Fall Mix

Nov. 27th, 2011 03:38 pm
sechan19: (morisot)
"If a man lacks the human virtues, what has he to do with music?"

~ Confucius


Eddie Vedder, "Dream a Little Dream"
Tori Amos, "Carry"
Pulp, "Do You Remember the First Time?"
Florence and the Machine, "Between Two Lungs"
Ghostland Observatory, "Band Marches On"
Amanda Palmer, "Astronaut: A Short History of Nearly Nothing"
George Harrison, "Hear Me Lord"
Rasputina, "Why Don't You Do Right?"
Radiohead, "Nude"
KaTe Bush, "Snowed In At Wheeler Street"
Odessa Chen, "Made Up My Mind"
Architecture in Helsinki, "Tiny Paintings"
Ithaca Audio, "Don't Hold Back, Just Push Things Forward (Extended Mix)"


Generally I don't care for Confucius' philosophy, but I think he got it exactly right when it comes to music.

A new kitten, spice cookies, gummi cherries, and music. The comprehensive exam gauntlet starts in a week, and I am going to kill it.

That is all.
sechan19: Photo of me in a Spider-man crop trop. (Default)
Here's the song set that kept me moving this term.

Sigur Rós, Starálfur (Starring elf)
Jarvis Cocker, "Tonite"
Nine Inch Nails, "The Hand That Feeds (Photek Straight Mix)"
Hisaishi Joe, Ningyô -DOLLS-
Gackt, No ni saku hana no yô ni (Like flowers blooming in the fields)
Lenny Kravitz, "American Woman"
Death Cab for Cutie, "Meet Me On The Equinox"
Emilie Simon, "All is white"
New Model Army, "Poison Street"
The Killers, "Enterlude/When You Were Young"
Florent Pagny, "Châtelet les Halles"

Yay music!
sechan19: (tormenta)
A week from today I will be effectively done with my obligations for the fall term. I will have completed the last of my Chinese assignments, taken my Chinese final exam, taught my last Japanese for Beginners class, given a colloquium presentation, given a presentation for my seminar, completed and turned in my seminar paper, and closed out my Japanese course. I'll still have to write and submit a last draft of my mock grant proposal, but that's nothing to worry over.

Basically, what all that means is I'll be really happy next weekend. But I have to do a lot to get there.

Anyway, I'll check back in soon with an update as to how it's all going. In the meantime, here's the final version of my fall music mix - a record of this term's basic headspace - for anyone who's interested in that kind of thing.

Mumford & Sons, "Little Lion Man"
Big Boi (feat. T.I. & Khujo Goodie), "Tangerine"
Emilie Simon, "Lise"
Tori Amos, "Silent All These Years"
Tricky, "Overcome"
Kings of Leon, "Use Somebody"
Architecture in Helsinki, "Heart It Races"
The Mountain Goats, "Tallahassee"
The The, "Phantom Walls"
Plastic Tree, Nemureru mori (The Sleeping Forest)
The Posies, "I May Hate You Sometimes"
How to Destroy Angels, "The Believers"
sechan19: (butterfly)
"I thought you had more courage to stay alive--
dying is easy."

A song you'd like played at your funeral
"Do You Realize?" The Flaming Lips.

This song has everything that I would want my bereaved loved ones to hear at my funeral. It counsels that life is short and precious, that all we, any of us, can do is to make the most of what we have, and that we should cherish, and fondly remember, every beautiful moment that we've been given. Those we love cannot leave us if we remember them, and death - whatever it is - is only another adventure.

(30) Days of Music: Meme List )
sechan19: (tormenta)
Pity the monsters.

One song that gives you the creeps
"Stalker," Recoil.

This song, written and sung by Nitzer Ebb vocalist Douglas McCarthy, takes as its point of view the perspective of the titular stalker as he rants to his victim about her various methods of wronging him. And it's terrifying. Unlike Peter Gabriel's "Intruder," which exudes a kind of intellectual analysis in spite of the eeriness of the narrative, "Stalker" seems to scream directly from McCarthy's oh-so tortured soul. (It screams so palpably, in fact, that you almost have to wonder about Douglas McCarthy.) In the end, as the stalker shrieks at his victim "You are nothing without me!" you can feel that his heartbreaking desire is not to convince her of this fact, but to convince himself. McCarthy's stalker is a pathetic figure: sick, sad, and solitary. And so he always will be.

(30) Days of Music: Meme List )
sechan19: (tormenta)
"A man with priorities so far out of whack doesn't deserve such a fine automobile."

One song that needs to never be played again
"I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)," The Proclaimers.

This isn't even all that terrible of a song, really. It's got a catchy beat and a nice sentiment. It's generic but not offensive. Nevertheless, it needs to never be played again. When I was in high school we sometimes had music on the quad at lunch. And by music I mean this song. And by this song I mean over and over again on repeat until break time was up. My best friend N got into a serious altercation with the music programmers about this issue one day, and they claimed it was the only music they had, and, no, we couldn't lend them any of our "Satan" music. (No, seriously.) Now, whenever this song comes on the radio the memories flood back. Damnit.

