Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Fun Teenager Ketchup Party (The Follow-Up)

I'll bet you four thought I forgot about this. In case anyone wasn't reading for the introduction, the rules went as follows:

1. You guys tell me what kind of music you want.

2. In a few days, I'll post one mp3 for each of you.

You can't request music by band name or genre. You have to describe, in terms of color, mood, texture, taste, or any other creative way you can think of, what you're looking for in a song, and I'll do the best I can with what I have. Yes, that means that I may end up posting a song that you wouldn't normally listen to. That's part of the fun.

I can't use more than one song by any given band. The point of this meme is to give you a taste of new stuff, not to pirate whole CDs. If you like what you hear, you'll still need to buy it yourself. If two of you come up with identical descriptions, I have to find two bands that both fit, or use one song for both of you.

I can't make the song permanently available. Unless the song in question is already available on the band's website (in which case, I'll provide a link to their site instead of posting an mp3), I'll be taking the songs down in a few days, or posting them on a temporary host so that they'll expire after a few days.
I've been doing a thousand other things, but that doesn't mean I had forgotten about the arrangement. Bri (Bri!) responded first, with this: If Twin Peaks were set today, what song would Audrey find to dance to in a contemporary jukebox?

My answer: The Gossip, "Listen Up." Like Audrey herself, this song has a retro vibe. I could honest hear Aretha Franklin singing in as well as the girl who does. Besides that, the message of the song seems to be one that a popular rich girl like Audrey would agree with. I'm not 100 percent comfortable with this recommendation, however, so I'm going to double-up with Andy Votel's "The Return of the Spooky Driver," which may not be imminently danceable but at least matches the formal structure of Audrey's theme. Besides, I doubt anybody but Audrey herself could dance to Audrey's theme.

The Gossip and Andy Votel are both available through iTunes, though less legal downloading programs could probably snag the songs as well.

Next up: Dina (Canklesaurus!). She responded with this: I would like to hear a song that you can dance to, but awkwardly. I would like to not quite know how to move because something odd but fun is happening so I must just hop around and smile a lot and wave my arms like a European. I want it to be bubbly like icecream covered in bubbles — inedible but still delicious.

My answer: Soviet's "Candy Girl." It's dance music, but in a very New Wave sort of way. (And no, I didn't just recommend this because I associate a band called "Soviet" with you, my little Russkie immigrant child. If you didn't know better, you'd probably think it came from that era, but it oddly came from the 90s, neatly between the two time periods where such synthy music was in style. It's poppy as all hell, but the singer's voice is so low that it always seemed to me that the vocal track had to have been recorded separately, in the basement of a shoe polish sandwich shop in some country that didn't exist before the U.S.S.R. fell.

Next up: Meg (Meg Horesxhkji!). She shot me this: I'd like to hear something synesthetically red and orange and outlined in thick black lines, something that expresses existential discontent in a cheerfully palatable manner. I'd like it to generate the kind of weirdly nostalgic, mixed up and distressed and simultaneously exultant feelings that you'd have if you accidentally came across your tattered, childhood teddybear up for sale by some stranger on eBay."

My answer: Woof. That's a lot to chew on, but I think I can give you something that captures most of it. The Magnetic Fields' "I Don't Love You Anymore" could probably work on the grounds that it presents a title that ostensibly explain a man's now-dead love for a woman. However, it's very clear from the song that he still carries those feelings. It's a fairly simple song in that it sounds like something a child might write or sing, however, the meaning goes deeper than that. It may not be especially red and orange with black lines, but I'm not sure what would be.

The Magnetic Fields are available on iTunes. But if you download one, you should really get the rest, too. I think you'd especially dig this band.

Next up: Pedro (Pedro!). He spat at me the following: Because you know enough about art history to have a chance at pulling it off: I'd like to hear something Baroque. Not the cats-banging-against-a-trashcan that they came up with themselves, but something that sounds like Baroque sculpture and/or architecture looks.

My answer: Fuck. I don't know much about the Baroque anything. In fact, whenever I see the word, I secretly pronounce it in my head as "barbecue." But I have seen it before. From what I’ve taken in from all things Baroque, this song should be elaborate, fancy, vaguely spiritual, lush and largely grand. I think “The Tain,” by the Decembersists, should work well. It’s an epic eighteen-minute song, with four or five distinct parts. It also features various speakers, including a crone, a soldier, a chorus of waifs, a married couple, a sea captain, and a widow.

As always, “The Tain” is available on iTunes, but only if you purchase the full album. If you have any trouble finding a way around this, tell me and I’ll help you out.

So how did I do?


  1. I've actually been meaning to listen to The Gossip since their latest album was advertised in BUST, but never got around to it. Now I'm sick in bed and listening to Standing in the Way of Control obsessively. Good, good call.

  2. Well done, sir. In addition, I watched the music video on you tube, which made everything even more bubbly and inedible.