Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Friday, February 29

i always loved "Tired" by Matchbox20. it was the B-Side to the "Push" single, and wondered why it never made it on to an album. the vocal lines during the verses are awesome...it's almost like he's rambling, but it's a little too rhythmic for that.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Thursday, February 28

no more rap. no more disco.

instead, it's a song that fifteen-year-old girls love: "Sugar, We're Going Down" by Fall Out Boy. this is one of the times the fifteen year olds got it right. i'm not a fan of most of Fall Out Boy's stuff, but this song is fantastic. the tune is catchy, and it's fun to sing along to. plus, the line "i'm just a notch in your bedpost/but you're just a line in a song" resonates with me. it's a theme of mutual use.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Wednesday, February 27

i know. this place has been cracked out this week. but, what can i say? i'm cracked out. i have a huge paper due at school, and it's making me crazy. [a life outside of this blog--how scary that!]

it's making me crazy enough to post disco.

i'll be sane again by saturday. i promise.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Tuesday, February 26

this song is one of my ultimate guilty pleasure songs. when i was in high school and this song was on MTV all the time, i would harass my brothers relentlessly for liking it so much. then i got to college and realised that the song was hilarious. i caught myself liking it too; listening to it puts a stupid little smirk on my face. it might be the beat, it might be the smugness of the lyrics. i don't know.

anyway, enjoy..."Forgot About Dre" by Dr. Dre and Eminem.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Monday, February 25

today's song is a brilliant and clever rock and roll theme and variation: "Time To Waste" by Alkaline Trio.

i love the incorporation of motifs throughout this song. the piano starts with a melody and builds...then the guitar picks up a close variation of it that pulls it squarely into the world of rock. all of a sudden, the verse starts, and the music is completely different from that piano bit at the beginning. it sneaks up on you, though, because each part seems to flow so naturally from the last. conversely, you never notice how similar the chorus is until right before the bridge. the second repeat of the chorus ends, and the piano comes back during the bridge. it's a reworking of the beginning of the song, leading back to the final repeat of the chorus.

whenever i listen to this song, i think of a french braid...it's a gorgeous and coherent whole that picks up new pieces here and there all along the way and integrates them flawlessly.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Sunday, February 24

i'm having one of those days where i'm sick, i'm tired, and all i want to do is complain. instead of complaining here, i'll just post the most complain-y song i can think of: "King for a Day" by Caroline's Spine. musically, it's actually a really fun song...but the lyrics are full of complaining.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Saturday, February 23

i didn't list these guys on my list of the best Chicago music you've never heard, because this song did come out on a major label release. however, Beyond The Calm of the Corridor never got the airplay it deserved, and the band broke up soon after. "Thicker" is one of my favourite songs on the album. it's angry, the kind of song that is very therapeutic to wail along to when you're having a terrible day.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Friday, February 22

i've been told several times that this is heresy, but i don't care. "How Soon Is Now" by Snake River Conspiracy is better than the original. it's far more sarcastic, and i appreciate that.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Thursday, February 21

i had forgotten all about "B.Y.O.B." by System of a Down until this morning, when a clip of it was played on a podcast i was listening to. System of a Down is very hit or miss with me. some of their songs are more melodic than others, and i really only like the melodic ones.

i like this song a lot; the slow parts have such a danceable groove to them. even though it was just clips, i was making a moron of myself dancing down the sidewalk as i walked. it's a good early-morning song.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Wednesday, February 20

it still makes me very sad that Memento only released one album, Beginnings. i stumbled upon the band because one of my friends kept talking about it in the spring and summer of 2003. he wasn't sure i'd like them, but i was sold when i heard their song "Shell." i bought the album...and realised that i had hardly scratched the surface. the last song on that album, "Figure 8", is twelve minutes and forty-eight seconds of pure bliss. the song ebbs and flows. it has specific, discernible movements that all fit together to make a coherent, beautiful whole.

some extremely long rock songs just seem gratuitous, but not this one. "Figure 8" by Memento needs to be as long as it is to completely fill the world it creates.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Tuesday, February 19

"We Don't Care Anymore" by Story of the Year: nothing like some whiny, apathetic, St. Louis emo for a whiny, apathetic, St. Louis day.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Monday, February 18

after the bitchfest that was yesterday's 74 Minutes or Less, it's time to go back to some music i really, really love. i found out yesterday that Eve 6 got back together in October. that makes me so happy...they were one of my favourite bands of the late nineties and early aughts, and i only had the chance to see them live once before they broke up. two of them formed The Sugi Tap, but they were never quite as fun as Eve 6. Eve 6 were the kings of fun, clever wordplay in their lyrics...and their music put me in such a good mood whenever i listened to it.

so, in honour of this momentous news...here's "Bring The Night On" by Eve 6.

