“List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now, shaping your spring. Post these instructions in your blog along with your 7 songs. Then tag 7 other people to see what they’re listening to.”
I'm taking this as an opportunity to write about seven of my Top Ten Singles Of 2008 So Far, ignoring "Pork And Beans," "Beat It" and "I Will Possess Your Heart" as I've already said plenty about them.
Chris Brown, "Forever"
We've only got one night to double your pleasure, double your fun, and dance forever. Again. We've only got one night to double your pleasure, double your fun, and dance forever. Read it slowly. We've only got one night to double your pleasure, double your fun, and dance forever. This the biggest lyrical vortex in pop since the Backstreet Boys' "empty spaces fill me up with holes." It's so insane that I sometimes forget Brown opens the second verse with "it feels like we're on another level" and rhymes it with "we could be two rebels." Thanks to the blithe, carefree music and Chris Brown's jubilant delivery, resistance is futile.
Coldplay, "Viva La Vida"
Watch out, Arcade Fire! Thanks to you, these guys have figured out how to make grand music without being messianic or singing about love, and their leader doesn't sound like a turkey when he gets excited. The perfect song to celebrate the existence of term limits to.
Gnarls Barkley, "Run"
I enjoy the zebra-stripe sequence, but the goofy video gets in the way of the lyric, which does apocalyptic dementia even better than Dick Valentine. With every listen this song sounds better than "Crazy," better than "Hey Ya," better than just about anything I can think of. No other song sounds more awake to the world at large; it's as fun as a fire alarm gets. Where Electric Six is trying to live in the nightmare, Cee-Lo still thinks there might be hope, but only if we run(!).
The Hives, "T.H.E.H.I.V.E.S."
Interscope, are you really just going to throw "Tick Tick Boom" in a bunch of action ads and then call it a day? I know "Throw It On Me" stiffed, but come on, this song has fluke novelty hit written all over it! You said this was going to be a single in February, so fund a video! Put it in ads! It's perfect for The Gap! They got together with Pharrell and made you a classic, now do your damn job!
MGMT, "Time To Pretend"
Indie is the new alternative, but what I'm psyched for is when it becomes the new alternapop. Between Myspace shrinking bands down to a four-song introductory EP and labels of all sizes trying to hook their acts up with advertising companies, I'm thinking bands are going to learn how to focus fast, leaving us with a bunch of cool songs from disparate sounds that only have some vague social context in common. Indie used to be about using your collegiate leisure time to find the diamonds in the coal, now the bands have some impetus to do it for us.
Nine Inch Nails, "Discipline"
The Slip inspired me to finally revisit Trent's pre-With Teeth full-lengths, and I was surprised to find I enjoyed Pretty Hate Machine even more than his recent arena boogie, thanks to his punkest vocals and late '80s percussion tracks that undercut any metal power-tripping (a flaw that sinks much of The Downward Spiral, despite the extreme production detail that also fails to keep Trent from hitting the wall on The Fragile). I originally took "Discipline" for "Only, pt. 2" but its contradictions are far more interesting than that sum-up would imply. Why is he more comfortable than ever with pop on pop's terms now that no one's asking him to conform? And how awesome is it that he decided to give the evidence away?
Trina, "Single Again"
Sometimes I'm inordinately bothered by female self-contradiction (Xtina's "words can't bring me down so don't bring me down," for instance), sometimes I'm not, like when Trina tries to act triumphant after getting dumped. Sure, she's clearly not as over it as she's claiming, but it's hard to fault her mix of heartbreak, anger and dismissive disgust. Maybe it's because she doesn't throw in self-pity.
And now to pick seven other blogs to send the meme on to.
Blackmail Is My Life
b-r-double o-k-lyn drama
Mind Your Own Goddamn Business