Monday, March 8, 2010

Please Don't Stop the Music

I've recently discovered the "Celebrity Playlist" podcast... and now it's confession time. I have a serious love of commentary. Whether it's over a movie (good or bad), a documentary, or, in this case, celebrities talking about their favorite music, I love listening to people talk about things. It's some sort of weird derivation of my thirst for knowledge- it may be useless knowledge, but knowledge nonetheless. And maybe knowledge's uselessness is in the eye of the beholder...
In any case, as I listened to Drew Barrymore pretentiously opine about obscure bands from Nepal and Quentin Tarantino revive my interest in the Jackson 5 (more specifically, The Jacksons, as they were known in their CBS years), I started to think about all the songs I love and how much I enjoy making mixes for people. I'd love to make my own radio station and have people listen the music I enjoy- in particular, I would love to share why I enjoy those songs.
Hence, every week or so, I will post a few songs that I've been enjoying recently or for a long time. I get a lot of my new music from friend recommendations, so hopefully you'll get some good music ideas, too.

In the last couple of weeks, there's not been a central theme to the songs I've been listening to... this is mostly attributable to the fact that I got a new computer for Christmas which reset all my play counts. I've been trying to get all of my music to have at least one play, so I've been jamming out to everything from early rock, to jazz, to modern indie, to oldies, etc. Anyways, here's a few songs that have come up a few times.

  • "Mockingbirds" - Grant Lee Buffalo: One thing I've realized is that "weightiness" in music to me equals ethereal vocals and strings. This song definitely has that, plus great lyrics.  What I really like about it is the almost yodeling quality that his voice gets on the first few choruses and then the rich baritone that it mellows into towards the end. Very contemplative... I like to listen to this when I'm on a walk 
  • "Night and Day"- Fred Astaire: Everyone knows and loves Fred as a dancer, and rightly so. But his voice is severely underrated- it has a frankness and gentle melodic sensibility that may make it seem facile, but that belies the underlying richness of his ability to interpret a song for its full meaning. Anyways, his interpretation of this crazy romantic classic is absolutely breath-taking. Really beautiful.
  • "99 Problems" -Jay Z: So I'm not a huge hip-hop fan outside of stuff to dance/work out to, but this  has sold me on this guy. Really interesting mix of music layers and hilarious/relevant lyrics. And I can now proudly declare that I've got 99 problems, but a man ain't one. 
  • "Oh Darling"- The Beatles: Here's one of my all time favorites... actually, since The Beatles are my favorite band and this is my favorite song by them, this is theoretically my favorite song. It's McCartney (I've been in love with him since I was 6) completely JAMMING in the most angst-tastic unrequited love song ever- sooo passionate and soulful. I seriously love this song- and seriously love belting this in the car.
  • "Paint It Black" - The Rolling Stones: For those of you who play Guitar Hero, you may know this Stones classic already- I can totally kill the bass. So groovy, so blues-ey, so rockin'. This is how I like the Stones- when they're just a good ol' fashioned blues band. I have to turn myself before my darkness goes...
So that's the first installment of what I hope will prove to be many playlists for you, gentle reader. Enjoy!

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