Sunday, October 12, 2008

So, I've Been Lax About Blogging Again...

I guess, in some ways, I feel that my comic perspective is no longer needed when discussing the major events of the day. American life has surpassed my ability to parody it in this fashion. Better to focus my energies on making fun of YouTube, which is at this point a more dignified and grounded community than the American political scene.

However, that doesn't mean I can't tell you about music I've been listening to recently. So here we go:

The Walkmen, "Four Provinces"

I guess this song was called "Hey Leah" previously, but it's "Four Provinces" on the new Walkmen album, "You and I," which I am really enjoying presently. This video features the band playing the song acoustically while walking around San Francisco.

Kings of Leon, "Sex on Fire"

See, I know that writing and performing a song "Sex on Fire" that is entirely non-ironic is intensely cheesy. Here is a sample lyric:

Hot as a fever
Rattling bones
I can just taste it
Taste it

If it's not forever
If it's just tonight
Oh we're still the greatest
The greatest
The greatest

This sounds so much like Bob Seger, it's actually kind of disturbing, like a pantless Tom Cruise might slide into your bedroom and minute and strap you to an e-meter.

Cut Copy, "Lights and Music"

My friend Nathan urgently suggested I start listening to Cut Copy, and he's typically right about such things. (His past passionate recommendations have included Man Man and Spoon, a track record that can only be described as "strong to quite strong."

And sure enough, he's on target again. These guys are extremely '80s, which I understand is popular with the kids these days, but the act isn't a gimmick. These guys write fantastic songs.

Ben Folds, Way to Normal

Hey, you know what's unconscionably awful? The new Ben Folds album! I used to really like Ben Folds Five, but recently, I've come to find his entire act/persona rather unbearable. "Way to Normal" is also heavy on the creepy misogyny, which was always kind of a part of the band's repertoire, but it used to be less direct and unpleasant.

So here's the question: Was Ben Folds always this obnoxious, and I just used to like obnoxious music? (Believe me, there's other evidence for this theorem.) Or is his new music increasingly obnoxious, worse than it used to be? Comments welcome.

Land of Talk, "Some Are Lakes"

I'm pretty sure the lead singer from Land of Talk is in Broken Social Scene, but there's too many people in that band. I can't keep them all straight. Anyway, the song is good - very moody and strange. It took me a few listens to get into, but now I find myself returning to it a bunch.


Carolyn said...

Ben's latest album is much heavier on the mysogyny than his most recent work, his last 2-3 albums to be specific.

That undercurrent of sarcasm and vulgarity has always been there, however.

My understanding is he got divorced (again) recently and so it appears that a lot of the songs on the album are kind of an unrestrained "I'm freeee!" response to that.

I didn't find the album too bad, actually. Reviews on it have been mixed, but I enjoyed it. Wouldn't hope to have that kind of album at every outing, but he's been too mellow lately.

If every album were like "Way to Normal," that'd be an issue for me, but one F-U record every so often is good for the soul.

Carolyn said...

p.s. The last album "Songs for Silverman" had very little swearing on it, and most songs were pretty low-key and musically complex.

If you're not sure of what you think of Folds anymore, try Songs for Silverman and see if that does anything for you.