Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The '59 Sound

I adore this song.
The first time I ever heard it was on Steven's Untitled Rock Show on Fuse; which, I'm pleased to announce, seems to be airing new and ever-amusing episodes after a scary time in which I thought my favorite show on television may be cancelled.
The video was first aired on the show months ago. Steven, the host of the show (gee, really?) declared this one of his favorite songs from an up-and-coming artist, and seemed to anticipate the song's popularity far before it ever hit the radio stations near me.
These days, it's rare not to hear The '59 Sound over your stereo if you have the radio set on my local alternative station. Being that the alternative station is indeed my favorite, I have heard a lot of this track lately.
And yet, it just never gets old. The Gaslight Anthem have recorded a huge first single. There's so much raw emotion in this track; the vocals and instrumentals are simple and honest. The lyrics, if you take a minute to really listen, will break your heart - they speak a story of memories, good and bad, regrets and thanksgiving that come with our final days in this world. However, despite an upsetting concept, this song has a hopeful, reminiscent overtone. It really is a bittersweet listen, but one that makes you feel better once the final notes fade away.
As a whole, this is one that I just can't seem to get enough of. I look forward to hearing more by this band.
This is The '59 Sound by The Gaslight Anthem. Enjoy :)

The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 Sound Official Music Video

The '59 Sound
The Gaslight Anthem

Well, I wonder which song they're gonna play when we go;
I hope it's something quiet and minor and peaceful and slow.
When we float out into the ether, into the Everlasting Arms
I hope we don't hear Marley's chains we forged in life

'Cause the chains I been hearing now for most of my life ...

Did you hear the '59 sound coming through on Grandmama's radio?
Did you hear the rattling chains in the hospital walls?
Did you hear the old gospel choir when they came to carry you over?
Did you hear your favorite song one last time?

And I wonder, were you scared when the metal hit the glass?
See, I was playing a show down the road when your spirit left your body.
And they told me on the front lawn, "I'm sorry I couldn't go",
But I still know the song and the words and her name and the reasons

And I know 'cause we were kids and we used to hang ...

Did you hear the '59 sound coming through on Grandmama's radio?
Did you hear the rattling chains in the hospital walls?
Did you hear the old gospel choir when they came to carry you over?
Did you hear your favorite song one last time?

Young boys, young girls ...
Ain't supposed to die on a Saturday night ...

Did you hear the '59 sound coming through on Grandmama's radio?
Did you hear the rattling chains in the hospital walls?
Did you hear the old gospel choir when they came to carry you over?
Did you hear your favorite song one last time?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sing For Absolution

I love Muse. That without a doubt is very true. They are coming closer and closer to becoming my favorite wise of course (My Chemical Romance and Blue October will always hold incredibly special places in my heart).

So, I was interested in finding some Muse tracks that I hadn't heard, and a few days ago I went on a Muse spree on youtube.
In the process I found one of the most amazing songs I've ever heard. "Sing For Absolution"

I don't know exactly how to describe this song, or how much I love it, and how much it touches me...or even why. There's something hauntingly beautiful about it, about the lyrics and the tune. Matt's voice is amazing. He's got one of those voices that just captivates, that ensnares, and empowers...I get shivers and just an overall "wow" feeling whenever I hear him sing. I totally understand how Stephanie Meyer found this band such an inspiration when writing the Twilight saga, you can't help but think of true love, and loss, fear, and longing when listening to this band. Sing For Absolution completely embodies all of that.

The music video is also something to behold. It's a very sci-fi setting. With great computer animation graphics...kinda remind me of the more epic scenes from the movie Titan A.E.

Anyway, I've found this song just brilliant. Of have to form your own opinion.


Sing For Absolution-Muse


lips are turning blue
a kiss that can't renew
I only dream of you
my beautiful

tiptoe to your room
a starlight in the gloom
I only dream of you
and you never knew

sing for absolution
I will be singing
falling from your grace

there's nowhere left to hide
in no one to confide
the truth runs deep inside
and will never die

lips are turning blue
a kiss that can't renew
I only dream of you
my beautiful

sing for absolution
I will be singing
falling from your grace

sing for absolution
I will be singing
falling from your grace

our wrongs remain unrectified
and our souls won't be exhumed

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Nightmare Revisited

Every few years Tim Burton, Danny Elfman, and team see it fit to re-issue "The Nightmare Before Christmas" soundtrack, and add a bonus CD with covers of all the song by current artists. This year was one of those years!

