I know I don't write much lately, but I am starting to think I ought to.
I just feel like recounting the things I get up to all the time is a little of a yawner for me and the rest of the world, and as for whatever else, I'm bored with listening to myself think for chrissakes! How can I expect not to bore the hell out of other people by publishing it on the world wide interbot? Still, I've been inspired by the latest rattle on by Amanda Palmer of The Dresden Dolls to make some attempt to un-clam it. We'll see what happens.
In the meantime, I thought I'd tell you about some songs that I totally love right this minute:
Ultra Violet, by The Extra Glenns. I listened to this record this morning, riding the bus to my student's office at 7am. It's cold and grey in Prague, so I had my hat with the earflaps on it that hold the iPod earbuds in place excellently, and sometimes you just happen to listen to certain songs at just the right moment, and this one really killed me today. I know that says absolutely nothing about the song, but I guess what I'd like to tell you is that it's a song that's just waiting for the right moment to deliver its knockout punch. Also, I feel almost as sorry for people who don't listen to the awesome (I searched my feelings for the right adjective to go there, but they all sounded grody and trying-too-hard-y, so I just went with "awesome", because the shoe fits) collected works of John Darnielle as I do for people who are starving in third world countries. Just kidding. That was a truly revolting comparison. I'm so ashamed of myself that I'm leaving it so that everyone can justifiably loathe me.
Canadee-I-O, arranged by Bob Dylan. I used this song as the central material for an English lesson earlier this week. I thought it would be good because it's got fairly simple, but interesting vocabulary, and it's a good yarn with a bit of a twist at the end as to who the narrative voice is, so it's good for listening/reading comphrension for students that we in the EFL biz like to say have an "intermediate" grasp of the English language. I listened to it about 10 times that morning, and on about the 8th listen, I really heard it, with its advice to tender girls that they "follow their own true love whene'r he goes to sea, for if the sailors prove false to you, the captain, he might prove true," and I swear that unbidden tears prickled behind my eyes. It's a beautiful performance, too. Give it up for Bob Dylan, people.
All The Love In The World, by Nine Inch Nails. Yeah. Still. I know it's hard to believe that anyone could have -- and I'm putting this positively -- this kind of attention span for one record, but I still love it about as much as I love my monkey, and if you know me at all, you know that's a freaking lot... so, ok, maybe not THAT much. The point is, I've listened to this song an embarrassing number of times, but every single time I do, even if it's like, 5 times in a row throughout an entire bus journey across Prague, I can't wipe the big dumb grin off my face, because it just makes me so damned happy. Pure, unmitigated, aural pleasure of the sort I never expected. One day I will be ashamed of all this, but I'm sorry to report that I'm not yet.
Future Perfect, by Autolux. I probably downloaded this song illegally, because it's not on the record of the same name, which I downloaded legally from iTunes, so don't hate me, Autoluxers! Anyway, it includes this chorus, which totally gets me:
I change my head so I won’t be followed
I change my head so my friends don’t call me
I change my head so no one can fault me
I change my head so I won’t be bored
I can dig. The whole record that this song isn't on is, by the way, the shiznit. It features delicious mountains of noise, good writing, and excellent boy/girl harmonies. I've heard them dismissed as "noodlers" and there's no denying that there is a definite whiff of Sonic Youth-style feedback conjuring, but try it in your headphones. It's totally a headphones record.
3 Libras, by A Perfect Circle. I know this is some seriously King Crimson-esque alterna-progrock wankery, right here, but let me take this opportunity to say that I am totally down for that sometimes, as long as it isn't Pink "overrated" Floyd, Jethro "come the fuck on" Tull or Rush. Especially Rush, because I can only pray to Jesus that Geddy Lee's voice never enters my ears again as long as I live. However, that has nothing to do with anything, and I love this song. It's about being overlooked, I'd say, and I love the way it starts with strings before bringing it with the big giant power chords and hysterical vocals. That Maynard James Keenan sure has some pipes, and I love the way he can never shake his over-wrought signature style. Yeah, I know. I'm way behind the curve on this one. Better late than never.
Promeny, by Cechomor. I have this song on a live CD of Cechomor, which is a Czech folk/rock combo, with music from Killing Joke frontman Jaz Coleman, who, in addition to being responsible for some seriously excellent "apocalyptic post-punk rage" is also a classical composer, and did the orchestral arrangements for the Cechomor songs, including this one, which is gorgeous. I recognize individual words in it, but I have no idea what it's about, so I can't tell you, I'm sorry to say. I have to ask my extra nice student, Pavel, who gave me this CD, but it is freaking beautiful. Pavel, if you are reading, can you tell us? If anyone wants to hear it, e-mail me, and I'll send it to you.
I'm quite the admitted pirate today, no?
As for my monkey, he's rocking the Interpol and M.I.A lately. He's pretty cool, for a monkey. He wrote a badass report about the Anasazi Indians that you should all go read right now, on the Monkey Blog.