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Middle Aged Dummies!! Artists #1's have been posted!! (1 Viewer)

The Decemberists
#10 The Rake's Song


The Rake's Song is the only song I picked from 2009's The Hazards of Love. Don't get me wrong, I really like the album, but more as a whole than its parts (it was their rock opera). The album is about star-crossed lovers William and Margaret-- and the dastardly villains who beset them. The Rake is one such villain. (A "rake" in this song is not the tool to gather leaves in autumn. Here it is referring to "dissolute person or a libertine" (Merriam Webster).)

This is the Decemberists at their darkest. The song is told from the Rake's perspective, beginning with his marriage at 21. I think the brooding way the song opens gives a pretty good indication that the subject matter is going to be pretty bleak.

I had entered into a marriage
In the summer of my twenty-first year
And the bells rang for our wedding
Only now do I remember it clear
Alright, alright, alright

No more a rake and no more a bachelor
I was wedded and it whetted my thirst
Until her womb start spilling out babies
Only then did I reckon my curse
Alright, alright, alright
Alright, alright, alright


So he finds himself with 3 children and no longer "living easy and free."

First came Isaiah with his crinkled little fingers
Then came Charlotte and that wretched girl Dawn
Ugly Myfanwy died on delivery
Mercifully taking her mother along
Alright, alright, alright

What can one do when one is widower
Shamefully saddled with three little pests
All that I wanted was the freedom of a new life
So my burden I began to divest
Alright, alright, alright
Alright, alright, alright


I have no idea if Myfanwy is even a name. Perhaps it was back in the day. In any event, time to divest.

Charlotte I buried after feeding her foxglove
Dawn was easy, she was drowned in the bath
Isaiah fought but was easily bested
Burned his body for incurring my wrath
Alright, alright, alright

And that's how I came your humble narrator
To be living so easy and free
Expect you think that I should be haunted
But it never really bothers me
Alright, alright, alright
Alright, alright, alright


So there you have it. An "infanticide memoir full of witty wordplay ("I was wedded and it whetted my thirst") and sly foreshadowing ("You think that I would be haunted").
 
These go to both 10 & 11:

Genesis - Get 'Em Out By Friday
SRV - Wall Of Denial
Rush - Limelight
Daft Punk - Get Lucky
ELO - Rockaria!
Gorillaz - Stylo
S&G - America

Todd Rundgren - Is It My Name?
The Stranglers - Nice N Sleazy
🦖 Jr. - Pick Me Up
Doves - Here It Comes
The Prodigy - Jericho
Bauhaus - Bela Lugosi's Dead
Elton John - Levon
 
Top 10s time! Shuffled Selected (by which I mean trying to limit myself to about one-third of the songs) Favorites:

*Mississippi Delta City Blues - Chicago
*Everything is New - Frank Black & the Catholics
*Stacked Actors - Foo Fighters. Super catchy & memorable as a song mentioning dead actors can be!
*Oh My Sweet Carolina - Ryan Adams - Is it me, or is there an Eagles vibe to this song?
*My Mathematical Mind - Spoon
*Dragon New Warm Mountain - Big Thief
*Is It My Name? - Todd Rundgren
*Looking Out - Brandi Carlile
*Crossfire - Stevie Ray Vaughn. Definitely one of my favorites, though my personal #1 is yet to show up.
*Pick Me Up - Dinosaur Jr. Hooked me halfway through. If not earlier.
*Prophets of Doom - Clutch
*The Universal - Blur
*Entangled - Genesis. Haunting in a number ways. Excellent choice to be this high.
*Polar Opposites - Modest Mouse


Too much greatness again! I’m definitely leaving out some well-known favorites here!
 
Fantastic start to the top 10s, everybody! Many of the ones I new were great and ones I didn't were my favorites so far from artists. Too many to list them all.

I will say that AC/DC song is THAT type of rock and roll at it's finest. Big middle finger to mom, dad, school, and the man! :headbang: I love the "and I'm all ears..."

Also, not naming names, but why is it that the least attractive artists seem to be front and center on album covers? No manager to say, well - how about a dragon or just plain blue or something?
 
