Saturday, May 2, 2009

Five Song Playlist: Twenty Pounds of Gay

Taken By Trees "Lost And Found"

Wow it's hard to believe this isn't The Concretes. Heartbreak from a girl who's down from lost love and perhaps cough syrup. Ha ha a little research (Showing how I'm not hip enough to already know) shows it's really the chick from The Concretes. Pretty, with strings and Phil Spectorean meloncholody, like a slower song off the Concretes album. I really like that record, though if I had to criticise it, I'd say it would be that it needed more "You Can't Hurry Love" and less slow tunes. Suspect that if this is the single, the album (what's that?) might be a little snoozy.

Peter Tosh "Stepping Razor"

I've heard that one quarter of all all Reggae music purchases are Bob Marley. That's fine with me. This guy's more revolution than one love, and he's a little funkier. I think the key here is a little more acid rock guitar and generous servings of the fish, that percussion instrument that sounds like a frog clearing it's throat, which clings to all the low-end buzz of e keyboards and bass.

Sloan "Something's Wrong"

I appreciate Sloan's gift for hookery and tunes but sometimes find them a little safe. Maybe they feel that way too. This is from Never Hear The End Of It, a collection of many short little songs emphasizing the bands punkish side. This one is over before it's even established itself, but it gives us a chorus, some ominous guitar sludge and some na na's. Was someone listening to a little Guided By Voices?

Queen "Bring Back That Leroy Brown"

A ton of fun, showing off chops with a string of featured ukuleles, ragtime pianos and burbling harmonized Brian May guitar licks. It's like a showtune imitating a showtune set in the twenties, as played by Queen. It's twenty pounds of gay (should we discuss this word? There's good gay, of gay pride and then there's the version that means affected and lame, and most people see a strong differentiation. Of course the origin of the second meaning is in hatred of the first, so there's a problem. I find the word useful and cling to the original original meaning, of sunnyness, to infuse my use of the second meaning with the sense of having too much sunshine for these cloudy days. Thus do I justify using it. That and that I'm not a big fan of mind control through word control. Also I believe that the sunny gay can also be cool, if used effectively.), and if you can't be gay, you're too cool for me.

Dusty Springfield "Breakfast In Bed"

You don't want Dusty's Greatest Hits. You want Dusty in Memphis expanded version please. Don't be scared off by the fact that she does "Windmills of Your Mind." This song is what the chick from The Concretes wants to be, a sweet exhalation of sadness and sex. It's all so grown up and complicated, a tale of a liaison without a future but tenderness and joy within the pathos.

--Dan Kilian
7 Songs
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