Decadeology: It's the place you want to be

Another post about my favorite songs of the decade. It was the summer of 2003, I was listening to Jellyfish's Spilt Milk, which is one of my all time favorite albums, and a great summer album, to boot. I found myself wondering what was going on with the Jellyfish guys, since they had split up in 1994, about a year after the release of Spilt Milk. I remember finding a page that said Andy Sturmer was writing and producing for a Japanese pop group called Puffy (known as Puffy AmiYumi here in the states). Intrigued, I looked for something to download so I could check it out.

After a few false starts, I finally obtained a full copy of Nice., which was the latest release, and I was finally able to click the play button. The opening track, Planet Tokyo, blindsided me the way that Scott Stevens destroyed Eric Lindros. Seriously.

This album checked a bunch of different genres, but it didn't sound like cheesy ripoff. It sounded more like a joyous celebration of all things pop. The production was airtight and pristine. The voices of Ami and Yumi melded together in harmony so perfectly, you'd never guess that it was a talent contest that brought them together. Listening to Nice. is like being on a party bus made of cotton candy. If you took Nice. along with you on a fishing trip, you'd catch more fish than you could carry home because this album has hooks for days. Okay, that was really bad, but I think you get the point.

This was the album that got me hooked into Jpop. Like the lyrics in Planet Tokyo said, "Planet Tokyo, it's the place you want to be, tonight." Yeah, I wanted to be there.

Puffy AmiYumi > Planet Tokyo


Decadeology: A veil of diamond dust

So my friend, Madcat, came up with the idea of making an end-of-decade mix. The rule being that you can have only 20 tracks, two per year. It'll be tough leaving stuff out, but it'll be interesting to see what makes the final cut. Just for fun, I will try posting some of my candidates here and, eventually, posting the final tracklist. Here is one of my candidates.

One of the biggest releases in the past ten years, for me, was Kate Bush's Aerial. I fell in love with her when I first came across her in the mid-eighties. Hounds of Love had just been released and I quickly grabbed her previous releases. In 1993, she put out The Red Shoes and I have to confess that I was disappointed. So I hoped it was just a minor misstep, even Kate Bush can make a mistake, and waited for the next album. And I waited and waited. Soon enough, it seemed like she had disappeared from music altogether. There would be whispers and rumours of a new album every now and then, but nothing. In the summer of 2005, another rumor popped up. Then, there was actually a single, and a shiny new website! The anticipation was killing me.

I picked up Aerial one day in early November and, let me tell you, it did not disappoint. It's difficult to quantify whether it was worth a twelve year wait or not (how would you really measure that?), but the fact that it was a solid album helped lessen the sting a bit. I'd say that
Nocturn is probably my favorite song on the album. It's the second to last track on the album and, to me, the preceding songs are like the steps that lead up to the pedestal of Nocturn. This song is the centerpiece of the album. The way it moves, it's very sensual. Not to mention the lyrics, running around on a beach naked, just before dawn. She's very good at painting pictures with her words.

I actually wrote a review of the album that was published in a very small fanzine, I think I'll post that, hopefully, this weekend. Until then, listen to this.

Kate Bush > Nocturn


Við spilum endalaust

I found this over at La Blogotheque. Apparently, these guys at La Blogotheque ask random bands to play in random places. They have a bunch of very cool vids from very cool bands. I really dig this one. It's Sigur Ros playing in a cafe in France. The couple at the beginning of the video crack me up. They're like, "Icelandic musicians? Okay, we have to leave now." Very amusing.

Sigur Ros > Við spilum endalaust

Sigur Ros - Við spilum endalaust - A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.


Give me these moments back

RIP John Hughes. His movies were jam-packed with musical moments. Probably the scene that really connected with me was in She's Having A Baby, when Elizabeth McGovern's character was having complications with her pregnancy and Kevin Bacon's character was understandably upset and slowly losing it in the hospital. I remember sitting in the theater, watching the scene unfold. The music came on and I was like "Wait a second...no way!". I had to stay to the end to check the credits, and sure enough it was a new Kate Bush song. OMG I was so stoked, I had to go out and get the soundtrack the very next day. That song, This Woman's Work, is one of my all time favorite Kate tracks. Check the scene here.

She's Having A Baby probably wasn't my favorite Hughes flick, but for me, that was definitely one of the best musical interludes in his films. As for movies, I might actually like Planes Trains and Automobiles best. Steve Martin and John Candy really worked well together, I thought. And the scene where Steve Martin is yelling at the car-rental lady is absolutely classic.

Kate Bush > This Woman's Work


My Theme Song

I've been meaning to post this, but just haven't gotten around to it. I didn't really know any Warren Zevon outside of Werewolves of London and the album he made with the R.E.M. guys, Hindu Love Gods. Thanks to Nora for the mix she made for me.

Warren Zevon > Splendid Isolation


Rhyme The Macaroni Well

I'm totally obsessed with this track. Generally, I'm not a fan of mashups, but I really dig this. It's Perfume's Macaroni vs. the Beastie Boys' Rhyme The Rhyme Well. I even found an mp3 of it. Flawless victory!


Honesty is not always the best policy

Chatting with a friend last week, and the subject of Depeche Mode came up. I was never a huge fan, but I did like whatever singles I heard. I have to say, however, that Violator is one awesome album. Every track on there is outstanding, but I'd have to say my favorite is Policy of Truth. You can hear the coolly detached tsk-tsk of Dave Gahan's voice as he sings "You will always wonder how it could have been if you'd only lied", proving once again that honesty is not always the best policy. Anyone that tells you otherwise is full of shit.

Depeche Mode > Policy of Truth