Losing Our Way
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


The Book of Lists - "Sweet Malady"

There are few things in this world that I love as much as I do the Book of Lists (ice cream, my girlfriend, Rance Mulliniks: to name three of five). The book is a Siren: its song is that of inane trivia; its murder, that of the intellect. I know this, yet I'm drawn in again and again. Fucking Sirens.

This isn't the sound of the Book of Lists (though, of course, analytically speaking, it is). The Book of Lists would sound like a cat finding its owners after having been separated by five years and an ocean. It would sound like the results of surveys: the five most evil people of all time, 1973; the four most beautiful living women, 1980 (Bo Derek!); the greatest American President.

The Book of Lists, on the other hand, doesn't sound like the Book of Lists, but like a spastic epiphanic dance. Like an Ian Curtis epileptic seizure. (A sweet malady.)

The drummer's insistent thumping of the snare is almost comically linear, organizing waves of reverb guitars into an endless subway tunnel haunted by that voice (a ghost), disembodied and vaguely threatening. [Info/Buy]


Big Star - "Thirteen"

I recently posted this cover of Big Star's "Thirteen," which got me listening to the original.

My editor, Max Maki rightly points out the that the singer is not unlike Cher. Is this bad? No. Cher is the perfect complement to circular guitar patterns, round root-based bass, backing la-la-la's (also by Cher), and the sweetest high school love song lyrics. [Buy]

Posted by Jordan at July 21, 2005 3:14 AM

Dude, you know, when you posted that first cover or Thirteen, I was so psyched because I've been looping and looping the original on my WinAmp for at least the past 3 days.

God, I cannot wait for the new album. Have you heard the one off it that they released on Q's summer compilation disk? I kinda disappointed me. Sure there was that bluesy lick, but sounds too much of Auer and Stringfellow (and that should somehow be good news but that new Posies album totally broke my heart). Anyway.. *ramble ramble*

Posted by Platypus at July 21, 2005 6:41 AM

i had a similar LOOPING experience, the first time i heard this song, the BIG STAR version. i listened to it over and over and over again. the lyric, the voice, as well as circular guitar... WOW. thanks for this.

Posted by Anonymous at July 21, 2005 9:01 AM

More people should know who Big Star is.

Posted by nick at July 21, 2005 11:47 AM

Ditto that on the looping. I put "Thirteen" on repeat, and it must have been a half an hour.

Posted by Shad at July 21, 2005 1:12 PM

I second the Book of Lists (book not band) obsession.

Posted by Hillary at July 21, 2005 2:17 PM

Ah, Rance Mulliniks... geekiest-looking baseball player ever and one of my all-time favourites. I miss him too.

Posted by Chris at July 21, 2005 3:41 PM

rance mullinikis geekeist player ever? hardly. though not as under the radar, for sure, greg maddux has to be the geekeist looking player that springs to mind. he's at least twice as geeky as loveable rance

Posted by Anonymous at July 21, 2005 6:02 PM

Alex Chilton is a hero. It always amazes me how his voice sounds different on this song compared to, say 'The Letter' by the Box Tops. Is that the same man?? Wow!

Posted by Dennis at July 23, 2005 3:42 PM

yeah, there are some great covers of 13 outh there. a cool post would be a '13' round-up of sorts

Posted by Satisfied '75 at July 25, 2005 10:53 PM

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Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

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my love for you is a stampede of horses
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