>Here I am again, depleting my brain on this thing for lack of a better pastime, or a social life. I had almost forgotten I had this blog, as these last couple weeks have been hectic and social indeed; but today, Sunday, November 16, 2008, I found myself reading Gore Vidal’s Wikipedia entry, and realized… God, I’m fucking bored. Granted, that man is very smart and you can learn a whole lot from just listening to him ramble. Plus, he’s a flaming homosexual who cracks me up. I think at one point I got bored of the Wiki and here I am, with nothing much to say, but a lot of time to kill. So… yeah, I’m going to make a new playlist! Yay!!!
Today’s theme will be… Politics!
Oh, wait a second… I don’t think I have enough The Clash and Crass and anarcho punk in general to make a consistent, varied playlist that any good music fan would appreciate, so fuck that. And we’re all sooo over the election at this point anyway, it wouldn’t be of help whatsoever to make a political playlist right now that no one gives a shit about it anymore. Hmmm, let me think of another theme.
How about… love?
Nah. Love sucks. Just this Friday, a friend of mine got me to spend 40 bucks on cocktails at T.G.I. Friday’s (yeah, Happy Hour, my ass!) because her jackass boyfriend was honest enough to casually mention that he’d gone to a strip club the night before. Of course my friend, being the goody-goody type of girl she is, broke up with him right away, and I had no idea her breakup could affect me so drastically. I miss my 40 bucks. So right now, I hate love. Although $40 worth of mojitos and peach daiquiris and Long Island iced teas and vanilla mudslides wasn’t so bad after all.
Oh hey, I happened to snap a butt-ugly pic of us with my cell🙂
Okay, I’m totally going to improvise here, but I think it would be nice to have a rainy days playlist, for those days when you have to stay indoors sitting in front of the computer with nothing better to do than depress yourself with boredom. It would be useful, you know?
I’m gonna keep it to twenty songs, because I haven’t music ranted enough these last few weeks.
Nine Inch Nails – Gone, Still
Perfect way to kick this bitch off. From the Still sessions EP, this little gem screams rain. I might be somewhat biased though, given that I’ve watched the video, and well… it’s pretty evident that it was raining in New Orleans when they made it. You can even hear the rain tapping on the windows. Haunting, sorrowful instrumental, as everything NIN is. I would give a kidney to hear a more elaborate version of this song, although the stripped down style works just fine.
nearLY – Blackwing
Speaking of the Still sessions, this one comes by association. nearLY is the current musical project of former Nine Inch Nails drummer Jerome Dillon, who happened to be one of the few people involved in the making and recording and arranging of the Still EP, and was also the only person other than His Majesty, Count Trentula Reznorstein featured on the Gone, Still video, playing guitar. That tall, bald dude keeping his distance from Reznor’s incredible gorgeousness? That one. Indeed, Dillon is a talented individual; a gifted multi-instrumentalist and a creative songwriter, (and quite a hot bitch also) and I cannot really complain about his debut album, reminder. Oh, yes, I can complain about the band’s name, and the ridiculous and senseless capitalization of the two last letters and the equally ridiculous and senseless lack of capitalization of the album’s name and its dumbass period at the end. Nothing about the music, though. Oh yeah, it gets too goth at times. But then again, that’s what happens to you when you hang out with Reznor on a regular basis. The song is a two-minute-plus instrumental that makes your head generate images of thunders and lightnings and heaps of rain. And tears, lots of them.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Your Funeral… My Trial
Another one from Nick Cave. I honestly did want to make a playlist that was different from the others, that did not include, for the most part, the all-too-familiar artists I tend to favor but it’s pretty impossible to have a playlist without Nick Cave, especially a rainy days one. He’s the epitome of rain, he’s a cloud full of rain himself! This is the title song from Cave’s 1986 release, and in my opinion, it’s one of the most watery songs out there. Haha, I have no idea what watery is, but… I guess what I’m trying to say is that it reminds me of water in some weird way. Must be that beautiful piano, that gorgeously sad name and… well, it’s the Bad Seeds, dammit! It has to be deep and emotional like that! Like water.