10 - Sigur Ros - Kveikur (Candlewick) - 2013
The title track off their seventh album, also one of the best. I love the industrial sounds, the distortion of the vocals and continued metallic sounding drums that feature throughout the album. A lot of fans had trouble with tracks like this at first since it was a pretty marked departure in style for the group at the time, but as it starts my top 10, I love it.


Kveikur/Candlewick

We light up the fuse
And run for cover

We wait
We wait

Cover our ears
Shut our eyes tight

We wait
We wait
We wait

The noise cut in our ears
The eardrums leak out

It burns
It burns

With blackfolded eyes
Smoke hands fumble

It burns
It burns
It burns

You ignite me
You ignite me

Burning the hand into the bone
Burns the hand

We wait
(?)
We wait

Disappear in the horizon
into the memory of the sun

We ride/sway
(?)
We ride/sway
We ride/sway

You ignite me
You ignite me
 
Also my #9 is not available on Spotify so wont be on the playlist. I provided a youtube link in its place. Hint: It's worth it to fire up the youtube link as its the band's best acoustic/unplugged performance.
 
#10 "Sir Duke"

This one has almost TOO many hooks in it (but doesn't). Stevie was on such a heater, he could make a #1 record out of a tribute to Big Band artists - in the mid 70s! Obviously, the song swings but it also sounds thoroughly modern.
This one has gotten a lot of love through the years from the high school marching band scene, at least it did while my kid went through the ranks and I was paying attention to marching bands.
 
The Hold Steady “Realistic” Dream Setlist Song 22: Sweet Payne


We got so high some nights Michigan looked just like a mitten
Some nights we got fried
Strung out on residuals and visuals and laser shows
Reach into the speaker and try to hold on to the quarter notes


Album: Almost Killed Me (Song 3 of 5)

Year: 2004

# of Times Seen Live: 4 of 39 shows

The Story: Not much time today, so I’m just gonna paste some quotes about the song from which The Hold Steady fanbase derives it's name (that would be the Unified Scene:

Highlights from muzzleofbees' take from his countdown ranking the top 100 THS songs over on the Unified Scene board:

Sweet Payne is mostly a feeling to me. It feels unique to me because of how fragile it sounds. There’s so much confidence in what Hold Steady usually put on, and I wouldn’t say they seem particularly shy here, but there’s a fumbling shakiness, like the song is being constructed right in front of our eyes. And this is underlined by Craig’s not exactly weary, but kind of tired, almost defeated delivery…

The last part signals a shift, though. It’s more confident, a lot more hopeful. It makes the verses building up to it feel like a tease, like warming up for the finale... But anyway, that final part, it’s ridiculously good. Everything opens up, and Craig steps out of the world he’s already built fair portions of, and take the role as the singer, the preacher. When we’re at the end, I think what sticks with me is how human Sweet Payne is. This is very much the sound of real people making real **** together in a real room, telling some real life truths. Through the cracks, in the music, in Craig’s voice, in the air between these real people, that’s surely where the lights get in. And Sweet Payne shines SO bright.


Here’s what Craig had to say:

Payne Ave. is in the East Side of St. Paul. My thought is that it always looks like a nice family area during the day, but it tends to seem a little sinister at night. While I was growing up, it was reportedly a hotbed of activity for racist skinheads. The Payne Reliever was a bar on Payne Ave. that had live metal bands on one side and strippers on the other. I actually have never been there, but a friend told me about it. I don’t know if it’s still around….

Finally, from our good buddy Tremendous Upside, when we first me and geeked out over our shared love of THS (paraphrasing here):

I've heard it a million times, but "Girl I've seen your friend she looks nothing like Jada Pinkett" still makes me laugh. One of the most delicious non-sequiturs ever set to music.
 
