Ad 2:
2018-09-03 20:57:57 (UTC)

Random Assortment - August 2018


*Half-Awake (Deb) by Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin [really nice to discover another song by them. I tend to dislike their new music, as it is a bit overproduced/lacking the somewhat amateur janky sound of their Broom album. Now everything is perfectly in time, perfectly mixed, etc.... which is not very interesting. Sometimes if a band does this it'll just serve to, like. Uncover hidden talents? Like complex lyrics or smthn, but in SSLYBY's case it just made it boring. Broom was great because sometimes the drums or vocals would come in at awkward times, which made it exciting and kind of added to the whole youthful-summertime-angst vibe, like these were just people writing about their experiences in the abstract trying through the sound to figure out what happened. I wish I could better describe their original sound, because damn, it is so difficult to find the same vibe in any other band's music, which is why I re-listen to that album pretty much annually]

Pink Spit by Peaer

*Lemonworld by The National [good song. mournful in an odd way; it's like the whole thing is saying "I'm not like you. I wish I was. But I guess for now I'll pretend I belong here."]

*Elementary School Dropout by Yucky Duster [this song is fucking great! it's kind of a lighthearted take on the real anxiety of loving someone, ya know? u feel inadequate as fuck and really kind of useless/unimpressive, but i mean.... u still really wanna be with them and u will try ur hardest to be better. Idk. I just really admired the main riff and the lyrics. The lyrics were especially impressive to me—the way they conveyed the message sort in a way that felt direct without being obvious????]

Avalanches by Jordaan Mason & the Horse Museum [ok so I just love this band name???? also this is a pretty good song. Gets boring pretty fast but I loved the imagery]

Dope Calypso by Violent Soho [SUCH a cool song! great album cover, and I liked how the song's aggression was not, like... overbearing?? idk it's a personal preference. Didn't pay much attention to the lyrics in this song, the vocals and drums took centerstage for me]

When You Were Young by the Killers [childhood for me, lmao. went through a nostalgia binge]

All These Things that I've Done by the Killers [ah! this used to be one of my very favorite songs. I can appreciate really the Killers' sound even if they don't appeal to me much anymore except for as a kind of reminder of a Long Time Ago]

Mr. Brightside by the Killers [see above etc. lol]

Smile Like You Mean It by the Killers [yup]

Girl Out West by Speck Mountain [GOD this song is so repetitive and almost painfully slow but I come back to it periodically because it is just so calming and it reminds me of driving through California whenever I visit my grandparents. It is just a beautiful song, a yearning kind of thing FULL of sooooo much empty spaaaaace. And the language—the way it uses "thee" and shit—makes it very worshipful and kind of desperate. It's the same idea as the Yucky Duster song, I think, but just presented in a different way??? maybe??? idk this is coming out my ass. Anyway this song is a JOURNEY]

Pine by Basement ["I hate myself and that's okay" I kind of love this line??? This song is mostly a kind of self-hating im-using-you-but-whatever kinda thang. Which is usually not my jam, even though it has a good sound. But this line just caught me every time I played this boiii bc it is like a personal reminder to myself that even though I have really, REALLY long and intense periods of time where I do hate myself, it is not necessarily my fault and so in a sense... it's "okay" it will be "okay" and yeah it sucks but. I'll work it out, I'll work through it. In the context of the song, i think it's more a testament to the main character's passivity in doing bad shit (either to another or to themselves), which is also interesting to me, just because it is a common affliction, u kno. Everyone has it to some degree in some aspect of their life. So even though these lyrics refer to a specific situation/instance, they still provide universality and that's really what makes this a pretty good song. Well, it's probably not the only reason this is a good song, but it is what interested me most]

