Is music really the food of love? What if you're not very hungry? Or what if you are hungry, but only for the breakdown from "Come On, Eileen", and only the Save Ferris version? Each week, I'll try to decide who I am, what I like, and why on earth I like it with the help of Spotify's Discover Weekly.
My playlist has drastically improved from last week, which can only mean one thing: The Robots have been reading my blog. If you tuned in for volume two, you might recall that I fell down a weird Spotify worm hole two weekends ago. Specifically, I spent a good four hours listening to Musicals About The Plight Of Teenagers. I started with Heathers, then remembered Spring Awakening, then remembered that Carrie has exactly one good song in it, then Putnam County Spelling Bee, then Footloose for Christ's sake, and finally Newsies. Anyway, that resulted in some pretty decent Spotify recommendations, so maybe I should embrace my torrid past as a Sentient Broadway Wikipedia Page more often.
"No Culture" - Mother Mother
Oh man, my notes on this one are a garbled mess. I wrote them in my Notes App like a proper Who and I don't even know what I was trying to say. Basically, this song instills in me a desire to dance around a nightclub circa 2006, an activity that I didn't much enjoy even when it was actually 2006 - I was 22 and such things were more or less expected. This song makes me feel the way "On Top" by The Killers once did, when I stomped the streets of Ridgewood and wrote sad songs about boys in a capella bands. Please, someone, let me fall unrequitedly in love with you so I can fully appreciate this glorious song. First round's on me.
Probably chosen for me because: Spotify guessed my age based on the level of 90s music I listen to, serves me drunk sexy music that hearkens back to the era when they assume I was having lots of casual sex. JOKES ON YOU ROBOTS I BLOOMED MAD LATE.
"Daddy-Longlegs" - McCafferty
I love that chewy emo voice, the one they stole from Michael Stipe. The one where they savor every crunchy consonant and every mealy vowel, as if to say I AM SO MAD AND THE MAD WORDS TASTE SO GOOD. Why would anyone settle for a frail little amuse bouche resolution when seething, barely contained resentment is so very filling? I worked in restaurants for a very long time, people. Don't @ me.
Probably chosen for me because: My affection for emo has been well documented in this blog, I don't think we need to go over it again.
"Friendtopia" - Crazy Ex Girlfriend soundtrack
My intense jealousy over the career of Rachel Bloom keeps me from actively seeking out her work, which is shitty of me because everything I've seen from her is perfection. This song (a Spice Girls parody about literal world domination) made me laugh to the point of tears on the G train, a place where laughter happens so infrequently that my fellow commuters blinked at me in astonishment before slouching back into their blankets of regret. Anyway, this song is marvelous and I need to get over myself so I can watch her show without constantly thinking "Damn it, why didn't I think of this?"
Probably chosen for me because: The robots want me to grow as a person.
"Wobbly" - Ezra Furman
This one was my favorite for the week, because I've been feeling wobbly too Ezra! Like maybe I'm too old to achieve any of my life goals and I'll never be truly loved and have to settle for a man who sees me as a supporting character in his life rather than a fully-fledged human being and all my friends look like they're making progress and becoming brighter, clearer versions of themselves but I'm still the same bitter mess I was at 17 only I'm skinny now so people assume I can have things when I want them but every time I take a risk it blows up in my face so maybe I should just spend all my time comparison shopping for eyeshadows because at least there's a system to that - there are good products and bad products, and if you buy the correct ones you are perfect.
Probably chosen for me because: I'm so bad at holding it together that even my phone knows I'm a mess.
"Minnesota Strip/Song of a Child Prostitute" - Runaways OBC
I had heard of Runaways but never listened to the music, so I had no idea what kind of music it was. I didn't realize that this was a song from a musical right away when it started playing. This song is so gorgeous, and so strange, and so very sad. I'll need to listen through the rest of this show eventually, but I think I'll need to find a place to do so that is not the New York City Subway.
Probably chosen for me because: Spotify saw my teenage musical marathon and went "Oh, you like show tunes about youths? HERE YOU GO."
They gave me a song by Car Seat Headrest, a band I love, with the vocals so low in the mix I can't hear the lyrics. They gave me a song from Natasha, Pierre, and The Great Comet of 1812, but I refused to listen to it cause I'm seeing it in two weeks and I want to be surprised. They gave me a One Direction song that sounded like The Strokes.
There were a lot of solid contenders for blog material this week, and a lot of songs I really enjoyed. This playlist gets 4 out of 5 #SQUADGOALS! Next week, I'll be presenting the first of the blogs where I deliberately try to confuse the algorithm. I had to suffer through a lot of painful musical memories for you, so you'd God damn better well read it.
Can a person's favorite songs reveal their inner self? Can a woman whose room mate recently caught her drunk lip synching to the Jane Eyre OBC on Marcy Avenue at 2am truly be considered "cool" by any reasonable metric? Each week, I’ll attempt to decide who I am, what I like, and why on earth I like it with the help of Spotify’s Discover Weekly.
