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Old 12-13-2010, 04:47 PM   #11 (permalink)
And then there was music
 
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Thanks
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Old 12-14-2010, 01:11 PM   #12 (permalink)
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44
Regina Spektor - Samson
Songs
2002




I'm sure us music fans have heard of those supposed songs that, when we hear it for the first time, regardless of age, race, gender, length of nose - it stops you dead in your tracks and you drop what you're doing and just listen, and then become consumed within the magic that is unravelling before your ears. Those songs are just myths aren't they? Well for arguments against, I present Exhibit A, 'Samson'. New York via Russia's Spektor struck gold with this mournful gem. This is the original version, just her, a piano and a single take, and it packs much more powerful mojo than the version on Begin To Hope, which added orchestral sheen but lost the intimacy. The song obviously references the Bible's Samson and Delilah story, but around this Regina writes about ageing and the disappointment of falling out of love, and its devastating. The key line in this song is "You are my sweetest downfall" which express with regret, that all our addictions, even love, can turn you into a weeping mess. In fact Regina is such a weeping mess she no longer sees the point in the romantic tradition of gazing at the stars, as after all, "They're just old light". But it's not the lyrics that are the most gut wrenching thing here, 'Samson' contains some of the most heartbreaking piano melodies I've ever heard. The way the notes stalk around the words "your hair was long when we first met", before the rhythm slows down slightly and Reg hits a gorgeous minor seventh chord that seems to stop time. The whole song is built around a chord sequence that is so beautific and spot on it should be illegal. Then of course we have Reggie's vocals. The reason this is by far and away her best track is because it lacks the self consciously kooky vocal warbling of much of her other early music, and isn't as . . . well, dull as her recent stuff. Unless you're made up of old car mechanic tools, the way she sings "I loved you first" will make you crumble like polystyrene. People I've played this to have often mistaken it for a lost Bjork song, and the biggest compliment I can give it is that its up there with 'Venus As A Boy' in terms of vocal chord magic.

There was a time when this song would have been much higher up this list, and maybe it deserves to be. Unfortunately it hasn't held up to repeated listens over the years. So I'm sorry my sweet Reggie, you'll have to make do with 44, but it was good while it lasted and I hope you've been able to move on.

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Old 12-15-2010, 10:56 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Maybe it's just that picture, but she's UGLY
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Old 12-15-2010, 11:13 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Maybe it's just that picture, but she's UGLY
No.
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Old 12-15-2010, 01:29 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVCA View Post
Maybe it's just that picture, but she's UGLY
Really? U crazy blud. I just wanna stroke those curls

Still, different strokes for different folks and all that.
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Old 12-15-2010, 04:01 PM   #16 (permalink)
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43
Stephen Malkmus - Church On White
Stephen Malkmus
2001

Everybody make way please. Legend coming through.
In 2001 Malkmus had split from scruffy, influential, lo-fi mavericks Pavement, and released his overlooked solo album. Stephen Malkmus is a warm and cosy ride, full of 70's tinged folk rock loveliness, melded with a soul that was lacking in Pavement's restless rumble. This just about edged out a few other tracks from the album and is here partly because it's a lovely breezy thing which I can imagine myself listening to when I'm old and withered, rocking back and forth on my garden chair, reflecting in the sun, and dusting off my favourite beer as Malkmus whispers through the trees, "Carry on, it’s a marathon, take me off the list. I don’t want to be missed" and his band, the Jicks, stroll along in 3/4 time while the timid air cuts through the blades of grass around me. But this song is mostly here because of the guitar, which is just dam exquisite throughout. And it gets even better from about two minutes in, where Malkmus overdubs himself and we get gorgeous twin guitar flourishes that are up there with anything on Television's Marquee Moon. Just listen to it. And save me from spewing any more pretentious babel.

