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Song of the Month, May 2007 = The Saddest Story Ever Told (11 Jun 2007 at 17:46)
The thing about the Song of the Month Series is that you get one every month!

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Ehh... umm... I'm a bit worried that after doing a rudimentary histogram on my song of the month blogothing you will find an alarming distribution with this month's addition. Only 5 different artists in 8 months? And two are Andrew Bird and The Shins? What is wrong with this supposedly worldly fellow? Is he like not caught up on The OC reruns or something? But even though this month's song is another one by the Magnetic Fields there were a lot of contenders so let me tell you about that first which will at least get me an asterisk on that embarrassingly heavy-tailed histogram.

They Might Be Giants put out a new album after a pretty long break called, the album not the break, The Else. Even though as I mentioned in a previous post I haven't been paying much attention to these guys since college, I think this album is pretty good and I have listened to it many times. Favorites include Upside Down Frown and I'm Impressed, and even Careful What You Pack which is especially noteworthy since it has been an even longer time since I've liked a Flansburgh song. But anyway, one of those could have been song of the month for May but they're not.

My pal mat64 put out a new internet album called Noise Feeder which I think is pretty good. I really like the songs Noise Pulse and Pfreeze, either of which could be a song of the month but they're not.

Also right at the end of the month I tried Belle and Sebastian's The Life Pursuit and was quite surprised by its creativeness. But, a little late to find a song of the month, so maybe for June.

I checked out The Curtains, the band that Chris Cohen betrayed Deerhoof to go phoenixize, right before by my coolometer Deerhoof really exploded in popularity but I don't think these events are related and we still do miss him. Curtains is very good and much more subdued so it might have had something to do with a desire to be generally less . The best song is Fell On A Rock & Broke It. But it is not song of the month.


No, again The Magnetic Fields have sneak-attacked me with an oldie that I probably first heard ten years ago but somehow didn't realize the rulezness of until listening through their entire catalogue recently in search of such gemstones. The song is The Saddest Story Ever Told. Wow, nice! I learned this on piano just to verify that again the music is extremely simple, and am still puzzling over why I love it so hard. I think it basically comes down to three aspects: the melisma when Anway sings "those summer nights" and "diving for a girl you'll never find" the surprising shortness of some chorus phrases compared to their analogues in other parts of the song, and I just find the lyric "do do do do do, come on!" so funny especially in the context. No doubt there are other oldies waiting to sneak attack me in the MF back-catalogue. But let me pose a question that is two questions: Everyone knows that 69 Love Songs is pure gold, and if the Anway-era stuff is so underrated (I argue it is), why is i (the album's title is so narrow you can hardly click it!) so disappointing? And when is their new album coming out?

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Karthik (cpe-071-077-011-035.nc.res.rr.com) – 06.09.07 16:10:57
what a great song. my first exposure to that song was back in 2000 when I saw Dennis Driscoll cover it while opening for Built to Spill at Toad's. I remember coming back to Pittsburgh and rummaging through the MF's back catalogue at WRCT in search of it. I've been on a 6ths "Wasp's Nests" kick lately.

Also glad you are enjoying "The Life Pursuit"! I think it's their best since the "Sinister".

Some recommendations:

-"Old World Underground" by Metric.
-"Writer's Block" by Peter Bjorn & John.
-"The Trials of Van Occupanther" by Midlake...

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Tom 7 (c-24-131-65-110.hsd1.pa.comcast.net) – 06.09.07 19:52:45
Huh, interesting... I have some 6ths stuff but have never really gotten into it. It may be time for some foraging. Did you hear the Gothic Archies? I think it's great.

My friend Chris points out that this song sounds a lot like the Beach Boys's "Then I Kissed Her" (especially) and Sloop John B. I agree.
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Sophia (c-24-218-56-100.hsd1.ma.comcast.net) – 06.10.07 10:47:40
I've been loving that Metric album lately too.
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Karthik (cpe-071-077-011-035.nc.res.rr.com) – 06.10.07 11:12:55
The Beach Boys comparison is an interesting one... I never really thought of that. I'll have to check out the Gothic Archies too.

Sophia: have you heard Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton? I've been excited to hear that as well.
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Sophia (c-24-218-56-100.hsd1.ma.comcast.net) – 06.11.07 14:46:54
No, I will have to seek...
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Tom 7 (gs82.sp.cs.cmu.edu) – 06.11.07 17:42:41
Try using your Soul
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Sophia (76.24.15.3) – 06.11.07 19:23:58
Indeed, I have already sought, and am now listening, with my Soul. Such a useful friend she is.
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