has so much to do with the production. It's so shiny! I don't like a shiny Nirvana, I much prefer a Nirvana that's cruddy-grey and dingy like dirty dishwater. The songs, though - the songs are still damn good and will likely continue to be for all eternity, as damn-good songs are wont to do. So while "Lounge Act" means less to me than about half the songs in the Nirvana catalog, it still means more to me than all the songs on Pod put together and multiplied by infinity.
Oddly (or not oddly, at all), one of the things I love most about Pod is also one of the things I love most about Kurt Cobain's songs - all the weird words strung together in ways that don't make sense but the picture they build in your head is so cool and fucked-up and you get it without "getting it." Their songs are very good poems. I never loved any other Breeders lyrics so much as the lyrics on Pod, and I wonder if that's got to do with Tanya Donelly? Did she and Kim Deal write those songs together? Will I ever know? Probably not. But these are my favorite Pod songs, with my favorite Pod lyrics:
"When I Was A Painter"
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ALL THAT SAID, someone should totally write something about how "Cannonball" beats the hell out of "Smells Like Teen Spirit," no contest. Oh, cool: I just did. Done and done. (Liz)
+ Continue reading "Heavy Rotation: The Breeders, The Kingsmen, John Cale, Warpaint, Clinic"
Thursday , June 17, 2010
Heavy Rotation: Karen Elson, Huggy Bear, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Devendra Banhart, Margo Guryan, Dee Edwards
Karen Elson, "Pretty Babies"
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We're not really pro-model here at nogoodforme, thank the fucking Lord. But I can't help but like Karen Elson's new record a lot. I think it's 'cause we must have pretty similar taste in music--she's covered Joy Division live, and you can tell there's a huge Nick Cave influence in her songwriting. (Dark, poetic Nick, not manic, tight-Goth-Elvis-pants-on-fire Nick.) I also got over the "model-slash-singer" label earlier than most people--I first dug her when she did a cover of Danzig's "Devil's Plaything" with Melissa Auf der Maur years ago. (Ladies with the massive good taste to cover Danzig are ace in my book.) And I saw her perform with Citizens Band awhile back as well, and she was really good. Anyway! I'm gonna stop justifying this song's existence in Heavy Rotation! It's just a nice, lilting, cabaret-y kind of song that will make you feel swishy in a good way. Swishy is a wonderful, underrated quality in music, and there needs to be more of it, especially in the summertime. SO THERE! (Kat)
Huggy Bear, "Pansy Twist"
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Still incendiary after all these years--listening to this never gets old. I love the ending of the song when he's just screaming "MAKE YOU MORE A KID! WHEN YOU WANNA OFF A PIG!!" Puts the "RIOT!!!" in riot grrrl!!! (Kat)
by Liz in Heavy Rotation
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Thursday , June 10, 2010
Heavy Rotation: Sleigh Bells, How To Destroy Angels, David Bowie, Cream, Bob Dylan, The Velvet Underground Sleigh Bells, "Riot Rhythm" Melissa Maertz referred to Sleigh Bells as "cheerleading music for punks" or "punk music for cheerleaders" over at Emusic, where she writes at. Having been both a punk and a cheerleader-y type, I wholeheartedly concur. I love how this song is loud, cheerful and totally bombastic while still sounding really grimy and lo-fi and cheap. It's kind of obnoxious, but good-natured obnoxiousness can be so much fun. (Kat) How To Destroy Angels, "Fur Lined" I really hate it the word "wifey," like when they talk about How To Destroy Angels as "Trent Reznor's new band with wifey Mariqueen Maandig." I see that way too many times on music blogs, and I want you dudes (because it's mostly dudes) to FUCKING CUT IT OUT. Why is there not a true equivalent term, like "husband-y?" (I'm sorry, but "hubby" doesn't it cut it for me. For one thing, "hubby" makes me think of doorknobs or something. That's so unerotic, and one of my goals in life is to completely eroticize my future husband to the point where sex was unimaginable before I hooked up with him.) Maybe the term really should be "bandy," like, "Trent's totally the bandy of this hot Filipina chick." Anyway, Mariqueen's bandy's new band (har har) is a bit more dance-y than NIN. It's kind of perverse to have a song called "Fur Lined" as one of your favorite tracks this summer, but clearly I am perverse like that. I thank my lucky stars that I am every single day, and so will my future bandy. (Kat)
