Tuesday, July 04, 2006


So I've been tagged. My editor, who is a pretty interesting man in his own way, challenged me to
List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether theyhave words, or even if they're not any good, but they must be songs you'rereally enjoying now. Post these instructions in your blog along with your 7songs. Then tag 6 other people to see what they're listening to.

I thought I'd go ahead and one-up him with links to my songs on iTunes. Here are seven I'm into this summer.

Sound of Running – The Old 97's

No song by Merle Haggard or Willie Nelson comes close to this expression of fatalistic wanderlust. “The sound of running’s always racing me.” No other song about trains better describes compulsive flight and the meaning of life: “till they put me on the westbound, singing sweetly over me.”

Crystal Frontier - Calexico

Much of the world's pop music is made with an eye to what is happening in America. Calexico is my favorite American band that knows how to take a look south, across the border. The Crystal Frontier – a short story by Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentos – sings a song of so-close-but-so-far-away, all atop a mariachi beat.

Kol Nidrei – Max Bruch

This one is actually over a hundred years old. Max Bruch, wrote a ten minute instrumental song inspired by the sung prayer that opens the Jewish Yom Kippur liturgy. The violins and cellos here are haunting; check out the transitions between major and minor chords. Makes you want to cry with the sheer emotion of it all.

File Under Futurism – Freight Elevator Quartet

The FEQ were the house band for Columbia University’s Computer Music Center up till a few years ago. This crazy bit of avant-garde uses cellos, drum machines, keyboards, djembe, didjeridoo, bass, buchla, software and turntables. And it rips.

Dig That – Rob Dz Experience

The emerging Madison (Wisconsin) sound crosses brass bands and hip hop and makes for hot parties for hot summer nights. Madison’s best rapper Rod Dz rhymes here with a funky horn section.

Nuclear Summer – Youngblood Brass Band

Another example of the Madison sound. New Orleans-style marching band, with just a little Wisconsin polka thrown in for good measure, red-hot beats and staccato rapping. And being from Madison, the subject matter is bracingly political. Mmm.

Dynomite (Going Postal) – Rhymefest

Rhymefest is Chicago’s answer to Blackalicious. Dynomite combines great beats with intelligent verses for a high-tension warning to any would-be battle challengers. It’s excessively macho, but hey. It’s summertime. Posted by Picasa


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