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, January 30, 2004

I think I gave the Fiery Furnaces a raw deal the first time around. The songs are kind of transforming themselves into jaunty blues numbers now, with a more subdued version of Jack White on vocals. I'm going to keep listening and attend their show next month here in Dallas.

There are worrisome things going on in the music blog world. Inskeep lost his job, ostensibly because of his time on the Internet. TMFTML (hasn't been a music blog in quite a while, but he's dear to my heart) is laying low to make sure the same doesn't happen to him. Eppy appears to have been decimated by a virus. I'm going to cross my fingers and hope that everything remains OK in Waking Ear world. I wish y'all the best.

I'm going down to San Antonio this weekend. I plan on getting Chelle's mom drunk.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Poo on me!

I'm so sorry I didn't post today. I've been busy at work. Can you imagine work taking precedence over this great blog? What the hell is wrong with me?

I'll be back in action next week.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Stevie Wonder/"Saturn" -- This isn't really my waking ear, but I think we abolished that policy a long time ago. I just really like this song. The lyrics -- about utopia-like place where there's no war or death -- didn't really hit me until a few weeks ago when I was driving. (I'm always driving, for those of you who don't know. )

Here's a sample:

We can't trust you when you take a stand
With a gun and bible in your hand
And the cold expression on your face
Saying give us what we want or we'll destroy

Sound familiar to anyone?

Monday, January 26, 2004

My Morning Jacket/"Steam Engine" -- It's too bad about the splintering of the band (in that link, by the way, the 'Forkers get way too silly with the Behind the Music reference). The guitars on this album remind me of the old Santo & Johnny "Sleep Walk" song, lazy and wistful.

It Still Moves handles space very well. It doesn't feel like it was recorded in an empty room; there's a creaky, musty feel to it. Musicians seem to be doing this more, adding in some of that warmth that normally evaporates without the assistance vinyl provides. It makes Four Tet, for example, lush instead of antiseptic.

Friday, January 23, 2004

I stalled on listening to the Shins' Chutes Too Narrow for far too long. I liked what I had heard on Oh, Inverted World, but never really gave that album enough of my time, either.

I've always wondered how people write melodies. There are only so many notes, and you'd think that all the various combinations of notes would have been used by now. I guess you can throw cadence and note length in to give you a few more variables, but really, if I was a musician, I would constantly worry about whether I was subconciously writing something that had been written before.

It's easier as a listener. Chutes has inventive, sing-song melodies that I, at least, have never heard before. That, more than the shimmery production, may be why it sounds so refreshing.

Some housekeeping notes: I realized the other day that I have never put my address up on this site, so I'm going to do so, in long form, so hopefully no bot can pick it up for junk mail purposes.

Also -- it's been a few weeks since I made this a multi-person blog, and I just want to thank the rest of the Waking Ear crew for what they've been doing. It's certainly kept the site going while I've been busy, and the posts have been damn good and fun and insightful. So, um, keep it up.

Good weekends to all.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Beatles Lyrics

No particular tune in my ear today, but I listened to the White Album on my way to work (and recently received Let It Be...Naked) and now I've got Beatles on the mind. So I thought I'd throw a question to you folks for feedback.

I'm a huge fan of The Beatles. Always have been (thanks, Dad) and always will be.
As I've aged, my interests in their music has changed - liking some albums more than others, noticing music styles on one song, not on another, etc.

But I am always interested in which songs other people enjoy - so here's the question (and a familiar one it should be):
What are your favorite Beatles songs?
It's a tough question. There are so many reasons to enjoy or not enjoy a song. But based on how you are feeling today...what do you think?

mine include Across the Universe, Norwegian Wood, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Why Don't We Do It In The Road, It's Only Love, Within You/Without You, I Want You, oh hell....I could go on forever.

Your turn!

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

"House of Jealous Lovers" -The Rapture

I bought two new cds on Amazon.com and am loving it. I have awoken the last 4 days with either a tune from Kasey Chambers or Dolly Parton in my head. I thought, surely Wednesday would come around and I could write about my new cds and my recent exploration into country music. But alas...

The Rapture seems to be a great band. They are catchy, fun to listen to, and make me drive faster than I would like. The singer reminds me of a cross between Robert Smith from The Cure and Angus from The Liars.

Now if only I could get The Rapture to cover The Louvin Brothers and I would be set.

Monday, January 19, 2004

It's MLK Day. I'm not at work, and I shouldn't be in front of a computer. See you tomorrow.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Jay-Z/"Change Clothes and Go" -- I am a sucker for this song. I know the Neptunes are tired, y'all, but I just can't get enough of that bridge where they go, "Uh-uh, sexy sexy." It kills me every time. And then Jay-Z does the "so necessary" thing and it's so lame but goddamn it sounds kinda cool because anything Jay-Z says sounds pretty cool and ohmygodmyheadisgoingtoexplode!

