My choice of music is very much ruled by my immediate frame of mind. Music that might be unthinkable one day, might be what I crave the next. As I scroll my selection, the choices I make involve very little contemplation; all I do is listen to my heart.
Come Sunday it is time for the week’s listenings to be compounded into a chart at Lastfm. I find this exciting for different reasons. For example do I like the element of surprise, as I have very often forgotten many of my listenings. I also think it is interesting to see the actual list compiled, with the different artists in relation to each other.
Last week's top 20:
Woodpigeons’ “Songbook” has been my favorite album for some time. Their music has been appropriately described as: “[…] jingly, ramshackle chamber-folk concoctions driven by banjo, glockenspiel, a sprawling choir and quivering male vocals.” (Now Magazine ) Lyrics like “I went to ninja school, to learn how to murder you” and titles like “The Alison Yip School For Girls, If Only I Were A Painter I'd Paint For You The Moon” or “Home as a romanticized concept where everyone loves you always and forever” are proof of their brilliance.
Free Woodpigeon EP
2. THE MOUNTAIN GOATS
Number 3 in my over all chart, with over a thousand plays. It is the entertaining, story telling, clever and highly literary lyrics that does it for me.
Another great one for lyrics is Momus. Wikipedia says: “In his lyrics and his other writing he makes seemingly random use of decontextualized pieces of continental (mostly French) philosophy, and has built up a personal world he says is ‘dominated by values like diversity, orientalism, and a respect for otherness.’[…] He is fascinated by identity, Japan, the avant-garde, time travel and sex.” Momus is moreover Scottish and he has been in the music business since early eighties.
4. LEONARD COHEN
Not much more than the perfect background music.
5. ELVIS PRESLEY
It wasn’t me; it was my children.
6. DEVENDRA BANHART
If nothing else, he’s pretty.
Mugison is an Icelandic artist to whom I was introduced (albeit not personally) this spring. He performs on his own, with guitar and computer. The Independent Newspaper wrote in a review “he played wild, crashing guitar while mixing vocals and distorted breathing through a laptop - was a meld of the recklessly shambolic (his computer crashed twice), endearing love songs and epic, disturbing soundscapes out of the Barents sea.”
I love the song title “Sad as a truck”.
8. BEGUSHKIN Nightly Things (2006)
One of my many folky finds this year, and another one-man-band, constituted by Dan Smith. Begushkin's music is dark and haunting, late-night and mystical while still kind of cute. Some of the lyrics are very lovely.
From “At Night With Me”:
And you will be my monkey girl
I will be the dude
You and your monkey cars
and my ox-blood shoes...
9. TOM WAITS
10. JOHNNY CASH
My favorite Johnny Cash album at the moment is Amerian III and my favorite songs on there are “Solitary Man” and (as much as I hate to admit it) Bono’s “One”. “I won’t back Down” is also very wonderful.
11. THE BAND
I did a blog on the band, and their “Last Walz”-album some time ago. It can be found here.
My favorite band, topping my over all chart, with over 2000 plays. I love the sound of Calexico and I love the way it is so obvious that those guys are in it for the love of what they do.
13. JENS LEKMAN
Jens Lekman seems a genuinely nice, humble and undoubtedly very intelligent guy. Lyrics and video productions are cleverly brilliant. I really do wish I could fall for his music, but I can’t. It is that orchestra sound… I tried very hard, and that’s how he made my chart.
14. NEIL YOUNG
15. JOSÉ GONSÁLES
Same goes for him as for Devendra Banhart
16. LEE HAZLEWOOD
I will always love a baritone voice, and especially in combination with country music. And, I love a lot of Lee Hazelwoods songs. Not all of them though. I was very irritated to have fallen asleep while listening to him the other night, and so woken up by his “Strangers, Lovers, Friends” – can’t stand that song. “Dolly Parton’s Guitar” is another irritating track. In all I find his music very entertaining though, as there is such a great variety of songs and styles.
I had no idea Lee Hazelwood had just passed away (August 4). Neither did I know he lived in Sweden during the 1970’s. Here he wrote and produced the one hour television show Cowboy in Sweden.
17. RED HEART THE TICKER For the Wicked (2005)
“Very Marie” someone pointed out. I am sure it is too, which of course means that it, apart from being folky, according to me is very good. The album was recoded in a barn, and in one song there are crickets to be heard.
Tasters to be had here
18. WE ARE WOLVES
Someone sent me a taster. French Canadian post-punk and pretty good.
19. JOANNA NEWSOME
A true artist she is Joanna Newsome; and a multi-talented such, as a harpist, pianist, harpsichordist, singer and songwriter. Wikipedia says: “Although her harp playing is not completely divorced from conventional harp techniques, she considers her style distinct from that of classically-focused harpists. She has been strongly influenced by the polymetric style of playing used by West African kora players.” Further it reads: “Her songwriting incorporates elements of Appalachian music, avant-garde modernism, and African kora rhythms”.
Decemberists has made a fabulous cover of her song “Bridges and Ballons”. This is probably the reason for me giving time to Joanna Newsome, as I have a bit of a hard time getting her music to do anything for me.
For sentimental reason, and for going to sleep.
My Lasfm profile