Waking Ear

We have a pact, you and I. I write down what song I had in my head when I woke up in the morning. And, maybe, why. You click on "What's in your waking ear?" and tell me what's in your head right now. We discover new music and maybe learn something about how our minds work. Yeah?

Friday, October 31, 2003

Andrew Broder/"The Takeover" (Jay-Z remix) -- It's fascinating and different and far too long and repetitive. The good outweighs the boring.

Thanks for the words of encouragement. Heavy bombardment continues at work. I'll try to do some weekend posts to make it up to you.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Chemical Brothers feat. Richard Ashcroft/"The Test" -- Yet another side effect of the iPod. When you add an album that you haven't heard in a while, and then the iPod jumps to that album, you might hear some bad songs you've forgotten about. This one is best left to history.

The blogging here has been off-and-on for a while now, and as I've said before, it's work-related. My responsibilities have gone up big time and that's left me much less time to do anything on this site. I've thought about hanging it up, or some other options, but I'm going to let it coast for now and we'll see. Continue to expect sporadic posting, but don't assume from that that I love you or your comments any less.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Outkast/"Liberation" -- You know the part where all of a sudden Badu is there and she does everything Cee-Lo does but like waaaay better? I love that part. I love Cee-Lo too, don't get me wrong.

Tired. Long week. Good weekend. Bye bye.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Elliott Smith/"Tomorrow Tomorrow" -- Ouch. Still reeling.

I know a couple of people peripherally who have committed suicide, and I know one person very closely who has seriously considered it. I can't pretend to know what was going through Elliott's head, but I know that he must have been hurting so bad. Emotional pain is every bit as severe as physical pain. In some cases, it hurts even more.

When I heard the news yesterday, I thought immediately about a very mentally ill friend of mine and how close she's come to doing something like this. I spent a good chunk of my life trying to singlehandly help her get better. I couldn't do a damn thing.

But we can all help in one way. We can support political endeavors to change the mental health care system in this country. We can treat people with mental health problems with respect and dignity. And we can donate money and time to organizations that help people who are hurting.

I'm trying to think right now about how I can do the latter. If anybody knows of a good organization in the Dallas area, let me know.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

George Michael/"One More Try" -- I highly recommend that you all get drunk some night, go out, then go to a friend's house at about 2:15 a.m. and listen to Faith in its entirety. It will be impossible to refrain from singing along, and it will also be kind of emotional. Damn, what a great album.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Beans/"Freak the Beat" -- Saw this ditty performed last night at Rubber Gloves, where Beans was opening for Prefuse 73. "Freak the Beat" is from an upcoming EP, and it's the closest the former member of Antipop Consortium has ever come to pop, complete with 4/4 time and a catchy female vocal chorus.

Prefuse 73 was fantastic, by the way. Rubber Gloves is up in Denton, Texas, about half an hour away from Dallas, and it's home to the University of North Texas, which makes it the closest thing you can get to a college-town kind of vibe anywhere near Dallas. I liked the kids at the show. I can call them kids now, because I'm all of 25. There were hip-hop kids and vinyl kids, music geeks all. Most of the girls, who were by far in the minority, had cut their hair short, probably for the first time.

The crowd was evenly split between indie rock standers and this new breed of kids who go to shows and dance, which I embrace but which still makes me a little nervous. I stood.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Spoon/"Lines in the Suit" -- I had no idea this was the name of this song. It's the one that goes "Iiiiiiiii'm on a straight line/when a man comes around/and I got no-oh-where to go."

I don't know song titles at all. I know CD tracks. I know that tracks 11 through 14 of Wowee Zowee are my favorites, but the only song title I know is "At & T." Oh wait. I just looked. I also know "Grave Architecture," but only because those are the beginning words in the song. Otherwise I'd have no clue.

The iPod should be helping here, but since I do most of my listening in the car, it's pretty hard for me to glance down and see song titles all the time. I don't want to get in a wreck.

So. I would feel bad about this, because artists (except for Sigur Ros) probably think quite a bit about their titles. But I kind of enjoy not knowing the titles. People who know the titles have a different preconception of the song than I do. Slightly different. But different.

