Five From iTunes

In which I write about the next five songs that play in iTunes. My, how clever...

"What Used To Be French" by Secret Machines
I first heard this track on the Yes New York compilation a couple of years ago. The opening bass line sets you up for a big sound built on a simple layered instrumentation more effective than most complex arrangements. The guitar comes in after about thirty seconds, then the drums about fifteen seconds later with a "starting up the reel-to-reel tape" effect that I like so much I was very tempted to rip it off when Man In Gray was mixing "Neighbors" (in the end, we chose not to). That constant bass thump and the basic rock beat that, together, just keep moving forward nearly unchanged, are what hold the song together and almost always get my head slightly bobbing. After Yes New York, I soon got my hands on the Secret Machines' September 000 EP (which also features "What Used To Be French"), which blew me away; "Marconi's Radio," the first track on that EP, is perhaps one of the best opening tracks I've ever heard.

"The Blizzard Of '93" by The Recoys
The song is from Rekoys EP (+3) which, if I remember correctly, wasn't actually released until after The Recoys (yes, the spelling of the band name and the EP name is inconsistent) split up and at least a couple of members went on to bigger and better things... Namely, The Walkmen, which features Recoys singer Hamilton Leithauser and bassist Peter Bauer (I think one of The French Kicks was also a member, but I'm not entirely sure). The Recoys tended to be a little poppier than The Walkmen, but more in an old-fashioned, stripped-down-rock kind of way than the word "pop" usually denotes. This song bounces along wih playful drums and bass and guitar lines that can easily get you moving. The production, like most of the album, is somewhat crude, but it lends a nice casualness that suits the tracks well. You can clearly hear part of the future Walkmen sound in there, and you'll probably recognize a couple of songs that eventually turned up on Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone.

"Street Fighting Man" by The Rolling Stones
The opening guitar riff is classic. The whole track is. Anyone remember that VH1 show that featured minor celebrities listing their favorite [insert theme here] songs (it was probably just called "The List," but I don't feel like looking it up)? I remember one show about protest songs, and someone listed this. I can live with that.

"Hang On To Your Ego" by Frank Black
SeƱor Black liked the Beach Boys so much, he covered them on his self-titled solo debut. With the four-on-the-floor disco beat and synthesizer floating there in the back, it's quite different than what you'll hear on Pet Sounds, but it's a good listen and a more-than-worthy effort from a disciple of Brian Wilson.

"Noisy Summer" by The Raveonettes
Basically sounds like someone found a lost single from an early sixties pop group and decided it needed some Death By Audio noise action. Fine by me. I like it.


Blogger d said...

I concur on the marconi's radio front. I love that song, both parts (the build-up on 1, all that bottle hitting, clapping derangement on 2) are fantastic. that one's definitely on the list of songs to destroy but not bossa nova style, thank god. I think faithful with a slight detour might be in order.

the raveonettes are a fun live show. they are playing two nights at the mercury lounge in april, which I'll definitely try & make.

3:49 PM, March 16, 2005  
Blogger JLM said...

one of those nights is with morningwood.

4:01 PM, March 16, 2005  
Blogger d said...

ah so... you wanna go? (weirdly noisy summer just came on)

4:25 PM, March 16, 2005  

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