Sunday, August 28, 2005

Song of the Week 8/26/05

Rob Dickinson - "My Name Is Love"

The Catherine Wheel were yet another one of those English bands whose talent never quite matched up to commercial success in America. The band's been split up for five years, and finally singer-guitarist Dickinson has returned to the music scene with a solo album, Fresh Wine for the Horses. "My Name Is Love" is the lead single, and as I listened to the album this week to prep for my Dickinson interview (for my day job), this gorgeous chorus kept getting stuck in my head. Dickinson and his old bandmates always had the knack for making songs with a huge hooks, and "My Name Is Love" follows in that tradition. And not many people could pull off writing a great song about a conversation with an emotion.

Welcome back, Rob, Anglophiles have missed ya.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Trouser Press Issue 99 Playlist 8/20/05

Thanks to all that came out to see myself and Ira at TP 99 Saturday night. I'll be dj-ing solo at the Field on 9/10, doing a night called 21st Century Boy. Yes, only music from this century. Should be fun. Here's the playlist:

Bonzo Dog Band - “Death Cab for Cutie”
Jason & the Scorchers - “Absolutely Sweet Marie”
John Otway - “Racing Cars (Jet Spotter of the Track)”
Tenpole Tudor - “Three Bells in a Row”
The Fleshtones - “Right Side of a Good Thing”
Style Council - “My Ever Changing Moods”
ABBA - “Suzy Hangaround”
Danielle Dax - “Yummer-Yummer Man”
Snakefinger - “Beatnik Party”
Queen - “Keep Yourself Alive”
T. Rex - “Solid Gold/Easy Action”
Lyres - “Help You Ann”
R.E.M. - “Radio Free Europe”
Fingerprintz - “Bulletproof Heart”
Undertones - “Hypnotized”
Chelsea - “Many Rivers to Cross”
Prince - “When You Were Mine”
Paley Brothers - “Ecstasy”
David Bowie - “Drive-In Saturday”
The Teardrop Explodes - “When I Dream”

Slade - “Run Runaway”
Dave Edmunds - “Slipping Away”
Nick Lowe - “I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass”
Graham Parker - “I Want You Back”
Elvis Costello & the Attractions - “Accidents Will Happen”
Blondie - “Accidents Never Happen”
Sparks & Jane Wiedlin - “Cool Places”
The Pretenders - “Show Me”
The Clash - “Know Your Rights”
The Replacements - “Color Me Impressed”
Minutemen - “This Ain’t No Picnic”
Husker Du - “Sunshine Superman”
Dead Kennedys - “We’ve Got a Bigger Problem Now”
Ramones - “The KKK Took My Baby Away”
Cheap Trick - “I Can’t Take It”

Yaz - “Don’t Go”
Jam - “The Modern World”
XTC - “Radios in Motion”
English Beat - “Mirror in the Bathroom”
Wire - “Mannequin”
ATV - “Action Time Vision”
New York Dolls - “Bad Detective”
Holly and the Italians - “Do You Say Love”
Status Quo - "Down Down”
Eddie and the Hot Rods - “Do Anything You Wanna Do”
Generation X - “Promises”
The Clash - “Safe European Home”
Husker Du - “Flip Your Wig”
Gang of Four - “I Love a Man in Uniform”
Human League - “Things That Dreams Are Made Of”
Gary Numan - “Cars”
New Order - “Blue Monday”
Pylon - “Beep”
B-52’s - “Throw That Beat in the Garbage Can”
Peter Gabriel - “Schock der Affen”
Stiff Little Fingers - “Suspect Device”
Joe Jackson - “Jack, You're Dead”
Keith Moon - “Don’t Worry Baby”

Romeo Void - “A Girl In Trouble (Is a Temporary Thing)”
Echo & the Bunnymen - “Bring on the Dancing Horses”
Duran Duran - “Is There Something I Should Know”
Hoodoo Gurus - “I Want You Back”
Pete Townshend - “Rough Boys”
The Who - “Eminence Front”
Rolling Stones - “Hang Fire”
Rolling Stones - “When the Whip Comes Down”
Dire Straits - “Tunnel of Love”
The Cars - “It’s All I Can Do”
Devo - “Beautiful World”
Men at Work - “Overkill”
Meat Puppets - “Lake of Fire”
XTC - “Scissor Man”
Iggy Pop - “China Girl”
KISS - “God of Thunder”
Sweet - “Love Is Like Oxygen”
Kinks - “Low Budget”
Jeff Beck - “Freeway Jam”
Alice Cooper - “Elected”
Pete Shelley - “Homosapien”
Soft Boys - “Underwater Moonlight”
Madness - “It Must Be Love”
Talking Heads - “This Must be the Place (Na├»ve Melody)”
ELO - “Telephone Line”
David Bowie - “Moonage Daydream”
Elvis Costello - “Allison”

