Monday, June 9, 2008

Seven songs of spring

I picked up this prompt from Michael's blog:
List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now, shaping your spring.

Here's my response:

Rihanna (feat. Jay-Z), "Umbrella" -- It sometimes takes me a while to discover things other people have known about for a long time. This song is one such thing. I didn't really appreciate it until I heard it all the way through; then I promptly bought it from iTunes. It's beautiful.

Weezer, "Pork and Beans" -- One of the best things about having a car is listening to the radio on a regular basis again. (Not having a job also makes it easier to get a lot of radio time in, but I digress.) When I heard Weezer's new single on The End (go ahead, make fun of me), I didn't think much of it. Then I saw the video, which I blogged about previously and love dearly. Now, when I hear "Pork and Beans" on the radio (always, always on The End), I think fondly of Weezer's sweet homage to the heroes of YouTube. Not coincidentally, the song has kind of grown on me, too. It's 10,000 times better than "Beverly Hills," for sure.

Coldplay, "Violet Hill" -- Since I trashed Coldplay in the Weekly a couple years back, I was surprised to find myself buying one of the two singles from the band's forthcoming album. I didn't buy "Violet Hill," though; I bought "Viva la Vida," and if you ask me why, I can point to the Brian Eno production (and avoid talking about the amazingly bad lyrics). "Violet Hill," however, won't relent; it follows me around on my daily travels (again, thanks to The End), and I have to admit that while the song is very ordinary (and lacks the dazzling production that might have effectively hidden its ordinariness), the quiet coda is lovely.

Manu Chao, "Me Gustas Tu" -- The song's musical foundation strongly resembles that of other Manu Chao songs (including "Desaparecido," the first of his songs I ever heard), and it's basically a list song, but the cleverness and creativity of the lyrics parks it squarely between familiarity and novelty, which I appreciate.

R.E.M., "Supernatural Superserious" -- Speaking of the sweet spot between familiarity and novelty, this song sounds like a decent number of other R.E.M. songs, so at first I basically dismissed it. But yet again, thanks to the radio, I began noticing nuances (like the subtle way the story sinks in after several listens, and the weirdly satisfying way Michael Stipe doesn't say the title phrase until the very end). I put it on a mix for Emily recently, so now she's got it stuck in her head, too.

Beirut, "Nantes" -- I liked Beirut before I heard the first song on the band's latest album, but I was intrigued by the way this one creeps in, sounding less organic and geographically traceable than most Beirut songs. "Nantes" also showcases Zach Condon's vocals more prominently than his previous work did, a trend that continues, off and on, throughout the album (The Flying Club Cup). Anyway, when I heard this song as I was hanging up my clothes, I thought: "This is such unapologetically nostalgic music, and I'm such a nostalgic person." What can I say? Good fit.

Bruce Springsteen, "Highway Patrolman" -- This could have been one of several Springsteen songs, including "Hungry Heart" and "The Ghost of Tom Joad." Thanks to the library, I've been exploring the Boss fairly extensively, and I like him a whole lot. (Ditto for Bob Dylan, incidentally.) I've only heard "Highway Patrolman" three times, and two of those times I was listening to the Dar Williams cover of it. It's a great story; I wasn't surprised when I read, in Wikipedia, that someone made a movie based on it.

1 comment:

Dave said...

What about Mark Hollis - The Colour of Spring? We've got Highway Patrolman as tune of the day on thishereboogie.