My songs every week are drawn almost entirely from two groups: The Tanner Times staff and members of the PVMHS band. This article is designed to be an accurate representation of the entire school, and I feel as though my sample group is too small. Please, if you read my articles, tell your friends, tell your teachers to tell their students, tell everyone. And submit songs yourself. I need all the songs I can get. Every week I have to send out reminders and pleas for more songs, but this should be fuelled by the reader. Send your songs to my email. Also, check out the archive page here for all the playlists since there are so many now. Here is the playlist for this week. Big thanks to our Super Contributors, whose playlists can be found here: Edgar Castro, Matt Smith, Evan Murphy(The Least Super), Natasha DaSilva, Meeghan Bresnahan, and Demetri Cassidy. Also extra special thanks to Connor Murphy, without him we'd be nowhere.
Fleet Foxes - Drops in the River
I've done Fleet Foxes before, as have my brother and Edgar, but they deserve to be continually brought up in musical conversations. Drops in the River reflects on the speaker's past relationships, and the lack of any substance within them. His "birds of a feather would arrive nightly", but further into life, they've become "held to another like clutched ivy". He is still alone, and "speak[s] to the ocean and receive[s] silence". He has no idea where to turn now because of the nature of his previous relationships.
The Kinks - This Time Tomorrow
Popular musicians, especially from the 60s and 70s, have been known to have a strange sort of nihilism. It's a common sort of transient blues from touring musicians. They sing about how ephemeral their world is, constantly traveling, never getting a good look at anything, but it applies on a deeper level to anyone going through life, sort of a call to enjoy the small things because they'll be gone sooner than you might expect. This is a very common theme in popular music (i.e. Steve Miller Band - Jet Airliner) but of the similar songs I've heard, this one stands out to me as a more widely applicable and soulful one.
Two Gallants - despite what you've been told
It takes a brave person to admit how much of a selfish, superficial asshole they are to get into a relationship for nothing but to try fill the whole where someone else was or should be. The speaker is basically criticizing himself for getting into relationships for the sake of relationships. It's a very introspective song about relationships without love. Almost the "during" to Drops in the River's "after".
Phillipa Soo - Burn from Hamilton
This song spoils a pretty big plot point, so decide for yourself if you want to spoil yourself if you don't know anything about Hamilton. But I really love this song so much. The first part of it is so romantic and beautiful. And then the second part is absolutely heartbreaking. Eliza Hamilton is the real star of Hamilton actually, and this song and the last song of the musical proves it.
Emmy Rossum and Patrick Wilson - All I Ask of You from The Phantom of the Opera
I find this song so romantic and beautiful. Even though in the musical and movie what happens right before is scary. And what is happening to Christine (the girl) is scary. But then this song happens, and I think it is really pretty and that parts of it are so romantic. I definitely prefer Sierra Boggess's voice over Emmy Rossum's, but I decided to buy this one on iTunes, so that's why I decided to submit this version.
Michael Arden - Heaven's Light from The Hunchback of Notre Dame Musical
Oh look. It's Michael Arden. I really love this song. It's so sweet. SPOILER ALERT. Quasimodo (the title character) thinks that no one will love him because of his appearance, but then he meets Esmeralda and then he starts believing he will find love. The song right after this goes hand in hand with this one, and they have such a contrast it's insane. That song is called Hellfire. Heaven's Light is all about how Quasi loves Esmeralda and he thinks it's heaven and God helping him. It's like he actually loves her. But then Hellfire is about how Quasi's caretaker, Frollo, lusts like crazy (and like actual crazy) after Esmeralda, to the point of thinking she can either be with him or burn as a witch and go to Hell. Honestly, Frollo is so terrifying. And Hellfire was in the Disney movie. So family-friendly. Anyway, I love Heaven's Light, and how it shows what's so beautiful about love. It's so heartwarming, because Quasi is an outcast, and he thinks he finally has a chance of being part of something. Also. Michael. Arden's. Voice.
Imagine Dragons - Radioactive
Here is an example of a band that does great work in the studio, and can perform live at the same level of awesomeness.
Dog Faced Hermans - Keep Your Laws Off My Body*
The Dog Faced Hermans, a defunct anarcho-punk band from the late 80s to early 90s, are probably one of the greatest punk bands you might not have heard of. A lot of the time, I can get why bands from various genres of punk aren't talked about a ton: The Pop Group and This Heat might be a bit too "weird" or noisy; Glenn Branca might be a bit too droney. The Dog Faced Hermans, though, aren't nearly as experimental (though they are still very inventive), so it's hard to see why they weren't as successful, given their very unique sound. Their music ranges from the typical anarcho-punk fare of their first LP, Mental Blocks for All Ages, to the more post-punk sound of their second LP, Hum of Life, to the mix of calmer post-punk with some krautrock influences seen on Those Deep Buds, their third LP. These albums and the sound of the Dog Faced Hermans in general are augmented by the trumpet playing of Marion Coutts (who is also the vocalist), something that's not too common to hear in the punk spectrum.