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Last edited by Badlittlekitten; 12-15-2010 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 12-15-2010, 07:15 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Maybe it's just that picture, but she's UGLY
You are deeply, deeply mistaken
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Old 12-18-2010, 09:50 AM   #18 (permalink)
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42
Feist - 1234
The Reminder
2007

Yet another romance number. Boring I know, but Feist's take on the 'Can't Buy Me Love' theme is still lovely, despite it's appearance in certain commercials. The vocals are cute without being saccharine and Feist tackles the lyrics with more than enough conviction to make me forget about portable jukeboxes. The moment of the track is almost blink and you'll miss it, as at 2:06, the piano plays some jaunty lines that act as the catalyst of making the track into something more uplifting as it draws to a close.



41
The Futureheads - Meantime
The Futureheads
2004

"I wasn't laughing properly, when you were talking to me. I didn't find it funny
Your story didn't do it for me. And you thought that I was joking. I said you were a moron. When I said it I was smiling, so you'd think that I was joking"
Amidst all this romance, The Futurehead's questions about the mundane and pointless aspects of everyday conversation are refreshing. The Sunderland quartet yodel on by with their candy caned take on Gang of Four style sharp edges, and it's luminescent and makes me grin. I'd like this song more if it had one more 'false conversations' verse before the end, but in the meantime (see what I did there?) this hits all the right pop punk buttons.

h
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https://soundcloud.com/bad-little-kittens
My Top 100 LPs
My Top 52 Indie Tracks Of The 21st Century (incomplete)
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Old 12-19-2010, 09:09 AM   #19 (permalink)
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The Breeders - Off You
Title TK
2002

Everybody make way again please. And take your finger out of your nostril. Legend coming through . . .

Well it only took them about a decade to follow up Last Splash, and when Title Tk was finally released it looked like the band had thrown it together in a couple of hours. From the cheap and nasty artwork to the dusty lo-fi production, and even the albums title itself - Title Tk seemed half-arsed to say the least. But over the years it has slowly revealed itself to be a bit of a gem; all the songs flow organically while Steve Albini's production is stark and intimate and the band sound like they're playing in your bedroom, enjoying every note as they're lapping up all your booze. I actually prefer this to the patchy and overrated Last Splash (Obviously Pod is their masterpiece). 'Off You' is like a quieter and less chaotic 'Gigantic', which Kim Deal recorded with alt-rock heroes the Pixies. It represents the LPs softer side, ditching the muddy fuzzbox din for a Velvet Underground style ballad. By now Deal's voice was not what it used to be and the mic picks her up at close range, all ragged and breathy (apparently she lost her voice completely for a short period due to smoking, heroin and being a bit of a loud mouth) but to me she never has sounded so beautiful. When she purrs "I am the autumn in the scarlet, I am the make-up on your eyes" I can feel hairs begin to prickle down the back of my neck. The songs seems to be about landing to sail and casting yourself adrift, presumably what Kim had been doing for the last nine years, but it's hard to make sense of Deal's lyrics which come across like half remembered dreams. Musically it sounds naked, with three VU chords, no percussion, a weird squelchy synth noise that appears at fifty seconds in only to be never heard from again and a fruity upright bass that just about holds everything together. Like so much on Title TK it somehow works, even though it shouldn't.

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'Said do you feel it? Do you feel it when you TOUCH ME?. THERE'S A FIRE! THERE'S A FIRE!' The Stooges. Dirt.

https://soundcloud.com/bad-little-kittens
My Top 100 LPs
My Top 52 Indie Tracks Of The 21st Century (incomplete)

Last edited by Badlittlekitten; 12-19-2010 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 12-20-2010, 05:51 PM   #20 (permalink)
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top 50 of the decade-first 10

I Want to Sing That Rock And Roll-Gillian Welch
Caring Is Creepy-The Shins
Lost Cause-Beck
From Blown Speakers-New Pornographers
16 Military Wives-The Decemberists
Lou-ee, Lou-ee--Fastball
Fading Into Obscurity-Sloan
Energy-The Apples in Stereo
In My Arms-Teddy Thompson
Festival-Sigur Ros
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