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74 Minutes or Less: When Good Bands Go Bad

welcome to the sixth installment of 74 Minutes or Less.

74 Minutes or Less is the weekly supergig playlist. the concept is simple: i pick a theme, i choose at most 74 minutes of music that fits the theme, and i discuss it here. if you, or i, or anyone else thinks the playlist is so awesome that it deserves to be compiled and burned to CD for posterity, it won't be a problem--because it's no longer than 74 minutes.

this week is a special week. usually, i choose music i really like; i'm turning that on its head for now. this week's theme is When Good Bands Go Bad. it happens with almost every act...as much as you love any particular act, there's always going to be a song, or a handful of songs, that don't quite grab you the same way as the rest of the music. it doesn't mean you like the artist any less...it's just that the song is either not the artist's best work, or it's just not something you relate to in the same way as the rest of their music.

i love all of these acts in the list this week, and i have a tendency to be extremely harsh when i have high standards for people. so, take whatever i say this week with a grain of salt. my goal is to provide some honest criticism of the songs. if i'm too harsh on a song you like, remember it's just one fan's opinion...but, if you really feel like leaving an angry comment, go ahead. i take constructive [and not-so-constructive] criticism decently, and don't normally go postal. :-)

on that note...i present 74 Minutes or Less: When Good Bands Go Bad.

