Filed under: Barrels of Fun, Music, My Experience with Existence, Nouvelle Musique | Tags: +/-, Across the Universe, Andrew Bird, Final Fantasy, Howl's Moving Castle, Joe Anderson, Kaki King, Lewisburg, Rilo Kiley, Stars, The Album Leaf, The Beatles
Brent and I broke up a week ago. Two days ago was Derek’s seventeenth birthday. Today is my half birthday. Tomorrow is why it is Leap Year. In April, I’ll get word back about VCU. In August, I’ll head to college. A week or so later, I’ll turn eighteen. Crazy.
I have news for you.
A few posts ago, I mentioned good old Final Fantasy and his remix of Stars’ “Your Ex-Lover Is Dead.” Como se dice, “COMPLETELY UNDERRATED?!”
The song starts out with, “When there’s nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire.” But it’s said by several different people. My favourite is the last one, when this little kid yells, “Nothing left to burn! Set yourself on fire!” It’s hilarious. Then the mood breaks into total ballroom waltzing. If that’s possible? Ballroom dancing. You’ve got this gorgeous, extremely formal piano. I want to say it’s cordial. Like, Victorian era, a couple dancing, but there was no PDA in that era, so they kind of have to keep things on the DL while they’re in a public ballroom. That’s exactly what it feels like. There’s a disruptive violin, and it’s resolved a few measures later. Instead of a chorus, you get the familiar piano, washing memories over you like waves at the Victorian beach where I guess all the water got to touch was your feet. And then when you have someone singing, the violin makes a little commentary on the side. And then the piano’s like a hug from an old friend. It’s comforting. The song finishes so tenderly. It’s so Howl’s Moving Castle. Listen to it after you’ve seen the movie and try to tell me it doesn’t belong.
Recently, I stumbled across an Andrew Bird song from Armchair Apocrapha; since I don’t have that album, I had to stumble across it. “Plasticities.” There are all the whistles and violins that are Andrew Bird staples, but then it’s a cheerful, incredibly enjoyable song, even (I think) for the masses. As always, the vocabulary is just pretentious and intelligent, but I love the lyrics. Andrew Bird satisfies my needs.
Plasticities | Andrew Bird
This time, think no lyrics. I mean, do it for a few minutes. Just instruments. Layers, movement, development. I’d certainly call this a sunny song, just because it’s most meaningful when the sun is out, as it sounds like it should be the sound the sun makes when it shines on things. Or it is for me. Sweet progress.
Drawing Mountains | The Album Leaf
Also, talk about an underappreciated instrumental song, Kaki King’s “Gay Sons of Lesbian Mothers.” Pretty intense title if you think about it. Anyway, I love the bass, the movement and the progression of this song, and for me, Kaki King’s skillz express lots of built-up angst. I guess it’s the angst that comes from oppression.
Gay Sons of Lesbian Mothers | Kaki King
I found this next song a long, long time ago, and I’m not sure where I found it exactly, but it stuck with me. It’s not because I’ve ever had an abusive boyfriend or that anyone in my family is abusive. I enjoy the alternating piano and guitar sort of pulling for power and the lyrics that don’t tell all but tell you enough to get the story.
Summer Dress 2 [Iodine] | +/-
Rilo Kiley is arguably my favourite band. Really, try me. Most of their gems originated in the mid-2000s, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing good to be said of their oldest material. In fact, some of their most meaningful songs are from The Initial Friend EP, released (I guess) in 2000. You’ve got gems like “Papillon,” “Gravity,” “Glendora,” and then, of course, the slower jam, “85.” It’s a confessional that almost seems like the predecessor to one of my little old favourites, “A Man/Me/Then Jim,” in the storytelling style. It’s also incredibly reminiscent of Jenny Lewis’ act with the Watson Twins.
85 | Rilo Kiley
This is another one from Across the Universe. Yes, I’m still stuck on that movie. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend that you go out to the movie store right now and rent it. In fact, you might as well buy it. You’ll want to. It’ll trip you out a little, but it’s such a feat! Such a feat. A life-changing feat, at that. Anyway, this is tied for my favourite song and I have to listen to it at least once daily. I need my fix.
Happiness Is a Warm Gun | Joe Anderson feat. Salma Hayek
Oh, also, if you are ever in town, Lewisburg, whatever, go to Cherry Alley Café. I know, I know, blatant advertising, but I like the hot chocolate there, plus, they’re constantly playing excellent music. I mean, Neutral Milk Hotel is on quite a lot, but you’ve also got a good dose of Sufjan Stevens (they played “The Henney Buggy Band” and I almost died because Derek made me adore that song), a dash of Bright Eyes, some Death Cab over thurr, and Mates of State. Absolute props.
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