***Mass by Modern Baseball [I can't scream enough about MoBo, I fuckin' love their lyrics they are just so good. As someone from Upstate NY (not the Binghamton/Barton area, but still) I am affected deeply by the line "bury me in New York State/it's the only place where I feel dead"—and, like, I know this is kinda supposed to be flippant (as is Mobo's lyrical style in general) but that's what makes it good, right? It's a kinda funny fucked up truth. If that makes sense. Also, as I said before, the specificity of the lyric actually serves to make it more universal than if it was something more like "bury me under some place with a lot of gas stations bc they're depressing." People can relate more to the idea of in-between areas on long road trips, at that point where you just wanna go home. Idk. I know this argument has a lot of holes and I want to iron it out but also this is a diary entry and I have to pee. I've got priorities, is what I mean. Anyway I also wanted to say that I absolutely LOVE that the name for this song is "Mass" as it serves both as the nickname for Massachusetts and also kinda to illustrate a sense of weight and gravity, like u feel heavy u wanna go home and lay down ur pulled back to where u felt safe, etc. that kinda thang. ok im done sorry]

***Everyday by Modern Baseball [love this song too omg. Just. So much. I'm worried if I get into it I will pee my pants]

Exile Vilify by The National

Pumpkin by Islands [a jam, but gets boring]

Book of the Dead on Sale by Saintseneca [hah, an amusing and good song. my favorite lyric is "three point zero seven five eight four nine eight two seven six.............years worth of seconds"]

Jonathan by Adrianne Lenker & Buck Meek [LOVE IT. very Big Thief—which makes sense lol. maybe this was recorded before they became Big Thief??? idk. Anyway, as always, Lenker's lyrics are really introspective and vulnerable while never being too heavy, ya know? i feel like she sings the way an old woman talks about their past. they're over it, it's ok now, etc. Anyway it's relaxing and also sad but just good]

***Apple Cider, I Don't Mind by Modern Baseball [UGH! I'm mad! I love this song! It gives me very strong A Night In The Woods (video game) vibes. It is deeply nostalgic. Lyrics are still flippant but, idk, more cutting than earlier in the album? prolly because this half of the album was written by Brendan Lukens, who has depression. I find depressed ppl treat the whole ordeal of "depression" with a lot more amusement than people without while also clearly being in intense pain haha. Anyway ya that def comes through here. So where a lot of Jake Ewald's lyrics are kind of externally focused, split-second bits of life spliced with internal workings, I think Lukens is more reliant on the way information is filtered through the perspective of depression. Does any of this makes sense? I really love them both as lyricists and together I think they've kinda got the human condition down pat, lol. Yes anyway love this song]

***Just Another Face by Modern Baseball [depression distilled, haha. A little more self-hating than I'd like, but my favorite part of Luken's lyrics in this case is their... self-awareness. He says "entering a well-known space/I scream get lost I hate everything" and I'm like bitch. Yes. Iiiii do that! I enter a mood and am like "fuck here I am" and yet I still do the same dumbass things I do every time like I don't know how to learn! So ya. Even though the verses of this song tend to be really depressing, the chorus is super uplifting and I wonder if the whole point of this juxtaposition is to kind of reveal... the ups and downs of this experience? The frustratingly invasive thoughts of suicide or general self-loathing broken up by reminders of hope. Like the chorus is past or future Brendan going "hey self we'll get thru it like always" u kno? Or not even past/future Brendan. Current Brendan, struggling to remind himself that things get better. Current Brendan and a chorus of his loved ones who've said the same words a million times in the hopes that eventually you'll believe them. Again I am just ranting sorry]

Coding to these Lukens by Modern Baseball [lol, I only just realized that "lukens" is Brendan's last name. Haven't actually spent much time on the lyrics in this song, but there were a couple that struck me, mostly the intro verses, "that smug look on your face/when you have something to hide/or at least that's what I think/maybe I'm out of touch/you tell me if I'm wrong/but you know I'm right" which is just—so accurate in depicting the kind of fast-paced series of thought that the self-doubting introspector will frequently endure]

(Introspector? Or introspecter? Like the internal ghost~~~ of introspection lmao)

What If... by Modern Baseball [really mean song haha. Mean to the self, I mean. U can really tell Brendan has a lot of shit to work out. He is deeply judgmental of himself. And while I kind of hate listening to this song, I know it's only because I am exactly the same way haha. These were the same thoughts I had years ago, realizing everything I did was self-serving, etc. Eventually you learn that everyone is selfish to a degree and it's very damaging to hold urself to such high (and frankly inhuman) standards, but it is a hard habit to break. I still do it, which is prolly why I still lowkey hate myself. But you know what? I hate myself way less than I did five months ago and that is kind of really lovely.]

