Tuesday, May 08, 2007

This Week's Repeat

Apropos of nothing I have decided that I need to write about music. Why? No good reason, to be honest. I am frightfully out of touch with what the kids these days are listening to, ever since I left Australia and the Best Radio Station on Planet Earth, Triple J. Sure, I should just listen to it online, but I never seem to remember to do so.

[just let me put on the online stream for Triple J first]

[and if you want a hit of Industrial Strength Australiana, you should listen to This Sporting Life. You will never be the same again once you listen to HG and Rampaging Roy Slavin.]

OK, where was I. Ah yes. Anyway, despite being woefully underexposed to new music, I nonetheless come across the odd song that I find myself listening to obsessively. Sometimes this is a new song, sometimes it's an old favourite, and sometimes it's a hidden gem that has been languishing unrecognised in my collection until something has brought it to light.

With no further ado, here are a few songs that I've been listening to recently. And yes, as always, feel free to ridicule my selections mercilessly, or alternatively tell me about songs I should be listening to. I'm calling this Blog Segment "This Week's Repeat", despite the fact that I didn't obsessively listen to these songs this week, and don't promise to ever have this segment ever again. But I'm leaving myself the option.

"Destroy Everything You Touch" - Ladytron

Yes, this band has a name that sounds like the robotic temptress in some Skinemax concoction, but despite all that, this is quite the track. I came across this song courtesy of your friend and mine, Wil Wheaton. A little while ago he put up on the interwebs his own last.fm stream, and suitably intrigued I started playing it as background music as I slaved away for The Man. I dutifully noted songs that seemed groovy, though nothing knocked off my feet. Until this track appeared, that is. Why the instant attraction? Maybe it's the thumping beat, the synthy overtones, the female vocals, or the whole electro-goth ensemble. Oh yes. I listened to this song literally for days. It also caused me to go out and buy the cd (well, grab it off Amazon, anyway). It's not the only track on cd I like, but it is still my favourite.

"Long Snake Moan" - PJ Harvey

This song actually comes from the album "To Give You My Love", a cd I had borrowed off of a friend so I could add "Sheela Na Gig" to my iTunes collection (I couldn't find "Long Snake Moan" on YouTube, but "Sheela Na Gig" is there). Occasionally when I am playing poker or just pottering around the house I like to just select "random" on iTunes and see what turns up. This is my proven method of unearthing musical gems I possess, but didn't know I had.

As soon as "Long Snake Moan" started it completely floored me. Completely kick ass thumping guitar driven RAWK, accentuated perfectly by PJ's awesome distorted vocals. Last Thursday it came on my iPod as I was walking into the office, and I must have listened to it 8 times during the day. Unsurprisingly I churned out work like a Tornado of Productivity. It may also prepare you for battling a horde of undead.

"Daybreaker" - Beth Orton

First off let me say that I have a Monster Crush on Beth Orton. The first song of hers that caught my attention was "She Cries Your Name" off her first album, a hauntingly simple song that still gives me chills. What really won me over was "Stolen Car", a single off her next album which caused me to go out immediately and get the cd. Adding to my adoration of her was the fact that she also added vocals to tracks by The Chemical Brothers ("Alive Alone"), amongst others.

For whatever reason I never got around to picking up her other albums until I got tickets to see her live last year. Given the rushed nature of my acquisitions I didn't pay enough attention to them, and wouldn't have been able to pick any songs out of a line-up. Hence my wonder when once more my iTunes random selection played a track that I not only loved, but was by Beth. I added it instantly to my iPod Nano playlist and then completely forgot about it (I was extremely drunk and playing poker). The video is also completely trippy. Someone did a lot of acid to make that happen.

As I'm used to unfamiliar songs appearing on my iPod (due to alcohol-fuelled iTunes wandering), I paid attention when it popped up a few weeks later. Interesting, I thought, noting it was Beth Orton. I thought it was OK, right up until the chorus kicked in, at which point I was hooked completely.

"The Chemicals Between Us" - Bush

Just in case you think I only become enamoured with female vocalists, I present Exhibit A for the Defense. This one came up recently as I was heading in a friend's car to play a round of drunken golf. "Glycerine", the ballad by Bush that seemed to be all over the radio in the mid-90s, popped on the stereo, causing my companion to remark that he loved the song. I replied that it was OK-ish, but the song that I loved by them was "The Chemicals Between Us", which came off their mostly forgotten second cd.

At that memory of the song I had to instantly go and get it, so I could play it. And play it. And play it. And play it some more. I actually had a mini-playlist of this song and "Long Snake Moan" playing for most of the first hour of the Battle of the Blogger Tournament last Sunday (the undermanned HORSE event), while I sung along at the top of my voice. In related news I totally crushed my 5-handed table in the tournament for that same first hour. Coincidence? You decide.

This song and "Destroy Everything You Touch" also remind me of someone who has sauntered into my life recently, which is another reason I can't seem to stop listening to these two songs in particular. Nice when that happens.


  • Good selections, Garth. Bush is kinda hit and miss for me (love the rockin' vibe from Machinehead, tho), but how in the hell had I not heard of Beth Orton? She reminds me of a nicely stripped down and slightly edgier Sarah McLachlan (sp?). The combo of the raw-er, almost acoustical production with the occasional techno addition really gets your attention. Will probably be hitting up Amazon soon. And Ladytron...I kinda dug the track you suggested. I've been kinda on a house-trip lately (St. Germain, Mylo, Plej, Klonhertz), and Wil's always good for fuel in that area. Also, if you know Helixx, he's done some DJ-ing and made some mashups for Maigrey and EvaCanHang. You can download them (or at least you could) from his MixDepot.com site. Check 'em out.

    By Blogger iamhoff, at 11:36 AM  

  • By Blogger Maigrey, at 12:46 PM  

  • Tag! You're it

    By Blogger Jules, at 12:49 AM  

  • Just in case you think I only become enamoured with female vocalists, I present Exhibit A for the Defense.

    I did think that! I'm generally more a fan of male voices, but I do like the chicks you picked.

    By Blogger Karol, at 3:28 AM  

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