Monday, October 29, 2007

Song of the Week 10/26/07

Talking Heads - "(Nothing But) Flowers"

This should be filed under Video of the Week actually. I was reading the great Lost in the 80s blog and they did an entry about True Stories and the "Love For Sale" video (which is damn great its own damn self). After playing the clip once, YouTube brought up other related clips. Among them was "(Nothing But) Flowers" and its use of text that predates Van Halen's "Right Now" by many years.

I watched this clip at least twice a day over the past five days. And wasn't even like I was trying to blow off work. I simply got hooked on it. Heck, I watched it yet again after putting in the embed link in this entry. I vaguely remember seeing the video on 120 Minutes in 1988. But 19 years of drinking made me forget that David Byrne was born in Scotland and that Kirsty MacColl and Johnny Marr with both in the clip. Just another brilliant piece of art from Byrne and company.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Song of the Week 10/19/07

Josh Rouse - "Domesticated Lovers"

On Tuesday I caught Josh Rouse appearing with High Fidelity author Nick Hornby as part of the Upstairs at the Square series at the mondo-sized Barnes and Noble on the North side of Union Square. It was an entertaining evening (except for the host Katherine Lampert, who made me grit my teeth down to the bone with her condescending interview style) highlighted by Rouse performing "Domesticated Lovers" with his girlfriend Paz Suay. Rouse explained how the song sprung from watching two people eat dinner and not say a word to one another.

Fast forward to Friday afternoon. I'm in suburban hell just South of Albany at a Friendly's. My aunt picks out a couple, one of whom she used to work with at her hospital. And she says, "They've been eating without saying a word for the entire time."

I turn, and I see exactly whom Rouse was writing about.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Song of the Week 10/12/07

Nada Surf - "Killian's Red"

Thanks to the good folks at Union Hall (You're the best Michelle! And Skippy, you're pretty awesome too) I got the chance to check out my favorite Brooklyn trio at their semi-secret tour warmup show last night. I went with Moria the concert pal, and when the band started this song, I had to lean forward and tell her that I always thought of her when I listened to this song.

For those who know the track, you must be thinking, "Damn, that's a pretty cold thing to say to a woman." That couldn't be further from the truth. My mind has linked Moria to "Killian's Red" because of a story she told me one time that involved the song. I won't go into any detail about the tale (I'm all for privacy, current administration be damned). All I will say that it is a bummer of a story, and that is something I can relate to on many levels.

As for the song itself (for those who have never heard it), it is perhaps the darkest set of words on Let Go. And considering this is the same album that contains "Inside of Love" that is really saying something. The ominous guitar figure that Matthew Caws lays down during the lengthy (more than a minute) intro foreshadows a tale of wanting, loss and cheap beer at a Brooklyn bar. There's a line that always, always gets me in this song: "I almost love this town/When I'm by your side." The second time that couplet comes around in the song you can feel Caws choking on his raw emotion when he delivers it. Then he when howls "siiiiiiide" directly after it, well, its one of those few goosebump moments encoded on a CD.

Eventually every track on Let Go will be a Song of the Week. You can bet on it.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Song of the Week 10/5/07

Lucinda Williams - "I Lost It"

I had forgotten how much I liked this song. I listened to it this week for the first time in a couple of years to prep for Williams' show Tuesday where she played Car Wheels on a Gravel Road in its entirety. Unfortunately for everyone in Town Hall (the audience, the band, the guys recording the show to sell as CD's afterwards), Lucinda was in one of her "moods," which meant her complaining repeatedly about her in ear monitors, whining about the show preview that was in Time Out and generally being on edge. It made the band tense (which was apparent from lackluster performance of the album opener "Right in Time") and made me annoyed enough to leave 3 songs into the second set.

Those complaints aside, "I Lost It" still rocks. And at least she didn't break into "Riders on the Storm" like she did a few weeks ago when I saw her at ACL.