Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Looking at David Bowie's "Low"

Although every David Bowie album I've listened to is wonderful,
Low has a special place in my heart. It's basically a concept album in the sense that Bowie tries new and different tactics including some interesting synthesizers, instrumental tracks, and all around radically different music. Bowie's early albums are marked by piano ballads, saxophones, and guitar but Low includes spacey, electronic, sounds that help establish a heavier mood not often felt in previous works. Supposedly David Bowie was struggling with depression and a "low" mood during the recording of Low and when you listen, it makes perfect sense. Some of the best lyrics on the entire album are from the song "be my wife",

Sometimes you get so lonely
Sometimes you get nowhere
I've lived all over the world
I've left every place

Please be mine
Share my life
Stay with me
Be my wife

And as far as song titles go, "Always crashing in the same car" has one of the most genius titles Bowie's whole discography and makes it sound as if he's deeply regretting something; just like "be my wife" the song sounds wistful and a markedly different from the glam-rocky
Aladin Sane or Ziggy Stardust. No songs from Low made it onto any greatest hits album I've seen and are probably alien to the casual Bowie listener but the album is well worth listening to.

Monday, April 26, 2010

New Rhapsody iPhone update is awesome!

I only started using Rhapsody's online music service about a month ago but besides the occasional loading and buffering issues with the website and iPhone app I've been extremely impressed. Rhapsody has a pretty extensive catalog which includes basically 98% of any music I'd be looking for.

The big selling point for me was the free iPhone app which allows anyone with a subscription to access thousands of artists on the go. Before this week the application was sort of glitchy and problematic but worked most of the time which I begrudgingly accepted during the times it didn't. However, the new Rhapsody 2.0 update allows users who pay for the ten dollar per month service, to listen to play-lists offline, solving the problem of choppiness and the occasional but irritating cutting out that sometimes occurs. Now Rhapsody is an even smarter buy for audiophiles sporting iPhones. Ten bucks a month now seems like an ever better deal to me than it first did.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Check it out: I dominated the Free Press Houston blog!

I've been blogging a whole hell of a lot this week I've managed to get three articles on the front page of the Free Press Houston. I just wanted to gloat to you guys because at least two or three of you are bound to care. The blog entry I just published about the show on Walter's is actually a reprint of one of my frontpagers.

Free Bowie, Garage Rock, and Indie-Pop at Walter's

I showed up last night at Walter's to watch Benjamin Wesley only to find that I had the wrong night, but no matter, Mike told me that Roky Moon was playing an acoustic set with some T. Rex and David Bowie thrown in. He played some original songs along with "Raw Ramp" by T. Rex and "All the Young Dudes" by Bowie and it was very satisfying. Unfortunately his set was only about fifteen minutes long and I definitely wanted to hear some more. He'll be playing with keyboard player Cassie Hargrove next week at Walter's.

Darwin's Finches, from Galveston Texas, went on next and they rocked exceedingly hard. The band was fronted by this very timid, reserved-looking, guy but when he got up on stage he shredded in a way I've seen few people shred before. He was positively electric on stage as he squirmed and jumped and rocked. The vocals were great too, they reminded me of a higher-pitched, more articulate Les Claypool. One of the best parts of their set was a super-raw, garage-rock, cover of "Surfin' Bird" by the Trashmen complete with water sounds and the bizarre "oom-pow-pow". The members are really nice guys too. Check out their music.

The last band on was Young Girls. I talked to them a little before the show and apparently it was only their second or third show together but they definitely brought it. They had a tight, clean, well-composed indie-pop sound that made me want to dance during their entire set. Young Girls did a very good job using their bass playing effectively and used it to produce complex melodies when compared to an average indie band. I'd give you their myspace but I'm still looking unfortunately.

