Tuesday, January 8, 2008


In trying to think of a way to introduce this, I decided to be a bit of a sass and put together some songs that have "hello" in the title.  And have them varied, sort of as a nice way to say "hello, this is the kind of stuff that i listen to and think about."
I'm not going to write about up-n-coming things, unless that's what's on my mind.  I guess the real goal of this is to write about things that are on my mind, songs that I like and have something to say about.  They may be purposefully bad, or they may be songs that most people think are bad but that I think are really nice.  Maybe in doing this, I'll figure out what really are the things that define "good song" to me.  And maybe you too!

A little about me: I'm a student at (deep breath) Theschooloftheartinstituteofchicago (exhale, inhale) right now.  That's all well and good, but more well and good is music, which I make by the name Violet Mice.  Add a dot com to the band name and you can visit my keen site.  But now, the blogggggg:

I was fortunate enough (apparently) to get into Todd Rundgren without having any idea of who he was.  By that I mean, I had no connection to Todd as a 'classic rock schmooze rocker.'  To me, Todd was only one of the people that my Mom had on one of her amazing and well-titled Mixtapes.  Of course, in Todd's prime, he had many fans and wasn't a laughing stock.  But nowadays he's known for The New Cars and stupid sunglasses: 

Those glasses are so dumb.  But that's not the point.  The Point is that Todd Rundgren is (used to be?) a really freaky pop genius, one that I'm sure I'll revisit in the future.  In Todd's heyday, he could write a perfect, literally perfect popsong with the greatest ease.  Hello, It's Me is not his greatest, but it's still amazing.  It's got a groove, a hook, a lil' swagger.  It's got everything going for it, and it's got cute lyrics.  

I don't think John Cale gets nearly enough credit as he does.  Everyone goes on and on about Lou Reed and his solo albums, but here's the thing (and it's wildly controversial, so sue me): John Cale's were better.  Lou Reed has spunk and sass up every orifice imaginable, but John Cale's got the chops.  He knows how to put a song together, whereas I really get the feeling that Lou Reed just gets lucky with his composition.  Now, I'm not saying that makes Lou bad, I just really really feel like John Cale made the better albums, but wasn't enough of a weirdo to get the attention.  Now, I'm choosing this song because it has the word "hello" in it, so it's not the greatest example of what I'm talking about, but it's certainly not a bad song, and now I'll just have even greater reason to write more about him (and in particular, his album Paris 1919) later.

If you don't know who The Residents are, you probably haven't spent enough time around me. Just kidding, sort of.  But this band is, as the saying goes, "the most famous unknown band in history."  People who choose to be dismissive will spend most of the time talking about the fact that no one knows (sort of) who the real band members are, and that they wear eyeball masks (which they don't do all the time, it's just the most easily remembered image of them).  The fact is, The Residents have been around for over 40 years, and have churned out increasingly creative, interesting, psychotic, and occasionally beautiful music.  They've also put on incredibly performances and pioneered the music video artform (but who hasn't 'pioneered' it, right?).  I believe The Residents are the most wonderful example of how music can be an artform, and how music can meld with other mediums.  They're amazing, so there.

So that's number one!!! Not bad, eh? See you soon, I'm sure.  And I guess maybe sometime I'll figure out a better way to put up the songs.

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