Week two was a bit one note, if you'll pardon the expression. I mean that somewhat literally - I got served a lot of drab, sing-songy melodies over slightly fuzzy guitars. You know when your coworker goes "Oh, you like music, have you heard of ********"? And then you listen to the debut album by ******** (not to be confused with !!!) and it sounds like the same car commercial ten times in a row but I guess they're playing Bonnaroo? This was a whole playlist of those. It's too early to give up on this concept though (and I just got my new playlist, and I have a LOT OF FEELINGS ABOUT IT), so we'll struggle through with the standouts.
"Tell Me It's Ok" - Paramore
Guys, I like Paramore. I know, I'm supposed to spend all my time listening to Le Tigre or Nico or Patti Smith and goodness knows they're wonderful, but sometimes a guy is a dick or your boss is a dick or your friend is a dick and the only thing that helps is Hayley Williams, yelping over power chords. Paramore happened after I was out of high school, but the angst levels of their songs make me feel like theater camp never ended. I'd never heard this one before, and while it's no "crushcrushcrush" it's still been stuck in my head all week and I think that means the song is winning. Side bar: here's a Tumblr post from 2015 where Williams semi-renounces "Misery Business", a song with a great hook and truly objectionable lyrics.
Probably chosen for me because: I told you. I like Paramore.
"Number Crunching" - Ginger Snaps
Remember last week when I complained about how songs reminded me of other songs and I couldn't get over it? Well, this song reminds me of The 90s and I'm surprisingly cool with it. This sounds like Oasis wrote a song for the New Radicals and Beck stepped up to produce - that is the level of 90s in play here. It is an excellent song for sauntering down a street in a leather jacket - yes, I tried it. It does contain the lyric "I can't stand these hipster chicks," which I do not care for as a hipster or as a chick. However, my main issue with this song is that I've reached the age where new artists are being clearly influenced by the music of my youth, which to them is Classic Rock. All you little punks can get the hell of my damn lawn.
Probably chosen for me because: Chris keeps making me learn weird 90s covers to sing with his band. "You know this one," he always says. He's wrong. He's wrong every time. Except for "Glycerine", I knew that one.
For fuck's sake. I wrote down the band but not the song title. But I'm listening to their album now and I'm enjoying it, so let's just carry on with the introspection, shall we? At first listen I assumed Backwards Dancer were from approximately 2008, and I only missed them because that was the year I listened exclusively to Elliott Smith. I was surprised to learn that this band's self-titled album came out last month - perhaps this is the emo revival the fancy music blogs keep talking about? I had kind of assumed they were just trying to make Fetch happen, but ok.* Over the weekend I saw Two Star Motel, an excellent musical about a struggling band set in 2001, and between that and the humidity and the punks on my damn lawn I am more than ready to slam cheap beers in a crop top and be simultaneously sad/horny/sweaty. I suppose this means I am on board with the revival of emo.
Probably chosen for me because: I listen to that one Say Anything song a thousand times a month. I gotta knock that off or this blog is going to get really boring really quick. I once had this obnoxious therapist look at me with solemn condescension and ask "Do you even want to be happy?" No one writes good songs about being happy, silly.
*"Make Fetch Happen" is a good name for an emo revival band.
"Make Out" - Julia Nunes
Ok, I take back what I just said about good songs and happiness. I forgot that this song made my list for the week. Sure, it dips into minor in a few places which gives it a lightly bittersweet quality, but overall this is just a perky little bop about wanting your person to stay home so you can kiss them some more. Also it starts with the lyric "I got shit to do/I know you do too" which I find impossibly endearing. This song is #RelationshipGoals for that small shameful part of me that wants to live forever in the first date montage from a rom com. That part of me is deeply opposed to the revival of emo, but we don't let her talk much.
Probably chosen for me because: There's also that small shameful part of me that sincerely likes the song "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz.
Again, forgot to write down the song title like a dick. But I used to almost know Anamanaguchi! My friend knew the guy in it I think, and she was really into this local 8 Bit scene, and then one of her other friends wanted to do a Broadway 8 Bit mashup and she said "Hey Hannah, you've got a musical theater degree you're not using, right?" and so that's how I got roped into singing a bunch of songs from Wicked at an 8 Bit show at I wanna say General Assembly (but probably back when it was still Galapagos) which was crazy fun and also very strange and it was when my leg was broken so I had this weird Robot Foot Boot Thing and I was dyeing my hair black at the time and for some reason opted to wear this truly awful sweater I used to have so there ARE pictures of this event somewhere but sweet Jesus I look bad in them and I'm roughly 95% sure that Anamanaguchi headlined that show. Anyway whichever Anamanaguchi tune made it onto my playlist last week was enjoyable, because I looked down at my phone to see who was playing and said "Hey! Anamanaguchi! I used to almost know them!"
Probably chosen for me because: Spotify went on my Facebook, found those awful pictures, and is musically sub-tweeting me.
Overall Rating: There were a couple of good songs outside of the ones I listed, but not many. I give this playlist 2 Panics out of 10 Discos.
This week I promise to take better notes. I have been considering actively fucking with the algorithm for the purposes of Journalism, and when you see what they gave me this week after a day-long rock musical binge you'll understand why.