One Hundred Seventy-Seven.
Wednesday, 2014.01.29, 10:18 AM CST.
soundtrack of 2013.
Current Mood: Recovering from illness,
Current Scent: Messe de Minuit by Etro.
my last post regarding the
soundtrack of 2012, this blog entry will detail fifteen songs which
could form a personal "soundtrack" for my year of 2013.
was an odd and remarkable year. My younger son turned one.
I was a bit more introspective than usual, and I took an extremely rare
opportunity to see two Depeche Mode concerts in a row - once with an
old friend whom I hadn't seen in twenty years, and again with my wife
and six-year-old son. I got more inspired than usual on a musical
basis, and I also cranked out some more new paintings.
year carried a number of intertwining themes, including loyalty, mental
illness, nostalgia, forgiveness, and perhaps, in a very subtle way,
without further ado, here's my personal soundtrack of 2013:
Depeche Mode - "Secret to the End."
2. VNV Nation - "Illusion."
3. Purity Ring - "Grammy."
4. George Barnett - "Get Lucky."
5. Grimes - "Vanessa."
6. Carina Round - "For Everything a Reason."
7. Duran Duran - "Palomino."
8. Depeche Mode - "But Not Tonight."
9. Clams Casino - "I'm God."
10. Chvrches - "The Mother We Share."
11. Amycanbe - "Everywhere."
12. Daughter - "Get Lucky."
13. The Cure - "Last Dance."
14. Client - "Someone To Hurt."
15. Depeche Mode - "Alone."
here's why each track was so darned special...
Depeche Mode - "Secret to the End."
had been watching my life like a film this year, "Secret to the
End" would easily be one of the tracks used for the trailer, and
the song used for the opening credits. "Secret to the End"
was one of the best tracks on Depeche Mode's
stunning Delta Machine, and definitely
one of the darker ones. Its ominous allusions to a "disappointment"
and a forthcoming confrontation were reminiscent of older DM, and yet
it was definitely a modern DM track.
VNV Nation - "Illusion."
was easily one of the most tear-jerking tracks ever released by VNV
Nation. Every soundtrack needs a killer ballad, and this one fit
Purity Ring - "Grammy."
this one got stuck in my head in 2013. A LOT. Offered as
a free download from the Purity
Ring website, this track was actually a cover of a Soulja Boy song.
Now, keep this in mind: I'm not a Soulja Boy fan. In fact,
I DESPISE Soulja Boy. However, this cover was good enough
(and infectiously catchy enough) that I considered it one of the fifteen
most significant tracks of the year.
George Barnett - "Get Lucky."
Yes, I know... "Get Lucky" is a Daft
Punk song. Trust me, I heard it (willingly and unwillingly) an
INSANE amount of times in 2013. Great song.
the reason that I decided to include George Barnett's version instead
of the Daft Punk version is this: The first time that I heard
the Daft Punk version, I expected to love it, and I loved it.
Simple as that. The first time I heard the George Barnett version,
I had stumbled onto a YouTube video of some seventeen-year-old of whom
I'd never heard, and I expected this cover version to suck. It
fact, I was blown away when I heard it. YouTube has plenty of
really crappy cover videos for all sorts of songs, but this was an incredible
exception. Barnett played all of the instruments on the track,
then recorded and sequenced them together into a funk-flavoured masterpiece.
It was an extremely awesome piece of work.
Grimes - "Vanessa."
forget how I found the video to "Vanessa" on YouTube, but
once I watched it, I was hooked. There was something about Grimes'
high-pitched vocals on top of her well-crafted synthwork that just really
drew me in, and that "Hey, hey, wanna play? Baby, I can go
and go" chorus got wedged into my head more often than I'd care
to admit. Despite its rather uplifting feel, however, I usually
associate it with a very dark period (emotionally) that I underwent
around April 2013.
can see space on my radio... I can see space on my radio..."
Carina Round - "For Everything a Reason."
one's on the list for one big reason: American Horror Story.
I had never heard this song (nor anything by Carina Round, to my knowledge)
before watching the first season of AHS on NetFlix, and this
track was played in the background of an extreeeeeemely saddening and
dark scene. I won't give any spoilers here, but there was a plot
element that I didn't exactly see coming, and when I realized what was
happening, it just hit me like a bag of bricks. (If you like modern
horror, you owe it to yourself to watch AHS... at least the
first season.) I went back over that scene repeatedly, and quickly
fell in love with the song.
Duran Duran - "Palomino."
summer, I was planning the two Depeche Mode trips, and I invested in
a used copy of Duran Duran's Big Thing CD as one of the selections
to take along for the drive. I'd always really liked the album,
but in the past I had only owned it on cassette. (That's right.
On cassette. Pathetic, I know.) So, I finally bought the
CD, and one evening I was listening to it and it dawned on me that "Palomino"
- a ballad that I had kind of overlooked in the past - was genuinely
a damn fine song.
Depeche Mode - "But Not Tonight."
one is the oldest track on the list. "But Not Tonight"
was released way back in 1986, as the B-side to their single "Stripped."
