Monday, August 30, 2010

The 30-Day Music Meme: Day Seven

Day Seven - A song that reminds you of a certain event.

Oh god, when I first decided to do this meme and scanned over the different topics, I immediately knew what song I was going to choose for Day Seven.

"Undone - The Sweater Song" by Weezer reminds me of university in general. The Green Album came out when I was in OAC (Ontario's now-defunct grade 13) and I was working in that corporate CD store that I mentioned in my last entry.

When I went off to university the following year - for reasons unknown to me - my first year of university was the height-of-heights of my Weezer fandom. I had a Green Album poster on my wall, I had a string of Christmas lights taped to my wall in the shape of the signature Weezer "Flying W" (see image at left) and I was obsessed with Pinkerton (their initially lukewarm-received second album). I also spent hours upon hours scouring the internet for any Weezer b-sides and live tracks that I hadn't already heard (remember Kazaa and Audio Galaxy? Those were my faves for downloading music back in the day). I seriously thought I was going to marry Rivers Cuomo one day. But I digress.

I'd made some cool new friends, including one friend would sing through the Blue Album with me over the phone. What possessed us to do so, I will never know. We would sing until we were hoarse and it was AMAZING. "The Sweater Song" was always awesome to sing along to with a friend because of its call and response style, and conversational interludes.

But wait, I'm not done! In college (to keep things straight - I went to university for English after I finished high school, and when I finished university, I went on to do a post-grad college program in Journalism), our big second-last semester project was to research, conduct interviews and write articles on a particular topic over the course of a semester and, at the end of the semester, present everything in the form of a magazine and creative presentation.

My group chose to focus on DIY culture and we covered everything from DIY clothing and jewellery, to self-made video games and graffiti. We presented our topic in a fun, off-beat way... We made all our classmates and instructors wait outside the classroom and ten minutes before our scheduled presentation, we let everyone in, one by one, stamping their hand as if entering a venue.

We joked, "We asked Weezer to come play for our presentation... but since they didn't answer, we're going to DIY way..." And we proceeded to do an acoustic version of "The Sweater Song." It was a hoot! Every time I hear this song, I think of our DIY presentation and I smile.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The 30-Day Music Meme: Day Six

Day Six - A song that reminds of you of somewhere.

When I was in high school, I worked at a corporate CD store, where we were only allowed to play music provided to us by record companies (ie. promotional "play copies" given to us for free). This limited the sorts of music we could play and my choices were often relegated to Radiohead (about which MANY older customers complained about it being "noise") and Travis.

In my last semester of college and a year after I graduated, I worked at a much cooler, independently owned CD shop. We could play whatever music we wanted, so the possibilities were endless!

I discovered Lily Allen's debut album, Alright, Still during the time I was working at said CD shop. I really loved blasting it in the store because it was fun, pop-y and a hoot to sing along to.

The only downside was the uh, copious amounts of cursing and somewhat risqué lyrical content on the album. There'd be many incidents where families with young children would enter the shop and start browsing, and I'd feel the obligation to run and turn down the music, lest they hear lyrics about ex-boyfriends' small penises and girls on guest lists dressed like c***s. The last thing I wanted was parents complaining to the shop owners about "inappropriate music" being played in the shop (because we definitely did have those types of dickhead customers... sigh).

It still makes me chuckle, remembering how kids and their parents would be dancing around to "Smile" and "LDN," completely oblivious to the lyrical content. Listening to this album definitely reminds me of my CD shopgirl days.

"Knock 'Em Out" has always been one of my favourites because it's just so damned funny. My coworkers and I sometimes liked to practice our English accents to this song: "I've gotta go my house is on fire. I've got herpes! No, I've got syphilis!" Hahaha...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The 30-Day Music Meme: Day Five

Day Five - A song that reminds you of someone.

I don't want to delve into it too much, but this song doesn't necessarily remind me of the specific someone, but reminds me of the fact that I was in a long, agonizing long distance relationship with someone for several years. (And thank god it's over.)

Pretty sure this song should be the official theme of long distance relationships: "Transatlanticism" by Death Cab for Cutie.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

First not-music post.

I think I had sorta promised I'd blog about stuff beyond music. Fashion, I think? Well, here we go. I was really good about keeping a style diary last summer, but I haven't done as well this year. However, I liked my outfit yesterday so much, I made the time to take a few (crappy Photobooth) photos.

Cream pintucked/eyelet blouse - Forever 21
White tank top - Forever 21
Red bow belt - H&M
Navy w/ cream polka dots tiered skirt - Urban Outfitters
Cream cableknit tights - Gap
not pictured:
Silver flats - Sears

Three more photos after the jump...

The 30-Day Music Meme: Day Four

Day Four - A song that makes you sad.

As an angst-y teenager/early 20-something, I'm pretty sure all the music I listened to was sad. The kind of music where you could wallow in a bevy of "no one understands me," "why is life so hard" and a hearty dollop of "Why doesn't he like me?"

