I Have Certain Demands

Ok, Internet, it is now time for you to pony up. I require novel stimulus. Specifically, I require novel musical stimulus. I would like to know what you’re listening to now, in general, these days, have discovered recently, whatever.

This was meant to be just a request for new music, but it turns out that I in fact want more than that.

To be even more specific, I would like to know if you like it or dislike it. And to delve into the truly granular psychological fringe elements of the specificity I require here, I also want to know why you like or dislike it. I require answers like “I enjoy the juxtaposition of an uptempo pop beat with the darker imagery of the lyrics” or “I first heard this song back in an earlier life situation, in which this interesting part of my life which I will now relate to you in intimate detail occurred, and it takes me right back”. Also acceptable are answers of the form “reminder of first love”, where “love” may denote a man, woman, substance or event at your discretion, provided there is an interesting story attached. I truly don’t care to know about the selections you’d normally hold aloft before your peers and declare to be good music if there’s nothing more interesting about it than that. I want to know about the music that sings to you, that dredges vivid imagery out of your subconscious and racks your apparatus with odd, nameless sensation.

Strictly speaking, you can reply that you like a song because, I dunno, it’s kinda catchy, but if you go that route you should do so secure in the knowledge that you’re useless to me.

Be anonymous if you like. Don’t be boring.

8 Comments

  1. Posted November 27, 2006 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Actually listening to at this moment: “Apollo 440 – Heart Go Boom” This is probably my favorite track off of Getting High On Your Own Supply, although the much more mellow “For Forty Days” runs a close second. This track, with its strong guitar elements, catchy beat, silly kazoo bits, and infectious scat-style lyrics gets stuck in my head all the time.

    Listening to lately:
    Podcasts:

    • Magnatune’s Medieval Podcast is very accessible, unlike their Rennaissance podcast. It makes for excellent ambient listening while you’re reading a good fantasy novel or headed to a Ren. Faire or the like.
    • GROOVELECTRIC and PODRUNNER by DJ Steveboy are pretty much the inverse of that last one. These are continuous mix Techno podcasts and usually quite fast paced. The former is awesome for when I’m trying to get in the zone on a project, but the latter is really something special. PODRUNNER is a collection of mixes that are all of the same BPM and are intended as accompaniment for a workout where your target pace is said BPM. If you’ve never tried working out with this kind of accompaniment before, I highly recommend it.

    .
    Albums:

    • 10,000 Days by Tool – This is the latest from Tool and may have dethroned Aenima from my “favorite Tool album” spot. Maynard’s voice and vocal control have reached new heights on this album (figuratively and literally), and the rythmyic and harmonic/dissonant complexity of each song is absolutely hypnotic. I have yet to get tired of listening to this album and I don’t see it happening soon.
    • Battlestar Galactica: Season One SoundtrackAn awesome collection of really varied musical styles that still fit into a general feel and use similar themes. I’m a sucker for Taiko Drumming, though, so this album is a win for me on that account alone. Of note is the lyrics to the songs in the liner, both original language and translated. Battlestar Operatica should especially be checked out in that regard…
    • Calling All Fiends – Something Boing Boing pointed me to when I was looking for music for my Halloween Party, this is still in my “Recent Additions” auto-sync playlist so I’m hearing lots of the songs from it. Surprisingly, a bunch of them are pretty good, but there are several duds if casual listening is your goal.

    Listening to as I finish typing this:
    “Daler Mehndi – Tunak Tunak Tun” is awesome beyond belief, and the video is completely beyond description. I love blasting this from my car stereo just for the cognitive dissonance of it..

    Does this satisfy your request, ser?

  2. Mike Hoye
    Posted November 27, 2006 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Skwid: Your post is thin of anecdote, but strong of music and wide of genre. I think, yes, that it is indeed satisfactory.

  3. Mike Bruce
    Posted November 27, 2006 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    My girlfriend was playing Regina Spektor in the car and it was pretty good?

    Presuming that doesn’t adequately charge your batteries…

    I was listening to Califone’s “Quicksand/Cradlesnakes” a while ago. I liked it bunches. It has a semi-acoustic thing going on, and it’s sort of soothing and nervous at the same time.

    Drive Like Jehu, “Yank Crime” is also good. It’s loud and fast, for sure. It sounds a bit like a related band, Hot Snakes. It makes me want to hit things, sometimes. But not people, because that would be wrong.

    Big Black, “Atomizer” is on my iPod, and it is good. Like Drive Like Jehu, this is not even a little bit new or anything. It is basically Steve Albini and friends trying to murder their instruments. It makes me feel love for my fellow man.

    Mclusky, “Mclusky Do Dallas”. Also on my iPod. Unlike the other things, it isn’t horribly old. It has a nice mixture of noise and melody, and the band members seem to have a bad attitude. Yay!

  4. Posted November 27, 2006 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    I am woefully behind on new stuff, so if you’ve heard of this stuff before, well, you’ll get over it.

    I find I am listening these days to an awful lot of very cool, calm “background shit I can ignore” type music, to unwind to in the evenings before I go to bed.

    Of this, my favorite by far is Nightmares on Wax’s Carboot Soul, which is one of his older, less known albums, apparently. Wikipedia says his stuff is variously considered chillout, downtempo, trip-hop, or acid house, which just proves that nobody has a fucking clue about anything when it comes to naming electronic music genres.

