A locus for eccentrics (hopefully)

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The MP3 goldmine

I have extra time on my hands on a regular basis. While I could use this to write, read, study, or any other productive thing you can think of, I tend to instead spend it arduously hittin' up 'da web.' In these myriad sessions, I have come across a few MP3s on various sites that I think are especially special (onomatopeia?). I'd like to share a few with you now.

The first is a track from the Animal Collective: "Purple Bottle (Stevie Wonder version)." I think I first got their album Feels in like November or December. Since this is Texas, and winter doesn't really exist, it basically was like Autumn here at that time. I played the shit out of that album, though it was definitely weird and sort of avant-garde to me at first. But it really does rock, in a way that not many other albums can these days. I recently found the above track, which sort of made me fall in love with the Animal Collective all over again. I think the tinny quality results from somebody recording a vinyl record of the song. But the way the chorus of "I just called to say I like you" meshes seamlessly with the original beat is pure joy.

Now, I know that John Darnielle's voice grates many a nerve. My wife hates it, in fact. And I can totally understand this sentiment. But I just can't ignore the songwriting: consistent, concise, and emotional. At first I wasn't sure what all the hype was about the Mountain Goats': "Going to Georgia." Although, I did find it sort of strange that the venerable allmusic.com, normally fairly objective, deemed it perhaps "one of the best songs ever written." But then I listened to it the other night, the A/C humming while I was trying to fall asleep, and I finally felt the raw emotion of the line "And you smile as you ease the gun from my hand/And I'm frozen with joy right where I stand/ The world throws its light underneath your hair/ Forty miles from Atlanta, this is nowhere." Guess it just took a few listens to kick in.

This one is a Chris Bell song: "I am the Cosmos." I know it's sort of cliche, but I guess I always liked the Big Star sound--#1 Record/Radio City is just a classic. Those fat chords, perfect hooks, bittersweet melodies, and dirty 70s sound. It just rubs me the right way for some reason. Anyway, I found the above track somewhere and it reminded me of all the good times spent listening to those records back in college, wishing I had gone to the same high school as the fictionalized one from Dazed and Confused.

Then there's the Concretes: "Grey Days." I really enjoyed their first album, but I have never had the chance or cheddar to pick up their second. But everytime I hear this track, I realize I'm doing myself a disservice by ignoring it. I just really like their sound.

This final one is from Jose Gonzalez. I honestly don't know much about the guy except that he is based out of Sweden but is originally from Argentina or something. Anyway, I found his rendition of "Love Will Tear Us Apart" to be especially strong. There's plenty of Joy Division covers out there to tide us all over for a few lifetimes, but he does this one pretty damn well.

Ah, what the hell. Here's a bonus track from Low. Sorry: it's a .wma extension, which may cause you trouble. It's called "The Last Snowstorm of the Year." Off of Trust.


Blogger steve said...

I love the cover of Love Will Tear Us Apart.

12:50 PM

Blogger Jefe said...

Yeah I should really buy one of his albums.

1:04 PM


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