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Archive for August, 2009

Judy and the dream of horses – Belle and Sebastian

The original Jeepster LP release of this album stayed on the shelves of Paint It Black for something like three years and it is my Mr. T at the mall story. I’m not sure how it ended up in there and stayed there for so long. Punk distribution is a funny thing. I really regret not buying it. I really regret not buying a lot of things during those many, many years spent with no income. Yes, ain’t life hard.

I feel like i ask this question about a lot of things, never ever getting subtle or even the most overt of innuendo, but is this a dirty song? This is derived from taking the horse dream as literal and those girls in school who owned, rode, lived and loved horses, taking days off at a time for gymkhanas, riding to and from school, to and from anywhere, and the rest of us wondering what they found so much in horses, why human relations were dull in comparison. Not dirty yet. But then one day, some of us before others, we came to direct our pondering to that, on saddle, on horseback, they may be receiving… certain pleasures from the animal’s movement as they rode. It sounds idiotic, but is that what this song is about, Stewart?

It sounds idiotic to rest a young girl’s love for a horse solely on that… grinding. As small and as bestial a part that may play (and we’ve actually had it confirmed, adding nothing but weight to that one conclusion) a horse clearly brings so much to a girl in companionship, wonder, adventure, and in the tender relationship of any “pet” to rest it on that most adolescent or base psychoanalytical of determinations. There’s a reason The Saddle Club is so popular, and popular among those who have little to no to miscarried awareness of sexuality.

I don’t mean to ascribe sexual awakening/disappointment as anything “dirty”.

anemic cinema

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I Am Waiting

I am waiting – The Rolling Stones

Trust Wes Anderson to use a song by a band i had written off so assuredly from the moment i became a discerning music listener so well in his movie that it finds a special place in my heart, and a place in my head this morning.

I like this song a lot. Some of the vocal intonation seems affected and annoying, but other than that it is a great song, an opinion and reaction i would not have if it weren’t for the need to soundtrack a montage. It doesn’t seem like a Rolling Stones song, so maybe it has that in its favour. I don’t even know what a Rolling Stones song is meant to sound like and how much this is divorced from that model, so my opinion, as usual, holds no weight. But i can overlook the author here – an author who on every instance of contact (not filtered through Wes Anderson) have turned me further and further off them – and enjoy the song.

Aside from Brian Jones and Charlie Watts, the Rolling Stones are lame. No qualifier to hide opinion as merely opinion. Stated: Lame. What did Mick Jagger say after watching Tina Turner perform beyond anything he could possibly hope to ape in that scene in Gimme Shelter? The repugnant reaction one should have after he quips that sums up my thoughts of the band, stretched absolute and permanent. It is tempered sometimes i guess.

gidget

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Fuck This World

Fuck this world – The Queers

There are times now i find harder to stomach some elements and songs of the Queers. Despite a great deal of nostalgia involved, them being fantastic and having written what i think are still some of the best songs ever, there’s something that doesn’t always sit well with me when listening to them. And it’s not the traditional divide of their pop songs versus their ugly punk songs. It’s maturity versus song and album titles like I Want Cunt, Beyond the Valley of the Assfuckers, Fagtown, Gay Boy, etc., which i guess after all these years puts me right in their line of fire for taunting.

Doing the punk thing and trying to be offensive to an extent appearing as just plain revelry in questionable mores and conservatism doesn’t seem to have been facsimiled to this generation of pop punk, thankfully. And the Queers still have songs like this (a Ben Weasel/Joe Queer co-written song) that make me forget anything repulsive ever came from them, though not for long. Ooooh, this is tearing me apart.

la collectioneuse

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Who’s Gonna Care

Who’s gonna care? – Cause Co-Motion

Can i hear a xylophone/marimba/vibraphone/i don’t know what in this song? Another Cause Co-Motion song this morning. One of my favourite things about this band and this song is how the position of second guitarist seems to exist solely to play those melody notes. There seems to be no ancillary use for that second guitar at all. It’s played often enough, and to ever so pleasing results, but what of those song parts without that second guitar? What do they do then? I cannot imagine what Cause Co-Motion are like live – the relic-like sound of the band creating some mystique that doesn’t allow the band to sit at all in a mundane, grounded, touchable contemporary setting.

wet hot american summer

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Supercrush

Supercrush – Tiger Trap

What a great band Tiger Trap were, speaking at a distance never concurrent with their existence as a band, of course. I think maybe Go Sailor are my Rose Melberg band of preference, but that is probably due to me having spent more time with them than her other excellent music endeavours. Unlike other people of many bands and side projects, i can trace and have perfect grasp of everything Rose Melberg has done, and love it all. So much. A Rose Melberg band, no matter her level of involvement, from Gaze to the Softies, from her solo stuff to her guest appearances, has a certain stamp to it. You can tell her presence. Maybe it’s all down to familiarity, but with others like her, themselves spread along the music landscape with as many hands in as many cookie jars, i often fail to recognise and trace from band to band their appearance, their stamp.

cranes are flying

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Blue Thunder

Blue Thunder – Galaxie 500

The best song ever written about a car. In my opinion. It’s sort of for music what Two-Lane Blacktop is for car movies: convention-defying, divergent, dissidentive, poetic, existential, at an irregular tempo to anything it could be lumped with, and one you never see appear on a list of the best car songs/movies. Neither are for car fanatics, to fit into their culture with all acceptable gearhead talk and tradition of vehicle affection intact.

