Friday, February 24, 2006

Song of the Week 2/24/06

Skeeter Davis - "The End of the World"

This classic tearjerker of a song has popped up from time to time in my life. My first memory of it comes from my grandfather, who was big into country, especially the start of the Chet Atkins-era of "Countrypolitian" production in the early 60s. I vaguely recall hearing this in my house at some point growing up, alongside a wealth of great country albums that I am proud to say I stole for my own collection when I was in high school.

The second time was about six years ago when it was used (to rather excellent dramatic effect) in the Winona Ryder/Angelina Jolie insane asylum flick Girl, Interrupted. This time, I scored the soundtrack from a friend of mine at TVT, and I played the song a few times, soaking in its sadness.

The latest time I was able to make a "Skeeter" reference in public was last night when Mike Viola did a cover of the song during his show at Barbes in Brooklyn. Simply put, it was a stunning performance of a song that is pretty damn great to begin with. Viola has written his share of uptempo catchy numbers, but I swear he's at his best when he's doing a slow ballad about loss or heartbreak. This cover -- which also featured a stellar pedal steel solo by Bob Hoffnar -- was no exception, and fit perfectly amongst Viola's originals.

Let's face it, I like really sad songs. Heck, I even ended up making a mix called A Heartbreak Special for my friend's bar that led off with that song.

Yeah, I know, what a sap...

UPDATE 2/26: Just to add to the Song of the Week mystique, I decided to sing "The End of the World" at some birthday karaoke in Koreatown Friday night. Alas, I am no Skeeter Davis or Mike Viola, even though I certainly can pack a lot of depression into my voice. Nobody wanted to hear it, and I was cut off before the second verse.

Drunk on Sapporo bastards.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Song of the Week 2/17/06

Josh Rouse - "It Looks Like Love"

Mr. Rouse has done it again, creating another batch of 10 great songs about love, loneliness and...Spain? The first U.S. single from his upcoming album Subtitulo--a title influenced by Rouse's new Spanish home--was one of the highlights of his acoustic show a few weeks back. It's damn catchy, and it seems as though our Josh has gotten over his divorce and found a new squeeze. After listening (cough, illegally recording from the internet, cough) the album on Thursday, I had to listen to it again on the way home. And then when I was checking my email late that night, I saw I had gotten an email about a pre-sale of tix for Josh's Town Hall show on April 7th. As I was texting Moria the concert pal about this news, "It Looks Like Love" came on WFUV. Really, these folks (especially those at the World Cafe) seem to know my musical brain a little too well.

April 7th can't get here soon enough. (Same for March 21st, Subtitulo's proper release date.)

Friday, February 10, 2006

Song of the Week 2/10/06

Death Cab for Cutie - "Crooked Teeth"

This has long been my favorite song on Plans, and now the new "Sledgehammer" homage clip for it has been stuck in my brain all week.

Fuck, I'm gonna go watch it again now.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Trouser Press 100 2/4/06

Thanks again to those who came out to see myself and Ira spin at Magnetic Field last night. We hope to do it again soon. Check out what you heard (or missed) below...

Psychedelic Furs - “Into You Like a Train”
PIL - “Public Image”
Wire - “Mannequin”
XTC - “Life Begins at the Hop”
Lords of the New Church - “Russian Roulette”
Talk Talk - “Talk Talk”
Art of Noise - “Close (to the Edit)”
Cure - “Hello I Love You”
dBs - “Amplifier”
House of Freaks - “It’s a Fucked Up World”
OMD - “Souvenir”
Normal - “Warm Leatherette”
M - “Pop Muzik”
Grandmaster Flash - “White Lines”
Be-Bop Deluxe - “Cryin to the Sky”
Clash - “Time Is Tight”
Elvis Costello - “Lipstick Vogue”
Dave Edmunds - “Girls Talk”
Cheap Trick - "Heaven's Falling”
Status Quo - “Down Down”
Jason and the Scorchers - “My Kingdom for a Car’
Tom Robinson Band - “2-4-6-8 Motorway”
Dictators - “Minnesota Strip"
Plimsouls - “A Million Miles Away”
Foghat - “I Just Want to Make Love to You”
Stranglers - “Duchess”
Damned - “I Just Can’t Be Happy Today”
Sex Pistols - “Frigging in the Rigging”
Red Rockers - “China”
20/20 - “Yellow Pills”
John Cooper Clarke - “36 Hours”
Billy Idol - “Dancing With Myself”
T. Rex - "20th Century Boy"
T. Rex - "New York City"
The Cars - "All Mixed Up"
Joe Jackson - "Don't Wanna be Like That"
Split Enz - "History Never Repeats"
The Motors - "Airport"
The Pretenders - "Time the Avenger"
Talking Heads - "Slippery People"
Echo & the Bunnymen - "The Back of Love"
The Jam - "Start!"
Go-Go's - "Get Up and Go"
Blondie - "(I'm Always Touched by Your) Presence Dear"
Monroes - "What Do All the People Know"
Dukes of Stratosphere - "Vanishing Girl"
Spongetones - "(My Girl) Maryanne"
English Beat - "Best Friend"
Madness - "Wings Of a Dove"
Eurythmics - "Love Is a Stranger"
Patti Smith - "Redondo Beach"
David Bowie - "Panic in Detroit"
The Church - "The Unguarded Moment"
Graham Parker - "Stick to Me"
Smiths - "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out"
Ramones - "Today Your Love, Tomorrow the World"
Replacements - "I Will Dare"
Sex Pistols - "Holidays in the Sun"
Smithereens - "Strangers When We Meet"
Descendants - "Suburban Home"
Hoodoo Gurus - "Like Wow--Wipeout"
Vapors - "Turning Japanese"
Sugar - "A Good Idea"
Replacements - "Bastards of Young"
KISS - "Hard Luck Woman
Alice Cooper - "Only Women Bleed"
The Kinks - "20th Century Man"
Rolling Stones - "Hand of Fate"
Rolling Stones - "Sweet Virginia"
Television - "Marquee Moon"
Elvis Costello - "Allison"
Graham Parker - "Wake Up (Next to You)"
Mott the Hoople - "I Wish I Was Your Mother"
Jazz Butcher - "D.R.I.N.K."
R.E.M. - "Perfect Circle"
Pretenders - "Thin Line Between Love and Hate"
Joe Jackson - "Breaking Us in Two"
Big Star - "Thirteen"

Friday, February 03, 2006

Song of the Week 2/3/06

Brandi Carlile - "Throw It All Away"

I've written in the past about albums that I missed the first time around, and Seattle youngster (and cutie, as you can see) Brandi Carlile's self-titled debut is no exception. I listened to once and dismissed it as another clone in the Sheryl Crow/Lucinda Williams vein. But over the past couple of months WFUV has been spinning various tracks, and one morning last week the morning jock Claudia Marshall played "Throw It All Away" and something just clicked. At that point I'd already put the album in the giveaway stack ages ago, so I had to go to Itunes that day and download it. Then I proceeded to listen to this tearjeaker of a song over and over. Something about Carlile's passioned delivery of the chorus slays me every time. Of course, this song isn't one of the two singles Carlile's label has released, so props to WFUV once again for playing another hidden gem.