11 April 2008

Anatomy of a Mix, Part Trois: Like a "Ménage," But Less Scandalous

Topics for this week's selections include: apocalypse, resignation from the banal to the extraordinary unknown, and long lost love found and kept.

Andrew Bird - Tables and Chairs
And did you, did you see how all our friends were there / And they're drinking roses from the can?

If you're going to write a song about friendship and a manmade apocalypse, you might as well write a song like this one. This is a favorite of mine from Andrew Bird's amazing, complex, and all-around pretty freaking awesome album, Andrew Bird and The Mysterious Production of Eggs. "Tables and Chairs" starts of slowly, rather inconspicuously, and then picks up quickly, plucking along and creating a little beautiful anarchy as it goes. Classic Birdman.

Calexico - Sunken Waltz
Take the story of carpenter Mike / Dropped his tools and his keys and left/ And headed out as far as he could / Through the cities and gated neighborhoods

While it may be naive, I have a strong sentimental feelings for the West. Even though it's been a long time since I've visited there, I remember the colors and the air. I think I'm enamored with Georgia O'Keefe's West... but, it seems, Calexico is as well. It's an anthem against (sub)urban sprawl in America's last bastion of clear night skies and open space. The last verse really clinches it for me - Thoreau meets the West with a bit of surreality.

Nina Simone - Just in Time
Now I know just where I'm going / No more doubt of fear / I've found my way click click click click heels!

There are probably better or more exciting Nina Simone songs, but this live recording from 1968 shows off some of her playful but precise piano skills and casual but emotional vocal stylings... it's a really great recording all around. Nina Simone freaking rocked.

The song and the topic of Nina Simone were featured heavily in the final scene of Before Sunset (spoiler alert for the clip), and helped propel the film into the realm of something really memorable - such a good ending! And it totally solidified my girl crush on Julie Delpy - she's just so frickin' cute!

Anyway, as for Ms. Simon, there was always a little joy in her sorrow, a little sorrow in her joy, and always a reason to sing.

Good night.

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