Belle of the ball at least to me

Dear friends,

1. I was thinking about love-endeth cliches in songs, such as the whole 'see your face everywhere' thing, which, as anyone who is familiar with that particular dry-mouthed, stone in stomach feeling, is a POTENT cliche. There is one song that best exemplifies this slap in the face experience and that song is Bad Reputation by Freedy Johnston from the album This Perfect World. A glossy, melodic and yes, pretty, song which features a perfectly dry vocal performance by Johnston that pitches somewhere between hopeful and painfully self-aware. When Johnston's protagonist details what a low-level fuck up he is ("I couldn't have one conversation/if it wasn't for the lies, lies, lies"), the possibility of really bumping into that lost love, the fear of what they would think of you, years down the line still in this sorry state ("Do you want me now? Do you want me now?"), makes the listener feel a grim sort of pity. To misquote a friend's lyrics, this guy "hates himself a little bit more than everyone else" and he manages to sound as if he's got a crooked smile on his face that silently says that he is powerless to change anything about himself even though he knows exactly what's missing.

2. Damn ? & The Mysterians! It's their fault I loves me a circus meets condemned New England mental hospital organ line. This is why I adore Thunderbirds Are Now!'s My Girl is a Beard and its hyperactive keyboard explosiveness. This song always comes on hella loud on my speakers in a way that says wake the fuck up! Dance! Run! Whirl! NOW! And then I do a wicked frug to cut up the rug.

3. But back to the pretty, Liz Janes has a crushed velvet, country-ish voice that circles round you and bewitches. Guitar, Guitar is a song that's over way too soon but its woozy bob and weave lingers way past its running time. The rest of her album, Done Gone Fire, is a collection of dusky dreamy lullabies with a spiritual bent. Highly recommended.

4. Rogue Wave is one guy with a guitar in a little room pressing record. Or at least Rogue Wave WAS one guy when Zach Rogue wrote and recorded Perfect which has a hook that burrows into your skull and refuses to leave because a) it sounds like a children's nursery rhyme (insidiously catchy!) and b) endlessly repeats the line "everything was perfect till you came along" (Creepy!).

Mr. Rogue now has a full band to flesh out his sound. Go check out Rogue Wave's album, Out of the Shadow.

5. I cannot stop listening to Symmetry by Mew (I've written about them before HERE.) a duet between Mew's lead singer and, according to the internet, a 13 year-old fan from Georgia they met in a chat room*, Symmetry is a wistful 'here endeth the love' song. It tugs at the sleeves with how tired and worn it sounds, tired in a packing up your things and moving out way. A sad little gem.

Love, D

PS If any of you out there have any interest in going to Northsix tonight to see The Subways (catchy punk rock made by good lookin' Brit youngsters. Hey! No hatin'. It's not their fault they're cute.) And Breakup Breakdown (their She Went Black is a morning fave, as is any song that has a "Na naah nana naah" duel with a lead guitar), let me know.

* If this is actually true, and not some weirdass pr ruse, I'm torn between thinking that is AWESOME (the fan part) and eh...disconcerting (the 13 year old girl in a chat room part). Color me suspicious. It must be all the court tv programming I get sucked into whenever I'm home sick with the flu.


Blogger Tavie said...

Hey I know that song! I love that song! You mentioned a song I know about! And love!

Guess which one.

11:45 PM, December 08, 2005  
Blogger d said...

brain explodes from trying to figure it out.

nah, not really, I know whatchalike.

12:48 PM, December 09, 2005  

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