But, inspired by Jens Lekman's concert on Saturday night, I downloaded a bunch more Jens, and man, he makes me happy. The torrent included a whole whack of rare stuff and eps, which is fun, because it means I can go through it all, and my new, super-big computer hard drive (350 gigs is more than I can even imagine needing, unless I decide to download the entire AFI top 100 films or something silly like that), along with an 80 gig IPod, means I can load up on stuff, where I used to have to delete things in order to avoid topping out my old laptop. And it's fun having music on your Ipod that isn't all already familiar to you: there's the potential something will surprise you.
Plus, when walking around town, it helps to have entire albums, or even several entire albums, from an artist, instead of just the one song you like, because the after hearing a single song, you have to go find another album you want to hear, so it's GOOD to have more by your artists, instead of just keeping the best two or three songs.
Now, I don't have a lot of musical training, other than a semester of voice lessons, two semesters of choir in university, and a lot of hours in the shower annoying my brother, I couldn't really tell you which musicians are using the most interesting time signatures or harmonic intervals: I respond to music primarily emotionally, kind of like a more nuanced Beavis and Butthead: "This sucks. This is cool."
So, while I respond to poetry and lyrical excellence (strangely enough, in the laced rhymes and rhythms of an Eminem song as much as in a poem/song by Leonard Cohen), I couldn't care much less about Steve Vai's technical skill as he shreds on his guitar, unless those 64th and 128th notes have an emotional impact that creates a feeling in me.
So, all that said, Jens might not be the best singer or musician, and I don't really care...but I know that, walking around at night alone, I have felt EXACTLY the way this song sounds.
(I've set it to some of my favorite roboseyo photography moments).
Elvis Costello: Imperial Bedroom
Flaming Lips: At War With the Mystics
Polyphonic Spree: The Beginning Stages Of...
Camper Van Beethoven: Key Lime Pie
David Byrne: Grown Backwards (especially his duet with Rufus Wainwright, Au Fond du Temple Saint)
are some of the albums/releases that have been bringing me much joy since I revisited them, or gave them another try.
(Yes, David Byrne, from The Talking Heads, founder of "The David Byrne School of Dancing" [where you dance as weirdly as you can] features on that list. Give it a try.)
Here's david, weird dancing in what might be his most famous song.