01. “Pioneers” by Bloc Party
“If it can be broke then it can be fixed / If it can be fused then it can be split / It’s all under control / If it can be lost then it can be won / If it can be touched then it can be turned / All you need is time / We promised the world we’d tame it / What were we hoping for?”
I was skeptical of the song at first, because Bloc Party is really hit or miss for me. Ultimately, I really love the lyrics and the theme of our need to organize, and progress often setting us back and blowing up in our face. All the lyrics they choose to repeat seem important to me, and I like the feeling of being stuck in a loop, which is another thing I feel the song communicates.
02. “The Chamber” by The Last Shadow Puppets
“Leave yourself alone / Can’t you see you’re only here to be torn apart / Based upon a nothingness / So leave yourself alone / Tell your wasted time that I am worse / And I would waste it all / Given the chance I owe apologies / So tell your wasted time / It’s torture / locked inside the chamber / Cornered by yourself / You must admit that you are the instigator / Hanging onto arguments / Cornered by yourself”
To me, the chamber is your mind, questioning yourself and breaking it all down until there is nothing left. It’s also about the blunt honesty you get when you’re alone and facing yourself; this is a theme for the transcendentalist writers (like Ralph Waldo Emerson in his essay “Self-Reliance”), though I think the song alludes to more of the negative/extreme aspects. Emerson’s belief was that being around people made you more… dishonest with yourself, basically, in that being around others makes impressions on you, and you conform towards the group more than you act in accordance with your self – thus why being alone for introspection is a necessity to them.
03. “Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl” by Broken Social Scene
“Used to be the one of the rotten ones / And I liked you for that / Now you’re all gone, got your make-up on / And you’re not coming back / Bleachin’ your teeth, smiling flash / Talking trash, under your breath”
Yeah, this is from the Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World soundtrack. I don’t think the song is amazing, but I love the combination of the banjo and violin with the effects they put on the vocals. It’s about losing someone to distance and growing apart, being left behind. Now, I don’t feel that victimized but Spring was definitely a little melancholy without my best friend. That said, I think the song is also hopeful and sort of sweetly content based on the way it picks up and gets a little silly (the effects that get added to the vocals to exaggerate them) near the end of the crescendo.
04. “Left-Handed Girl” by James Yuill
“I can’t think of a decent reason / Why I am here with you / If this is life for the taking / I’ll take and give it to you”
Thinking of this song for Tiffanie & Gareth, though they were married in January and not so much spring. She is, indeed, left handed. It makes me think of the phrase “right hand man”, and I like the implied reliance in the relationship.
05. “Behind the Sea” by Panic! At the Disco
“A daydream spills from my corked head / Breaks free of my wooden neck / Left a nod over sleeping waves / Like bobbing bait for bathing cod / Floating flocks of candle swans / Slowly drift across wax ponds / The men all played along to marching drums / And boy did they have fun behind the sea / They sang, so our matching legs are marching clocks / And we’re all too small to talk to god / Yes, we’re all too smart to talk to god”
These guys can be crazy pretentious, but I love their lyrics; they are very definitely into wordsmithing (though it’s not always good). Something about the acoustic guitar and the melody makes me think of Spring, as it’s light and airy. This might also have something to do with what sounds like pizzicato+sticcato (plucked notes, quick) violins. The song makes me think of toy nutcrackers swimming in the ocean, and I love the phrase “watermelon smiles” that they use.
06. “Billionaire (ft. Bruno Mars)” by Travie McCoy
“Yeah I’d be in a whole new tax bracket / We in recession but let me take a crack at it / I’d probably take whatever’s left and just split it up / So everybody that I love can have a couple bucks / And not a single tummy around me / Would know what hungry was / Eatin’ good, sleepin soundly / I know we all have a similar dream / Go in ya pocket pull out ya wallet / Put it in the air and sing / I wanna be a billionaire
So fuckin’ bad”
The version of grooveshark is the clean version, unfortunately, so all the “so fuckin’ bad”s are all changed to “freakin'”. I like this song because of the charity within it, the idea of having enough to live your life but wanting more to help the people around you and be important enough to be listened to politically one-on-one. Also could be seen as a commentary on celebrity culture, but the song is so light and upbeat that I can’t really take it seriously in that light.
07. “Undertaker” by Wolfgang Gartner
“ … ”
It’s so easy for me to dance to this song, and I see so much when I close my eyes. The baseline is infectious and I enjoy the build. Just a really unique electronic song, which feels like it took a special technique to put together.
08. “White Rabbit” by Emiliana Torrini
“One pill makes you larger / And one pill makes you small / And the ones that mother gives you / Don’t do anything at all / Go ask Alice when she’s ten feet tall / And if you go chasing rabbits / And you know you’re going to fall / Tell him a hookah-smokin’ caterpillar / Has given you the call”
I can’t hate on Sucker Punch, despite shitty plot. The cinematography was beautiful and the musicality was captivating… it was definitely a glorified music video. I wish they’d put more into the story, because it could have been a visually, aurally appealing Good Film, which I think is rare (unless you’re Guillermo Del Toro). I was also in a fantasy fiction class this semester, and we read Alice in Wonderland and a lot of Lewis Carroll so thematically, it fits. Please note, the Doormouse never said “feed your head”, and this version is a cover of Jefferson Airplane’s original off of what is probably their most popular album (Surrealistic Pillow).
09. “Arrival Notes” by Set Your Goals
“ … ”
Another song that reminds me of the ocean, possibly because it has that sort of 50’s wistful-beach guitar filter layered over an acoustic.
10. “Bad Boy” by The Jive Bombers
“I can see all the folks / Laughing at me / Because I’m just naturally crazy”
Love old songs in the right conditions, and the movie Cry Baby is a whole level of ridiculous rather like Sucker Punch. Also like Sucker Punch, it has a soundtrack arguably better than the movie. The plodding beat reminds me of the stagnant, breezy heat of spring.
11. “Greek Song” by Rufus Wainwright
“All the pearls of China / Fade astride a volta / Don’t sew beelines to anybody’s hide / Save your poison for a lover who is on your side / One way is Rome and the other way is Mecca / On either side on either side / Of our motorbike”
An adventure about travel, love and beauty. I love the instruments: the Chinese violin, the imperial snare drum and piano… the whole thing makes me think of England’s control of Hong Kong, though I know the title says Greece and the words refer to Italy and Saudi Arabia.