"The Nightmare Before Christmas" really is a classic. It was a movie that was ahead of it's time in stop motion animation technology. Not to mention it had an amazing score/soundtrack written and composed by master of movie music Danny Elfman.

The music is really what made the movie so magnificent. More than a decade later people still line up yearly to see the movie in theatres (in 3D), and kids (and adults too) sing along with the great songs.

Nightmare Revisited takes today's artists and gives us the songs we loved from the movie, with a twist.

The Track list
Coupled By My Opinion Of Each Song

[This track really got me. It's quite the opening. The style is almost Cirque Du Soleil. Very circus. An absolutely wonderful start to the CD!]

2.Opening-Danny Elfman
[This isn't that different than the original which was narrated by actor Patrick Stewart. I do think that Danny's voice has a very neat sound to it though, especially since he did Jack's vocals in the original]

3.This Is Halloween-Marilyn Manson
[Definitely a Manson track. Creepy as ever. Has some techno undertones, but sticks with the goth sound that Marilyn does so well.]

4.Jack's Lament-The All-American Rejects
[This isn't my favorite track, by any means. Tyson's voice seems a bit whiny for the song...not as good as it could have been.]

5.Doctor Finklestien/In The forest-Amiina
[This was really nice. There's a slightly Asian backbone to the song, and I love the deep strings (Bass I think?) that keep the beat. It also has a music box feel.]

6.What's This?-Flyleaf
[One of my favorite tracks on the CD. Flyleaf did an amazing job. The song is quite a bit slower and more melancholy than the original (and definitely more so than Fall Out Boy's cover from the last special edition!). Lacey's voice really shines in this song.]

7.Town Meeting Song-The Polyphonic Spree
[The beginning of this song was really cool, futuristic! Lol. Almost David Bowie's Space Oddity sounding. Actually, the whole song had a Bowie-esque sound to it. I liked how they changed the vocal's like a completely new song. Towards the middle it gets a bit Broadway sounding. It's really something new.]

8.Jack and Sally Montage-The Vitamin String Quartet
[Exactly the excellence you'd expect of Vitamin. Beautiful strings. I could listen to this over and over.]

9.Jack's Obsession-Sparklehorse
[Falsetto. That really sums it up lol. I will say though that the acoustic guitar is quite beautiful, as well as the vocal melody, which like in The Town Meeting Song was changed. There's the faint hint of something that could be a lullaby, maybe.]

10.Kidnap The Sandy Claws-Korn
[Classic Korn. Creepy, strange vocalizations, the whole nine yards.]

11.Making Christmas-Rise Against
[Love the electric guitar opening! And being a Rise Against fan, I'm kinda biased, but I'll say that I really liked this. Very hard-core. Love it.]

12.Nabbed-Yoshida Brothers
[Done in a very beautiful classical Japanese style, with a techno/dance twist. Really great.]

13.Oogie Boogie's Song-Bordrigo y Gabriella
[Spanish! It has that wonderful acoustic guitar flair you get from Spanish flamenco music.
This is the first track on the CD that takes a song that originally had vocals and made it instrumental.]

14.Sally's Song-Amy Lee
[What can I say other than gorgeous when describing Amy's voice? She just owned this song. It's haunting. I love the extra Goth she added to the song. Absolutely amazing, brilliant, beautiful!]

15.Christmas Eve Montage-Rjd2
[Electro. Fun. Christmas with it's own neat little spin. All I can say is it's way fun to listen to, and you can definitely dance to it!]

16.Poor Jack-Plain White T's
[I liked this one. Tom's voice really complimented the song, it's not very unlike the original Elfman version. This song really shows a side of Tom's voice I've never heard, he has quite a range. This exceeded my expectations. Really a good song.]

17.To The Rescue-Datarock
[More electro, techno, synth-pop, whatever-you-wanna-call-it. I'm also a Datarock fan, and I can say they did quite the job on this instrumental piece. Fun stuff.]

18.Finale/Reprise-Shiny Toy Guns
[I love how it starts with a almost "broken carousel" version of "Here Comes Santa Clause" with the guys in the band creepily whispering "la-la-la-la". Then it goes hard-core on us. They even through in a few "Phantom" style organ chords. Another curve, it turns into a very pretty ballad, with church style organs. Again, vocal melodies have been changed, but it's all for the better. The song is really great.]

