Colin’s Picks of the Week #1
Hey everyone! It’s been kind of a busy week for my family, but I’m back. Congratulations to my sister Lauren on graduating from high school, and happy 20th birthday to my other sister Kerry.
In my last post I had some ideas for things I can post here that don’t involve top 5 lists or making fun of stupid crap since I’ve almost got all of my playlists posted here. This is one of those ideas — just a few songs I’ve had stuck in my head lately that I’d like to tell you all about. And just to force you all to increase the hit count for this post, I’m going to list them all after the jump.
What can I say? I’m evil like that. MUAH-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!!!
So… on with this first-ever installment of Colin’s Picks of the Week!
Green Day, “21 Guns”
So it seems this song is going to be the next single from 21st Century Breakdown. Well, there’s a shocker. As soon as I heard it for the first time, I knew this was going to be the next “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams.” Like I said on my show, you are going to get absolutely sick of “21 Guns.” It’s going to be a huge hit, the radio stations are going to play it to death and then play it some more for good measure, and even though it’s a damn good song the sheer amount of exposure it’ll get will cause you to avoid listening to it for a long time. That’s pretty much exactly what happened with “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” — I liked it a lot at first, and then the radio started playing it every five minutes. This is why I sort of have an unwritten rule for my show that I can’t repeat any songs I play on it — because the radio has a remarkable knack for ruining great songs for you by PLAYING THEM WAY TOO DAMN MUCH. Need more proof? Ask my dad what he thinks of “Stairway To Heaven” sometime.
Oh, and “21 Guns” is quite literally going to be just about everywhere this summer. It’ll be on the radio all the time, the video will be on MTV and VH1 and Fuse all the time, it’ll be on the soundtrack to the new Transformers movie, AND it’s part of a three-song downloadable package for Rock Band (along with “East Jesus Nowhere” and “Know Your Enemy”). Enjoy listening to this song while you can, because by the time September rolls around you’ll be hearing “21 Guns” in your broken dreams.
Silversun Pickups, “Panic Switch”
You know, this band gets compared to the Smashing Pumpkins a lot and I’m not really sure why. Maybe it’s the androgynous lead vocals, or the fuzzy guitars, or the fact that their bassist is a girl, or the band name that can be abbreviated to SP. Whatever. They’re a good band. They may wear the Pumpkins influence on their sleeves, but it’s not like they’re pulling a Jet — they’re not rewriting “Lust For Life” and calling it “Are You Gonna Be My Girl.” Plus, songs like this show that they’re capable of more.
I just got a copy of the Pickups’ new album Swoon earlier today mainly on the strength of this song. “Panic Switch” is awesome, a six-minute fuzz-rocker driven by a really catchy bass hook and some high-octane drumming. When I first found out this song was six minutes long I was completely taken by surprise; it’s one of those songs that doesn’t feel like it’s as long as it is, and you don’t mind it being that long. It’s located right at the heart of Swoon‘s track listing, increasing the record’s pulse and pumping life into everything else. And it gets stuck in my head every time I hear it. Probably one of my favorite singles of the year so far.
Radiohead, “Faithless The Wonder Boy”
I can’t really put my finger on what happened Friday afternoon while I was helping set up all the tables and chairs for my sister’s graduation party. I was rolling a round table out to the tent in the backyard, and I kept humming an old Radiohead song to myself. No, it wasn’t “Creep.” Nor was it “Fake Plastic Trees.” It wasn’t even “Street Spirit,” still my favorite Radiohead song ever. It was a B-side from the Pablo Honey era called “Faithless The Wonder Boy.” “And now I know just what it is,” as Thom Yorke sings in the second verse, that got it stuck in my head that day. This song is catchy as hell. It’s gotten back in my head as I write this: I’ve had these jeans since I was born, and now they’re ripped and now they’re torn…
How did this song get left off of Pablo Honey? Seriously, how? It’s better than some of the songs that actually made the album (I’m looking at you, “How Do You?”). Of course, you could say the same thing about a whole bunch of Radiohead B-sides. “Maquiladora” and “Talk Show Host” were left off The Bends. “Polyethylene” and “Palo Alto” couldn’t make the final cut for OK Computer. All of Amnesiac‘s B-sides are pretty cool, Hail To The Thief had “Gagging Order” and “I Am A Wicked Child,”and most of the songs from the In Rainbows bonus disc make for worthwhile listening. You could make a great album with Radiohead’s B-sides. That’s pretty amazing. And we haven’t even touched on the unreleased and unfinished stuff like “Follow Me Around,” “Lift” (the ’96 version is great, the ’02 version not so much) and “Big Boots.”
As much as I really like “Nothing Ever Happened,” the first single from Microcastle, the song that finally convinced me to grab a copy of that album was “Agoraphobia,” which I’ve been humming to myself on and off over the last few weeks. There’s nothing too fancy or experimental about it, especially when compared to some of Deerhunter’s other work. It’s just a straight-up catchy little guitar song, and one of the easier songs on the album to love right away. It’s also pretty upbeat for a song named after the fear of having panic attacks.
Everywhere I go these days, I find this song getting stuck in my head. Sometimes it’s that “cover me” hook that starts the song. Other times it might be a guitar melody. But I don’t mind because “Agoraphobia” is a really good song. It’s better to have a good song stuck in your head than a song you don’t even like that much, right?
So that’ll just about wrap it up for this week’s POTW. Now to get back to watching the Phillies. They’re playing the Blue Jays tonight in a rematch of the ’93 World Series. Cole Hamels has thrown 66 pitches and still isn’t out of the fourth inning yet. He’s my sister’s favorite Phillie, so he’d better get the win tonight as a belated birthday gift.