Wednesday, 27 June 2012

10 Creeper Songs

People these days throw the creeper moniker around a little too loosely. Someone shows some interest and pursues it a bit and they're immediately a creeper or being creepy if the feeling isn't mutual. Just take the fucking compliment and politely decline they're offer if you're not interested. Now if their name gets shaved into your household pet, then thats another issue. Here's 10 songs that touch on the creeper motif. Some that take it further than others.

1. "Eye In The Sky" - The Alan Parsons Project

Like many of the late 70's progressive/experimental rock groups The Alan Parsons Project made a slight switch to easy listening pop music in the 80's. "Eye In The Sky" is from the 1982 album of the same name and it talks about watching someone's moves and lies. Reading their mind. While it's not a ten on the creepy scale, someone believing they have that kind of influence on some one else definitely counts.

2. "I Will Possess Your Heart" - Death Cab For Cutie

Ben Gibbard says he based this song on something that happened to a friend of his. This guy was obsessing over a girl and even though she wasn't interested the guy maintained his position. They'd be together when she realized how good a guy he was and he'd just have to wait it out. The delusions of his belief that they were meant to be together and his persistence is what makes this song sort of creepy. Though it doesn't mention many boundaries being crossed.

3. "Cry Me A River" - Justin Timberlake

Yep. You're goddamn right I did. It's a great song...and while Justin claims it's fictional, c'mon we know what's up. It was released in the wake of his break up with Britney Spears, and while he's tapped some grade A ass since the dissolution, i'm sure it's good to have this bitter song to cling to sometimes. The video adds a little extra to the creep factor.

4. "Every Breath You Take" - The Police

On the surface this sounds like a pretty little love ditty, but Sting actually intended it to be a nasty little number aimed at his ex-wife. I've even heard this song used at weddings. I mean the lyrics are rather black and white, if you speak them, you see how obsessive and jealous they really are.

5. "Scared" - The Tragically Hip

This one isn't really about a fictional or true story about someone being creepy, but Gord Downie being weird as fuck. Telling us that he can make us scared if he wants us to. It's not about obsessive behaviour or stalking, it's rather about some bizarre scenarios that we can't really assign logic to at first, which yes makes me a little scared. Creepy Gord.....creepy.

6. "Lakini's Juice" - Live

Lakini is the Hindu god of destruction, a symbol of overindulgence. The song, like the previous, is less about a creepy act, but the thought of what one single emotion can turn someone into. Love or even it's crazier cousin, lust, has made humble men turn violent. Rational women become filled with fervor. Brought giants to their shattered knees. It's not creepy in a frightened for your life type of way, but creepy of what some people could be capable of.

7. "Private Eyes" - Hall & Oates

I fucking love Hall & Oates!! Another 80's song about watching someone while they don't know it. I guess it was the days before the internet when watching someone, following someone, required more involvement. A song about creeping someone's Facebook profile probably wouldn't be as timeless as this one was.

8. "I Never Knew You" - Cage

This one I think wins this list as "Creepiest song". It starts off innocent enough as a guy seeing a good looking girl, but he quickly gets uncontrollably infatuated with her. I think we've all been there, but pretty sure most of us cut it off before the going through her garbage and breaking into her home phase. It is a rather unique rap song, wish more rap was thought out like this one.

9. "Vermillion" - Slipknot

I knew when it seemed Slipknot had written a love song there would be more to it below the surface. Along with part 2, which I included in my Great Second Part Songs list, "Vermillion" is told through the eyes of a stalker who can't seem to get over her. Some great lines here "I get nervous; Perverse, when I see her it's worse" and "Hard to say what got my attention, fixed and crazy aphid attraction" That's Corey's strength.

10. "Possession" - Sarah MacLachlan

Uwe Vandrei was a Sarah MacLachlan fan. Like, big time. He would talk to anyone who would listen about her, at lengths. He was convinced they were meant for each other. He, of course, composed hundreds of letters and sent them to her. It was from those letters that Sarah came up with the lyrics for "Possession". Uwe attempted to sue Sarah for using his words in her song, but committed suicide before the verdict was decided. A terrible ending at the end of the day, but another testament at the true emotion that resides in us all. Sometimes all it takes to change who we are completely and all our big plans is one pretty girl.

