Current music obsession: Alabama Shakes – “Hold On”
This is…kinda weird:
via Boing Boing (which has an explanation)
A few other odds and ends from the week:
Hunter S. Thompson’s daily routine (it’s as wild as you’d expect)
The Atlantic on the real Cuban Missile Crisis (not as revelatory as I thought it might be. Thanks once again to Mr. White for all those historical digressions in Political Sci I)
Sometimes a music video has the ability to become completely immeshed with a song. This can often be to the song’s detriment. Not so in this case. I keep coming back to Mumford & Sons’ “Lover of the Light” and its video directed by and staring Idris Elba. I highly recommend a second viewing.
Heartless Bastards: “Hold Your Head High”
After celebrating the wedding of two dear friends I’m feeling the truth of those early lines: “But I have some really good friends / I’ve been fortunate to find.”
My current song obsession is Heartless Bastards’ “Down in the Canyon.” Their album Arrow is one of a handfull keeping me sane in the midst of my dissertation revisions and edits. I highly recommend picking it up.
I spent a chunk of this morning reading Bruce Springsteen’s keynote (or keynotes as he puts it) at this year’s SXSW over at Rolling Stone. It’s an inspiring speech if for no other reason than Springsteen’s enthusiasm for the artists and music that he talks about. After reading I immediately went and filled my music queue with the likes of Woody Guthrie, James Brown, Hank Williams, and The Animals.
On a related note, I desperately want to start playing guitar again. Graduate school has not been conducive in improving my meager music skills.
My current music obsession is Of Monsters and Men. I made a quick trip to Los Angeles recently and while driving my rental car around I heard a live performance of one of their songs on KROQ and immediately knew I needed to find this band’s album. If this sounds familiar it should. I wrote a post recently about the same thing happening ten years ago with Gomez. That said, I was immediately able to look up Of Monsters and Men see that I’m missing them in Portland this very night, but then console myself with numerous youtube videos rather than spend two weeks spending extra time in the car trying to figure out who “that one band” was. In some ways we live in a much better world now.
Of Monsters and Men’s album comes out on April 3rd.
Sleater-Kinney playing “Sympathy” at Coachella in 2006. One of the best live versions I’ve found.
I’ve been a Gomez fan since sometime in 2002 when a local radio station played “Drench” maybe three times in the course of as many weeks. It was one of those moments where I thought “ooh, like that one” and then promptly missed the title. I became obsessed – listening to the same radio station for weeks until it played again to try and catch the title. (This was before the days of easy access to the interwebs kids. I’m not even sure this station ever had a website.) I know I was in the car when it FINALLY played again and that I sat in a parking lot until the jockey gave the name of the song and group. “Gomez” I thought. “I wonder who that is….”
Of course, Gomez is five guys, but I didn’t know that yet. I went and picked up In Our Gun immediately and took off for England a few months later. There isn’t a song on that album that doesn’t remind me of walking around that city. When “1000 Times” comes on I tend to stop what I’m doing, sing along, and think back to walking down Theobald’s Road to school. About the time “Drench” began I had decided that I could skip class again and walk down to well, wherever. I got to know central London pretty well that way.
(This is worse than it sounds. On the album those songs are Tracks 11 & 12. I had burned them onto an mp3 cd – again olden days and while ipods were around I couldn’t afford one – so the track listing was in a weird order. So “1000 Times” was track 1 and “Drench” was track 2. Basically I made it about three blocks on my walk to school before I was headed somewhere else. In short, I was not a very good student when I was in London. Somehow I still managed to get an A in all but one class. The one class I did poorly in was Urban Geography: London or some such. As far as I could figure the point of the class was to put a bunch of Americans into a dark theater and talk to us about walking around London. I found it so ridiculous that I changed my grade option to pass/no pass and proceeded to skip class a lot to actually walk around London. Learn by doing I figured. Admittedly, I think my prof was pretty annoyed when I pointed this out on the final exam. Again, I was not a very good student when I was in London. But I digress.)
I’ve picked up most of Gomez’s albums since then. I’ve liked some more than others, but I’ve always have had a soft spot for their work. They’re a band that consistently puts out albums with songs I’ll just put on repeat until I know the words and find myself walking around a different town or city just like I did in London.
A couple of minuts ago “Get Miles” came up on my laptop and all I could think was: yes. Very yes. This sums up the last couple weeks for me as I’ve been grading, working to meet dissertation deadlines and scheduling my dissertation defense. I’m feeling more than a little burnt out, but this helps.