Tuesday, October 18, 2016

I've Been Called Out, It Seems

My musical tastes tend to be very eclectic. If you've read through my blog when I am showing off cards I have bought/received in trade/found in the gutter along side of the highway, you have been treated to/abused by many of my various tastes. Sure, I will go the way of the random song from time to time and just see what happens, but most of the time I tend to stay reasonably close to my heart.

Because I will listen to and talk about any and every song around, people in my office often get tired of hearing me say, "that reminds me of a song." Today, for example, a woman was talking about taking a hike in a canyon in a state park here, and all I could hear in my head was "Down in It" by Nine Inch Nails... because she mentioned being down in the canyon and then up above it on the canyon rim.

I'd almost forgotten how good early NIN is. 

Still, my loner qualities mean that I have spent an inordinate time in my life listening to music. When I find kindred spirits -- or even just a song on someone else's blog that strikes a chord with me -- I often can't help myself and have to comment. That's what has led to this post. You see, our good friend Zippy Zappy may be a bit burned out on collecting -- probably because school has intervened and, well, the minor league season ended too -- but he isn't burned out on music

In fact, he called me out about music. Twice. He said that he "expect[s] you people who fall into this category [complete with two links in the same sentence to my blog] to listen to all of these and respond with feedback for each song ;)."

Not being one to turn down a challenge, I thought, "why not?" My next thought was, "well, it's not like I have a ton of backlog to post either, so this will be a good one to give me something to write about."

So, here goes. In the order that ZZ posted them, I'm going to put these up and go stream of consciousness on them -- listen once, gather my thoughts, and type.

First up -- some old Italian guy:

I learned Italian about 8 years ago, and I remember a little of it -- mostly the stuff that sounds exactly like the Spanish words that mean the same thing. As I watch the video for this song, I think "I didn't realize Ric Ocasek learned Italian! I mean, I know he married Paulina Porizkova, but wasn't she Czech?" 

Then Battiato starts moving a little bit, and he looks a bit like David Byrne. On meth.

This song is harmless enough. It's your basic 80s synthpop mixed with a crooner's sensibilities and sung in Italian. It probably helps not knowing exactly what he's saying, though this title means something like "Center of Permanent Gravity" (though I feel like it should be "Permanent Center of Gravity").

I'm excited for the next song...always love a new Georgia artist to get into.

So yeah, Tamar Chokhonelidze is Georgian as in the country next to Armenia and not next to Alabama. As I listen to this song, I can't help but wonder if Zippy Zappy is pulling my leg about this song. That, or he's got a 2-year-old that he has to figure out how he'll get the child to sleep every night.

As ZZ said, lavnana means "lullaby" in English. It's definitely quiet, slow, peaceful, and meant to help a little one feel safe at night. If you're looking for a song like that and either (a) speak Georgian or (b) don't care about knowing what the lyrics are, then this song should be right up your alley.

It really is not up my alley, though. Or in my wheelhouse. Or any other analogy you might use.

Let's go to Japan now.

The band is called Frederic, and the song is called "Oddloop." You can read more about that name on ZZ's post.

The weird dancing girls appear are just weird. Even weirder is that it appears that these two appear in several of Frederic's videos, such as Owarase Night.

Okay, Oddloop. If the guys from a-ha ever listened to the song, they'd sue. It's not so close to "Take on Me" that it's obvious, but it definitely was the first thing that came to mind in the opening riff of the song to me. The lyrics are really repetitive, so the chorus words can get stuck in your head really quickly. Or maybe that's just me.

It's a decent song. It's catchy and derivative, so it's pretty much every song that has been made since 1969 after the Beatles broke up.

Or, at least that's what the music critics will have you believe.

Scotland's up next.

Oh yeah. This is much more my speed. I'm someone who really got into bands like Keane and Snow Patrol, so Frightened Rabbit is right in that sweet spot. 

I'm actually a bit embarrassed that I haven't listened to this band before for a very personal reason: my brother-in-law Matt has built guitars for both Scott Hutchison (the lead singer/lead guitarist) and Billy Kennedy (the bass player), among others. In fact, when Frightened Rabbit played Austin City Limits, Scott was using his Copeland Guitar (as you can see in the video here on Red Bull TV).

So, yes, this is great. More! More!

Continuing our tour around the world, let's go to Finland:

I had no idea that Macklemore could speak Finnish. Incredible.

Oh, what? That's some Finnish group called JVG? Okay. That's cool.

My impressions? Well, like any good rap video, this has a lot of hot women in it, but too many skinny sweaty guys with their shirts off. I have to admit that the groove to the song is cool, but I really wish I could understand the words. When you get down to it for me, I am into lyrics in songs. 