Please send me creepy stalker letters


Thursday, 14 June 2012

10 Great Songs With Numbers As Titles

Hmm not much padding really needed to introduce this one. Just a basic list today, by the numbers if you will.
Songs with Numbers for titles. 10 of 'em.

1. "30/30-150" - Stone Sour

If you ever wanted to see what's under Slipknot's masks here's your chance. Stone Sour's singer and lead guitarist also play in Slipknot. Many die hard metal fans give Stone Sour shit for released watered down rock and not being as hardcore as the 'Knot. "30/30-150", which is a reference to the dimensions of a shotgun's buckshot I believe, is an insanely metal track from their 2006 release Come What(ever) May. It's got great lyrics, great music and exceptional energy.

2. "2-15/16" - USS

USS is Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker, an electro/rock duo from Canada's east coast. They were both roofers before they hit it big in the music world and 2-15/16 is a common measurement in the framing/roofing inner circles. They're known for their quirky antics on stage which are also apparent in the lyrics and style of many of their songs. "2-15/16" is no exception.

3. "1234" - Feist

Though most people might of first heard of this song and perhaps Feist herself from a 2007 TV ad for the new iPod that was released that year, Leslie Feist has been involved in the Canadian music scene for many years. She got her first big break when she joined Indie group Broken Social Scene and then exploded with the release of her solo album Let It Die in 2004. "1234" was a release from her Grammy winning album The Reminder which is what got her notoriety around the world.

4. "25 or 6 to 4" - Chicago

It's kind of one of the great mysteries of the musical world, what does "25 or 6 to 4" mean? A time of day? A rhyme with no reason? Or some complex code for psychadelic drugs? The answer is known only to members of the great Chicago. It's a crowd pleaser and shows off the band's remarkable horn section wonderfully. For that reason it's a popular choice for college marching bands to play during sporting events.

5. "33" - Coheed & Cambria

One of my all time favourites, sometime soon i'm going to do an entire list on Coheed & Cambria. "33" was from their debut album Second Stage Turbine Blade. As for what the song is about, all of their songs follow the narrative of the same story. Without getting to detailed it's generally a love story taking place during an intergalactic war. Like I said...some time soon.

6. "33" - The Smashing Pumpkins

Hey another song named "33" but by a different artist! Hmm that gives Johnny Zhivago an idea.

This is perhaps my favourite Pumpkins tune. It's simplistic, moving and beautiful. Performed in a way that only Billy Corgan and company could perform it. Legendary video as well, it's actually a series of photographs edited together...except for one shot I believe...

7. "45" - Shinedown

Shinedown is one of those bands that has kind of flew under the radar for the majority of their existence. Boasting a loyal following and backing it up with some exceptional songs, but never relying heavily on mainstream exposure. "45" is a good song, but it's subject matter is defended as being more about living your life and having hope instead of suicide. Which I feel is unnecessary, write a song about whatever you want. If people don't like it fuck 'em. Let them riot.

8. "1985" - Bowling For Soup

There's an easy way to get a song with a number as your title...make it a year. Simple. I like Bowling For Soup. They write fun songs, nothing too heavy and don't take themselves too seriously. They didn't write this one though.....did I blow your mind? It was written by SR-71 and on their 2004 album Here We Go Again. I don't know all the details, but it seems like it was one of those scenarios where one band just hands one of their songs over to another and says "go for it". It worked.

9. "43" - Mushroomhead

Here's a great song from a great metal group. Now Mushroomhead may only be known to people as that group that claims Slipknot ripped off their gimmick. It's impossible to say who did what, though Mushroomhead have a good case, they were wearing masks and such a few years before Slipknot debuted. But then again so did Gwar, so did Mr. Bungle, so did Devo. It's one of those gray areas, so let's just all enjoy the music.

10. "198d" - At The Drive-In

I'm going to end this list on am obscure track from a fantastic group. If you've not heard of At The Drive-In I just did you a huge favour. You're welcome. This is from their early days, back in the 90's, but they really gained a following in the early 2000's and reaching their nadir in 2000 with the release of Relationship In Command. They would break up shortly after and form two other bands Sparta and The Mars Volta. Thankfully in 2009 there was a reunion of sorts, but nothing matches those magical years where songs like "198d" were being unleashed on our naive and unsuspecting ears. Seriously this song is creeping into my top 20 of all time. Fucking enjoy.

