Saturday, June 30, 2007

"I can't do this all on my own, no I know, I'm no Superman"

While driving to Scarsdale today, my friends and I had a conversation about our enjoyment of Scrubs and Reno 911. Scrubs effectively uses their background music to hammer home or propel their plot points, so here are a sampling of my favorite songs used on Scrubs.

Colin Hay - Overkill. Colin Hay, of Men at Work fame, was the troubadour that semi-haunted JD in the episode titled after the song. He's the only musician I've noticed to appear on the show (I don't count Clay Aiken as a musician, but if there are others that I'm not remembering, let me know), and he was used cleverly throughout the episode. His music truly mirrored the problems of other characters and, of all the music used on the show, was the most useful device. Colin Hay's solo work is also incredibly well crafted. I think I enjoy it more than the songs he did with Men at Work.

Erasure - A Little Respect. This was used in the season one episode My Best Friend's Mistake. Of all songs to play in the background of an operation, this is a really fun(ny) choice. Erasure's also touring as part of the True Colors tour with Cyndi Lauper, The Gossip, Margaret Cho, etc. Tour schedule and other information can be found here.

Jon McLaughlin - Human from Indiana. Heard in the episode My Conventional Wisdom. It's used when Elliot's wondering if she's making a mistake by marrying Keith. Using the lines "is there any other reason why we stay instead of leaving" really makes the moment intense.

Lazlo Bane - Superman. This is the Scrubs theme song. The soundtrack can be purchased here.

And oh yeah, they did a musical at some point too.

Friday, June 29, 2007

"You drop a coin into the sea and shout out 'Please come back to me'..."

The Canadian band Stars is finally releasing a new album on September 25th. Titled "In Our Bedroom After the War," the first track that the Arts & Crafts label has opened up for download is called The Night Starts Here. Right click and take a listen for yourselves.

I think it's a bit more percussive than their previous material, and at first, found that to be a bit jarring. The song really comes into its own around the 2 minute mark when the layers soften out into a better blend than initially created and Amy Millan's voice feels a bit less staccato. It's at that point when the music really becomes a definitive Stars track. With such song titles as "The Beginning After the End," I'm really looking forward to the new material and hearing it in comparison to the very direct sound of Set Yourself On Fire.

If you enjoy Stars, then something to listen for, aside from the new album, is the individual work of Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning who are both contributing members of Broken Social Scene (whose other members, incidentally, are in Stars, Metric, etc). They are also releasing solo albums in September and early 2008, respectively.

"Teacher thinks that I sound funny, but she likes the way you sing..."

I am constantly thankful for the presence of my friends and often awestruck in looking back and realizing the growth that has occurred, both of our bonds and of each individual. Keeping that in mind, I thought it would be nice to put up a couple of my favorite tunes on the topic. From the early notion that two children could walk with eachother merrily to school, to people being with one another in their final days, here are a handful of songs that I believe chronicle the growth of companionship in a unique manner.

The White Stripes - We're Going to be Friends from White Blood Cells. I think Jack White captures the nature of elementary school friendship perfectly. Children walking to school, getting messy, the rambly sing song nature of their speech, the coziness of autumn. Even the video for the song, (which can be found here) is understated and sweet as Jack plays guitar while Meg sleeps.

Stellastarr* - Somewhere Across Forever. This song reminds me of a conversation. I've always thought of it as a back and forth between two people, perhaps teenagers, of a particularly bold and brazen temperament, wanting to strike out on their own and establish a world for themselves.

Justice Vs Simian - Never Be Alone. Aka "We Are Your Friends," the story behind this song is hazy, possibly due to the many re-imaginings of the bands involved (Justice, Simian, Simian Mobile Disco, Garden). From what I've gathered, it seems that Simian released "Never Be Alone" and then Justice remixed it for a contest (but didn't win!). The song still took off, was renamed, and won an MTV Europe Music award (it was the one where Kanye West went crazy). It reminds me of nights spent dancing, and how I was told to remember the lyrics so one of my friends could get the song, but never did.

LCD Soundsystem - All My Friends from Sound of Silver. The line "you spent your first five years trying to get with the plan and your second five years trying to be with your friends again" makes me think of 30 or 40 year old business people in suits running around trying to be 20 again. As a bonus, here's Franz Ferdinand - All My Friends (LCD Soundsystem Cover). Quite possibly better than original.

Death Cab for Cutie - "Follow You Into the Dark" from Plans.
I thought it was best to put up the video.

And as a post script to yesterday's initial video post, Rod Thomas actually contacted me and is a really sweet fellow who appreciates even the tiniest support. He's coming to NYC in late September, and you should totally check him out. I know I'll be there.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

"And we'll go down to the city and dance like there's nobody watching..."

Rod Thomas - Your Love is a Tease.

Inaugural Post

I am just testing this out right now.

There will be real posts to follow, I promise.

In the meantime, I will put up a video and make you guys happy.