    Anyway, to my untutored ear it’s trip-hop with a smooth, rolling, jazzy sound. It’s mostly instrumental, with nonverbal vocals, but a couple of the tracks (including my favorite, “Survival”) have lyrics. It’s aural wallpaper, but it’s *cool* wallpaper; bouncy enough to keep you interested but laid back enough that you can tune it out if you’re concentrating. Excellent writing music.

    Best tracks: the aforementioned “Survival”, and “Les Nuits”, which is less jazzy and more classical-oriented than the rest of the album. Lovely violins.

    Another completely random fave of mine is Best of the Gipsy Kings. I hardly ever listen to so-called “World” music, but Liz had this one from somewhere and I got totally addicted to it. As a whole it is not “background ignorable”, since I defy anyone to listen to “Volare” and concentrate on anything other than bopping around in your chair like a fool, but some of the slower tracks are delightful relaxment – in particular “Love & Liberte”, but I also adore “Moorea” and “Montana”. Yummy Latin guitar.

    Other tracks off the top of my head:

    “Shine”, by Operatica – gorgeous soprano vocals.

    “Femme D’Argent”, by Air – It’s like a trip-hop mobius loop – never quite gets anywhere but is interesting in and of itself.

    “Mumbai Theme Tune”, by A.R. Rahman – another exquite violin arrangement; eerie and haunting film-scorish-sounding music, which is my favorite.

    “Host of Seraphim”, by Dead Can Dance – you probably know it/have it. If you don’t, go get it. Now.

    Like I said, nothing that new, but these are some of the ones that never get old for me.

  5. Ben
    Posted November 28, 2006 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    Not a lot of new music, but new to me. A couple singles from this summer that have good stories attached:

    “Sugar Me” by Lynsey De Paul. Got this trading music with a girl on a Norwegian freighter during an overnight evac from Beirut to Cyprus. The song is too-serious sexy bubble-gum pop. Catchy, and evocative.

    “I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City” covered by Sinead O’Connor. This one was on a mix CD during a roof-top party in Tblisi, Georgia. It was towards the end of the summer, I’d been through five countries by the skin of my teeth, and I was ripe for some homesickness. I confess I sang along loudly and drunkenly each time it came up on the rotation. Light and breezy, and short.

    Mike Doughty. Not new, but not terribly well known and should be. He was the front man for Soul Coughing back in the day, and checked into rehab when the band broke up. He’s been out doing solo stuff since around 2000, and he’s excellent. Scratchy guitar and vocals, great “cold-clear-morning-in-a-dirty-city” music. I used to listen to him a lot, as he sings about the Lower East Side a lot (he used to live upstairs from a good friend of mine on Rivington and Essex) and I’ve been getting back into him as winter approaches. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Doughty for more info.

  6. Anonymous
    Posted November 28, 2006 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    I’m not listening to them right now, but The Smoking Popes (specifically Born to Quit and Destination Failure) are a consistant favorite.

    Musically uptempo (see: powerpop) and a lead singer who has an almost lounge-singeresque voice and elegantly simple lyrics (see: McCartney Paul, not twee).

    Anecdotally, I love them because I was introduced to them by a girl who lived in the apartment above mine 3 years ago. An aspiring musician, she and her guitarist would play “Need You Around” and the sounds would, as one might imagine, come down through the floor. Need I say I really had a crush on her and it wasn’t returned, not at all?

    All that caused The Dresden DollsThe Jeep Song to be an especially lovely bit of shared melancholy.

    For something totally without anecdote, because I’ve only been listeneing to it for about a week: The Sumbarines Declare a New State. Moments of it are reminiscent of Give Up, but with less electronica and more indie-pop goodness. Plus, I have a weakness for boy-girl back-and-forth choruses and songs.

  7. Nick
    Posted November 28, 2006 at 4:01 am | Permalink

    Something I’ve been listening to a lot lately is ambient stuff, by which I mean the clatter of the train and the hum of my space heater at night. Also, I should put in a plug for Permanent Groove, a jam band from Atlanta, who have cheered me up on a couple of sleep-deprived early morning commutes to the Land of Misused Conjunctions. Sonic Youth aka Ciccone Youth are also getting some heavy listening, but if you don’t know about them already… you need help. That’s the new. For the old, I’ve also been listening to some John Cage. There’s a good CD recorded by the American Composers Orchestra, and another by Boris Berman. Plan to pick up some more once I get the Noguchis together.

  8. Guillaume
    Posted November 30, 2006 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Being one who usually has quite varied tastes in music, I hope that I can come up with something reasonably entertaining for you. Also, because I’m lazy today I will not write my comment in valid xhtml.

    I’ve lately begun listening to the Benassi Bros. They’ve got a good dancing-speed feel to them that seems to sync up fairly well with my typing speed helping me get work done faster, and with a good rythm. I’d suggest checking out either Satisfaction, Rockets in the Sky, or Feel Alive.

    For a less techno feel, you can never go wrong with The Prodigy. I’ve listened to them since I was in grade 7 and my mom wouldn’t buy me the latest CD because one of the songs had a “bad word” in the title. Being that I couldn’t have it, makes the music all that more awesome. Jericho is a good song, Firestarter is a classic, and Spitfire is a recent mega-hit in the UK. Just “procure” the singles collection for ultimate mega-awesomeness.

    Lastly, if you want indy, there’s nothing better than ocremix.org. It’ll bring back memories of playing video games for hours, or of hearing that your friends had video games. Listening to the accompanying podcast is also good idea. Which brings me to…

    Really lastly, podcasts are a good way to entertain yourself at work. I mostly listen to Diggnation, This Week In Tech, VGDJ (the OCRemix podcast), and Hak.5.

    Enjoy my random samplings!