...deleted the email you sent to me...

This was the first song that I can recall hearing that mentioned email in the lyrics. From 2002's Out of Key Harmony, this is the Sinking Ships' You Can't Push Me Away. I am sure there are more songs that make reference to email nowadays, but I'm drawing a blank. And there's probably others that predate this track, I just happened to have heard this one first. Anyone?

From what I understand, this band has been through several incarnations, the other two being the California Oranges (they're from Sacramento, CA) and Holiday Flyer. Looks like they're in the California Oranges mode at this time, check em out on myspaXXX and/or purchase from darla.com.

The Sinking Ships > You Can't Push Me Away


Cruelist Heart

I can't decide whether this is complete crap or sheer genius. It's Misha, with Cruelist Heart, from their album, Teardrop Sweetheart. Musically, this track great. It sounds like a vintage Portishead or Massive Attack track. The vocals, however, are a completely different thing, hear it for yourself. If I had never heard it and someone randomly told me about it, I think I'd probably say it was shit without even giving it a chance. I think, though, that I'm leaning towards sheer genius. Simply put, it just works for me, although I can totally see why someone wouldn't like it. However, you can pick it up on Tomlab if you decide you like it. Even if you don't like this particular track, the rest of the album is worth the splash. It's kinda quirky pop with some beats and electronica flourishes, which is always good in my book.

Misha > Cruelist Heart

California Love #5: Death Cab For Cutie > Why You'd Want To Live Here

For the second time in about a month, I went to Los Angeles. I had a good time (we got to check out a Dodgers game!), it was a little get-together for a friend who's being married off (hopefully for a sizable dowry) in a couple months. Anyways, LA, man. It's cool to visit and hang out for a while, but I don't think I can handle more than a week of it at once.

Death Cab For Cutie > Why You'd Want To Live Here


She just never wants to...

Best song ever about not getting laid. It's Nick Cave's new/old band, Grinderman. You can totally feel the tension in the song. I patted her revolting little chihuahua, but still she just didn't want to. Awesome. AND I get to see them live this week, at the Great American Music Hall. How cool is that?

Grinderman > No Pussy Blues


If you ain't gonna use it, just give it to us

Okay, enough of the despair, let's have some fucking fun. It's Rag & Bone, from the new White Stripes album, Icky Thump, and both album and song are fantastic. I'm pretty stoked, I'm gonna go see them in Berkeley in September. It'll be my first time seeing them live, should be fun. So take a last lick of your ice cream cone, and lock up what you still wanna own.

The White Stripes > Rag & Bone


Why don't you stay home where you're loved?

Sticking to the heartache and longing theme, this is Nina Nastasia's Why Don't You Stay Home. It's a plea to her estranged lover who happens to be momentarily visiting, presumably to see the kids or collect some old belongings, it's heartbreaking and kind of sobering. She doesn't sing about why they have been separated or about anything else that's washed under the bridge, all that is the past, over and done with. She simply wants him to come back and stay for good. The music is haunting and spare, just a guitar and a piano, which leaves a lot of room for her voice. And what a voice it is, so expressive and filled with longing and perhaps the realization that this might be her last chance at getting him back, it almost seems like she is that person in the song.

I don't know much about her, really, so it's possible that the song could be autobiographical. Either way, you can find this track on her latest album,
On Leaving, on Fatcat. She also has a myspace page. Who doesn't? Anyways, check it out. You know the drill.

Nina Nastasia > Why Don't You Stay Home


I'm just waiting til you say these words

I've seen Electrelane before, once opening for Ladytron a few years ago and a couple months ago, supporting Arcade Fire. I quite liked the Electrelane live experience, but I never got round to really listening to any of their albums. They've recently released a new album, No Shouts, No Calls, and I've been spinning it as of late.

The album is solid as a whole, but the song that really stands out for me is To The East. It's light and floaty. The singer's voice is slightly off key, which makes it sorta endearing to me. It just seems more real, I guess. She's pining away for her lover, hoping for a reunion (
come back, come back, come back, oh to me) and the way she sings it comes off as very sweet, touching and heartfelt. I'm definitely feelin' it, especially the part with the bells (xylophone?). I love that pic of them up there, fucking gorgeous.

Electrelane > To The East



M83's Dead Cities, Red Seas and Lost Ghosts was one of my favorite albums from a few years ago (03 or 04, I think). It was billed as a cross between electronica and shoegaze, which may or may not sound like a good combination, but the results completely work for my ears. The album seems to work best as little soundscapes, kinda cruising over alien terrain. Or it could soundtrack some imaginary movie in your mind. Anyways, I really like this album. It's hypnotic and mesmerising in a good way. It'll take you away for an hour or so and you may not even want to return. Also, the album cover is one of the cooler ones I've ever seen. I'm not sure if that's original art or not.

As for this particular track, I love how it starts out low and ominous, setting the mood. It just feels so dark and unsettling while slowly building. It finally erupts with a scream that echoes and reverberates in your head. It's a thing of beauty, and it's my favorite track on the album.

