I know, we only reserve the lists for the weekend right? Well, the weekend comes early, as I, along with my favorite person in the whole wide world, go on an unprecendented 15+ hour trip to the land of our birth. It will be a trip to visit my dad, who’s been in a 6 year long bout with lung cancer and who is also, currently missing his most loved and only grandson.
I can’t help but feel like Drew Baylor in Elizabethtown, or better yet, Andrew Largeman in Garden State – only replace the quirky female lead with an equally quirky, yet slightly unhinged, cute, 6-year-old autistic boy. Like Drew, I’ve recently been booted from my job, with which like Andrew, I’ve been harboring bitter thoughts about. This trip may or may not be insightful and life-changing, but one thing’s for sure, it’ll have a killer soundtrack.
As I load my flash drives and Mp3 player with all the songs I could think of, I’m posting a couple of songs that Paolo and I have been listening on the road during our short trips in and around the city. These are the songs that Paolo would request over and over again and like me, songs that he would wait to finish before he gets off the car, even if we’re at our destination. This will be a two person list (mine and Paolo’s), and as such, it will be more than the usual five – an extra treat since I don’t know when I’ll be able to post again during my 5 week sojourn.
To all the artists that have been keeping tabs on the site, I apologize for the non-reply, I’ve received all your requests to feature your band on the site (it’s a growing list, which piles on every day) and will get to that soon. But to date, I will be putting the Fresh From the Post section of the site on hiatus until I get back. Also, a much needed redesign of our clunky old site will be (hopefully!) in the works.
So now for our list –
I begin with my little cutie-pie Paolo’s list, it’s a fresh new list of favorite songs that we’ve been keeping the CD player in the car busy with. I’ve weaned him off his obsession for Architecture in Helsinki songs on to a more mixed song selection –
This is Psapp's other popular song aside from their Grey's Anatomy intro song. Paolo latched on to it, just to keep asking about the squeaking sound that they use towards the end of the song. It's a cat's toy, I say, and he would laugh. That would be our dialogue when the song plays. He never misses a beat and it cracks him up everytime. He's a cheap laugh I tell you. We recently watched the new Harry Potter movie and there was this one scene that made him laugh immensely. It was the scene at the Burrow where they showed a penguin skating on a cake. It was just up for a second or two, but he kept on laughing even when the scene changed to Death Eaters raiding The Burrow. He couldn't get over it and found it silly as hell. He still gets giggling fits when I mention it to him.
I'm not sure what the charm of this song is, but Paolo requests for it right away when he gets in the car. 'Can I listen to Generator, please?'. It's a nice exercise of requesting stuff nicely and properly since he requests to hear it more than once in a single trip. I try to limit it to twice in the trip - once at the start and once towards the end . He's the type that needs to get his last song request in just before the trip ends and even asks how long the trip is going to be just so he can slip his song in before we reach the destination. The uppity beat of a song is actually a great song for these dire times - a dance your blues away song that reminds you that there are a lot of other good things in life that you can feel good about.
Unlike all the other songs, my son requests this song by band name instead of song name. Boy Eats Drum Machine sounds far better then Two Ghosts, so that's how he asks for it 'Can I listen to Boy Eats Drum Machine?'. So if you ask Paolo what a boy eating a drum machine sounds like, he'll probably point you to this song. Obviously, he liked it because it's heavily video games music inspired, and of course the horns - who doesn't love a quirky song with trumpets in it?
I've included this in my list before, but not in one of Paolo's lists. After many months of playing Shout Out Louds songs in my car, I've finally converted my son into a fan. The only Shout Out Louds song that Paolo requests on his own, it's a nice song because 1 - it's absolutely brilliant and 2 - it's long. Clocking in at almost 7 minutes, I get more song variety with this song added to the mix on a 15 minute car ride and an only listen to the same song twice limit. This and any of the other songs he likes to listen to means almost no repeats. Also, listening to the Shout Out Louds make me happy inside - even if they're singing about heartbreak.
This doesn't get too much airplay on Paolo radio, but it's one of his noted favorites, among the few that he has right now. It's a nice sing-along song that's cute and appealing at the same time. I think he thinks its from a kiddie show or something.
Since Paolo's not the only one in the car listening to tunes, I've been teaching him to also allot a little bit of my time in to listen. He's been pretty accepting of it as of late - far improved from the times of listening to Architecture In Helsinki where he would demand to listen to his songs only. So I bombard him with stuff that I've been listening to lately. Labelled as Mommy's songs, here are a select few that's been doing rounds in the car CD player and keeping the little beast in the backseat of the car content.
There was this one time that I listened to this song for the whole of my 10 hour shift at work just over and over again. I couldn't get over how this song sounded so Prefab Sprout - and the fact that it was newish too was like novelty to me. It's like Prefab Sprout made a new song just for me to listen to. It sort of made me feel less dated than I was to like a song from 2006 (secretly because it reminded me of 1985). Now to find a nice new song that sounds like The Blow Monkeys.
I've been taking a liking to semi-noisy upbeat songs, just to drown out the doom and gloom that's surrounding me recently and Tokyo Police Club has just the amount of noise and pep that I need. With the song's obscure Robertson Davies reference, it's also a great song to listen to, to remind me of hipster Canada when I'm missing my adoptive home.
I am a big fan of songs that have people screaming like crazy in the background. With Tellison's Hanover Start Clapping, it's more of like a manly man cheering squad though, but still silly shouting nonetheless. Watch out towards the end as they up their game in the shouting match, leaving the background singer (or screamer), just a little bit near losing his voice from his heartfelt screaming.
I'm not sure if was just the song that got me liking it, or watching the bittersweet music video. Nonetheless, this song just got stuck in my head. Polyvinyl's generously offering it as a free download as well - which earns extra points for me.
I love the Guillemots especially when they're singing love songs. In this case, it's just appropriate that I cap off this nice list with one of their songs. This song comes from one of their earlier releases from Fantastic Plastic Records. It's a little bit quirkier with the sound compared to their other songs, but still it sounds strikingly beautiful. A song about wanting to quit loving someone but being hopelessly unsuccessful in the end - it just fills your heart with all the fuzzy warm feelings that I'm seriously needing right now.
There's a lot more songs in the road trip for our Long Ride Home - songs which will hopefully keep us in good company. As I load up our mp3 players - I hope this might satiate you guys until I get a chance to post again. Until then, give the our blog archive a whirl and it'll be ciao for now.
artwork: a Threadless tee design by Robert Gould