Sexy sexy.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

The Beatles: "Can't Buy Me Love"

The homegirls knew this was coming.
Last night Girlfriend, Bri-Ness and I watched an old classic. A fantastic movie that even Roger Epert enjoyed (you know he really did).
It's Can't Buy Me Love starring the oh-so-cute Patrick Dempsey and where-is-she-now Amanda Peterson.

I hadn't seen this movie in years!! And watching it now, I wonder, how could I have gone so long without a viewing? The 80's fashions rock!! Big shoulder pads. Parachute pants. Sweater vests. Pants that sit super high on the waist. Cropped shirts. Big Big Big Crimped Wavy Hair!!! And let's not forget the rockin' suede skirt outfit - the culprit that gets poor Cindy into all this mess in the first place.

A remake of this movie was recently released and I will in no way watch it. I cannot betray what was the original:
- The greatness of a young Seth Green
- The African Anteater Dance
- Ronnie and Cindy!
- "You shit on my house!"
- "He went from like totally geek...to like totally chic"

I know all of you know this movie.
Don't be in denial.
Free yourself here and now.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Journey: "Only The Young"

Phant and I have been living together for nearly two years now. It is a subject of some debate of whether or not I had to convince him to move in with me or whether he actually volunteered. This subject aside (and others), we have had a great roommate relationship. We have never really fought outright, we shared our food when we had it, and we pretty much enjoy doing the same things (i.e. drinking, mario kart, and drinking).

Of all the songs that will forever live in my mind as representative of the history of The Dane Baxter (that's the name of our house), it will be Journey's "Only the Young". Cleaning and cooking was rare but spectacular when we had Journey in the background. Steve Perry just belts out those beautiful notes to the power chords of the backing Journey band. Let's face it, Steve was the heart and soul, and when he was gone, so was the spirit of Journey. Journey is an inspiring band. Some are inspired to leap tall buildings or to make a long road trip while others are inspired to shoot themselves or get a labotomy (frontal lobatomy....bottle in front of me)

I have no idea where I am going with this. So I will quit. I am done now. Talk amongst yourselves. Do you think I used enough parentheses? (or did I?)

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Jae-P/”Ni de aqui ni de alla” – So I’m not absolutely sure that I’ve heard this song, but I’m almost positive it’s the one rap song they’ve been playing on our Spanish pop station for the past few months. It’s about this Mexican-American dude who can’t speak either language very well, but he accepts himself nonetheless. (I can identify.) “Ni de aqui ni de alla” means neither here nor there.

Jae-P, who’s from South Central LA, is apparently belongs to this new “urban regional” music movement — basically hip-hop over banda beats. Not to be confused with Kumbia Kings, who combine Tejano and hip-hop, or reggaeton, which is reggae and hip-hop.

Anyway, Jae-P is secondary, because Akwid -- two Chicano dudes from L.A. -- are the shepherders here. Their debut album has been stuck in the Latin Top 20 for the past six months, and apparently now they can't even go to the swap meet without getting mobbed by fans.

It just makes me wonder: Does this mean Spanish-language rap is on its way into the mainstream?

Monday, January 12, 2004

Lou Reed/"Perfect Day" -- I just got into Transformer a couple of months ago, and it's scary to think how much Reed/Velvet blends in with the indie-rock collection on my iPod. I always knew the line of descent from Velvet to Pixies, etc. was pretty tight, but damn.

Indie rock as we know it today needs a little more of this exuberance, though. That tremble in Reed's voice, that echo-y, woozy effect on the music -- wow! Those little intangibles make all the difference. They separate the Interpols from the Longwaves. (The Stills are somewhere in between.)

If Julavits can call for the End of Snark (and despite how silly and earnest that sounds, I think she has a point; being clever and irreverent sounds great when you can back it up, but it's often an easy out), then I think it's worth positing that music, to be truly good, must have that little something extra -- an unharnessed joy, a genuine, directed anger, something -- that can't be put into words.

Friday, January 09, 2004

Sheryl Crow/"Leaving Las Vegas" -- I'm in LV for a porn convention. Every time I come here I get this song in my head. And then I saw Sheryl Crow last night. Not singing. Just standing there.

I have seen Ms. Crow perform, once, while I was in college. She's not bad on stage. But when I saw her oh those many years ago, she had a lot nicer booty. Baby needs to gain some weight back.

Favorite Sheryl Crow song: the Sonny & Cher cover she did with Dwight Yoakam. I know you're all shocked.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

"California" Phantom Planet
I admit it - I am a fan of The O.C.

If you haven't given it a watch, please do. It's more than just your average cheesy teen drama. It's actually quite witty and modern.
My favorite character is Seth. I would have been head-over-heels for Seth had we gone to high school together. He's the perfect combo of geeky cool with great hair, fantastic taste in music (with a room covered in music posters) and just enough sarcasm and bitterness to keep things interesting.

