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Ár nDraíocht Féin
Three Cranes
Chaos Matrix

January 24th, 2008

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09:42 am - Thoughts on music (and much more), late at night
Yes, I am fishing for musical suggestions!
Please pontificate!

Late last year, I started seriously getting back into punk. I have particularly enjoyed Social Distortion for a variety of reasons, and I'm looking for more suggestions. Really, though, I'm looking for any sort of favourite music you may have, in any genre.

Anyone who knows me knows that I really, really like music. I particularly like two kinds of music: music that is well put together, and music that tells a story. When these two things come together, I can listen quite repetitively (some say obsessively) to the same music many times over and never tire of it.

Also, on a related (but not quite obviously so) tack, there is nothing sexier than a woman playing a cello. Not because she is beautiful, and not because she's playing the cello, but because, when I watch a woman lost in the music, the melody flowing through her instrument and her soul, it is something I could watch forever and never tire of. This may date back to the first redhead I was ever interested in, but I don't think that's the case. I have a feeling that it has more to do with the warmth and beauty of stringed instruments, the vibrance of the women I have known who have drawn their fingers lovingly and longingly across the strings, and the beauty of their passion for their instruments. It really doesn't matter what the instrument is, really: cello or bass, violin or harpsichord. And, as Jimmy once sang, "There's somethin' so feminine about a mandolin."

Perhaps I have a thing for hot, naked cellists?

I know many women who play stringed instruments, and I have learned that the warmth of their music is cool reflection of the warmth they tap within themselves. And it is that warmth that truly speaks to me about them.

I suspect that perhaps two people who know me know that I have a thing for any of the following artists: Nadirah Shakoor, whose voice is simply the most beautiful thing I have ever heard; Miles Davis, whose Birth of the Cool and Kind of Blue enchanted me early on; or Glen Miller, whose music makes me want to ring my best girl and ask her to a dance. (Sometimes, music will cause me to do just that: recently, Cake's "Sad Songs and Waltzes" inspired me to call up my girlfriend and have her over just to waltz for an entire evening. I went digging for over an hour through all my music, seeking anything in 3/4 time with a good tempo and programming my CD player to cue them up one after another while we danced. Yeah, I'm the kind of guy who does that on occasion.)

Most people see my musical tastes as simple, straightforward, and ever-predictable: "It's Buffett or nothin'," I once heard someone say about me to another person. While I may listen to a lot of Jimmy (indeed, enough that my worldview is more sand and sandals than anything else), I'm possibly more wide-ranging in my tastes than anyone else you know. I owe much of this to my friends Kris and Mitty, and a bit to Dan and Kevin, my roommates in my sophomore year of college, who introduced me to Buffett music I liked and the Beastie Boys (respectively).

I even learned recently about a new kind of music: bubblegum country. No really: if you don't believe me, check out a girl called Taylor Swift and her song, "Our Song". It doesn't get any more bubble-gum than that. She's currently sitting at the top of the country charts with that one.

Hank Williams must be rolling over in his grave (presuming he's not picking up hitchhikers to Nashville). Despite that, I actually really like her voice: it's not a guilty pleasure, though, nor something I hide. I think the girl has some real talent (look for other stuff to find it). I just wish she didn't spend it on the sort of crap that Clear Channel is calling "good music" (since Clear Channel doesn't seem to know the meaning of either word). If you're ever in the mood for a laugh, flip between two country stations sometime, one where the station is owned by Clear Channel and one where it's owned locally, and listen to the difference in their "most popular songs of the day" countdown. About 90% of the time, they have not a single song in common.

Despite the range in my tastes, I am also highly critical of music that just isn't working out for me. While I like a little bit of punk in my Celtic, I can't stand Celtic in my punk: I really dislike Flogging Molly and the Dropkick Murphies. I love me some Pop in my Country, but generally feel that Country in my Pop can be "all right." And any time you mix electric guitars with orchestras, you're verging on musical perfection. I'm a huge fan of the '90's Alternative Rock genre (the more flannel, the better, man), but I dislike what Q101 became in the very late 90's (since recently going onto a format they call "shuffle," though, they're rockin' out again with the best of stations). Nick Drake and Enya just don't do it for me, nor does most Spanish guitar (I don't get it technically, so I can't enjoy it emotionally). And dear gods, if a band tries to be anything "artsy," they'd better make up for that shit by understanding music and producing quality compositions (the Flaming Lips are a good example, as is Beck: both do their own thing, and border on an ars gratia artis mentality, but produce some excellent and amazing compositions).

I find stories in music, and I like to tell those stories from my perspective. I remember being at a close friend's wedding, and I was discussing the musical selections at the reception with a beautiful girl I had just met. The song Fins came on, and I found myself engaged in a discussion of Jimmy's music. She had never understood it, and I said, "Well, I think you just have to understand the story behind the song." Of course, this led to me telling the story in an abridged prose fashion, and relating it in a very personal way.

