It’s another brilliant day here in Southern Ontario and I’ve decided to make a playlist in the great radition of muic lovers everywhere. Of course this used to be a mixtape, then mix CD, but now it’s an iPod playlist. Some criteria:
1) The list will be 17 songs long. This is because its April 17th as I’m writing the post, and I remember that most of my exam time mix CD’s were that long.
2) Only one song per band. With the sheer number of groups in my collection it’s only fair.
3) At least 50% Cancon because I’m a good citizen. Well I guess in this case it’ll be at least 53% because I’ll have to include 9 Candian songs out of 17.
4) Everything in my collection is eligible regardless of genre, time, nationality, or personal back story.
Now the list:
Is this Love? – Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah
When I first heard this band I wasn’t sure what to think of them. Their singing isn’t what would traditionally be considered high caliber. It’s a little different than most. Nevermind that though, the song is great. It’s a perfect way to kick off a warm spring day.
Lovesong – The Cure
Many of my friends are into The Cure. They are one of those bands that people just seem to instantly love when they hear them. This song, as the title indicates, is a classic love song, though in a style not always associated with romantic overtones. I am convinced that The Cure are a band that would fit seamlessly into today’s indie music scene if they were brand new.
I Must Belong Somewhere – Bright Eyes
I believe I mentioned this song in one of my snow shovelling conversations on the podcast. It is equally suitable now. The simplicity of the melody and message allow your mind to wrap around the intersting lyrics. It feels like a song that’s lounging on the porch.
Throwing It All Away – Genesis
Speaking of songs that lounge about, this classic Genesis tune displays the conplexity of a dysfuntional relationship. As someone who’s been there this song is almost liberating. The positive vibe of the music is contrasted by Phil’s obvious sadness. He knows that this is it, but isn’t sure what to do. The common arguments: Who will light the darkness? Who will hold your hand? Who will find you the answers when you don’t understand? But he brings it full circle with the classic: Late at night when you call my name the only sound you’ll hear, is the sound of your voice calling, calling after me.
Emily Carr – The Wheat Pool
The first Canadian band (remember I owe you at least 8 more) brings a beautiful tune. It’s such an effortless song by a great emerging band. It contains stories about life, regular old life. Road tripping across the prairies demands this song. Watch out for their next album due out within the year I believe.
Wondering Where The Lions Are – Bruce Cockburn
Want to take a stroll on a nice day? This song should set your gait for you. Bruce strikes me as the kind of person whose spent a lot of sunny days outside, soaking in the atmosphere. Wondering Where The Lions Are is a Canadian classic. I think the line some kinda ecstasy got a hold on me is a perfect fit for this list.
Up On Cripple Creek – The Band
I’m counting this as a Canadian track because of the Canadian content in the group. The Band were leaders in popularizing very rootsy rock from the southern US. This song, a bit of a tall tale about nearly perfect love, Up On Cripple Creek is ideal for working on your car, building a fence, or hosting a BBQ. It just makes everything seem a little more effortless.
Where There’s a Will There’s a Whale Bone – Islands
Yesterday I dragged out my hockey net and spent an hour taking shots. As soon as this song came on my attempts became harder and more deliberate. If I was a professional baseball pitcher this would be my entrance music. I don’t know why I failed to realize the potential of this song for motivation, but it’s now part of my pre-sports listening. Hard to argue with a song that mentions whale bone repeatedly.
Lost! – Coldplay
Please note this is the alternative version and not the original album one. This is another great motivating song. The lyrics really tell the tale: Just because I’m losing doesn’t mean I’m lost. It should probably be in a sports movie right at the point that the underdohas reached rock bottom and is working hard to get back up. It’s a great metaphor for my basketball team (now 0-10) as we try to bounce back in the last third of the season. Spring means rebirth, so does this song.
Middle of Nowhere – Hot Hot Heat
This B.C. based indie band has given the world a catchy song about taking off to nowhere. To give you something to go on, when I go off, back to the middle of nowhere.
Mother and Child Reunion – Paul Simon
Any hope of seeing an S & G song are dashed by this track. I absolutely love the organ in this song. Paul Simon has a way of creating a song that is so full and rich without overcomplicating it. This song, with it’s kind of bizarre lyrics is just such a song. I’m swaying back and forth at the thought of it.
Cause = Time – Broken Social Scene
Probably my favourite BSS song for it’s up tempo beat and cynical lyrics. I think what makes the band so great is there willingness to just try new ideas and be a bit wild in their songwriting. In the end though this song is just great for rolling down the street with the windows down.
Something On – The Tragically Hip
With the NHL Playoffs on I might’ve picked a couple of other Hip tunes for this list, but this is the one I like most for the context. It strikes a nice balance between a rocking beat and a laid back feeling. Much like Up On Cripple Creek this song is appropriate for a myriad of outdoor activities.
I Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty
Maybe my head is filled with a need to fight back, but I’m including another song with a strong message for the underdog. You can stand me up at the gates of hell, but I won’t back down.
My Old Self – Wide Mouth Mason
Some songs are just so nostalgic you can’t ever escape them. Pretty much anything from the first WMM album is that way for me. It doesn’t hurt that this song puts me in the mood to be outisde, dancing around, or both. I’m up in the kitchen singing, momma’s out in the backyard, daddy’s downstairs digging a grave.
The Needle Has Landed – Neko Case
Perhaps this song would be better suited to an evening under the stars, but I like it in this list. I think I could eat ice cream while listening to Neko Case and it’d feel like heaven.
In Perfect Time – Jill Barber
We come to a fitting end with a song about loss and life. This Jill Barber song is my favourite of her work. I would blame feeling down on the weather if I had no other reason to be. Thankfully that sentence does not apply to me today. I’m off to enjoy the sun.
Tags: Bright Eyes, Broken Social Scene, Bruce Cockburn, Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah, Coldplay, Genesis, Hot Hot Heat, Islands, Jill Barber, Neko Case, Paul Simon, The Band, The Cure, The Tragically Hip, The Wheat Pool, Tom Petty, Wide Mouth Mason