Making It Work (Sometimes): Seven Song Playlist Review

As record reviews go the way of records, I review the playlist in my iPod. “Recent Albums” is the playlist, though it’s got lots of individual downloads and old tunes as well.
MGMT “Kids”

That Oracular Spectacular is both these things. Highly recommended record (So there ARE records anymore. The lies pile up.). I sort of hear this song as The Knife gone disco. Similar synthy processed sound, but while The Knife ices me out, this warms me up. Some sort of nutty crunchy advice marries some cryptic poetry about “a family of trees waiting to be haunted.” Backstory about Andrew Wood of Mother Love Bone, heroin death, but I don’t get any of that.

AC/DC “Sin City”

Got this from the guitarist from The Ks (and best bud for life) Ray The Razor Beyda’s 70’s Mix. “I’m gonna win in Sin City” Bonn Scott gargles, and good for him. I lost. It’s classic AC/DC, without being a classic by AC/DC. I love it, but if I had to trade one song from Back in Black for it, I’d have a problem. It’s got all the stuff, big big opening riff, crunchy chord dinosaur stop progression that’s as indisputable as a tree stump. Truly smoking guitar solo. As usual, fine lyrics, an under-appreciated ingredient of this band’s formula. “Ladders and snakes/Ladders give, snakes take.” Could be William Blake.

Queen “She Makes Me (Stormtrooper In Stilettos)”

My lovely coworker Mary lent me a huge stack of CDs and one was Queen’s Sheer Heart Attack! A win! This song is really too sweet, all acoustic guitars going major minor major with angel harmonies and reverb mooning “She is my love.” They probably threw on that Stormtroopers business on to edge it up a little bit.

Deerhunter “Weird Era”

I wasn’t knocked out by the first disc from the Microcastle album. Some good songs, some reverbedelia over windchimes. This is from the second disc. It’s a beehive of buzz, what sometimes Klog contributer Matt Casper refers to as a “sonic dump.”

Louis Moreau Gottschalk: “Tendu 4/4 Tarantella”

It’s Lisa Harris playing this brief, tiptoeing teaser by the 19th century New Orleans Romantic LMG. This is from Oxford American 10th Anniversary Music Sampler – Past Masters, a great supplier of surprises and joy.

The White Stripes “Little Cream Soda”

I get pretty jealous of The White Stripes. They keep on cranking out good stuff. Jack White’s got enough weirdness to confound the reverent bluesman who sometimes threatens to take over. We don’t really like Jack: He’s sitting in judgment; I can feel it. Meg makes us forgive him. Her and the songs. Oh well oh well.

The Smiths “I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish”

Finally got into The Smiths. All that fraufrau business put me off for years. What is that growl Morrissey laying on us? How can he get away with this affected Broadway delivery? I recently heard some critic dismiss Morrisey as “trying to roll the boulder of camp up the hill of high art.” I think we need to respect our boulder rollers, and I think some confuse “camp” with wit.

The Thermals “An Ear For Baby”

Like Morrissey’s growl Hutch Harris has this Biafraian chuckle in his voice that shouldn’t work yet does. A paranoid concept album (The Body, The Blood, The Machine. Get it. Albums are BACK!) about religious-fascists taking over in 2K6, while appropriate for the Bush Era, should also be a drag. Instead it’s a punk rock guitar blasting party. This song about some rapturous final solution will have you skanking your ass off.

I just realized that’s 8! I must not have counted that Deerhunter dump.

–Dan Kilian


One Response to “Making It Work (Sometimes): Seven Song Playlist Review”

  1. johnpauljustlikethepope Says:

    I would like to recommend Dyer Straights’ One Armed Sailor. Not sure if the spelling on “Dyer” is right, might have it confused with “Dyer” from “Dyer Maker”. I am certain that Led Zeppelin does not have the letter “A” in it. ANYWHERE! The title of the track might be Single Hand Sailor, of Single Arm Sailor, too. But what is important that it has something to do with a person sailing with less than two arms, and the song really cranks.

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