Monday, January 15, 2007
I love the Internet. I love mp3 files. I love music blogs and MySpace and the Hype Machine and yes I love Itunes. I love them all because on any given day I can discover great songs floating in the Internet ether (or on my desktop) just waiting for me to listen to them.
The other day, as I sat at my desk eating lunch and browsing through my Itunes, I came across "Walk In the After Light" by a band called Nobody and the Mystic Chords of Memory, from their album, "Tree Colored See." I had no memory of downloading the song and no memory of where I downloaded it from (although it was probably Motel de Moka.) I liked the name, so I clicked on it, and a glorious pop song, half Moby Grape, half Stone Roses, with ringing guitars, Beatle-esque harmonies and an undertone of anxiety filled my office.
That evening, my wife and I had some friends over for dinner, and I had my Itunes set on Yuppy Shuffle: shuffle-at low-volume-so as-not-to-get-in-the-way-of-conversation. All of a sudden my friend, a musician with excellent taste, interrupted our conversation about the pain of quitting smoking, to ask what was playing. I had to strain my ears because the volume was so low. It was a lovely, guitar-based instrumental, almost but not quite blues, almost but not quite folk music. I had to look at my computer, because I didn't recognize the song. It was a song called "Play Delicate, Desire Quiet," by Grace Cathedral Park, from the album, "In the Evenings of Regret." Again, I have no memory of downloading the song, nor do I remember listening to it previously. But, as with Mystic Chords of Memory, discovering the song felt like the opening of a whole new world with unlimited potential.
Nobody and the Mystic Chords of Memory - Walk In the After Light
Grace Cathedral Park - Play Delicate, Desire Quiet
"Tree Colored See" and "In the Evenings of Regret" are both available from emusic.com
"Obscurity Knocks" came out in America on the "Cake" album in 1990. It's a pop song through and through, with obvious roots in indie pop. Along with a great melody, there are production flourishes that make the song still sound great 17 years later. Check out the doubled accoustic guitars on the intro, the wall of sound vocals on the chorus, and the slightly cheesy but entirely memorable single note guitar solo about 2/3 of the the way through the song. And finally, the line, "Oh I like your poetry, but I hate your poems." What else can you say?
Trash Can Sinatras - Obscurity Knocks