When I was 22 and experienced my first breakup, no amount of Radiohead or Elliott Smith (RIP) prepared me for it. As a music lover, my one coping mechanism was making a "breakup mix/playlist." (FYI, Feist's Let It Die is also perfect post-breakup music.)

After much stony insistence that I "didn't care anymore," this song brought me to tears: "Guess I'm Doing Fine" by Beck.

By all standards, Sea Change is a breakup companion album.

It's only lies that I'm living
It's only tears that I'm crying
It's only you that I'm losing
Guess I'm doing fine.

Shit. I mean, listening to this song as I type this, I'm feeling a bit teary-eyed.... And while I haven't the slightest attachment to the aforementioned ex, I can't help but feel those wistful, soul-crushing pangs of longing that I once felt then.

Yeah, this song definitely makes me sad.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The 30-Day Music Meme: Day Three

Day Three: A song that makes you happy.

My first response would be a Beach Boys song. But that would make me predictable.

I have a better answer though - "Rebellion (Lies)" by Arcade Fire. Having seen them play Olympic Island two weeks ago (August 14th), that elated, breathless feeling is still fresh in my mind. I've seen this band five times, since I was 20, when their album Funeral had just come out. As a live band, they could never disappoint. That ferocious intensity they bring to the stage, the unbridled exuberance... you can't fake that. It's the real deal.

This has always been my favourite song from Funeral - seeing this song performed live is always the pinnacle of the show for me. I will unabashedly sing along, shout along during the "Lies! Lies!" refrain, unabashedly punching my fist in the air like a human punctuation mark. And for those several minutes, I'm just a bundle of energy, exploding with bliss.

Come on hide your lovers, underneath the covers.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The 30-Day Music Meme: Day Two

Day Two: Your least favourite song.

I'm going to be whiny and complain that again, there is NO WAY I can choose one single, solitary song. Maybe I'm just wishy-washy and non-committal.

But let me give it a go: When I was a kid, I pretty much only listened to oldies radio stations and children's music (The Smurfs! Sharon, Lois & Bram!). When my parents felt I was old enough and responsible enough to handle the record player, they showed me how to carefully and lovingly place the needle onto a spinning record with minimal crackle.

And thus began my love for the Beatles (and vinyl).

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was an album I grew to love. Of course, the early Beatles catalog is much more pop-driven and accessible; Sgt. Pepper was lesser so. The album had belonged to my mother in her younger days and it, unlike my dad's records, was in pristine condition.

"Within You Without You" was (and still is) a song I could not stand. I cringe at the sound of the sitar (though, I will grudgingly concede that minimal use is tolerable) and I find the tone of the song just... creepy. To me, it's the song equivalent of nails on a chalkboard. (I'm cringing as I write this, as I'm previewing the song right now on Grooveshark.) I'm sorry, George. I've probably been listening to this album for over 15 years and I still hate this song.

My parents always warned against skipping songs on records ("Picking up the needle while the record's still spinning can scratch the record and ruin the needle!"), so I was extra thankful that side 2 began with "Within You Without You." No muss, no fuss, let's just skip right to "When I'm Sixty-Four."

Just say no to the sitar!

EDIT: Dammit, looks like the track was removed from Grooveshark. =(

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The 30-Day Music Meme: Day One

I figured that, as a blogger or any kind of writer, sometimes it can be difficult to get inspired.  I noticed a lot of friends were doing the 30-Day Music Meme and I figured that would be a good way for me to get my blog going.  I mean, it's going to get me to blog at least 30 entries, right?

So here's Day One: Your favourite song.

I'm going to be straight-up argumentative and difficult (as I tend to be) and say that it's completely fucking impossible to choose ONE favourite song, especially as a music lover. So I'm going to pick one current favourite song, and a longtime favourite (but not necessarily ALL-TIME favourite... because I seriously think it would be impossible).

My current favourite is Best Coast's "Bratty B." I love the crunchy guitar intro, the harmonizing "whuh-ohs" at the beginning and the cute simplicity of the lyrics: "I'm sorry I lost your favourite t-shirt / I'll buy you a new one / a better one." Clocking in at 1:43, this is a pure pop gem, through and through.

I've been obsessed with this band for months and months now, and I've had their album Crazy For You on repeat like you wouldn't believe. Admittedly, I had a tough time choosing a "favourite" from this album, but "Bratty B" gets stuck in my head so often, it fully deserves to be named my current favourite song.
I can't wait to see them play Lee's Palace in September!

My longtime favourite has to be a Beach Boys song. I'm in love with their music in their heyday and Brian Wilson is something of a god to me. "Surfer Girl" makes me melt, simple as that... "makes my heart come all undone." Yeah... that. Siiiigh.

Surfer Girl by The Beach Boys on Grooveshark

Blogger beginnings.

I tried the public blogging thing a few years back when I was in college and it somehow fell to the wayside.  Everyone tells me they "can't believe" I don't have a blog already - being that I have an English degree, a Journalism degree and I'm opinionated as shit.

So here I am (again).  Hi!