Monday, January 07, 2008

Xmas Spectacular 2007 Pt. 2

Part One is here.

7. Dress Blues – Jason Isbell

This is a devastating song about losing a friend in the war. Every couplet is like its own poignant vignette of the way loss affects people. “Now the high school gymnasium's ready/ full of flowers and old legionnaires/ Nobody showed up to protest/ just sniffle and stare

“But there's red, white, and blue in the rafters/ and there's silent old men from the corps/ What did they say when they shipped you away/ to fight somebody's Hollywood war?”

8. Chemicals Collide – Cloud Cult

This album, The Meaning of 8, hit me hard this year. The theme of loving and losing a child, and the vivid descriptions of a child’s carefree life resonated intensely to me. Becoming a parent this year, I can’t imagine not filtering the contents of this album through that lens. This CD was in my car when my daughter was born and I remember listening to it on my way to the hospital one morning when my daughter was just a few days old. It struck me dumb, as I spent that week in a daze, listening to lines like, “These days it’s hard to tell what’s outside from what’s in my mind.”

9. All The Stars – The Evening Rig

Jason Miller’s former band, The Crush, was one of my favorites when they were around. Reemerging after the demise of that band, The Evening Rig touches on the same topics of heartbreak, longing and regret. The sound is a bit different though, and while people may disagree with my comparison to the Drive by Truckers, I still see them going in that direction.

10. Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight) – The Ramones

The obligatory Christmas song on my CD. Not the greatest song, but I think it works.

11. Bus12 – The Umbrella Sequence

This came of the underrated record, Events. I just love the part where the music drops out and the last syllable of the word “Possibly” sails up and bridges the gap until the electronic-pop music starts again. This whole song is worth it for me just for those five seconds.

12. John Allyn Smith Sails – Okkervil River

Just as I knew that Mouthful of Bees would open this mix CD, I knew this Okkervil River song would close the CD. Wonderfully literate and clever, this dark song touching on John Berryman’s plunge towards the Mississippi cops a riff from the Beach Boys’ “Sloop John B.” Will Sheff’s voice gives me the chills. I think a lot about singers and whether they are really giving it their all, I don’t think there is any doubt that Sheff means what he says.

previous spectaculars: 2006 2005

No comments: