[side note: I am super proud of all my friends who blog and follow me- you can see their lovely faces to the right]
On my way to work this morning, I was rocking out to some Rilo Kiley and a thought hit me, two thoughts actually. "Who the hell have I become" and, "Man, do I love B-sides".
If someone told me 10 years ago that I would listen to and love indie-rock, contemporary folk music, I would have punched them in the face. I was a punk rock/grunge chick who used profanity a lot and was weary of showers. As you get older though, I guess it is more than your taste palette that expands and changes. I still don't like most "indie" music (What does that mean anymore? How can you be indie if you latest album came out on Maverick? Which reminds me, I read a wonderful article in MovieMaker about Truffaut being the last independent filmmaker. More on that at another time). Anywho, I don't watch music TV (if there is still such a thing) and I rarely listen to the radio. All my current music comes from friendly suggestions and magazines.
It started innocently enough- I was reading an issue of Bust when a review caught my eye and I thought, "My sister would like this". So, for Christmas, I bought it for her. It was Neko Case "The Tigers Have Spoken" and it was the beginning of the end for me. I heart her. I quickly copied the CD into my computer and have bought every one of her albums. I went on a date with the music editor of the Dallas Observer that year to one of her shows. Poor thing, I dumped him with my sister and moved as closely to the stage as I could get. goosebumps ran up and down my arm. I can't remember when that has ever happened before. Her music, lyrics, stage presence, overwhelmed me. This year, she's up for a Grammy ("Middle Cyclone" Best Contemporary Folk Album, and Album packaging), and I got so excited.
From there, I finally gave in and shelved the latest from Rilo Kiley, Jenny Lewis, Neko Case, Amy MacDonald, The Kaiser Chiefs, Thao & The Get Down Shake Down, etc. right next to my Horrorpops, Tiger Army, and Avenged Sevenfold. I can now stand tall and proud and declare, "If you make music with a steel guitar, accordion, banjo, or ukulele, I want your album".
For as long as I can remember, I've been a fan of B-sides. I love when artists release "Best of" CD's composed entirely of B-sides (big thanks to The Pixies for one of the best ones). The B-side of a tape (or the back half of a CD) is where the actually artist lies. It is comprised of the songs you know they had to fight to be included. They were not singles, they may have detoured from the expected sound, they were personal. I find myself listening to tracks 7-12 most often. When in doubt of what to listen to, I pick Track 9- It's almost always spectacular!
So, point two: My love of B-sides. This came into my head while listening to Rilo Kiley's "More Adventurous". I already knew I loved the "forgotten tracks", but this album was a bit different. I like the A-side so much better. Songs like the "Portions for Foxes", "Does He Love You", and "I Never" are the reason I love this album in the first place. Towards the end, it gets a bit murky and laconic.
In the spirit of Sunday (and again stealing from Stephen King's EW lists), here is a small list of what I've been listening to most this month:
* Neko Case
* Rilo Kiley
* AMP presents: Psychobilly
* The Cardigans
* The Kaiser Chiefs
* Francoise Hardy
* Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood
* Johnny Cash
* Marianne Faithful
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going home to enjoy my 2 1/2 days off! See you Saturday.