Other People's Words, 22 Jan 2008
Timedoor brings us the songs of former Packer/Eagles great/bigot Reggie White.
REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD SERIOUSLY LISTEN TO A VAMPIRE WEEKEND SONG (OR THREE)
So. There's this band called Vampire Weekend and they must have the Midas Touch or something equally legendary cuz man oh man, they appear to have the biggest blog uproar since, like, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (or at least since Black Kids). Weirdly enough, I actually got to write about them back in July, when they were just a band playing through at a local show that now I wish even more that I had seen. I can honestly say this means that I am not a trend setter, but at the very least, sort of the Stone Temple Pilots to VW's Pearl Jam (which is far different than Pearl Jam's VD, for the record)(don't spread that rumor)(or maybe, do?).
Perfect: "If I Can't Change Your Mind," by Sugar
How can I explain away
Something that I haven't done
And if you can't trust me now
You'll never trust in anyone
--Sugar, "If I Can't Change Your Mind"
Typical review: witty summary, narrow it down, pick out a few songs, wrap it up in a nice bow.
Not this time. This time, the lyrics first. The above lyrics occur at a point in the song when you'd guess maybe Mould will drop the chorus another time, maybe repeat a verse or some other time-honored/slightly lazy trick, it'll end, and it'll be pretty good. But then! A curve ball near-ending--a verse that comes in at a time when you're like, "man, how could any song be this great?"--and we're off.
"How can I explain away/Something that I haven't done?" Chills.
"And if you can't trust me now/You'll never trust in anyone."
Does he have you yet?
There's a point in every (failed?) relationship when things have been said that you didn't want to say, or things have been done you've moved beyond regretting--things you wish you wouldn't have had the capacity to do. So often in rock songwriting, we get the perspective of the jilted whatever, or the angry ex, or the "take me back/please come back" plea.
But how often is there complication? How often do we see "With all the crazy doubts you've got/I love you even still?" This song is chilling partly because it's unique. It takes the specificity of "you will find a different person if you change your mind," throws that awesome 90's Moüld guitar sound behind it, and builds the perfect three minute pop song.
If I can't change your mind then no one will.
I've got about 9000 songs in iTunes, and about ten of them have made the "Perfect" playlist.
This is one of them.
Surrender on Both Sides
The new Mountain Goats album, Heretic Pride, drops (as the kids say)(if their slang lags behind) shortly after my thirtieth birthday, and right after that the boys will be playing two shows at the best venue in the world. If "Sax Rohmer #1," the leadoff single that the Goats made available for download recently, indicates anything (and let's face it--of course it does; main Goat Darnielle's own music fan/thinker status doesn't make me feel like he's the kind of guy to decide such a thing lightly), this album will be exactly what I've been waiting for.