Emiliana Torrini – Heard it All Before
Ok, so this is a different kind of rainy song. This one is actually not as depressing/sad/emotional as the others, but it somehow takes me to a rainy Sunday afternoon, and every time I hear it, I think of rain. Not lots of it, but rather just a light drizzle. This album (Me and Armini) is one of the lovely additions to my folk collection, and I am quite pleased with it. This Icelandic girl sounds so Mediterranean it’s impossible to think of her as some Nordic chick trying to copy the Björk formula. Hell, I’m glad she’s not like Björk, that woman creeps me out sometimes. Torrini’s music is warm and fuzzy and chill and this track is pure Italian rain. So, there you go.
Erik Satie – Gnossienes No. 1 – Lent
Just because I do listen to some classical music. And, I mean, who the hell wouldn’t add this piece to a rainy days playlist? Seriously, you’d have to be deaf (or mentally disabled) to not think of the floods of rain this song evokes. Satie is just a master of silly piano tunes, and this one, while so minimalistic and simple, is so beautiful it makes one cry.
Nine Inch Nails – 36 Ghosts IV
Like the previous track, this is another silly piano tune, only more modern and shorter and more depressing. This is basically what Satie would have made if he’d lived in this 21st century and had a computer. Another hit by Trent, this wonderful little baby is the perfect ending to a wonderful(ly long) experimental, Eno-esque release, Ghosts I-IV. It was hard for me to assimilate the fact that there was a 36-track NIN album out there with not one of Reznor’s trademark screams, or his wimpy lyrics, but when I heard it, I fell in love. It’s like every track off of that record makes you think of rain, in every possible variation. This one is enchanting and nostalgic and it’s just ridden with Reznor’s golden touch.
Ladytron – Beauty
It might be strange to find Ladytron on this list, but this song deserves a place here. Most of Ladytron’s output is upbeat, danceable pop for clubs and discos, yet this song is terribly beautiful, as evidenced by its name, and since it may elicit a few tears from my part given the chance, it qualifies for rainy days music, so I added it. From my most favoritest Ladytron album (and I think I mentioned on a previous post that it was my favorite non-NIN album… that was before lol, now I have no idea really), Witching Hour, this one has the Helen Marnie touch, her strong, girl-like vocals, her recognizable tone and her energy.
Kings of Convenience – Winning a Battle, Losing the War
More folk. Folk from like Norway, man. Ok, so it’s kind of easy with these artists, since folk is almost naturally seen as rain music, but there’s something so soothing and relaxing and lilting about this song that… it’s like that soft, beautiful rain that you love to watch from inside your room. Influenced by Belle and Sebastian, this album, Quiet is the New Loud, is filled with beauties like this one. Indeed, fuck loud. Quiet is here to stay.
Modwheelmood – Bellevue Ave.
Here I go again, praising Alessandro Cortini’s cute, Italian, lasagna-making name. I can’t help it, he’s just good. Maybe I see him as really fucking good because he’s from the NIN camp and he gets to spend a lot of time with Trent and play Rock Band with him and hold his iPhone when he gets tired of doing it himself, but you have to admit his band is a bit enjoyable. Yes, he sounds like a woman; and the music is not really fun, but that’s what makes him and his MWM partner perfect for a rainy day. The goth factor. Although subtle, you can feel the gothness in their music, the Nine Inch Nails influence clear in some parts. This song is just plain good rain music, and I can’t say more about it.
Joy Division – The Eternal
Ian fucking Curtis was hands down the most miserable man in all of the UK, and funnily enough, also one of the most talented. It’s sad that he’s gone, he could have created so much more with his endless talent and his vision and intellect and integrity, and his large goth factor. Any Joy Division song is a brilliant masterpiece, and of course, worthy of this list. Curtis wrote from his gut, was honest about himself and his demons and his sorrow and wrote some of the most gorgeous pieces of music ever made. This song is one of them. From the posthumously released album Closer, this song works as a eulogy for a man who, despite being no longer among us, is still alive, and will remain eternal.
The Jesus and Mary Chain – Just Like Honey
In a lighter tone, here’s my favorite bunch of Scots, the JaMC, and their classic alt-rock anthem. From Psychocandy, arguably the noisiest motherfucking record ever made, this song is both sweet and sad, makes me smile and tear at the same time. Short, concise and fresh.
Nine Inch Nails – 1 Ghosts I
I already featured the last track to the Ghosts I-IV double album, and it set the tone for the next rainy additions, right? Well, this is the album’s opening track, and it fits on here perfectly. Although darker than 36 Ghosts IV, this one is the kind of dreamy music you might play if you’re by yourself watching a storm from your window… and if you’re sadistic and want to cry for no reason. Good one.