Breathing in Stereo by Modern Baseball [generally just a great song, as usual, lol. Didn't spend as much time with the lyrics as I did other MoBo songs but I do love the variability in pace in the instrumentals, and the kind of hopeful and manic rise of it idk]

I still don't know who I am by Barnes Blvd. [this song is kind of sad in a way, but really relaxing. It is instrumental only. Just loved the acoustics and the detail in the background noises]

**Acolyte by Slaughter, Beach Dog [this band is really good lyrically. It is kind of a more "grown up" MoBo and that's because this is Jake Ewald's band. I like the music overall, but sonically it is kind of boring. Also, Ewald transitioned into a more refined songwriter and this is really good in some ways—it is clear this band is meant to be lyrically focused—but it also falls short in some ways? I am just disappointed because, as someone who finds that the truth of life is mostly just fucked up and hilarious, Ewald's songwriting lacks MoBo's sense of humor. Sometimes it's still there, and I also wanna say it's nice that there is more vulnerability to the music, but ya... Where MoBo kinda breaks the mold of it's genre, I think Slaughter, Beach Dog is conversely very taaame. Meh, idk]

Sleepwalking by Slaughter, Beach Dog [I like this song a lot. I can't get a clear grip on it yet, even though I've listened to it a LOT, which to me is a good sign. I like it when a song is kind of opaque—it means it will keep fresh for a lot longer. I'll have a lot of areas in which to dig deeper/think about the music. I've never taken myself for an active listener when it comes to music but now that I wrote that last sentence I'm starting to think that I very much a lol.... Anyway, yeah, this song is mostly in third-person—maybe. It could also be first-person with the subject being outside the narration (AKA the main dude is singing about another dude). I am not sure yet. Towards the end, the pronouns become "I, you" etc., which suggests first person, but most of the song is "he" and stuff. It's pretty cool. I am still struggling to pin down the meaning without directly reading the lyrics of a website]

Building the Ark by Slaughter, Beach Dog [another thing I've noticed about Ewald's writing is—it is kind of dissociative, in a way. Where Lukens' is, like, painfully self-aware, Ewald is kind of outside of himself, focusing on specific images or moments out of context, which make his songs seem like DVD-skips through life. I think both types of writing are REALLY good in providing some opacity in the kinda loose narrative structure of a song. I know those were a lot of words that are very Literary, lmao, so I am going to attempt to explain what I meant by that (that way I can make sure what I said actually made Sense). I think both ways of writing are good at making the lyrics interesting because neither give a clear picture of the situation (opaque narratives). Again, by providing limited specificity—in the form of internal dialogue (Lukens) or imagery/environment (Ewald)—they give u a "vibe" which is what my English prof referred to as universality. The quality of being relatable, lol.
Also, gonna add: I said "limited" specificty, but now that I think of it, I think songs in general almost always have very limited specificity just because otherwise they'd be books lol. So now I dunno where my half-assed thesis stands.
So ya. Anyway, I got off track. Ewald's way of being specific also comes with this whole dissociative thing, which actually pairs really well with the sorts of chill instrumentals he does in his new music, so I guess it's not all bad.]

Fish Fry by Slaughter, Beach Dog [I loooove the tune of this song. The whole on ur lawn part. It gets me every time]

