Four years ago I attended a mess of a festival headlined by REM and The Offspring. It also featured bands like The Mars Volta, Kaiser Chiefs, Spiritualized, The Jesus and Mary Chain and Bloc Party. It was one of those hastily-thrown-together collections of whatever big international acts happened to be touring South America that week, without much rhyme or reason, slapped with a big bright “GENERIC MUSIC FESTIVAL (courtesy of some brand of soft drink)” banner. It was all pretty crass and artificial, but hey, all big summer music festivals are.
The schedule appeared to have been assembled haphazardly, with The Mars Volta playing one of the first slots of the day. Of course, Omar & company played a tight, impressive behemoth of a set. They were immediately followed by a comparatively languid-sounding Bloc Party. Now, Bloc Party is a band that needs the kick. It needs to sound tight and snappy and precise for the songs to pop the way they should. Placed right after the technical virtuosity of The Mars Volta (who were playing with Thomas Pridgen at the time), they sounded flimsy and insipid. They would’ve come off so much better if they had just gone on a little earlier in the day. Alas.
It was a pretty weird festival, mostly because headliners The Offspring seemed so completely out-of-place, but there were two incredible performances that really stood out, by two bands I loved but hadn’t seen before: Spiritualized and The Jesus and Mary Chain. Both of these bands performed red-hot, scorchingly loud sets of glorious, chaotic noise, the feedback engulfing the crowd like a sonic tsunami, occupying every inch of the harmonic spectrum and then reeling the songs back in, receding and leaving us gasping for air. They were two of the greatest sets I’ve ever seen by anyone, and it really reaffirmed the idea that, though subtlety and finesse have their place, sometimes you just want to be drifting awash in tuneful guitar feedback.
All of that is to say… I really like loud music. And, as my (very public) vessel for late-night (and alcohol-induced) romanticizing, the contents of this blog tend towards the melancholy and reflective; as such, the accompanying music has tended towards the quiet, delicate and taciturn as of late. This time around, I made a playlist of loud, roaring, generally upbeat songs (without falling into complete dissonance). It’s 31 minutes long, and all the songs are great. Or, y’know, at least I think so.
You can listen to it by clicking the embedded player below:
(Play it loud.)
The songs in the playlist are listed below:
Abe Vigoda- “Crush”
Kylesa– “Cheating Synergy”
Pity Sex– “Wind Up”
Cracker– “100 Flower Power Maximum” (with apologies to David Lowery)
Wild Flag– “Romance”
Dwarves– “The Crucifixion is Now”
Wavves– “Super Soaker”
Fucked Up– “Turn the Season”
Love is All– “Talk Talk Talk Talk”
Big Business– “I Got It Online”
Beatsteaks– “We Have to Figure It Out Tonight”
In an unrelated piece of holy-shit-the-Internet-is-awesome news, I found the great Paul Williams on Twitter and decided to take my chances and send him the piece I wrote on one of his songs for the Muppets Movie soundtrack, “I’m Going to Go Back There Someday”. Much to my surprise, the man actually read my post and was kind enough to respond. I know it’s silly, but this feels monumental to me– that such a great songwriter (and personal hero) is, in some small way, acknowledging my existence… as well as taking the time to read my clumsy attempts at verbalizing how I feel about one of his songs… is pretty fucking great. So thank you, Mr. Paul Williams, for being a class act, and for retweeting my silly blog post, and for writing “The Rainbow Connection”.