Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Nice Song, Shame About The Band

Hooray! It's Tuesday! Contrast Podcast day! This week's theme (suggested synchronously by Amy from Shake Your Fist and Matt from Earfarm) was a bit of a tricky one: "A Song I Like By A Band I Don't." And so, Dear Friends, we've got ourselves a whole mess of love and hate as contributors try to sort out their feelings...

As usual, the podcast can be downloaded via this link, or else you can get your computer to do the dirty each week and automatically download the latest episode using the following RSS code: http://feeds.feedburner.com/ContrastPodcast .

Let us plunge into a morass of conflicted likes & dislikes...

(00:00) Paul McCartney - Momma Miss America
Tim from The Face of Today

(04:50) The Smashing Pumpkins - Cherub Rock
Matt from Earfarm

(10:23) The Decemberists - O’Valencia!
Natalie from Mini-Obs

(14:48) Larrikin Love - Downing Street Kindling
Ross from Just Gimme Indie Rock

(17:27) Panic! At The Disco - I write sins, not tragedies
Bethanne from CTASLS

(21:06) Bob Dylan - Subterranean homesick blues
FiL from Pogoagogo

(24:16) Unknown Artist - Audio Track 01
Fraser from BKLYN Song of the Day

(31:58) Sum 41 - We’re all to blame
Rachel from Untitled

(35:43) Creed - Roadhouse Blues
Andy from Circles of Concrete

(41:15) Deep Blue Something - Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Tom from Other People’s Toys

(46:05) Chumbawamba - Tubthumping
Lyle from Mentok the Mindtaker

(50:23) The Smithereens - She’s got a way
Jim from Quick Before it Melts

(58:42) Jenny Lewis - Born secular
Marcy from Lost in your inbox

Bob Dylan was my hands-down choice this week - the man really gets on my nerves, apart from that one song which sets me bouncing every time. I once had an hour to kill at Frankfurt airport and did so at an ersatz American diner with a jukebox on which I discovered said tune. So I pumped the machine full of my remaining marks and got five or six plays of the tune, much to the dismay of my travelling companions who cared not a whit that Johnny was in the basement, mixing up the medecine.

However, a few other tunes were briefly considered. Indeed, it was a useful exercise; when they popped up from my subconscious I really had to ask myself: "And how on earth, Dear FiL, can you say that you actually like this abomination??" So here are the three tunes that also vied for the title:

Journey - Don't Stop Believing (buy here if you must)
Yes, Journey stand for just about everything I can't stomach about MOR arena rawk: mullets, twiddly guitars, lowest-common-denominator subject matter, power ballad histrionics. But something about this tune makes me hold my lighter aloft with conviction. I must admit it's partly mockery (especially when it comes to that widdly guitar!), but a tiny bit of me appreciates both how the song chugs along and the fact that I can just about squeal the line "A smell of wine and cheap perfume" in tune with Steve Perry.

Barry Manilow - Copacabana (If you're desperate, buy here)
Oh God, I find Manilow unspeakable. Whenever I hear his oeuvre I feel awash in a sea of schmaltz and mawk - how horrid! But if LaRonda Beautay, my drag queen alter ego, ever makes the transition from the stage in my imagination to one in gorgeous reality, this is the song she'll sing.

Idlewild - American English (buy here)
Y'know, I tried several times to like Idlewild. Really, I did. But I just could never get excited by them. Even seeing them live (opening for The Hives, wouldja believe??) didn't do it for me; it all just seemed so boring and nicey-nice. But "American English" does manage to tug on my soulstrings enough to create that achy, yearning feeling. And that's a good thing.

In keeping with the season, next week's theme is all Halloweeny: "Music To Watch Ghouls By." So dust off your 50s horror beach party surf tunes and your grimly gothic dirges, Dearest Fiends, and hasten over here to find out how you can participate.


Mentok the Mind-taker said...

Oh thank heavens someone had the guts to admit they don't like Bob Dylan. For years I've listened to friends go on and on about what a genius Dylan is but I could never hear it.

Prince is another guy in that category. That's who I should have put up for this week's.

