Spring is nominally upon us (I say “nominally” because it’s 42 degrees outside as I write this); as anybody who knows me will attest, one of my ongoing pointless pursuits is finding music that matches the weather conditions around me. For example, I don’t want to listen to “Paranoid Android” on a sunny day in July, because it doesn’t mesh well with the weather, and when that happens I get angry. So, so angry.
The rage consumes me.
Anyway, in honor of the alleged arrival of spring (or “der Frühling,” as they say in German because I’m learning German and wanted to impress you DID I IMPRESS YOU WILL YOU GO TO PROM WITH ME?), I have come up with a list of songs that I think fit these mild months. As always, your suggestions are not welcome, but feel free to disregard my wishes and throw your ideas in the comments section, where I will make a concerted effort to ignore them before eventually caving in, downloading the song, loving it and pretending like I found it all on my own. Off we go!
Twin Shadow: “Dreary”
A song without lyrics is a risky proposition; if it’s not composed correctly, the listener will invariably lose interest. I’m not saying it has to be a Miles Davis-type jazz odyssey, but without a certain level of variation, songs without lyrics can get stale very, very quickly. This is one of the songs that does non-verbal expression the right way.
Parquet Courts: “Borrowed Time”
I don’t think I’ll get much blowback if I make the observation that this song isn’t going to change the way we listen to music. It’s simple: three or four chords (don’t quote me on that, I failed music theory), repeated throughout. But so what? I’d rather save the ponderous, multi-layered songs for fall and winter- I’ve got nothing better to do around that time of year but endlessly analyze music. Spring is for uncomplicated fun, and that’s exactly what this is.
Black Joe Lewis: “Come To My Party”
This…THIS is a party song. A good party, not one of those crowded apartment parties where eighteen people are huddled around an iPod arguing whether they should play Rick Springsteen or “Drunk In Love” for the 46th time. Christ, I hate that fucking song. “SURFBOARD.”
Knox Hamilton: “Work It Out”
You know what I love about indie bands? No matter how shitty their albums may end up being as a whole, they’re always good for at least one impossibly catchy song. There’s no evidence to suggest that Knox Hamilton will ever make it big- they sound basically like every other indie band that’s had a popular song in the past five years. If nothing else, though, they’ll always have this song. It’s a keeper.
Foals: “Bad Habit”
When I was a kid, our house had a little path in the backyard that led to the woods. In the spring, I would go into the woods and spend most of my time wandering around, looking at bugs, climbing trees, or just slicing the buds of ferns from their stalks with a stick. (I liked to pretend I was having an epic sword fight against ferns. I was a weird kid.) I don’t know why, but this reminds me of being in those woods in the spring, the dappled sunlight peeking through the newly-formed leaves on the trees above, illuminating my adventures.
Anyway, it’s a good song.
If you can get through the bizarre opening, I promise it’s worth it. tUnE-yArDs (Christ, I hate typing it like that) are experts at creating records that start off so irritatingly you’re ready to change the song, but right before you do, the beat kicks in and makes it all worthwhile. They’re awesome.
Simple Minds: “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”
Hey, if it’s good enough for Judd Nelson, it’s good enough for me. (See also: heroin addiction.)
Toro y Moi: “Harm In Change”
I think my love of Toro y Moi has been fairly well-documented here. Consider this your quarterly reminder that he makes incredibly good music.
The Joy Formidable: “Whirring”
Hopeful, assertive, pleasant. Words to describe me, or words to describe this song? YOU DECIDE.
So there you go: a handful of songs to kick your spring off the right way. Feel free to add your suggestions in the comments.