  • "Gravity" by Angie Aparo (4:01)
    • Angie's not a hard rocker...he's a singer-songwriter type. he's a very good one, but this song sounds like something you would hear on early- to mid-nineties easy listening radio. [trust me. that was the cool thing to listen to in middle school. i know early- to mid-nineties easy listening radio far better than i should.] also, the theme of car wreck as thing that makes a person appreciate life is so overdone.
  • "Corporation" by The Blank Theory (3:15)
    • there's nothing in particular that The Blank Theory did wrong with this song. i'm just offended because it's so boring. it sounds like any other song that could have been on the radio circa 2002 or 2003. it would be a solid tune from a band i was unfamiliar with...i wouldn't pull up their website, but i wouldn't change the station either. the only reason that i can't just ignore it is because it's The Blank Theory, and i know they can do so much better than this.
  • "Say It To You" by Caroline's Spine (3:23)
    • Caroline's Spine is one of my favourite bands of all time. they have several songs that are so moving that they make me cry. this is not one of them. instead of creating an emotional mood, something that they were so good at...the music is repetitive, and the lyrics make trite, strained rhymes.
  • "Kill The Music Industry" by Cold (2:55)
    • Cold is one of my very favourite bands ever. but, this song has two strikes against it. first of all, it's just not pleasurable to listen to. it's repetitive, and it has random cheerleader-types screaming into the microphone for no apparent reason. even worse than that, it's insincere. you could be the greatest band ever, and if you're singing a song about killing the music industry on a major label record, i can't take it seriously. it would be okay to release a song critiquing a label for doing something specific, or to release a song about how there's so much schlock on the radio or in the record store, but a blanket admonition to kill the music industry when it's a major player in the music industry that is paying you to record that song just doesn't sit well.
  • "Love God" by Wesley Willis (2:50)
    • this is one of the songs he did with the Fiasco...i don't like the Fiasco stuff nearly as much as the Wesley-and-a-keyboard stuff. still, there are some fantastic Fiasco songs..."He's Doing Time In Jail" comes to mind. however, Wesley Willis should never, never, ever sing songs with lyrics that explicitly discuss the subjects of penises and ejaculation. that's just foul. unlike anything else he ever sang, this song turns my stomach.
  • "Satisfied" by 8stops7 (3:05)
    • thanks to this song, i almost missed discovering 8stops7. i heard the song on the radio, and i thought it was terrible. i still don't like it. the singer just yells a lot with no real direction, and it never quite feels like any of the ideas in the song are explored to fruition. that's a pet peeve of mine, when a song leaves me feeling that way. at that point, since that song was all i had heard of theirs, i wrote them off. luckily, we all know what happened a few months later: "Question Everything" hit the airwaves. it was gorgeous, i had to know who sang it--and i was shocked to find out that it was the same band as had annoyed me so badly with "Satisfied." i gave the album a chance...and luckily, "Satisfied" was the exception and not the rule.
  • "Sunblock" by Emmet Swimming (4:07)
    • my junior year of high school, i listened to this show called "Shock Therapy" late at night every sunday. it was the only time that one of the local stations, G105, ditched their top 40 format for a couple of hours and played lesser-known rock music. every week for a couple months, without fail, they would play this song. it's an annoying, substanceless little ditty about going to the beach. it would stick in my head to no end. one week, though, the deejay said she was going to play Emmet Swimming, and i started yelling at the radio because i just knew it would be that stupid Sunblock song again. shockingly enough, it wasn't...it was a new song, "Motorway," which was sad and beautiful. after they started playing that and "Turnstile" instead, and i learned that Emmet Swimming was capable of writing interesting, moving songs.
  • "Never Hear" by Escape From Earth (3:10)
    • there's too much rhyming in the verses. i can't tell what he's trying to say, because there are so many random rhyming pairs of words that he sacrificed theme for rhyme. then there's the prechorus, which admonishes people to get up and move. then, there's the chorus, in which he gets pissed off at people for not listening to him. the song isn't bad musically...when i see them live, i start jumping around and moshing. it's that kind of song. but, the lyrics are some of the worst i've ever encountered. they just don't make any sense.
  • "Nightmare" by Eve 6 (3:08)
    • i can never pinpoint why i don't like this song. i'm listening to it now and trying to figure out exactly why. and...i'm still failing to come up with anything more substantive than that it doesn't grab me the way the rest of Eve 6's music does. i don't particularly want to listen to it, even now, and i don't remember the last time i listened to Horrorscope and didn't push skip when this song came up.
  • "Damaged Goods" by Fastball (3:02)
