Friday, April 9, 2010

Honey, I ain't never had nobody like you.

HERE IT IS. The moment where I share with you exactly how nerdy my thoughts can be. If you read here a lot, you know this happens quite often, and especially about a certain dude's own band and songs - but I feel like this is way different.

And to continue giving you examples of said nerdom, I bring you ten songs I super love right now. Ten songs that I'm sure you can guess as to why I've been listening to them on repeat, and ten songs that don't really go together at all. I'm guessing not many people will be amused by this mish-mash of a playlist (I can only guess two people who will!) and I don't care! I have no shame in what my ears hear in succession!

So, I deliver to you, a very weird and strange playlist consisting of a mere three artists who probably wouldn't meet in any other playlist:

01 Magic Trick - M. Ward
02 These Bones - Dashboard Confessional
03 The Swiss Army Romance - Dashboard Confessional
04 Home - She & Him
05 Carve Your Heart - Dashboard Confessional
06 The Good Fight - Dashboard Confessional
07 Ridin' in My Car - She & Him
08 Rollercoaster - M.Ward
09 Hell on the Throat - Dashboard Confessional
10 Never Had Nobody Like You - M. Ward (f. Zooey Deschanel)

Yes, She & Him/M.Ward songs and Dashboard Confessional. I'm sorry, but I love them both so much, and ever since that crazy week in which I saw them both live, I have been listening to them nonstop. My apologies for those SICK of hearing about it (Jesse, Curbside, and my tumblr followers, mainly!).

               Volume Two   Post-War   Alter The Ending (Amazon MP3 Exclusive Deluxe Version)

Now I must enumerate the ways in which I absolutely love each song. (And yes, I've linked the Amazon mp3 for each in case you want to aurally take in my special brand of crazy.)

01 Magic Trick - M.Ward

Why: From M.Ward's 2006 solo album Post-War, it's only 1:43 minutes long, but it's groovy. Yeah, I said groovy. I never use that word. But when I hear this I just want to start strutting around like I own the place. Sometimes that place is the corner of 59th and 5th in the morning and I catch myself getting stared at for grooving. And strutting. This song makes me that girl. Oh! And you can hear it right now - I posted it on my tumblr!

Choice lyric: It's like now you see her / Now you don't / You think you're gonna get to know her now? / Well, you won't / She's got one magic trick / One, and that's it / She disappears

02  These Bones - Dashboard Confessional

Why: I don't know why Dashboard doesn't perform more songs off of The Shade of Poison Trees live - perhaps because he has a jillion songs to choose from. However, I get excited for any song from Shade, it's a great album. I haven't heard this song live from the band, though I'm dying to, as it is my favourite song off the album and I thought maybe hearing it on repeat would up the chances of hearing it live next time. My logic has flaws, I understand.

Apparently a lot of fans freaked out when this song first came out because many read the lyrics as some sort secret code to Carrabba retiring. Then he came out with another album, so, no. I love old Dashboard, but I also love Carrabba's recent lyrics because of the imagery he uses. And in this particular song, Carrabba uses two symbols I strongly associate with: maps and keys. Honestly, throughout my life, those are two symbols I've used to represent me or aspects of myself. From my nomadic childhood in a military family or the image of my grandmother's wall of keys, they've always been personally important and representative.

Choice lyric: So lay with me, I could use the company / You could help me ease / These bones / Are like maps and keys / Where they took their hits / And they felt those teeth / There's a story hidden underneath

03 The Swiss Army Romance - Dashboard Confessional

Why: Because if there is such thing as a "classic" in my emo-life, it would be this song, this anthem, if you will. (Oh dear, I am really letting you into my brain right now, and it's slightly embarassing!) I'm pretty sure this was the first Dashboard song I heard back in 2001 from his acoustic debut full-length. It was the first one that stuck with me, at least.

