Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sifting for Lagniappes

(Another Road Review) One of the side benefits of dj-ing at a college radio station is getting to listen to recordings a few weeks or even a month prior to their release. Cuts down on the anticipation and anxiety over a favorite artist's latest efforts. You can also listen to their songs prior to professional reviews being published thus shielding your brain from pre-concepts and CD-innuendo.
Another benefit is the Trash Bin most stations have. It's simply a plain cardboard box parked in a corner which is the repository of multiple extras of Cd's mailed gratis to the radio station. Cheap thrills. You scrounge through and come up with duds, mainly. But every once in a while, there's a gem. A Galactic thrown in the box was probably an accident, but....once in the box it's free. A Billy Bragg was buried underneath sedimentary cross layers of case-less Cd's. Even a Garage a Trois and a Pelican were found in the box.

On a previous shift, sifting through the box as the music played, I came upon this CD. Interesting cover art and pics of the three man band inside reflected a bunch of guys not too big on being serious.

Lyrics! The CD packaging had lyrics of all of the songs, save for the last one (which is sung in German, so printed lyrics would not have helped this particualr non-German speaking guy..although...Alcessa!! "How about some translation help?"), printed out. Printed lyrics are always a good thing if you're a fairly new or an unknown band. Why some bands have artwork inside of the CD packaging that does not include lyrics or band pictures or even a bankd listing is beyond me. It drives me nuts with bands like New Order, Tortoise, or Sea and Cake. Look, I get it. You're artists. But, aren't you musical artists? I bought the CD for the music, not the wordless photographs or sketches or paintings or mood swirls you've decided to pack the printed matter with. I would appreciate some information about the CD in the CD artwork/inserts! If you're not providing that info, I have to look it up on the Internet where I can also find a site to download the music for free. For Free. So, why not give me some recording info for the CD, which I'm willing, at least at this point, to pay for?!!

Harangue over.

A Lecture on Geek Mythology has 14 songs. 13 are in English, of which 8 either are titled with a girl's name or which has to do with a girl. One song is in German, Meine Mitbewohnerin being the title. I believe Mitbewohnerin is "female roommate" in German, so that means the band is truly over-concerned with women, in whatever language they're singing. Their site, wax.on wax.off site is here with their MySpace being here. The band claims Weezer and The Ramones as their heroes/models and while you can detect traces of both of those bands in their perfomance style and their lyrics, there's a touch of the Spanic Boys and even (yes, I'm not reaching here) Fountains of Wayne, or at least, a rougher version of FOW. There's even a take-off ("Tell Your Mom") of FOW's Stacy's Mom. Not necessarily an earworm, but a nice effort.

The lyrics to most of the songs on the CD are catchy; the music, a three chord fifth gear drive from song #1 through #14.
"...that girl I loved in school thought I would make it far
now she's the one with the PhD while I still watch TV
and all of the friends I had, they're leading lives by now
got no ambition, my mom pays the tuition.
((I know I'll End up Being the School) Janitor lyrics.) Hmmmm, reads more depressing than it sounds. But, even when these guys are in the dumps, they refuse to bring you down with them, preferring to entertain you with their troubles.

It's been rather warm lately and with the high price of gas that equation Windows Up : A/C On v. Windows Down : A/C Off is now favoring the latter choice.
Windows down, wind-through-the-car, crank-it-up, summer music. Well, except for song # 13, "Santa is a Pervert", not to be played loudly while at least you're in the car.

Start out with Lisa Marie & Renee. A gem on the CD is I Wany My Records back, which includes these lines:
"I gave you my comic boks,
my best sweater too.
I can't believe I even wrote this song for you.
I sent you letters with all of my pictures
even those of me & Lee Majors.
But you can keep all that,
Just give me my records back
" , This song would go well as a bookend to Billy Bragg's Tracks of My Tears.
These German guys have got the American patter down pat, although it is enjoyable hearing their infrequent mispronunciation of key words done so emphatically as if to say, "My way is the right way." Thorsten Rott (is that a great R & R name or what?) heads up the trio, penning all of the songs and lead singer/guitarist on most of the songs. The CD was a freebie but I would have gladly paid for it after listening to it for the past 2 weeks.


And for those of us too cheap or lazy to go out and get the physical product, it can be had with a single click at eMusic. Let the summer begin!
Darko, you know where to find me, don't you? Either in my cooment box or you can also send me the lyrics if you wish, I live in alces at gmx dot com and you made me curious!
Thanks for the quick-link to instant music. I'm quite curious as to your take on these guys. No big moral issues to be resolved, simply 3 guys with girls on their minds. A nice retreat into the time-wasting past of being in your early 20's.

Alcessa, As soon as I could find a place that has the lyrics to that German song, I'll be e-mailing you. Just wondering if they're as funny when singing in German as they are in English.
Sorry, Bub: but the fates have decreed that our separate musical tastes must be set in perpetual war.

I hate Billy Brag.

The bin wasn't a mistake, and you can keep him!
From previous experience I've gathered that the words "Billy Bragg" are like chum to bring you up from the depths where you're langorously gadding about so that your violent nature can be evidenced by your foaming anger at Mr. Bragg.

I'll use the placement of those words most carefully.

unfortunately, there are only scraps of the lyrics available... It seems the singer's flatmate is driving him crazy a bit, in a sexual way... Why are they hiding the lyrics?! :-)
I appreciate your efforts. If I come up with the lyrics to that song, I'll most certainly send them off to you for your analysis.

Perhaps you can translate a Billy Bragg song into German so that FCB may appreciate his fine composing style in another language. Oh, wait, I believe I hear the gnashing of teeth.
Hi there everybody,

a friend of mine came across this blog asking me to help you guys with the lyrics of "meine mitbewöhnerin" (notice the rock dots over the o). Well, here is a very rough translation:

my new roomate (female flatmate/suitemate) looks kind of hot
but unfortunately she´s only dating jocks
she´s bringing a new one home every week
and it is gettin worse, it is getting worse – I can hear them in my room

yesterday I secretaly watched her take a shower
and stole her favorite pink pair of panties from the hamper
and every now and then I ´m sniffing them and dream about getting in her underwear

I dream of her when I touch myself
.. of my flatmate
for her I even sit down when I pee
.. for my flatmate

we now have an exchange student from Belgium living with us
but unfortunatley she´s only exchanging experiences with other girls
but as real kind of guy a still think that I can convert her and make her mine
and in the meantime I hope I can watch them sometime

and I hold her hair back when she again has to throw up drunk at night
I take her to bed and when she is firmly asleep I look at her and touch myself

Reading this now I have to say it is way less creepy in German. I guess the irony and most of the puns are lost in translation.

Best whishes from Germany
And check out our blog at http://www.eschatone.com/waxonwaxoff/
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