Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pitchfork 500: As I Listen & As I Hear: Part 1

Currently, as in, right now, I got two things sitting in front of me (besides my laptop).

There are, 1:

Book. The Pitchfork 500 (AKA #1 gift on my Christmas list. Thanks, Santa). And 2:

Beer. More than one, obvi. Healthy for a man. Builds muscles.

So about this book, the Pitchfork 500. The guys at published this book last year, around December or so, not sure. Anyway, it's their "guide to greatest songs of the past 30 years, from punk to present". I bit. I wanted to read the whole thing, front to back, but it's a long read with big words and a lot of acts I've never heard of before. I thought to myself, "this is good for research, let's get a good musical education Mike Pop." Well that's all good, but I wanted to do more than just read, though it felt nice to go through chapter to chapter. Now I'm about midway through this thing, on page 108 or so (it's been a few days), and I started listening to the tunes. I started listening to the newer stuff, that really ends at 2005 and below. So I've got a few favorites from bands/artists I've never heard of before, granted I only got serious with music in 2005 with my first Bloc record. Okay, here's what I got (I know I should've done it with the older stuff first, it would make more sense. Maybe... too much sense...).

The Books - Take Time
A soft tune about patience, mixed in with sound byte samples of what appears to be old, educational science after school specials.

Jens Lekman - Black Cab
Sweden's Jens (pronounced Yens) writes a somber and not so sober tune about a never-ending night in which he continues to quote Talking Heads, The Smiths, among other influential Euro/US pop bands of yesteryear.

Joanna Newsom - Peace, Plum, Pear
Delectably cute. Sounds like it's being sung by a 6 year old girl, though it's lyrical content is somewhat mature. The keyboard sounds like an old Nintendo soundtrack and it's meoldy is just plain fruitful.

The Hold Steady - Stuck Between Stations
Hey, we played this one on the show! I like to think it's a response to The Replacements' "Left Of The Dial", maybe the after party, if The 'Mats ever had one. Jim once said, "Rock 'n' roll isn't dead; all of it's just being done by The Hold Steady".

Liars - The Other Side Of Mt. Heart Attack
Starts out slow, but picks up, and manages to stay in control throughout. A post-shoegaze ballad of love in transit. It's a nice one; I'm not lying.

Well I got more beer to drink and more chapters to read. The Pitchfork 500 is out now on bookshelves everywhere. Even if you don't want to buy it, just give it a brief look through. It's only flaw: no pictures! Disappointing, but hey, it's just like studying, somewhat...

Part 2 coming whenever I am free.

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