On the edge, she took one last look around...
Just a short post tonight... a few songs that have been playing on my computer this weekend while I've been working. I pulled a 14 hour shift on Saturday and thought I'd gone insane by the time I went home. Imagine sitting alone in a room, performing the same task repeatedly (in this case, assembling a few hundred coil-bound books) with 4 giant photocopiers running for hours on end.
For the first few hours I listened to as much upbeat music as possible. Kinks. Ramones. De La Soul. Eventually, all that upbeat stuff just wears you down. Your brain says, "Look, douchebag, I'm not as happy as Sly and the Family Stone right now."
So here are a few of the more contemplative, quiet songs I've been spinning:
Pedro the Lion "June 18, 1976": Sure, it's not the happiest little ditty about a woman abandoning her infant child and diving off the hospital roof. Like the short story writer Raymond Carver, no one will ever accuse David Bazan and Pedro the Lion of glossing over the ugliness of reality. I love this band, but it always seems like I have to go to the mat for them being Christians. People don't give a shit that Bob Dylan recorded pro-Christian albums, but when a little religion finds it way into indie rock, watch out for flying hipster bile. These guys are not DC Talk, so just calm down.
Archers of Loaf "Chumming the Ocean": This song isn't representative of the Archers "sound" at all, but it's one of the finest songs on their next-to-final album, ALL THE NATION'S AIRPORTS. If you ever need a good cry but can't eke out the tears, throw this desolate bastard on your stereo and try not to weep. "The water is red... red... red.... red." The rest of this album, along with the rest of the band's catalogue, is fucking fantastic.
Elliott Smith "I Don't Think I'm Ever Gonna Figure it Out": By now, anyone who knows how to navigate a music blog must know all about the sad life and demise of brilliant singer/songwriter Elliott Smith. This track is a b-side, and I think is taken from the actual 7" record. Essential stuff. If you haven't given the man an ear yet, I seriously implore you to buy at least one of these three albums: EITHER/OR, XO or FIGURE 8. XO is my personal favorite... so goddamned good. If I weren't so poor, I'd even declare a money back guarantee if you didn't like that album. It's an absolute masterpiece. Once you've been sucked in, defintely check out the posthumously released FROM A MANSION ON THE HILL. Check out the links below for some great Smith sites, a lot of which feature free downloads.
My posts never actually wind up being short, do they?
For more on these bands, click below:
Official Pedro the Lion site
Free Pedro downloads at Epitonic.com
Pedro the Lion's mail order site
Alias Records' bio for the Archers of Loaf
Web in Front, an Archers of Loaf fan page
Official Elliott Smith site (Check out the live videos!)
Sweet Adeline, an Elliott Smith fan site