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Posts Tagged ‘The Smiths

Mood: Drunken, drifting
Music: The Smiths-These Things Take Time




Still wrestling, but closer.

In the meantime, here’s something that I wrote for mah tuumblr today.  It doesn’t even begin to cover the unfathomable, depraved spectacle of my love for Messrs. Moz and Marr, but it’s a nice primer.  Here’s a thought; why don’t they have a The Smiths karaoke here?  I would sing And the hills are alive with celibate cries and You said I was ill, and you were not wrong and Oh, the alcoholic afternoons over and over again until they asked me to leave every week.  I can imagine the people that would show up for that; oh the friends I’d make! Anyway…

Ooops, I didn’t mean to let that other Mr. Moz picture leak, but I always do that.  I get an idea and hunt for the pictures then, inevitably, forget to tag one of them as a draft.  Sorry I spoiled the Wednesday Morrissey theme for you.

So, this theme is now a tumblr thing because I saw this photo a while ago at Twist & Shout.  I was looking through the goth and metal bins at the back of the store and I happened upon a four foot tall version of the Years of Refusal album cover.  I gasped. I hadn’t really seen the picture up close or that size and the juxtaposition of that old, beautiful man holding a smiling baby made me weak.  At the time, I thought, “Good God, will he never stop being handsome?”  And then I thought, “Yes Steven, yes.  I will. I do.”

Look, I know all about his “celibacy” and it matters not.  In my fantasy, we live with our five children (James, Oscar, Sylvia, William, Judith, and Peter) in a large estate just outside of Paris and he is my faithful companion and occasional lover.  We go for long walks and dine in fine restaurants.  He reads me poetry and asks me to look over new song lyrics.  I create sad, beautiful gallery art and weekly beg him for a Smiths reunion.  I realize that he has other interests and I let him do who he pleases provided he returns to me and never knowingly hurts me.  So, pretty standard Morrissey fantasy.

And so, in honor of Morrissey’s beauty and rich fantasy lives everywhere, I offer you the following photoset…

Mood: So sick of writing this #$%^*& blog
Music: The Minutemen-Paranoid Chant


I think I’ve made it abundantly clear that I love music. I like talking about it and writing about it and wallpapering my bathroom with it whenever I can.  I’ve been thinking of this post for a while now and I have a lot of questions.

Why do I like the music I like?

What sorts of songs move me and why?

What makes a great album great?

Should I buy a monkey?

Is it legal to keep a monkey in the house?

If I brought a monkey home, would it throw monkey feces at my kitty?

These are all important questions to ask yourselves, Internets. I’m going to try and help you with some of them, but you’ve got to do the rest on your own…there’s no substitute for good, honest work.

Monkeys aside, these aren’t the most artistically challenging, or earth shattering of Music’s albums, but they always make me happy and I sing along whenever one of these albums comes on.  And sometimes, as you’ll soon learn, these songs literally make me weep with joy.

So, in the spirit of musical devotion and charity, I offer you, in no particular order, the five albums that I like best in the world.

XTC-Skylarking

I love, love, love XTC and I’m not sure that they get the credit they’re due here in Magic America…or even the Magic United Kingdoms for that matter. They don’t tour or perform live at all due to paralyzing stage fright and I think that’s hurt their popularity. I’m sure the fact that they broke up a few years ago doesn’t help either.  They have a lot of great (and some not so great) albums, but this is far and away my favorite.

Skylarking uses the framework of the season cycle to examine the important events in a life. It starts with young lust and romantic love in the summer and moves through cosmic introspection and death in the winter.

This album is so good, but the why defies description. It’s like they perfectly captured the warmth of the Sun and stolen kisses and the smell of summer grass and fear and bumblebees and jealousy and the end of a holiday and regret and apples and mortality in a jar and transformed them into beautiful, little songs.

I love this album so much that I’m literally getting the weepies from thinking about it.



Superchunk-Foolish

Remember that time you fell in love with the lead singer of your band? Remember how wonderful it was to be young and with your love every day? Remember how band practice and live shows instantly got more fun?

Remember that time you broke up with him? Remember how sad he was? Remember how everyone in the whole fucking world knew that you two had broken up because you were in a well-known indy rock band? Remember how you were asked about it over and over again in interviews? Remember how awful band practice and shows got to be after that?

Remember that time after the breakup when he came into practice and said, “hey y’all, I just wrote a bunch of new songs for the next album!” and every.single.one. of them was about you and your dead relationship and how much he loved you and how badly you’d hurt him?

No? Well, me neither, but this actually happened to Superchunk’s Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance. Laura (the bass player and the one on the album cover) broke up with Mac (the singer/songwriter) sometime before Mac wrote the songs on Foolish.  I know, right?

I figured this out one day when I was working at a summer camp in college. I was sitting on my bed, listening to “Saving My Ticket”and it clicked together like Lego. I listened to it again from the start and cried for the rest of the album.  It’s not immediately obvious from the lyrics, but it’s like you can hear the giant, girl-shaped hole in his heart–it’s so raw and naked. The songs are crushingly sad, but they’re also smarter and rock harder than anything else that came out that year. I’ve been listening to this album on and off for almost 15 years and it still move me, every time.


Ben Folds Five-Ben Folds Five

The first time I ever heard a Ben Folds Five song (Jackson Cannery, maybe?), I was sitting in a Ft. Gordon AIT barracks in Augusta, GA, listening to some local radio. I’d like to think we were some of the first people to hear BFF due to our proximity to their North Carolina home, but who knows.