It is, to me, a song reflective of all the most permissible things about a car. Not driving down some strip, in competition with all other cars. Not trophied in a garage, to only be let out on a Sunday, status symbol vehicles. Not to be paraded, a show piece, ornate, but a car that can carry a person to a somewhere they really need to be. It is separate from even the teenage-liberating semblance of the cars of the Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, etc. They were always driving to, Blue Thunder away. A love song for the carriage, claustrophobic yet isolated and safe, a world from which one can traverse the distances of the larger one. The notion of the power of cars exists here too, but an altogether different power than engine and speed. It is to motor different things, different desires, to transport the unsettled on hope to get somewhere. To get somewhere. An elsewhere.

two-lane blacktop

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Reading Rainbow

Reading Rainbow theme – Tina Fabrique

I have never even seen this show yet i have the theme song in my head! Damn cultural imperialism. It seems the easiest decision to make for a kid’s show, but there’s something expressly good in the existence of a show whose principle purpose is to get kids interested in reading books and the worlds to be found within them. So why this show, this theme song, and not Play School, Jackanory, Puddle Lane or fucking The Book Place? Maybe i should go into children’s television… I’d like to.

pretty poison

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In All Respects

In all respects – Garden Variety

Garden Variety are a band who aren’t remembered as readily, held with the regard, and leagued with those immediately prescribed bands for anyone with a case of the mid 90’s as they should be. Another band who aren’t. I could compose a very long list of such bands, but this morning it’s Garden Variety in my head so it’s Garden Variety as my crusade.

I have never been recommended them. If not for downloading things haphazardly then deciding one night to actually listen to those things i download, playing this album and realising it is as wonderful as it is, i would really have no idea, and would have not spent the last year listening to this and wondering where all the deserved esteem for it is. This song opens Knocking the Skill Level, and starts something so much worthy of a crusade for its attention. Look and you’ll find Garden Variety, and find what i think is a great band, but you will have to look. Despite the veneration of many who “were there”, being the odd band out in Norman Brannon’s Anti-Matter interview anthology book (but still being included, them of all bands), and being no small band in their time and of their sphere, they remain lost, shrouded at a depth seldom dug – something i find unfortunate.

decasia

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The best ever death metal band in Denton – The Mountain Goats

I should have a newer favourite Mountain Goats song than this, but between this and Going to Georgia, the sentimentality involved, stubborness, and shameful remissness in keeping up with one of my favourite yet too casually held bands, nothing has outstripped it. John Darnielle, whether fiction or (who was expecting it) non-fiction is such an incredible songwriter and storyteller. Duh. So perhaps it is only the story i find most affecting i declare to be my favourite.

Honestly, these lyrics… Having none of it spoiled by the vision of Cyrus and Jeff extrapolated to that of probable animal torturers and racists (although maybe not, you know? Fingers crossed), kept to the struggle of small town youth as they negotiate their lives, captured at at once the most valuable and distressing moment of their lives, it resounds in me something so poignant. Most of John Darnielle’s songs do that, but this one in particular. It is so close to home.

I thank Atom and his Package for giving me a head start on this band, when there were only about 200 Mountain Goats songs as opposed to whatever mammoth number a guy with a guitar can numerate over the years. But any benefit that head start lent me i’ve wasted by being too casual of a fan and not staying on top of that stream of releases outpacing prolificacy can offer the world. I’m actually quite ashamed. Why do i give attention to some things and not others? I get every benefit i hold dear in music from listening to the Mountain Goats and i don’t even own a physical copy of an album.

I’ve spurned the want to see them live four times now, getting as far as hopping in the car, keys in ignition. I don’t know what to expect from them live. I know John Darnielle lugs a band around now but i’m still afraid of the songs played to be drowned out by the clinking of glass and the untimely, irritating wall of noise jerk people talking while a band plays can produce. Sydney people are the worst for this. Either that, or i’m afraid of finding myself in some Dashboard Confessional sing-a-long crowd. How horrible. So to the never-shortening list of things i wish i would get over and regret not embracing and having enjoyed already goes…

Hail Satan.

late spring

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Straight Girl

Straight girl – Skinned Teen

As i find hyperbolic claims and ill-founded, shaky yet outright affirmation the best way to get my stupid points out and across, today’s is that the Raooul/Skinned Teen split is the best of the Atlantic Ocean-spanning riot girl split records. And to support that claim and offer evidence of that record’s superiority here is a song that isn’t even on it. It can be found on a really great comp, Elastic Jet Mission, released by Slampt, as can other great songs by Milky Wimpshake, Lungleg, The Yummy Fur, Unseen, Golden Starlet, and others. Great songs on a great comp. Who’d have thought?

I never realised how much cursing is in this song. It’s making me blush. Skinned Teen were a really great band to find posthumously and have all effect of wash over me at a very opportune time in my life. As silly and disposable as they could seem, they were never so and were as vital, important, informed and alert as the best of bands.

crippled avengers

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