Prodigy 13-10 catch up:

Invaders Must Die - The title track off the fifth album, Invaders Must Die is an obvious single, drum heavy and sounding like something that could naturally be on The Fat of the Land. Very similar in beat/composition/structure to the previously selected Omen, it was never officially released as a single (heck, the band gave it away) but still did enough to chart

Charly - Going back to the first album, the version of Charly included in the list (the album version) is very different to that released as a single. The album version, while still very much containing lots of rave elements, has plenty of drum and bass elements. By comparison, the single version (the Prodigy's first widely distributed single and their first top five hit) as a lot more ravey and sample heavy, unfairly seeing them being labelled as a short term gimmick band destined to have one hit and be done on account of the number of similar "kiddie rave" records sampling the hell out of kid's TV shows and similar. It proved not to be the case as anyone who listened to the album proper could have told you

The Way It Is - The final track we're including off Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned, The Way It Is is another one of those tracks that you probably wouldn't recognise as the Prodigy unless you already knew it was by the Prodigy (of which we've got another couple upcoming soon, before we get to the real big hitters). Much more down tempo and progressive, rather than a lot of the typical faster and more aggressive tracks we've seen, this is a very nice change of pace, both on the album itself and in general

Jericho - The first track off the first album, Jericho was one half of the Fire/Jericho single (the other half, not selected, comically samples The Crazy World of Arthur Brown), sounding a fair bit deeper in places than much of the the rest of the album, while retaining the overall rave feel. It's a touch slower than the album as a whole, acting somewhat as a moderate calm before the storm that is the next 6-7 tracks that follow
 
Brandi Carlile Tier 5: the really good stuff

That Wasn't Me and Wherever is Your Heart are really good standards for the band. They get your attention and ask for a re-listen to make sure you caught their messages.
Sinners, Saints, and Fools from the newest album comes from the band wanting to be seen as more than country/Americana. Heck, they won the 2022 Grammy for Best Rock Song (spoiler: that song is still to come). Brandi has recently talked about wanting to do a tour as the singer of a re-formed Soundgarden. Based on what we hear on the rock songs from In These Silent Days and the band's tendency to get loud in concert, I think it would be a fascinating show.
Looking Out really demonstrates how much of a leap the band took on Give Up the Ghost. The harmonies really click...this one and the still upcoming song from GUTG climbed my list each time I listened to them.

I've had a lot of fun seeing reactions to Brandi's songs. I'm still not sure what to do for my artist next round. I could go for someone similar (you'll know them but probably haven't listened to a lot of their work) or take it to something completely different, like a quasi-modern punk singer. There's also some 80s bands that don't get the recognition they deserve...

Played so far:
Singles: 3/3
Self-titled debut: 2/2
the Story: 2/3
Give Up the Ghost: 3/4
Bear Creek: 3/3
the Firewatcher's Daughter: 3/4
By the Way, I Forgive You: 1/5
Highwomen: 2/2
In These Silent Days: 3/5
 
New-to-me #10s I liked include:

Para Ouvir No Radio -- so smooth
Looking Out -- another great vocal
Into the Godless Void -- It's a bit prog and a bit metal, but it's not prog metal. I liked Jason Reece's vocal.
Kveikur -- evocative
Alphabet Town
Nice 'N Sleazy -- reminded me a tad of Guns of Brixton -- again getting there before the Clash did.
Oh My Sweet Caroline -- graceful
Profits of Doom
Pick Me Up
Rock 'N Roll Singer
Here We Go Again -- amazing performance by both of them. Worthy of the awards it got.
Patterns
Rockin' Heaven Down -- This is a real find. They're still doing the Zep thing in 1980 but finding a way to introduce new elements to make it less predictable.
Courage -- great melody

I had heard Television Rules the Nation and Illusions in G Major before but didn't recognize them by title. Thumbs up for both.
 
10.
Alphabet Town- Elliott Smith
from Self Titled Album

"I know what you are
I just don't mind
I won't say you're wrong
I know what you want
And it's what I want
So let's go out, I'm ready to go out
I'll show you around this alphabet town"


My favorite song from my favorite elliott album...Thematically, it’s the darkest album he’d complete in his lifetime, but it’s also one of his most beautiful. Alphabet Town, to me, is just a perfect Elliott Smith song. It's a song set in the alphabet district of Portland...against a backdrop that takes on a haunting mood of its own. The lonesome, droning harmonica-accompanied intro is what makes this song so special. When the harmonica fades out all that's left is the lingering echo of Smith and his acoustic guitar. Great Lyrics and the way Elliott sings them... the way he draws out the end of each line, so you feel the weight of every word is just flawless. Alphabet Town paints a picture of being young and alone, exploring a town full of grit and foreign faces. The tone isn't glamorous, but ripe with the excitement of the unknown.
 
