My Latest Obsession: Dawes

It’s a strange thing to hear a song’s chorus for the first time, and then find yourself singing along the second time through.  But that’s exactly what happened to me a couple weeks ago, as I sat in my car belting out “When My Time Comes” at the top of my lungs.

The song, by the LA roots-rock band Dawes, caught my ear with its pulsing bass line, rich vocal harmonies, and darkly funny lyrics like:

So I took what I wanted and put it out of my reach
I wanted to pay for my successes with all my defeats,
And if heaven was all that was promised to me
Why don’t I pray for death?

The song is available for free download at Dawes’s website, where they also have some photos and stories from the road. I highly recommend checking it out.


Published in: on April 7, 2010 at 10:17 pm  Comments (4)  

My Latest Obsession: Warren Zevon

Not much of an update today – more coming soon. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with my latest discovery: Warren Zevon. I remember hearing about him when he passed away back in 2003, but I didn’t know what all the fuss was about. Now I get it.

The geopolitical references in the song are a bit dated, but the story still comes across. Notice the unusual six measure bridge that segues seamlessly back into the main riff of the song.  Also, the spoken introduction is hilarious. What a badass.

Published in: on September 10, 2009 at 2:25 am  Comments (2)  

My Latest Obsession: Erlend Øye

I suppose this could also fit into my “Great Lyrics from Underappreciated Songs” category:

“Every party’s got a winner and a loser.
I’m jumping out of the game,
by being a referee.”

If never heard a lyric express that particular sentiment before. The whole lyrical idea of the song – the detached and humorous observation of a party – is a new one, as far as I know.  Too often, songs harp on the same worn-out themes of love (lost or true), sex (past or future), and dancing (getting down or, occasionally, getting up).  While there are certainly many valuable artistic statements left to be made by traveling these well-worn trails, I appreciate a song that strikes out on on its own path.  It’s refreshing.

Published in: on June 26, 2009 at 1:33 am  Comments (2)  

My (other) Latest Obsession: Little Dragon

I discovered a great band through Rosario Dawson’s iTunes Celebrity Playlist (it’s hip, check it out.) I offhandedly described this band, Little Dragon, to Vikram as “Erykah Badu produced by Bjork.” I still hear the Badu in vocalist Yukimi Nagano’s approach to pitch and phrasing – particularly the sound of her vibrato, and it’s spare use. I’m not so sure about the Bjork comparison though. I think the problem is that I’m not familiar enough with the Scandinavian electronic music influences from which both Bjork and Little Dragon draw their sound. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

I’ve attached a stream of the first track from their self-titled album. I heartily recommend the whole album, of course. It’s 50 minutes of moody, bewitching music.

Also, I apologize for the barrage of short posts. I have a couple bigger ones on the burner, but they haven’t quite come to a boil yet. I can tell you that one is entitled “Why Big Band Music Sucks.” Something to look forward to!

Published in: on June 13, 2009 at 4:40 pm  Comments (1)  

My Latest Obsession: Fleet Foxes

It’s rare that I hear a rock album that is as concerned with sheer BEAUTY as Fleet Foxes’ debut LP.  Also, it’s rare to see a band perform with such intensity on late night television.

He’s rocking so hard, he needs two tambourines.

Published in: on June 12, 2009 at 7:17 pm  Comments (1)