Friday, October 22, 2010

The 30-Day Music Meme: Day Fifteen

Day 15 - A song that describes you

I thought this one over for quite awhile because to choose a song that supposedly describe a whole person... that's a bit a challenge. Or least narrowing down what song describes a particular part of my personality was the challenge.

Most people who know me know that I'm sarcastic and generally pessimistic. Most of the time, I'm convinced I have bad luck and I tend to wallow in misery. Friends joke around that Emily the Strange is based on me (heck, I actually dressed up as Emily last year for Halloween).

So the song I ultimately chose for Day 15 of this meme is pretty much perfect to describe me (or at least, perfect to describe me when I'm in a pessimistic mood). Garbage's "Only Happy When It Rains" was my anthem in grade 9 and it still remains as one of my most beloved songs. In my books, Shirley Manson will always be remembered as one of my first rock idols and my first ever girl crush.

She didn't sign her name; she gave an autograph.

On my commute to work this morning, I remembered how much I love this song.

You're not a teenager
So don't act like one
Sure, she is a heartbreaker
Does she have one?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cover me, second installment.

I previously mentioned that I grew up listening to my parents' records and was blissfully unaware of "contemporary" music for the longest time. Prior to the Beatles and Beach Boys, I bopped around to ABBA as a baby. My sister (eight years older than me) had a tape recorder with which she made recordings of baby Wini learning to talk. The gem of this tape is of me singing along to ABBA's "Voulez-Vous" (in which I'd sing "VOULEZ-VOUS!" loudly and then babble/mumble the rest).

ABBA is pure pop, no way around it. Their songs sound happy and cheerful, and the lyrical content tends to come second. Sad lyrics? Doesn't matter, it'll still make me want to dance.

Comparably, Camera Obscura is somewhat similar. Their lyrics have a stronger effect; the twee melodies still make me want to sway, but with a heavier heart. Their cover of "Super Trouper" does the song justice - the music actually reflects the lyrics better than the original. In fact, I'm not sure if I ever really paid attention to the lyrics until I hear Camera Obscura's version. Tracyanne's mournful, melancholic voice rings out and I'm surely convinced of her homesick loneliness when she sings, "Facing twenty thousand of your friends / How can anyone be so lonely?" Hearing her sing that line causes such pangs in my heart!

Camera Obscura's version:

The original by ABBA:

Wonderful example of a cover version bringing a whole new dimension to a song I already enjoy.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The 30-Day Music Meme: Day Fourteen

Whoops, it's been a little while since I updated/continued this meme! But at least knowing that I'm only halfway through this meme means that you, lovely readers, are guaranteed 16 more posts (assuming I finish it - which I do plan to do!). And then some, of course. =)

Day 14 - A song that no one would expect you to love

Most friends who don't share similar musical tastes with me assume that I'm abhor from "mainstream" Top 40 radio stuff. While I am self-admittedly a music snob, I won't deny a good pop song when I hear one (see: Day 13 of the meme!).

On the way to get coffee one morning, a Lady GaGa song came on over the store's sound system. My coworker remarked, "Ugh, god, I hate Lady GaGa." I turned to him and said, "What, seriously? Who hates Lady GaGa?" With the same look of surprise, he said to me, "What? You like Lady GaGa? You know who Lady GaGa is?!" (Some context: every now and then, said coworker will bring up a popular song or music group and I'll have no idea what/who he's talking about. Case in point: Pussycat Dolls... I've heard of them, but am not familiar with their music... thankfully.)

But back to my original point: who hates Lady GaGa? How could someone hate Lady GaGa? (Yes, I'm aware that there are plenty of naysayers with their own good reasons for disliking her.) I love her outfits, her persona, her music is catchy as hell and she's a smart, media savvy lady with a queer-posi message to boot. Again I ask, what's not to love?

And so I leave you with this epic video for "Telephone" (again to the haters, who cares if the video doesn't literally translate the song visually? Sorry it's not just Beyonce and GaGa dancing in a loud club, ditching their cell phones). I love this song, don't care who knows it or judges me for it. So there.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cover me.

I love cover songs. (Well, generally .) It's weird because my mum hates cover songs for some random reason - she'll always scoff and say disparagingly, "Pfft, why is this person doing someone else's song?"

I'm the complete opposite. I love when an artist brings something new to a song and puts their own style/spin on it. Depending on which version I heard first, sometimes I'll like the cover version more than the original (which I know is somewhat sacrilegious in some cases of "classic" heralded tunes).

This morning I was listening to Nicole Atkins' cover EP, Nicole Atkins Digs Other People's Songs. On it, she covers Nada Surf's "Inside of Love," her lovely emotive voice holding faithful to the original. I love this song. Both versions give me chills and sometimes have the power to make me tear up a little.

(Side note: Nicole Atkins' new album comes out early next year and the first single can be downloaded from her website for free.)

The original by Nada Surf will always be held close to my heart - though Nicole Atkins' version is really good, the original will definitely reign superior. Chills, I tell you.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The 30-Day Music Meme: Day Thirteen

Note: I'm skipping Day 12 (A song from a band you hate) because I think it's pointless! Why would I want to promote a band or songs from a band that I hate?

Day Thirteen - A song that is a guilty pleasure

Truth: I think Katy Perry is ridiculously hot (and also ridiculous looking, when it comes to her stage/red carpet outfits), but she is undeniably a poor singer (sorry Katy). But also undeniable are her catchy songs and hooks. I wouldn't go around saying that I'm a Katy Perry fan, but "Hot 'n Cold" can get stuck in my head like an earworm... so, guilty pleasure is it.