Listened to the 12s and 11s but was out of town so didn’t do comments, but some excellent stuff in both.

My round #10 thoughts:

Great new to me songs from - Todd, Jorge, Brandi, Modest Mouse, Decemberists, Kinks, Sigur Ros, Big Thief, Chicago, Frank Black, Phish, Clutch, Dino Jr, Doves, Spoon, S&G, Prodigy, Heart, Tragically Hip

Awesome known to me songs by - Police, both Stevie’s, Green Day, Ray Charles, AC/DC, Foos, Elton

Rush - I was in Moscow for a college trip when it was still the USSR. My roommate was having a bad acid trip in our room and wanted to go on a walkabout in the middle of the night. I was listening to this at the time and made him listen to it on my headphones a couple times and we spent the next 30 minutes talking about what the song meant and how awesome it was to calm him down (I was pretty stoned at the time from some crappy pot we bought on the street earlier in the day).

Trail of Dead - highlight of the list for me. My favorite of theirs so far.

Blur - this sounds like it could have come straight out of the 70s, and I mean that in a good way. I’d never heard this.

Bauhaus - one of my roommates in college was really into Bauhaus and played this for me one time when I was super high. I enjoyed it greatly.
 
I haven’t been posting as much because I’ve been on a solo road trip this week. Went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Garfield’s home in Mentor, OH today. Going to Rutherford B. Hayes’ home in Fremont, and the home of the OG Warren G. (Harding) in Marion, tomorrow. Rock and Roll HOF was great; there was an interactive exhibit that asked people to enter their suggestions for who should be inducted. Of course, I entered Jorge Ben Jor, and the computer responded that it did not recognize him and he was off their radar. I guess he should not hold his breath for a phone call.

I’ve been enjoying the playlists while driving (signed up for a Spotify trial so I can listen it via phone while in the car this week), but haven’t been able to take too many notes. I remember belting out Daft Punk’s Get Lucky somewhere outside Canton.

On my #11 and #10… Chove Chuva at #11 was from his 1963 debut album. Definitely a more pure samba and bossa nova feel, as he had not developed samba rock yet. For those who like knowing what the lyrics mean, just a simple song about wishing it would stop raining on his girl. This link has English subtitles to the lyrics:

Para Ouvir No Radio brings back to the samba rock. Another simple (but a bit meta) song about writing a song that about a girl that will become a radio hit that she can remember him by. But I honestly just looked that up — this one is more the interplay of the instruments for me again, Jorge’s vocals with the Luciana, Luciana, Luciana, and backup vocals.

I think #9 is where things enter a new tier for him for me.
 
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I went about my top ten in a different way. Slade put out an album called The Amazing Kamikze Syndrome. It was released in The States as Keep Your Hands Off My Power Supply. Some of the songs on the US release are different, as is the order. The US version is one of my all-time favourite albums. Therefore, my top ten is the album in order with the exception of my number one choice for reasons I shall divulge later. "My Oh My" is the album version of the earlier song that was #20 on my list.

I've noticed that sometimes people are momentarily confused about which band they are listening to. Not a problem here. Slade sounds like Slade and nobody else sounds like Noddy Holder.
Thank you for doing Slade. I knew of them and their "big song" which I am assuming is in your top 10 and by a couple others, but didn't realize they had a lot more. They definitely have a distinct sound and it is a fun sound at that.
 
Tomorrow I leave for Cape Cod, where I will be vacationing with extended family. We come back on Aug. 6. I should be able to keep somewhat current with the Chicago writeups and the reactions to known-to-me songs, but I expect to fall way behind on listening to the new-to-me stuff.
Have a great vacay!
I read that as, "have a nice season, guy."
 
