Brief pop music round-up

1. In a personal stand to keep the “D” away from my “O” and “C”, I am on a personal campaign to adjust the volume settings on the tv, my mp3 player and my laptop in increments other than solely those divisible by two or five. Thirteen is a perfectly acceptable volume number. So’s eleven. Nothing wrong with eleven.

It is right and meet that the volume should go to eleven.


2. When the bass drops in, finally, in Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites by Skrillex, I always think to myself “Earth. Shattering. Kaboom.” Therefore, I want a vid to this song of planets exploding and explosions in space and enormous spaceships crashing and exploding.

3. Speaking of music, All We Are We Are, by P!nk, seems to me to be a song about … Occupy Wall Street, the 99%, and the upcoming election?

Even if she didn’t intend it that way, that’s how my brain is parsing it.

4. I like the new Ke$ha single, Die Young. I just like Ke$ha. As this interview in the Guardian from 2009 points out, the woman is terrifically smart, knows her principles, has a steady and loving family, and is going to take the pop world for all it can give her.

This seems like a perfectly sane approach to pop stardom.


Year in Music 2010, part two

[This is part two of my post on this year’s music. Part one can be found here.]

Here we go, with more songs and videos:

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Year in Music 2010, part 1

[This post is split into two parts, for length. This is part one. Part two is here.]

The Year in Music 2010

This year was the year of the playlist. Many of my favorite songs came to my attention through character-themed playlists given to me by friends. It occurs to me that I don’t know how many of you do this sort of thing, or know what I’m talking about. A character playlist is when you like a character, or a relationship between characters, and you make a playlist to describe that person or relationship. I have found in the last few years that this is the best and easiest way for me to access new songs. The playlist aspect gives me an emotional hook — I listen to the song’s lyrics and apply them to a character I love. I end up feeling that I both know more about the character and also about the song.

This is because the part of music that I most listen to is the emotional story. That story can be in the repeating hook, or it can be in the verses, or the chorus. But I’m not listening to the musical complexity; I’m listening to the story. For a lot of rock tunes the story is … a little bit up to the listener’s discretion. It’s opaque. And for a lot of pop tunes the story is a little generic. In both cases, tying the song to a specific character give me a clearer image of what is happening. (This is also why I like music videos and vids.)

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My 2009 in music

This is a personal list, a retrospective, not an attempt at a best-of. I can’t say that this was particularly a year of new music for me. Not in the sense that the music was produced or released in this year. (Well, some of it was.) But this is the music that moved me, that held me, that I fell into in 2009. (And, yes, those tactile metaphors are deliberate. Music-as-overwhelming-physical-sensation, that thing that makes me bang on the steering wheel as I drive to and from work, you know?)

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