March 2007 – in motion again

1. Dance, Dance, Dance (Alternate Take) – The Beach Boys: As you can probably tell, I’ve got a bit of Beach Boys thing. The first tape I can remember owning that wasn’t related to Disney or bedtime stories was the Beach Boys Endless Summer, and it was AWESOME. I listened to it over and over on my little tape player with the bright blue microphone, and I was sure I was the HEIGHT of cool. Then I discovered Frosty the Snowman, and, well, the rest is history.

2. the blues are still blue – Belle & Sebastian: Belle and Sebastian are another first band, in that I think they were the first band I ever found before Kelsey, and even then it was only by about 30 seconds, as the next time she and I talked about them she had fully formed critical feelings about all of their albums and I was still just grooving along to “Catastrophe Waitress.”

3. Going to Georgia – The Mountain Goats: This song is great. It is not so much a song, in that at least half of it is spoken rather than sung, but it is still a great song. It’s also one of those things that no one can pull off half so well as John Darnielle himself, because when you lose the crazy Mountain Goats voice and the crazed rhythm strumming, you have no song left. He can’t keep to one meter, or one speed, or one anything, and for that, we love him all the more dearly.
the most remarkable thing about coming home to you is the feeling of being in motion again
it’s the most extraordinary thing in the world
i have two big hands and a heart pumping blood and a 1967 colt .45 with a busted safety catch
the world shines as i cross the macon county line
going to georgia

4. Another Wasted Night – Bishop Allen: The whole Bishop Allen album “Charm School” will rock your socks off your feet and across the room, I promise. They have a tambourine, and drums and crazy rhythm instruments that rattle and scrape, and then on top of that they have awesome bouncy catchy rhythms….you’ll love it. Just get it, right now. It’s also particularly great for singing along to while you drive in the California summer sun, if you ever get a chance to do that. Ask me before you go, and I’ll make you a highway happiness playlist. Cause dude, I have a lot of excellent driving music. “Well, I’m up all night, playing for a little salvation…”

5. If You Fall – Azure Ray: Azure Ray is one of those bands I’m trying to teach myself more about. I bought an album, and I’m working my way through it. I’m sure that the reason I know about them is Kelsey and Claire, since a whole lot of the new music I get comes at least tangentially from them, and I know that if they have these albums, I should get cracking on them. This song surprised me initially, in that “if you fall” sounds like it should be waay emo, but really it’s bouncy and happy and has a lovely melody. I know, I was shocked. (oh, and sorry that the video I linked to is adulterated by Veronica Mars, but seriously kids, when it’s not edited into a little emo lovestory by a youtuber, it’s actually a pretty good show.)

6. A Little Less Conversation – Elvis Presley: Ah, Elvis, how we love you. This is such a crazy disco remix sound, you have no idea. It’ll make Elvis feel cool to you, even if he totally didn’t before.

7. If I Ever Leave This World Alive – Flogging Molly: Flogging Molly is one of those groups with an accent strong enough that you can hear it through the music. Listening to people with overt Irish accents always makes me feel cooler, so I advocate it, fairly unilaterally. (and sorry for the horrible rattle on the live recording, seriously kids, get me to burn you a CD if you love these lists.)

8. Fair (Live) – Ben Folds with Guster: I mean, Ben Folds AND Guster, all in one amazing track? And you expect me to stay away? This rocks. If I had been at this show, I think I might have died of sheer joy, so it’s probably better for my overall health that I wasn’t. However, if they ever tour together again, it’s going to take serious wild horses to keep me away.

9. Burn to Shine – Ben Harper: This is one of those songs with pretty depressing lyrics that doesn’t sound at all depressing if you don’t listen to the words when you listen to the song. They always amaze me. It’s like a sneaky trick! There you are, singing along, all happy, and singing about crying. It’s an awesome paradox.

10. All Along the Watchtower – Bob Dylan: Dylan. Nothing like him. There’s a reason this song is a total classic, and I don’t think it’s the fact that it has a harmonica in it.

11. I Think I Started a Trend – Brad Sucks: Can you imagine BEING the Brad to which this band name refers? How much would that suck? There you’d be, being Brad, everyone knowing that this awesome band thought you sucked. So sad. On the happy side, this song rocks. (um, and sorry for the star treck part of the video? if that bothers you)
washed up on the shoreline getting sand in my face
i took it hard and now i’m spending my days
drunk lying around in total comfort and sin
and if you believe me i can do it again

12. I Summon You (demo) – Spoon: I love Spoon, and I love demos because they make you feel like you’re a member of a special secret club, like no one can listen to this song but you.
Remember the weight of the world
It’s a sound that we used to buy
On cassette and 45
And now this little girl
She says will we make it at all
800 miles is a drive

13. Yellow – Coldplay: This song is a classic, for me and for Coldplay, especially since I now own this weird cover version of it in which some random female jazz singer sings it veerrrrry slowly while Bill Frisell plays the guitar, which reminds me of a long story that Jessica says I tell too often, and which I won’t retell here.

