in Music

The ABC’s of iTunes (Pt. 4)

D is for “Do Listen To These Songs, Please”

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…

Dan Auerbach – “Goin’ Home”

I saw the streets all ripe with jewels
Balconies and the laundry lines
They tried to make me welcome there
But their streets did not feel like mine

For whatever reason, a lot of the choices in this article involve songs from movie soundtracks. Dan Auerbach’s song starts that trend. I really like it; it’s very minimal, with just an acoustic guitar, and it creates a great sense of nostalgia. I first heard it play during Up in the Air, which is an awesome movie. So, I not only feel nostalgia for the idea of “home,” but for that movie as well.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – “Skeletons”

You say it’s always been and always will be.
Anything you say has already been said, a million times.
Do you think of all of the side streets we walked past slow,
of buried skeletons buried in the back yard?

I love the imagery evoked in this song (probably because I have a major skeleton fascination.) Anyways, the melody is great, simple, and brings up past memories, just like the first song. Of course, this one’s darker. Buried skeletons are never good.

The Dandy Warhols –  “We Used to be Friends”

A long time ago
We used to be friends
But I haven’t thought of you lately at all
If ever again

This one combines both soundtrack discovery and feelings of nostalgia. I first heard this song on Veronica Mars, long before I had any clue what good music was (by this I mean freshman year of high school. Yep.) Nowadays, it takes me back to those awesome, fictional times, with those awesome, fictional people who had no idea I existed. Little did they know, I could pause, turn off, and rewind their lives at will. I was their invisible puppet master.

Danielle ate the Sandwich – “Goodbye Frankie”

Goodbye Frankie
You’re more of a lady than I’ll ever be
So come lay your blanket by the furnace
I’ll tell you stories soft and warm, smooth and sweet

This one is an oldie. I had it years ago, then my computer exploded – as they all tend to do – and I lost all my music. Cut to the magic of the iTunes Cloud, and I suddenly have all my old, embarrassing music library once more. This was one of the few songs that I didn’t immediately turn off after not hearing it for five years, and now I listen to it all the time. It’s about a girl and her dead dog. What’s not to love?

David Bowie – “ ‘Heroes’ ”

I, I will be King
And you, you will be Queen
Though nothing will drive them away
We can be heroes just for one day

Who doesn’t enjoy David Bowie? Sorry if I’ve made you uncomfortable by lumping you into my psyche. Highly ironic, yet bombastic and heartfelt, I honestly don’t know where the earnestness stops. Still, it’s a highly addictive song, and makes me want to do overly heroic things.

Dawes – “That Western Skyline”

Oh you can judge all the world
on the sparkle that you think it lacks.
Yes you can stare into the abyss,
but it’s staring right back.

Despite my undying love of the banjo instrument, I think this band is the closest I will ever come to actually enjoying country music. Depending on how you interpret the lyrics, this song could either be happy or sad. I love when song lyrics are like that.

The Decemberists – “The Crane Wife (Parts 1-3)

My crane wife arrived at my door in the moonlight
All star bright and tongue-tied I took her in
We were married and bells rang sweet for our wedding
And our bedding was ready when we fell in

Okay so I’m cheating with this choice, since this is technically three separate songs. But you know what? They all have the same name, and they all sound similar, so I’m going to interpret them as one long-ass song. I’m the  boss of this article, so I have that kind of power.

I really do love this band. It’s so old-fashioned and whimsical (this song’s based on a folk tale, after all), yet still manages to feel fresh at the same time.

Devendra Banhart – “Korean Dogwood”

Vibes tug to run roam
Lit by mission moonlight
Kangas on that hillside
You are my life

If you agree with me about The Decemberists being whimsical, then shit, this one might just go too far with the whimsy-ness. Even so, I can’t help but love it. The lyrics are simple and kind of ridiculous, but it still manages to paint some great imagery. Plus, the melody is awesome.

DeVotchKa – “Ocean of Lust”

It goes ashes to ashes
From dawn ’til dusk
I am drowning in rivers
And oceans of lust

I love this band. It’s kind of hard to choose one song here, so I just chose the one with the best  lyrics, since this one’s nice and dark and melodramatic. Just the way I like it.

Donovan – “Season of the Witch”

When I look over my shoulder,
What do you think I see?
Some other cat looking over
His shoulder at me

My god, this song. I love everything about it. The instrumentation, the lyrics, the imagery created by said lyrics. Everything comes together in such an awesome way. Anybody who has read any of my other music posts should know how in love with this song I am, I seem to mention it as often as possible.

Did you like this riveting installment of “The ABCs of iTunes”? Want to read them all? Start at the beginning! Or don’t, whatever.