(30) Days of Music: Meme List )
sechan19: Photo of me in a Spider-man crop trop. (Default)
"What is there to be said?"

One song in your mp3 folder you're pretty sure no one else has "I Hold My Breath," Artisan (Fat Benjamin Remix).

Generally speaking, I don't like to make the assumption that I am some great possessor of knowledge that no one else knows about. However, Artisan is - as far as I know - a pretty obscure SF-area band, and Fat Benjamin might be pretty obscure, too. So this track is a good bet for not turning up in other people's mp3 folders. (Watch, now, like a dozen of you will have it.) Anyway, I found this track on MySpace of all places, loved it, and downloaded it from said band page. I don't remember how I found the band page; I certainly have nothing else of theirs in my personal catalog. But there you have; or - actually - you probably don't. ;>

(30) Days of Music: Meme List )
sechan19: (morisot)
"So, say after me: 'It is no better to be safe than sorry.'"

Your favorite music video
"Take On Me," a-ha.

I'm lucky here that I get to do a double with this post. You see, "Take On Me" is not just my favorite music video, it is also one of my favorite songs of all time. It was my favorite song when I was six, and it has the distinction of being the song I was listening to when I first fully realized the concept of my own mortality (and more painfully, the concept of the mortality of those I loved). Consequently, I associate an almost visceral kind of nostalgia with it. The video has its own merits, however. I didn't see it until long after I'd grown to love the music on its own, but that did not detract from it's utter awesomeness. The scope of creative vision and the quality of the animation and live action sequencing (still impressive by today's standards) are simply astounding. In my opinion, no single video since has imbued its song with as much additional meaning and resonance as this one did.

(30) Days of Music: Meme List )
sechan19: (lin fengmian)
"Lloyd, my darling are you alright?" "I'm beginning to know what God felt like when He sat out there in the darkness creating the world." "And how did He feel, Lloyd, my precious?" "Very pleased that He'd taken His valium."

Your favorite song from 2010 (so far)
"Little Lion Man," Mumford and Sons.

From a lyrical stance, this is a song with a somewhat incongruous sensibility. The verse and chorus don't seem to have that much in common with one another, as both have the appearance of speaking to different characters: the self and the other. One could embark upon an interesting meditation on the problem of othering the self, etc. I'm not going to bother about it. This is a gorgeous song, and it speaks to me on a nearly physical sonic level.

(30) Days of Music: Meme List )
sechan19: (kusama)
You call that coverage?

Your favorite cover song
"Running Up That Hill," Placebo.
Originally by Kate Bush.

This is one of those weird things that simply cannot be explained. See, I love me some Kate Bush, and I don't even really like Placebo at all. ("Special K" is pretty much the only exception to my total lack of use for them.) But I not only like Placebo's version of this song; I like it better than the original version. Somehow, they managed to pierce through the layers and reach to - and thus bring out - the horror and strangeness of love that is inherent in the lyrics but never came through in the music of the Kate Bush original. In a sense, they made this tune into the song it was always meant to be. Odd, but true.

(30) Days of Music: Meme List )
sechan19: (butterfly)
"I'm back at my cliff - still throwing things off..."

Your favorite duet
"Ain't No Mountain High Enough,"
Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrel

Ah, Motown. God bless you for everything, but especially god bless you for the peerless Marvin Gaye and his wonderful work with firebrand Tammi Terrel. The beat, the voices, the meaning, the vibe--they're all perfect in this song. This is a perfect song, and I just love it. 'Nuff said.

(30) Days of Music: Meme List )
sechan19: (lin fengmian)
"How can ignorance be compared to bliss?"

Your favorite song from a movie
"The Sadder but Wiser Girl," from Meredith Wilson's The Music Man; performed by Robert Preston.

This is something of a cheat I realize, but this excellent stage play was made into a movie and so I claim it on those grounds. When it comes to witty repartee, almost no one outdoes Meredith Wilson. (Stephen Sondheim might eventually have managed it.) With quips like "for no Diana do I play faun, I can tell you that right now!" and "I hope and I pray for Hester to win just one more A..." Wilson both captures the mindset of the cagey male and shows off his literary class in one fell swoop. And the fantastic Robert Preston was simply never better than as the wily Professor Harold Hill. Thank god they captured it on celluloid.

(30) Days of Music: Meme List )
sechan19: (morisot)
"...and I attendant upon you, shaken by your beauty..."

A song that makes you want to break stuff
"Violet," Hole.

Mental health depends largely upon one's ability to run the gamut of human emotions and to run them in moderate, productive ways. We're often told that feelings such as anger or grief are bad for us, but the reality is that experiencing checked anger (so that it does not grow into a rage) or experiencing checked grief (so that it does grow into a despair) are necessary to continuous and optimal performance. When I need to feel my anger, I listen to this song. I allow myself to sink into a vibrating fury; I let my imagination run wild with destructive thoughts. And then it's over, and the song has taken the edge, and I can go on about my merry way. Which I do.