I don’t recall a lot of good music from the early/mid Nineties, but this album sounded like it was straight from Mars. It’s smart, funny, and band geeky weird and I instantly fell in love with Mr. Folds. The good songs on this album are more fun, exuberant, interesting, and sing-along-y than any other album I own.


Oasis-(What's the Story) Morning Glory?

Ok, I realize some of you may have “opinions” about Oasis and whether they’re a “good” band or not. Frankly, I don’t care and I suggest you take your hatred of Oasis and shove it up your bum shoot. I like this album, ok? I know every word to every song and sing along to it at least once a week. So there.

I’m not going to deconstruct the album or explain why it’s so good. It’s like the blue sky on a summer’s day or making out with that hot guy from Calculus class the first time. It’s just…right. Unfortunately, non-Morning Glory Oasis mostly stinks like Continental cheese, but whatevs. I’d much rather have one great album and a bunch of stinkers than a load of Creed any day.


The Smiths-Louder Than Bombs

The Smiths are pretty fucking close to my favorite band in the world, ever.  Like you, I was a troubled, too-smart, well-read misfit and Morrissey touched me in a way no other fey, asexual, Oscar Wilde-y Englishman ever had. The Smiths taught me how to be arch and clever (and wrap it up into an adorable, poppy package), but they never did much for my heterosexuality.

I love all of their albums. This isn’t really an album, more of a compilation with some new songs thrown in.  However, this is the The Smiths album I would take with me to the South Pole…or into outer space (the desert island thing is cliché and over, people).

Still unconvinced?

Young bones groan
And the rocks below say :
“Throw your skinny body down, son !”
But I’m going to meet the one I love
So please don’t stand in my way

and

Sing me to sleep
Sing me to sleep
And then leave me alone
Dont try to wake me in the morning
cause I will be gone
Dont feel bad for me
I want you to know
Deep in the cell of my heart
I will feel so glad to go

Check and mate, Internets.

And now, dear friends, I encourage you to respond in kind with your own five, happy-inducing albums of music.

Mood: Lookin’ for trouble
Music: Julianna Hatfield-The Fact Remains

It took me a few listens to get into it, but I really like Juliana Hatfield’s new album, How to Walk Away.  I’m loathe to keep up with a band for sentimental reasons and I stop supporting them if they lose touch with what made them great (I’m looking at you Weezer, watch it).  It’s not that I want a band to keep playing in the same style and eschew maturity, but I think some bands have handled the transition better than others (contrast The Replacements descent into mind-numbing, radio-friendly, unit-shifting, AOR, dreck with Superchunk’s blossoming into a skilled, smart, adult rock band).

You can prolly guess how I feel about reunion/revival tours tours.  If your band hasn’t put out anything in the last 10 years and you’re getting back together for one last grab for cash, then I say good day to you. There are a very few exceptions (The Smiths, Cocteau Twins) but I skip most of these shows.

Which brings me back to my point–I continue to support Juliana Hatfield because she’s still got it.  But it’s also really nice that she’s been able to stay with me all of these years.  Listening to Juliana Hatfield reminds me of my friend Shari every time.  Shari had like, three tapes in her car and Become What You Are was my favorite.

https://i0.wp.com/ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61dA8Dg9c0L._SL500_AA240_.jpg
the highest paid piece of ass, you know it’s not gonna last, those magazines end up in the trash

We spent a lot of time driving around (in various states of sobriety) in Shari’s held-together-with-love-and-bubble-gum-car, “Lucky”  listening to those songs.  Shari died a couple of years ago from a freak blood clot in her leg and I was a wreck for days after I heard.  She was so young (we’re the same age) and left a husband and two small girls.  I believe there are people in this world that deserve more time than others and Shari was definitely one of them.  So, listening to Juliana Hatfield still brings up fond memories, but they’re a shade or two more blue these days.

Yeesh, I didn’t mean to get all morose, but it’s been a cold and rainy kind of last two days.  We had a summer like this in 2004 and I was taking a summer class (Probability and Statistics) with my friend, Scott.  After like, a solid week of rain (which is practically unheard of here), we’d had enough and were getting punchy.  We speculated what it would be like if we lived in a more rainy locale, like Seattle or Portland.

Scott:  Oh, it would be terrible.  I’d get suicidal after a while.

Anna:  Yeah, I’d be way more into the occult.

And it’s true, sort of…except for the part about the suicide and the occult.  I like that we have a lot of sunshine here and it makes me feel good.  Who knows what kind of shenanigans I’d be getting up to if it was dark and rainy most of the time?  I bet my art would be better.

Finally, I bought this color of nail polish…

Nicole by Opi Nail Polish...
Shut up, we’re in love.

…and I’m wearing it today.  I love it.  It’s called “Star of the Party” and it’s more of an electric violet than the picture lets on.  I generally prefer darker colors (shocking, right?) but it’s nice to have something lighter for the summer that’s fun, yet still somewhat professional.


an introduction





Hi, I'm Anna and I love cheese!

This blog is a chronicle of my life and a catalog of happy ephemera. The About page has a little bit more information, but, remember, none of this is really me...it's just a supplement, a thumbnail sketch, a mostly anonymous Intarwebs placeholder. I'm way better/less wordy in person. :-)

Oh, and if I wrote something about you and you thought it was mean or hurtful, I'm sorry. It's how I felt at the time, but probably isn't how I feel now. Chances are, I love you and I think you're awesome.

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All content on Blog, Sweet Blog is copyrighted by me, Anna Hell. Unless otherwise noted, all photos, words, and content on this site are mine, created by me, and should not be used without my permission (or at least attributed and linked back). I try to embed links or quote original source material if I use another person's work.

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