19.Closing-Danny Elfman
[Same as opening really. Just the original piece narrated by Elfman instead of Stewart]

20.End Title-The Album Leaf
[A very clam, pretty, instrumental end to the CD. Kinda makes me that warm kind of sleepy when I hear it.]

Anyway, it's a great album with surprises around every corner. Be sure to get a listen! Truly a great album, and definitely the best so-far of the Nightmare remakes.

I'm going to share one of (because there's no possible way to fit all of them!) my favorite tracks, Flyleaf's version of "What's This?.


What's This?-Flyleaf


What's this? What's this?
There's color everywhere
What's this?
There's white things in the air
What's this?
I can't believe my eyes
I must be dreaming
Wake up, Jack, this isn't fair
What's this?

What's this? What's this?
There's something very wrong
What's this?
There's people singing songs

What's this?
The streets are lined with
Little creatures laughing
Everybody seems so happy
Have I possibly gone daffy?
What is this?
What's this?

There's children throwing snowballs
instead of throwing heads
They're busy building toys
And absolutely no one's dead

There's frost on every window
Oh, I can't believe my eyes
And in my bones I feel the warmth
That's coming from inside

Oh, look
What's this?
They're hanging mistletoe, they kiss
Why that looks so unique, inspired
They're gathering around to hear a story
Roasting chestnuts on a fire
What's this?

What's this?
In here they've got a little tree, how queer
And who would ever think
And why?

They're covering it with tiny little things
They've got electric lights on strings
And there's a smile on everyone
So, now, correct me if I'm wrong
This looks like fun
This looks like fun
Oh, could it be I got my wish?
What's this?

Oh my, what now?
The children are asleep
But look, there's nothing underneath
No ghouls, no witches here to scream and scare them
Or ensnare them, only little cozy things
Secure them in their dreamland...

What's this?

The monsters are all missing
And the nightmares can't be found
And in their place there seems to be
Good feeling all around

Instead of screams, I swear
I can hear music in the air
The smell of cakes and pies
are absolutely everywhere

The sights, the sounds
They're everywhere and all around
I've never felt this good before
This empty place inside of me has been filling up
I simply cannot get enough

I want it, oh, I want it
Oh, I want it for my own
I've got to know
I've got to know
What is this place that I have found?
What is this?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I'm going to get this out there right now; I'm not a huge Death Cab for Cutie fan. I like some of their popular stuff (I Will Follow You Into The Dark, Soul Meets Body ...), but, as a whole? Not my favorite band.
But this song has simply captivated me.

Cath... is lovely in every way. The lyrics describe such an upsetting, bittersweet scenario; it's impossible not to sympathize with the character the song describes and her less-than-desirable situation. And the way this story is told, from a third person perspective, makes you feel as if you're stepping into the story, watching this scene play out - as if you're one of the people in the pews, whispering, "it won't last"; as if you're one of her friends, asking "what became of her".

Besides the powerful and heartbreaking lyrics, the instrumental melodies are quite impressive. The simple, yet effective, guitar which opens the song is probably my favorite part of the entire track, as far as instrumentals. Paired with the ticking symbol, the melody is catchy and keeps you tuned in for just a few bars, before the drums really kick in and you know the song has begun.

The only thing I don't like about this song is how quickly it seems to end. Clocking in at nearly four minutes, the track is not at all short; however, while you're listening, you get so drawn in to the storyline and the way the band presents it that you seem to loose track of time - until the same familiar guitar melody fades into the background of the final seconds of the song.

For a song with such a literal, straight-forward lyrical standpoint, I am surprised to find myself twisting the story in my own mind, discovering new ways to interpret the lyrics in a more figurative way. As a whole, I simple adore this song, and whether you see it from a literal or figurative standpoint, it's really just a one-of-a-kind track.

This is Cath... by Death Cab for Cutie.

Death Cab For Cutie - Cath... Official Music Video

Death Cab for Cutie

Cath, she stands with a well-intentioned man
But she can't relax with his hand on the small of her back
And as the flashbulbs burst, she holds a smile
Like someone would hold a crying child

And soon everybody will ask what became of you
'Cause your heart was dying fast, and you didn't know what to do

Cath, it seems that you live in someone else's dream
In a hand-me-down wedding dress
Where the things that could have been all repressed
But you said your vows, and you closed the door
On so many men who would have loved you more

And soon everybody will ask what became of you
'Cause your heart was dying fast, and you didn't know what to do

The whispers that it won't last roll up and down the pews
But if their hearts were dying that fast,
They'd have done the same as you
And I'd have done the same as you.