    • the refrain of this song drives me nuts. "i know...i should just...leave you alone...i should just leave you...alone..." it just sticks in my head. it obscures the rest of the song. granted, the rest of the song is easily obscured anyway...the entire arrangement just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. maybe that was the point, since he's singing about being hooked on someone he can't have. that's something that leaves a bad taste in anyone's mouth. but, there's a difference between feeling like the song was made to be difficult to listen to and just not enjoying it, and the song is so characteristically poppy that i can't honestly believe the discomfort is intentional.
  • "Conversations" by Finger Eleven (3:34)
    • so, this technically doesn't fit into the theme...because the entire album Them vs. You vs. Me was full of clunkers. but, this song sticks out on Finger Eleven, which is otherwise such a brilliant album. even on Them vs. You vs. Me, the problem is that the songs were boring...but, they did have melodies. there was some idea realised in each song. this song, on the other hand, doesn't seem to have a melodic idea at all. it's weird, Finger Eleven is always so good at making a point and conveying some kind of point through the music. there's always a cohesive whole. but, this song doesn't seem to have that. it comes in out of nowhere, it exits out of nowhere, and doesn't seem to convey any coherent idea in the meantime.
  • "See You" by Foo Fighters (2:29)
    • this song is the one lag in the momentum of The Colour and the Shape, an otherwise engaging album. it's not a terrible song...it just feels out of place. the rest of the album is so decidedly Late Nineties Modern Rock, and then this one feels like it came out of a 1960s sock hop. it's cute, but it should have been released on an album or compilation where it wouldn't have been such an anomaly.
  • "I'm Losing You" by the Marvelous 3 (3:19)
    • i don't know why they felt the need to put this song on the album twice. it wasn't any good the first time. the rest of the album has such a fun, arena rock feel...and then this song just feels like disco gone horribly wrong.
  • "Last Card Down" by 19 Wheels (3:23)
    • i love Krista Johnston's voice. i'm always a little suspicious when a band decides to feature a member's wife to sing on something, but her voice is fantastic...at once gritty and ethereal. i just wish her talents were featured in a better song. the song feels tacked on at the end of the album. it has no beat to it. it's such a tired-sounding song...the sonic equivalent of floating down the lazy river at the water park. if you're going to evoke that mood, fine, but do something interesting with it.
  • "Look Right Through Me" by Revis (6:15)
    • this is the classic Lazy Last Song. it feels like it was thrown together. i can't tell if they were trying to be experimental or just mellow, but either way it was an extremely unsatisfying ending to an otherwise enjoyable album.
  • "Swing Life Away" by Rise Against (3:20)
    • Rise Against can't pull off slow, soft ballads. they're good at loud, fast, punkish music. they're good at music that flirts with hard rock or heavy metal. but, they have no business making ballads. the singer's voice doesn't sound good singing in that style...he sounds like exactly what he is, a hard rock singer trying to show his softer side. it's okay if that softer side exists somewhere in his voice. but, it doesn't exist in his, and he needs to stick to rocking out.
  • "Broken" by Seether (4:20)
    • in the tradition of several songs on the list, this is a final track on the album that just wasn't up to snuff with the rest of it. often bands that can't do slow songs well will put a slow song as the last track. Seether doesn't have that excuse. they can clearly do slow songs well--"Sympathetic" is one of my favourite songs of theirs, and "Got It Made" is even better. "Broken" is just dull...lyrically, musically, it doesn't have anything special. for some reason, though, people ate it right up, and it was remade with Amy Lee and everything. i never understood it.
  • "High" by Stabbing Westward (3:21)
    • unlike many Stabbing Westward fans, i liked their last album a lot. it was a lot less raw and biting than the rest of their albums, but it showed a less angry side of the band. some of the songs were happy, some of the songs were unhappy...but in a way that was resigned rather than angry. most of the songs worked. i say "most," because "High" didn't. musically, the song isn't awful...there isn't much of a hook to grab me in, but there's nothing in it to grate on my ears. the lyrics, however, are terrible. "i've never been so high as i am with you/you're the perfect high"? really? that's about as trite as trite can be. from a band that wrote songs like "Waking Up Beside You" and "Red On White," i expect so much better than that.
  • "4 Degrees" by Tool (6:03)
    • i know what they're trying to do with this song. they're trying to make a building, driving, pounding, escalating soundscape to evoke the topic of the song: anal sex. it works for what they're trying to portray. the idea comes out effectively. but, the song drags on too long for my liking...i'd be okay with the song if it were three minutes long. it doesn't need to be six.
  • "L.S.D. [Lucifer's Stained Dress]" by Videodrone (3:11)
    • i mentioned this song briefly in an earlier post about Videodrone. whereas the rest of Videodrone's music has interesting melodies woven amidst the anger, this one doesn't. it always feels like someone is just screaming obscenities, and they felt some impetus to record it and pass it off as a song. i don't care how good the band is; they can't get away with that.
total time: 72:11.

