#574: The White Stripes – I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself

Gotta say I don’t have much on the brain about this one….. Nothing on the personal side of things anyway. I think the song’s great don’t get me wrong, The White Stripes achieve a fantastic cover of Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s composition (originally made popular by Dusty Springfield in 1964), but I think I just saw the music video on MTV when I was about nine and thought it was cool. And because I was only nine and still thought girls were icky, I never got the appeal of Kate Moss pole dancing and writhing on a table. The song just simply sounded awesome. That is the official music video by the way for any new readers or listeners, not my doing.

The White Stripes were alright. They have great songs but I’m not a huuuge fan… It always was a big thing when they announced a new single or album though. I recall the video for ‘Icky Thump’ being shown almost every hour on MTV2 in 2007 when it was released. Good times being 12 and everything. Good tune too. Though you wouldn’t find me being the first in line to buy their albums. Was a shame when they split though. Probably still had so much to give.

So anyway ‘I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself’ appears on the band’s 2003 album Elephant as its fourth track. This track’s tone is what pulls me in every time. There’s something very slinky, sneaky and sly in the way it’s performed. Jack White gets that ashy tone on his guitars and sounds like he’s wailing his vocals about in an empty corridor. Meg White gets all primal on the drums. The contrast between the quiet verses and the sudden release in the choruses. That triumphant ending where the song title’s repeated and everything fades out. Man. This is a great track. Whenever anyone attempts a cover of an old track, I feel they should always adapt it to their style whilst trying to capture the magic of what makes the original. The White Stripes did it here. This is one of those good covers.

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My iPod #410: Fall Out Boy – Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying

Honestly, I liked this track much more in the past than I do now. If I had the same attitude towards it like I did then, I would have provided the song’s full title, but that is just too much. I’m tired and burned out. Not to say that this track is bad, ‘cos I’m gonna write about it anyway. It has lost its effect on me, that’s all.

“Get Busy” is a very bitchy track. It appears to be from the perspective of a guy used for sex, and eventually dumped by a girl who he really had feelings for. The guy’s understandably pissed, but feels that justice is served when the girl’s ‘secret’ (what it is, we don’t know) comes out and rubs it in by telling her that the secret was shit anyway. He’s over her. She don’t matter no more.

I have always like the music on this track. The palm-muted guitars add a very sinister tone to the song’s atmosphere, and the track also showcases Patrick Stump’s vocal talents. He doesn’t just sing on here, but he also (kind of) screams along with Pete during the bridge, adding a real harshness on his voice. It did take me a while that it actually was him who was doing that and not just a guest vocalist from another band they knew.

Pete Wentz also reads out a poem as the final chord is struck and fades out. To this day I don’t know what it’s about, but as he continues reading it his delivery rises in intensity as the guitar fades in again until coming to a sudden stop. That ending’s always made me feel a bit uneasy. But it’s a good lead in to “XO”. Very similar to what they did with “20 Dollar Nose Bleed” and “West Coast Smoker” on Folie á Deux.

A shame I don’t feel as excited by the song as I used to. But those were some good few years I had when I was.

My iPod #285: Franz Ferdinand – Do You Want To

After a year and a bit of waiting, “Do You Want To” was Franz Ferdinand’s ‘we’re back’ single in 2005, their first one from their then upcoming second album “You Could Have It So Much Better” with Franz Ferdinand. The band went on to shorten the name.

I remember the first time I watched the “Do You Want To” video well. And the second time…. and the third. And so on. That’s because (after, again, premiering the day before on Channel 4) it was repeated every hour on MTV2. The band pretend to be drunk, or just act really stupidly, at a casual gathering. It seemed that they were pleased that everybody’s favourite Scottish band had returned, after what seemed like a long, long… long year and a bit. It was very hard to hear the same thing over and over without getting a bit sick of it; fortunately it isn’t an annoying track.

The anticipation towards a night out is the subject of many songs. Take this one, for example. That is what “Do You Want To” is about too. But in this case, Alex has his eyes on someone that he wants to take out for a night in the town. That someone is the listener… and we are very lucky to be chosen. With the infectious “doo doo doos” and the memorable chorus, it’s very hard to refuse Alex’s offer.

My iPod #284: The Kinks – Do You Remember Walter?

