Fantasy fiction superstar Neil Gaiman and Dresden Dolls’ Amanda Palmer got engaged a few months ago. It’s the geek version of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
But a few years before Neil popped the question (right here in Boston, no less), he wrote these words:
I Google you
late at night when I don’t know what to do
I find photos
you were in
put up by your friends
I Google you
when the day is done and everything is through
I read your journal
that you kept
that month in France
I’ve watched you dance
And I’m pleased your name is practically unique
it’s only you and
a would-be PhD in Chesapeake
who writes papers on
the structure of the sun
I’ve read each one
— read the rest of the lyrics here
Amanda Palmer set it to song. It is the song for our times. Here are the two of them, with Palmer singing:
This is a seriously catchy song. I heard it once on the radio (thanks again, WERS!) and *had* to know what it was. As I described last week, the discovery loop is shortened immensely– you can go from hearing a snippet somewhere to finding out the name to listening on YouTube to downloading it within minutes.
So- the song is called Mad Tom of Bedlam, and it’s based on a 17th century song. The lyrics are pretty much unchanged, but the tune is something Billie Holiday would have knocked out of the park 70 years ago. It’s by Jolie Holland.
These words have been spinning in my head for weeks now:
It’s well that we sing bonney boys
Bonney mad boys
Bedlam boys are bonney
For they all go bare, and they live in the air
And they want no drink nor money
This week’s pick is actually two versions of the same song– Mad World.
The original is by ’80’s pop rock duo Tears for Fears, and sounds exactly like you would expect an ’80’s pop hit to sound. Synthesizers and percussion, and a pace meant for dance.
More than a decade ago, I had fallen in love with “Novocaine for the Soul” by the alternative rock band, the Eels. It was one of my favorite tracks on my “MTV Alternative Nation: Volume 2” (or was it 1?) audio cassette! I kind of lost track of them over the years, though I have caught a couple of their songs (“My Beautiful Monster” and “Cancer for the Cure”).
Now I’ve rediscovered them with their latest album: Hombre Lobo. This is a short album, only four tracks, but each one of them is great. Especially “Beginner’s Luck” and “That Look You Gave That Guy“.
That look you give that guy, I wanna see,
Looking right at me.
If I could be that guy, instead of me,
I’d never let you down.
Music Mondays is a regular post where I feature new music that I’m listening to.
AC Newman‘s “Like a Hitman, Like a Dancer” is one of the most fun songs of 2009. Newman is one of the main songwriters for The New Pornographers. The song is extremely catchy. It’s from his second solo album, Get Guilty. And I just need to hear it once for it’s beat to get stuck in my head for the rest of the day.
This is part of a regular feature where I highlight new music I like. On Mondays.
Elvis Perkins in Dearland is a folksy pop band (and album), with songs written by singer Elvis Perkins. I discovered them the way I discovered a lot of new music this fall– on Emerson’s WERS radio. The song that hooked me was “Shampoo”:
“I’ll Be Arriving” is another great song from the album, best described by NME as a “New Orleans funeral march”. “Doomsday” and “123 Goodbye” are pretty good songs as well.
Elvis Perkins’ father played Norman Bates in Psycho. His mother died in American Airlines flight from Boston to Los Angeles on September 11th, 2001.
Trying out a new format of recommending new music that I’m listening to on Music Mondays.
Radiohead and The Strokes are two of my favorite bands in the world, so when their leads put out solo work this fall I was anxious. I don’t want to see the bands to break up, but in absence of the real thing, I’ll take a solo. The Strokes has been on a hiatus for a few years now, and all of their members have worked on other projects in the interim.
Thom Yorke, lead singer of Radiohead, put out two singles– a double-A side single— called “Feeling Pulled Apart by Horses / The Hollow Earth“. It’s an uneven effort, The Hollow Earth is better than Feeling Pulled Apart by Horses, but neither is worth my money. But it’s Thom Yorke, and there isn’t a new Radiohead album this year, so-
Julian Casablancas’ (of The Strokes) solo is actually a full length album, called Phrazes for the Young and is a lot of fun. Especially for someone who is at this moment wearing his Is This It? hoodie. A couple of the songs have The Strokes’ sound, but the rest are a different direction. Obviously the songs with the familiar sound, like Out of the Blue, stood out the most for me but ask me after I’ve had a few more listens. This album has a lot more variety in instruments than The Strokes would normally have. Continue reading