The Copacabana? Man, that's brave.

This was a fun collection of tunes. Kitschy, wouldn't you say?

Andy said...

Excellent pick this week. That's one of my favorite Bob Dylan songs.

And don't worry, I know lots of people who hate Dylan.

Marco Estella said...

there is a piece on music here that you might find interesting:


Anonymous said...


FiL, you kick ass. I have the utmost respect for you.

T&F@tlh said...

And what do you mean "if LaRonda Beautay etc" Dont you remember the night when she did????

Oh dear FiL, yet another night when throwing up all over the carpet after a little too much has been blanked from your mind.........


A. B. Chairiet said...

Oh, I like Bob Dylan...I used to listen to that How does it feel? To be on your own. No direction home, song (I don't know the name...) every day in college.

I hated his son's band, though...The Wallflowers, but liked their song 6th Avenue Heartache. Ha! Ash finally made an on-topic comment. Accidentally, mind you, but yes, on-topic: songs I like by bands I hate.

Yay! :)


I like that Journey song too. And Copacabana.

And as for this drag queen persona...I'm assuming she wears the red Annie dress? ;)


Thanks for making me smile, Fil. Great post all around. :)

Happy Wednesday!
~ Ash

mjrc said...

not to stir up any controversy, but did anyone else think this week's podcast was a little weird? i'm trying to figure out what seemed odd. maybe it's that our hearts weren't into the bands we were talking about, so it gave everything an overtone of underenthusiasm? does that even make sense?? i wonder if it was difficult for tim to piece it all together?

Anonymous said...

I get what you are saying Marcy, but I think in the end, as a whole the CP really hangs together well.
You all were quite gutsy, taking on some sacred cows like Dylan or McCartney, or more of the moment Jenny Lewis, the Decemberists or (Rachel's 2nd choice) Sufjan.
I think it worked because it evoked ambivalence--that most confusing of feelings.

Bishakh said...

Hmph! I happen to really like Journey - the video of the aforementioned 'Don't Stop Believin'(and indeed I have not!)is on my ipod, ready to cheer me up during my dark hours - not despite, but because of all that glorious hair, twiddly-widdly guitar w*nk and wholesome lyric action. But I can certainly see that for most people, they might conjure up the most neanderthal aspects of high school - verily, to this day I am forbidden by she who must be obeyed to play Journey on the stereo for fear of aurally contaminating the kittens.

Anonymous said...

not to stir up any controversy, but did anyone else think this week's podcast was a little weird? i'm trying to figure out what seemed odd. maybe it's that our hearts weren't into the bands we were talking about, so it gave everything an overtone of underenthusiasm? does that even make sense?? i wonder if it was difficult for tim to piece it all together?

I seriously thought the same thing.

mjrc said...

i'm so glad to hear you say that, rachel.

i wonder if someone with a sociological background could help explain this phenomenon to us? *wink wink*

Anonymous said...

Great choice !!!

Anonymous said...

I have proof that FiL knows most of the lyrics to Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run because FiL was one of many singers of the song during a drunken, facinatingly multicultural moment in a New Jersey bar duing my bachelor party more than a decade ago.

Didn't make your secondary list -- Does this mean you *like* Springsteen, or you just don't like the song enough?

FiL said...

Bad FiL, delinquent FiL...

Andy, Dearest Mentok: Thanks for the solidarity in the face of (almost) all things Dylan!

Dearest Rachel: *Blush*

Dearest T: Yes, well, at least I didn't set a wastebin on fire on the Common because it contained "classified information..."

Dearest Ash: Oh, LaRonda would have MANY dresses, each one of them FAAABULOUS and OTT...

Dear Fraser / Dearest Marcy / Dearest Rachel (again): It did have a slight awkwardness o it, but I think it was because people were being forced to do something unnatural! I thought the results were most interesting.

Hello Anakin, and thanks!

Ah, Dearest Nonny, I recall that odd night very well. I don't like Springsteen, and I must say I don't really like the song. I think I was just seized by the context of the evening - singing it at that Joisey sportsbar just seemed like the right thing to do at the time...