139. "Woke Up New" (The Mountain Goats)
Just because I'm in a loving relationship and live a fairly enviable life, doesn't mean I don't enjoy a sad song from time to time. I love sad songs, especially songs about broken relationships and the devastated people left destroyed by said breaking. I don't think I'm better than the characters in these songs just because I'm married to a beautiful, intelligent, amazingly funny woman who loves and respects me and is the best mother in the world to our brilliant and perfect half-Asian daughter, I just enjoy the delicious sadness I can vampire-suck off of them. I inhale the despair into my body, convert it into "good vibes" through a process not unlike photosynthesis, and I go about my business with a new sense of purpose and drive. Sad songs are, simply put, the fuel the powers my engine.
I'm mostly exaggerating, but I do enjoy sad songs, and "Woke Up New" is one of the saddest. It's also kind of hopeful, as the character at its center does understand, at least by the song's end, that there is a future ahead for him and all he need do is wait for its arrival.
It is difficult waking up alone that first morning after the end of a long-term relationship. I remember when I broke up with my girlfriend of six plus years, instead of spending the first night in my new apartment, I drove to the apartment we shared and slept on the couch. I should add, she didn't come home that night, but found my asleep the next morning and was very understanding about the whole thing. I did spend the entire next night in my new place and, I don't remember, but I probably woke up pretty bummed.
Fun Fact: The video for "Woke Up New" was directed by the director of Looper. You can totally tell, right?
140. "Wishes" (Beach House)
Let me just be real clear up here at the top: I was alerted to the existence of this song/video by The Must List in the most recent issue of Entertainment Weekly, all right! Is that OK with you, Hipster McGee? And, yes, it's true, I've never heard a Beach House song before this one. Oh, is that blasphemous, Indie Rock Q. Scarf-in-Summer the 3rd?
Seriously though, this is my first Beach House song. Now I want to hear all the songs. I love this.
Best YouTube comment for this video: "This is how the second season of Twin Peaks was *supposed* to end." -drij, YouTube user and Twin Peaks fan
141. "Actor Out Of Work" (St. Vincent)
While I'm dropping "truth bombs," as the kids say, I should probably add that I'm pretty much finished with Top 40 radio. I'll hold for your applause.
Please, everybody, sit down. I know you're proud of me, but this is really too much.
Look, I knew it was a phase, I just didn't know how long it would last. And I haven't turned my back on the world of pop music (Think of me what you will, but I still genuinely enjoy "Beauty and a Beat." I am never going to apologize for that, so don't hold your breath.), I just can't justify wasting any more precious ear hours on Top 40 radio. Maybe I'll blog about it in the future, but if I don't, just know that those days are, for the time being, over.
What does St. Vincent have to do with this? Well, the day my love affair with Top 40 abruptly ended (I blame both Swedish House Mafia and Calvin Harris.), I turned my radio dial to the local college station, WKNC. "Actor Out Of Work" cranked into action as if it had been waiting for me to arrive. It pounced, sunk it's sweet, sharp fangs into my neck, and I proclaimed, out loud to my empty car, "What the fuck have I been doing?" True story. "Actor Out Of Work" is not only a great song, but it was my redemption.
142. "The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton" (The Mountain Goats)
We're a little Mountain Goats heavy this week, but, screw you, this is my list and I'll put whatever I want on it. Actually, a friend from work gave me a copy of All Hail West Texas a couple of weeks ago and it hasn't left my CD player. I had a hard time picking one out for this post, but I think this song, which opens the album, is pretty great. And any song that includes the repeated cry of "Hail, Satan," is OK in my book.
Other songs from All Hail West Texas that I was considering for today's post: "Jenny"; "Color in Your Cheeks"; "Pink and Blue"; "The Mess Inside" (I guarantee this one will pop up on this ever expanding list sometime soon.); "Distant Stations"; "Riches and Wonders"