Sunday, June 13, 2010

Common sense is such a scam

Ha! Went in to work today for the first time since I quit, got offered the assistant manager's job - apparently he's leaving in August. The manager said I could also just work a couple of days a week until I get a new job, if I want.

Kind of a far cry from 'do what you want, we don't need you', hey? I'm still going to leave, I told my housemates about the offer and Daisy pointed out how happy I was the day I quit. I just feel like it's time to move on.

What else? Not much, so here's a list:

Five beautiful songs that make me an emotional wreck when I hear them.

1. Someone Great - LCD Soundsystem

 The music feels really pulse-y and dynamic - like an inevitable march forward.
I'm still not entirely clear on the particulars, but it's about loss and how life goes on anyway, even though it feels like the rest of the world should be stopping to take notice.

There's a fantastic line:
And it keeps coming, and it keeps coming, and it keeps coming til the day it stops.
I really love that kind of startlingly obvious lyric that somehow becomes really profound and full of meaning.

(This link isn't to the official clip, but the official clip seemed to be faster than the version I have? I like this version better, but maybe shut your eyes?)

2. Only Skin - Joanna Newsom

This song kind of goes forever, and all the verses sound almost like separate stories about devotion and intimacy and sacrifice.
 Then it builds up to this amazing bit towards the end - a question and answer between this deep man's voice (Bill Callahan) and a much higher Joanna Newsom choir, about everything she'd do for him, and it builds up to the final reply - I love you truly, or I love no one.
Gives me goosebumps every time.

3. Two Weeks - Grizzly Bear

I think this one might be mostly musically heart-crushing, which is a bit unusual for me, as I'm really into lyrics, (as you may have noticed.) 
Anyway, there's this kind of plunkety piano that feels really simple and sincere, and these rolling drums that feel almost chaotic but not, and then it's all overlaid with so many beautiful vocal lines and harmonies. Just really pretty.

4. Come Home - Dismemberment Plan

This one mostly gets me with the words, this guy just knows how to sum up despondency and that unexplainable sadness that you feel sometimes, and then hate yourself for feeling.
I told myself there's nothing wrong and stared right through the paper for a long long time.

Can you tell this is what I listened to when I was a mopey teenager?

5. Do You Realize?? - The Flaming Lips

Ah, it's totally predictable and unoriginal, but damn it, it's a beautiful song.
Do you realize, that everyone you know someday will die... 
Let them know you realise that life goes fast, it's hard to make the good times last, 
You realise the sun doesn't go down, it's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round.

It somehow sounds less trite coming from Wayne Coyne - he's not an amazing singer, so his voice kind of trembles and wavers and sounds so heartfelt and honest. And then there's all these beautiful choral backing vocals. Just lovely.


Special mention to Eels, but I couldn't choose just one song. This one album from my teenage years, Electro Shock Blues, goes from brutally depressing songs about funerals to heart wrenching songs like 'I Like Birds'. It feels like he's just been through so much, and at the end of it, he just has to appreciate the small things - the world is full of so much awfulness, but hey, at least there's birds.

(P.S. I didn't want to over-video this post, so it's all links to clips and live performances. Some of them are not that awesome - if you want better quality, email me and I will sort you out with some compilation CDs)


Northern musings said...

great post... now I will have to listen to the songs and see how they affect me... You probably did the right thing with work, a pity they didn´t realise your full potential immediately (actually I think they did - they just wanted to keep you on a cheaper wage for as long as they could!) good luck with finding a nicer place to work!

KH said...

Ah, all excellent. Though I'm still not sure I'm ready for Joanna Newsom's long songs. They are so long! It's my problem, not hers.

"Someone Great" is apparently exactly what it sounds like; a song about a friend of the band who died. I can't think about any other songs that really capture how much the death of a friend - not to be flippant - just sucks. It and "All My Friends" are both capable of absolutely destroying me if I heard them at a too-vunerable moment.

KH said...


Gill Omega said...

I agree on The Flaming Lips and Grizzly Bear and DP, but Joanna Newsom & The Eels don't do it for me. The weird reason is, i have no idea why? it's so strange, how for no reason, some voices just don't connect with you- but others move you to tears? Weird fact about vocals, I guess!
This clip makes me cry. It's terrible live footage from the Rothskilde Festival of The Tears, and it just- they are brilliant musicians, Butler & Anderson, & they're so inside the music by the end of it...

olga said...

Sigga: Hope you enjoy them - let me know if any of it tickles your fancy!

K: Oh yeah, that whole Sounds of Silver album is amazing and kills me - thank you for
Have you heard her new album, Have One on Me? Less long songs...

Gillian: Joanna Newsom is totally divisive - we can still be friends, promise! That link is pretty cool, too.