For instance, Grandaddy's "The Group Who Couldn't Say" uses the punchline as the title. By not knowing the title, I got to hear it as the punchline. See what I mean? Just a tiny difference.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

The Sundays"/"Here's Where the Story Ends" -- I got really stressed out this afternoon, with more and more work piling on me. And then I thought, "Is this really more work than normal or am I just getting paranoid?" And then I thought, "What if I'm paranoid?" And then I thought, "Now I'm getting paranoid about paranoia."

Somebody calm me down.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Danger Mouse and Jemini/"The Only One" -- I dreamt that this was in the top 10 singles in the country. I woke up believing it, and I just had to check Billboard to make sure I was wrong. The question is: Why not? Besides the obvious underground Athens, Ga., thing.

And let's just forget the fact that I'm dreaming about the chart position of songs I like.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Comets on Fire/"Let's Take It All the Way Down" -- As an apology for my infrequent posting as of late (the day job has been hectic lately), I'd like to send you off to a happy weekend by giving the very special gift of music piracy. Have some psychedelic speed rock and a wonderful Friday.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Pleasure feat. Justine Frischmann/"Don't Look the Other Way" -- It's too bad that Interpol and Elastica did not exist in the same era. They could've married and produced lots of black-clad, fashionably hairsprayed babies.

Fun show last night. They actually changed the set list up a little bit and played a couple of new ones, one of which I hadn't heard, so it appears they are making progress toward a new album. The new songs sound kinda same-y, but we'll see.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Interpol/"PDA" -- We're all going to see our favorite little band tonight for the third time. Apparently a friend of Chelle's knows somebody who supplies their cocaine or something, so we'll see what happens. Whenever Interpol comes to town, we get to pretend that we live in New York!

Longtime Waking Ear readers will remember Paul's frustrating album cover guess-the-artist game. Well, here's a bunch of brainteasers, via Traveler's Diagram.

Monday, October 06, 2003

The Rapture/"Open Up Your Heart" -- For all the attention paid to "House of Jealous Lovers" and the like, I'm more inclined to the Rapture's slower-tempo work, like "Open Up Your Heart" and "Infatuation." I can't really distinguish the uptempo stuff from Hot Hot Heat.

But the slow jams are like 3 a.m. drunken inner reflections, the ones where you have to smack yourself so that you don't cry. What? Nobody else has those?

Thursday, October 02, 2003

The Strokes/"12:51" -- Like most Strokes songs, this seemed fairly unremarkable to me at first, but it's become a total earworm, sucking away my head's bandwidth like a particularly nasty Sobig virus. It's all in the Ocasek-y keybs and Casablancas' insistence upon the megaphonish vocal filter.

It reminds me a little bit of the way the Stone Temple Pilots 80's-afied their sound with their 1996 hit "Big Bang Baby" just by dropping in some handclaps and doing a video that looked all whitewashed like Toni Basil's "Mickey."

This is what I like about STP: they were so effortless. They were chameleons who didn't invent a single thing. Weiland sounded like Vedder when it was convenient and then like Layne Staley or whoever when it was convenient, and then STP tried to get a little artier and ended up sounding like Siamese Dream on one song and like the Black Crowes on another, and then the handclaps.

STP songs are like Law and Order episodes. There isn't necessarily a single formula. There are many known formulas, and you just pick which one you want to use today, and people will like it because they're comfortable with it. It's instant radio.

I think Faulkner or somebody said once that there are only about seven storylines. There are only seven songs in STP's world, and the band had about seven hits over a five-year span by running through 'em.

A lot of bands couldn't pull this off. Candlebox did stuff that was every bit as radio-friendly and as maudlin as STP's "Plush," but they kept sticking with the mope and it went away. STP just kept on adapting. STP was a fighter.

Oh, on a separate note, I thought you'd all like to see our regular comments contributor and my friend, Chelle, with the future father of her children.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Broken Social Scene/"Lover's Spit" -- I think this song is about semen.

Busy day. See you tomorrow, which I plan to spend trying to figure out why I like the Stone Temple Pilots.


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