May. 8th, 2013

[identity profile] amethysting.livejournal.com

Hang Me Up to Dry
Cold War Kids
Robbers & Cowards
2006

An all-time favourite!

Come to think of it, this would have been a fitting song to post for the "Mixtape Staple" theme a few weeks back.  It's one of those songs I can't help but want to share with everyone I know.

I love the way this song plods along--like trying to move forward on the hottest of days, when the sweat soaks your hairline and drips in your eyes and heatwaves dance across the surface of the pavement.  This song is so favourited and has been listened to so many times, that I find I am having a hard time discussing its nuances.  Needless to say Nathan Willett's voice makes my toes curl (in a good way)...maybe curl isn't the right word...more like scrunch.  I love the increasing sense of hysteria that mounts in his voice as the song inches along...matching the controlled cacophony of the music.
[identity profile] cabaretlights.livejournal.com


Helen of Troy
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
English Electric
2013

: On the heels of whining about how so much new music sucks -- what an old bitch I've become! -- a post about an old band doing it better than the new kiddies could. Electronic music's weird, right, because you can pretty much slap a bunch of beeps together and call it music. Sometimes that works. Other times, most of the time, it's boring and self-indulgent and you THINK you're doing something really original, but everyone else is doing it, too. Thus the downward spiral: same old begetting the same old. The daily grind, music-afied.

But there are trendsetters; there are originals. And OMD is one of those originals.
I received their Architecture & Morality album as a gift circa 2007 and it took a little while, as warming to originals tends to, but when it finally stuck its claws in, I couldn't understand why I hadn't always loved them. Always known them. And actually, I had -- "If You Leave" plays on classic-pop stations all the time -- but reducing this band to an oft-forgotten one-hit-wonder does them zero justice. They are synthpop at its very finest: beautiful lyrics, passionate & raw vocals, simultaneously wispy & substantial instrumentation and layering --- and those melodies that get stuck in your head and never go away.

I forgot about them over the years -- well, didn't forget, but didn't actively follow -- until I discovered they'd put out a new album. Hurriedly downloaded. And. and and and.



I had big weekends for the past month (and more details on that next week), and I found myself constantly getting ready. Putting on makeup, waving nails in the air, adjusting my dress, rolling my eyes and sucking in my cheeks. Mostly, the music was background -- until I downloaded this album, and then it was foreground. Listening to "Helen of Troy" while getting ready for Erin's wedding a few weeks ago, I was looking in the mirror, wondering when I started to get wrinkles on my forehead, and then the incomparable wail at 2:19: "There's bits of you / All over town."

My stomach dropped. It still drops. I can't quite explain it: it's like the Shout Out Louds masterpiece "14th of July" -- why, lyrically, does that song turn every knob in my body? Who knows. But there's something about that line -- the way he cries it? The implications? -- that wrecks me completely. And at that moment, it was like looking in a double mirror -- two back to back -- reflected infinitely. The lyrics, the whole song, hit home. And I stood there, eyeshadow brush in one hand, listening, staring at myself, listening, staring at myself. Vainly, self-deprecatingly. Memories flooding, of all the times I have gotten ready, for all the events -- and how futile! To put on makeup and take it off, to put on a show of passion when I don't really feel it -------------

but sitting here looking back, what I was really realizing is this: 
there are bits of me all over town.



There were a lot of songs I wanted to post this week. It's exciting to know that, especially given that most of them are new material from new bands. Music is not always boring, now, and neither am I -- but I have to work at it. At both.
And the old ones, and the old bits, will always be there. Pushing.

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