Category Archives: Friday Double Play

Friday Double Play : The Presidents of the United States of America

presidents-of-usa

The Presidents of the United States of America : Peaches & Lump

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2016 In Review: Friday Double Play: Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen & Jeff Buckley

Friday Double Play: Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen & Jeff Buckley

With the tragic passing of Leonard Cohen yesterday, it is only fitting that we dedicate today’s Double Play to him.  As a masterful lyricist and song writer, Leonard Cohen’s influence on the music world was immaculate and wide reaching.  Artists all across genres resoundingly always dote Cohen as one, if not the, best songwriter of his generation.  With his trademark spoken word-esque style he could paint the most vivid of pictures that resonated deep within the listener.  As with the passing of David Bowie and Prince earlier this year, the music world lost another true trailblazer and visionary.  On this Friday we take a look at his most famous hit, Hallelujah.  The haunting ballad tells of the dichotomy of love.  Using religious overtones and the same ceaseless chorus, Cohen carries the listener through the stages of a relationship, all being separated by a chorus of Hallelujah which symbolizes very different things each time around.  The plodding nature of the song adds to the tension that is thereby applied to the relationship.  Overall, the song is often held up as an expert case of fine songwriting, which is only exemplified by the fact that it is so often covered.  Jeff Buckley was a rising star in the music industry who sadly was snuffed out too soon, before he was able to hit his peak.  But on his way up he recorded what would become a sweetly prophetic eulogy to his brief career.  The sadness conveyed in his voice does justice to such an emotive Leonard Cohen classic.  Both Leonard and Jeff will be deeply missed.

Leonard Cohen

Jeff Buckley

Friday Double Play: American Girls

Mitski: Your Best American Girl & Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: American Girl

As much as I try to keep my ear to the ground to know what’s hot in the streets, as the kids say, occasionally things can slip past me.  Every year around this time I peruse all the “Best of List’s” to see what I might have missed and what I should check out.  This is exactly how I came across Mitski, who was atop many of the Top album of the year lists.  Her haunting and introspective brand of rock seeps into your skull and just won’t come out in the most charming of ways.  She offers up a perspective on what it is like as a child of an immigrant trying to live up to the All-American expectations of a partner.  Tom Petty on the other hand takes a look at the pit falls of dreams and expectations not being fulfilled.  A main theme throughout both these songs is the high expectations that American’s place on people, whether in Mitski’s case not feeling adequate enough for her All-American counterpart, or Tom Petty’s American Girl not reaching in life what she was promised.

Mitski: Your Best American Girl

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: American Girl

Friday Double Play: She Can See Me by Kevin Devine

When Kevin Devine set about creating his next project he had a bold idea.  First he was going to use crowd funding to source the project.  Secondly he was going to create two albums not just one.  Two fairly different albums, with two separate producers, and two over all feelings.  What came out where the equally revered Bubblegum and Bulldozer.  While they are both vintage Devine with one being a more punk grunge heavy distorted guitar assualt, and the other a more introspective singer song writer confession.  An amazing thing that he did do with both however was take the over all spirit of both albums and channel them through the structure of the same bones.  For each album he recorded his take of She Can See Me as it would pertain to that album and both have their all encompassing presence for their respective records.  He also took to filming two music videos for each perspective of the song that similarly are variations on the same structure.  Take a listen and enjoy!

Bulldozer Version

Bubblegum Version

Friday Double Play: The National vs Death Cab for Cutie

Apparently the fellas in The National and Death Cab For Cutie got together for a a game of Mad Libs when it came to naming their songs.  “Ok start it off with a noun that starts with the letter G.  Next how about a designation for a through way. Matt Berninger, what do you have?”  “I have The Geese of Beverly Road.”  “Great, Ben Gibbard how about you?” “I have The Ghosts of Beverly Drive.”  What the titles may have been cut from the same cloth the songs themselves are very different.  Lyrically Death Cab takes the more storytelling narrative route while The National is always steeped in vague absurdity.  Musically the juxtaposition of layered clarinets with a punching drum beat for The Geese gives a soothing listen with just a bit of accented pace mixed in.  On the other side The Ghosts is propelled along with a humming guitar rift that carries the song along on an off beat drive.  I don’t know why Beverly is such a popular street but between all the gees and ghosts I’d stay clear during rush hour.

The National: The Geese of Beverly Road

Death Cab For Cutie: The Ghosts of Beverly Drive

Friday Double Play: Zooey Deschanel and Ben Gibbard

Break ups can be incredibly difficult when you are just a normal Joe off the street, let alone a mega celebrity whose life is lived out in the public eye.  Such was the case when indie super couple called it splits in 2012.  When Ben Gibbard and Zooey Deschanel got together the collective world of awkward quirky eccentrics rejoiced in a Say Anything-esque victory for the hopeless romantics.   A short two years later the couple was no more and Gibbard was on his way back to Seattle after his brief relocation to LA.  With both having a gigantic mouthpiece to their soul, by way of their musical careers, it was only a matter of time before the world got to hear all about the downfall of their love.