I’m back from vacation, and I’ve been asked to comment on my Elton John picks. Which I’m very happy to do but my problem is that unlike some of the other people here who have posted brilliant analysis of their selections, the truth is that I don’t know much about the background behind each of the songs I picked. For example, I have no idea what Bernie Taupin’s lyrics mean on “Levon”, my #10 selection. I only know that I love them, and I love the melody.

“Jesus, he wants to go to Venus”. What the hell does that even mean? I suspect it means nothing really. But as alliteration it sounds great. Did The NY Times really say God is dead? No clue.

I’ll keep doing this but I’m afraid I’m not going to be much help here.
 
I’m back from vacation, and I’ve been asked to comment on my Elton John picks. Which I’m very happy to do but my problem is that unlike some of the other people here who have posted brilliant analysis of their selections, the truth is that I don’t know much about the background behind each of the songs I picked. For example, I have no idea what Bernie Taupin’s lyrics mean on “Levon”, my #10 selection. I only know that I love them, and I love the melody.

“Jesus, he wants to go to Venus”. What the hell does that even mean? I suspect it means nothing really. But as alliteration it sounds great. Did The NY Times really say God is dead? No clue.

I’ll keep doing this but I’m afraid I’m not going to be much help here.
How about talking why you like a song? Why you like Elton?
What type or period of Elton you prefer over others

From a quick glance you are going to leave a whole heap of massive hits off your list.
We only have 9 to go and some very popular numbers are not going to be there.

If you put any thought into your list, what decisions were hard for you?
 
I’m back from vacation, and I’ve been asked to comment on my Elton John picks. Which I’m very happy to do but my problem is that unlike some of the other people here who have posted brilliant analysis of their selections, the truth is that I don’t know much about the background behind each of the songs I picked. For example, I have no idea what Bernie Taupin’s lyrics mean on “Levon”, my #10 selection. I only know that I love them, and I love the melody.

“Jesus, he wants to go to Venus”. What the hell does that even mean? I suspect it means nothing really. But as alliteration it sounds great. Did The NY Times really say God is dead? No clue.

I’ll keep doing this but I’m afraid I’m not going to be much help here.
If that's the case, I think you should contribute by being argumentative/obstinate tim.
 
I listened to a lot of the #10s last night but didn't put down notes so now I don't remember anything. I love aging! The good news is that, for the first time in history, I am now finished with a playlist and caught up nearly a full day before the next one!*

Anyway, not much to say since I forgot most of it.

I see I added "Looking Out" from Brandi Carlile to my new-to-me faves, so I must have liked it. Ditto the Modest Mouse, Genesis, and Decemberist songs. The Decemberists have so many different sounds, and I've loved most all of them.

Hey look, a SRV song I already knew and liked!

Hey look, a Bauhaus song I already knew and liked!

"Jericho" by The Prodigy had a compelling sound.

As usual, hearts for Spoon, Doves, and The Tragically Hip, and a return to the hearts for Blur, Phish, and Simon & Garfunkel (the latter being especially cool).

Big big WOW of the day to "Stacked Actors" by Foo Fighters.

*If we ignore the fact I still haven't listened to the #16-13s.
 
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I’m back from vacation, and I’ve been asked to comment on my Elton John picks. Which I’m very happy to do but my problem is that unlike some of the other people here who have posted brilliant analysis of their selections, the truth is that I don’t know much about the background behind each of the songs I picked. For example, I have no idea what Bernie Taupin’s lyrics mean on “Levon”, my #10 selection. I only know that I love them, and I love the melody.

“Jesus, he wants to go to Venus”. What the hell does that even mean? I suspect it means nothing really. But as alliteration it sounds great. Did The NY Times really say God is dead? No clue.

I’ll keep doing this but I’m afraid I’m not going to be much help here.
If that's the case, I think you should contribute by being argumentative/obstinate tim.
I won’t, and you can’t make me.
 
I’m back from vacation, and I’ve been asked to comment on my Elton John picks. Which I’m very happy to do but my problem is that unlike some of the other people here who have posted brilliant analysis of their selections, the truth is that I don’t know much about the background behind each of the songs I picked. For example, I have no idea what Bernie Taupin’s lyrics mean on “Levon”, my #10 selection. I only know that I love them, and I love the melody.

