Posts tagged: Electro

The Satisfaction of Hard Work

By , February 11, 2005

People have been asking about the remodeling job, so I shot a quick video of Tim and I at work on my office.

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Le Tigre – Deceptacon

By , August 16, 2003

The mid-to-late ’90s was a vibrant period for popular music. More amazing music was produced between 1993 and 1998 than in any other time, at least by my reckoning. So many subcultures, scenes, and genres that had been percolating for a decade or more erupted onto an unprepared mainstream, and for a solid six years, pop music bore the brunt, and didn’t suck. It all came crashing down with the advent of Britney Spears, harbinger of the manufactured teenybopper band craze that derailed all that was finally right with pop music, but until she arrived, there was an all-too-brief window of time when the popular and the good intersected.

Among the musical movements that came into the spotlight was the riot grrrl sound, and few bands, if any, exemplified that sound as well as Kathleen Hanna’s band Bikini Kill. Sadly, all good things come to an end, and Bikini Kill is no more. Sometimes, however, the end of one project is really just a chance to move in a new direction, and Hanna’s current band, Le Tigre, fast became a favorite of mine.

Currently Playing: Le Tigre – Deceptacon

Le Tigre’s sound is cute on the surface, but subversive underneath. Elements of punk, new wave, and even hip hop, merge into an almost unclassifiable sound. The lyrics are bouncy, catchy, at times oxymoronic, and deceptively deep.

Every day and night
Every day and night
I can see your disco disco dick is sucking my heart out of my mind
I’m outta’ time
I’m outta’ fucking time
I’m a gasoline gut with a vaseline mind, but
Wanna’ disco?
Wanna’ see me disco?
Let me hear you depoliticize my rhyme!
One! Two! Three! Four!
You got what you been asking for
You’re so policy free and you’re fantasy wheels
And everything you think
And everything you feel is
Alright, alright, alright, alright, alright!

Female empowerment, sex, and politics, are jumbled up over a beat that is half modern electro/rock hybrid and half ’80s-era new wave.

Le Tigre - Le Tigre

“Deceptacon” scores additional points for having such a catchy, upbeat tempo. It sends nearly any dance floor into a frenzy, even if the lyrics sail over the heads of the dancers.

Who took the bomp from the bompalompalomp?
Who took the ram from the ramalamadingdong?
Who took the bomp from the bompalompalomp?
Who took the ram from the ramalamadingdong?

As far as the unsuspecting partygoers know, it’s just fluffy nonsense, but maybe a teensy, tiny bit of the message sneaks through? One can hope.

See you later
See you later
See you later
See you later

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The Knife – Heartbeats

By , June 26, 2003

In my three previous song blogs I’ve written about older songs. Today I’ll share with you my favorite recent song– “Heartbeats,” by a Swedish band called The Knife. It is the quintessential example of a song with nearly all the musical elements that appeal to me, and hence a song that will almost certainly never be played on American radio stations. Let me point out that I am neither snooty nor elitist when it comes to music. The popularity, or lack thereof, of a song in no way influences my opinion about it, and I am never ashamed to admit liking a catchy pop song. “MmmBop” is one of my all-time favorite songs– that alone ought to tell you not only how diverse my taste is, but how open I am to admitting a love that ordinarily dare not speak its name.

Currently Playing: The Knife – Heartbeats

In recent years I have grown very fond of downtempo rock songs with a strong electronic leaning, and “Heartbeats” may be the best example of such a sound I’ve heard yet. On one hand it is a straight-forward pop song. Just listen to the background “ooooh ahhh” harmonies about three minutes into the song– those are more reminiscent of an ’80s-era Wham! song than anything modern; yet the electronica influence is heavy. This is without doubt the sound of rock music for the 21st Century.

The Knife - Deep Cuts

In truth, this song doesn’t sound much like anything I’ve ever heard before, but if pressed I’d describe it as the sentiments of Bauhaus, set to the music of Aphex Twin, sung by a vocalist whose voice bears more than a passing resemblance to Björk. Three of my favorite artists rolled into one package? Yes, please!

One night to be confused
One night to speed up truth
We had a promise made
Four hands and then away
Both under influence
We had divine sense
To know what to say
Mind is a razor blade

Lyrically the song tells the story of a brief love affair. I think. Honestly, I’m seldom sure what most songs are about, and this one definitely has its cryptic elements, but I’m pretty sure about this one.

One night of magic rush
The start, a simple touch
One night to push and scream
And then relief
Ten days of perfect tunes
The colors red and blue
We had a promise made
We were in love

Love, right?

And you, you knew the hand of a devil
And you kept us awake with wolves’ teeth
Sharing different heartbeats in one night.

It is a tale of two people with only a moment together, who have fallen in love, yet told in dark fashion over a pulsating electronic beat. Sadly, a song like this has absolutely no place in the realm of mainstream music, and will likely never make it to the airwaves, yet it’s a brilliant piece of music. In fact, I’m not even sure you can buy this in the U.S. I found it online. If I ever do see it in a record shop I will definitely snatch it up.

I can’t imagine anyone hearing this song (and you can do so merely by clicking the link above in the “currently playing” line) and not falling instantly in love with it.

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