The Music Journal: Entry #4

8/2/09

Great Lake Swimmers “Palmistry”

Nettwerk Records

Nettwerk Records

I had two songs in my head this morning.  The first was another freakin’ Great Lake Swimmers song.  From the way this band keeps popping into my head, one might think I listen to nothing but this album on repeat all day long.  This is not the case.  I’ve never even really listened to it all the way through yet.  They just have these really whispery little vulnerable melodies that keep resurfacing.  One reason why it may work so well for me is the list of things about Great Lake Swimmers that remind me of Red House Painters (I am a HUGE Kozelek fan).  First of all, the band name is similar—not just in the sound and syllables of it, but the fact that both of the names describe an action, albeit a very simple or calming one.  The GLS guy’s voice doesn’t sound like Kozelek, but his melodies are somber and fragile like his.  GLS are not going to be changing the way anyone thinks about music, but they have already gotten a great response from this record, and there is definitely a reason for that.

Future of the Left “Throwing Bricks at Trains”

4AD Records

4AD Records

The other song I had in my head this morning is quite different.  Future of the Left is a post-hardcore band from the UK that combine an unshakable rhythm section akin to that of Jesus Lizard with an unflinching, unmatchable brand of whimsy that puts They Might Be Giants to shame.  All their songs seem to be taken from some lost or obscure short story, but in reality, they are all simply off-the-cuff tales of rigoddamndiculousness.  “Throwing Bricks from Trains”, for instance, recalls the tale of Reginald J. Trucksfield and the bowel movement that precedes his bloodless death.  Did I mention it’s catchy as hell?  My favorite part of this band is the rhythm section, but there’s plenty of other cool stuff going on as well.  Underneath the punk rock chanting of the lead singer are these little bits of background harmonies that add a lot of depth.  Sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference.      

Played some trivia tonight.  There were some really good questions, some of which I knew, but most of which I did not.  The best music question was in a category called “Let’s Get Fucked Up And Die” and spoke of a punk rock singer who died of a heroin overdose, only to have his death foreshadowed by John Lennon’s.  I guessed G.G. Allin; turned out I was pretty off there.  But, no one else got it right except for one dude—this guy named Allen, who has co-hosted the trivia many times.  So, who was it folks? 

Non-music-related points of interest: Cleaned everything from the dog to the kitchen today.  Watched some more Mad Men.  Finally got around to arranging the office into an actual living space.  Did some laundry and stuff—Sundays are generally uneventful.

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