Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Weekly Awesome! #2

Music Notes

Paris Hilton has released her first music video:

How strange would it have been if Paris finally released her long-not-really-awaited album and it turned out to be amazing? Like she was the new Joan Baez or Patti Smith or somesuch. I really don't think I'd want to live in a world where that was the case. Of course, we have nothing to worry about because she's put out exactly the kind of music that you'd expect her to put out; that is to say bland, forgettable and slathered in sugary production values so thick that it's like trying to listen to FM radio through a brick of toffee. To be entirely fair, she doesn't have an awful voice (think Gwen Stefani's much stupider younger sister with a helium addiction), just a completely unremarkable one. Which is pretty much the key word for the entire song, video, album, rest of her life and lonely death in a high-rise penthouse from an overdose of perscription medication. Oh, and the video completely and shamelessly rips off the visuals from Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game" video. Fresh source material if ever there was one.

Songs of our Week

1. "Please, Call Me Baby" by Tom Waits

I enjoy Tom Waits in much the same way that junkies enjoy the mellow stylings of freshly-cooked heroin coursing through their veins. He's not for everyone, I'll grant you, as his unique voice isn't something that has much in the way of broad appeal (calling it "coarse" would be charitable). And he tends to sing a lot about being drunk, being depressed, being lonely and being even more drunk. What he does for me is paint a romantically ideal picture of the barroom as a heaven and a haven for saints, sinners and those in between that need a little help getting by or at least a good kick in the ass. I don't know why this appeals to me, but it does. Anyway, this is one of his lesser known songs and it ranks as one of my favorites.

2. "Lazy Line Painter Jane" by Belle and Sebastion

Belle and Sebastion are, I'll be the first to admit, a decidedly mixed bag. They have a tendancy, especially early on, to be a bit twee and precious at times and it gets old really fast. Their first album, Tigermilk, is lauded as an indie classic and I, personally, can barely get through it. However, when they find the right groove and really get cooking, this collection of Euro-hipsters can fucking rock your ass. "Lazy Line Painter Jane" is the best example of the heights that they can scale when they really want to. Also, I have a thing for male/female duets, of which this is one of the finer out there. This song makes me want to dance crazy with my hands in the air.

3. "Rock Me Gently" by Andy Kim

Somwhere, there's this great unmade movie about a group of friends reuniting after a long absence from each other's company. They talk and laugh and revisit the old times and, of course, learn a little bit about themselves. The best scene is where they all go to their old hang out and the jukebox still has their favorite song on it! They put it on and they all dance around and let time rolls off of them and the handsome but pensive one finally kisses the girl that he's always had a crush on, even after all these years. This is the song that's playing during that scene.

4. "You or Your Memory" by The Mountain Goats

This band, really just one guy named John Darnielle, are the poster group for unsung talent. He has his following, of course, and he's actually gotten around to putting out a couple of "professional" studio albums in recent years, but if you mention the name The Mountain Goats to any random selection of people, 9.5 out of 10 will say, exactly, "huh?" Sad. This guy cranks out, consistently, the best lyrics, music and overall song craft of just about anyone out there and the fact that he's still relatively obscure proves that we live in a Godless universe and also, it makes John Darinelle so unbelievably cool that I'd lop off my arm to be him for just one night. Anyway, this is a song off his newest album, "The Sunset Tree," and it's a fair representation of what he's all about.

5. "Care of Cell 44" by The Zombies

You know this 60's band best for the irritating song "Time of the Season," which was probably good when it first came out, then it became on of the 50 songs that's always and only played on oldies stations and now everyone's so sick of it that even hearing it for a moment can make you a little pukey. At any rate, they have other songs that are much, much better, like this one... "Care of Cell 44" just might have the catchiest tune backing it's lyrics ever in the history of everything. It'll stay in your head for days and days. The lyrics are about, I think, somebody getting out of prison or something, but the music!!! My god man... I crave it like White Castle burgers.

All for now, my lovelies. See you next week for The Weekly Awesome! and tomorrow for regular, non-The Weekly Awesome! posts. Kisses!!!


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