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Thursday , June 10, 2010
Heavy Rotation: Sleigh Bells, How To Destroy Angels, David Bowie, Cream, Bob Dylan, The Velvet Underground
Sleigh Bells, "Riot Rhythm"
Melissa Maertz referred to Sleigh Bells as "cheerleading music for punks" or "punk music for cheerleaders" over at Emusic, where she writes at. Having been both a punk and a cheerleader-y type, I wholeheartedly concur. I love how this song is loud, cheerful and totally bombastic while still sounding really grimy and lo-fi and cheap. It's kind of obnoxious, but good-natured obnoxiousness can be so much fun. (Kat)
How To Destroy Angels, "Fur Lined"
I really hate it the word "wifey," like when they talk about How To Destroy Angels as "Trent Reznor's new band with wifey Mariqueen Maandig." I see that way too many times on music blogs, and I want you dudes (because it's mostly dudes) to FUCKING CUT IT OUT. Why is there not a true equivalent term, like "husband-y?" (I'm sorry, but "hubby" doesn't it cut it for me. For one thing, "hubby" makes me think of doorknobs or something. That's so unerotic, and one of my goals in life is to completely eroticize my future husband to the point where sex was unimaginable before I hooked up with him.) Maybe the term really should be "bandy," like, "Trent's totally the bandy of this hot Filipina chick." Anyway, Mariqueen's bandy's new band (har har) is a bit more dance-y than NIN. It's kind of perverse to have a song called "Fur Lined" as one of your favorite tracks this summer, but clearly I am perverse like that. I thank my lucky stars that I am every single day, and so will my future bandy. (Kat)
Tags: Barker Loves the Beatles, Bob Dylan, dads, David Bowie, flying, George Harrison, John Lennon, Laura Loves the Beatles, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Norwegian Wood, Sexy Sadie, the Velvet Underground, tomatoes
Thursday , May 27, 2010
Heavy Rotation, Special Cancerian Wack Attack Edition: Suede, Jane's Addiction, Hole, Fairport Convention, Drake ft. Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Eminem, the Standells
Being a Cancerian is a huge part of my self-identity, and accepting the fact that I am really a Cancer and not a Scorpio has been a major part of my journey as a human being. (Someone really needs to write an essay about astrological sign envy one day.) I was on this kick of being "spiritually Scorpio" a long time ago 'cause it's the gothiest sign of the zodiac (and I do have Pluto in my first house, which somehow "darkens" my personality a bit.) But I've gotten on the C-train and just ran with the fact that being a Cancer lets me be ridiculously fun-bananas and crazy-bananas all at once, gives me heart and soul and huge reservoirs of intuition and sensitivity and imagination, plus I get a legit excuse for being a freakin' crybaby sometimes. This song epitomizes the "storm of drama" that is being a Cancerian: it's hugely sentimental yet kind of arch about it, both flippant and dead earnest, and it's something you have to listen to a few times to really appreciate its beauty and complexity. You can tell that Suede is trying not be maudlin, decided "Fuck it," and then embraced the dripping emotion with all the flair in the world without any apologies. This song's genius is precisely its emotionality! And so is yours, Cancer! "Stay Together" is the sonic metaphor for Cancerians of "How to Make Being A Cancerian Work For You (And Not Against You, Which Is So Often the Case.)" Now excuse me while I go plan my world domination strategy and get fed cupcakes by my favorite dude who will no doubt say something that I will interpret as mean and make me pout the rest of the night. Man, it's a lot of work to be a Cancer. (Kat)
Thursday , May 13, 2010
Heavy Rotation: Veruca Salt, The Fall, The Shins, Pitbull, Graham Nash, George Harrison
