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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Top 6 for March 11, 2014

Sister Marie by Harry Nilsson from Ariel Ballet

A surprisingly edgy tune with heavy beats and guitar effects that stands out from the rest off this otherwise mostly pleasantly poppy album.

Led Zepplin – Irwin with the Hoof and Mouth Sinfonia

From the finale of WFMU's 2013 Fundraising Marathon, this group of middle-aged DJ's play this tribute, originally by the group Carey's Problem, which was delivered from the point of view of a swooning teenage girl (one of series of songs portraying a contrived premature decadence that gets old fast) over a tricky 5/4 groove. I'm intrigued by the absence of any reference to Physical Graffitti, both in the verse that ticks off the Zeppelin albums otherwise in sequence, but also in the list of song titles that makes up the majority of the lyrics.

Unlovable – the Smiths from Louder than Bombs

well... yeah, anyway

I used to say 'I Love You' by Robyn Hitchcock from I Often Dream of Trains

A jaunty I-IV-V song about losing illusions.
I used to say I Love You, I said it as a threat, or maybe as a promise to see what I could get”

which leads into

Somewhere Where Love Can't Find Me, Marshall Crenshaw 

covering John Hiatt on his contractual obligation album “Good Evening” in which I get the feeling that his feelings about “love” may also be about Warner Bros. Records.

Impossible Soul by Sufjan Stevens, the epic grande finale to the Age of Adzs

Illinois was the kind of album I had hoped to make when I grew up, but I was glad to see Sufjan try something different for the eventual follow-up. Similar to Illinois in its melody, harmony and counterpoint, they are bathed in electronic sound, but without surrendering to the current techno cliches. Somewhat Prince-like in it's electronic orchestration and it's grandiosity (and perhaps it's pretentiousness), flashy noisy guitar solo included, (but certainly not funky). Continuing today's apparent theme of the travails and disillusionment of love, and just what the hell you want from it.
Evolving through repeated slogans “don't be distracted” (yet another moment when Shara Worden's voice causes me to sigh and go “I love her”) “it's a long life” “boy we can do much more together” “it's not so impossible” and so on. Except for the unfortunate auto-tune section, this multi-part 25 minute track builds up into life affirming grandeur

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