that was 74 Minutes or Less #6: When Good Bands Go Bad. if you've got a thematic idea for a future playlist, comment or email me at superherogirl@gmail.com.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Sunday, February 16

i love The Rasmus. i go back and forth with which song of theirs is my favourite...there are about five of them that contend for the title. this is the one i've been loving lately..."Lucifer's Angel." it's really fun to listen to--so fun, in fact, that sometimes i'm known to start dancing down the street when it comes on my iPod.

[note: the video isn't an official video by the band...a video never was made for this song. but, unlike most fan videos on YouTube, it's actually decently edited]

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Saturday, February 16

"Shout 2000" by Disturbed: file this one under covers that are far more awesome than the original. i'm not a big fan of Tears for Fears' original, but i love what Disturbed does with it here. it doesn't sound like a knockoff of the original...they made it their own, and it sounds like a Disturbed song.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Friday, February 15

"Paperthin Hymn" by Anberlin has one of my favourite lines ever.."i just want one more chance to put my arms in fragile hands." i've never heard a more eloquent way of describing a feeling that you need someone to depend on even though you know that the connection is tenuous as best.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Thursday, February 14

whether you're single or in a relationship, valentine's day sucks. it's a hallmark holiday full of obligation. couples are pressured to be schmaltzy, and singles are pressured to be bitter about their state. really, it's enough to make a person bitter about all the unnecessary pressure associated with the day.

