Song of the Week: July
I hear the saying ‘been working like a dog’ quite readily, and not just from A Hard Day’s Night. Sometimes it manifests itself differently, given colorful overtones: ‘they worked me like a dog in heat’ or just changed to the past tense: ‘I worked like a dog’.
But the meaning remains the same. I bring this up because I had something like five days off this month, and I continue to feel rather fatigued. Food began to lose its taste; that was the first change I noticed. The clouds were darker, the horizon more constricting and close…wait, I’m sorry, this sounds morbid…I’m a Tom Waits narration short of a eulogy.
I’m not really complaining. It was my own free will that shuttled me between my two jobs; my own decision to work six, seven days a week. I chose to. I also chose to attend Blur’s gig at the end of the month, or was it pre-determined – that debate will have to wait. Either way, they were outstanding.
Father John Misty – The Suburbs (Arcade Fire cover)
It’s been a long old time since a song bewitched me as much as this one. I’ve had it on repeat for the past month or so and it’s still not sounding old, the hundredth time I listen to it.
What Father John Misty has managed to do with this cover is spectacular, armed with just his acoustic guitar and a stellar voice. He transforms Arcade Fire’s song into something more tender and heartfelt, bringing the emotion of the lyrics to the foreground. I guarantee this version will tug at your heartstrings way more than the original ever did.
Paul Kalkbrenner – Feed Your Head?
German house DJ Paul Kalkbrenner is back with his latest album 7. Perhaps best known for producing the soundtrack to 2008 film Berlin Calling (which he also starred in), Kalkbrenner has carved out a niche in emotive, ambient house music. The new album is his first on a major label and, interestingly, there are a few more vocals included this time out, maybe to boost his appeal with a wider audience.
No matter the reason, 7 has some great tunes, most notably Battery Park, Mothertrucker and this one:
Beach House – Sparks
I was so excited to read that Beach House, one of my absolute favorite bands, have a new album on the way. Then I read that they were releasing it on August 28th, my birthday, and I got slightly giddy. What a nice gift. Cheers Beach House. I just hope its title, Depression Cherry, isn’t prophetically spelling out my year ahead…
Jamie T – Love is Only a Heartbeat Away/Blur – Go Out & The Universal
Without a doubt, the highlight of my month was seeing Blur at Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne. I went with two good mates and we witnessed a display of genius proportions.
Let’s start at the beginning.
First we had the stellar Jamie T to open the joint:
I’ve already featured Jamie T in a Song of the Week segment, when I told you about the time I saw him on a houseboat on the Thames. Well, his set was over in a flash. During their hourlong set, they played a lot from their new album, which I enjoyed. My only wish was that the half capacity crowd – still filtering through the gates – would appreciate the music more. I wondered how many of these beer-bellied, souvenir Led Zeppelin t-shirt wearing rockers, at least twice Jamie T’s age, had any clue who he was, as they struggled to bop along politely.
I didn’t linger on this long. I went in search of a drink instead, but the lines were ridiculous so I settled for a smoke. Not long after, Blur were opening with Go Out and following it up with There’s No Other Way.
The crowd responded to the classics, but the new material, which Blur played in between each classic with almost circadian regularity, received more deflated reactions. All in all though, the evening was fantastic. By the time they closed with fan favorite The Universal, the Melbourne faithful were singing in unison, universally.