December 18, 2003

Happenin' Tunes 2003

In which I contribute to a particularly odious form of festering crap: the Year In Pop Music list. However, since I'm hopelessly behind trends and fads about 90% of the time, there are of course several entries from last year that I finally got around to hearing and enjoying.


"Good Morning Aztlan" by Los Lobos. An actual January heat wave went along with these bright-and-shiny tunes. Faced my first month of unemployment with a frantically pathetic attempt to gain admission to the writing programs at UCI and SFSU. Bombed.

"No One Knows" by Queens of the Stone Age. Okay, so KJEE played this one to death, and Brian had this album for weeks before I finally figured "hey, Josh Homme has a cool singing voice!" Better late than never I guess.

"Ego Tripping At the Gates of Hell" by the Flaming Lips. Same story what with friends being into this before I was. Shaun, Bryn, and Brian jumped all over Soft Bulletin and then Yoshimi a long time ago. Makes me wonder what the hell I was listening to when they were doing this.

Tossup between "Inside of Love" or "Hi-Speed Soul" from Nada Surf's "Let Go" album. Made not a few drives from SB-Oceanside for baseball games and whatnot, and for whatever reason these songs remind me most of doing that.

"Ventura" by Lucinda Williams. People have been going gaga for Lucinda over the last 5 years like they're trying to make up for relatively ignoring her. Some tracks on this album are a bit overdone in the bloozy sense but this one really sounds like that drive between Carp and Ventura.

"Restraining Order Blues" by Eels. "Ask Uncle E" is one of the more hilarious features of the Eels homepage, so go give it a gander. This song is more mini-road-trip backgound music. Great title too.

"There There" by Radiohead. In which Bryn and Brian exact their revenge for my lackluster interest in the previous 2 Radiohead albums (which no amount of qualifiying re: how awesome some of those songs in fact are). Curses. Foiled again.

"Everything Is New" by Frank Black & the Catholics. FB&C make frequent appearances in Santa Barbara, ever since the tour for "Dog In The Sand" 2 years ago. I actually like that album better, but they're on a roll toward becoming the best bar band in the country, so this matters little.

"True Nature" by Jane's Addiction. Car song: whether driving up PCH in Huntington at noon or up the Salinas Valley at sunset, I couldn't get this bastard (and others from its parent album) out of my head. I could make those lyrics even better, though. Really.

Tossup between "Fugitive Motel" and "Switching Off" from Elbow's "Cast of Thousands" CD. Guy Garvey's voice is great. Still hasn't been released in the US, so V2 needs to get their butts in gear.

Tossup between "Stop" and "In Like the Rose" from BRMC's "Take Them On" album. You know how some people play songs over and over and over and over and it drives you bananas? I'm one of those people, but I do it on headphones, so you'll be happy and I'll be deaf.

Anything off Meshell Ndegeocello's "Comfort Woman". Silly title, and less cool bass playing than her previous albums, but she's still fantastic. That's all I got right now.

So as you can see I've got little taste in terms of what all them hip kids are listening to, but they all live in New York or LA and read Spin and then grow up to be bitter, sniping, hipper-than-thou monsters. Write more than I do though. Meh.

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