Two Tune Tuesday: Kimbra

This is one of those songs that’s going to be entirely misunderstood, much like “Every Breath You Take Was”. I’ll put money on it showing up at weddings, even.

And don’t miss some of the coldest lyrics about marriage I’ve ever heard:

i want to settle down
It’s time to bring you down
on just one knee for now
let’s make our vows

But it’s critique of marriage, competition between women, and that mannequin-like man spouse: It’s so spot on, no?

Two Tune Tuesday: Gotye

But you didn’t have to cut me off
Make it like it never happened and that we were nothing
I don’t even need your love,
but you treat me like a stranger And that feels so rough

I can’t stop listening to it.

(it’s pronounced something like “Got E.A.”)

Two Tune Tuesday: Cheap Trick

I was never a fan of Cheap Trick, but I wasn’t not a fan, either – and then I went to Joey Ramone’s 50th birthday party which was, of course, a wake of sorts too, and in addition to The Damned (who flew in from London to play), Cheap Trick took the stage and my long-time concert-going self was duly impressed: what a tight, amazing, LOUD, band! It turned out Joey was a fan, and that night I became one too.

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Two Tune Tuesday: OK GO

They’re otherwise famous for the video of “A Million Ways” but I had their “I Want You So Bad I Can’t Breathe” come up on Pandora the other day, and so went hunting for it, which is when I discovered their lovely cover of “Antmusic” — which is a song I never expected to like a cover of, so props to them.

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so bad i can’t think straight /
so bad all my bones shake /
so bad i can’t breathe.

Two Tune Tuesday: Photographs (from the 80s)

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How can you not love a band that came up with “another Kodak whore, winking” and “see the red light rinsing another shutter slut wincing”? I know, I know, slut-shaming is bad, but I still love the sound of those lyrics. The song is more critical of the objectification of women in fashion than anything else.

& The AFOS song is kind of lovely in an awful, precious New Wave sort of way, no?

Two Tune Tuesday: Terry Hall

Terry Hall’s best known as one of the voices of the ska band The Specials (although many will know “Ghost Town” only), but 80s types will know him equally well as the emo-before-emo voice of The Fun Boy 3.

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(There was the brief stop with The Colourfield, too, most of which is horribly dated, except maybe this song because it was snagging sounds from another era already.) There’s something about the quality of his voice that still knocks me out.

Two Tune Tuesday: Foster the People

I kept noticing “Pumped Up Kicks” because the guy’s voice reminded me of Ray Davies’ and that’s just not a bad thing.

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Trippy and sweet electronica, what isn’t often my thing, but sometimes it hits when there’s some kind of nice noise & a pretty voice.

Two Tune Tuesday: Bud Powell

Okay, no laughing, but since the three listening choices I have now that I work at a university with a conservatory are (1) world music, (2) classical, and (3) jazz, I’m trying to learn something about the latter. I’m not sure I get it, but I like this guy:

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It was the tune “Tempus Fugue It” that I liked most, first — who can resist a Latin joke? — but you get the idea from these.

Two Tune Tuesday: Grief, Grace, & Hope

This Week’s Playlist!

Friday night I listened to the Buckley; I knew Aeneas was going soon, & wow did I not want to let him go, but Buckley’s voice is so beautiful in this one; it’s more a cri de coeur than a song. Then yesterday, out of nowhere, I heard Matt Johnson’s voice in my head, found myself humming this song which I haven’t listened to in a long, long time:

In our lives we hunger for those we cannot touch
All the thoughts unuttered and all the feelings unexpressed
Play upon our hearts like the mist upon our breath

It seems a particular good song for summer solstice, too, seasonal in its grief.

Two Tune Tuesday: Sweetness & Light

A friend put this Cake song up on Facebook the other day, & I wanted to find another similar kind of joyous song & came up with this one by April Smith, whose songs make me happy in a goofy sort of way.

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(That Cake bassline is so Queen, though, isn’t it? Another one eats the Cake. )

Sweetness for the last Tuesday in May because spring has finally come to our corner of Wisconsin, and frankly I think the sun has gone to my head: it’s either that or all the end-of-academic-year parties.

Two Tune Tuesday: Poly Styrene’s Descendents

I’m a day late, but it’s the 10th week of a 10 week term, so cut me a break.

Here are two recent songs I’ve heard recently that make me think about Poly Styrene’s impact on music. Altered Images is from the 80s, and Clare Grogan’s vocals were a direct inheritor of what Styrene was up to:

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How can you not love “you make me go ooooh ooooh with the things that you do you do you do“?! Echoes of Cole Porter are never a bad thing.

Two Tune Tuesday: [Insert Clever Euphemism Here]

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I’ve been researching some for a class I’m teaching next year on sexuality, and was reading a few things about autosexuality, and I wondered, with all those songs about sex, are there any about self-pleasure? These are the few I thought of. And no, “Turning Japanese” doesn’t count; I never bought that argument & The Vapors have said it wasn’t, too. “Dancing with Myself” doesn’t count either (because it’s about a Japanese disco) and even Berry’s “Dingaling” seems more about his bits than about what he’s doing with them. So, others? There are certainly references to masturbation – like in Prince’s “Darling Nikki” – but that isn’t what the song is actually about.

Interesting that the only ones I could come up with are written/performed by women, no? I wouldn’t have expected that.

For the record, masturbation & autosexuality aren’t the same thing. Masturbation is a way to practice autosexuality, but plenty of people who are other kinds of -sexuals also masturbate. Hope that helps. I had to add the Jack Off Jill version of The Divinyls because — well, they’ve got the whole idea built into their name.

Two Tune Tuesday: Morphine

One of the biggest regrets of my musical life was that I didn’t know about Morphine before the death of Mark Sandman in ’99. Hugely regrettable – I wish I’d seen them live.

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There is something so sexy – in the dirtiest way possible – about this music. And aside from having the coolest name ever, Sandman had a voice like bitter honey – just listen to the way he says “devil made of honey” or “she says it’s sweet and good” in “Honey White”. It’s rare I recommend Morphine to anyone because it’s just so rare I meet someone who is cool enough and – oh, let’s just say it’s a high bar, and damned rare.

i propose a toast to my self control – you see it crawling helpless on the floor

Today, though, I’m feeling generous, so I’m sharing with the lot of you. You can be grateful later.

Two Tune Tuesday: Theme Songs

In the light of some upcoming news, I thought I’d post two songs today that are ones I really do hum to myself when I need them, when my spine isn’t feeling as tall as I’d like.

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I first heard “Stand!” as performed by World Party with Sinead O’Connor as guest vocalist at the old New Ritz (which was once Studio 54): a better introduction to a song you couldn’t have asked for.

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Two Tune Tuesday: The Pretenders

First: no listening until you go VOTE.

I have always been only a little bit Chrissie Hynde fan, but recently she’s hit me exactly the right way: every song, every lyric, every everything is just right. Maybe I had to get old enough to get her delicate mix of melancholy & anger, but either way: these two songs are very much the two moods I feel like I’ve been switching between for a year or so.

i shot my mouth off & he showed me what that hole was for she sings, which has to be one of the ruder lyrics ever sung by a woman: changing tires is slang for oral sex.