Mike, who has a lot to do with booking at Walter's, told me that Walter's will be doing a series of free Thursday night shows. Benjamin Wesley and Roky Moon should be playing next Thursday.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

ANTI Records releases spring compilation

I spied a little banner on the right side of Facebook last night informing me that ANTI just released a spring compilation. I can never remember who’s on what label but at a price of 2.99 in the iTunes store I basically just bought the thing without even looking. To my delight, there were actually a few artists that I know of and like. The best songs on the album were “Fannin Street” by crooner Tom Waits (which is, appropriately, about a street Houston), “Pa pa power” by Dead Man's Bones, “Tender Torture” by the quirky Canadian band Islands (whose frontman used to be in the weird but cool Unicorns), and “Feeling the Pull” by the Swell Season (fronted by Irish musician Glen Hansard). It’s only 2.99. Scoop it up before the price goes up or disappears altogether.

mp3/CD Review: Life of Leisure EP by Washed Out

I'm probably going to see the dream-pop band Beach House this Friday, God willing, if I can track down a press pass. They're good at writing dreamy, atmospheric stuff and I'm sure they'll be a fun show. When I was checking the dates for the show I noticed that a band called Washed Out was announced to open for them. I knew they weren't local and I hadn't heard of them so I bought the band's, who turned out to be just one guy from North Carolina, debut "Life of Leisure" EP and I was blown away.

Washed Out is a perfect act to open for Beach House which falls into a genre called dreampop because of the shimmery, surreal, textures they use in their music and Washed Out seems to from a similar school even though he's more dependent on electronic beats and samples than traditional rock instruments. I heard one reviewer compare his stuff to a sort of modern interpretation of Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark and I can totally hear that because Washed Out's music is definitely dreamy but still falls composition and length wise into pop structure.
I kind of hear echoes of some of Cut Copy's stuff in his music which is a great compliment coming from me because I freaking love Cut Copy. If you haven't heard of Cut Copy they're a poppy, Australian, electronic-themed rock band that just makes me want to dance. Like I said about Beach House, Cut Copy is more rock than electronic but the two bands definitely have things in common.

Here's a good song by Cut Copy:

Washed Out has caught the attention of Pitchfork magazine making the top on hundred list with the song "Feel it all around":

The entire EP is filled with songs of a similar style: sample-laden, enveloping, enthralling electronic pop music filled with echoey vocals and infectious beats. At a length of only six songs, some of my favorite tracks are Hold Out, New Theory, and Get Up. I can't wait to see him live and am eagerly waiting for a longer EP sometime in the future.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Track of the week: Otis by the Durutti Column

Don't go looking up tour dates for this band unless you live in the UK because they don't play outside too often anymore, they're from the late 70s and got their start on Factory Records, the same label Joy Division was on. They play a unique blend of spacey quiet rock with echoes of classical music and even feature vocals, occasionally. This happens to be one of the few songs with vocals and they compliment the music perfectly. I couldn't find a freely available studio version but here's a live version that gives you close to the full effect:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Flaming Lips cover "Bohemian Rhapsody"

It's not a new cover but it's something I don't know if too many people have run into. It came out with At War With the Mystics 1.5, an album containing some leftovers from the original. Even with his sometimes limited range, Wayne Coyne and the band do a great job with this cover. Talk about a daunting task! At about six minutes, one the most legendary and recognizable songs in all of rock, they tackle "Bohemian Rhapsody" with ease and style. Here ya go. Enjoy:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Here We Go Magic/White Rabbits at Walter's on Washington

Here We Go Magic (hailing from Brooklyn) has been a band I've liked for the past few months and let me just say that their show at Walter's only cemented my love of their music. Most of the songs were entrancing melodies bathed in soft synth strings and played over the clicking and thumping of two drummers with affinities for playing toms and playing on the rim. The lead singer was a tall guy, looking very slightly to me like Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo, wearing a straw hat and his vocals were refreshingly eccentric as he used a quirky falsetto tone. I loved how each song would almost invariably descend into a little 1-2 minute jam once the main verses were finished. The three best songs of the set were "Fangela", "Only Pieces", and "Collector". Collector is their newest single and it has an upbeat, infectiously catch chorus of "I've got a mild fascination for collectors" and the song leads me to believe that the band might be taking their music in a different, more organized, poppy, direction with the upcoming release of their new album Pigeon. Here's there new single, I love it:

