Songs That Stick To Your Ribs: Vol. 1

Some songs come and go – sweet pleasures, but fleeting ones.

Others, they linger, wearing a groove in heart and brain that runs down the intersection of comforting and challenging.

These are some of those songs.

Off My Mind, Ryan Ross: It’s the plucked string at the beginning, I think. The insistent whang whang whang that reaches out to hook your attention just before the other guitars muscle in, rumbling and grumbling and trying to start a fight. And then about half-way through they settle down and start hammering out a quasi-hypnotic rhythm. I both do and do not want to know what the words are supposed to be; I’m curious, but also suspect context might ruin it.

If You’re in New York, The Grahams: I have more to say about Riverman’s Daughter, their most recent (and most amazing) record, but this is one of the songs I have been listening to obsessively. I have danced to this on subway platforms from Harlem to Brooklyn, and hummed along everywhere from the center of a swirl of autumn leaves on Central Park West to a rapidly thickening blanket of snow on 1st … Continue reading

GRR, Ryan Ross

Earlier this week, Ryan Ross‘ chrysalis opened and two demos emerged. Tonight the chrysalis has opened a little further, and let two more songs out.

Here they are in the order I listened to them:

Lonely Moonlight: the electronics shimmer rather than grind, as in the two demos, though there is some static-y hum at the end, and the vocals are denser, more layered, with just a hair of an echo. Poetry nerd alert: the lyrics suggests he might be sticking to the metaphor scheme he used in Pretty. Odd., but I’ll have to wait for more songs to surface to be sure. In any case, it’s a sweet song.

I Get Down: Another bouncy tune; I think this is a song about an inconstant lover, but all I can think of is maddeningly frustrating missed connections involving public transportation. Though I suppose those things are not mutually exclusive.


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Late Night Listening: Ryan Ross demos

These two new demos from Ryan Ross are Late Night Listening because the first time I heard them was at 3 AM today when I had been up for 24 hours. I’ve had some sleep now, and they are still really good, rough demos or not.

Off My Mind: Quasi-surfy instrumental with some muscle on the reverb and electronic highlights. I hope the fuzz remains in the finished version.

Where I Belong: I’m going to get the fannish flailing out of the way: It’s just really good to hear him singing again. But after my initial OH MY GOD THAT’S REALLY HIM moment, I kept listening to this song because of the way the guitars and the fuzzy electronics are twined together. Yes, fuzzy electronics, not fuzzy guitars. As far as I can tell. I may have to listen to it a bunch more times before I can be sure. The lyrics are sharp, too.

Verdict: A++, can’t wait to hear the rest.

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August Video Challenge: Didier Wampas, Eternellement

Here is Didier Wampas singing Eternellement, one of my favorites from Taisez Moi, while dressed as a vampire and playing a very special guitar.


PS/ETA: If you listen very carefully to the chorus, you can also hear Ryan Ross (The Young Veins, Panic[!] at the Disco] singing back-up!!

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Video: Beach Bones, More Amor feat. Ryan Ross

Sometimes waiting for new music is like a summer science experiment, the kind where you catch a caterpillar in late spring, put it in your cut-out milk jug terrarium, let it make a cocoon, and then spend several months waiting to see what kind of butterfly (if any) will come out.

I have several of these imaginary terrariums perched on my kitchen window. Early this morning I found a beautiful butterfly with sea and sand wings waiting for me: Beach Bones, by More Amor feat. Ryan Ross. It’s from More Amor’s new EP to be called In Spanish, evidently due in late July.

Retiring the butterfly metaphor: I like this song / video a whole lot. I’m especially fond of the extended cameo by the inflatable Stanley Cup.

Anyway, here it is, watch and enjoy:

More Amor ft. Ryan Ross: Beach Bones

Watch this video on YouTube
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Et Voilà: Taisez Moi, Didier Wampas

Didier Wampas, of Les Wampas, has put out his first solo record. It is called Taisez Moi which, from what I can gather translates as either “Shut Me” or “Quiet Me”, and it is delightful.

It’s also really, really different from Les Wampas‘ sound. The catchy melodies are still there in force, but the big crunchy riffs and reverb have given way to a lighter, surfier, clap-along vibe.

I’m still working on parsing the lyrics – I don’t speak any more French now than I did before – but so far I’m particularly enjoying La propriété c’est du vol (Property is Theft) which is actually a love song on the theme of “I don’t want anything but you”; La folle de Marvejols (The Wild Marvejols) which I don’t (yet) know what it’s about but it has lovely orchestral elements; and Les framboises dorées (The Golden Raspberries), the bonus track on the iTunes version of the album, which has a great sing-along chorus.

Also, for all of you (other) fans of Ryan Ross (The Young … Continue reading