Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Letters From the Wasteland

I'm on a vacation at the moment, doing a whirlwind tour of New Jersey and Delaware; suffice to say I'm not in it for the locations so much as the company.

In the midst of my first train ride, approximately 24 hours of locomotive transport, I managed to get almost no reading done, but I did notice that I am absolutely addicted to a few songs, and they're a pleasantly diverse trio.

First, I spent the train ride learning the words to "Sabotage" by Beastie Boys. Or, at least, I attempted to. I didn't get much past the first verse, but I have that one down pat. I've been listening to more of Beastie Boys in the last few weeks; I'd forgotten how uniformally excellent their music is, particularly from Paul's Boutique on. More intriguingly, I'd forgotten how relaxed most of it is, something that tends to escape your mind when you're most familiar with their singles.

Second, I continued my love affair with Pet Shop Boy's "Can You Forgive Her?," which is possibly the finest song dealing with supressed homosexuality ever written; the other contender for that prize is "The Night I Fell In Love," which is also by PSB, so, either way, they get the trophy. "Can You Forgive Her?" is epic electro-pop, with crashing arrangements and a great, catchy melody. I've been in love with it for two months now, and I show no signs of slowing down.

Third, finally, most crucially, my favourite song in the world right now is "Lisztomania" by French alt-poppers Phoenix. It's got a great melody, enervating guitar lines that come at you from every direction, brilliant train-of-thought lyrics that manage to capture... I don't know what it is, but it's somewhere between the struggle of the creative process and the comfort of a lonely heart. Brilliant, no question about it.

That's about all, for now. I had wonderful company on the first 20 hours of my trip, so I didn't get a lot of reading done, as there was conversation to be had, but I imagine I won't be so lucky the second time around, and will have a number of books to review. I'm about fifty pages from finishing The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett's first Discworld book. I also saw Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince last night, I'll review that later today.


Joe said...

Every Beastie Boys song I've ever heard makes me want to kill myself.

Have you given up on reading Pillowman during the trip?

CC44 said...

No, I just haven't gotten to it yet. I expect to get a lot of reading done on the return trip from Delaware.

And as for Beastie Boys, try their music post License to Ill, which I find a bit obnoxious myself.