Archive | May, 2017

Certain Songs #888: Led Zeppelin – “Good Times Bad Times”

Album: Led Zeppelin
Year: 1969

BAWL DAWL!
tick tick tick tick

BAWL DAWL!
tick tick tick tick tick tick

BAWL DAWL!
tinka tinka tinka tinka tinka

BAWL DAWL!
tinka tinka tinka tinka tinka

BAWL DAWL!
rumble dumble rumbledly downa rattledly smash!

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Certain Songs #887: LCD Soundsystem – “All My Friends”

Album: Sound of Silver
Year: 2007

I didn’t really get into LCD Soundsystem until they were breaking up. So while I was most certainly aware of them, they really didn’t click with me until I took a flyer on This is Happening in 2010, and enjoyed it so much I figured I’d knew I need to go backwards.

And, like so many people smarter and faster than me, got completely bowled over by “All My Friends,” which is easily one of the best songs of the millennium. Which, I know, I don’t have to tell you, because you already knew that.

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Certain Songs #887: LCD Soundsystem – “All My Friends”

Album: Sound of Silver
Year: 2007

I didn’t really get into LCD Soundsystem until they were breaking up. So while I was most certainly aware of them, they really didn’t click with me until I took a flyer on This is Happening in 2010, and enjoyed it so much I figured I’d knew I need to go backwards.

And, like so many people smarter and faster than me, got completely bowled over by “All My Friends,” which is easily one of the best songs of the millennium. Which, I know, I don’t have to tell you, because you already knew that.

What this song reminds of is a period of my life a long time before it came out. That period where I wasn’t playing in a band anymore, a lot of my friends had either moved or permanently paired up, and I was living in the Tower with no fixed plan beyond walking over to Livingstone’s to see if anybody was around.

You spent the first five years
Trying to get with the plan
And the next five years
Trying to be with your friends again

With the first piano part in 40 years to match what John Cale did in “All Tomorrows Parties,” but much much faster, “All My Friends” is both yearning and danceable, static and infinite, desperately looking for and rejecting connection.

That was the thing: the scene that I’d been a part of was changing right out from under me and I really didn’t know what to do, so I did what I knew: walked over to Livingstones to see if anybody was there. If they weren’t, I’d walk home, wait an hour and walk over there again. Because you never knew.

But I did know. Deep in my heart of hearts, I knew it was over, and I had to get the hell out of Fresno. I had to run away from the scene — or the scene that was in my head — in order to figure out who the the hell I was.

If I could see all my friends tonight
If I could see all my friends tonight
If I could see all my friends tonight
If I could see all my friends tonight

The guitar doesn’t need to get explosive and fuzzy as it adds a countermelody near the end of “All My Friends,” but at the same time, it just adds to the feeling of helplessness that this song so expertly conveys, as the music overwhelmingly envelopes James Murphy, who gets more and more desperate, looking for his friends, searching everywhere, but they’re nowhere to found, so he just gives up.

“All My Friends”

“All My Friends” performed live at Madison Square Garden, 2010

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Certain Songs #886: Laurie Anderson – “O Superman”

Album: Big Science
Year: 1981

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

When “O Superman” arrived in 1981, it was like nothing anybody had ever really heard.

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

Which, of course is an understatement, because 36 years later, there still isn’t anything like “O, Superman,” is there? Made on equipment that is of course incredibly primitive by modern standards, “O, Superman” still retains the same weird sparse beauty that made it a #2 hit single in the U.K., and made the video a late night “what-the-fuck-was-that?” staple.

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Certain Songs #885: The La’s – “There She Goes”

Album: The La’s
Year: 1990

In these dark dark days, any kind of reassurance that the world isn’t as terrible as it sometimes seems to be is in order, and so I have one for you, gentle readers: on YouTube, the La’s perfect-pop version of “There She Goes” has more views than Sixpence None The Richer’s snoozefest of a remake.

As of this writing (about a week before you’re seeing it), The La’s version has 2,448,995 views and SNTR’s version have 1,416,827. It’s even more pronounced on Spotify: 26,961,361 to 14,535,429. This is important, because here in the colonies, the original La’s version stalled out on the Billboard charts at 49 while the SNTR version made it all the way to 14 on the Billboard charts.

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