J's Indie/Rock Mayhem

Playlists, podcasts and music from WQFS Greensboro's J's Indie/Rock Mayhem

Friday, September 07, 2007

Notes From Underground - #14

I've figured out that I enjoy doing the Randomocity feature enough that I have to fight myself from doing it more often, but I think I've come up with a good pattern for it: Randomocity will now be the standard Notes From Underground feature every three weeks. That way it's not too often, and I get to flex those writin' skills in the meantime. While this is certainly different, I just worry that this feature holds little difference from the radio show. Although I'm not in total control over what plays on this one. So it's more exciting on my end at least.

I'm adding a new bit to these - Click on the 'Play It' link at the end of each commentary and you can listen along with me. Sort of.

Here are the rules: 1) can't spend any more time typing than the track is long; 2) have to type based on my own knowledge - no consulting the internets for confirmation, so if I put my foot in my mouth, so be it; 3) no skipping tracks - even if artists/albums repeat, no skipping.

Let's go.

# 1034 - Alejandro Escovedo - "Sex Beat" : From his Bourbonitis Blues album - a cover of the classic Gun Club song, originally from their debut album Fire of Love. It's slowed down, more menacing and wasted and lost than the original. The song turns from a seeming primal (though self-knowingly self-destructive) celebration of lust into something much more desperate. I enjoy Escovedo's music a lot, though I've admittedly never bought an album of his or even really intensely explored his music. It's something I've intended to change, but just haven't yet. Escovedo changes the "we can fuck forever" line into "we can move and burn forever." Why do you think he did that? A simple qualm with the expletive? - Play It!

# 3372 - Ride - "OX4" : This is from OX4: The Best of Ride, one of the frequently forgotten/overlooked bands of the shoegaze period. This came into the station years ago so I snagged a copy. I've still never heard any of their albums all the way through - this song, I believe, is from a later period of the band. It's a bit cleaner than earlier songs like "Vapour Trail." Though their guitars retain that shimmering, fuzzy chime that they've always had. I guess I understand why Andy Bell ended up in Oasis. I need to listen to this more often. The mp3 player is mocking me tonight with back to back songs by artists I should really be more familiar with. The dangers of the feature. - Play It!

# 1724 - White Rabbits - "March of the Camels" : And the mockery continues. This is from this year's album Fort Nightly, and while I've been playing songs by White Rabbits on the show off and on through the year, I've not given this album the thorough listen it's crying out for - and I don't even remember this song. It builds on a menacing, intermittent bass line, and a mocking, dour tone and desert imagery. Then the piano and guitars enter. This song would land quite nicely in a film somewhere in a 'big city-as-desert' scene where a main character was lost and frustrated by his surroundings. Ultimately, perhaps, falling in with a bad crowd. Someone shoot that film, now. Okay, I take that back. It has a bit of a hopeful bridge that lifts up into a major chord moment - but then back to the menace. Talk about playing with your emotions. Michele Gondry, are you out there? This might have you all over it, buddy. - Play It!

# 1855 - the High Strung - "The Curator" : From their 2007 album Get the Guests. I wrote our station's write-up for this album and I like it quite a bit. I forget if this was one of my recommended tracks for the DJs, but if not, it's pretty good. It's not the out and out hook-fest that some of their songs can be, but it's a good, rollicking rock song. It actually reminds me of a more whiny-voiced Sloan-circa-One Chord to Another. It actually wouldn't be a bad album closer. - Play It!

# 981 - Bliss - "Sun Echoes off Snow" : Wow, the true hazards of this. I don't know who this band is - or even recognize this song at all. It's a plaintive, pleading acoustic number. Simple chorus harmonies and emotional singing and lyrics. I like this song - though if I heard it for the first time (as I seem to be right now), I don't know that it would make me drop everything to hunt up some information on this band. But it's certainly enjoyable. Its evocation of a wintery, snow blown day is spot on. I really hope to actually see some snow down here this year. [Ed. note - I'm violating my own rules to make sure the correct band gets credit. This is the Emergency from Morgantown, West Virginia. This is a song from their debut album Bliss. That is not the band's name. But this is the hazard of home burned CDs that don't carry all the information you want. This was a gift to me from the band though, so I won't complain. Good stuff.] - Play It!

# 1164 - the Shins - "Saint Simon" : What? I have Chutes Too Narrow on here? This is quickly turning into the most enlightening, frustrating and embarrassing version of Randomocity ever. I've been pretty off-and-on indifferent towards the Shins. They create a few songs every time out that I find quite good. But they have utterly failed to inspire the kind of intense devotion in me that I seem to read about more than actually witness anywhere. Maybe I just don't run in those circles. This is pretty typical Shins - the bouncy, accenting guitars; the high, 'indie' vocals. I don't know what else to say other than - when did I download this? - Play It!

# 1697 - Roy Orbison - "In Dreams" : Aside from "Blue Velvet" itself, this is truly the show-stopping song placement in the movie Blue Velvet. The lip-synching of this by Dean 'Rear Admiral Al the Hologram' Stockwell is pretty intense, especially with Dennis Hopper's reaction. The song itself is mildly depressing and gorgeous. Orbison really knew how to sing songs and this is no exception. And man - those high notes toward the end. Wow. - Play It!

# 1290 - Black Flag - "Depression" : I'm going to go ahead and say something I should've said a long time ago - I don't really care for Black Flag. Not much at all. I only find them vaguely interesting. I own a copy of Damaged more out of a seeming obligation as a fan of punk than anything else. Maybe I just heard Black Flag too late in my life to have gotten a good adolescent hold on them that I could revisit as I got older. But the majority of the 80s west coast punk scene leaves me pretty cold. With notable and obvious exceptions like X. Any thoughts? Am I just dense? - Play It!

# 2723 - Cat Stevens - "Tuesday's Dead" (live) : From (wow and it almost pains me to type this) Majikat: Earth Tour 1976. I like Cat Stevens, but it's not something I can readily defend for anyone. Though I've long had this song in my mind for my eventual '7 Days of the Week' theme show. I can't hear any of his music without thinking of Harold and Maude and various other things. He had a knack for catchy, acoustic folk with that upbeat humanistic bent. This song is originally from...Teaser and the Fire Cat? I think I'm remembering that right. When I even bring up liking Cat Stevens, I usually either get small looks of horror or smirking indifference. Well, whatever. - Play It!

# 2403 - Art Brut - "Late Sunday Evening" : Well, and we go out with something I have been enjoying a lot lately. From this year's It's a Bit Complicated. This whole list was either puzzling, sometimes unrecognized music, or else stuff I've been playing on my show recently. This isn't one of the immediate, hook-heavy songs from this record, but it's a typical sing-talk-snark song from, for me, one of the more entertaining British bands I've heard in some time. Though truly I was hoping for more of the stuff I can't tell you much about. I was really amusing myself by just going: 'Well, I don't know what the hell this is.' A little bit of an anti-climactic end to this one. - Play It!

BONUS - # 393 - Loudon Wainwright III - "Out of Reach" : From Last Man on Earth, Loudon's meditation on his mother's death back in the early 2000s. I like this album quite a bit and as a whole, it's a gorgeous, funny, sad and mildly mesmerizing listen. I just thought I'd share. - Play It!



  • At 11:11 AM, September 08, 2007, Anonymous S. said…

    There is zero shame in liking Cat Stevens, if you ask me. I can't imagine a world in which liking Black Flag would be somehow normatively preferable to liking Cat Stevens. Innovative as it may have been at the time, there is not a single thing about Black Flag that moves me.


Post a Comment

<< Home