“Jesus, he wants to go to Venus”. What the hell does that even mean? I suspect it means nothing really. But as alliteration it sounds great. Did The NY Times really say God is dead? No clue.

I’ll keep doing this but I’m afraid I’m not going to be much help here.
I’m not ashamed to google things for my songs.
 
I’m back from vacation, and I’ve been asked to comment on my Elton John picks. Which I’m very happy to do but my problem is that unlike some of the other people here who have posted brilliant analysis of their selections, the truth is that I don’t know much about the background behind each of the songs I picked. For example, I have no idea what Bernie Taupin’s lyrics mean on “Levon”, my #10 selection. I only know that I love them, and I love the melody.

“Jesus, he wants to go to Venus”. What the hell does that even mean? I suspect it means nothing really. But as alliteration it sounds great. Did The NY Times really say God is dead? No clue.

I’ll keep doing this but I’m afraid I’m not going to be much help here.
I’m not ashamed to google things for my songs.
It's how you learn. While most of what I provide is off the cuff and from my own experiences I did not know before a search that Paper Lanterns is what was playing during the mud fight at Woodstock that resulted in Mike Dirnt's front teeth being knocked out.
 
I’m back from vacation, and I’ve been asked to comment on my Elton John picks. Which I’m very happy to do but my problem is that unlike some of the other people here who have posted brilliant analysis of their selections, the truth is that I don’t know much about the background behind each of the songs I picked. For example, I have no idea what Bernie Taupin’s lyrics mean on “Levon”, my #10 selection. I only know that I love them, and I love the melody.

“Jesus, he wants to go to Venus”. What the hell does that even mean? I suspect it means nothing really. But as alliteration it sounds great. Did The NY Times really say God is dead? No clue.

I’ll keep doing this but I’m afraid I’m not going to be much help here.
I’m not ashamed to google things for my songs.
That would be work, though.
 
I’m back from vacation, and I’ve been asked to comment on my Elton John picks. Which I’m very happy to do but my problem is that unlike some of the other people here who have posted brilliant analysis of their selections, the truth is that I don’t know much about the background behind each of the songs I picked. For example, I have no idea what Bernie Taupin’s lyrics mean on “Levon”, my #10 selection. I only know that I love them, and I love the melody.

“Jesus, he wants to go to Venus”. What the hell does that even mean? I suspect it means nothing really. But as alliteration it sounds great. Did The NY Times really say God is dead? No clue.

I’ll keep doing this but I’m afraid I’m not going to be much help here.

yeah, not easy sometimes to track stuff down like that ...

I love when you do a little digging and come up with all kinds of fun stuff - don't want to horn in on your Elton selections, I can't remember if you have included "Where To Now St. Peter?"

really love this beautiful song - and wanted to know the possible meaning of the song and ran into this

https://english.stackexchange.com/q...the-lyrics-of-where-to-now-st-peter-sung-by-e

most of the discussion centers around the a Confederate soldier being shot (blue canoe being Union bullet) and slowly dying. There is also an approach that the blue canoe is a mescaline pill that is sending him tripping.
 
I've really been focusing on why I like my picks and not necessarily the history of them. If anyone is actually interested, go to phish.net and select Music - Song Histories.
 
I’m back from vacation, and I’ve been asked to comment on my Elton John picks. Which I’m very happy to do but my problem is that unlike some of the other people here who have posted brilliant analysis of their selections, the truth is that I don’t know much about the background behind each of the songs I picked. For example, I have no idea what Bernie Taupin’s lyrics mean on “Levon”, my #10 selection. I only know that I love them, and I love the melody.

“Jesus, he wants to go to Venus”. What the hell does that even mean? I suspect it means nothing really. But as alliteration it sounds great. Did The NY Times really say God is dead? No clue.

I’ll keep doing this but I’m afraid I’m not going to be much help here.
I’m not ashamed to google things for my songs.
Nothing shameful about that. On the other hand, it's tradition for certain people 'round here to do countdowns where they just copy and paste large swaths of the internet and pretend it's their own work. (No one in this thread.)
 

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