Top Ten

While waiting for today’s second pot of coffee to brew, I’ve decided to get that obligatory “Top Ten Tracks” thingy out of the way… only I don’t use iTunes exclusively, so I’ve had to go by my Last.fm profile.  So here goes:

1. Mogwai – Mogwai Fear Satan: The song that got me hooked on “post-rock” music — an instrumental work-out that goes from quiet strumming to feedback-drenched squealing and back again.  For more than ten minutes.  Takes me back to my techno-obsessed high school daze, only with rock.

2. M.I.A. – U.R.A.Q.T. (The Root Out Mix): A juvenile, totally 2000s song of M.I.A. threatening the girl who texted her man.  Kinda dumb, but I can’t get it out of my head.

2. The Indelicates – New Art For The People: Total opposite of the M.I.A. track — a grim (but rather funny) indie track about sex, drugs, settling for a relationship, and selling out.

2. (Yup, it’s a many-way tie) Mogwai – Glasgow Mega-Snake: Again, a total opposite, this time to my #1 track — where “Mogwai Fear Satan” wanders, fades out, fades back, Glasgow Mega-Snake begins with a punch of squalling guitar… and just keeps punching you in the ears for four minutes.  Sounds like torture, but I need a good punch to the ears once in a while.

2. DJ Earworm – United State of Pop: A great mash-up of a bunch of 2007’s top songs, highlighting the sameness of it all… pretty much sums up why I (generally) don’t listen to music on the radio anymore.

6. RX – Sunday Bloody Sunday: Another tongue-in-cheek mash-up (as if there’s another kind), this one with G. W. Bush singing U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday”.  Makes me chuckle every time.

7. Acid House Kings – Say Yes If You Love Me: A great, tambourine-shaking piece of twee pop, from a band with one of the best (and most deceptive) names out there.

7. The Mountain Goats – Sax Rohmer #1: Another set of great lyrics from the Mountain Goats (“I am coming home to you/With my own blood in my mouth… I am coming home to you/If it’s the last thing that I do.”)

7. Steven Malkmus and the Jicks – Baltimore: Finally made me understand why everyone always talks about Pavement so much (well, that and finally hearing “Summer Babe”.)

10. Yo La Tengo – Upside-Down: I’d heard Yo La Tengo’s later, more moody/experimental stuff, and yeah, it’s OK… but this is just a great little piece of pop.  Love it.

10. The Adventures – Johan På Snippen: A random bit of surf-pop, covering a traditional Nordic tune (courtesy of that hub of weirdness, WFMU’s “Beware of the Blog”.)

10. Jonathan Coulton – The Presidents: All of the presidents in U.S. history, sung off to a bouncy little pop tune.  Mildly educational, totally hilarious.

10. Mates of State – My Only Offer: Another bouncy piece of indie pop — do I listen to anything else?  Not really.

So there it is — my music mind of the past few months.

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Now playing: Tullycraft – The Neutron
via FoxyTunes   

The Man Who Writes With Both Hands


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Originally uploaded by bdunnette

Riding the bus — particularly early-morning commuter buses — adds a whole new layer of surrealism to life, along with a weird sort of community. Community because you see these people every day, same time, trying to get to work just like you. But weird because nobody’s too talkative at seven in the morning — we’re all only awake until we get seated, then settle into that weird half-napping routine that you develop, waking up just long enough to see if the lurching of the bus is related to your stop. Yet, seeing people every day, you almost can’t help giving them names: Beret (whose name is self-explanatory), The Man Who Writes With Both Hands (who carries a cooler with a giant cartoon heart drawn on the side and filled with some obscure, semi-apocalyptic writing), Subway (who hasn’t developed his napping routine fully, and nearly sleeps through his stop), Hair Bun (who, defying stereotypes of unkempt bus riders, does elaborate things with hair and chopsticks during the commute).

Nobody who wears a mousetrap yet, but I’ll keep ya posted.

Which reminds me: am I the only one who get’s tongue-twisted on that line of The Hollies’ “Bus Stop” that goes: “Sometimes she’d shop and she would show me what she bought”? For some reason I keep singing it to myself while walking to the bus, and it’s a real “She smells sheep smells by the sheet store” kinda experience.

Tweaker Tranny Refreshment Break

So I finally got to see Black Sun Ensemble play, complete with belly dancers. And everything I’ve heard is absolutely, 100% true: Jesus is a fuckin’ amazing guitarist, and Jean Paul is a master of the subtle art of the gong. Too bad about the tranny trying to upstage everyone.

Also, while having a beer with Greg, I was reminded of one of my unifying theories of (my) relationships — that any girl who’s attracted to me must be either:

  1. Mentally ill, or
  2. Cross-eyed.

And yes, lazy eye counts.

(Apologies to anyone violating these rules — chances are, as the girl I took on my disastrous first date to Waterworld once informed me, I was being a space cadet)