14. Louisiana Lowdown – Cowboy Mouth: Cowboy Mouth is definitely something I got from Anna, who got it from Ruth (don’t you love how much etymology my music has? cause I do.). I remember hearing this song in the Golf with her, driving away from Stanford Shopping Center, in the days before she got engaged and became a capital “A” Adult. It’s funny, and bouncey, and CowboyMouthey.

15. Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm – Crash Test Dummies: This one came from Anna too, although I think it later appeared unprompted on a Kelsey playlist.
Once there was this kid who
Got into an accident and couldn’t come to school
But when he finally came back
His hair had turned from black into bright white
He said that it was from when
The car had smashed so hard
Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm
Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm
Kind of bizarre lyrics, yes?

16. Older Chests – Damien Rice: Damien Rice is an artist I would use on any playlist designed to lure people into sleep, whether they wanted to sleep or not. All of his music is very soothing, and lots of it is depressing. I think this one is depressing too, although to be honest, it could also just be slowly and mournfully sung, hence creating the impression of depressing-ness without actually being depressing, but he just talked about someone crying and something changing, so I think that depressing is probably a great bet.

17. Two Coins – Dispatch: This came from Claire, but my biggest Dispatch memory is that Darren (high school friend, redheaded swimmer) used to LOVE Dispatch, during the year that Kelsey and I ate lunch with him and his swimmer friends every single day. Wow, weird to remember that….sophomore year of high school I think, and then after we stopped eating lunch together in my Junior year I practically never spoke to him again, but we still had all of these lunchtime things in common? Like the time that someone hit a bee at Daniella’s hand and it stung her? Do you remember that Kelsey? (and Oh MY GOD every version of this song on youtube is a cover, so I’ve chosen this one because at least these guys aren’t native speakers of English, so it’s got some marginal novelty interest.)

18. Click Click Click Click – Bishop Allen: This was one of Walt’s songs of the day, back when we were doing that fairly regularly (why don’t we do that anymore? That was fun!). It’s a good song for people who like to take pictures, and also it talks about taking pictures at weddings when you don’t know anyone, which was pretty much my job for a summer, so I guess I feel like it is about me? Only no one drunkenly hits on the Bishop Allen guys in this song, or makes an interminable toast about love like a big strong tree, big and strong and strong and big.

19.My Man My Moon – Feist: I re-discovered this song when I was making a playlist for FMOTQ, back in what, October, when I searched my music for songs with “moon” in them, and also for that one song about kissing a drunk girl, which seemed appropriate for the FMOTQ message of booze and makeouts. This song isn’t really appropriate for FMOTQ, except that it has the word “moon” in it a lot, but it does say that it’s “the dirtiest clean I know,” which is a pretty excellent phrase.

20. Que Rico El Mambo – Gustavo Santaolalla:This is from the soundtrack to The Motorcycle Diaries, which is one of my all-time favorite movies in any language, ever, so if you haven’t seen it, you MUST SEE IT NOW, and if you’re watching it, call me, because I am pretty much always up for seeing it again. Everyone I’ve ever watched it with has become completely converted to the cult of The Motorcycle Diaries, and no one has ever yelled at me for making them watch it, so I win. Also, Gael Garcia Marquez is a serious hottie. But also it’s a great movie, so you should see it even if you don’t think that he is a hottie. Cause it’s great. Trust me. And you can practice your Spanish! Or, alternatively, your subtitle reading skills! And you will learn some great new dirty words in Spanish!

21. Careful – Guster:
And you walked out when I asked you to stay
As usual you will get your way
You closed the door and stumbled down to the street
Where you wring your hands
And you drag your feet there
Where the words can’t find you
To crawl inside you
I’m ringing all the warning bells
Careful or you’ll hurt yourself
Others lie, lie, lie, they adore you
This is a great closing song, because it’s got a big climax and then a great sort of ramp down, and it’s in a very closing key, and everything. Also, my favorite version comes off the album called “Guster on Ice” which always makes me think of the Icecapades, which is good times.