Thursday, June 23, 2005

Summer music: White Stripes and The Vanity Project

There's Coldplay too, but I've yet to hear a song that motivates me to go out and buy one of their CDs. Either I've always heard the same song, or all of it sounds alike. I also had the misfortune to catch them in a snippet on SNL recently and thought it sounded like a lonely cat singing on a fence (there's an old cartoon there somewhere). And I don't mean that in a good way. Maybe one day they'll finally click with me...

The new White Stripes, on the other hand, is very addictive. Jack White: the man who makes the marimba sound really, really creepy. I'm a latecomer, I admit. I finally bought Elephant after numerous recommendations from siblings, and it quickly became one of my favorites. I enjoy Jack's playful, subversive, slyly humorous lyrics and just the general weirdness of the White Stripes. I think he and Meg are the louder, less wholesome, post-modern Carpenters (a drumming "sister"...uh-huh). And I do mean that in a good way. (I love the Carpenters, and think Karen has just about the richest, most beautiful voice I've ever heard.) I also get shades of--of all things--The Rocky Horror Picture Show. "Forever for her (Is over for me)" reminds me of "Dammit, Janet." Seriously.

I got The Vanity Project on the same day (hence, the combo) -- the new solo album from Steven Page of BNL. The lyrics are always thoughtful and surprising and his voice is gorgeous (the male Karen Carpenter? Yeah!). The whole album hangs together well--sort of brooding, world-weary, someone trying gracefully to say goodbye to youth and heading resignedly into... maturity. I know the feeling. Anyway, there's a line in "Thank you for sharing" that keeps running through my head: "Thank you for scaring the hell out of me." I can think of so very many people/organizations/administrations to whom I could deliver that line with the same degree of desperation. It's like sweet Nellie Mackay's background-snarled, "Die, motherfuckers!" in "Sari." It's very cleansing. Which really brings me back to "Get Behind Me Satan." Once you've brooded, reflected, and chilled with Page, it's time to hear some cathartic wailing and thumping. You should listen to dark, gentle Meg--as one reviewer put it, and I can't improve upon it-- "beating the crap" out of her drums.

1 comment:

Bubba Gump said...

Sounds like your a music buff. From one music lover to another I officially recommend the album "Nada Surf" to you. Any of the albums will do but the first is the best. This is quite a articulated album and if you have seen any of the music vidoes their definitely a happier or maybe not happy but brighter version of Coldplay. In truth that's why I know listen to coldplay was because of this band. Although Coldplay's melancholy is something that is is to be missed in Nada Surf which is why It's the gateway drug to Coldplay not as harsh and solemn but near the level. Cheers Mate! and Welcome to blogging.