Decadeology: Stop coming to my house

2003, I went to see Mogwai with Ben. Ben was already a big fan and had been listening to them for some years, and he persuaded me to check out this show. I had only heard of the band, but not the music. Basically, I went in cold to the gig. So we went, it was at Bimbo's 365 Club, and I emerged at the end a Mogwai fan. Loved the whole quiet/loud/quiet thing. There were moments at that show where you could hear mice scurrying about, or pins dropping. Other times, you might have been wishing you'd brought earplugs. You get the picture. Seriously, I had never seen or heard anything like it at that point in my life. Since then, I've seen them live nearly every time they've come through San Francisco. My favorite gigs being the aforementioned Bimbo's show, and the time they played Coachella in 04. That Coachella gig, they closed their set with 2 Rights Make 1 Wrong, and it was sublime.

On my way out of the show, I picked up Happy Songs for Happy People, which was the latest Mogwai disc at the time (eventually, I worked my way backwards and collected everything I could of their discography).
Happy Songs became part of my soundtrack to that year, I listened to it constantly. Stop Coming To My House is one of my favorite tracks on the album (and I love the title). Understated. Devastating. Beautiful.

Mogwai > Stop Coming To My House


Decadeology: This is really happening

To me, Radiohead's Idioteque is the sound of paranoia, or the progression of insanity. With its eerie, metallic, hollow, and echoing soundscape, it captures the feeling of the end of the world or someone on the edge of completely losing their mind. It reminds me of everyone scrambling to make sure their systems were Y2K compliant. It reminds me of Bush's Florida election recount. Even though the song predates the 9/11 attacks, it still makes me think of it. Maybe Idioteque was a harbinger of things to come, or maybe it's me who is paranoid. Whatever the case is, I feel that this is one of the songs that completely expresses the detachment, fear and paranoia of this decade; perhaps even the 21st century.

Radiohead > Idioteque


There's a million ways to go

Last night, I rewatched Harold & Maude. Thing is, though, that the last time I saw it, I might have been in my early teens. Yeah, that was a long time ago. So last night's viewing was almost like watching it for the first time, and it was great. I especially liked the Cat Stevens soundtrack. The scene where Maude sings If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out and coaxes Harold to join in was very cool. The song is really pretty and uplifting, but not in a cheesy or schmaltzy way. Great movie, great soundtrack. Definitely check it out if you haven't already.

Cat Stevens > If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out


Decadeology: Candy says

When I first heard about Asobi Seksu in 2004, it was all the buzzwords that got me interested in them; shoegaze, dream pop, noise pop, swirling guitars, japanese girl singer. You know, stuff like that. I picked up their self-titled debut album and was underwhelmed, to say the least. I caught fleeting glimpses of something beautiful (Sooner, I'm Happy But You Don't Like Me) but, despite the great cover image, that album came off as unfinished or incomplete. I ended up putting it on the shelf and forgetting about it.

Fast forward to the spring of 2006, I had read somewhere that Asobi Seksu were about to drop a new album, Citrus. I was curious, but it wasn't something I was eagerly awaiting. A few weeks later, I lazily clicked on a preview of one of the new tracks, New Years. Holy shit, I was blown away. I think I put it on a mix for someone with a similar taste for such things (Jen R?), and she was enthralled as well.

Everything is there; crystal clear production, towering walls of fuzzy guitars, hooks for days, driving bass-lines, ethereal vocals (in Japanese as well as English). It is the perfect combination, and all the songs are really great. I swear, once I finally got a hold of a copy, I pretty much listened to it at least once a day for a year. I still enjoy listening to it and I still get chills at certain parts of certain songs. I totally have no problem recommending it to anyone.

For this, I'm tempted to post my favorite, Red Sea. Or maybe the unabashedly My Bloody Valentine inspired, Pink Cloud Tracing Paper. Or the haunting and soaring, Thursday. Any of those would be worth a listen. However, I'm going to drop New Years here, as it was the first song from Citrus that I heard. Honestly, though, there's not a bad track on this album. Only three years later, I daresay it's a classic. Seriously, I'll be rockin' this til I die.

Asobi Seksu > New Years