Hope that was all 6's and 7's for ya guys. Maybe a perfect 10.
Blowing off 15's...didn't take me 99

ok fine


Wednesday, 6 June 2012

10 Songs Inspired By Fiction

Musicians can get the material for their lyrics anywhere. Most commonly they derive inspiration from their own experiences and maybe even put a little spin on them. There are also times when one work of art can influence another. Movies based on books, video games based on tv shows, songs based on poems. Here are 10 songs that in one way or another were influenced by a work of fiction.

1. "Looking Glass" - Hypnogaja

I could do a whole list on songs about Lewis Carrol's Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, and maybe one day I will. One of my favourites is by LA alt-rock group Hypnogaja, "Looking Glass" captures the magic of the story perfectly and includes most of the characters. The White Rabbit, the Chersire Cat and of course the Red Queen.

2. "Between Angels & Insects" - Papa Roach

The themes in this song are quite similar to the themes of the Chuck Palahniuk novel Fight Club, though it's more likely the song was inspired by the movie. Some of the lyrics are taken directly from lines that Brad Pitt's Tyler Durden says in the film "Working jobs that you hate for shit you don't need". The video also uses some effects and angles that were used in the flick.

3. "For Whom The Bell Tolls" - Metallica

Metallica have many songs that are inspired by movies or novels "One", "Creeping Death" and "Where The Wild Things Are" are just a few. One of their most epic and popular songs is "For Whom The Bell Tolls" which is obviously based on the Ernest Hemingway novel of the same name. That opening riff is actually bass guitar played by the late Cliff Burton.

4. "Bat Country" - Avenged Sevenfold

"He who makes a beast out of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man" is a quote by 17th century author Dr. Samuel Johnson, which is not only the opening lyrics of this song, but is featured at the opening of Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas, which this song is based upon.

5. "Breakfast At Tiffany's" - Deep Blue Something

The biggest hit from this blink-and-you'll-miss-it 90's group was named after one the most popular movies of all time. Starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard the film was based on a novel by the great Truman Capote. Maybe Deep Blue Something hoped to latch on to the astronomical success by using the title. Probably unlikely as the song is more about a failing relationship than the movie.

6. "Mars Attacks!" - Misfits

Here's an interesting one...while this song was written for the soundtrack of the 1996 film Mars Attacks it was rejected by Tim Burton. Though it was the Misfits' hope that it would be included as the movie was based on a short lived series of collectible cards about Martians invading the earth. Parents hated the cards as they mainly featured scenes of violence and terror between Earth and Mars. The Misfits were obviously fans which is why the song seems to have more depth and humanity than the movie. Jerry Only and co. wrote it based on the folklore of their beloved childhood cult-classics. Not from pre-screenings of a movie whihc is normally how artists get new material on soundtracks

7. "Heartlight" - Neil Diamond

Neil Diamond fans kind of blasted him for this one saying it was the beginning of his decline, but I tend to give the guy the benefit of the doubt. It was written after Neil had seen E.T. the Extraterrestrial. The adorable little space monkey's glowing heart at the end of the film inspired the song. Many fans touted Diamond as a sell out and a corporate shill, but it's not like he was singing about E.T! Nothing in the lyrics promoted the movie, it was simply an idea that came to him after watching the film. Art inspiring art...I see no problem with that.

8. "Afternoons & Coffee Spoons" - Crash Test Dummies

This one didn't click for me until one day I was sitting in my OAC (grade 13 for all you non-Canadians) English class reading The Lovesong of J Alfred Prufrock by T.S Eliot. Therein is a line that says "... have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, I have measured out my life in coffee spoons..." Great poem by the way. If you haven't read it check it out. It's full of teen agnst and the human condition but delivered in such a fresh way...even though it was written over 100 years ago.

9. "The Ghost Of Tom Joad" - Bruce Springsteen

Tom Joad is a character in John Steinbeck's novel The Grapes Of Wrath. Springsteen wrote this song for his 1995 Greatest Hits album, but didn't like the rock version, so he shelved it and released it acoustic on his next record, the acoustic Ghost Of Tom Joad. The novel shared many the same traits as Springsteen songs working class mentality, community and perserverance.

10. "Scentless Apprentice" - Nirvana

This song was inspired by the novel Perfume by Patrick Suskind, about a man born with an amazing sense of smell but no smell of his own. He was an apprentice in a perfume shop and becomes a murderer of young girls for their scent. Definitely one of the reasons I choose In Utero as my favourite Nirvana album.