If you do end up buying this album, make sure you get the two-disc version. It was re-released a year or so after the original hit the stores. The second disc has some b-sides and live tracks which are worth having, especially when it's roughly the same price as the single disc pressing. They're on the Gooom label, you can check that out here, although it doesn't seem like it's been updated lately, so you may be better off with Amazon or whatever.

And finally, go and see them if you get the chance. They are very good as a live band. I went in expecting one or two dudes sitting at laptops. Guess again. They have the standard setup; drums, bass, guitars, keys/synths, and they completely fucking rock.

M83 > Gone


Run away with me tomorrow

The Smashing Pumpkins are back, for better or for worse. Unfortunately, James Iha and D'arcy Wretzky are not returning, which makes the "reunion" somewhat suspect. However, it always seemed that the Pumpkins were always a vehicle for Billy Corgan's musical vision and it's pretty much his brainchild, so he gets to do whatever he wants to do with the name. They're playing something like 7 or 8 sold out dates here in San Francisco, and I'm guessing much of their tour will be sold out as well. I doubt I'll be in attendance unless someone offers me a free ticket.

I liked them and I have a lot of their albums, but I don't think I loved them like other people do. A couple of their albums, I bought on reflex, just because it was a Smashing Pumpkins album.
Adore? C'mon, dude, what were you thinking? Not to mention Machina. Crikey. I mean, and I'm really reaching, there were a few decent tracks from those albums, but not enough to justify owning the entire thing. Somewhere between Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie, he began to lose his way. After Melon Collie, it was almost as if he was completely lost in the woods. I'm not even gonna start on Zwan (sorry, I didn't like that album at all) or his solo album, TheFutureEmbrace.

In any case, all the Smashing Pumpkins hubbub got me thinking about Mayonaise, which was probably my favorite track of theirs. I don't think there's a bad track on Siamese Dream, but this one stands out for me. Geek USA runs a very close second, I think. As for Mayonaise, I just like the melody, the big guitar sound and how it seems so grand. And I really like the line,
pick your pockets full of sorrow / run away with me tomorrow, it just feels like summer. Also, at the end of the song, it completely gets me when he says can anybody hear me / I just want to be me. Brilliant. Siamese Dream is worth checking out if you haven't heard it before. It is sooooo weird to think that this album is now 14 years old.

Smashing Pumpkins > Mayonaise



I love this song, the way it builds and builds. Then it seems to spin off in some uncontrollable frenzy. Awesome. Also, if you have the time, check out the live videos for this track on Youtube. The song utilizes this instrument called the reacTable, it's really fucking cool. Bjork is so cutting edge.

Raise your flag! Higher! Higher!

Check this on her newest album, Volta. I like it a lot. And get the rest of her stuff, too. It's totally worth it. Happy 4th of July, bitches.

Bjork > Declare Independence

What a waste of gunpowder and sky

This one, while being kind of a poignant song, always cracks me up. I have two memories associated with it. One time, my friend and I went to see Aimee Mann at Slim's. Aimee played this song and my friend burst into tears in the middle of the song. Not that I was laughing at her, it's just an amusing memory.

Memory number two: I had gone to see Aimee another time, with my then-girlf who fainted in the middle of the gig. It was her first time going to see a show, any show. The venue was packed, sold out, and hot as hell. I think at the time, smoking was still allowed indoors in California. That's how long ago it was. Anyways, we were standing there and she was sorta leaning on me. Suddenly, she started getting heavier and she started sliding down. Luckily, I was able to catch her. The security dudes were nice, they got her a bottle of water and let us sit near the door so she could get some fresh air.

If you like this, you can find it on her album entitled, Whatever. There's also a live version on the Live at St. Ann's Warehouse album. Yes, I'm a fan, but you really can't go wrong with any of her albums...so check em out.

Aimee Mann > 4th of July


I gotta come clean

I've been reading Redemption Song: The Ballad of Joe Strummer. I have to say I'm not entirely interested in the stuff he did as a child, so I sorta skimmed the first quarter of the book. I'm roughly halfway through now, and the stories and details about the 101ers and the beginnings of The Clash have really caught my attention. This is the good stuff!

Subsequently, I've been listening to a lot of The Clash lately. One thing that really strikes me is that their songs have a really good pop quality to them. They're very catchy and singable. It seems like that gets overlooked when most people talk about The Clash.

This is just one example, but check out this early tune,
1-2 Crush On You (it comes complete with a sax solo!), and judge for yourself. If that interests you, it can be found on the Super Black Market Clash album, and (I believe) The Clash on Broadway box set. I think the box set might be out of print (OOP) but, judging from the tracklist, it looks like it'd be very worth your time. Super Black Market Clash would be the more inexpensive option, if you were going to purchase either of the two. I've seen that going for a tenner at the most, brand new. They're one of the few bands of which I'd purchase a new RIAA-affiliated disc.

The Clash > 1-2 Crush On You