A number of songs I think you should hear

by Nick Smith in

Hi. Here's a number of songs I recommend, nay COMMAND, you to listen to. I'm just gonna tell you what they are and give you a brief description of why I love them so. Go find a video on Youtube or something if you have no easy access to them. I think I'm gonna refrain from Mountain Goats songs because I've spent so much time tooting their horn here and honestly I'd have a hard time just picking one song. 1. Velouria - Pixies: I have been in love with this band for 2 years now. I keep coming back to this song. I am a sucker for things that can be very pretty while still managing to fucking rock. This succeeds awesomely. The ripping power chord opening dissolves into gorgeous verses before returning for the choruses. Kim Deal's backup vocal is, to borrow a lyric, velveteen, and Joey Santiago as always supplies a nice understated lead guitar. Also something about the object of the feelings in this song gets me. Is Velouria a person, a place, a thing? I don't know, which is part of its allure for me.

2. Half Jack - Dresden Dolls: Listening to the Dresden Dolls inspires a bizarre mix of desires and emotions in me, as much of the content is from a strong feminine perspective, which doesn't line up as neatly with my perspective as most of my music does. Yet I feel a strong connection to these songs that I cannot effectively describe, other than to say that Amanda Palmer is a fucking good songwriter. This song is brimming with an emotional intensity that I cannot easily compare to other music. A great slow build over the course of the song, culminating in the powerful "See Jack Run" refrain at the end.

3. Who Cares - The Flat: OK. I'm gonna toot my own horn a little here. This is MY song. If you don't have it, you can download the whole EP here for free. It's my favorite song on the album and I like what it has become. It's fun, light, and has a wide range of meaning that can be drawn from it. Once I get off my ass and start playing open mics again I'm gonna be leaning on it pretty hard, as I think it's the song I've written that has the most accessibility.

4. Going Away to College - Blink-182: If you think, "I'm too cool for Blink-182," I will give you a very, very dirty look. They're SO MUCH FUN! And while they certainly cater to the shallower stuff, they are a little deeper than they are given credit for. They can play a song that simultaneously rocks and feels. The chorus on this song is magnificent. The narrator my not have much to offer other than his "bouquet of clumsy words" and "simple melody" but all that matters is that "you're so beautiful to me."

5. Warning Sign - Talking Heads: David Byrne is fucking awesome. The greatness of Talking Heads in my eyes was that everything was so simple, yet it was so deceptively complex. The early stuff rode the line between smooth and jagged so effortlessly without losing the groove. Perhaps he is the only person to ever intellectually unlock the secret to the elusive concept of "soul." At any rate, I love this song. A killer bass line and classic Byrne wackiness ("Look at my hair I like the design") just push all the right buttons for me.

That's all that jumps to mind. I may do more of these as songs pop into my head and refuse to vacate the premises.

Mucho D'amour, Nick

Dumber than a second coat of paint