Thursday, 14 April 2005

On the jukebox

I've realised that I don't talk enough about music on this here blog; I know I maintain a pure reviews site, but sometimes that's too much writing when all I want to do is note how good some songs I'm listening to are, or just want to talk about bands that have excited me. So, here's a partial list of tunes I've heard and liked lately:
  • The High Speed Scene, "The IROC-Z Song" - a song about Camaros and spinning donuts out in front of Taco Bell is totally SoCal - didn't even need to look it up, but a Google search confirmed that the band is from El Lay (as Christgau might say). A classic candidate to be featured on "The OC", if it hasn't been already. Whether that's a good thing or not is up for debate.
  • The Silent League, "Christmas Time Is Here" - totally out of season, but it's delicate.
  • Death Cab For Cutie, "All is Full of Love" - I love cover versions, and this is one to love. Points added for daring to cover Bjork.
  • Louis XIV, "Illegal Tender" - ooh, that dirty guitar sound. Reminds me of the Standells and other "Nuggets"-type garage bands. For that matter, Louis XIV's Illegal Tender EP is really good, with tunes like "Marc" and the obvious but insanely catchy "Finding Out True Love is Blind". More Treaty of Ratisbon than Revocation of the Edict of Nantes i.e. a high point for Louis XIV. (Thanks to A-level history I know more about 17th-century French history than I will ever use, so I might as well slip in references to the Sun King where I can...)




All Is Full Of Love is pretty much the only Bjork song I actually like, but that Death Cab cover leaves me stone cold. What do you like about it?

Regardless of my disagreement, write more about music! There aren't enough Singaporean bloggers who write decently about music!


Why don't you like Bjork? Anyway, I just think Ben Gibbard's voice is always interesting to listen to, and I like the austerity of the Death Cab version.


Despite knowing that I owe it to indiedom to love Bjork like everyone else, I've somehow never liked her very much. I often find her singing style overly dramatic and quite grating. I don't particularly dislike her songs, musically speaking, but they never stick in my mind either, and just don't draw me in. But I know I'm pretty much alone here, everyone else loves her to bits.

Funny you say that about Ben Gibbard's voice, I always find it quite appealing at first, and then after a while it gets cloying for me. The best thing he's ever done for me is that cover of Complicated, beyond that I experience rapidly diminishing marginal utility.

Funny again that you like the austerity of the cover - that's exactly what I found unimaginative about it!

But vive la difference, yes? :)


Here's one way I think about Bjork: she's different from a lot of other indie musicians, in that indie music often emphasises the personal, the direct: I suppose emo is the most obvious example of this, but a lot of cachet is placed on singing the songs of experience.

Bjork to me is more like an old standards singer, adopting personas for the songs she sings, an interpreter of sorts (even if she writes the songs herself). That tends to create a certain distance between singer and song. (Steely Dan do similar things with technology to get that very cool feel.)


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