Interpol – Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down
Arguably, one of Interpol’s saddest songs, although it might not seem it at first. I mean, just take a look at the name! She was always down! That can’t be happy, now can it? The motif is plain gorgeous, as all of the other tracks off of Interpol’s debut album, Turn On the Bright Lights. Paul Banks’ voice is simply harrowing in this song, and the buildup is exciting, really nice.
Felt – The Stagnant Pool
A long one. About eight minutes of pure sadness. Felt’s music takes a little getting used to, really, but this song is universally good, I don’t think anyone can contest that. The guitar work is amazing, sets the mood successfully, the lyrics are clever and befitting of the music. Reminds me of a really good prog rock song, although it’s clear that this is experimental post punk in its purest form, more reminiscent of Vini Reilly’s The Durutti Column than of Pink Floyd.
The Dresden Dolls – First Orgasm
Amanda Palmer & Brian Viglione’s dark cabaret of piano music and artsy theatrics enchanted me from the get-go. The Dolls’ slot opening for NIN put them out there on the map, and now that their future is unknown and they’re on a hiatus or whatever, and Amanda Palmer is going solo, I’m starting to miss them already. This is obviously a strange song, oozing loneliness out of every word; the piano obviously too cliche to be associated with such dark lyrics, yet fitting them to perfection. Damn, I need a boyfriend.
Dead Can Dance – Ocean
From my favorite DCD album, their self titled, this is a monsoon of tropical rain right here. Dead Can Dance’s mystique and their goth overtones are most clearly on display in this song than in any other off of that record. Gripping, touching, engaging, mournful at times even. In my opinion, this is the only track on the self titled that could forecast DCD’s future as a neoclassical, darkwave band, as most of the others (with the exception of Musica Eternal, perhaps) prefigured a post punk, goth rock future instead. This is probably the least elaborate album of their entire history, but classic nevertheless.
David Bowie – Crystal Japan
This one is dreamy, electronic and cute. Lacks the sadness that NIN’s A Warm Place added to the already too original instrumental. This song has a lot of textures, it’s warm and calm and it’s by David Bowie, what more can you ask for?
Porcupine Tree – Chloroform
I’m not a huge fan of prog rock. I find it too pompous and complicated and unoriginal. And long. I’m not the biggest Porcupine Tree fan either, but this song is really good, and it has that rain element that I was looking for. Yes, it’s over seven minutes long, but the seven minutes are interesting and not a complete waste of time (unlike King Crimson’s Moonchild and its twelve minutes of absolutely nothing). The guitar solo in the middle is rich… it’s prog rock you know? These guys LOVE to show off their amazing guitar hero skills. Anyway, I like this song, I really do. Thumbs up.
Portishead – Theme from “To Kill a Dead Man”
Another instrumental. I might be overdoing it with the instrumentals and stuff, but it’s hard not to have instrumentals like these on a list of rain days songs like this one. This is the kind of instrumental that defines rain music, this is why people think of rain in the first place. By the way, I still have no idea what rain music is, but I’m trying to figure it out. I think this song would have been even more of a rainy days song if it had included Beth Gibbons’ desperate vocals, but I think Portishead (and trip hop in general) makes for really sweet rain music, with or without vocals.
Slowdive – Sing
Slowdive again. Yeah, I know. This is from Souvlaki, as is all of Slowdive’s good music, and… I really had no major reason for including this song on the list. I mean, sure, it’s sad shoegaze and it’s dreamy and whatever, but… so is most of their stuff, really. It was just a simple random choice. Anyway, anything from Souvlaki is fucking genius, so fuck it.
Spiritualized – Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space
I could not NOT add this song. The name says it all. As I said, I’m not a huge fan of prog rock, or space rock or the combination of both whatsoever, but this band is good. Really good. And this song is not fifteen minutes long, so I’m perfectly happy with it.
Damn, I ranted a whole lot today. Hee, I have annoyed you enough already, now it’s my turn to go do my hair. So, here I leave you with my contribution to a musically educated society, I hope you understand that this is my mission in life and bear with me. A domani!
Listening to: The Knife – Forest Families
Eating: Biting my fingernails. Yuck