List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now, shaping your spring. Post these instructions in your blog along with your 7 songs. Then tag 7 other people to see what they’re listening to.I'm starting this late on Monday so I'm going to produce a shorter list tonight and think about it more over the next day or so. To paraphrase David Brent, I'll give you five now and two more if you need them.
1. "Constructive Summer"
The lead off song from The Hold Steady's forthcoming Stay Positive album is a total fucking blast. Even though it's another of the band's songs about friendship and drinking, it strikes me as fairly unique their catalog in that it looks forward rather than backwards. "Let this be my annual reminder that we can all be something bigger... We are our only saviors / We're going to build something this summer." A perfect party anthem for the summer before a big, important election.
2. "Paper Planes"
The story, as I understand it, is that M.I.A. wanted to come record a new album in the United States. She couldn't get an entry visa, though, and ended up traveling around the world playing shows, recording and becoming a big star. The song makes reference to those visa troubles but, like the rest of the album, Kala, its politics are a little fuzzy. No matter, though. It's one of the few songs that actually makes me want to dance. It samples my favorite Clash song and is catchy as all get out
3. "Fast Train"
Solomon Burke's version of Van Morrison's song was used over the montage that closed season three of The Wire. It was playing on KUT one night while I was driving around and hit me hard. It's my favorite kind of sadness: elegiac but not depressing.
4. "Let's Call It Love"
I don't think I've ever felt a band break-up as keenly as I felt Sleater-Kinney's. I've read that it was something that had been building since at least All Hands On The Bad One, but it felt harsh and sudden to me; almost all of my post-college life (which is to say, my best years) have prominently featured their music. I love all their albums, but I still listen to The Woods more than of the others. This song is a behemoth: just over 11 minutes and heavy and sexy as anything. It reminds me that I'd go anywhere in the world to see them play again.
5. "Triadic Memories"
Morton Feldman's 90+ minute piano composition is, as performed by Marilyn Nonken, very spare, slow and also a little unsettling. It's beautiful.
As for tagging seven people, that's tough because my posting has become so irregular that I'm not sure there are seven people checking this blog anymore. I'm pretty sure there are Ryan and Mark, also maybe Kat, Karen, Mandy and Stacy. Monrovia, if you're out there reading this, surely you have a list of seven.