White Rabbits were a little less whimsical-sounding than Here We Go but one thing that the bands did have in common was their use of multiple drummers and those drummers' affinity for tribal-sounding tom beats. The other thing that really stood out about their sound was their use of an actual piano rather than keyboards. People don't do that as much as they used to and I appreciated the touch. Their music was dramatic and even a little brooding at times (probably because of the toms and loud bass levels), especially when the piano rang out loudly. The music wasn't dark but there were lots of cool unresolved notes that often created tension which is something that a straight rock band doesn't normally do. It was a nice surprise to have such a cool headliner play after Here We Go given that I didn't even really come to see Rabbits. They're awesome and I totally understand why someone would come from Mexico to see them (as one band member announced about a guy up front).

My favorite song they played that night was "The Plot". Here's the official music video:

Rick Wakeman's: Journey to the Center of the Earth

I stumbled across a really excellent record a month ago from Rick Wakeman, legendary keyboard player from the excellent, British, progressive rock band; Yes. It's called Journey to the Center of the Earth and the theme of the album is based on the sci-fi book of the same name. The album blends elements of funk, 70's prog rock, magnificent orchestral arrangements, and brief spoken-word sections of text from the actual book.

The songs are rather long, with only two on each side, but the long tracks never turn into anything that could be called rambling. The record is divided into four major tracks with side one containing "the journey" and "the recollection" while the songs on side two are "the battle" and "the forest". Wakeman's keyboard playing acts as the strongest common thread that holds each one of these songs (or movements I guess you could call them) together. Sometimes Wakeman's keys are funky, other times they're neoclassical, sometimes they're a fusion of those two. No matter what style he adopts on each track, his virtuosity shows through. You can pick this album up for under ten bucks. Get on it!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Gang of Four working on new album

British, post-punk gods, Gang of Four, are working on a new album and I'm extremely excited. I got into Gang of Four while I was on vacation in the UK with my family a few years ago, and saw some of their CDs in the bargain bin at an HMV. Little did I know that their seminal album Entertainment! would help sustain my long love affair with post-punk that I'd started with Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures.

In 2008 they put out an EP with one new original song called "Second Life" and some remixes. The sound is just a bit different than their older stuff but it seems very promising. I found out about the new album on my Facebook feed and ran into a funny problem when I tried to listen to the new song. The link redirected me to a music site called pledgemusic.com and I was told that if I "pledged" I'd be able to view the new material. The funny thing about this site is that it wanted me to apply for a membership before I could actually hear the new song. Gang of Four is famous, perhaps infamous, for their distrust of the corporate world and many different aspects of capitalism. So why are they asking me to pay to hear new content? Sort of hypocritical but I guess the world is different than it was in the 80s so I'll excuse this little problem. At any rate, I'm eagerly waiting for them to put out the whole album but until then, here's a little interview to keep you occupied.

Getting Ready for Some Magic

Here We Go Magic is coming to Houston tonight with White Rabbits and I must say that Here We Go Magic has really grown on me. I've reviewed their first album (self titled) album a month ago and I gave it kind of a lukewarm review but now that I've had more time to listen to the album, I like it a lot more. The only track I don't like is "Babyohbabyijustcantstanditanymore" because it's just two minutes of stupid, meaningless noise; there's nothing stimulating about it at all, for me. Other than that though, it's an interesting album. I'd even maybe call it a concept album due to the variety of different styles tried: you have instrumentals, less tonal tracks comprised of organized samples, fast paced songs, and slow folksy-sounding tracks. At any rate, I've decided to go see them after a month of thinking on it.

They've announced a new album called
Pigeons and you can download their new single "Collector"

Track of the week: "Good intentions" by local Houston artist Robert Ellis!

I met his guy today at the Free Press office and didn't realize until after I did that he's a local musician. His name is Robert Ellis and I stumbled upon this song by him on Houston's Space City Rock music blog. It's quiet, wistful, and sort of folksy. I fucking love the music and the lyrics. "I don't care how wrong it is, I've got good intentions" c'mon, that's brilliant! Check it out:

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Warpaint's Triumphant Return to Houston

Friday night was my first time at Mango's Cafe in Houston and I must say that it's a phenomenal venue: the levels were good, the bands were great, and their vegetarian pizza was tasty. I went last night specifically to cover "Warpaint" but was impressed with all the other bands. No one sucked.

