Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hypocriticisms.

I've complained before on this blog about musical snobbery and the practice of putting music into lists. With the end of the decade nigh unto us, the people of the internet are being bombarded with lists of all kinds, just not the music ones. With every press of my StumbleUpon button, with every snob on Facebook proclaiming his spectacularly hipsterish opinion, and with random perusals through the blogging community at large.
The very worst part? It all kind of makes me want to write one.

I'm not going to though. For one very important reason. Being that I am eighteen years old, I cannot say with any conviction at all that I recall what I was listening to at age eight. I mean, I've always liked music, and would listen to whatever my sisters were playing at the time, but I never had too much interest of my own in it. That's pretty clear in the way that I seem to remember only the chorus to the songs of my childhood- kind of like they never really fully penetrated my baby brain.*

Music really hit me in eighth grade, I'd say. That's when I started buying my own cds, researching bands I liked, and properly listening to lyrics. It was kind of a melancholy time in my childhood, and a time when I realized the saving grace of music, no matter the genre, if it instilled a feeling.

Therefore, the problem with creating a list of my favorite music of the past decade would be that ALL of my favorite music exists in the past decade, and that makes it a little hard to choose.
The second, and infinitely more troubling problem, is my inability to keep up with music as it comes out. I've just never been that diligent. For example, I listened to Arcade Fire's Funeral, out in 2004, this past summer. The same with Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, which arrived in 2002. I like things (love them, deify them)** as they hit me, which is very rarely in the same year that they hit everyone else. I move through my music phases with little to no temporal discretion, and this makes me a very unreliable list maker.

Maybe next decade.


P.S. I really like this song.
*Except for Semi-Charmed Life. I had that thing memorized. Turns out it's about crystal meth, who would've known? (Probably any child actually listening to the words she sang.) In defense of my previously naive self, it was usually blurred out.
**My mother told me today, as I complained about people who proclaimed themselves as Beatles fans and then only knew their most famous songs, that I couldn't understand them because I don't become a fan of things superficially, but rather leap in with both feet. My tendency to be overexcited, and therefore wholly unclinical, also makes me an unreliable list maker.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Little Bit Tower of Pisa

Since I'm sharing videos today, I'm kind of in love with Rufus Wainwright as of late.








Never has mumbling and slurring sounded so gorgeous.

Kids

There is nothing quite like musically inclined kids to warm the heart strings. Here's a couple, for a rainy day.



I want to be Jeff Tweedy's progeny.



And trust me, despite the fact that this had been all over the interwebz, even Yahoo!News, it's still freaking adorable. Don't be jaded. Succumb to the cuteness.



Oooh, hey, that's not music kids, that's the music video for MGMT's song Kids.... Oh, well! It's good, you should listen to it.*



*Plus, I can play it on ukulele. HIPSTER ALERT.
**Oh, and just for the record, that's a fanmade video for Kids, but watch this one instead. I do not condone the official video because it is terrifying.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Ukulele-- I mean, Christmas

Merry Christmas! I hope it's wonderful for everyone, not just the three people who read this blog sometimes.

In honor of the sexiest ukulele in the world, which was found under my Christmas tree in a package addressed to me, and has since been christened Ophelia (to correspond with my guitar, Hamlet), some wintery musical love from my two favorite ukulele-ers on YouTube.

Enjoy.




Merry Christmas from Kaitlin and Ophie. :)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

An Elongated Simile


I've always had a strange relationship with the musician Beck.
A relationship which I once related to my roommate in a sleepy, convoluted simile at three in the morning, in the midst of one of our late night conversations about everything and nothing.
A simile that I haven't thought much about until recently, and one that has some pretty good merits, now that I'm fully awake and willing to clean it up a bit.

Beck is like that boy you have a crush on, despite your best intentions, despite knowing that there is that one character flaw, weakness, or conflict in your personalities that will never allow anything between you to work out. You like him anyway, and in total spite of your better judgement, you let yourself get to know him better. And everything is beautiful and blissful for a while.
But, eventually, becoming more familiar with him just confirms your original fears. You are just too different to be together forever. So you break it off. And you don't see him for a while, but such is life.
Until fate throws him in your path again. It could be a chance meeting in the street or store, or in a movie, or being reintroduced by a friend. Whatever the catalyst, it convinces you that maybe it can, in fact, work out.
You know deep in your heart that it never will, no matter how much you wish it could. And each time this chance meeting and re-acquaintance happens, you come to the same conclusion.

This is my relationship with Beck. I recognize his talent, and understand why so many people like his music. I have a teeny-tiny talent crush on him.* However, no matter how much I try, I just can't get that click with him that I've gotten with so much music before him.
No matter how many of his songs I like - Lost Cause, Loser, Girl, Hell Yes, E-Pro, (really, the entirety of the album Guero) and most recently, a song he's done with Charlotte Gainsbourg, Heaven Can Wait, there still seems to be a barrier between him and my list of favorite bands. I don't know what it is, unlike in my metaphor of the opposed boy, but each time I re-touch upon him, I find a couple songs I like and then move on, no matter how much I will myself to have that crystallizing moment.
I keep trying to drive that escalator in the ground.**

Maybe someday.


Oh, Beck, why can't I love you?


*Talent crush. Definition: The crush you develop on a musician (or actor, or writer) that you may or may not have developed naturally, or may or may not be centered on a person who ordinarily would not catch your eye, but happen to be the recipient due to their talent in their given field.
** Seriously. Watch the Heaven Can Wait video. I love this song.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Wayward



elope with me, miss private, and we'll sail around the world
i will be your ferdinand and you my wayward girl
how many nights of talking in hotel rooms can you take?
how many nights of limping around on pagan holidays?
oh, elope with me in private and we'll set something ablaze
a trail for the devil to erase

[piazza, new york catcher - belle and sebastian]

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Click



but the night rolls around
and it all starts making sense
there is no right way or wrong way
you just have to live
and so i do what i do
and at least i exist
what could mean more than this?
[Hit the Switch - Bright Eyes]



“I think there is something beautiful in reveling in sadness. The proof is how beautiful sad songs can be. So I don’t think being sad is to be avoided. It’s apathy and boredom you want to avoid. But feeling anything is good, I think. Maybe that’s sadistic of me.”
— Joseph Gordon-Levitt