“List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now, shaping your spring. Post these instructions in your blog along with your 7 songs. Then tag 7other people to see what they’re listening to.”So. Seven songs selected randomly from my iPod:
Lil Wayne - "Shoot Me Down." This Kanye West production (or so the credits say) from Weezy's insanely anticipated Da Carter 3 churns like it's 1995 all over again -- in Bristol, that is. Wayne moves from chuckling at his absurd tuff talk to muttering gritted-teeth imprecations with the hairtrigger quickness of Maxinquaye-era Tricky (think "Pumpkin"). The guitar hook is so insinuating that you don't notice when it turns into a noose. Then Wayne's own solo breaks it.
Arthur Russell - "That's Us/Wild Combination." I finally warmed to this purported art-disco pioneer a couple of months ago. This sounds like no disco I know; with the warm, grateful, abashed vocals of Russell leading the way, this is seduce-a-rama heated by smothered blankets, sunlight through hastily closed blinds, and his breath on your shoulder.
The Hold Steady - "Sequestered in Memphis." Alternative title: Smothered in Miami.
The Raincoats - "Shouting Out Loud." The strongest tracks on Odyshape articulate a secular version of Al Green's "Jesus is Waiting" and "Simply Beautiful" -- the vocals and instruments, swirling and impatient, scratch at the ineffable because the singers' idea of the numinous can barely keep apace with their own humility in articulating it (I've been relistening to Al Green a lot).
Ashlee Simpson - "Outta My Head." Ay-ya-ya-ya-ya, they're talking way too much, and I'm referring to her friends, not enemies. But just when I think Frank and Chuck aren't doing her cause much too good, a track like this proves they're right.
Digable Planets - "Pacifics." As far from the numinous as Brooklyn. Most of us would prefer "Hawaii Five-O" reruns to reading Jean-Paul Sartre novels too.
Lightning Seeds - "Sense." See Arthur Russell above. When you're here, it all makes sense. By "you" I mean house keyboards and call-and-response vocals. The slightly fusty arrangement reminds me what I love best about early nineties New Order-influenced English pop.