104 Degrees by Slaughter, Beach Dog [have a love/hate relationship with this song. It is kind of pretentious in some ways—I mean, c'mon, really? She's reading Murikami? She couldn't have been reading something stupid AND good, like Hitchhiker's guide? It's like, BECAUSE she's reading Murikami and has dark sunglasses, u know exactly what kind of girl she is. She's immediately a stereotype. And she never breaks this mold at any point in the song. She's always doing "quirky" things like drinking her coffee hot and black on a day when it is 104 degrees out. That actually bothers me the most lol. WHO WOULD DO THAT? It's not interesting, it's just gross. God. Get cold brew for fuck's sake ur already sweating. She also asks a lot of annoying questions like "What do you want?" and this is supposed to refer to In Life. What's worse is the way Ewald answers, though... Ugh. He says "Dull domestication/free from pressure to pursue." I can imagine the girl miight've just been asking What Do You Want as in "why are you interrupting me" and he answers like THIS?????????? But then why the fuck does she invite him to coffee after that. If someone said that shit to me I'd laugh in their face and say "Jesus Christ I meant do you need something from me. In this moment. Right now. God." It's fakedeep, man. ALSO OH MY GOD. IN THE END WHEN THEY'RE DRIVING AWAY IN A TAXI????? The girl says "I love this song" and it turns out they're listening to Heavy Metal Drummer by Wilco. At first I had thought when Ewald sang/spoke Heavy Metal Drummer he meant "heavy metal drumming played us out" and I was like, cool, that's unexpected. This girl who has up until this point been a stereotype likes heavy metal rather than sugary indie, ok. BUT NO. OF COURSE IT'S WILCO, THE ULTIMATE DADBAND. I love Wilco and I love that song and I am literally the girl being describeD (drink my coffee hot/black, I read Murikami, can't live without sunglasses bc im a cave creature, etc.) BUT CMON EWALD.

Ok. And now in his defense: this song is depicting a dream situation so it's possible he intended the stereotype, the manic pixie dreamgirl thing. Is this a manic pixie dreamgirl? Idk anyway. So in reality I doubt he did this on purpose (there's no detectable irony to suggest he DID mean to make a caricature of a girl) but it's still possible I guess. Maybe he just did it badly haha. Ya. Anyway I know I just shat all over this song but I really do think it's great. Aside from it being a mass of cliché and pretension, the actual way Ewald organized the lyrics (rhythmically?) was kind of amazing. Also I want him to write more music like this (a spoken word vibe); it was really interesting, like if the band Cake was more introspective lol. Cake is amazing, but for me personally they lack longevity because they're very ~fun~ ya know? But they're ONLY fun. And I tend to listen to music that strikes a balance between deep introspection and amusing. So ya, in this way, this song kind of beats Cake in my book. Again, this is in my opinion. I am obviously not trying to actually and thoroughly compare the bands. Ultimately, I recommend this song even if it is really annoying.]

Your Cat by Slaughter, Beach Dog [deeply sad, but also recaptures that old flippantness and a new kind of... weariness?? I guess that's kind of Ewald's vibe, though.]

Edward 40hands by Mom Jeans [kind of annoyed by this song in general—it's very adolescent and insecure while also having a sense of humor, which is typical for post-poppunk-is-that-even-a-genre bands. This is different from MoBo's humor in that the subject matter is different. It's all relationships. I think MoBo does some relationship stuff, but ultimately they use relationships as a way to convey larger Human Feelings where bands like Mom Jeans use Relationships as, like, an ENTIRE subject. This is a fine, but again, not my jam; I am more concerned with what relationships mean in the context of life, and less with how they affect a person before, during, and after it. I think. So yeah. It's catchy tho. I do like this song, especially the intro w/ bob's burgers, but it will never be a fave because the lyrics are ultimately shallow. They're a relationship, that's it.]

Charm Offensive by Islands

No Milk, No Sugar by Islands

It's Heaven by Islands

Jenny was a Friend of Mine by the Killers [kool ass song bout murder]

Two Good Things by Modern Baseball [kind of adolescent, which is understandable—this was written at an earlier period in MoBo's evolution. U kind of find the same regression if you go back through the lyrics/instrumentals of bands like Brand New. So in that case... Mom Jeans has hope. ANYWAY even though this is a bit of an adolescent song, you can definitely see the MoBo talent shining through. Yeah there's some self-pity (the hallmark of pop-punk angst), but it is really more about feeling stretched thin for no particular reason. It's a song about being confused and tired, guilty because you're life is really good in theory but you're for some reason—not happy. You know? This song might have a bit of that cringe-y angst, but I like how it is ultimately upheld by it's depth. Again: it's ~relatable~]

穢土/Edo by Iwamizu [instrumental and bouuuuncy.]

Drifting Clouds by tetsuo ft. sblmnl [loved this, relaxing instrumental. listened while playing stardew valley. It always made me feel really.... safe??? Like I'd reached the end of something and the sun had finally come back out]

manifest destiny. by Barnes Blvd. [So good!!!! Barnes Blvd. is just really good at splicing audio into instrumental music. It's an art.]