This song sounds like something I might have heard on a FIFA soundtrack, though. Except that the song supposedly means "Funky Badonk" in English. That's funny, of course, because Badonk is pretty much a meaningless word anyway. The translation I linked to actually has footnotes that say that "Mauton Jasso" is something to the effect of sick ass. Also funny is that at least one line translates to "Girl twerk that ass" (likka twerkkaa sitä jassoo, in case you find yourself in Finland and want to talk to that hot girl in a way to get you slapped).

See, you always get useful knowledge from me here.

Catfish and the Bottlemen are a Welsh band who are actually playing in New York tonight and at the Variety Playhouse here in Atlanta next week Wednesday (but the Atlanta show is sold out already...). They will hit DC, Norfolk, and Nashville before going back to the UK and Ireland for a month. Then, they are back in the US for 6 shows before heading to Australia right after Christmas. And who can blame them for that, since that's the beginning of summer there?

I had heard this song -- "Pacifier" before on XFM out of Manchester/London on TuneIn Radio. Zippy Zappy rightfully said their band name reminds him of Echo and the Bunnymen. He said their sound reminds him of Kings of Leon. I can see that some. I'm a fan and I need to listen to more of them.

Yeah, this song is actually from 1906. I personally would have preferred if ZZ would have linked to Murray's song "Under the Anheuser Bush" just because, you know, beer.

This song feels a bit like a college fight song. It's probably that low brass line you hear in the background -- the trombones and tubas with their somewhat staccato notes that move the song forward but make it sound like a marching band rather than anything else. I guess that probably has as much to do with the fact that people really hadn't figured out jazz or blues or chord progressions or anything like that.

In the end, this song would not feel out of place in a silent movie.

The Babies are a four piece band out of Brooklyn. This song's rhythm guitar line makes me think of old 50s music -- it's repetitive, all major chords (for the most part), and it's the same rhythm all the way through the song (again, for the most part). It's not a bad song. 

The band apparently took a hiatus in 2014 because band members Cassie Ramone -- real name: Cassie Grzymkowski -- and Kevin Morby decided to focus on their solo careers more. Oddly enough, Cassie Ramone cites to The Ramones as one of her influences.

You don't say.

Cara Salimando is trying to make her name in music the newfangled old-fashioned way: building up a grassroots following by getting her music out to people. I say newfangled because there's a lot of the "do-it-yourself" feel that MySpace used to have for music about 10 years ago -- you know, back when there were actually people on MySpace and not the skeletal remains of profiles that are all probably porn bots.

This song sounds like it could have been an album extra on Taylor Swift's last album. It's poppy, and Cara's voice is very "sweet". There's nothing wrong with that, mind you. With a sweet sounding voice like that, though, I'd prefer a little more edge to it -- more like Luscious Jackson from 20 years ago ("Naked Eye" is what I was thinking of here).

Out of curiosity, I listened to "Dust" by Cara Salimando while typing this. The "sweet" part of her voice has faded, but I like the song more. It's got more of a lyrical edge and is a bit more wistful and darker. 

Not bad at all.

And finally:

Lord Huron is a Los Angeles "indie folk" band. It's a pretty good song, but it strikes me like a weird folk version of Enya or something. I'm not being critical by saying that -- Enya's "Orinoco Flow" had that expansive sound that made it sound, well, BIG. Enya did it orchestrally with big strings and such, but Lord Huron does it with a big percussion section -- you can hear the timpani in the musical breakdown as the "credits" roll at the end of the video.  

It's a pretty cool sound. 

Many thanks go out to Zippy Zappy for bringing a few of these songs to my attention.

But you can keep Franco.


  1. I like Frightened Rabbit and I've been listening to Catfish and the Bottlemen for some time now. The rest were new to me - so thanks for sharing!

  2. Very nice post. I was expecting a long comment on my original blogpost but you went the extra kilometer!

    As you can tell, I'm a sucker for a good catchy jingle. I do try and pay attention to lyrics when I can but when it comes to foreign songs, I've found that translated lyrics could potentially mean something completely different from the original.

    Anyway, you've revealed your secrets regarding Keane and Snow Patrol so now I can either pander to you or horrify you with bands like Jet, The Fray, Lifehouse, Mando Diao and Franz Ferdinand.

  3. Okay. If a third blog posts that Oddloop song AND I click on it I think I'm going to be hooked. It's soon to be my next earworm.

  4. I've twice been the oldest dude at a NIN concert. By A LOT! LOL

    And oh, yeah, I love Enya.

  5. Great post. Thanks to both you and Zippy for sharing this variety of music. I attempted to listen to all of the songs. A few of them I stopped short and moved on... but I really liked Frightened Rabbit, Catfish and the Bottlemen, and Lord Huron.

  6. Lord Huron is terrific; I first found them on the soundtrack to the Redford/Nolte film "A Walk in The Woods" as they have a few songs featured.