I do this with nearly all music I listen to. I hear the story, or else make one up that sort of matches with the lyrics (for a great song with an awesome story that has another story I sort of impressed onto it, watch the video for Dierks Bentley's "What Was I thinkin'?" and imagine it as the story of a guy on a date with Eris). It's so much more than just listening to the lyrics: it's a creative act beyond the original intent of the artist. It is also what led to the now infamous Jimmy Buffett Ritual.</center>

Anyway, the point of this long ramble has been thus: If you have any suggestions about music, be it one song or a certain band's entire discography, please let me know. I'm in the mood to broaden my musical horizons yet again. Be forewarned: I have no access to iTunes, so it's gotta be out in hard copy somewhere, or on a free internet radio site, or available on YouTube in some form.

My suggestions to you are these:
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: busy
Current Music: "Simply Complicated", -JB

(34 comments Leave a comment)


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(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:January 25th, 2008 12:08 am (UTC)
Local music is great stuff. :) I actually was more into the scene in Chicago than I am here, which is odd, because the scene is pretty good here, too. Thank you for the recommendations!
[User Picture]
Date:January 24th, 2008 03:37 pm (UTC)
Do you like bluesy stuff? If so, I'll burn you a disc of some Chris Rea and drop it off to you at work.
[User Picture]
Date:January 25th, 2008 12:11 am (UTC)
I do. I'm in meetings every afternoon at this point, so you're likely only to catch me there in the morning. On the bright side, I'm generally working through lunch at this point, so you have another full hour before I go into meetings where you can catch me :)

Seriously, though, I'd love some bluesy stuff :)
[User Picture]
Date:January 24th, 2008 03:38 pm (UTC)
I got really into the Dine' punk band Blackfire a couple semesters ago while taking a class on Native Americans and ended up using a song of theirs for my final presentation (that video I posted a ways back). Their most recent album, [Silence] is a Weapon, is particularly good, and has some songs about issues that should concern neopagans, like the raping of the earth and the desecration of sacred places.

Then there's always classics like Joy Division, Adam and the Ants, Dead Kennedys, Echo and the Bunnymen, the Durutti Column, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and the Jam. I also recommend AFI, Bad Religion, Interpol, and Propaghandi, though not everyone likes that last one.
[User Picture]
Date:January 25th, 2008 12:12 am (UTC)
I actually have a lot of Dead Kennedy's, too. I really like listening to them. Thanks for the rec's :)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:January 25th, 2008 12:13 am (UTC)
Several people on my list have suggestions :) I've been trying to get this posted for months, but just managed to sit down last night and write this. Thanks for the rec's: Rasputina seems to be a common thread, as does Zoe Keating.
[User Picture]
Date:January 24th, 2008 04:20 pm (UTC)
Seems like my music-tagged entries cover some of what you're looking for, including alternatives to iTunes and what I've been listening to and liking.

After re-listening to Flogging Molly this week, I think they're closer to the Pogues or Prodigals or Social Distortion than to the harder Dropkick Murphies.

As for specific recommendations, that's tough because there are so many. At least you're already a fan of one of my favorites. I'll come up with something.... Maybe you should participate in featherynscale's CD swap.
[User Picture]
Date:January 25th, 2008 12:17 am (UTC)
I think our tastes are similar, actually, though somewhat differnet. I have a feeling that I can safely say that I'll like most everything (to some extent), and I've been viewing your posts (though not commenting, because I'm too damn busy) with a lot of interest.

I'll look into the swap. Sounds like fun :)
[User Picture]
Date:January 24th, 2008 06:04 pm (UTC)
I'm really glad you posted this, as I am doing a study of music that friends find profound.

I had to comment on this: I really dislike Flogging Molly and the Dropkick Murphies.

Me too! I have often felt very alone in this dislike.

Also, I enjoy Our Song as well. It's really the idea as well as her voice that draws me in.

Lastly, I've really appreciated the music you've shared with me. So, thanks. Oh, and I have no suggestions at present, but if that changes I'll let you know. Well, wait... I am a fan of Hilary Hahn. She's a violinist.
[User Picture]
Date:January 25th, 2008 12:23 am (UTC)
w00t! Study! Someone can study me!

And Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphies fans are in force. They're hard to say no to.

The idea of "Our Song" isn't bad from vocal or idea, but damn, it's just not a good song :) Fortunately, I understand the story within it :)

I think I should share some more music with you soon :)
Date:January 24th, 2008 06:13 pm (UTC)
I too am not a fan of Flogging Molly and the Dropkick Murphies. I also do not like Cake, The Killers, or The White Stripes; I often feel like a music pariah.

Q101 seems to have gone back to its old self and only do shuffle on occasion, it may have changed again though as I do not listen to the radio anymore.

I like Counting Crows for similar reasons as to why you like Buffett, everything they write tells a story.

If you visit the main page of my public journal you will find a LastFM player. It has many songs I am currently into, unfortunately it does not keep them in the order I want and it shuffles them.

Supposedly if you like girls with chellos you should check out Rasputina.

I am currently obsessed with the song Elephant Gun by Beirut.
[User Picture]
Date:January 25th, 2008 12:27 am (UTC)
I'm not too surprised that Q101 went back. Damn backsliders. *shakes fist* But no fist shaking at you as a pariah :) The nice thing about music is that everyone's opinion is perfectly valid. Good stuff, it all is.