Then, Sire (DM's US record company) decided they would swap the A-side
and the B-side, so US got "But Not Tonight" as a single.
It was known as a track of which Depeche Mode weren't particularly fond,
so even though it became an uplifting favourite among many hardcore
fans, those fans also knew that there was ZERO chance of ever
hearing "But Not Tonight" live in concert.
2013, Martin Gore decided to prove those fans wrong... by performing
"But Not Tonight" at numerous "Delta Machine Tour"
concerts... including both of the concerts that I saw, in the Woodlands
(Houston) and Dallas.
song was an emotional highlight for me... and there's actually an entire
blog post just about THIS song right
Clams Casino - "I'm God."
was one onto which I stumbled while looking up chillout tracks on YouTube...
and I went nuts over it. It's actually a backing track that Clams
Casino did for a rap song by "Lil B" called "I'm God."
Months after originally discovering and going all wacky about the backing
track... I looked up the Lil B song, and the vocals just butchered
the song. The rap was absolutely terrible.
at the time of this writing, that backing version is available for free
streaming AND download from Clams
Casino's SoundCloud page.
quite curious about the vocals in this backing version, though.
Were they sampled from an Imogen Heap song? They sure sound like
[Update 2014-02-04: Yep, it's Imogen, sampled from the song "Just
for Now." Many thanks to my wife for the assistance on that
Chvrches - "The Mother We Share."
August 2013, I was lucky enough to see a concert by the Postal Service
(an electronic side project of Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie) in
Kansas City, MO, with my wife, Lanna. The show was a lot of fun,
and then afterward we went out in search of something decent to eat
- easier said than done at that time of night!
We ended up finding this little sports bar in Overland Park called Maloneys
(with no apostrophe). We walked in and had a fairly gargantuan
vegetable quesadilla while we talked for a while. While we were
there, this track started playing, and neither of us knew what it was...
but I wanted it. She looked it up on her phone using the lyrics
and determined that it was "The Mother We Share" by Chvrches.
was a beautiful night, and every time I heard this song, I think about
(Incidentally, if anyone could tell me where to find one of the vinyl
remix singles of this track, for a reasonable price, I would
appreciate it madly!)
Amycanbe - "Everywhere."
2013, I started subscribing to Feedbands - a company who sends out a
new vinyl album by a different unsigned artist every month. The
best of the batch that I received in 2013 was "Mountain Whales"
by an Italian group named Amycanbe. The album as a whole was really,
"Everywhere" became one of my favourites on the album quite
quickly. Although it was a downtempo track, it had an oddly aggressive
tone reminiscent of the classic Halou track "Separation."
Daughter - "Get Lucky."
this is the second cover version of Daft Punk's "Get Lucky"
that I would include on the 2013 soundtrack.
like the George Barnett cover of "Get Lucky," I stumbled onto
the Daughter version via YouTube (probably while listening to the Barnett
cover for the umpteenth time!), and when I listened to the Daughter
cover, I was overwhelmed. Their slow and somber take on the track
transformed it from a joyous song about going out trying to get laid
and turned it into something far deeper, colder, and much more haunting.
(If you're not familiar with Daughter... imagine Mazzy Star performing
soon as I heard the Daughter version, I knew that I would be including
two versions of "Get Lucky" on my soundtrack list. Both
hers and Barnett's versions were too good to exclude, and they were
so different that they would both find a place.
The Cure - "Last Dance."
what's really funny about the Cure's Disintegration.
For a lot of Cure fans, it's the most cherished album that the Cure
ever released - a masterpiece almost entirely focused on heartache and
I've enjoyed the Cure's music and have bought various releases (mainly
singles) from them since 1989, but regrettably (and embarrassingly!)
I never got around to buying Disintegration. It was another
investment that I made for trip music before the Depeche Mode journeys.
Dance" was a song that I had admired when I heard a live version
on a single in the past, but finally sitting down and listening to the
studio version really "got" me. Brilliant mood, brilliant
lyrics, brilliant song.
Client - "Someone To Hurt."
2013 had a set of closing credits, "Someone To Hurt" would
be played as they began, and it would need to be an unusually-done produced
set of credits - like the opening credits of Fincher's Fight Club
or the end credits of Fincher's Seven. It's beautiful,
dark, and a bit sadistic.
capable of being at least two of those.
Depeche Mode - "Alone."
that I can safely say that the first time I listened to "Alone,"
I cried... or I came pretty darn close. It very quickly became
one of my favourite Depeche Mode songs of all time - which absolutely
amazed me considering that it was a "new" Depeche
Mode song. I never thought I would EVER say that about a new DM
track, and I'm glad that I was proven wrong.
loved the feel of the song, I loved the theme, and I loved the fact
that unlike a lot of DM's "darker" tracks in the last decade
or so, this one didn't provide any semblance of hope or redemption.
It told a story that was not altogether unfamiliar to me. If 2013
were a film, then this would play during the second part of the end
credits to finish everything off.
there we go... My soundtrack to 2013. Hopefully I will post
again soon. Thanks, everyone.