Someone on YouTube referred to Keep Your Laws Off My Body, the third song off of Those Deep Buds and one of their quieter tracks, as "Can meets the Au Pairs", and that seems like the perfect way to describe this song: the bass and guitar playing is very reminiscent of those of tracks by the krautrock band, Can, particularly of the basslines of songs like Yoo Doo Right and Sing Swan Song; the vocals, sparse guitar riffs, feminist undertones, and, to some extent, the drumming, are reminiscent of the music of the post-punk band Au Pairs.
Keep Your Laws Off My Body, a piece about legislation aimed at restricting the control women have over their bodies, as the title and lyrics (" I will live in no dark ages"; "I will fight this territory") suggest, takes a very post-rock approach to the post-punk genre, gradually building up and reducing the energy level throughout the song and reaching a climax when over 2/3rds of the song is over. The song starts off with only Colin Mclean's bass playing for a few seconds, after which Wilf Plum's drum playing, Andy Moor of The Ex's guitar playing, and Marion Coutts' vocals are layered on, one by one. After that, instruments are added or removed at the end of each stanza. This fairly regular varying of the instruments involved continues throughout the entire song. Around 3:44 is where the most exciting part of the song happens: Coutts' trumpet playing, probably the definitive, main contributor to the band's unique sound, is introduced, and all of the instruments kick up a bit until they fade out, one by one, bringing the song to a close.
Admittedly, the song might be a little too calm or boring to start out for people who prefer high-energy music and aren't too patient; in that case, the Dog Faced Hermans' previous albums, Hum of Life and Mental Blocks for All Ages, are worth checking out. They sound a bit more like your typical punk music but still retain Coutts' trumpet playing and the interesting drums and bass that are the most defining qualities of the band.
Since I mentioned Au Pairs and Can:
Au Pairs - We're So Cool
We're So Cool, unlike Keep Your Laws Off My Body, is a more traditional post-punk song. However, the music of Au Pairs, like the music of the Dog Faced Hermans, does share the same feminist undertones, just in a less experimental package. We're So Cool is short and punchy, featuring funky guitar riffs and moderately fast-paced bass playing and drumming. Lesley Woods takes a very sardonic look at unfaithful relationships in We're So Cool, singing things like, "I don't mind if you want to sleep on your own / I don't mind if you want to bring somebody home" with a somewhat mocking tone on top of the energetic instrumentation. There's not really much else to talk about; it's just simple, funky post-punk.
CAN - Bel Air
This one is a doozy. At almost 20 minutes, it's quite a handful and is one of the longest songs of the krautrock group, CAN. However, unlike post-rock and drone music of similar length, there's always something going on at every point in the song to keep you interested. In fact, the song is constantly changing: it starts off very calm and quiet but slowly picks up in activity until it starts to resemble the average CAN song at around 4:30; it changes again around6:40, becoming something like a drum solo supported by synthesizers; at 8:30, the energy gradually starts to taper off until it sounds like a field recording piece at around 9:20; at 9:40, it starts to resemble the segment that started at 4:30again; from there, it gradually becomes more and more improvised until it somewhat resembles free jazz, taking a small one-minute break of warm, droning synths before closing on a strong, energetic note.
The song has a very fluid quality to it, smoothly transitioning in and out of its different, very distinct movements while still maintaining the overall feeling of the piece. It's also a very good demonstration of the talent of CAN's members, showcasing both their musicianship and endurance withstanding an almost 20 minute, constantly evolving song. Bel Air is certainly not for the impatient or those short on time, but if you're willing to sit through the entire thing, you'll be greatly rewarded.
Daniel Powter - Bad Day
This is a good song.
Bowling for Soup - 1985
This is a good song.
David Bowie - Let's Dance
This is a good song.
Hilltop Hoods - 1955
As if I needed more Australian hip-hop in my life, I just can’t help it. Hilltop Hoods is my latest addition to my list of groups from the land down under. 1955 is one of my favorites of there and has a great video. Definitely check these guys out.
The Script - Hall of Fame
A great pick me up song full of inspiration. I keep forgetting about this song but I seem to always find it again somehow.
Benny Bell - Shaving Cream*
Some random kid named Connor played me this song on one of those band trip things, probably one of the only cool things he’s ever done. Thanks and have fun