Rick took me to my first ever Dashboard concert, and I had no idea what I was in for. Everybody singing along, a singular man with enough stage presence for a stadium, and this weird we're-all-young-and-lovin'-it camraderie. And nowhere was that last trait more evident than during this song. And if you've heard this song, you know which part. Carrabba steps away from the microphone and the entire room screams ---

Choice lyric: We're not twenty-one / But the sooner we are the sooner the fun will begin / So get out your fake eyelashes and fake IDs / And real disasters ensue / It's cool to take these chances [PAUSE!] / It's cool to fake romances / And grow up fast...and grow up fast...and grow's always my favourite and most nostalgiac part of any Dashboard live show. There was a fellow with Ang and me at the last Dashboard show who didn't know the music at all. Right before this part of the song I turned to him and said: "Get ready for awesome..." He was totally impressed.

04 Home - She & Him

Why: I don't know if I would even have room to count the many intricacies of this song that I love. I'll try. First, this song is a personal favourite from Volume Two, because...well, for similar reasons that "Be Home Now" from No Doubt's Return of Saturn is. They're about two people trying to call the same place "home," and for me, that speaks to being in a long distance relationship. Of course, She & Him's song is much more light and positive than No Doubt's. "Home" makes me smile ear to ear - "I want to be where your heart is home."

I associate the word "California" with Jesse because that's where he was born and spent much of his childhood. And the first word of this song? California. There are handclaps, lovely piano sounds, oohs and aahs, changing of pace, and my fave part where Zooey sings "I could be sweet..." and then only through the left speaker in a whispery voice: "...and I could be sweeter..." I love a little whisper-voice in songs.

Choice lyric: I could be your state / And I could be your nation / It doesn't get better than home now does it?

05 Carve Your Heart Out Yourself - Dashboard Confessional

Why: Besides maps and keys and songs about home, I'm a sucker for a song about reassurance. In a long distance relationship, it's incredibly easy to feel insecure about yourself, the relationship, and the future. This song is basically treading the "I'll be there for you" genre of lyrics, but I think does it so much better. It's also got a great twang, a slightly country vibe - even though I'm by no means a country fan, I dig the folkiness. Another one that makes me smile! Especially when it gets to the last part, written below, and specifically the way he sings it. And Mike Marsh on the drums! Damn, I love it.

Choice lyric: Oh, you're so sure I'll be leaving in the end / Treating me like I'm already gone / Well, I'm not, I will stay where you are - always / I will stay / I will stay / I will stay...

06 The Good Fight - Dashboard Confessional

Why: I like words. Seriously. (Do see how many I've written just here?!) And there are some superb phrases in the biting lyrics, and I'm always impressed at seeing the lyrics and wondering how the hell he put it together to be able to sing them. Of course, the verses are particularly full of verbiage while the chorus is simple for effect: I begged you not to go / I begged you, I pleaded / Claimed you as my only hope / And watched the floor as you retreated.

One more thing: I air drum to this song all the time.

Choice lyric: The martyr is meaningless / The campaign has died / In the planning stages and the fallen faces / Are the singular proof that it was ever alive / This purchased rebellion has been outbidded / Denounced and rescinded / And left to die championless

07 Ridin' in My Car - She & Him

Why: This song is a cover of a 1977 song by NRBQ, but if you haven't noticed yet, I'm kind of in love with M.Ward's voice. And Zooey's, of course - this is a duet. It's definitely a song I can see myself driving along to - I always have an image in my head when I hear it. Driving along a highway, definitely next to a beach, sunglasses on, by myself, and maybe stopping by a local hangout. Like I said: my mind works in mysterious ways.

Choice lyric: So I went to the place where everybody hangs out / To see what everybody was talkin' about / And over in the corner, all alone with you / Was the boy from last summer singin' songs to you / And he can't sing what I can sing / Oh, baby it's so hard / And I still think about you every time I'm ridin' in my car

08 Rollercoaster - M.Ward

Why: For a song that uses the phrase "heavy metal," it's the complete opposite. M.Ward's swoon-worthy voice sounds like he's strumming his guitar and singing at the base of a tree next to a river. Err, you know what I mean? It's a slow, sunny-day song....and it contains my current favourite lyrics of the week.

Choice lyric: You're like a ro-ro-rollercoaster / You give me heavy metal dreams / You could make a dead man scream...

