Tuesday, June 05, 2007

June 2007 Playlist

I can't believe I keep going so long without posting in here, but I do want to share my June 2007 iPod playlist because I think it's worth my time and energy to do so, and worth your time and energy to give some of these tunes a listen. So:

Jet - Paul McCartney and Wings. This is a good song for summer. I was pretty excited when iTunes put up the Paul McCartney catalogue -- he's done some good stuff in his post-Beatles career. Also, this reminds of a summer when I was 19 and working at the movie theatre and this hot punk boy named Jeph also worked there and my friend Tanya and I were all into him and we made up a song about him to the tune of "Jet" by Wings... That's just how we roll.

Town Called Malice - The Jam. A forgotten gem. I love songs by angry British post-punk bands from the early 1980s. I'm sure this song is a rant directed at Margaret Thatcher; I'm just not positive of all the lyrics, so I can't say for certain. But it featured very heavily in a pivotal scene in Billy Elliot, so I'm sure it's about feeling screwed over by the shitty system. I don't know. If you're not into caring what lyrics say, it's got a really great beat and you -- and Billy Elliot -- can dance to it.

5:55 -- Charlotte Gainsbourg. I've been trying really hard to ignore Charlotte Gainsbourg's album because it's such a critical fave, and I find I'm often so bored by the stuff that every music critic on the planet loves. But I gave the album a listen the other day and was quite taken by the fact that it sounds like Air with a chick singing. Which isn't surprising, given that Air produced and played on the whole thing and she just did the singing. So... it's Air with a chick singing. Lovely stuff.

Dancing Queen - Abba. I've been listening to far too much Mika and Scissor Sisters lately and that's put me in the mood for Abba. I had this distressing moment the other day where I realized that my ex somehow kept the Abba cds in the breakup and all I had on my iPod was the Mamma Mia! soundtrack. So I got some Abba tunes and they are making me happy. Especially this one, as it was the theme of Muriel's Wedding, and I'm getting married. Not that one has anything to do with the other.

Os Novos Yorkinos - Bebel Gilberto. Lovely, lovely stuff. I lurves me a little bossa nova. And Bebel's voice will make you melt. Which makes this good for summer. If it ever actually gets hot out, that is.

Knock 'Em Out - Lily Allen. Another critical darling I wanted to hate, and actually, a lot of her songs I do hate. But not this one. This one's just good times. Chicks out having fun, and irritated by annoying blokes trying to chat them up. Get stuffed, blokes! Which is what Lily says but not exactly in those words...

Oh No - Lavender Diamond. I love Lavender Diamond the same way I loved Arcade Fire when I first heard them -- it's retro in feel, but just sounds so unlike anything I've heard recently or even not recently. The lead singer was training to be an opera singer, but she wasn't excited about that and kept doing these side projects with different musician friends, and eventually she brought them all into one room and they became Lavender Diamond. I love her voice.

Any Other World - Mika. I love Mika because he's everything that's good about ELO, old Elton John, and Queen with a dash of Cher all rolled into one cute package. And this song is everything that's good about that.

Beautiful Flower - India.Arie. I'm a sucker for India.Arie. Her voice is gorgeous -- deep and rich and lovely. And she's so positive. I'm sure that's why she's not more popular than she is -- the constant positivity put forth in her music. This particular song was inspired by the young girls of Oprah's Leadership Academy in South Africa. How bad can a song be that just wants to tell the young girls of the world that they're all beautiful and amazing?

SOS - Abba. More Abba. I like the harmonies on the chorus. I'm a sucker for a good Abba harmony.

Feel Better - The Nadas. I was turned on to the Nadas by Brandon Routh, who played Clark Kent in Superman Returns. Not that I know Brandon Routh or anything -- the Nadas were on his iTunes Celebrity Playlist. I wound up downloading three complete Nadas albums. This is my current favorite Nadas song. It's what a jam band would sound like if a jam band actually had a point.

Maybe I Should Drive - Trashcan Sinatras. This wound up on the playlist out of brief (10 minutes, maybe less) nostalgia for the early 1990s. Then I realized how much the early 1990s sucked, but I still like the Trashcan Sinatras. Kind of a precursor to Pulp and Blur and everything that's good about Brit Pop.

True Beauty - Mandisa. Daniel and I loved Mandisa last year on American Idol. She put voters off by performing a gospel song too early in the proceedings and got ousted. I thought she was gorgeous when she was on the show, but boy, that was nothing compared to how beautiful she looks on the cover of her new album. This is another song by another strong black woman about what beauty really is... what's inside.

Can't Tell Me Nothing - Kanye West. Actually, I'm really disappointed by this. It feels really self-indulgent, and it just doesn't have that vibe, that energy, I've come to expect from Kanye. Here's hoping the rest of the album is way better.

Our Last Summer - Abba. Yeah, again with the Abba. I loves me some Abba. I love this song because it's about Paris in summer, and I loves me some Paris in summer.

Secondhand Serenade - Vulnerable. I'm not sure it's appropriate for "vulnerable" to sound so much like "adorable," but this song does have some really nice guitar hooks.

Stolen - Dashboard Confessional. I know, it's so emotastic of me. But this is a really good song.

Far Away - The Nadas. This is Rob's pick for Nadas Tune of the Month.

Open Your Heart - Lavender Diamond. Another gem from my new discovery. Kind of melancholy, but not. This is the sort of music I wanted to listen to in high school, but the only approximation was Strawberry Switchblade and The Lover Speaks. I could have done with a few more groups like this.

The Operation - Charlotte Gainsbourg. A little bit morose, but in a good way. This one's all in French, I believe, so it just gives you space to think. Unless you speak French, of course.

Smile - Lily Allen. I still can't decide if I really like this tune or not, but Rob likes it, so I put it on the list to give it a fair shake. I can't play it around Daniel though, as it has bad words. I like the singing better than the music itself, which is sort of unusual for me.

Azul - Bebel Gilberto. More melting.

Love Song in B Flat - The Nadas. This is also Rob's choice. It's actually not one of my Nadas favorites, but I suspect he loves it because it's all romantic and stuff. That's just the way he rolls.

Only the World - Mandisa. This is a fine example of how uncrappy Christian music could be if only Christian artists made more of an effort, but then, this is also more in the Gospel music tradition than the Christian rock/pop "tradition." I love Mandisa. I think there's hope for her.

Set Yourself on Fire - Charlotte Gainsbourg. Again. See how I loves me some Charlotte Gainsbourg?

Momento - Bebel Gilberto. I also love melting.

Take It Away - Paul McCartney. This was one of my favorite videos back in the early years of MTV. We're going to break out some cheesey dance moves to this song at our wedding.

Happy Ending - Mika. Oddly, I didn't put this at the end of the playlist on purpose, it just sort of got moved down there as other songs got moved up. But it's more vintage Mika. And I dig that.

That's it for now; it's a pretty short playlist for me. But I do plan on adding a few songs. I think it needs some old Rod Stewart, and maybe some Arcade Fire. We'll see.

Also, on my list of links, I've added a blog I stumbled across quite by accident called "Getting the Girls." It's totally not what you think -- it's by an American family adopting two Ukrainian girls who have grown up in an orphanage in Odessa. It's so touching -- totally check it out if you have some spare minutes. You'll be totally sucked in like I was.