I like Counting Crows, too. I just don't have any. I should fix that some day, once I finally get ahold of the last Buffett CD that I desperately need.

I have actually enjoyed your LastFM player before. I've heard some wonderful things on there, and appreciate it being available :)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:January 25th, 2008 12:29 am (UTC)
Thanks. I learned music appreciation from the best. You know what I listened to before I met you. . .

And that is, indeed, an interesting note. Curious how things go like that, isn't it?
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:January 25th, 2008 12:35 am (UTC)

Re: AHA! Found the mistake, last repost, lol. Sorry, obnoxious, I am

Hehe. Good post. Eventually :)

I'm actually not a Xena fan. I never really liked it much. But thank you much for the recomendations. I will have to look into those for sure.
[User Picture]
Date:January 24th, 2008 07:49 pm (UTC)
Music recommends, eh? Um, okay. Let's start with an easy one for women with cellos that I think was mentioned. Since she's fairly regular on one of the email lists I practically live on, I'll add a +1 for Zoe Keating. She's a former member of Rasputina, who does sessions (she was all over Imogen Heap's album/tour) as well as her own solo stuff. She's really big into Live Looping now, and her music is just amazing. Check out some of the clips at http://www.zoekeating.com

Next, Matt Johnson (The The) put out an album of Hank Williams (Sr.) covers that I think you'd like. It's called 'Hanky Panky' and does a great job of capturing the dark, droll side of Williams' music.

Finally, leave it to the old Punk (yes, Punk died with the Sex Pistols) to come up with a few Punk and Post-Punk/Hardcore recommends there. Forgive me if a few of these are obvious. Stick with the classics:

Dead Kennedys -- 'Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables'
Big Black -- 'The Hammer Party', 'Atomizer', 'Songs About Fucking', 'Headache'
The Clash -- 'London Calling', 'Sandinista'
The Stranglers -- 'Rattus Norvegicus', 'Black & White'
Fear -- 'Fear: The Album'
Bad Brains -- 'I Against I'
Mission of Burma -- 'Vs.'
Black Flag -- 'Damaged'
X -- 'Los Angeles', 'Wild Gift', 'Under A Big Black Sun'

Eh, I know I'll think of more later (probably oughta have some Husker Du or Squirrel Bait in there, for instance), but that's a start.

[User Picture]
Date:January 25th, 2008 12:40 am (UTC)
I was hoping you'd provide some recommendations. I'm a big fan of the Dead Kennedys, and I know a few more of those bands. I hadn't thought of Husker Du, but I think I should go back and listen to more of that.

Classics, though, I particularly like hearing about. I like punk, but I was never involved in the scene, so I don't know the classics. Which is something I wanted to ask, but I totally forgot to ask. :)
[User Picture]
Date:January 24th, 2008 11:35 pm (UTC)
I'm not too sure as to how well you'll like this artist but she has a place in my heart and has been willing to take me on the road with her. You mentioned you loved music that tells a story and this woman is a bard.
S.J. Tucker a.k.a. Skinny White Chick.

[User Picture]
Date:January 25th, 2008 12:41 am (UTC)
That's the second recommendation. I'll definitely have to look her up :)
Date:January 25th, 2008 02:51 am (UTC)
I also recommend Rasputina and SJ Tucker.

And I LOVE The White Stripes' "You Don't Know What Love Is (You just do as you're told)"!!! Also "Icky Thump" is oddly addictive for me, I can't get enough of it.

You may also like Gogol Bordello. Their website has some of their videos, and they are also on youtube. Check out the song "Start Wearing Purple." Hee. LOVE IT!!!

Also for soulful women singers, if you haven't ever listened to Portishead, you should. Same thing with Joni Mitchell and Bonnie Raitt.

I also highly enjoyed Nick Drake's Black Eyed Dog from the Practical Magic soundtrack, but I haven't had a chance to listen to his other stuff yet...

And finally, a song I've been hearing a lot of (I have to wonder if the local "alternative" station is not owned by ClearChannel...*goes to check*...aha! It's owned by Entercom...but I digress. Anyways, the song is "The Underdog" by Spoon, and you can see the video here on Google Video. :)

Okay. Shutting up now. :)
[User Picture]
Date:January 25th, 2008 03:11 am (UTC)
So much music to recommend... and I'm nodding off. See me when you're in town, k? Meanwhile, for some predecessors to the "classics," B.B. King, Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington -- assuming you haven't already tried them all out for size. Mix in some Pete Fountain and Herb Albert & The Tijuana Brass from the 60's, then when you're ready for the 70's get your hands on some vintage Yes, King Crimson, Allman Brothers, Cream, Moody Blues and Alan Parsons Project. When you get to the 80's I have more recommendations than I know where to begin...

If you want specific albums, we'll have to wait for another time; I need to hit the sack. *yawn*
[User Picture]
Date:January 25th, 2008 07:52 am (UTC)
I so don't know anything about Punk.

However if you dig Jazz I recommend Jamie Cullum

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