The Queen of Yuppie Brooklyn singing about seeing you in the light of the morning. It’s OK, that was just your heart skipping a beat:
I want to see you with the light in the morning
Theres never been such a beautiful warning to me, to me
Why dont we just sit and stare and do nothing?
Nothing at all for a while, I like the way you smile
I could be your state and I could be your nation
It doesnt get better than home, now does it?
Doesnt get better than home, now does it?
That would be Zooey Deschanel, the “She” of She & Him. M. Ward provides the countrified guitar, and it all lands delightfully throughout Volume Two, their latest album. This one’s “Home”:
OK, someone else told you about it first. But you probably didn’t take the time to actually read Lynn Hirschberg’s profile of M.I.A. Please do:
Diplo said, “I made her sing.” He was a producer of her first album as well as “Paper Planes” and was also Maya’s boyfriend for several years. “Maya is a big pop star now, and pop stars sing,” he said. “For me, making this record wasn’t easy. In the past, we were a team. But Maya wanted to show us how much she didn’t need us. In the end, Maya is postmodern: she can’t really make music or art that well, but she’s better than anyone at putting crazy ideas into motion. She knows how to manipulate, how to withhold, how to get what she wants.”
What Maya wants is nearly impossible to achieve: she wants to balance outrageous political statements with a luxe lifestyle; to be supersuccessful yet remain controversial; for style to merge with substance. “If you want to be huge, you have to give up a lot,” Michelle Jubelirer, Maya’s longtime lawyer, told me. “Maya vacillates between wanting to be huge and maintaining her artistic integrity. That’s her dilemma.”
And then, a few paragraphs later:
“I want to be back in New York by May 3,” she said, staring out the window. “I’m invited to the Met Ball, and all my girlfriends say: ‘Oh, the Met Ball! I want to go to the Met Ball!’ ” The annual Met Ball for the Costume Institute is a yearly black-tie gala held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is co-hosted by Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue. “I’m going with Alexander Wang” — the fashion designer — “and I wanted to wear a dress made out of a torn-up American flag,” Maya added. Wang made a hand-crocheted, gold-metallic dress over a black leather bodice instead.
It’s mean, very mean. Maybe too mean. Just read it.
It’s always greener:
Talking like a jerk
Except you are an actual jerk
And living proof that sometimes friends are mean
Present company expect it
Just laugh it off
It’s better than it seems
A whole story there, from James Murphy, of LCD Soundsystem. It’s called Dance Yrself Clean:
They didn’t play it the other night at Terminal 5, when I was in the audience. Regardless, the band puts on the most tightly-produced show I’ve seen in ages. Worth every penny.
Sometimes, all you need’s a dude and a guitar. Kristian Matsson, of Sweden, who goes by the silly name above, is just such a dude:
The whole album’s much like this, and it’s refreshing for being simple. As for the song, dude with a guitar still needs a girl, and having that girl will get him a long way:
I never knew I was a lover,
Just cause I steal the things you hide,
Just cause I focus while we’re dancing,
Just cause I offered you a ride.
Still I am not from Barcelona,
I am not even from Madrid.
I am a native of the North Pole
And that can mess up any kid.
Well if you could reinvent my name,
well if you could redirect my day,
I wanna be the King of Spain.
Broken Social Scene is back with a new album, so in their honor, we go back to 2002:
That’s “Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl,” which says it all. I imagine this is what’s going on in my own teenage sister’s brain:
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
Bleachin’ your teeth, smiling flash
Talking trash, under my window
Park that car, drop that phone,
Sleep on the floor, dream about me
Submit a drawing of Cash, and it’ll be stitched into the music video for his haunting posthumous song, “Ain’t No Grave.” You can watch the video in different ways, with different images. I only wish the frame rate was a bit slower to take in each one, but, the effect works nicely.
Unrelated Music Video News: I like the latest LCD Soundsystem video better than its cousin, from OK Go.
Here’s a look at the Christian Rock community, and its non-embrace of a star-turned-Judas:
During the two days I follow [David] Bazan and his fans around the Cornerstone campus, though, it becomes clear that he isn’t really misunderstood at all. Everyone knows what he’s singing about—what’s happening is that his listeners are taking great pains to sidestep the obvious. “Well, his songs have always been controversial,” one says, but when asked to pinpoint the source of the controversy suggests it’s because he swears—nothing about not believing in hell or not taking the Bible as God’s word. Bazan’s agnosticism is the elephant in the merch tent.
The full article, from the Chicago Reader, is here.
I’ve been playing Big Boi’s latest a lot lately, and on that note, I’ve found that listening to hip hop adds, for lack of a better word (I’m listening to Broken Social Scene right now), some welcome flow to my writing. I know there are arguments for not being distracted, or, at most, only playing ambient music. Hip hop certainly isn’t that, but it’s also a genre where wordplay and word placement and mixing up rhymes and alliteration and pacing matter most. Perhaps osmosis kicks in.
So, what do you listen to while you write?
For these trying economic times, we go back to 1957 with The Silhouettes:
Every morning about this time
she get me out of my bed
a-crying get a job.
After breakfast, everyday,
she throws the want ads right my way
And never fails to say,
Get a job
One of doo-wop’s finest, here:
Count me among those who found Joanna Newsom’s voice to be more akin to a screeching 13-year old girl’s than anything I would actually want to listen to. I’m coming around, OK. This is “Good Intentions Paving Company”:
Grandpa always said the road to hell was paved with good intentions. So is the road to a breakup, apparently:
And I did not mean to shout, just drive
Just get us out, dead or alive
A road too long to mention, lord, it’s something to see!
Laid down by the good intentions paving company
All the way to the thing we’ve been playing at, darlin’
I can see that you’re wearing your staying hat, darlin’
For the time being all is well
Won’t you love me a spell?