Monday, August 6, 2012

TOot! TOot!

Some people didn’t get my original bite of the music, so here it is.

I was really happy to find this cd tucked into a box when I moved last year. It’s a nice slice of the music I was listening to all those years ago. The tenuous theme is modes of transport. It’s actually a little bit morbid, there are lot of crashes mentioned.  

Interestingly, a lot of these acts are ones that I never listen to anymore, so it’s been a nice rediscovery of a lost moment in time. This album was originally presented without comment, but below are some notes from 2012.

1. America - Horse with No Name 

Meh, I just like it.

2. Barenaked Ladies - Brian Wilson

I really love BNL, can’t help it, and I’ve always loved Brian Wilson, misunderstood genius that he is. This song actually reminds me of San Francisco. The first time I went abroad by myself, I went out one night in San Fran and went to the big Tower Records and bought the album this is on, then walked back to my hostel listening to it (discman = instant musical gratification, take that ipod).

3. Ben Gibbard - Recycled Air

Obviously, I’m a lover of words, and this song is just unapologetically romantic and sexy to me. Something about Ben Gibbard’s lyrics (I watch the patchwork farms slow fade into the ocean's arms - GAH!) combined with his swoony, swoony voice… excuse me, I’ll be in my bunk.

4. Better Than Ezra - A Lifetime

Even after all of these years, this song gets to me. Better Than Ezra deserve more credit.

5. Cake - Stickshifts & Safety Belts

I dunno, don't really care for this one anymore.

6. The Decemberists - Apology Song

I just think that if someone got my bicycle racked, this song would go a long way towards making up for it. I’m not really one for naming inanimate objects (although, all of my vehicles are called Linnell and all of A’s are called Flans, but that’s different. I started by naming my Vespa Linnell because I ride him. Eh? Eh? No? Not really?), I think Madeline is a sweet name for a bicycle.

7. Eskimo Joe - Car Crash

I still listen to a lot of Eskies, and am working on another mix for you guys featuring them. Eskimo Kav, the singer, just has a killer voice. This is one of the morbid songs, I guess.

8. Gavin DeGraw - Chariot

GDG was MASSIVELY overplayed back in the day, and I think people think he’s a bit of a sell-out, but I saw him live around this time, and he blew me away. To be honest, I don’t really know what the hell this song is about, for me, Chariots are irrevocably linked with Christianity, so…yeah.

9. Groove Armada - Madder

Oh, Groove Armada, I’ve missed you. I didn’t realise it until I heard this song again, but I’ve missed you! This song takes me back to my club days. I used to go to this Britpop club on William St and although this doesn’t actually fit into the genre, they always played this song because it’s so much fun to dance to. My boyfriend and his friends used to make up funny actions to songs (Disco 2000 being the best example - I still can’t hear any version of that song without doing the actions) and this song works because of the way the story progresses.

10. Jason Mraz - Plane

Mraz is another one who suffered from massive overplay back in the day. Last year (this year? maybe) I went and saw him at the opera house. It was just him and another dude and they just played the shit out of his stuff. He has a shockingly good voice, when it’s just him and a piano, and he can kick it on jazz or even opera. Dude. So good.

I guess I have some familiarity with flying away from the people I love, so even though I’m not sure what he means by ‘taste these teeth please’, I can get behind this one.

11. John Linnell - South Carolina


12. Mike Doughty - Fire Truck

I don’t appreciate this song anymore, although I still have a LOT of time for Mike Doughty.

By way of proving that I can turn anything into a story about me, I recently picked up the last of my firefighting gear. I love the tough-girl boots they issue (although they're in men's sizes and the littlest ones are still too big for me) and everyone appreciates a good hard hat and flash hood.

I'm acutely terrified of being called out to a MVA and finding a smashed up motorcycle and having to try to save the rider, and I had nightmares for a week after doing overrun exercises, but probably the most immediately annoying thing about being a chick firefighter is being too short to get onto the back of the firetruck without assistance.
13. Neutral Milk Hotel - In an Aeroplane Over the Sea

I don’t really know much Neutral Milk Hotel, but I do like a song that incorporates the theramin. What can I say? It’s sweet and romantic, and I was pretty emotional in my mid-20s.

14. They Might Be Giants - Destination Moon

I will always love this song. Always.

15. Radiohead - Killer Cars

‘Don’t die on the motorway’. 

Sometimes I think that the late 90s was the best time for music, ever, handsdown. But then, I also legitimately worry about all of the amazing new music that is released every year, because I already listen to music for several hours each day, and still don’t have time for everything that I love, let alone all of this new stuff. 

These are the thoughts that keep me awake at night.

Also, does anyone else hear this song and think of the Monty Python skit with Long Cat?

16. Rhett Miller - The El

Did anyone else notice that Rhett Miller got SUPER, SUPER HOT for the duration of promoting this album, and then went back to normal? So weird, right? At least once a year, I become obsessed with The Instigator and Pete Yorn’s Music for the Morning After (the two are linked in my mind for some reason), and listen to them on repeat for a week or two.

I’ve always wanted to go to Chicago. Maybe next year.

17. Darren Hanlon - The Kickstand Song

Oh, Daz. DAZ!!!

Daz always tells the story of being in Canada and meeting a guy who told him all about his uncle inventing the kickstand. Heather and I were once at Kareoke and we met Jimmy Barnes’ nephew and it has always stayed with me as strange that someone would think that the most interesting thing about themselves is someone that they are related to. It’s a good song, though, and DAZ!!!

18. TISM - Greg! The Stop Sign

TISM (This Is Serious Mum) are one of the greatest, most unappreciated Australian bands of all time. There are at least 58 people in the band, and they always perform in masks or balaclavas. Sometimes, they will wait until everyone is in a venue and then trundle a small stage out to the back of the room and perform there.

This song has an hilarious faux-techno thing going on that I find really endearing.

19. Tripod - Astronaut

At the time this CD was made, my flatmate and I were mad about Tripod, and listened to this song constantly, singing along at the top of our lungs. 

I suppose you should know that Tripod are three comedians who sing. At their live shows, they take themes / phrases and preferred song style from the audience, go backstage for an hour, and then come back and sing a song using those phrases. This is one of those songs. I can’t exactly remember, but I think the phrases are ‘Red Herring’ ‘Japanese’ ‘Astronaut’ and ‘Boxing’.

Anyway, they’re still around and they’re still hilarious.

20. Ben Lee - Float On

My goodness, I have so much love for Ben Lee. When I was a teenager (and he was too, I guess) his band had this video for one of their songs (16) where they beat the crap out of a wilderness society koala. Man, I loved Noise Addict.

This song is a cover, but I think BL nails it. From memory, it’s pretty similar to the original (Modest Mouse?), actually, Ben Folds also did a great cover of this, with Walter Meanie playing the DVD cover for percussion. Ah, good times in Australian Music.

It’s a bit sad, but I like the bit when he’s counting in and screws it up.

21. The Bluetones - Autophilia or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Car

I do love a good musical Kubrickian reference, and as already established, the 90s and Britpop are where my heart lie. That and 2000s Ausmusic, but that’s another story.

This song checks a few boxes for me - audible breathing, check, doo wah doo’s, check, no attempt to americanise singing voice, CHECK.

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