5 songs that are lighting a fire under my ass, as well as a brief exposition on the burning sensations:
1. “Everybody’s Leavin’,” by Elkland. I got this tune from a CD that my friend Dustin loaned me. Along with about 1,000 other songs. So at first, I didn’t even notice this particular one. But one day it came up on the ipod’s shuffle, and I was hooked. I still have no idea who or what Elkland is, and even until I did a bit of internet checking the other day, I only knew this song as “Track 05” on the fictional CD entitled “Elkland CD from Dustin.” Musically, it’s some tasty techno-pop that’s hookier than a street corner in San Jose’s red-light district (which is basically most of San Jose at night, as far as I can tell). I also can’t really tell what the song’s lyrics are about at all (I even thought they were saying “everybody’s movin’” instead of “leavin’”), so my appreciation of this song is entirely sonic. But…so?
2. “Satellites,” by September. This is a song from September’s album In Orbit, which was passed my way by my friend Matthew. To get the full effect of this song, you really need to see the album cover while you listen to this track. Seeing this Swede’s big hair really makes you appreciate this song just that much more. And I mean “big hair” not in the skanky, wouldn’t-touch-it-on-a-dare, Amy Winehouse way; I mean it in the shampoo commercial, Farah-Fawcett-when-she-was-at-least-mildly-hot, ABBA Revival way. In any case, September’s hair and come-hither look on the album cover compliment the music perfectly. The song begins with a synthesized industrial drum beat that pounds and alienates you like a Kafka novel, but then almost immediately drops off to a dancy, popped-out song with semi-cheesy lyrics and vocals that sound slightly as though they’re sung by a warbling ghost (if that makes any sense). Overall, it’s kinda girly and kinda poppy…and that’s how I take my girlypop, thank you very much.
3. “Me and My Imagination,” by Sophie Ellis-Bextor. Speaking of girlypop…This song was also given to me by Matthew. As a side note, if you look at Matthew’s music collection, you experience a sneaking yet undeniable feeling that he probably goes to better parties than you do. In any case, this song, along with it’s ballad-y sister “Today the Sun’s On Us,” is definitely what you’ll find playing over and over in my head as I queue up in the cafeteria line. They’re both from Sophie’s newest album, Trip The Light Fantastic which, although quite enjoyable, seems to lack the two crucial elements of a truly immortal Sophie Ellis-Bextor album: 1) a really great dance song that can be overplayed by German DJs (see “Murder on the Dancefloor,” from the album Read My Lips); and 2) another great dance song that ultimately redeems the song mentioned in number one, thereby enhancing both songs and thereby making the whole album a feel-good listen (see “Music Gets the Best of Me”). Uh, where was I? Oh yeah. This song makes me think of escalators, for some reason.
4. “Shout at the Devil,” by Mötley Crüe. I’ve had this song for quite a while, but I never really paid it much mind until I finished reading “The Dirt,” which is a Crüe autobiography that Dustin recently lent me. For me, to be completely honest, reading about this band is generally more interesting than listening to their music. I am personally a Guns ‘N Roses guy, and I guess I’m just gonna stay that way. Vince Neil and Axl Rose both seem to be huge tools, but Axl somehow seems to be the people’s tool. Nevertheless, after completing the book, I was driven by curiosity to listen to some more Crüe, and this is just about the first song you’ll come across if you do a light perusal of a Crüe catalog (well, at least my Crüe catalog). To tell you the truth, the song is kinda loud, stupid, and overdone. But it’s solid fist-pumping music, and that totally cancels out the first three points. Rock on, boys!
5. “Bodysnatchers,” by Radiohead. This song probably should have lit a fire under my ass months ago when I bought the album In Rainbows from Radiohead’s website (yep, I was one of the dumbasses who paid for it–only $3, just to be nice, and to feel like I was helping out a band I loved—but a dumbass nevertheless). However, due to much-documented computer woes, internet malfunctions, and other general problems having to do with living in a technological black hole, I never really listened to this album until about a week ago. It’s definitely not the best song Radiohead’s ever done—for that, maybe try OK Computer’s “No Surprises,” if you don’t mind a soft song that’s literally based around a music box tune. Also, it may not even be the best song on this particular album; the jury’s still out on that one. But I can tell you what it IS: It’s possibly Radiohead’s best loud/fast song since OK Computer’s “Electioneering.” It’s a jangly, distortion-filled piece that from its first note hits you with high percussion and low guitars and makes you feel as though the song is literally pushing you through to its end, and when that end comes four minutes and two seconds later, you’re almost partially relieved, but mainly you just want to hear it again. I liked Kid A, Amnesiac, and Hail to the Thief as much as the next guy, but it’s good to hear that Radiohead can still serve up the cacophony just when you need it the most.