If you didn't know, "California," from Phantom Planet is the show's theme song. I can't say I know much about this band, but they received an interesting write-up in Entertainment Weekly. Seems the band's new album takes a new spin from the sounds of "California" - partially due to the famous drummer's departure over the summer.

Last night's episode of the show featured Rooney, another band I have not familiarized myself with, mostly because they seem to be riding that indie pop rock wave that I'm not inclined to explore.

Still, I truly appreciate the show's attention to non-Top 40 artists. And if you check out the Web site of the show, and click on "Features" there is a link that lists all the songs played on each episode. You might be surprised to see the likes of Jem, Bright Eyes, The Dandy Warhols, New Pornographers, etc.

So give the show a whirl if you haven't already. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

"Happy" -The Wrens

This is my favorite album of 2003. There isn't any real bounderies pushed with this album and no real land is explored, but I find every song to be so damn catchy and irresistable that I can't help but just adore it. This particular song is a beautiful slow build to a climax. Climax songs are my favorite. Now that they got their label issues fixed...hopefully more albums will come from these boys.

"I don't want to die" -The Unicorns

The biggest surprise of 2003 for me. I don't adore every song on the album the majority of them are such a good time for me to listen to that I have had in my cd changer for about 4 weeks straight. I think this track is the best on the album. "Les Os" is a close second, but there is something about the whine that comes out of the signer's voice during "We don't want to die in a plane crash. We don't want to die in the sea". Awesome.

"Brand New Colony" -The Postal Service

Bri-ness is the first one who got me into this album. She was talking about it for about 2 months before it actually came out. Cheers to her for that. This ended up being one of the best albums for sing-alongs. Coming out of the White Stripes concert with Bri-ness, Phant, Girlfriend, and Chelle, blasting this album while standing still in traffic is one of my favorite memories of 2003.

"Almost the Same" -Clearlake

This seems like an odd album to me. They do some different stuff with the same old tools and I really enjoy that. This little ditty was the first to strike me...that's why it's my pick off of this album.

"Wake me when it's over" -Longwave

Great rock album. Cheeky at times, but a solid album by a band that doesn't seem to be all that talented. Of course this is the opinion of someone who can't play a damn note on the guitar or sing a note that isn't flat. But the songs are easy to listen to and fun to sing to. Nothing too extravagent, just rock n roll. fun stuff. I love every song.

These are my favorite albums of 2003. I think that there are bunch more that I love, but I can't think of them right now. Now to my waking ear..."The Power" by Snap.

"or I will attack and you don't want that."

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

REM/New Test Leper -- Aagh! Just got off deadline and, amid that brain vacuum-sucking sound, I’m scrambling to think of a Waking Ear. This’ll do. Listened to New Adventures in Hi-Fi in the car this morning and it brought me back to college…. This boy I dated used to send me emails with REM lyrics in the subject line.

“He did make some observations” – part of a nonchalant reference to Jesus in New Test Leper – was one email. I can’t remember any of the others.

For the record, I did diss NAIHF on this board some time ago. I still can’t decide if I really like it, or if it just reminds me of another time.

I don't have much time to analyze, so I'll leave you with that. Oh, and I think Stipe took the photos on the album cover.

Monday, January 05, 2004

I'm sorry. I'm still reeling over the Marbury trade. I can't breathe.

Not to get all sports-blog or personal-blog on you. I'm just in a bit of a post-holidays musical malaise. Too much to listen to and nothing really grabbing me. I think I'm supposed to like the Fiery Furnaces, but I find the whole disjointed guitar-and-piano-noodling thing kind of grating. The Clientele are soft and fuzzy but underwhelming. Even the "Get Low" merengue mix was failing to rock me this morning.

Maybe I'm just irritable. Anything I'm missing?

Friday, January 02, 2004

New Year's Resolutions:

a) Make a mix on the iPod for Girlfriend so she can switch to it whenever she gets in the car, seeing as how she doesn't necessarily like everything I listen to.

b) Get Chelle to become my housemate when Schmubb moves out in April. (The Internet campaign begins.)

c) Buy the new Mario Kart and kick Schmubb's ass with it.

d) Go to the gym.

e) Avoid "Does my blog matter?" crises.

f) Try not to show butt crack at social gatherings.


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KEXP DFW Concert Calendar

Kinja, the weblog guide

Blogs I like:

Phangirl - A Wedding Blog

Music and culture

The Rub

close your eyes



oh, manchester, so much to answer for


Orbis Quintus

New York London Paris Munich

via Chicago

Kate Sullivan

Clap Clap



the tear that hangs inside my soul forever

silence is a rhythm two


The International House of Pussy

Dip Dip Dive

Razorblade Runner

Friends and compatriots

Operation: Ridiculous

If You're Feeling Bitter



Airplane Sleep


Letting Loose with the Leptard

67 Degrees

A Reasonable Volume

Julie's Pages

Singing Loudly

Ordinary Addictions

Dallas gossip



Blog Maverick

Dallas Basketball

Texas Gigs

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