February 22, 2011

Jawbox//Cooling Card

A and I took a much-needed trip to SF this weekend. Getting time to hang out with besties and walk around a city that feels real can totally put my mind at ease after a month-long sojourn in the weirdness that is Southern California.

Saturday night was a bit raucous. Numerous bottles of whiskey were consumed. I would like to clear my name now by saying that I stayed soberist, of course that was after accidentally ordering 16 onces of Bushmills at a bar in The Mission.

Regardless, the evening closed around 3AM with everyone vying for the computer speakers. I can't even tell you how happy I was when Bryn (who has already tackled this particular band here, along with a video link to the Tori Amos (really!?) song "Cornflake Girl") put on this Jawbox jam, which made its first appearance to me on a mixtape circa 1998.

Jawbox were veterans of the same 90s DC punk scene that gave us Dischord Records and Fugazi and Shudder to Think and all that other real shit. They reached the height of their popularity in the mid-90s. By the time I was getting into them, they were just breaking up.

Oh, to be 15 again...

Cooling Card.mp3

Since I've got myself an easy job,
Money passed behind and now I'm robbed.
Sold away my rights forever
To something that was multi-splendored.
I'll pass up the decision once again.

February 14, 2011

Mark Ronson And The Business International//Somebody To Love Me

Valentines Day is dumb, but love is awesome.

To that end, check out this super list of the year's best love songs by Nerve (and a dozen or so notable music types). I thought it would be nice to feature the song OSS contributed to the article today. So, without further ado, a popular song about the sometimes painful but distinctly human need for love.

Somebody to Love Me.mp3

I want somebody to love me.

February 7, 2011

Pascal Pinon//New Beginning

CoCoRosie Jr. : Monday Mail
What is Monday Mail?

This sweet, simple song kinda stole my heart. It seems particularly appropriate for me as I stumble around trying to find my footing in this new, weird world that is Southern California.

Brooke from Big Hassle says:

Age is just a number? Well, not in this case: listening to Pascal Pinon, the band's eponymous debut album, the fact that you're dealing with a bunch of 16-year-old teenage girls is way too evident. Yet, the songs presented by Icelandic twin sisters Jófrídur and Ásthildur and their band mates Halla and Kristín are certainly not limited to the natural parameters of adolescence.

Instead, Pascal Pinon manage to turn such limitations (not enough money for better mics; lack of experience) into their very advantage, keeping their tracks short and crisp, and avoiding both the cheap slickness of campfire romanticism and the supposedly fresh edge of the next teenage hype. Pascal Pinon are all about creating a connection, the smallest possible distance between their own feelings (they're teenagers after all) and the listeners. On their MySpace, it says"Sounds like: a whisper in your ear" for a reason.

Their s/t debut both in English and Icelandic, was independently released in Iceland and earned them a nomination for "Newcomer of the Year" at last year's Icelandic Music Awards. It is set to be released by Morr Music on December 3rd (naturally it was their parents who signed the contract) and the girls are already busy learning new instruments and working on their sophomore LP.

Call it Nude Folk, New Romanticism or The New Shy - what matters is that Pascal Pinon, though no longer the "gang of 14-year-olds" they were when they recorded this album, are just getting started.

Maybe it's because Pascal Pinon reminds me of the kind of stuff I liked to do when I was 16. Maybe it's because being catapulted into a new life with very little grounding makes me feel like a confused youth. Maybe it's just because it's a touching sentiment. Whatever the case may be, from Iceland to another sunny day in LA to you, consider a fresh start:

New Beginning.mp3

Things I may not understand
Are slightly getting out of hand.
I don't know anything at all.
It seems that I'm about to make
An overwhelming huge mistake,
With everyone disagreeing.

February 2, 2011

Smoking Popes//If You Don't Care

Sometimes it's hard to figure out what makes you like a song. This one, for example, has tons of things that I would ordinarily find kind of obnoxious, but as a whole just really work: the vaguely pop-punk chorus; the occasionally overdramatic vocals that contribute to a proto-emo feeling. Still, it gets me.

This is one of those songs that can make me cry. Maybe it's the way that Matt Caterer croons those vocals. Maybe it's that you can actually feel his sadness in there. Or maybe it's just that we can all remember being at the point in a relationship that he describes and that just that remembering is enough to dredge up some serious personal melancholy.

To be honest, I don't really know that much about Smoking Popes, but I know I love this song. It turned up on the mix from a friend a few years ago and it continues to resonate every time I hear it.

A word of warning: please don't listen to this if you're actually going through a breakup. You will not make it out alive.

If You Don't Care.mp3

If you don't care, I don't care,
We don't belong together
Cause we don't belong anywhere.

If you're not sure, I'm not sure
What all these tears are falling for.
Let's decide not to care anymore.

Somewhat unrelated: I did a little guest writing for Nerve. You can check it out here.