"Buxton" opened last time I saw Warpaint but I was kind of late so I missed ninety-five percent of their set; this time I came earlier. Buxton had a satisfying country-folk feel but with often played alongside loud, over-driven, guitar. The vocals were delivered in a folksy, yodeling, manner that sometimes went slightly off key and it accented the music


I was fortunate enough to talk to Balaclavas outside on the Mango's patio before the show and they were very nice guys. One of them even directed me to a website called "Trouser Press" which is a guide to alternative and underground rock music. I just bookmarked it a few minutes ago. Anyway, their live music nothing like I've ever experienced before. As soon as they went on, I was immediately entranced by the strange mix of noise and music that I heard. The studio versions of these songs I listened to, before the show on Friday, were good but during a live set, these songs explode into a fascinating flurry of feedback, drum machine, and dancy bass lines. Obviously, being a very loud band, it was difficult to make out the vocals of Balaclavas but on their studio recordings they sound a little bit like those of Peter Murphy from Bauhaus (as does some of their music). Balaclavas was definitely my favorite new find of the night and they're from Houston so I hope I can catch them again this summer.

To my surprise, Warpaint, who was headlining the entire show, went on in the penultimate time slot rather than Grandfather Child. Since Warpaint came on early, I rushed through the crowd, pushing, shoving, and issuing apologies for drinks spilled and elbows brushed. It's surprising how many people will let you through if you're holding a camera above your head. I finally got up to the very front though and started snapping photos of the band.

< "Elephants" Warpaint, for those of you who don't know, is an all female, experimental, rock band from LA and they seem to like Texas because they already played Houston once about two months ago and SXSW a few weeks ago. The whole set was excellent but my two favorite songs were "Stars" and "Elephants" which were both loud, dramatic, and captivating. Emily Kokal and Theresa Wayman provided haunting, mournful vocals that only intensified the effect of the dark mysterious melodies the rest of the band played. Emily Kokal (guitar and lead vocals) and Stella Mozgawa (on drums) were hands down the best performers in the band. It was hard to take my eyes or camera off of Emily Kokal; she seemed to exude some kind of dark, beautiful, electricity during the performance. It's hard to explain to anyone who hasn't seen her live but she's an excellent performer. As headliners, Warpaint definitely brought it. "Grandfather Child" was the last act and regrettably I didn't stay for their entire set because I was sort of worried about whether or not my car was gonna get towed but I saw about five songs and thoroughly enjoyed them. They're a local band and I've seen them on a lot of different bills so I don't think it will be last opportunity to enjoy their music this summer. Grandfather Child's music contains elements of funk and blues with a generous helping of beautiful lap steel guitar playing. The vocals were bluesy and soulful which was a huge change of style from the Gothic, elegiac, style of Warpaint.

And luckily my car never got towed. Very Good night.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Celebrating the Strange Parade: you see the darndest people at Walmart

My fiancé turned me onto this ridiculous, funny, and sometimes harrowing website. People of Walmart documents the myriads of strange shoppers that can be found in Walmarts all across our great land. Every day there are new pictures of bizarrely dressed shoppers doing bizarre things, all accompanied by some witty remarks from the webmaster. Before you call me a horrible person for laughing at such things let me assure you that basically every person who is posted has made themselves a spectacle completely of their own volition. Check it out. It's worth a few laughs. I know it's not music related but I feel I have a certain responsibility to pass something like this on to all of you.

First day at Free Press Houston

I've only been a few hours and I'm already having an excellent time. Omar, my boss, gave me access to the WordPress account and so far I've written a review of Washed Out's Life of Leisure - EP and published it to the new website which should go up sometime in the next 72 hours. He gave me some ideas for potential posts and things to cover and basically just turned me loose and told me to write. I really appreciate the level of trust he's put in me just by giving me access to the FPH blog without even looking at too much of my work. I don't think I'll disappoint him. Once the new site is squared away and up officially the way everyone wants it I'll provide a link to the review. I've also run some papers to city hall, fold t-shirts, and promoted Free Press Summer Fest on a few local news sites. It's shaping up to be an interesting internship.

