Thursday, June 14, 2007

Don't Tell a Soul, Vol. 31: You do it to yourself, you do

I like how at the DECC their employees on security detail are practically forced to say "hello" to each and every body that passes through the Skywalk on the way to the parking ramp.

Usually I don't mind, because usually DECC employees are genuinely nice.

Not tonight, though.

This guy, who shall remain nameless (partially because I don't know his name and partially because ... OK, it's all because I don't know his name), interrupts a walkie talkie "call" he was on to say "hello" to me.

But it wasn't "hello" in a "damn glad to meet ya" kind of way -- you know, like a greeting. This "hello" was more like an order: "Say 'hello' back to me -- gosh darnit -- so I know you're not a no-good boll weevil."

Which is understandable, considering how the entirety of Skywalk System is crowded with "no-good bollweevils"....

But it's me, come on. I mean, I was dressed appropriately enough ... was it because I was nose-deep in the new issue of Transistor, thoroughly enjoying Paul Lundgren's latest installment of "The Next Level"?*

So you know what I did?

"No, what?!" exclaims an elusive voice from out in the crowd....

I looked right back at him and said "hey." But it wasn't "hey" at all, it was more like a point-blank "Buzz. Off."

Tough as nails, I tell ya, tough as nails.

1. Cloud Cult - "Chemicals Collide"
Ah, yes, the song that triggered a Cloud Cult shopping spree.

The ears are so happy, but the wallet....

Anywho, if you haven't heard, Craig Minowa and friends will be performing at the Grandma's Marathon Big Top Tent Saturday (the night of the race). Wise up and put it on your calendar. Full details here.

2. Dessa feat. Sims - "Press On"
Lazerbreak's production prowess is uncanny. It's like the second coming of Ant ... how did Minneapolis get so lucky?

3. Air feat. Ken Andrews and Jason Falkner - "People in the City"
So good (and/or trippy and weird) that my wife actually likes it. Another cerebral masterpiece for the French duo, with a little help from their friends/two of my favorite musicians. (I believe I've referred to Andrews as a "god" on a number of occasions.)

4. Moth - "I See Sound"
Say what you want about the MCS sound, but it just makes me wanna dance!

5. Mark Ronson feat. Alex Greenwald - "Just" (Radiohead cover)
Recommended if you, like I, always believed "Just" could've benefited from a little hot brass action.

6. Prince - "Sarah"
Similarly, this track is sassy and brassy! (He he he....)

7. Blonde Redhead - "Silently"
R.I.Y.L. dreamy, surreal soundscapes that fall somewhere between a quintessential David Lynch soundtrack and one belonging to -- here we go -- "The NeverEnding Story."

8. Victory at Sea - "Cecille"
Who does this singer sound like? I can't quite put my finger on it.

Help me out if you can.

It's killing me.


9. Marah - "Soul"
R.I.Y.L. John Fogerty's "Centerfield" album, Wilco's best summer songs, a majority of John Mellencamp's body of work (from the good period, of course), indie soul.

10. Number One Common - "Destroy All Evidence"
11. Number One Cup - "What Does it All Mean?"
12. Number One Fan - "Come On"
I put this handy little guide together so we'll (I'll) never confuse these groups in everyday conversations ever again.

"Common" hails from Duluth and, for all intents and purposes, kicks a lot of ass. They're like the second coming of Fear Factory-style brutality -- minus the "nifty" electronics and, unfortunately, plus some silly growling at times. Nonetheless, if I were in charge of the "Guitar Hero" series, "Destroy All Evidence" would surely make the cut.

"Cup" represents all the Windy City has to offer when it comes to blissed-out indie rock. If you consider yourself a Pavement fan -- when they're not being all pretentious and gross -- it's about time you "shopped the 'Cup.'"

Finally, "Fan," is a product of ... [Quick Google search later.] Appleton, Wis. Wow, did not know that. Very cool. I'd say the best bet for future "Fan" fans is a strong interest in Motion City Soundtrack's most "mall punk" tunes.

But, somehow, like MCS, I'm not at all revolted by what "Fan" stands for. (Discuss.)

In fact, consider me an enthused listener.

13. The Negro Problem - "Repulsion (Show Up Late for Work on Monday)"
The best** part about listening to the Negro Problem is telling the person who asks "Wow, that's damn good, who is it?" what's so "damn good."

It's OK, though -- or so I'm told -- because TNP's main man, critically acclaimed singer/songwriter Stew, is, in fact, an African American and the name isn't simply for shock value.

Rather, it's used ironically, as in the laughable divide between "white music" and "black music."

14. The Breeders feat. J Mascis - "Do You Love Me Now, Jr.?"
Who knew Kim Deal could improve on the already-magical "Do You Love Me Now?" -- apparently all it took was a little duet with the immortal Mascis (of Dinosaur Jr. fame).

15. Manish Kalvakota feat. Charles Douglas - "Diamond Mine"
I could go on and on about Charles Douglas' immense talent, but I'd rather let him describe his experiences recording with Kalvakota: "Produced and played guitar on this unusual album by Indian actor/musician Manish Kalvakota."

Now that makes me giggle!

16. Dan Hutt/Dan Kaspari - "Misunderstanding"
Similarly, Dan Hutt is the man. Pass it on.

17. Simple Kid - "The Twentysomething"
R.I.Y.L. Bicycle (the group, not the hippy-dippy activity), Forest for the Trees and, to a (much) lesser extent, Primitive Radio Gods.

18. Voxtrot - "Your Biggest Fan"
R.I.Y.L. nights in Fargo, when you're actually sober.

19. Echo & the Bunnymen - "Don't Let it Get You Down"
R.I.Y.L. knowing those who say "there are no second acts in [FILL IN THE BLANK]" are [EXPLETIVE DELETED]-wads. (No disrespect to F. Scott Fitzgerald, of course.)

... Unless you're dead, this one'll cut right down to your core. (Baxter.)

20. Mike Doughty - "27 Jennifers"
R.I.Y.L. Mike Doughty, if and only if he's embracing his Soul Coughing past. (Hallelujah!)

21. Manitoba - "Crayon"
Like the Echo cut, this is just ... beautiful. And, unless they've totally turned their playlists upside-down, this sounds like something the University of Minnesota Morris' stellar (and somewhat unfortunately named) radio station would play.

22. The Early Years - "All Ones & Zeros"
Do you remember Pearl Jam's live album "Live on Two Legs," when the group's jams were nearly transcendent? Yeah, well, this track could've been sniped from those soundboards -- simply terrific.

23. The Flesh - "The Truant"
For indie rockers, the Flesh play up the "rock" half quite right.

24. The Figgs - "Breaking Through These Gates"
R.I.Y.L. the direction Sloan has been heading for the better part of a decade. (This sounds nothing like the Figgs of "Blame It All Senseless" fame, but I like it.)

*Which, by the way, is brilliant. "House of Widows" will surely go down as one of his best.
**And by best I mean most awkward moment you'll ever share with anybody ever.

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