Deschanel along with her partner in She & Him M.Ward released Shadow of Love which is a much more vague interpretation of a failed relationship.  With the classic retro vibe that the pair live in, Shadow of Love offers up a lonesome almost cowboyesque sullen tale of love life lived in the shadow that unfortunately would never get the color it needed to survive.  Ben Gibbard and the fellas in Death Cab for Cutie went for a far more vivid and telling story of their breakup.  Painting a picture of heartbreak Los Angeles style, Gibbard drives his point home about how fame drove a wedge between the couple with the piercing chorus of “Was I in your way, when the cameras turned to face you, no room in frame for two.”  It is always a sad day when two crazy kids can’t make it work, but bright side is that at least we got some great music out of it.

She and Him: Shadow of Love

Death Cab for Cutie: No Room in Frame

Friday Double Play: Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen & Jeff Buckley

With the tragic passing of Leonard Cohen yesterday, it is only fitting that we dedicate today’s Double Play to him.  As a masterful lyricist and song writer, Leonard Cohen’s influence on the music world was immaculate and wide reaching.  Artists all across genres resoundingly always dote Cohen as one, if not the, best songwriter of his generation.  With his trademark spoken word-esque style he could paint the most vivid of pictures that resonated deep within the listener.  As with the passing of David Bowie and Prince earlier this year, the music world lost another true trailblazer and visionary.  On this Friday we take a look at his most famous hit, Hallelujah.  The haunting ballad tells of the dichotomy of love.  Using religious overtones and the same ceaseless chorus, Cohen carries the listener through the stages of a relationship, all being separated by a chorus of Hallelujah which symbolizes very different things each time around.  The plodding nature of the song adds to the tension that is thereby applied to the relationship.  Overall, the song is often held up as an expert case of fine songwriting, which is only exemplified by the fact that it is so often covered.  Jeff Buckley was a rising star in the music industry who sadly was snuffed out too soon, before he was able to hit his peak.  But on his way up he recorded what would become a sweetly prophetic eulogy to his brief career.  The sadness conveyed in his voice does justice to such an emotive Leonard Cohen classic.  Both Leonard and Jeff will be deeply missed.

Leonard Cohen

Jeff Buckley

Friday Double Play : West Coast by FIDLAR & Coconut Records

Coconut Records: West Coast / FIDLAR: West Coast

Two different takes from born and bread left coasters give two different varied perspectives and feels to life on the Pacific Coast.  Jason Schwartzman’s solo endeavor in Coconut Records speaks to the longing for a lover to return back to a place of home and solace on the west coast with him.  The steady mellow delivery hearkens thoughts of a beach sunset with a faint Phoenix record off in the distance.  His sadness and lustful desire fold into his wounded wandering back home.  On the opposite flip of the coin the skate punks in FIDLAR speak to the desire to get out and escape their mundane suburban rhetoric.  Fed up with school, life, social situations, they speak to the need to escape whether it be physically up the coast or merely just getting to the weekend to be able to mellow their worries and dissolve from problems.  The frantic fuzz and beat solidifies the bands necessity to get out quick and stop wasting away while getting wasted.  Both songs perfectly lend visions of what it means to both need to get away and get back to that familiar place we call home.

Coconut Records

Fidlar

 

Friday Double Play: For Boston

For Boston: The Hold Steady / Dropkick Murphys

Low and behold when I was looking up the upcoming The Hold Steady Boys and Girls in America tour did I realize that they had a deluxe Australian edition of their Kerouac inspired classic.  On said album was a song I had never heard of before, For Boston.  Being up with my history of the band I knew lead singer Craig Finn spent some time in beantown while at Boston college, so I should not had been surprised that there might be a song hearkening back to his days in The Heights.  The Hold Steady version is a prototypical THS song mixing the drinking and drugging dalliances with specific location and people, all with the same driving back beat and pushing guitars that make them killer.  On the other hand we have Mcgreevy’s boys given their signature punch to the face with this ode to their hometown.  Two different takes on the same great city, one from a group of born and bread blue collar boys and the other from a visiting college kid with a history of dabbling in some of the harder things.

 

The Hold Steady

Dropkick Murphys

Friday Double Play: Age of Consent

Age of Consent (originally by New Order): Performed by Arcade Fire / Built to Spill

So I decided today for the Friday double play I am going to change things up a little and opposed to doing two matching song titles from two different bands I am going to do two different bands covering the same song.  If you or the other 4 readers of this blog don’t like it well you can take a long walk to another blog that posts a combination of food/ beer/ music and read them.

One of my top 100 songs of all time, the remnants of Joy Division killed the catchy melancholy so beautifully with this driving drum beat and contagious melodies. It is no surprise that it is easy to find two giants of the indie music scene covering what is such a pivotal song to soo many.  While Arcade Fire takes a more gentle and somber approach with a delicate arrangement, both theirs and Built to Spill‘s more straight forward cover equally pay homage to the original.

Arcade Fire : Age of Consent

Built to Spill : Age of Consent