Many thanks to Ashley

I want to take some time to thank a really cool chick who helped me obtain my first photo pass. Her name is Ashley and she told me to come to Warehouse early and talk to the management and that's exactly what I did. It was a big deal for me to get this, even though it probably wasn't that exclusive, and I want to thank her for the advice and support. Post Punk'd salutes YOU Ashley!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Noise rockers, The Big Pink and A Place to Bury Strangers, visit Houston

I've been eagerly awaiting this show for a month now and, I must say that, it lived up and even surpassed all of my expectations. The show took place in the intimate setting of the Warehouse Live ballroom amid smoke machines, laser-type lighting, and strobe lights. The music, ambiance, and levels were absolutely perfect. The venue was almost completely filled which only added to the energy in the room.

The first band was "A Place to Bury Strangers", a noise rock band from Brooklyn whose music contains echoes of excellent shoegaze and noise artists like The Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine while still sounding very fresh and original. The band included a bassist and guitarist on vocals and a drummer. During their set the stage was dark, smoke-filled, and occasionally interrupted by stabs of lighting and at the end, an explosion of strobe lights. Their stage presence was strong as they rocked back and forth, up and down, and danced in the flickering storm of light and smoke. The visuals combined with the almost tribal drumbeats of some songs and their erratic dancing made their set mesmerizing to watch.

I'm well acquainted with their music but I'm not going to waste any time naming too many songs, as usual, because I can never remember set lists. Just trust me when I say that it was great. If you haven't heard of A Place. . . and you're open to noise-rock and shoegaze (more noise-rock though) then I'd encourage you to start with their eponymous first album. You won't be disappointed.

This one isn't too sharp but I still think it's cool^

One of the best photos^

A Place to. . . was a hard act to follow, in my opinion; but The Big Pink were just as exciting. The lighting was brighter for their set so my photos are a lot better, even at a 3200 ISO the first set was hard to shoot. When front man, Robbie Furze, came out I was immediately drawn in. His crazy outfit and hairstyle were very glam-rock, which is always a plus for me. They played all the songs off their debut LP "A Brief History of Love" and even though a lot of them are very electronic and tightly produced there was enough of a live sound to the set that they all sounded organic rather than a very loud pre-recorded recital as some electronic bands do live. I didn't realize how much guitar was on the album until they played live. Furze was constantly playing guitar and acting as the backbone of the band rather than any of the electronic textures being used. It was a very robust performance with the highlights being "Frisk", "Count backwards from ten", "Velvet" and "Dominoes". Furze told us that he thought it was one of the best gigs on the entire tour so hopefully that means that they'll return to the Bayou City soon. The minute I see tickets for their return, believe me, I'll be the first one in line.

I'll upload another video from The Big Pink later. I'm having some internet issues.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Diving into Sonic Youth

I listen to almost any kind of music you can imagine. If you recommend something to me, no matter what kind of misgivings I might have at first, I'll give it a listen. However, there are some bands I've avoided listening to because the person who recommended them to me was a prick. I hate to sound so shallow but people can ruin bands for me even if said band is undisputedly excellent. I won't reveal the name of this person but he ruined any chance of me getting into Sonic Youth at an earlier age because he was a giant, self-righteous, pedantic, music snob. I've since started talking to him again in an effort to make sure old wounds don't fester but back in the day he was a colossal jerk.

