In 2008 I went to New York City with my dad. I found a cool bootleg CD of The Beach Boys 1967 aborted album, SMiLE, while I was there. And I also totally forgot to see the Chelsea Hotel or The Dakota Apartments while I was there. While there I founds myself listening to handful of CD’s. The one that I’ll always associate with New York is Hercules And Love Affair.
Their self-titled debut is one of favorite techno albums, and I still love to listen to it. Three years after the CD has come out and three years after going to New York City, I can’t hear anything from that album and not think of NYC.
The next year, I went to London. And while played lots and lots of English artists (The Beatles, Paul McCartney, The Stranglers, Morrissey) The one song that really stuck in my mind was a track an American group.
On the second night, I was listening to one of the various BBC radio stations and I heard R.E.M.’s sublime track “Nightswimming”. My favorite R.E.M. track has since become something else since that trip.
I assume that choosing a track for this day was intended to bring up someone that you personally know, I’m not going that route. Deal with it.
One thing that I used to love as much as music, was film. I would read tons of reviews and watch lots and lots of moves. Now, all of my time is spent on music, and while I still enjoy a good movie every now and then, I mainly just don’t care for most movies the way I used to. But I still find the time to read Roger Ebert’s reviews.
I’ve always respected Roger Ebert as a writer, but since I read an article in Empire I also respect him as person. The man has dealt with several surgeries to deal with cancer over the years and despite all of things that life has thrown at him, he still keeps on going. Reviewing movie, after movie, after movie with all of his passion for critique still intact.
In the article, linked above, Leonard Cohen’s 1988 track “I’m Your Man” saved Ebert’s life. If the nurses had not heard the music coming from Ebert’s room, he might have died. Ebert himself can’t exactly recall.
Regardless, every single time I hear the track I think of Roger Ebert. A man who’s story has inspired to do what I do today.
And on a separate note, “I’m Your Man” has to be one of sexiest songs ever.
OK, so I’m going to fucking cheat on this one and choose two. Deal with it.
My first choice is Sufjan Steven’s “Enchanting Ghost” from his 2010 EP, All Delighted People. The real heartbreak of this song shows when Sufjan sings, “If it pleases you to leave me just go.”
Sufjan has a frailness to his voice that makes it one of the more interesting in indie music. He really allows his emotions to show on his songs, especially with his two albums he put out last year. But none of the songs have the deep sadness of “Enchanting Ghost”, and that’s saying alot.
Choice number two hit the other day when I was watching Glee. The entire episode contained music from Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 album, Rumours. The track that stood out in the episode and the original album to me is “Songbird”. Christine McVie’s vocals are spot on perfect. With nothing but a piano backing her up.
As with “Enchanting Ghost”, “Songbird” has a weakness to its vocals that makes the song even more captivating. When McVie sings any of the lines on this track you not only believe her, but you feel her emotional pain as well.
This is one of those songs that will always put a smile on my face. The Zombies “Care of Cell 44″ from their remarkable Odessey & Oracle in 1968. From the piano notes at the start of the track to big harmonies when the chorus kicks in, this is one the happiest songs I’ve ever heard.
Yet, the lyrics tell a very interesting tale. The singer is adressing his lover, who is locked up in prison. It’s never mentioned in “Care of Cell 44″ what the prisoner has done to end up in jail, but doesn’t really matter. There’s too much optimism over the fact that the prisoner will be released soon to bother bringing what brought the person there in the first place.
There’s a real joy in the singer’s voice when he sings “feel so good your coming home soon” you can’t help but smile. The explosion of harmonies during that moment hits perfectly and is right on par (if not better) than what The Beatles were producing at the same time.
Note: It also helps that the song was featured on one of my favorite shows, The United States of Tara. During one of it’s happiest moments too.
There’s so many to choose from! Just like with my choice for favorite song, there isn’t any definitive answer. I don’t really have an “all-time favorite” anything in music. I don’t want to limit things.
I was in Best Buy last week and I heard Hoobstank’s “The Reason”. When I first heard this track in 2003 I knew it was bad. But it just gets worse every time I hear it. Nothing is forgivable on this track. The voice, the guitar, it’s all just boring. You know exactly where it’s going.
The thing that makes “The Reason” worse than most other bad songs, is that it sticks in your head. Sure, there’s plenty of bad songs that can get stuck in your head, but the badness is overshadowed by catchy the song is. Sadly, that’s not the case with Hoobstank’s track. It gets stuck and you just want it to leave. It’s been in my head for three days now.
And what’s up with that band name? Hoobstank. Really?
A week or two ago, I found a list of 30 songs. One song each day. Each day covers something slightly different. Yeah, it’s kind of stupid. But it’s kind of fun too! So I’m doing it. Here’s the list:
day 01 – your favorite song
day 02 – your least favorite song
day 03 – a song that makes you happy
day 04 – a song that makes you sad
day 05 – a song that reminds you of someone
day 06 – a song that reminds you of somewhere
day 07 – a song that reminds you of a certain event
day 08 – a song that you know all the words to
day 09 – a song that you can dance to
day 10 – a song that makes you fall asleep and feel relax
day 11 – a song from your favorite band
day 12 – a song from a band you hate
day 13 – a song that is a guilty pleasure
day 14 – a song that no one would expect you to love
day 15 – a song that describes you
day 16 – a song that you used to love but now hate
day 17 – a song that you hear often on the radio
day 18 – a song that you wish you heard on the radio
day 19 – a song from your favorite album
day 20 – a song that you listen to when you’re angry
day 21 – a song that you listen to when you’re happy
day 22 – a song that you listen to when you’re sad
day 23 – a song that you want to play at your wedding
day 24 – a song that you want to play at your funeral
day 25 – a song that makes you laugh
day 26 – a song that you can play on an instrument
day 27 – a song that you wish you could play
day 28 – a song that makes you feel inspired and creative
day 29 – a song from your childhood
day 30 – a song that makes you want to help the world, help the environment, end poverty, help society…
I’m not going to do this every day, just whenever I can. So this might stretch out into 50 days or something…
Day 1: My favorite song. I don’t really have a specific favorite, but I’ll go with The Beach Boys track, “God Only Knows” from Pet Sounds. Just beautiful. Even when I heard it over and over on Big Love it never lost it’s magic.