"Anti-Love Song" by Cold is a bitter little gem. Scooter screams, yells, curses...it's pretty clearly the angriest song on 13 Ways to Bleed on Stage. he's mad at his ex, he's mad at his friends, he's mad at the world, and he's sick of it. in short...it's a perfect theme song for such a ridiculous holiday.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Wednesday, February 13

sometimes the right song comes around at the right time. i've been feeling very unmoored lately...as if time is passing me by so fast that i'm getting disproportionately far removed from everything that meant anything in the past. i'm just floating around, not doing anything with the time i have. i need to get my bearings back, find meaning in what i can, but it's harder than i expected.

these feelings have made it very difficult for me to pick music to fit my mood. none of my current addictions felt quite right. but, i heard "Somewhere on Fullerton" by Allister for the first time today. it's a few years old...i'm shocked that i missed it, because Allister is from Chicago. but, it was like a big hug from a pair of loving, pop-punk arms.

the lyrics are a huge part of why i picked this song...if you're curious, i put them below:

"Somewhere on Fullerton"
by Allister

somewhere down on fullerton
there's a place that meant
so much to everybody like me
somewhere down on fullerton
there's a place that meant
the world to everybody like me

but i'm still trying
just to figure out why
this feels so wrong
when it felt so right
felt so right four years ago

so please don't go away
won't this feeling stay with me forever
forever i said
please don't go away
i just want you to stay with me forever

somewhere down on fullerton
there's a place that meant
so much to everybody like me
somewhere down on fullerton
there's a place that meant
the world to everybody like me

but i'm still trying
just to figure out why
this feels so wrong
when it felt so right
felt so right four years ago

so please don't go away
won't this feeling stay with me forever
forever i said
please don't go away
i just want you to stay with me forever

but i'm still trying
just to figure out why
this feels so wrong
when it felt so right
felt so right four years ago

so please don't go away
won't this feeling stay with me forever
forever i said
please don't go away
i just want you to stay with me forever

forever i said
please don't go away
won't this feeling stay with me forever
forever i said
please don't go away
cause all i want is
you to stay with me

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Tuesday, February 12

"Almost Easy" by Avenged Sevenfold is an anthem for anyone who has done awful things that are finally catching up with them. it's about wanting redemption, but being unsure whether redemption is deserved.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Monday, February 11

this morning's song is "Blue Lights" by Pretty Girls Make Graves. it's a song about obsessively overthinking your attraction to somebody. she repeats the same three quatrains over and over again, getting more and more agitated each time. the imagery in the lyrics is really good; that's one of Pretty Girls Make Graves' strengths.

and...it's a great song to have in your emotional arsenal if you're admiring someone from afar, and trying to work up the nerve to do something about it.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Sunday, February 10

i know it's not Monday. it's Sunday. but, "Every Monday" by The Marvelous 3 is a great song no matter what day it is. i especially love the lines, "talk to the city that knows me by name/and all the bad things that i do." that's how i feel when i'm home...i doubt they're singing about Chicago, because they're from Atlanta, but that line always reminds me of Chicago.

i would have posted a video, as i do most days, but somehow there's not a video of the Marvelous 3's version of the song on YouTube. instead, there's a five year old strumming away at a ukulele and attempting to sing it. it's a disgrace, really.

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74 Minutes or Less: Canadian bands

welcome to the fifth installment of 74 Minutes or Less.

74 Minutes or Less is the weekly1 supergig playlist. the concept is simple: i pick a theme, i choose at most 74 minutes of music that fits the theme, and i discuss it here. if you, or i, or anyone else thinks the playlist is so awesome that it deserves to be compiled and burned to CD for posterity, it won't be a problem--because it's no longer than 74 minutes.

this week's theme is songs by Canadian bands and artists. there are a ton of good Canadian bands out there...in fact, if given the choice between listening to an American rock station and a Canadian one, i'll take the Canadian station any day of the week. they seem to do a better job at sifting away the schlock, and i'm more likely to hear bands that i don't here on the same old same old American rock radio.

some of these songs are along the lines of the rock that i usually talk about here. some, however, are different. a few aren't rock at all. some weren't from the nineties or the aughts like almost everything i listen to. a few are are random guilty pleasure songs of mine. still...for one reason or another, i like every one of these songs--and they're all from Canadian acts.