09 Hell on the Throat - Dashboard Confessional (acoustic version here)

Why: I would consider this song the most emotional listed here. I'm not going to lie: my eyes have watered up to this song in the past (and occasionally still do). It's slow and winding, but it...ends up happy and, reassuring (again!). Every song is up for one's own interpretation, of course, and that's the beauty of song - being able to personalize it. So, you can probably guess what my interpretation gears towards: a traveling (touring) man.

There are many allusions to travel ("trail," "trip"), and my mind just goes straight to the subject at my own heart. Plus, there's this heartbreaking line: "Well, it's hard to belong to a girl or a song in the crease of a strangling winter." I could write five pages just on this one line, that's how good it is. I could write a whole chapter of a book on just this one song, but I should probably stop talking now, or it's going to get way too long. I mean, longer than it already is. Just um, listen to the song and I hope you'll get it.

Much like the album, I was going to end the playlist with this song, but I couldn't end it with something so semi-tragic and happy-sad. (Does anybody else cry at really happy things too? I always do.) Anyway, this is the last line of the song and the one that gets my eyes all watery. After a song talking about the pitfalls of travel, it ends with this.

Choice lyric: And when the sand turns to glass / And all that's left is the past / I will love you still

10 Never Had Nobody Like You - M. Ward (f. Zooey Deschanel)

Why: The word "cool" is used often, but this song just oozes it. From the opening sounds to M. Ward's voice to the entrance of Ms. Deschanel - cool. I'm listening to it now and I just want to get up and dance.  And actually? This song makes the perfect soundtrack for hanging out with your boo and you're kind of dancing but really just kissing and not talking and smiling. Smile-kissing. Isn't that the best? That's this song.

Choice lyric: And the stars in the sky / They never caught my eye / 'Cause I ain't never had nobody like you / I ain't never had nobody like you / Now it's like A B C / Life's just like 1 2 3


There you have it: a look inside my brain. Did I scare you? Do you have your own personal tales about any of these songs? Are you going to download them now and have a listen to see if I'm really off my rocker or you can get into it in your own special way as well?! I'm just saying, in all simplicity and finality: I love these songs.


  1. I envy you. Words about music seem to come so easy to you...When a song touches me I'm like, "Ugh, it's soo good." And that's all I can say. You should be a music reviewer for a magazine. For reals!

  2. First of all you're welcome ; ) Second, I have no idea why you even considered not posting this, I think it's far less embarassing than you think and should any of the three artists read it they would be nothing but flattered. Third, you really need to give Andrew Bird another shot (or more likely get around to listening to him)... he has such an amazing way of using words and while sometimes his lyrics make little to no sense they sound absolutely gorgeous.

  3. Great list! I too cry at the happy things, more than the sad ones.

    Also, must agree with Rick about Andrew Bird. I haven't listened to him extensively, but what I have heard, I love!

  4. I LOVE THIS. Agreed with Rick, why wouldn't you post this!? IT'S GREAT and not embarrassing at all. Also, agreed with Erica, you should be a music writer! You are great!

    Making this playlist on my itunes ASAP!

  5. I've had a listen to a few of these songs after reading the post and really enjoying them, so I intend to check them all out. I really rate your taste in music (possibly due to the fact you introduced me to Dragonette) . . . as well as your taste in nail polish!

  6. All amazingly awesome songs. I'm glad you posted it.

  7. I LOVE the playlist and your explanations for each song! Never be embarassed by your music choices, they're what make you - you! :-)

  8. Erica - Ha, thanks! I still have to look over your review - it's still on my desktop! I know it's been so long, but I really need a better reminder. Will get to it SOON! Also, I'm not sure my allusions to things like "smile-kissing" really qualifies me as an apt music review, haha.

    Rick - Yes, Andrew Bird is still un-listened to on my iPod. And since I have a ton of work to do today, I shall listen TODAY. THANKS DUDE!

    Lyndsey - and we have another vote for Bird!

    Liz - Yay! Thanks!

    Paula - Gracias, lady!

    Ginny - Haha, thanks!

    Jen - Thanks! :)

  9. So glad you posted this. I even think I'm going to do a list of my own. It's time for an Almost Summer Mixtape!