in Music

The ABC’s of iTunes (Pt. 3)

Previously on Pop Insomniacs…

They say that music is the tunnel to one’s soul. Okay, I think I might have just made that up, but for the sake of not being able to come up with a better intro sentence, I’m gonna go ahead and go with it.

There’s a grain of truth in that saying I might have possible/probably just made up, and it’s this: Music is truly reflective of who one is as a person.

With that in mind, I decided to take on a mammoth project that should give you an idea of who I am. This is the first in a 26 part post that will cover my top ten favorite songs from every letter of the alphabet.

I do this mainly because there’s no way I could narrow this down to an all encompassing top-ten list.

And now, for the epic continuation…

Cake – “End of the Movie”

They’ll tar you and
drag you through town
But you still don’t like to leave
before the end of the movie

This one is a bit of a departure from the usual Cake style. It sounds almost like it was played live all in one take, which is a style that I love. It’s great when a band does a complete 180° from their usual stuff and that, along with the message of resilience in the face of everything, makes for a great song.

Camera Obscura – “French Navy”

I’ll be criticized for lending out my art
I was criticized for letting you break my heart
Why would I stand the disappointed looks
Fully grown but I’m all on tender hooks

There is a comment online suggesting that this song is about needing to take a shit at someone else’s party. While that interpretation makes me laugh, that alone would definitely not get this song on my list. In actuality, it’s the throwbacks to the classics (‘50s classics, not Mozart classics) and the luscious imagery that do it for me.

Carla Bruni – “Quelqu’un m’a dit”

Que tu m’aimais encore,
me l’a-t-on vraiment dit…
Que tu m’aimais encore,
serait-ce possible alors?

I have to admit, I have no idea what this song is about. I was more a Spanish man in high school, but I do find French extremely pretty. I’ve been tempted to look up the meaning of this song in the past, but for some reason I’ve restrained myself. I don’t want to know, I want it to remain a very French mystery. I should also mention that the woman who wrote this was First Lady of France. The fuckin’ First Lady. Get it together and lay down some tracks, Michelle.

Cass McCombs – “The Lonely Doll”

I remember that singing doll
and her grievous call
as a little reminder to us all
whose sadness wasn’t so small

My list is getting top-heavy, but I don’t give a flying blowup Captain Underpants (“C” for Captain, obviously). But in all seriousness, I love the repetition and imagery drudged up in this mysterious tune. Plus, it’s slightly creepy.

Cat Power – “I Don’t Blame You”

But I don’t blame you
They never owned it
And you never owed it to them anyway.
I don’t blame you.

Okay, this “Ca-” business is getting ridiculous, plus I’m getting super melancholic, but I can’t help it. I mean, how can I do this without including Cat Power? This one’s apparently about Kurt Cobain. I don’t have much else to say other than that I love it.

Chad VanGaalen – “Weighed Sin”

I laid my head down on the track
My eyes just strolled on back
Son, don’t cry
Son, don’t you hang so high

I apparently have a never-ending amount of praise for this man saved up in my gush vault (That was not meant to sound as dirty as it did, but I’m leaving it in because it sounded so dirty. Vicious cycle.). This piece, which manages to be both folksy and ethereal at the same time, has got to be one my favorites.

Cloud Control – “Gold Canary”

I won’t tell her anything
That won’t be necessary
I would like to
Buy you a gold canary

Okay, so this song… it is very catchy. That is all. Okay, not really: the repetitive “gold canary” over, and over, and fucking over does draw me in, but what takes it over the top is that the lyrics are basically a musical version of that “I love you, so I must set you free” breakup cliche.

Cold War Kids – “Rubidoux”

So let’s go deadbolt your shed door
Cram your paper money, snug, closer than before
Chandeliers are falling in graveyard rows
And your eyes are shifting dials like AM radios

Okay everybody, it’s the end of the world! Let’s run off to Rubidoux! If they’re referring to the Rubidoux, California I grew up adjacent to, a desert hell-scape that words can’t adequately describe, I’d rather face the Apocalypse. Good song though, guys.

Cloud Nothings – “Didn’t You”

The internet has failed me for the first time
And there is no hope of me
understanding what he’s saying in this scratchy-ass song
So I’m just filling space here in the name of symmetry

Ah, another one that has unintelligible lyrics. This time, because this is so lo-fi, I can barely stand it (in a good way?). But hey, it’s got a fun beat. At this point in my listening, I need to dance. Flail, flail, flail.

Custom Kings – “Up Late”

Sweetheart gonna’ stay up late tonight
All alone if I’m ‘a get right
Sweetheart gonna’ stay up late tonight
All alone if I’m ‘a get right

As I’ve said before, I always listen to iTunes the exact same way: alphabetically, all the way through. Once I’ve listened for 22.2 straight days, I start back at the beginning again. After all, the seriousness packed into the beginning of the “C”s and then the upbeat but rocking previous track, it’s nice to sit back and listen to something toe-tappity, yet chill.