This song very rapidly and unexpectedly became my anthem for around the clock–walking to work, working, walking home, showering, and knowing me–singing it in my dreams. I never seek out Modest Mouse songs, they just sort of *find me* when I need them the most.
I think, in part, it was really the only appropriate theme song for my approaching-return-of-saturn apprehension. In general the lyrics are basically like, “if life isn’t gonna be a damn ball, then I’m fucking going down with it” hammered throughout with the “PLEASE bury me with it!” This was clicking really well with my nostalgic review of my 20’s–what was really rad that I don’t want to lose? What do I never want to experience ever, ever again? All underlined by Isaac Brock’s exasperated delivery of “I just don’t need none of that Mad Max bullshit.”
In terms of composition, the track has a lot of “regular visitors” from the Modest Mouse sound–not a bad thing. This quality helps you “feel like home” in many of their songs. I do love the little repeated bass licks in this track. It really helps keep it all moving forward. It’s also really fun to listen to how the drums and bass sort of flow in and out of each other–it’s very subtle, but is cool to focus on through a listen.
All in all, this is a great jam. In the same breath, I don’t know that I’d offer this as a first Modest Mouse song to a new listener. It’s sort of like your rowdy, drunk friend. They are a blast to hang out with, but it might be a little awkward to introduce them to a stranger before they sober up.
Although this is new to my digital library, it is not new to the marriage-merge CD library. But! This creates a nice opportunity to give a shout out to a great little song that helped me through some shit times in Eugene, OR. For whatever reason, the first few tracks of this album (The Builders and the Butchers) became my daily post-Safeway-hell go to. Maybe it’s the nostalgia for the god-awful swine flu that I had in 2009…we’ll never know.
The vocal melody on this track is hypnotic. But I think even more than that, the percussion on this and several other songs on this album is what drives the addiction. They use many different percussive instruments throughout “Spanish Death Song” and it really gives you the feel of being in a live music circle. Which to come full circle, is not that far from the block-surrounding-the-Kiva vibe of downtown Eugene. If you’re into faux-gypsy-indie-clap-alongs, check this one out. : D
I really feel weird doing a “New to the Library” on a track that I got over a year ago…but! life is wild and I am majorly ?blog-logged? Not sure if that’s gonna fly, but either way I have a lot of old shit to sift through…Which brings us to the beloved “Jasmine (Demo)” by Jai Paul.
This song has grown near and dear to my heart, first but not least, because I got it just a wee bit before our larger-than-life Prince passed away. During those first few months I really clung to this song in a “the spirit of Prince will live on” sort of way. At first I thought it was because of Jai Paul’s lean towards breathy falsetto, but I’m realizing that there are a lot more elements that scream Purple Rain & 1999 era Prince. In an interview with Pitchfork, Caribou describes how there are sounds that sort of fly at you out of nowhere and how those sonic surprises make the track invigorating and singular. I also think there is a sort of melancholy that winds through the thumpy bass, noodly guitar, and lilted journey of Jai Paul’s vocal range. If you’re on the fence at first, give it another five listens–trust me you’ll be hooked.
Saudade Slayage: 9.5/10
I spent a night at work listening to Iron & Wine’s Sing Into My Mouth album on YouTube (sorry Sam, but long gone are the days when my record collection was small enough to add what the fuck ever without listening first & frankly after Ghost on Ghost I’ve become a Iron & Wine skeptic) and really loved it is a whole album, which is pretty rare these days.
The song that really stood out the most was the “Bullet Proof Soul” cover (original by Sade). I stumbled across this album and song not long after diving into a emotional longing that may well turn out to be lifelong. *sigh* Hilariously, the lyrics don’t really speak to that longing–but the music, including the vocal melody, hits that sweet spot of my soul. Sam Beam’s vocal delivery is plaintive and contemplative. And those damn brushes! Gets me every time. Normally I hate twangy shit, but it’s a nice touch here. If you want to feel good and sorry for yourself for five minutes, this track is a nice place to stop and have a beer.
Ever wonder what that chick in A Perfect Circle’s video for “The Outsider” was doing before she qualified to join up with the Bikini Bandits? Imagine no longer; I present to you the video for “Rill Rill.” lalalala
Alexis Krauss’ vocals are reminiscent of Sharon Costanzo of Len (don’t know who the fuck Len is?…remember “Steal My Sunshine”? …yah that one). I just really needed to put that out there. Let’s move on…
This song is extra chilly. It never really -goes- anywhere, it just floats through. And then keeps floating through your mind. Remember that scene from High Fidelity where John Cusack’s character throws on “Dry the Rain” by The Beta Band and everyone just grooves? This could just slide right in it’s place. I’m making no statements here about equality of quality, but it definitely fits that same VIBE. So if you’re looking to add to your chill zone, give this track a whirl.
If you’re looking for a thoughtful, professional assessment, check here
To be honest, I don’t have much else to add that hasn’t already been said by big, bad Pfork. What I can say is that Jai Paul makes me feel like I’m listening to mid-80’s Prince. His songs are always edgy AND sexy.
I sort of played out “Jasmine,” so I’m real stoked to have a new Jai Paul jam to grind through my big headphones and just melt into that dirty bass. Maybe my drunk dancing days aren’t over yet; maybe his songs will give me new life.
Back in 2014, when the world seemed a smidge less shitty than now, Under Color of Official Right was a “must hear” album. Now that I have finally un-wish-listed this track with der monies, I will say, “This is nice.”
The music has a little flare of rah-rah garage punk-like rock ala hey-day The Strokes. All in all, I think the post-punk label is probably pretty accurate. The song definitely has grit and the chorus of “scUUUm, rIIIse” definitely gets the blood flowing. If you’re looking for some extra umph in your angry-cleaning playlist, this might fit the bill.