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Song of the Month, April 2007 = Side to Side (25 May 2007 at 21:43)
Boy I know I haven't posted here in a while but over at last.fm I have been keeping a little music journal which's only content is my "Song of the Month" club where I write snarky or gushing stuff about one song, my favorite song, each month. By recommendation and since I haven't posted here in a while here is my Song of the Month from April 2007, which is Side to Side.

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Carnegie Mellon University, where I go to school, has a gymnasium which is nice for basketball and everything and is called Weigand Gymnasium but it might as well be called Why Have Musical Acts Play In Here At All Because It Always Sounds Like Absolute Assgand Gymnasium. The high ceilings and polished hardwood make the whole thing an echo-y, muddled and sweaty mess. This venue can make you actually start hating your favorite band, I think. (Case in point: I went to see They Might Be Giants there about five years ago, who were once my favorite band, although at the time they were not, but I actually just left the show because it sucked so bad. And then I didn't listen to them for five years, but actually I think the new album The Else is pretty good.) I'm pretty sure the artists would just like feign equipment failure and go home if it weren't for the $30,000 or whatever that CMU pays for a concert and the well-meaning crowd who, because they live in Pittsburgh, have probably not ever been to a proper show where you can, you know, hear the music.

Anyway ... like any white boy I like hip hop crossovers like OutKast but have never explored it in depth. I think Blackalicious is a real stupid band name. I actually happened to be walking by the WhyHave...AssGand Gymnasium when Blackalicious was playing in there last year and stayed for a few minutes, even though I am fully aware of the perils, and indeed the show was absolutely horrid. CMU cops started giving me scheiss because I had my camera with me at the time and this is apparently verboten so I left and filed Blackalicious in the mental DO NOT LISTEN pile (why do I always get so excited about these missteps?) until this year when my music sharing buddy nolacoaster hooked me up with his music collection at work. It does have stuff like Less Than Jake and Third Eye Blind (I won't even link those) so it's not exactly indietopia but I have an open mind policy now so I've been listening through almost everything that is not Ska or 90s alternata. You know what? Blackalicious is really great. It is less all over the map than OutKast but the production is really top notch; the songs complex and interesting and not all about cliche subjects; and Daddy Gabby really does have impressively fast lips. This album is worth listening to in its entirety and it has several very good songs (oh this is The Craft), such as Powers, World of Vibrations, etc. Each of those others had some tiny thing that annoyed me, so my pick is Side to Side even though it does has like carnival trumpets in it (but so does +81, right?). Cleverly arranged and hilarious lyrics.
Well, off to a good start I guess, but I did at the end realize I ought to get back to my dissertation so discussion of the actual song is a bit superficial, yes.

Okay see you!
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Nels (abts-kk-dynamic-205.158.167.122.airtelbroadband.in) – 05.26.07 00:34:39
Word.
Hey I picked up their older album last week, "Blazing Arrow," and while it is nowhere near as consistent as "The Craft" it still has some pretty kickass songs on it. I guess I shall have to share on my retour!
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Tom 7 (h-68-166-207-182.phlapafg.dynamic.covad.net) – 05.26.07 17:02:16
Yes, I want to hear it. Also I love the title of "4th Dimensional Rocket Ships Going Up" so I sorta want to hear that too.
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Sophia (c-24-218-56-100.hsd1.ma.comcast.net) – 06.03.07 10:21:56
I like this "song of the month" idea very much. I read through all of yours. I'm always into music recommendations from folks whose tastes I match up with pretty well, plus also I enjoy all your background stories and also like your descriptions of why you like the songs (written in a language I very much understand and appreciate precisely, not usually the case for me when folks do try to write about that).

As a result, I would have to say that my song of the month now is the "Wrong Time Capsule" by Deerhoof (the song right before your favorite from that album). I'd been meaning for a while to seek out Deerhoof's last two albums, cuz I had heard they were especially good, but after being so underwhelmed by "Milk Man", I was having trouble ever getting the motivation to do it, so I'm glad that your journal prodded me a little more on that. Also it got me to revisit some old Magnetic Fields albums that I hadn't listened to in years. And while actually I'd say I've never been that into "Distant Plastic Trees", I have now fallen in love again with "Holiday".

Ummm, I guess that's all then stuff (or at least musicians) that I was already into, but I also am working my way through familiarizing myself with the other stuff that I'd never listened to (like Blackalicious and Andrew Bird), so perhaps I will have new things to get into as well...
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Tom 7 (h-66-167-56-241.phlapafg.dynamic.covad.net) – 06.03.07 12:45:35
I agree, Wrong Time Capsule is great. I wish my guitar sounded like that. I think there are a lot of songs like that on the new album Friend Opportunity, like +81 and The Perfect Me... I bet you'd like that album a lot.
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