Very soon - a mere three days, in fact - I'm off for Italia for the event of the millennium. To the land of gelato and the sad man that serves it. The land of Bufa Five, the Schlomo, pozzi motorini, and victorious over-priced sodas at the top of Piazzale (maybe this time we'll go with some vino rosso and stories about Cha Cha, instead.)
Italy just had their elections, and reelected, with shoulders shrugged indifferently, the same man who was in charge when we were there in 2004... It'll be like nothing ever changed! Except now Italians are even more downtrodden. But then we're off to Spain - the unknown... in many respects, seeing as how my Spanish is limited to "olà!" and "olé!"
But because Rachel arrives in just a few hours and I've got work tomorrow and laundry and packing and grabbing a new closure for my earring (dang!) and about 408 other things before I go, I decided to do one last post now - and guess what it's about? Music! Big surprise, but this time, there's a slightly cohesive theme: they're songs that I associate with travel, moving, motion or "picking up the pieces," per se.
Pete Yorn - Crystal Village
Take my hand, come with me / Into this crystal scenery
Pete Yorn singin' about life and love and all that junk in the context of what is, simply put, a very pretty song.
Ryan Adams - To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High)
Oh, one day when you’re looking back / You were young and, man, you were sad / When you’re young, you get sad / When you're young you get sad, then you get high
Rockin' and yet unmistakably country (the real kind, not the Toby Keith kind). This song just speaks to being young and stupid and all over the map, but most importantly, being young and alive. This is the song I hope Rachel and I will be singing after a trip to the Fiddler's Elbow. I'm sure that our version would merely stand in the shadow of this one by Ryan.
LEGEN - wait for it! - DARY!
To get technical, though, the perfect Ryan Adams song for brawlin' would be "Shakedown on 9th Street" - definitely fit for Guinness and fights!
Wolf Parade - I'll Believe In Anything
And I could give you my apologies / By handing over my neologies / And I could take away the shaking knees / And I could give you all the olive trees / Oh look at the trees and look at my face / And look at a place far away from here
If you can make it through the slight bit of dissonance and thumping in the beginning of the song (I'm a fan of well-placed dissonance - Damien Rice does it well), it's a very exciting and emotional song - it sort of sweeps you away without you even realizing it. I know that Wolf Parade is not for everyone, and the Spencer Krug-fronted WP tracks are for even fewer... but apparently, this song is for me, as it's the most played song on my iTunes. I love the complex feelings the song presents - a sort of passionate nihilism... if there is such a thing.
(If you're further interested in Wolf Parade, check out their new song, "Call It A Ritual" on Stereogum. It's so tight - which is strange considering WP's style - but it's still very Wolf Parade. Mi piace.)
Doves - Pounding
Let's leave at sunrise / Let's live by the ocean / I don't mind / If we never come home at all
What a song. My second most played track on iTunes and the first song I ever bought from the iTunes music store... because it's amazing. Seriously romantic. But with both an upper-case and a lower-case "R." The Doves aren't exactly known for their amazing lyrics - they're just sort of a few brash boys from Manchester, but when the lead singer says Seize the time / Cause it's now or never baby, you're right there with him.
Beirut - Postcards From Italy
The times we had / Oh, when the wind would blow with rain and snow / Were not all bad / We put our feet just where they had, had to go
The title alone makes this song an obvious choice, but I also love it because it's very classic and sentimental (but a good sentimental!), very European, and very well-produced. Who ever would have guessed the guy who wrote and sang the whole shebang was just 19 at the time? Even though the song contains no lyrics really resembling my time in Italy, I still associate the two - that rusty, sepia-toned vision.
Yann Tiersen - J'y Suis Jamais Allé
Literally translated as "I Never Went There," this piece from the Amélie soundtrack (along with several others), never fails to let my mind drift... drift off somewhere nice... somewhere where they drink wine with every meal and don't pasteurize the cheese, cause damn it - sometimes you just don't need to.
To the land of unpasteurized cheeses!!