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Song of the Week 8/19/05

Dire Straits - "Tunnel of Love"

Last week in the mail I received the 20th anniversary edition of Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms. It’s of them newfangled dualdiscs, with the CD on one side and a DVD surround sound mix on the other. Alas, the day I got it I couldn’t listen to it as I had impacted wax in one ear, making me virtually half deaf. After a great ear-cleaning trip (thanks Dr. Lee) I found my hearing dramatically improved, and I couldn’t wait to play to as much music as possible. As I listened to Brothers in Arms at my desk, I found myself wondering why Making Movies, Mark Knopfler and company’s 1980 classic, wasn’t given the same high end treatment. Almost any Dire Straits fan will point to that album as the high point in the band’s career. (Heck, I even wrote about it at length a few years ago, so I won’t rehash what I did then.)

So on my Friday commute to happy hour, back to Brooklyn for food, and home after numerous beers, I ended up listening to Making Movies almost twice in its entirety. And with my “new” ears, “Tunnel of Love” sounded almost as fresh as the day I first borrowed the vinyl of Making Movies from a high school buddy. From the intro of Rogers and Hammerstein’s “The Carousel Waltz” played by Making Movies’ guest MVP, E Street Band keyboardist Roy Bittan, to the intricate Knopfler guitarwork that makes up the last two minutes of the track, “Tunnel of Love” surpasses the typical pop song in every way. Knopfler’s lyrics weave a tale of a long lost love with cinematic images of an unnamed Spanish city, a sprawling carnival and a musician weary of life on the road. How this track is not played by classic rock stations that continue to spin “Money for Nothing” still amazes me.

I ended up playing “Tunnel of Love” at Trouser Press 99 Saturday night, and I had two different people come up to me and say how great it was to hear the song. So for once, the Song of the Week entertained someone else as well.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Song of the Week 8/12/05

Juliana Hatfield - "What a Life"

Damn, this is a great song, even a decade later. The leadoff track from 1995's Only Everything was a regular staple of the CD player in my first apartment in Brooklyn. Thursday night I saw Miss Hatfield play at Maxwell's in Hoboken, backed by my friends Ed and Pete from The Gravel Pit and The Gentlemen. The entire show was great, but this song rocked especially hard. And I loved how she almost screamed these lyrics:

"Messy stringy pathetic hopeless, dredgy stringy pathetic hopeless"

Hatfield's new album, Made in China, is yet another good one--and contains the best artist written bio I have ever read. Check it out here.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Song of the Week 8/5/05

Coldplay - "Fix You"

I know, I know--Coldplay is so summer 2002. And I really think that the band's latest album, X&Y, is completely inferior to A Rush of Blood to the Head. And I also know that right around the 761st time everyone heard "Clocks" they wanted to choke the living crap out of singer/whiner Chris Martin.

That being said, the second single from X&Y, "Fix You," is the only song on the album that captures what made me like Coldplay so much in the first place. Everywhere I turned last week I heard the song; it forced its way on here, and it wasn't going to give up until I wrote about it.

In this track the lyrics aren't so over-the-top earnest like the rest of X&Y. It's just a gorgeous ballad about wanting to help a person you like (girlfriend, family member, whomever) in any way you can, even though you know there's absolutely nothing you can do at all. I've felt that way in the past, and I've had that feeling overcome me rather recently. It's that feeling of helplessness in the face of someone else's problems that just might overwhelm them. It's a feeling that (at least in my emotionally stunted way) only a song can accurately convey. And even though the person that I think could use this song will never read these words, I feel compelled to put them up here, just in case:

"When you try your best, but you don't succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel so tired, but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse
When the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone, but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?
Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you"

"High up above or down below
When you too in love to let it go
If you never try you'll never know
Just watch and learn
Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you"

"Tears stream down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down you face and I...
Tears stream down your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down your face and I..."

"Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you"

Next week, I swear, it will be something infinitely more hipper.

Or maybe something from Hall and Oates, who knows?