If you frame Veruca Salt within the great 90s tradition of grrrl/girl/lady awesomecore, then even I have to admit that they pale a bit in comparison to their contemporaries. However, if you look at them as bubblegum disguised as grunge, then they were really good at what they were doing at the time: writing insanely hook-y pop songs with distortion pedals. It's weird, because I listen to a record like American Thighs now and I can't quite take it seriously in the way they probably wanted me to (though I do dig the AC/DC reference in the title.) But I can still appreciate the fact that it was fashionable at some point in time to sing about corduroy and lemon drops and possibly weird vehicular sex in pretty girly voices. That's all I ever wanted in life, and for a brief moment in music history I got it! (Kat)
Tags: Bieber Fever, emotional selfhood, Graham Nash, Mark E. Smith, Paul McCartney, Pitbull, Spanish, Ted Nugent, the dark twisted underbelly of the pathologically optimistic, The Fall, The Shins, vehicular sex, Veruca Salt, Wonderwall Music, Zach Braff
Thursday , May 6, 2010
Heavy Rotation: Gwen Stefani, Broken Bells, Bruce Springsteen, Shandi, Buddy Holly, the Salt
Dudes, it's practically the beginning of summer right now in NYC, that sweet spot where it's sunny and warm but not gross-sticky and everyone's wearing sandals and sunglasses and inappropriately teeny shorts. It's awesome! This also means that stuff like Gwen Stefani starts creeping into my musical landscape--basically, any music that's pop and amiable and makes me want to go to the ice cream store or mall or Disneyland or someplace suburban and semi-lame but deep down FUN. I also love doing karaoke to this song, but only with people I know and only when I'm drunk on sorority girl cocktails. That's what amiable pop music is for: to do karaoke to. (Kat)
Tags: anti-Shins, Bruce Springsteen, Buddy Holly, cats, chair dances, drive-ins, emotional sado-masochism, Flashdance, Gwen Stefani, Jay-Z, Jughead Jones, love, love letters to Buddy Holly, love letters to Lucifer, Lucifer, Lucifer Jane Faulds II, malls, middle-class lameness, pro-Danger Mouse, Solid Gold, suburban, Syd Barrett, transcending, unfulfilled dreams
Thursday , April 29, 2010
Heavy Rotation: Neil Young, Satisfact, Bob Dylan, Count Five, Hole
I've been thinking a bit about something I wrote in my portion of our Style Icon entry on Neil Young, which is one of the truest and bestest things I ever wrote 'cause it's like a veiled love letter to a Real-Life Dude -- not to mention a useful piece of theory on love relations that I've forgotten about till recently. It's been kicking up dust in my mind because I'd forgotten about the Neil-type dude vs. Bob Dylan-type dude classification system I used in that lil' essay, but then I remembered -- and then suddenly I realized that I've been kicking it these past few years with Dylan-types. And I'm wondering: is that such a good thing? It's like Dylan-types keep flocking to me, and because they're smart and elusive and clever, I like them so much! So hot! So mysterious! They talk a good game and they're great fun, but do you ever have their hearts? And will they take good care of yours if you give it to them? These questions flutter about in my mind, darting in and out against the big questions of "How do I avoid destitution and starvation after graduation?" and "Where the hell am I going to live?" But I don't care about those things! Where are the Neiler-dudes?! Neil-dudes are so good for you and your soul. Real life has proven this true, so what the heck happened to me that all these Dylan-types keep floating around? Mortal, existential pain! So the real dilemma in my life is either 1. "How do I get more Neiler-dudes in my life?" and/or 2. "Is it possible to bring out a dude's inner Neiler, even if he is a Dylan at heart?" As I like to say: CRAZY LIFE THROWS YOU THE BIG QUESTIONS, I'M JUST TRYING TO LIVE THEM. (Kat)
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Thursday , April 22, 2010
Heavy Rotation: The J. Geils Band, Buddy Holly, Rihanna, Crystal Stilts, the Turtles, the Archies
The J. Geils Band, "Give It To Me"
On August 14 my whole family's going to see Aerosmith and the J. Geils Band at Fenway Park: me, my parents, my brother, my sister, all of us but the dog and the cat. It's so goddamn adorable and I'm psyched for Aerosmith but the real prize is J. Geils Band, aka the best band from my hometown (a place called Worcester, Massachusetts). According to AllMusic.com, J. Geils top themes include "Hanging Out," "Party Time," "Guys Night Out," and "TGIF" - all of which I can completely get behind. And a little while back I had that beautiful dream where Peter Wolf was my tough-talking, lipstick-wearing, life-advice-giving dorm janitor, and now I'm still in love with him. Such a fox!
