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Indie Rock Song of the Day

Song of the Day (Chaotic Neutral): The Cribs – I Don’t Know Who I Am (feat. Lee Ranaldo)

Day 8.

This is the second (that I know of) collaboration between Wakefield alt-rockers The Cribs & Sonic Youth guitar wizard Lee Ranaldo. Unlike the top-notch spoken word Beat poetry of Be Safe however, Ranaldo brings noisy, fuzzy, melodic guitar to this exceedingly catchy song.

I also love the video’s aesthetic, which ties in somewhat to some of my current interests (ie. Hauntology).

Sometimes I think it’s strange I’ll never see you
Then I realize
I’ve been watching you my whole life in every
Look I don’t recognize
Every feature in my face with no relation
From my mother’s side
Shows where we came from

I was looking so hard I missed the sign that
I’d been waiting for
An obituary wrote in the local paper
From a town that is no more
Carrying this around gains nothing but I’m
Fool enough to care
Brave enough to try

I tried it
You know I tried it
I tried it

Are you a raw nerve like I am or are you more like
The bathrooms in the park?
Closed for the season every season
Seen in the lighter’s spark
The moment that the world began, it’s ending
Captured by chance on a field recording

We caught it
It’s not important

You wouldn’t love me
Keep out of my way, I’m not in your way
You wouldn’t love me
Descend a marble staircase
Slap me in my face
I don’t know what I am

There’s a telegraph pole, reminds me of you
Its shadow against the sky
Buzzing in the night but no one gets through
No longer on the line
Messages unheard are staying that way
Bouncing back like echoes in the valley

In the valley
In the valley

You wouldn’t love me
Keep out of my way, I’m not in your way
You wouldn’t love me
Descend a marble staircase
Slap me in my face
I don’t know what I am, ooh

I don’t know what I am, ooh
I don’t know what I am
I don’t know what I am

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Indie Rock Music Song of the Day

Song of the Day (A-Z): Lee Ranaldo – Xtina As I Knew Her

Day 24 (X) & this was a tough one. There aren’t many tunes that begin with X. I nearly broke a rule & used Stephen Malkmus’ recent single, Xian Man. Luckily, thinking about one visionary Indie Rock guitarist reminded me of another, Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo.

There’s a warmth & openness to Lee Ranaldo’s solo music which I don’t experience with Sonic Youth. It almost feels like you’re having a friendly conversation with him over a glass of whickey. Xtina As I Knew Her exhibits this warmth perfectly. Nels Cline’s ambient drone style fits in perfectly with it on this excellent live performance. Ranaldo’s explanation of the song also lends to that warm, personable quality.

As an unintended consequence, Lee Ranaldo is the only artist to feature in the Song of the Day (A-Z) twice, due to his collaboration with The Cribs on Be Safe, way back on Day 2.

I was travelling light
Travelling with a friend
As xtina came of age
I hung with xtina’s friends
They would all come ’round the house
And slowly go insane
Every night up around the bend
I’m in xtina’s house again

She was just a lonely soldier
Running with the times and the tides
Maybe just a little older
Quite a ways into the night
Quite a ways into the night

I can see you coming
Creeping slowly up the lane
I can see her falling
In and out of love again
I can still see that tree
With that boat off by the shore
Drifting in and out of time
We’re in xtina’s house once more

Slip behind the valley curtain
Looking for a place to hide
Shaky and those times uncertain
Everyone drunk on red wine
Drunk on red wine

Turn on a flashlight in the dark
At 3 am in the morning
Drunk on red red wine
Tommy smashing bottles against the wall
Xtina waiting at the wall

It’s what you know and you know it

It’s every place you go, so don’t blow it

Confusion takes away, makes it all turn wrong

It only takes a day or two before I’m gone
Long goneWell step right up
To the house of painStep right up on the porch
You bet on the wrong horse
Walking through the door at 10
Right about a quarter to 10
Being very very certain
We’re in xtina’s house again

She was just a lonely soldier
Running up and down the ride
She was pure and wide and open
She was somehow out of time

Now she’s frozen in time

Stuck for something to listen to? Why not wrap your ears around this playlist of my Song of the Day (A-Z) series.

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Indie Rock Music Poetry Song of the Day

Song of the Day (A-Z): The Cribs – Be Safe (feat. Lee Ranaldo)

Day 2 (B) of the Song of the Day challenge.

