Thursday, February 23, 2006

Maybe I am, maybe I am...

Has anyone ever heard of Beat Happening? Apparently, Jens Lekman's "Pocketful of Money" utilizes a sample from one of their songs. The guy's voice is so deep & creepy (Calvin Johnson of BH, not Lekman) but it's got to be one of the catchiest vocal hooks floating around, which is probably why Jens decided to sample it. When I walk around campus lately, it's hard for me not to suddenly start singing "I'LL COME RUNNING WITH A HEART ON FIRE" like Johnny Cash in a haunted house.
I'm surprised that I haven't liked Oh You're So Silent Jens more. I first heard about Jens Lekman about a year-and-a-half ago, when I ran into one of my English professors as he strolled home with his iPod. I asked him what he was listening to, and he recommended this guy Lekman. He told me to download "Black Cab" for sure. "Black Cab" quickly turned into one of my favorite songs, along with the ebullient "You Are the Light." Oh You're So Silent Jens is a compilation of Lekman's EPs and rarities, including his entire Rocky Dennis EP (you know, the kid from Mask). Maybe it would have violated the compilation's format, but I think the album would have been best-served by ending with "You Are the Light," you know, the perfect culmination. I would certainly recommend Jens Lekman to anyone. Picture a slightly cheerier Stephin Merritt singing Belle & Sebastian and Nick Drake songs, and you have a pretty good idea of what's going on here. He has the most charmingly funny lyrics, too, at one point rhyming "pretty" with "spaghetti" during "Pocketful of Money".
At the very least, download "Black Cab," which is undoubtedly one of the prettiest songs ever written, not to mention being the ultimate rumination on a disastrous night on the town. It's a song for that moment when you stumble out of the bar, your head spinning, trying to forget all the stupid things you said, and wanting nothing more than to be home safe & sound. God damn, God damn indeed.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

You have no idea how embarrassing it is when you discover a song that was really huge 5 years ago, yet you really enjoy and you want to tell everyone you know about it. That's how I feel with Basement Jaxx's "Where's Your Head At" lately.