Category Archives: entry

9 Crimes – Damien Rice

This song falls into the less is more category of music. Its such a simple song but instead of sounding unfinished it sounds delicate. It makes me think of lace, that is made of all one thread but forms an intricate pattern. The lyrics of this song are basically one line of words however, the singing forms it into an intricate pattern and reveals the emotion of the song.

There is very minor instrumentals but because they are so sparse their impact is all the more emotional and dramatic. As the strings come in, they start out so forlorn and as they build on each other it is a climax, you get the full power of the sadness running through this song.

The vocals are just amazing. Damien Rice does quiet songs like this so well. The female vocals are by Lisa Hannigan are perfect. She appears on his first album “O” and though it seems according to wikipedia they stopped working together her voice really compliments his. Its like the feminine version of his voice.

Video for 9 Crimes

Parting of the Sensory – Modest Mouse

I love the tone of this song. It is a very complicated emotion of anger, confusion, failure and lack of control. The sound and the lyrics marry so well that the emotions really convey well and can get inside you. Its a great song when you are feel frustrated because it can really get to the core of most frustration, at least in my world.

I love how the song builds and then climaxes with a nearly acoustic part and yet it sounds very powerful.

Modest Mouse has a great use of unusual sounds. And this one has the creepiest with the wheezey sound at the end. It almost gives me shivers considering the subject matter of the song.

The lyrics are amazing in how they are simple and complex all at the same time. I love songs that are almost like poems, full of meaning.

Some day you will die and somehow something’s going to steal your carbon

User Video for Parting of the Sensory

40 Day Dream – Edward Sharpe & The Magnectic Zeros

A good friend suggested this song to me and it totally picked me up on an otherwise blah Monday.

Obviously, the song is very upbeat. It also has a sound that is very early 60’s to me. Not sure if it is the lead vocals or the promient piano or the mix that transports me back to a sock hop. But it’s not a bubble gum song. It has depth and tons of sound. Like a party wrapped up in a great song.

The percussion is great too. There are parts that sound like someone stomping their feet. And it is definitely the kind of song that makes you want to stomp your feet.

Listen to the song and lighten your Monday mood.

By & By – Brett Dennen

Simple sounds seem to be what I crave when I am in a funk. And this song fits the bill. Its just a man and a guitar. And Brett’s vocals are so beautiful. His voice is this unusual mixture of a kind of roughness with a lightness. It’s the kind of sound that makes me think of heartbreaking love songs.

The lyrics to this song are so wonderful. They are a combination of love and longing and need. Which is the kind of love song I dig. What can I say, I was an English major, I need something deep to make my heart go pitter pat.

I love these lyrics in particular:

and I know words can be the worst to pervey
how it is I feel for you, it’s hard for me to say
but if we keep it simple, I think it’s better that way
tangled words tend to lead my messages astray

oh, i’ll tell you that I
I love you by and by
I don’t know if I’d survive
without a friend like you in my life

Live Performance of By & By

It Takes Two – Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock

I have a heard time talking about rap and hip hop because I tend to let heavily sampled rap and so the song is part of other songs.

I love this song because its so up beat. I am not generally a fan or the gritter rap songs. I like songs that I can do geeky dances to.

This song has a great beat not only with actual percussion sound but also kept by the sample of someone screaming or cheering (hard to say).

And the rhyming is just stellar. Not sure how people get this good at coming up with words that rhyme and make a song. I know I wrote a lot of bad poetry in my youth and though it rhymed it never sounded like this.

Video for It Takes Two

Beautiful Day – U2

I have very mixed feelings about U2. I used to be a huge fan. But then every radio station I listened to decided that a U2 song an hour was a good idea. And I just got sick to death of most of their song.

But when this song came out there was something about it that captured my ear. I think because the emotion in it seems so authentic. It is joyful despite itself. The lyrics and sound are in conflict but sometimes that is how happiness is. We are happy despite the situation. We are enjoying a sunny, blue sky day despite being disappointed or sad. And the song is saying don’t let the beautiful day go just because you have other things going on.

It was a beautiful day
Don’t let it get away
Beautiful day

Video for Beautiful Day

Sympathy for the Devil – Rolling Stones

In literature I have always been more drawn to the idea of the devil as a being kind of egging humans on to fulfill the worst in their nature. It makes more sense to me than a being who does bad himself. It makes much more sense that he would just be some charismatic guy encouraging you to do bad yourself than doing it to you. And so that is part of the draw of this song for me. Also, attorneys are often closely associated with the devil. Perhaps we are seen as encouraging the worst in human nature too. So sometimes I think of this as a song about lawyers although I am pretty sure that is not what the Rolling Stones were thinking.

I love all the percussion on this song. The congos in particular are awesome. I can’t even hear any guitar though in the video one is being played. I like that a lot of the “instruments” are hoots and hollars. It kins of makes the song sound more festive. Which I think shows the tongue in cheek nature of the song. They start out so slow and almost serious but its obvious even the devil doesn’t think he needs sympathy.

Live Footage of The Rolling Stones performing Sympathy for the Devil

You Oughta Know – Alanis Morissette

Whether you like her or not, it’s hard to deny that Alanis has a serious set of pipes. She can do both a lower range and then head upwards into a high pitch that really reflects the bitterness of the song.

I like the crispness of the drums in this song. They are very stacco which lends to the anger being set forth in the song. I really like when the musical aspect of the song works just as hard as the vocals to set the mood for the song. Sometimes song lyrics can be angry but you don’t necessarily feel it in the instruments.

The fact that the song is fast allows the song to be more angry than sad. Too many lost love songs are slow and sad. This one seems much more vengeful. According to wikipedia, the lyrics of which are rumored to describe Morissette’s fouled relationship with Dave Coulier of Full House. Who knew someone could be so upset about losing Dave Coulier.

Video for You Oughta Know

I Will Follow You Into The Dark – Death Cab for Cutie

This song is a tad on the morbid or dark side but I like it all the same. The lyrics really touch me because I like the idea of being with the one you love even in the afterlife. Not that I would particularly like to enter into some suicide pact. I think of it more like the urban legends you hear of one spouse dying and then the next day the other spouse dies.

The music is so simple and soft. It almost reminds me of a lullaby in the way it is song.

Video for I will Follow You Into the Dark

Rock Lobster – B-52s

I have often hypothesized that the B-52’s came together and had a conversation like this:

“Let’s start a band!” “Ok…I want to yell random words during our songs.” “Ok!”

And so came about songs like Rock Lobster.

The crazy part of their music is if you listen past the yelling of random words and crazy lyrics, the instrumental parts are really well done and technically seem difficult. It has the surf sound of the Beach Boys. Its just instead of cheesey songs about their girl, its about….rock lobsters. Why not?

This song always makes me want to dance around like a crazy person (which is typically how I dance). Plus its so fun to yell random words, I can see why they formed a whole band around the concept.

Live Performance of Rock Lobster