Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Study in Semiotics, Taught Underwater

The mention of my name
Watered down, plain
Caught playing defense
Against the shadows
Of our loftiest ideals

It's hard to keep track of the days of the week
My eyes trace your mouth as it moves when you speak
To decipher the footnotes embedded in-between
All this language you strangle
And what it could mean

Since we speak only underwater
Muted, diluted
You capsizing the truth
While I try to
Stay afloat

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Modern Man's Hustle

Four artists with a unique message and inherently different perspective, all of which I've grown to respect. From Kublakai's intensely lyrical hip hop to Technique's messages of social injustice; from Mason Jenning's poetic genius to Joe Purdy's testament to forbidden love, these men have all created their careers from scratch and contribute something essential to the music world.

1. Torn Down Torch - Kublakai
From the very first chord of the Spanish guitar Kublakai ushers you into their hypnotic world of poetic verse and addictive beats. Featuring Grieves and Inkubiz, the pace of this track is perfect for first-time Kublakai listeners or long time fans.

My heart is like a snowglobe
I keep it on my desk
Shake it up to stir its memories
And stare into its mess

2. Industrial Revolution - Immortal Technique

The bling-bling era was cute but it's about to be done
I leave you full eclipse like the moon blocking the sun
My metaphors are dirty like herpes but harder to catch
Like an escape tunnel in prison, I started from scratch

3. Never Knew Your Name - Mason Jennings

A love song like none other, mostly in its refusal to adhere to the typical formula. A solid piano anthem, it veers off into the abstract at some unexpected times. A perfect example of Jenning's soulful, exquisite style.

Put the ghost in my sail

Put the spin in my wheel
Roll me up in your heart
Aw, make it seem real
I'm clay in your hands
I'm the ball in your game
I've been lovin you forever but I
Never knew your name

4. Secret - Joe Purdy
There's something haunting about this message and those who it resonates with feel it deeply.

I am your secret, babe
Watch me unfold
Dancin in these streets so late
Nobody knows
Nobody knows us

And I don't remember falling asleep
Must've been holdin on tight
Cause all I can think of and all I can dream
Is dancing with you in red lights

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


3 Albums that have absolutely changed my life:

1. Grace - Jeff Buckley

A profound example of musical genius stifled by tragedy. Buckley, who died in an accident in the late 90s, was on his way to becoming a guitar legend and remains one of the most posthumously influential artists in contemporary music history.

This album covers the sphere of young love, religion and poignance more heroically and creatively than any musician I've encountered. To listen to Grace is to immerse yourself in depths of lyrical beauty untouched by the masses and drenched in timeless elegance.
One of the most indescribable, eloquent tracks on this album is Lover, You Should've Come Over:

Maybe I am too young
To keep good love from going wrong

But tonight you're on my mind
So you never know

Broken down and hungry for your love
With no way to feed it

Where are you tonight?
Child you know how much I need it
Lonely is the room the bed is made

The window lets the rain in

Burning in the corner is the only one

Who dreams he had you with him

It's never over -

My kingdom for a kiss upon her shoulder

It's never over -

All my riches for her smile when I slept so soft against her

It's never over -
She's the tear that hangs inside my soul forever

Oh lover, you should've come over

2. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill - Lauryn Hill
If you've ever heard this album in its entirety you'd know that it tells one of the most stirring, thought provoking, and concrete stories produced in hip hop. Lauryn's only full-length record, it both solidly satisfied my need for meaning and left me with an insatiable desire for another album. My favorites include:
-To Zion
-Ex Factor
-Forgive Them Father

3. Celebrity Skin - Hole

Once again, my wildly unpopular love affair with Courtney Love. (see: A Beginner's Guide to Courtney Love). Whatever, man. Great album.
Get well soon
Please don't go any higher
How are you so burnt
When you're barely on fire?

-Celebrity Skin
Oh make me over
I'm all I wanna be
Oh look at my face

My name is might-have-been

My name is never-was

My names forgotten

-Reasons To Be Beautiful
Oh...give me a reason to be beautiful

Friday, April 16, 2010

Paging Dr. Dog

Philadelphia indie act Dr. Dog combines straightforward pop hooks with an unabashed 1960s flare. With influences spanning from the Beach Boys to 90s cult classic Pavement, Dr. Dog uses their vast array of timeless inspirations to create something truly original. A band I can imagine would be best experienced live, in a hole-in-the-wall dive bar in LA.
Their latest album, Shame, Shame, is perhaps the best display of this unique blend. Songs like Shadow People and Stranger come across as instantly likable and vintage. Their quirky website, which you can visit here encompasses the band's playful, unapologetic, and all around under-appreciated feel.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Unheard Of

Three songs brand new to my eardrums until this week. If you haven't heard of these little gems by now get em while they're still hot!

1) The Chaconne - Dessa & Matthew SantosI might just be the last person in Mpls to hear/worship the eloquent revolution that is Margret Wander aka Dessa. In the off chance I'm not: to say you're missing out is an understatement. Her latest single, The Chaconne, with fellow Mpls native Matthew Santos, is delicately beautiful and stirring.

First a darling then a marvel
When we met I was still a young girl
But you had changed, already famous
Your name was a contagion
You were vain and hard to take
All the same, I was brave

2) Uptown GirL - K-OS
One listen to this and you won't be able to listen to bad hip hop again. (Hopefully). Combining elements of rock, funk, and rap, the Canadian-born K-OS transcends notions of time, place, and genre. Amazing.

I'm not from the ghetto
But my mama is and she's an uptown girl
I know its hard to let it go
But you've gotta stay up when you're down, girl

3)You Must Be Out of Your Mind - The Magnetic Fields
The lyrics read as the ultimate fuck-off song, but its set to such a mellow background that the paradoxical nature of it is not only amusing but creative.

You can't just go around saying stuff because it's pretty
And I no longer drink enough to think you're witty