A song that snuck up on me this year. Heard it a few times, and now it’s pretty solidly in my songs of the year list.
After some beers late last night, I was hanging out at a friend’s place and got handed an acoustic guitar. I was told to play something. Normally, I’d balk at this, but my guard was down and I just started playing whatever series of chords my tired fingers chose.
They chose these chords. It’s a simple song, so the transition from Em to G could’ve meant a lot of things, but hearing those two chords back-to-back triggered all of the lyrics in my brain. At one point about halfway in, I realized I’d been sitting on a couch in a candle-lit room quiet-singing a Mikal Cronin song, then I half-drunkenly stumbled through the chord progression in the chorus. It was not a good performance, but I got through the whole song without looking up lyrics or chords.
All morning, I’ve mainly wanted to listen to MCII. I’ve been working on my year end and noticing that most of my favorite albums are sort of dark or sparse. But it seems like my relationship with MCII is similar to how I first interacted with Rocket to Russia. Those songs have permeated my subconscious.
Ted Leo said this thing once about how Buddy Holly’s “Rave On” was deeply ingrained in his system; he could just play it without really putting any practice in beforehand. I love that feeling, where you’ve heard a song so many times that one day, you catch yourself playing the chords and singing all the lyrics without checking the internet.
The trick to spending your money wisely at a bar jukebox is finding a delicate balance of actually-good one-credit songs and curating a handful of worthwhile two-credit songs. Here’s how I spent my not-beer money last night:
Then somebody put out a bunch of butt rock after I was done. Bar jukebox can sometimes be a vindictive sort of democracy.
But then somebody put on more Talking Heads!
In the future, I will romanticize and idealize my past. I don’t do it now much, but one day, I will. I’ll form a conveniently packaged narrative about my life (I can already feel this happening) and remember things specifically within the parameters of that narrative.
I will think back on this period of my life, wistful because I just heard a Thundercat record for the first time in a couple years. I’ll dig out old year end lists and geek about records in the 51-100 range. I’ll find that Spacin’ record and put it on. I’ll rifle through a shoebox of ticket stubs and press passes. I’ll remember working late nights, staying up until 5am to meet a deadline or finish a blurb or catch up on freelance work. I’ll leave out anything involving worry.
This all might sound cynical, but I think I’ll be idealistic for a reason: I’m actually happy. And that’s not an easy or even appropriate thing to talk about on the internet. At best, it’s skipping through a field of angry farts with a big smile and a basket of freshly baked croissants. Nobody has time for unprompted gleeful missives. And why should they? Joy belongs in the real world, where you can hang out in nature and be with your people. The internet is for trying out (bad) jokes and telling everyone in real time what you’re seeing on the BET Hip-Hop Awards.
I hadn’t seen this until recently, and after I watched it once, I put it on about five more times. Something about this is really resonant. It’s sort of angelic and pretty funny. Everything’s white or khaki or light grey, and Kurt’s never made to look especially cool or anything. He just sort of stands there, deadpan and clean. I laugh every time when he’s sitting on the bus lip syncing “hey-ey-ey-ey-ey-ey maaaaan”.
I think the last time I heard this song was on the radio when I was in high school. I listened to it today and realized I knew all of the words.
This morning, I listened to Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain by Sparklehorse, which I bought impulsively when it came out in 2006. I was living in the dorms in the South Loop of Chicago and had just started listening to Mark Linkous’ records. They were scheduled to play an all ages show in Chicago a month or two later. I was really excited about it and was telling Morgan that we should go. Then, the show got moved to a bar and it got bumped to 21+.
I love this record, and it still makes me sad every time I put it on, though “sad” is a simplistic way of describing a complicated feeling. (update: I was listening to this because of this.)
I’ll probably include this Trampoline Team track in the p4k column at some point. It’s really good. Pelican Pow Pow has been killing it this year.
Have no idea how I’d react if I turned on the TV and saw this. (via the A.V. Club)