I saw Peter on the street once, but he was with Mick Jagger, and Mick kinda seemed like the bigger deal at the time. I mean, Mick still seems like the bigger deal, really. Someone should totally get Mick Jagger one of those Anchorman-referencing "I'm Kind Of A Big Deal" shirts, so he can walk around wearing it every single day. (Liz)
Tags: Aerosmith, Archie Comics astrology, astrology, bubblegum, Buddy Holly, chick versions of everything, Crystal Stilts, dudes, existence, families that rock together, Fenway Park, film directing, Jughead Jones, making out to the point of ripping pants off, Mick Jagger, poems, Rihanna, The Archies, the J. Geils Band, The Turtles
Thursday , April 15, 2010
Heavy Rotation: Blonde Redhead, Bruce Springsteen, Van Halen, Elton John, Two George-sung Highlights from "Live at the BBC"
Blonde Redhead, "Missile++"
This is the third week of putting up all my favorite songs that haven't made it yet onto Heavy Rotation, and it seemed kind of weird that I haven't put a lot of Blonde Redhead here. I went through a slight obsession with Blonde Redhead, to the point where I made Kazu Makino one of my original Style Icons. In An Expression of the Inexpressible kind of represented my spiritual-ideal NYC at the time; now I'm a bit hard-pressed to define a band that reps my current ideal of NYC, which is probably a mark of both me not really needing a band to define that, as well as me living here for nearly a decade and knowing there are about a million different NYCs that are someone's spiritual-ideal and who am I to take that away from anyone? My spiritual-ideal NYC lives inside of me, people! "Missile++" takes me back to when I first lived in this glorious city, back to the time when I still was kind of a punk, when my apartment was a shithole but my closet was slightly glamorous, back to a time when Blonde Redhead were still kind of punk-y too. They're a gentler band these days, but I like to think that their wistful tenderness always existed. I think you can hear it a bit here. This is my favorite love song. (Kat)
Tags: beautifulness, Blonde Redhead, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, George Harrison, greeting cards, Laura loves the Beatles, New Jersey, not joke-liking bands, NYC, puppies, stories, sweetness, the 80s, Van Halen
Thursday , April 8, 2010
Heavy Rotation: John Lennon, The Beatles, Nirvana, Hole, Hole, Frankie J and Baby Bash, Aventura
John Lennon, "Gimme Some Truth"
Just so everybody knows- I am writing this and eating a Starbucks "fruit and cheese plate" at the same time. So that's kind of fucking lame of me!
The most important thing that happened to me yesterday was I officially renounced "Hey Jude" as my Favourite Beatles Song forever. Not that I think "Hey Jude" sucks or anything- it's actually, you know, a really awesome song. It's just that my main logic for having "Hey Jude" be my Official Favourite Beatles song was that it's the Objective Best Beatles Song, and that seemed like the thing to do, for the past ten years. But- if all my favourite everythings were the objective bests of whatever they were, I'd be super-into Leonardo Da Vinci and Citizen Kane, and that would be so fucking lame, it would make eating a Starbucks fruit and cheese plate seem like being all about Anni Albers and How To Steal A Million.
My other big reason for knocking "Hey Jude" out of my Top 5 or whatevs is that I'm really goddamned bored of listening to the "Hey Jude" lyrics for guidance/life advice. I tried to do this yesterday, and I realized that I already knew what they were going to tell me, and it wasn't applicable. Take a sad song and make it better? Really, Paul McCartney? Should we take the Holocaust and make it better? And what about all the sad songs you wrote? Should we all walk around and "fix" them? Like "Eleanor Rigby"? Would "Eleanor Rigby" be "better" if it was less sad? Riddle me that, Paul McCartney.
My point being: I listened to "Gimme Some Truth" by John Lennon instead, and it solved everything. New life motto, Spring 2010: It's just you and me, John Lennon. (LJ)
Tags: bachata, Celebrity Skin, concept albums, Courtney Love, death, Edwin Arlington Robinson, Frankie J, Hey Jude, Hole, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Laura loves the Beatles, memories, meteorology, Nirvana, pancakes, The Beatles