Tuesday, February 15, 2011

2010 Recap - Music And Lyrics

I know you're on pins and needles, not having written this recap for soooooo long post-2010...

Here's what I bought in 2010 that was released in 2010, from most enjoyed to still enjoyed but kinda wanted more from:

Spoon - Transference
Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
The New Pornographers - Together
Menomena - Mines
Broken Bells - s/t

Here's what else I bought - some 2009 catch-up purchases and some older material - which is all pretty much great:

We Were Promised Jetpacks - These Four Walls
Telekinesis - s/t
The Xx - s/t
M Ward - pretty much everything he's recorded
The Stone Roses - s/t
Neil Diamond - various hits

I also bought a few singles here and there, maybe a used CD. In total, I spent about $100. Good story? Good story.

Last year I did a real bang-up job on my lyric awards, and I fear the 2010 recap is less stunning. Case in point, I don't have a selection for "Best Metaphor". Pathetic! That's a great category! Please enlighten me in the comments. Moving on...

Best Simile

Arcade Fire - "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)"

Dead shopping malls rise like mountains beyond mountains

Soul Asylum Funeral/Urinal Memorial Award: Best Half-Rhyming Couplet

Menomena - "Queen Black Acid"

You're 5-foot-5, not a hundred pounds
I'm scared to death of every single ounce

Stars - "We Don't Want Your Body"

Your soul is searching ecstasy
So you can have some sex with me

Most Unlikely Adjective

The New Pornographers - "Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk"

That would feel byzantine

Most Nonsensical Lyric

Quasi - "Repulsion"

Wee Willy Winky run to the town
They can't keep it up he just lays it down
The moon took a piss behind a tree
I still made it back by a quarter to three

Most Nonsensical Lyric, But You Can Kinda See Where He's Going With This

The Long Winters - "Not Moving to Portland"

All your bicycles are dreaming of their brakes

Worst Flow

Snoop Dogg, as featured in Katy Perry's "California Gurls"

Bikinis, zucchini, martinis, no weenies, just the kingie and Queenie

Most Overwrought

Arcade Fire - "We Used to Wait"

It seems strange
How we used to wait for letters to arrive
But what's stranger still
Is how something so small can keep you alive

You know, I don't mean to shit on Arcade Fire too much, but this song irks me. As someone who used to take a pen and take lined paper and sit down and write overwrought letters to girls about issues that probably did not deserve such a time commitment, I feel quite qualified to say that waiting for a response did not make me feel alive. It made me feel like the mail is a stupid slow goddamned asshole WHAT THE FUCK IS TAKING SO LONG WHY DID I WRITE A LETTER GOD SHE'LL HAVE TO GO BUY A STAMP AND SHIT ARRRRGH. I mean, sure, hand-writing letters was sort of neat, but I promise you I switched to writing overwrought emails as soon as that option was possible, and I've been grateful for that migration ever since. Anywayyyyyy, I know this song isn't just about writing versus typing, but those few lines really got my goat. The keyboard riff ain't all that great, either.

Now, to ease us into the comments, here's Alipete and I exchanging more lyric thoughts (Alipete's text is in pink):

So, I did not do a good job of tracking lyrics this year. I'll try to think of others, but as of now, this is all I have to offer:

Arcade Fire, "Rococo"

Let's go downtown and watch the modern kids
Let's go downtown and talk to the modern kids
They will eat right out of your hand
Using great big words that they don't understand

I enthusiastically second your "Sprawl II" choice. My favorite lyrics from one of my favorite songs of the year. So, so good. Two from Stars (and agreed on the "We Don't Want Your Body" pick):

"Dead Hearts"

They were kids that I once knew
They were kids that I once knew
Now they're all dead hearts to you
Now they're all dead hearts to you

-- I've tried to figure out what this song means, but in the end, do I really care? The answer is no.

"How Much More"

My hands are tied
Because I won't say goodbye
I tried
I told you I was brave but I lied

-- It looks kind of lame on paper, but the way she sings it makes it fantastic. So probably just listen. Over and over.

Also, since you played the Katy Perry card, I'd be remiss if I didn't include this incredible nonsensical rhyming "Family Matters" reference from that great bard Kanye West on "Dark Fantasy":

The plan was to drink until the pain over
But what’s worse, the pain or the hangover?
Fresh air, rolling down the window
Too many Urkels on your team, that’s why your wins low

-- Brilliant

I also like AF’s “Ready to Start”: if the businessman drinks my blood / like the kids in art school said they would. Kinda weird how Arcade Fire is going to have my most favorite (Sprawl II) and least favorite (We Used to Wait). I want to meet Win Butler and ask him to calm down. I think he needs to take a long weekend – hang out on a beach with Beck and hope some of his nonsense rubs off.

When you meet Win Butler, please ask him to do something about his hair. I enjoy his music so, but he is real hard to look at sometimes. There I said it.

What do you think? A buzz cut? He might be too skinny for that. Maybe he could get it styled like the My Chemical Romance guy.

No, I do not wish that upon Win Butler. He might be beyond help, honestly. He should just go to a barber and ask for "something normal."

Saturday, February 12, 2011

An Idiot Asleep

Last night I dreamed I met Karl Pilkington out at a bar, where he was playing in a 3-piece band. He played the keyboard. The band claimed one song was the theme to "The Dukes of Hazzard", but it sounded nothing like the Waylon Jennings classic.

We've seen season one of HBO's "The Ricky Gervais Show", but what's really put Karl on my mind is "An Idiot Abroad", which is currently airing on The Science Channel for some reason. (And, thank God, it's also available on demand.)

"An Idiot Abroad" is the best travel show ever because it's the most honest. We are not all Anthony Bourdain or the Bizzare Foods guy - some of us don't need to see a lion in the wild if it means being exposed to malaria, and some of us don't want to see the Taj Mahal if it means squatting in sub-outhouse quality restrooms. Karl's show doesn't make you feel guilty for your lack of interest or your middling sense of adventure.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Last Week In Texts

The following were sent and received Friday, January 28.

* * *

[Note - Matt traveled to Egypt last year.]

dn: I guess you picked the right time to go to Egypt.
Matt: It seems the seeds I planted are starting to grow.
dn: The seeds of discontent? Or your semen?
Matt: Yes.

* * *

Shawn: At Arby's, I just listened to a dad explain to his three children that he is going to jail for a year, and that he wanted this to be a great day to remember while he's away. Touching.