This is the second track from The Kinks’ 1968 album “The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society“, a collection of fifteen songs about living in the country, nostalgia, and general English culture. Without listening to the albums that came before it, I have come to the conclusion that the album was the group’s last best one. I’ve heard “Arthur” and “Muswell Hillbillies” but they were such a drag to listen to. The only song on “Village Green” that I can’t really listen to casually is “Last of the Steam-Powered Trains”, but the rest are light-hearted, carefree, sometimes tragic but still upbeat. “Walter” fits in with those last two adjectives.

Did you have a friend in primary school who you felt was like a brother to you? Were you inseparable? You thought you could take on the world together when you were grown ups? (Or at least keep in touch with each other every day at the start of Year Seven?) That’s nice. I had one of those friends…. We haven’t kept in touch so much. I actually haven’t spoken to him in about three years. He’s got new friends; I have mine. But the memories of our times in school stay strong.

That’s essentially what “Walter” is all about. I’m sure a lot of you will be able to relate to it.

There are more songs to talk about from this album. Their time will come. Have fun with this one for the time being.

My iPod #283: OK Go – Do What You Want

This song has three official videos for it. Why, you might ask? I’m not particularly sure myself. But the one above isn’t the one I wanted up. This is the version I saw on the TV first so it has that extra sentimental value or whatever. The ‘tour’ version will have to do.
This is “Do What You Want”, a song by OK Go released as a single from their second album “Oh No” released in 2005. What a track this one is too. After seeing “A Million Ways” and being captivated by the band’s creative dance routine, I didn’t see anything from the band for a few months until this unexpectedly popped up in a random music chart on MTV2. It may have been in a “New Music” segment thing, but the memory’s a bit fuzzy.
I’ve never cared to think about what the song’s about. Not in a bad way; I’ve always liked the way it sounded. Really bright, with a clunky guitar riff and a smooth and deep bass line. Along with a nice positive message of doing what you want. It’s something to play at those parties where all you play is indie tunes. It’s bound to get some people on their feet. I’ve never been to any of those kinds of parties, so I wouldn’t know. Then the song was part of the soundtrack of Burnout Revenge, and it buried itself into my head that much more. Something about racing down the street and taking out cars at high speeds caused a proper adrenaline rush. This song, as well as the many others, made the experience so worthwhile. I should play that game again, I haven’t even completed it.
Enjoy the song.

My iPod #282: Super Furry Animals – Do or Die

After coming downstairs in the early hours of the morning, switching on the television and changing it to MTV2, the video for “Do or Die” – the last single from “Guerrilla“, the third album by Welsh band Super Furry Animals – came on. It was over quickly because the song’s only two minutes long, but even afterwards I could slightly remember the melody of the chorus, even though I had no idea what Gruff Rhys was singing apart from the title phrase. That was in 2005 or so. I didn’t hear it again until roughly seven years later.

“Do or Die” wasn’t even supposed to be a single. Originally the band had chosen the album track “Wherever I Lay My Phone (That’s My Home)” for release, but the label meddled around and promoted “Die” instead. The band weren’t very pleased. I am though, “That’s My Home” annoys me a bit; it’s very repetitive and doesn’t really go anywhere. It one of those tracks that I think I would have liked when I was four, and then listened to it later on in life thinking “What was so good about this again?”.

The track’s cool, man. It’s got funny lyrics about riding camels and eating tomatoes and a simple, catchy riff that alternates between two chords. The track becomes louder and louder from the instrumental part onwards before coming to a complete stop whilst synthesizer noises carry on and eventually fade out.  Plus it has a really bubbly intro, helped along with those keyboards, that sounds like background music to the start of a Saturday morning children’s television show.

My iPod #281: Arctic Monkeys – Do Me a Favour

“Do Me a Favour” is a song from Arctic Monkeys’ second album “Favourite Worst Nightmare”. Have I mentioned that this my favourite album of theirs? I may have done before. I’ll assume that I’ve stated why that is my opinion, so I won’t go into that again.

Placed after the mellowest track on the album, “Do Me a Favour” starts off the second half of “Nightmare” with a minor-key track about the end of a relationship from the point of view of a man who has cheated on his girlfriend and feeling so guilty about it eventually tells her.

The track begins with ominous rolls on the tom-toms, followed by ascending bass line and Alex Turner’s vocals. It continues to slowly build brick by brick (hehe), as the guitars are introduced later on. The majority of “Favour” is calmly delivered, before launching into the explosion near the end where Turner sings the last verse and everything comes to a close.

As it is only an album track, there is not much extra information I am able to provide. Sorry. The point is, it’s a decent one. If you haven’t heard it, spare a few minutes.