16 July 2008

Durian - Sometimes You Scare Me

I found Durian on Epitonic several years ago and it was their song “X and Y” that caught my ear. I just couldn't stop myself from listening to this hypnotic and hyper track over and over again. By the time I picked up their 2000 album, Sometimes You Scare Me, the band was long gone. Luckily, the album proved to be more than just one great song. Recorded by J. Robbins at Inner Ear Studios, the whole dang record is pretty much awesome as hell.

Reading the lyrics, oh man, I just get totally lost. The singer gives himself a great deal of work to do and you’ll hear it. Every song has a weighty paragraph of lyrics and a mountain of weirdly delivered moments and idiosyncratic intonations. The guy uses every facet of his voice and it all just totally blows me away. A staggering amount of power in Durian’s vocalist, for sure.

Here’s a little taste of “X and Y”:

When sanding off the finishing
Be careful don’t damage the ring
Gray grime hands are the next big thing
They’ll hate one mistake and then excuse scores more
To prop up their affirmation-laden lore
A tense date, a report from an inside source
Who’s unfazed and jazzed to say
We’re staying on course
Supposing all things maximize
(with lower tiers simply excised)
I plotted out both x and y!

And then there’s the rest of the band! My god, these boys are gifted. “Emergencies and Laughs” is just a swarm of bees with pleasure stingers. The guitars and the bass are a guiltless banana split and the drums are a 500 meter dash in an algebraic hailstorm. Durian’s music just runs and stops and slows down and runs and stops and spins around and…

Please buy this album wherever you can find it.

Grab "Emergencies and Laughs" & "X and Y" right here.

01 July 2008

Songs from the Screen: a mix

Sometimes songs can be made great by a video, and sometimes they can be killed by their video. Visuals are so important to us humans that its no wonder loads of cash are spent upon them. But there is a very special visual music tie out there. It is the movie song. This isn't just a song on the soundtrack, it is a song written specifically for the film or performed by an actor in the film. These can be really, really bad songs, but if they tie into the plot and the feel of the movie well enough they can have a life of their own outside of the movie even if they are really really bad. Now, I'm not passing judgment on any songs here or outside of my little most liked list. I'm a sucker for a movie song, and these are my favorites.

BECK "Hit in America"
Not only do I love this show, but I love the song. And I love the animation sequence for the song during the intro credits. I was waiting through-out the entire series for this song to show up on stage, but it never did.

Top Secret "Skeet Surfing"
I have been known to annoy friends of mine with this song. I have never been able to get an answer as to why it might be bothersome. Its so fun. Its like one of those late night mash up ideas that comes from greasy pizza, stupid entertainment, friends, and sleep deprivation. You know the kind, where everyone sits around saying, "what if such and such were combined with so and so, then it'd be like...."

Empire Records "Say no more mon amore"
I am not afraid to admit that I've been a fan of Maxwell Caulfield since Grease II. What can I say?-- I was a little girl and all. I love the way he plays the washed up jerk rock star here and I love how sleazy his music video is. I only wish the song was included in the soundtrack. Come on, its for the movie....it can't be a rights issue or anything.

Get Over It "Dream of Me"
Sung by Kirsten Dunst in Dr. Desmond Forest Oats' 'Rockin Midsummer's Night Dream.' Sometimes I can really be a fool for those heart broken pretty songs, and I was for this one.

Josie and the Pussycats "Pretend to be nice"
Another girly movie, but good for so many reasons (see LeEMS Bean). This was probably my favorite song of the bunch, maybe because the movie had a whole video montage based on it. And if you saw ------, you'd know that video montages are created especially to evoke emotion, yeah!

Martians Go Home "The Martian Hop"
Ok, so this one was around before the movie, but it just fit in so great and, after seeing it lip synced by kelly green painted and clothed Martians mid move, I just had to have it. The Ran-Dells were lumped in among the novelty doo-wop one hit Wonders, though for lack of representation and not for lack of talent.


7/7 addition: I can't believe I forgot this! One of the best movie songs of all time: "'Cause I'm a Blonde" from Earth Girls are Easy. Julie Brown is always fantastic, the movie is fantastic, and all of that gets rolled into a fantastic song. I have to admit I never really understood the singing sequences in Earth Girls are Easy when I stopped to think about them. The movie isn't a musical, and they can't really be explained as just a vehicle for Julie Brown, because Gina Davis also has a song. But that's only when I stop to think about them, somehow they fit in just fine. K, bye. --LeE