  • "Summer of '69" by Bryan Adams (3:32)
    • Bryan Adams took a carefree, youthful summer afternoon and spun it into a song. this song is pure ear candy. i didn't really know it when it came out; i really discovered it my senior year of high school when an a capella group came to my school and sang an arrangement of it. i find the genre of college a capella insufferably obnoxious, but at least i owe it for pointing me in the direction of this song.
  • "Insensitive" by Jann Arden (4:16)
    • i loved this song when i was in middle school. it would come on Casey Kasem's Top 40 on Sunday mornings when my family was driving to and from the bowling alley. the verses are longing, but the chorus is surprisingly sarcastic for a pop song of its type. in addition to the lyrics...i really like Jann Arden's voice. it's sultry.
  • "It's All Coming Back to Me Now" by Celine Dion (7:37)
    • this was my favourite songs when i was 13. it was before i got into rock music...in middle school, adult contemporary was the thing to listen to, and i listened to more Celine Dion than i should admit to. this song is still a great one, though. it's epic, it's overblown, and it's what Diva Music ought to be. i even like to channel my inner diva once in a while and sing it at karaoke...i don't do it justice like Celine does, but it sure is fun to belt out.
  • "Cold (But I'm Still Here)" by Evans Blue (3:57)
    • i love songs that seem inoffensive on the outside, but the lyrics reveal something far more sinister. this song came on the radio all the time throughout 2006, and although it sounded a little dark [even Earshot-esque...i swore it was them until a deejay set me straight], it took me a while to process what the lyrics were doing. i keep reading the lyrics over and over, and the song could only be a story, told from the perpetrator's point of view, about kidnapping one's ex. it's scary stuff, and i love how it lurks under such an accessible, radio-friendly outer shell.
  • "Costume for a Gutterball" by Finger Eleven (4:39)
    • this was one of my teen angst anthems in high school. however, unlike most teen angst anthems that i can dismiss as such and consider as either guilty pleasures or a part of my past, this songs stays with me. it does such a good job of conveying the tension between the dangers of putting on an artificial face to the world and the temptation of making that artificial face when you're not quite sure who or what you are.
  • "Stay In Shadow" by Finger Eleven (3:15)
    • so, i try to avoid putting a band on a playlist more than once. but, Finger Eleven is a special case. they're one of my two favourite bands of all time, and this song shows a different side of them. where "Costume for a Gutterball" was slow, introspective, and a bit subdued, this one falls squarely into the realm of Push People And Throw Things Music.
  • "American Woman" by The Guess Who (5:10)
    • i'm not quite as much of a fan of this song nowadays, but i loved it when i was a little kid. it was fun to sing along to. i also appreciate the fact that "American Woman" was performed by a Canadian band; i didn't know The Guess Who was Canadian for a very long time. also...i'm still pissed off at Lenny Kravitz for covering it so badly. he took a fun song and made it into a caricature of its former self. if i were to do a Worst Covers Ever list, that would be on my top ten.
  • "Goodnight Goodnight" by Hot Hot Heat (2:10)
    • mmm. short, bouncy, and poppy. not the kind of song i normally like to listen to, but no matter. my roommate the year after college was a big fan of these guys, and i got really annoyed when he kept playing "Bandages" all the time. i never liked that song much. but, then he got on a kick of playing this one, and it grew on me.
  • "Brackish" by Kittie (3:08)
    • the chorus of this song is so cool. there's the one voice that's singing sweetly, and then the other one that's growling over it. i mainly listen to Kittie for the vocals, and this song does an even better job than any of their others in showing why. some of the singing is ethereal, some of it is gravelly, and some of it ranges in between. this song showcases their vocal range.
  • "Sweet Surrender" by Sarah McLachlan (4:03)
    • i have a soft spot for this song. when i was in high school, this was my go-to song if i ever had to sing in a talent show. i like quite a few of her songs...i didn't like her voice at first (when "Possession" came out), but eventually it grew on me and i have a handful of her songs in my music collection now. i had a hard time picking...this one, "Angel," and "Adia" are all gorgeous. but, this one is even more fun to sing than it is to listen to, so it won out.
  • "The Safety Dance" by Men Without Hats (2:41)
    • i can't believe i'm putting this on here, but there you go. this song is silly. this song is eighties. i can't listen to this song without a straight face, and that's part of the fun of it. it also provided the foundation for an inside joke with my friend in undergrad...although the story behind it involves absurd amounts of mock trial geekery, which is a little beyond the scope of this blog, and probably not interesting to most of you. the moral of the story is...yes, this song is a guilty pleasure and a little atypical for my [rather anti-eighties] musical tastes, but i love it anyway.
  • "Leader of Men" by Nickelback (3:30)
    • i know. i said the N-Word. you all thought i was better than that. the schlock they put out now isn't worth the plastic it's etched onto, or even the bits and bytes it takes up if you download it. it's boring.2 but, i still enjoy their album The State. it came out in 1999 in Canada, and in 2000 in the States after "Leader of Men" and "Breathe" got some radio play. "Leader of Men" is my favourite song on the album. the stripped-down music fits the lyrics perfecty; it captures perfectly the mood of inadvertently falling into a long-term relationship and being too apathetic to end it even though it has flatlined.
  • "One Man Army" by Our Lady Peace (3:22)
    • this is my ultimate driving song. i don't drive anymore, but this song was always on the radio during the short few-month period my senior year of high school when i did drive. i remember flying down the Beltline with this song blasting from the speakers, driving home after dropping my mom off where she lived. sometimes my little brother would be in the car...he didn't know the song or particularly seem to like it given his hip-hop tendencies, but didn't get to turn it off because i was driving. even though the lyrics are really bitter...the song just makes me feel so free.
  • "Fist Wrapped In Blood" by Silverstein (2:59)
    • i don't really know why i like this song as much as i do. like most of Silverstein's stuff, it's pretty cliché, but this one doesn't bore me. it's fun, fluffy, catchy screamo-pop. i know it's fodder for those annoying teenage "mall-punks", but every so often they're on to something.
  • "We're All To Blame" by Sum 41 (3:39)
    • here's another band i'm almost embarrassed to have on here. most of their songs are early- to mid-aughts pop-punk gone wrong. even the verses of this song are reminiscent of the tuneless shouting characteristic of most of their music. but, the chorus redeems it. the chorus keeps me coming back to it. i know "pretty" is an odd word to use to describe the chorus of a rock song, especially a rock song about political annoyance, but it fits.
  • "Home" by Three Days Grace (4:22)
    • Three Days Grace is rather formulaic. i'm the first person to admit it. however, it's okay in my book if you do the formula so well that you remind me why some pattern became The Formula in the first place. nothing in isolation would denote that there's anything special about this band: the lyrics tend toward the trite, and the vocals and instruments don't actually add anything new to the Screaming Alt-Rock genre. however, it's so rare anymore that anything in the genre comes in such a well-executed package of unvarnished angst.
  • "Christ Is On The Lawn" by Treble Charger (4:23)
    • most of Treble Charger's music occupies the grey area between pop-punk and late-nineties/early-aughts alt-rock. most of it is upbeat...and good. this song is a lot slower, almost a ballad, but it's my favourite one of theirs, and the one i keep going back to again and again. i'm still not quite sure what the cryptic lyrics to it mean, but the music conveys such emptiness and yearning.
total time: 66:43

