Friday, May 20, 2005

Song of the day: The Rentals/"Please Let That Be You"

No sooner do I gripe about the grey skies here in San Francisco do I wake up to a beautiful sunny day. The sunshine made it hard to sleep in, giving me more time than usual for my morning routine of making coffee and listening to music. This is one of my favorite parts of the day; I stand in front of my wall of music (see below) and randomly pull discs off for morning listening.

One of this morning's picks was Return of the Rentals, the 1995 debut of Weezer offshoot synthpop group The Rentals; the band's frontman is Matt Sharp, who played bass on the band's first two albums. I love the entire album so it's hard to pick just one song, but I'd recommend "Please Let That Be You" as a starter, then suggest you move on to the greatness that is "My Summer Girl."

mgrooves' wall of sound

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Song of the day: The Wrens/"Happy"

Normally, springtime in San Francisco is a stunningly beautiful thing, replete with the most brilliant sunshine I've ever seen. It's my favorite time of year here, and it's one of the things that keeps me so far from my good friends and family on the east coast. This spring, however, has been different -- it's been rainier than usual, with lots of cloudy grey skies that seem ready to burn off but never quite make it. Somehow, this song by the Wrens, off of their brilliant 2003 album The Meadowlands, reminds me of how the weather is making me feel -- a little sad, a little angry, but hopeful that things will be looking up soon. Enjoy the music.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Song of the day: Annie/"Chewing Gum (vocal mix)"

The song "Chewing Gum" by Nordic artist Annie is an infectious piece of pop confection that will stick in your head (or to your shoe) all day. The song, which placed at #11 in Pitchfork's listing of the Top 50 Singles of 2004, was added to Rhapsody last month and quickly became an early morning guilty pleasure for me. Enjoy.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Song of the day: The Pastels/"Windy Hill (Cornelius remix)"

As I've written before, I'm a fan of the Japanese artist Cornelius, who specializes in a unique form of musical collage that ties together influences from My Bloody Valentine to Brian Eno. Today's song of the day is a mellllllllloooooow Cornelius remix of the song "Windy Hill" by Scottish indie band The Pastels, another happy discovery from Rhapsody's new "Instant Playlist" feature. The song appears on The Pastels' remix album, Illuminati, which isn't available through Rhapsody, and the Cornelius EP CM, which is. Click here to check it out.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Just added: Spacemen 3's Translucent Flashbacks

Over the weekend, I noticed that the Spacemen 3 album Translucent Flashbacks, compiling b-sides, singles and other rarities released during the same timeframe as their first two albums, Perfect Prescription (1987) and Sound of Confusion (1986), was added to Rhapsody. It's a recommended listen if you're a fan of the band's droney psychedelia or later work by the band's frontmen/medicated geniuses, Sonic Boom (Pete Kember) and Jason Spacemen (Jason Pierce). Bliss out and enjoy.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Song of the day: Belle and Sebastian/"Wrapped Up In Books"

Today's song of the day --Belle and Sebastian's "Wrapped Up In Books"-- is brought to you courtesy of Rhapsody's "Instant Playlist" feature, which offered up this song and several others that were eerily in tune with my mood tonight. I love it.

Anyway, about Belle and Sebastian: they're one of my favorite musical finds of the late 1990s. A friend introduced me to the band when the album If You're Feeling Sinister was first released in the U.S., and I quickly became a fan -- especially of the series of EPs the band released between its second and third albums.

I'm not as much a fan of their later stuff, though that could just be my failing to give it a proper listen. This song, however, is making me reconsider. It's chimy and melodic, with some great 60s-style guitar work and backing vox. Sounds like I should give Dear Catastrophe Waitress another listen. Happy Sunday.