#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great don’t get me wrong, The White Stripes achieve a fantastic cover of Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s composition (originally made popular by Dusty Springfield in 1964), but I think I just saw the music video on MTV when I was about nine and thought it was cool.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 #439: Queens of the Stone Age – Go with the Flow

“Go with the Flow” is a song by Queens of the Stone Age that has grown to be one of the band’s most known and beloved songs. Reasons? It’s placed on what is arguably the band’s best album of Songs for the Deaf, it has a brilliant and iconic Shynola-directed music video used to promote its single release, and and because everything about it is just too badass to comprehend.

Though personally it’s not my favourite Queens track, I admire it for its sheer velocity, execution, and quality. The song doesn’t even allow you to settle into the groove. It just explodes into its rhythm and from then on it’s full throttle energy exuded all round by each member. Honestly…. never thought about its meaning that much because to me the music has a lot more impact. But Josh Homme still works it on the vocal area as only he does best, and backs it up with powerful guitar playing alongside Nick Oliveri on the bass and Gene Trautmann (and not Dave Grohl as some may think) on the drums.

If you haven’t heard it before, where have you been? Listen to it now, man.

My iPod #404: Supergrass – G-Song

*yawn* It’s been a while. How’s everyone doing?

Hope you all enjoyed your festivities over the holiday season. Feels quite strange starting this up again, seeing as I haven’t done one thing on this site since late November. I apologise. I need breaks too. But here I am again, and here I should be (almost) every day to give you the songs on my iPod beginning with the letter ‘G’.

So what better way to start it, than with a track entitled “G-Song” – the fifth track on “In It for the Money“, the second album by Supergrass. I always wondered why it was named as so.  The title has nothing to do with the song’s subject matter; the phrase doesn’t appear in the lyrics. But it came to me not so long ago. The song’s written in the key of G Major. Duh.

The only reason I can think of enjoying “G-Song” is having listened to it repetitively alongside the other eleven tracks that accompany it on “In It for the Money”. After “Late in the Day” ends I always expect “G-Song”‘s sudden introduction to kick in, with its chugging guitars and solid bass. The instrumentation is something that really gets to me when listening to this track. It’s got a real *oomph* to it. Can’t find a better way to describe it. Especially the phrase that plays during the “There may be troubles…” refrain. Groovy as anything.

Like many of the other tracks on the album, it also contains a bridge which sounds like it could have been used to a completely different song altogether. Yet somehow, the guys manage to bring it back right into the song’s already established riff. That is good stuff, right there.

In terms of lyrics, I have a feeling that this track is one of those where the band worked on the music beforehand before coming up with the words to suit it. Gaz Coombes sings about feeling strange whilst walking on his way home or something….. I really don’t know. But that’s not a bad thing. What matters is, this track is pretty good. Recommended listen.

On an unrelated note, “I Should Coco” turns twenty this year. Anyone on getting a Supergrass campaign started to get all their nineties albums re-released and remastered? Very politely ask Gaz Coombes and Mick Quinn.

Annnnnnnddddd……

The White Stripes – Fell in Love with a Girl

Hello again. If you read the final post from the F’s, you’ll remember me writing that I had actually skipped one track out by mistake. This was the track. How I skipped it, I’ll never know.

“Fell in Love with a Girl”. Classic. Not much to say. Bass-less, simple five chord track with an amazing video which makes you wonder what you’ve been doing with Lego your whole life.

I remember seeing the start of this video when I was younger, and being disappointed when it turned out that it wasn’t “Walkie Talkie Man” by Steriogram. That video was directed by Michel Gondry too. As a result, I would always change it without really listening to the song. Big mistake. The White Stripes’ video and song are much better.

Was never a huge White Stripes fan. But this track is great. Have to say. RIP.

I bet no one remembers who Steriogram is.

My iPod #369: They Might Be Giants – Finished with Lies

A person decides that they will never tell a lie again in They Might Be Giants track “Finished with Lies”, the reason being that if no one believes anything they say now they never will in the future. Somehow though in the last verse when the narrator is being checked on by an examiner, telepathy is used to rig the results…. so it looks like it is another one of those unreliable narrator type tracks that TMBG usually do. Seems like this narrator has problems – which is something that is said right at the end of the track that comes before it… I see what they did there.

“Finished with Lies” is a very standard rock tune. Standard band ensemble of guitars, bass and drums with a few erratic synthesizers here and there and backing vocals in the chorus. It is a very simple track, and I like that. Originally the track was going to be something of a slow march which you can listen to on YouTube; it’s an interesting version and makes the lyrics sound a lot more serious. But I do prefer the one on the album.

My iPod #245: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Date with the Night

How’s everybody doin’.

I didn’t know Yeah Yeah Yeahs until 2006, the year the band’s second LP came out. It was that year that my sis started to like the one-woman-two-men group and borrowed “Fever to Tell”, the band’s first album released in 2003, from a friend.

“Date with the Night” was Fever’s first single. It is about getting ready for a night out, looking forward to what awaits and wishing to fulfil expectations.

This song is noise. It isn’t one you want to listen to if you need to relax. Guitars are screeching, drums are booming, lead singer Karen O moans and howls endlessly at various points of the track. Pretty hot stuff. Very hot actually.

I’ll stop there.

My iPod #244: Pavement – Date w/ IKEA

 

Today’s song is by Pavement, and taken from the band’s fourth album “Brighten the Corners” released in 1997.

Unlike the majority I have on my iPod just because Stephen Malkmus basically wrote almost everything else, this Pavement track was written by the other guitarist in the band Scott (Spiral Stairs) Kannberg. He wrote quite a few for the group, getting two songs at the most on each of their albums bar “Terror Twilight”.

What can you expect from this Kannberg composition? He’s not that great of a singer (worse than Malkmus; he’s not so good either) and the chord progression is quite basic. In fact it’s the same one as that used in “Kennel District”, but in a different key and everything. But it is a really enjoyable tune.

The title is a bit abstract; there is no mention of it in the lyrics. I never really think what it is about. I just sing along, and enjoy the music.

My iPod #190: Arcade Fire – City with No Children

“City with No Children” came at a point in my life where I had no idea what my future held in store for me. I’ll tell you more, I just have to state the basic information first.

Ahem… The song is on Arcade Fire’s third album “The Suburbs” from 2010, and was released as a single too.

So as I was saying earlier, “City” came at a time when I was… quite depressed actually. I hadn’t done so well in my AS levels but did well enough to get back into the second year of sixth form. Every day I went into school wanting to be somewhere else. It was not fun anymore. My friends were the only thing that made the sixth and three quarter hours bearable. I was always thinking towards the future because of uni and everything else. Times were bad.

I’d known the song was on “The Suburbs” and I downloaded the album right when it came out three years ago, but it was in September last year when I decided to listen to the album the whole way through again. The track was the one that caught me on that second listen, just because it was so calming and relaxing. It took me away from everything, you know? You know.

To a lesser extent, the song felt great as the seasons changed from autumn to winter. It seemed to fit the atmosphere perfectly.