Friday, March 30, 2007

What's in BeckEye's Ear

Oh, look! My old, intended-to-be-recurring topic has finally recurred! Yeah, I drop the ball a lot, but eventually I pick it up. And hey, "Eye Boogers" is still around. Just don't ask me what happened to "Other Guy of the Month."

Anyway, this is just a list of songs that I'm really digging right now for one reason or another. The links will either take you to a video or a MySpace page, depending on what's available for each song.

1. "Stuck in a Windup," Lord Large - I discovered Lord Large after the Glenn Tilbrook show in December. Stephen Large was the keyboardist for Glenn's band, The Fluffers, and, before that, Electric Soft Parade. He's teamed up with producer Andrew Jones and enlisted the help of great vocalists like Tilbrook, Andrea Britton and Clem Curtis of The Foundations, to create a funky, soulful, Motown-throwback kind of record. This song (with Curtis on lead vocals) is currently my profile song on MySpace and I can't stop singing it. Why would I want to?

2. "Build Me Up Buttercup," The Foundations - Discovering that Clem Curtis sang the above song made me remember how much I always loved this gem. (Note: Curtis had already left the band prior to its recording, so lead vocals were provided by his replacement, Colin Young.) Also, I had to explain the meaning of the lyrics to two different people last week. Odd.

3. "By The Light of the Cash Machine," Glenn Tilbrook - Hey, we're on a roll here! This is a song that Glenn released as a B-side to "Parallel World," the first single from his 2000 solo debut. I always heard fans talking about this song, but I had never heard it (other than an acoustic version on his tour documentary, One For the Road) until recently, when he finally put it up on his MySpace page! It's such a cute song...very early-Beatlesque. It was co-written with Ron Sexsmith, whose songs are either hit or miss with me. This one's a hit.

4. "Nausea," Beck - I've actually had this song in my head since I saw Beck perform it on Saturday Night Live a few months ago, with that fantastic puppet show. With a name like Beck, it goes without saying that he's cool.

5. "In The Beginning," The Stills - I'd only heard one other Stills song ("Still in Love Song") before sitting down to listen to their new CD, Without Feathers. It's my roommate's CD, and I often find some of the stuff he likes to be that whiny, coffeehouse crap, but it ended up being pretty good. This is my current favorite from the record. Bonus: I see now, watching the video, that the singer has a lovely head of hair. I wasn't even looking for it, but that piece of eye candy fell right into my lap. I love when that happens.

6. "Love Today," Mika - Yes, it's that song from the new Verizon RAZR commercial with all the yee-da-dee-dum-dee-da's in it. It's just such a catchy, fun song that I had to download it from iTunes after seeing that commercial for the umpteenth time. If it doesn't make you at least tap your foot, check your pulse. Oh, and make sure you check out the video! Mika looks like Robbie Benson, circa 1979.

7. "When We Were Younger," Charlie Sexton and Shannon McNally - This is from a short EP these two recorded after going on tour together. It's all very mellow stuff, and this is probably the most uptempo song on it. It's got a nice groove, and I'm sort of getting over my grudge against Charlie Sexton by this point. (Sorry, I could only find a live version of the song online.)

8. "Long Trip Alone," Dierks Bentley - I'm sure there was just a collective groan from all the country haters out there. I don't care. This is a very good song. My attachment to it has nothing to do with Dierks's recent performance on The Tonight Show, or that he looked super-fine. No, no...this is about the music, people. Honestly, I do like the song. But it's so much better when paired with the video. I always liked Dierks's messy, curly hair and was a little shocked to see his newly-shorn look but, good gravy, does he look good! He even gets his head buzzed in this video. At first it's a little sad to watch all those lovely locks go, but the end result is quite drool-inducing.

9. "Satisfaction Guaranteed," The Firm - I wanted to post this as my "Forgotten Classic Video" last week, but the only file available on YouTube had a 5 minute interview segment tacked on to the beginning of it. The vid is over at iFilm, but I guess they don't allow embedding. I had been thinking of this song because I remembered that I neglected to recommend it to Jef for his "in the mood" CD. It's always worked for me! Oh, that Paul Rodgers. Not exactly a stud, but if he was singing to me, I'm sure I'd jump on spite of that insane mass of chest hair.

10. "Night Shark," Children of the Unicorn - I found this band on MySpace and can't stop playing this song, as well as the other highlight, "Icicle Dagger." If you haven't figured it out by the titles, this is a metal band. Sort of. They seem to effortlessly blend musical satire with sincerity, and irony with a true love and understanding of metal. Whether it's supposed to be taken seriously or as a joke, this '80s kid thinks it's fabulous. I think the singer is the same guy who sings for Hair Supply, the heavy metal tribute to Air Supply. Obviously, he's my new hero.


Les Becker said...

The only other Mika tune I've ever heard is "Grace Kelly", which I still listen to (singing' and dancin' with my kid) sometimes eight times in a day - and this one is near as enjoyable for me...

But "Build Me Up Buttercup" - yup! You had older sisters! That one is one of my absolute favourite songs (along with "Happy Together" and "Windy", and "Julie Do Ya Love Me", and I could go on and on and on and I can still sing 'em all from memory), and I think you are the first other person whom I've ever heard mention it. Now I must go listen. Over and over.

Les Becker said...

Oops... "this one ISN'T near as enjoyable for me..."

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Mika is pretty fabulous and his Grace Kelly song is so infectious it's criminal.

Good Beck video too, even better than when he was on Futurama.

Dale said...

I caught a few minutes of Mika on Jay Leno I think it was the other night, fun and funny. You have to like Beck. He helps you spell your name. It's a cool song. The Tilbrook is always enjoyable too!

Writeprocrastinator said...

The Firm is my favorite post-Zeppelin, non-Zeppelin project. Not to mention unlike Plant or Page-Coverdale, Page and Rodgers made sure to craft two entire albums worth of good material, instead a couple of hits, and some filler.


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