I only do it cause I know you know it's bad*

Dear friends,

So Soft Communication's one year anniversary came and went on March 8th without any fanfare from me and I'd like to say it was because I was stressed out (which I was/am) but more because I was depressed by the fact that I still don't know how to do simple internet things like move the site over to its new domain name, post songs, post photos, etc... and depression renders me inactive. I was bummed. When I am bummed, I retreat. Carefully, slowly back into my cluttered shell.

I don't think I can babble about music exclusively anymore. So I'll add movies/tube to the mix because I have things to say about Flavor of Love, The L Word, Lost and Footballer's Wives. Things of import. But not today.

1. My friend Emily F. introduced me to The Violent Femmes in elementary school. She played me Add It Up on her walkman headphones on the carpool back home (we were part of the Riverdale/Yonkers contingent) And I was shocked. SHOCKED. The kind of shocked where you don't show your shock, you just try to look like a properly blase hip to things type person. Like oh, he just said screw in a scary whiny voice like he means it, like he might rape you and no, I'm not terrified. So (furrowed brow, attempt at nonchalance)...who is that?

Years later, I'm no longer scared** and can now listen to that song while I tidy the house and sing along like I mean it. I always wondered if The Femmes' Gordon Gano had an evangelical upbringing, 'cause just like Charles Thompson (another escapee from the tents) at his most speaking in tongues fervent, Gano has this delivery that's like a preacher with a handful of serpents. His eyes a'buggin braying about the "Day after daaaaay/I get aaaaangry" is theatrical but earnest and that's a terrifying combo. The song has a feverish sincerity that's all hormones and youth and raging BELIEF. Yes, it's religious, full of spirt and somewhat pimply. These elements are unbeatable in popular music. I mean, really, "Why can't I get/just one fuck?" is THE rock 'n' roll question that squirms underneath indie songs about horniness, though usually it's stated in far more oblique and/or polite ways. Which is a shame. The indie world needs more direct admissions and you can't get more direct than that.

2. Speaking of sex in music, Jarvis Cocker's 21st century lounge lizard routine on Pulp's salacious Pencil Skirt from 1995's Different Class, is so self-assured that you can almost see him slinking about in the hedges, waiting for his opportunity to make sweet, sweet love to your wife. Or mom. Or dad. Teorema translated by Joe Orton into a 3 minute pop song. Jaunty perversion. That's what I look for in my seduction music. Damn skippy.

3. The Wedding Soundtrack's Berceuse is a guitar plus violin bit of sparse folk beauty. It makes me want to walk in a river surrounded by willows and be sun-blinded. This description means absolutely nothing unless you were there. Which means you'll hear this song and substitute your own mystical outdoors experience. Go HERE and download that song. Loveliness.

4. Everyone knows my stars in the eyes love for all things Raymond Douglas Davies. And of my love of covers. Mojo Magazine's cd last month, featuring various folks doing Kinks covers, had a band called Gravenhurst (which I have never heard of, investigation underway...) doing that is he or isn't he? classic, See My Friends. Of course, when I first heard the original, I thought it was about losing your lover but hey! at least there's drugs!*** Something about the lethargic/stoned Davies vocal, the drone, drone, drone and numb desolation in the lyrics. I figured it was only a matter of time before Jason Pierce aka Jason Spaceman of Spiritualized did the tune in Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space narcotic death style. Alas, it never happened but Gravenhurst's version, which even has some noodle-y organ thrown in, does the trick just fine. Ffor lovers of the shoe, the gaze, and the neverending riff. Amen.

5. Broken Social Scene gives me rabies in that they make me froth at the mouth and want to bite and infect everyone with my love. I love them so, I'll never let them go, all that stuff. I found this video for their Ibi Dreams of Pavement**** (best Pavement song not written by Pavement) HERE at Clip Tip*****. Now, maybe my screen is just way too small and crappy but is Kevin Drew not wearing UNDERPANTS? Because if he's, in fact, NOT wearing flesh colored man panties and his nether-parts ARE blurred out, AND he's dressed in a leather jacket/helmet/sunglasses/boots plus bare ass combo, then I'm speechlessly even more enamored 'cause...WOW. (Shakes head in silence for five full minutes.) AMAZING.

Then again, if those are flesh colored man panties along with other clothing items mentioned above, it's still pretty freakin' bad ass. O Broken Social Scene, I toast thee.

Love, D

Songs to seek: Add It Up/the Violent Femmes, Pencil Skirt/Pulp, Berceuse/The Wedding Soundtrack, See My Friends/Gravenhurst

Video to see: Ibi Dreams Of Pavement/Broken Social Scene

* If you (you know who you are) are reading this, then yes, I dedicate this song to you in the radio show in my head. Diga albon. Albon.

** The only song that scared me in my youth which I still can't bring myself to revisit is The Boiler. One of you should listen to it and tell me if I'm being stupid.

*** According to Mr. Davies, it's not about drugs OR switching teams. Just about being left by your lover and having your friends around to comfort you.

**** And if anybody out here can make out what he's singing, please get in touch. I'm sitting at the computer making strange noises in lieu of actual words. Help a sistah out.

***** Clip Tip says those are "male hot pants". And these 5 asteriks are ridiculous.

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Blogger Mike said...

On the VF tip, I always liked "Gimme The Car" best, for its evocation of a depressed kid using that depression to manipulate his parents. It's like, if you don't let me borrow the keys I'm just going to kill myself, which you already figure I'm capable of doing. And his girlfriend gets the same treatment: "C'mon girl/gimme your (strategically-placed guitar twang here)/'Cause I ain't had much to live for." I got the joke at 16 and I still think it's a good one.

11:52 AM, March 15, 2006  
Blogger d said...

I love that song! he's so good at phrasing, that gano.

11:59 AM, March 15, 2006  
Blogger Mike said...

Plus Reality Bites killed "Add It Up" for me forever. That and incessant college radio play of the first LP - you cannot imagine how omnipresent "Blister In The Sun" was in the late '80s.

1:38 PM, March 15, 2006  

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