that was 74 Minutes or Less #5: Canadian bands and artists. if you've got a thematic idea for a future playlist, comment or email me at superherogirl@gmail.com.

1 i know...i missed last week. i fail at blogging and i fail at life. angry comments are welcome, and i won't even yell you out for making them.
2 except for "Animals." i can't call "Animals" boring, because it's the worst song i've ever heard. i've heard a lot of songs, but that one makes me ill. no song with lyrics about Chad Kroeger giving some jailbait girl cunnilingus should ever have been written.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Saturday, February 9

whoever said songs about suicide aren't supposed to be fun hasn't heard "Dr. Online" by Zeromancer yet. if nothing else, check out the bridge of the song. it's a suicide hotline gone horribly, horribly wrong. it's hilarious in its tongue-in-cheek-ness.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Friday, February 8

KRIM is a great band from Sweden who i discovered on radio wazee five or six years ago. their songs are catchy...and their lyrics are blunt and biting. they don't beat around the bush trying to paint obscured emotional landscapes. they just tell you what they're feeling, and i appreciate that.

"Can't Talk To You" by KRIM is a perfect example of that. it's a song for any mood...the beat gets your adrenaline going if you're in a good mood, and the lyrics are bluntly angry, perfect to concentrate on and scream along to if you're in a bad mood.

it makes me sad that KRIM seems to have dropped off the face of the earth. their band website has not been updated in almost two years, and they haven't released any new songs in at least that long. i've never had the chance to see them live; they're from Sweden, and never have played the States. i hope they're all well, and i hope they're still making music.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Thursday, February 7

i love Benjamin Burnley's voice. it's gorgeous. he can sing. he can scream. i can listen to him all day...he is what makes Breaking Benjamin so good.

and "Breath" is one of my favourite songs of theirs. unless you were living under a rock last year, you have probably heard it...but listen to it again. it's stuck in my head today.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Wednesday, February 6

occasionally there's a song i like that isn't from the nineties or aughts. it doesn't happen often...but it happens. i'm sure you know this song. it's long. it has crooning, screaming, and everything in between. i'm sure you've sung along to this song at least once when you've been goofing off with your friends--it's just that kind of song. push play, reminisce...it's "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Tuesday, February 5

"Monster" by Meg & Dia: i love this song. it's alt-rock meets pop-punk meets really, really snotty teen pop. the combination is adorable--and addictive.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Monday, February 4

few songs are written about baseball commissioners. even fewer songs take the character of a totalitarian, reactionary baseball commissioner, change a few details, and turn him into a slightly anachronistic folk hero.

in fact, the only song i know in that latter category is "Kenesaw Mountain Landis" by Jonathan Coulton. Jonathan Coulton is the master of acoustic internet generation nerd-rock, and this is my favourite song of his. he turns Kenesaw Mountain Landis into a hero, Shoeless Joe Jackson into a villain, and the Black Sox story into a folktale.

here's hoping that in a hundred years or so, everyone is telling the Black Sox Scandal story like this. i think dear Mister Coulton is onto something.

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can you see the sunset from the southside?

i just discovered can you see the sunset from the southside? last night. it's a chicago-centric music blog written by a local musician with a good sense of the history of music in the city, specifically punk and old-school emo. i'm learning a lot of random tidbits about chicago music, and discovering a bunch of new and old bands that i somehow missed along the way.

i know this isn't a music review...but sunset just may be my new crack, and i feel i owe it to each and every one of you to point you in the right direction here.

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Sunday, February 2

today's song is "It's Against The Law" by Wesley Willis. it's not too hard to figure out the meaning of this song--don't commit crimes, it's against the law. the line in the second verse, "don't stick up people for money," is especially relevant as part of the song of the day. there's someone i want to find, shake by the shoulders, and impart this message to--specifically, the rectal haberdasher who mugged me and my friend last night. that wasn't very nice of him.

here's to songs with simple messages. don't steal, don't kill, and don't threaten. "It's Against The Law".

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Saturday, February 2

usually it's a disappointment when a band re-releases an album with a couple of new tracks on it--because usually, all the new songs suck. even if they aren't that bad, they're usually not as good as the other songs on the album, because they didn't make the cut the first time.

Disclaimer II by Seether was a pleasant exception to this pattern. two of the added songs are just as good as, if not better than, the best songs on the original release of Disclaimer. [that's right, you get a bonus this morning: two songs for the price of one!] the songs portray very different moods..."Sold Me" is angry and driving while "Got It Made" is sad and introspective. both, however, are my addictions.

"Sold Me" by Seether:

"Got It Made" by Seether:

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Quite Suppressed Yet Quite Revealing: Friday, Februrary 1

"Real" by The Verve Pipe is a short song, clocking in at less than two minutes. the lyrics don't make a lot of sense...the song is over ten years old, and i still don't quite know what they're supposed to mean. but, the song sounds so good. it's very atypical of The Verve Pipe; it's loud, fast, and almost punkish unlike any other song except for "Bullies On Vacation."

it's friday. we all need a song to get our pulse racing and get our energy up for the Mardi Gras weekend. "Real" is that song.


74 Minutes or Less will probably not be up until this weekend. between the long nü metal entry and ridiculous real-life stuff, i don't have it finished yet, and doubt i'll be able to finish it and do a good job with it by the end of today. but, rest assured...i have a theme and i have all the songs picked out. i have to finish writing about them.

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