Be Safe is a bit of a weird one. It’s a collaboration between Wakefield indie rockers The Cribs & Sonic Youth guitar maestro Lee Ranaldo. Only Ranaldo isn’t playing guitar. He’s giving a spoken word performance of one of his excellent poems.

There isn’t an official video for Be Safe, and rather than just link to the official audio I found this excellent fan made video. It’s perfect to me.

One of those fucking, awful black days
When nothing is pleasing and everything that happens
Is an excuse for anger
An outlet for emotions stockpiled, an arsenal, an armor

These are the days when I hate the world
Hate the rich, hate the happy
Hate the complacent, the TV watchers
Beer drinkers, the satisfied ones

Because I know I can be all of those little hateful things
And then I hate myself for realizing that
There’s no preventative, directive or safe approach for living
We each know our own fate

We know from our youth, how to be treated
How we’ll be received, how we shall end
These things don’t change

You can change your clothes
Change your hairstyle, your friends, cities, continents
But sooner or later your own self will always catch up
Always it waits in the wingsIdeas swirl but don’t stick
They appear but then run off like the rain on the windshield

One of those rainy day car rides, my head implodes
The atmosphere in this car, a mirror of my skull
Wet, damp, windows dripping and misted with cold
Walls of grey, nothing good on the radio, not a thought in my head

I know a place we can go and I’m falling
Love so hard that you wish you were ten

Lets take life and slow it down incredibly slow
Frame by frame
With two minutes that take ten years to live out
Yeah, let’s do that

Telephone poles like praying mantis against the sky
Metal arms outstretched
So much land traveled, so little sense made of it
It doesn’t mean a thing, all this land laid out behind us

I’d like to take off into these woods and get good and lost for a while
I’m disgusted with petty concerns
Parking tickets, breakfast specials
Does someone just have to carry this weight?

Abstract typography, methane covenant
Linear gospel, Nashville sales lady, stocky emissary
Torturous lice, mad Elizabeth

Chemotherapy bullshit

I know a place we can go and I’m falling

The light within you shines like a diamond mine
Like an unarmed walrus, like a dead man face down on the highway
Like a skunk, eating it’s own tail
Steam turbine, frog farm

Two full closets burst open in disarray, soap bubbles in the sun
Hospital death bed, red convertible, shopping list, blow job
Deaths head, devils dancing, bleached white buildings, memories 
Movements, the movie, unfeeling, unreeling, about to begin

I know a place we can go and I’m falling
Love so hard that you wish you were ten

I’ve seen your hallway, you’re a darn call away
I’ve hear your stairs creak, I can fix my mind on your yes
And your no, I’ll film your face today in the sparkling canals
All red, yellow, blue, green brilliance and silver Dutch reflection

Racing thoughts, racing thoughts, all too real
You’re moving so fast now, I can’t hold your image
This image I have of your face by the window
Me standing beside you, arm on your shoulder
A catalog of images, flashing glimpses then gone again

Untethered to the posters soak in me, every clear afternoon now
I’ll think of you, up in the air, twisting your heel
Your knees up around me, my face in your hair
You scream so well, your smile so loud, it still rings in my ears

I know a place we can go and I’m falling
Love so hard that you wish you were ten

Imitation, distant, tired of longing, clean my teeth
Stay the course, hold the wheel, steer on to freedom
Open all the boxes, open all the boxes
Open all the boxes, open all the boxes

Times Square Midday, newspaper buildings
News headlines going around, you watch as they go
And hope there’s some good ones, those tree shadows in the park
They’re all whispering, shake some leaves

Around six p.m., shadows across the cobblestones
Girl in front of bathroom mirror, she slow and careful
Paints her face green and mask like
Like my cheese, portrait with green stripe

Long shot through apartment window
A monologue on top but no girl in shot
The light within me shines like a diamond mine

Like an unarmed walrus
Like a dead man face down on the highway
Like a snake eating its own tail
A steam turbine, frog pond

Two full closets burst open in disarray, soap bubbles in the sun
Hospital death bed, red convertible, shopping list, blow job
Deaths head, devils dancing, bleached white buildings, memories 
Movements, the movie, unreeling, about to begin

Oh, great by me
Yeah? Mine were alright, wasn’t my best one but who cares?
That’s the spirit

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