(30) Days of Music: Meme List )
sechan19: (tormenta)
And the tree was happy...

Your favorite breakup song
"Say It Ain't So," Weezer.

I honestly think that this might be the best breakup song ever written. It is so because it's about more than just the angst that inevitably follows a breakup; it's about all the things that can contribute to a breakup - personality differences, secret demons, lies, mistrust, fear. And it's about these things from the perspective of an innocent bystander rather than from either of the parties who made the mess to begin with. It's a song about the horrible mundaneness of a realtionship's end, devoid of melodrama but nevertheless chock-full of meaning.

(30) Days of Music: Meme List )
sechan19: (butterfly)
I love backdating. (Sorry for the gap this weekend, I was mondo busy. Please be sure to scroll down for earlier days...)

Your favorite love song
Toss up: "A Sunday Kind of Love," Etta James. "Oh Yoko!" John Lennon.

I had to go for a double this time out because I really couldn't choose between these two songs. For me, they represent two sides of a single coin. On the Etta James side we have the idealization of a true love; the love that we're all searching for in our heart of hearts - that perfect person who understands, challenges, and desires us (and who we in turn understand, challenge, and desire). On the John Lennon side we have the reality of an everyday love; the love that most of us actually find - that imperfect person who nevertheless makes our hearts sing (sometimes even in the bath, when we think we aren't thinking of them at all). Fantasy doesn't always trump reality; a fact that I have always found very comforting.

(30) Days of Music: Meme List )
sechan19: (morisot)
Sing me a song, but not for me alone...

An instrumental song you like
"Samskeyti," Sigur Rós.

I first heard this song on the soundtrack of the beautiful, daring, and utterly dark film Mysterious Skin. In it, the main character's moment of sublime realization is intrinsically tied (for the viewer) to the playing of this song. It's a magical moment, and not just because of the superb narrative quality of the tale but also because this composition is one of the most beautiful pieces of music of the early twenty-first century. Indeed, it is one of the most beautiful pieces of music when measured against the works of any time period.

(30) Days of Music: Meme List )
sechan19: (kusama)

The last song in your mp3 folder
"Summerboy," Lady Gaga.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know plenty of people who doubt my good sense for liking Gaga, but I do like her. She writes catchy pop confections that are designed for good, yet impermanent, times. (And "Summerboy" is perhaps the best example of the sense of evanescence that often imbues her pieces.) I also like that she's "crazy," that she likes boozin' and ballin' with the boys, and that she refuses to be objectified for her behavior. She is what she is, and that's all there is to it. (And yeah, I know that product figures largely in this whole scheme... I don't give a shit. I've always viewed capitalism with a kind of sorry good cheer, and I like her anyway.)

(30) Days of Music: Meme List )
sechan19: (tormenta)
And thus we come to the no-brainer portion of our survey...

The first song in your mp3 folder
"Back and Forth," Aaliyah.

There are dozens of configurations possible for my music folders/player; I went with the settings that were in place at the time of the meme. But I'm glad that Aaliyah happened to come up. I was always very struck by the tragedy of her life, the sudden death that extinguished her voice forever. She was my age; she would be my age now had she lived. I've always wondered what beautiful melodies we were denied when we lost her. She had a marvelous talent, and the accident that ended her life was a terrible shame.

(30) Days of Music: Meme List )
sechan19: Photo of me in a Spider-man crop trop. (Default)
"High school is the bottom. Being a teenager sucks, but that's the point - surviving it is the whole point."

A song you liked in high school
"Still in Hollywood," Concrete Blonde.

I must admit that I rather resent the implication of this day's heading. I don't want to give anyone the impression that I no longer like this song, because I very much do. But no other band encapsulates my high school experience like Blonde does. I discovered them through a sophomore year crush and grew to love them on their own merits over the years. Their music continued to see me through the awkwardnesses of adolescence and young adulthood long after that crush had gone the way of the dodo. And Concrete Blonde's gone that way as well sadly, but the legacy lives on.

(30) Days of Music: Meme List )
sechan19: (butterfly)
Attack of the 50-Foot One-Hit Wonder.

A song from the year you were born
"My Sharona," The Knack.

Most people don't believe it, but I was born in 1979 - the year that The Knack released their pretty-much-going-nowhere debut album Get The Knack. I actually still own a copy of that album on vinyl, mostly for nostalgia's sake. You see, though the song enjoyed a second life through its appearance in the mid-90s film "Reality Bites," which I've never seen (I'm allergic to Winona Ryder), I know it from childhood. It was supposedly the favorite song of my babyhood - reigning supreme until Mick Jagger and his boys released Tattoo You in 1981 - and seems to have popped up regularly throughout the course of my life. All things considered, I could have done a hell of a lot worse.

(30) Days of Music: Meme List )

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