Lately by the Helio Sequence [throwback for me]

Terrible Love (Alternate Version) by the National [it's a terrible love and we're WALKING with SPIDERS!!! I just fukcin' love that line. Which is good because it's like 50% of the song lol]

This Must Be My Exit by Oso Oso [again, kind of an adolescent song and as usual I say that because it's almost entirely focused on a romantic interest. But like, despite that, I really enjoy this song. There is something about the lyrics that gets me—not the lyrics themselves, but the little details involved in enunciation and that kind of thing. I am kind of sickened by the sweetness of romance, but as the song goes on I start to detect some more broad themes regarding self-doubt and anxiety. I am not sure what this self-doubt and anxiety refers to—I think maybe the singer is recognizing his tendency to idealize romance? Or I could be reading into it, as is my habit, hahA]

Our Song by Radiator Hospital [UGH Radiator Hospital is SO GOOD. Their lyrics are *mUAH* tasty. This song is focused on a relationship, but it differs from the shallowness and adolescence of other romantic songs in the way it depicts the romantic interest. This song is not all sweetness and "u make my hands sweaty." It's actually about how a guy suspects his gal is in love with someone else and is trying to resist that new love. At first the lyrics are a bit angry but—it's amazing—as they go on you can kind of see the thought process unfold, as it goes through the stages of grief and lands on acceptance?????? All of this is countered by the consistently jaunty rhythm of the actual instrumentals. In the end this song is just.... so mature. "I just hope that he loves you/like I never could do/and that you like what you found/ So when you call your mom back tell her that I'm the one leaving/I know she wouldn't understand/And she shouldn't have to/I won't hold it against you/No, I won't hold it against you" Like??? DAmn. That's an emotionally intelligent dude right there. It's just soooooo goooood]

Cut Your Bangs by Radiator Hospital [UGH THIS SONG IS A LONG TIME FavoriTE EVER SINCE I HEARD GIRLPOOL'S COVER. I now prefer the original, but yaaa omg. The imagery and the very distinct characterization—god, it so good I'm losing my words. So much is conveyed in the lyric "You say you'll cut your bangs, I'm calling your bluff/ Yeah, when you lie to me it's in the small stuff." At once you can recognize a familiarity in the relationship between the subjects, and also resignation, and either insecurity or disregard for others' feelings in the subject's actions (their claim that they will cut their bangs). It's so specific and yet soooo vague, but it's enough. We get it. We've all known that person, who lies about the little things, whether to make themselves look a little cooler or idk. what. Because the subject's motivations are unclear, we can project whatever we want into that space—as such, specificity leads to universality!!!!!!! We have the specific vibe of the situation and with that we apply to it our own experiences.]

Dead as Dreams by Radiator Hospital [<3]

Big Cloud by Radiator Hospital [just a cutie song. kinda sad viiiibe while also being really childlike. Radiator Hospital is generally good at holding depressing lyrics against lively ass tunes haha]

Fireworks by Radiator Hospital [like the other side of Our Song—another mature take on love, "A little spark that don't mean nothin'/A little spark doesn't mean you're the only one"]

181935 by Radiator Hospital [gooooooooooood]

Midnight nothing by Radiator Hospital [one of the coolest songs ever!!!! Kind of a spoken word type thing about remembering an ex-lover, ex-friend, idk. I just love how humble these lyrics are, especially after listening to 104 degrees lmao. My fav part is the chorus, I think. Just love the impact of those words with that TUNE.]

People at the Show by Radiator Hospital [GOOD GOOD GOOD, GOOD GOD.]

Sycamore by Radiator Hospital (cover of Martha) [mostly don't love this song but I like a bit towards the end.]

Rock the Casbah (Remastered) by the Clash [just a fucking Jam]

Inside Out by Spoon [sooooper chill]

Quarters! (Full Album) by King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard [REALLY good and chill album! sounds like a more sonically interesting MGMT—I like MGMT and all, but in all albums but Congratulations they can get very repetitive despite having very beautiful and unexpected initial impacts]

I Will Wait for You by Connie Francis [oooohhh very simple song but really sad and good]


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