Since that time, I've experienced and loved lots of other sort of underground bands with huge cult followings such as Joy Division and Suicide and now I know that just because hipster pricks like the band doesn't necessarily mean that a band is overrated. Leaving my musical baggage behind, I've started to listen to Sonic Youth for the first time and am really enjoying their music. I don't know why, other than the stigma I've already explained, why I'd hate them. I've listened to plenty of other noise-rock and shoe-gaze by now and am pretty accustomed to that sound. I feel like I'm ready to listen and in the coming weeks will try and review something of theirs.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

After writing-hiatus Steve Miller Band has new stuff

According to Spinner.com, the Steve Miller Band plans to release two brand new albums in June, after a lull period of seventeen years! Seriously who doesn't love the Steve Miller Band? Who wouldn't be excited by this news?

New Business Cards

I designed, printed, and cut out some business cards for the blog last Thursday and here's what they say:

Track of the week: Cotton Strands by Wolf People

As I was browsing through the archives of a great music blog called Tiny Tapes I found this UK band and I was instantly enthralled. Their style is a sort of jazz-funk-indie fusion definitely reminiscent of sixties pop but with a more modern vocal style. Wolf People's videos are just as cool as their songs and this one in particular caught my eye:

With lots of horns and a generous helping of jazz flute the song hops along at a leisurely pace with the warm hiss of tape in the foreground. It reminds me of summer and blue skies. The song is called "Cotton Strands" and it just makes me happy. I hope you guys like it too.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Hockey plays Houston with the Postelles and the Constellations

I only got into Hockey a few weeks ago after identifying them with the Shazam application on my iPhone but ever since then I haven't been able to get them out of my head. The front man reminds me slightly of Julian Casablancas from the Strokes but also kind of reminds me of James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem. He sometimes sings his heart out in that throaty Strokes manner but then does the cool talk/rap/sing thing that James Murphy is so famous for; it's a synthesis that sounds great on mp3 but even better live.

Ben Grubin has an excellent presence live even though he's a shorter guy. That really did surprise me about Grubin; from his very commanding voice and amazing range I kind of expected someone looking like Tom Petty or something (he sounds like Petty at times) but he's a very short very young looking guy. He was festooned in some eccentric looking attire consisting of a knit cap with tassles, a dangling feather earring, and a long tunic-like t-shirt. Grubin would have been right at home on MGMT's
Oracular Spectacular album cover. He danced convincingly, swinging on the mic stand a couple times, playing guitar, and even drums on occasion. I was a little disappointed about how the performance sounded just a little canned and not as live but I'm sure that has more to do with the electronic nature of the music rather than the performance, which definitely had me singing along. I say this only out of honesty and not to denigrate the performance which I thought was, overall, really great. Hockey's guitar player wowed me almost as much as Grubin with dead on accurate and articulate licks to go with the precise, electronic, beats.

Learn to Lose by Hockey^

3AM Spanish by Hockey^

The two bands that played before also impressed me. The opening one was called the Postelles and I saw them play in 2008 with the Wombats in Boston and remember thinking their performance was pretty hot back then and that notion was only reinforced. I didn't even know they were on the bill this time and was pleasantly surprised to find them playing the Warehouse, as I walked in and saw the bass drum with their name on it. They play a loud but poppy almost 50's revival type rock that definitely contains echoes of the Ramones if only a little less punky. They did, however, do homage to the punk kings of Queens with an excellent cover of "Beat on the Brat". Even after seeing them twice, I haven't had enough. Check out their White Night EP that just came out in March. It's pretty cool.

Beat on the brat^

The second opening band that went on was the Constellations and they were the only band playing that night that I didn't have any opinion on before the show. I'd heard one song by them but wasn't completely sure what I thought about them. By the time the show was over I was positive that I loved them. The vocalist, Elijah Jones, was standing next to me during the Postelles' set without me even knowing. He was a crazy looking guy with long, blond, curly hair, with a jean jacket and jean bucket hat. I noticed the Postelles waved to him once but I didn't pay that any mind until he got up there and started doing his thing. They opened with a great number called "Setback" which was trippy, loud, and full of energy:

Setback by the Constellations^

Their set was dominated by Jones' Beck-like rapping and singing over different mesmerizing, funky, beats. The keys were especially hot. I was really blown away by their psychedelic but incredibly dancy music. The last song they played was a cover of Tom Waits' jazzy number about advertising called "step right up". It's absolutely one of my favorite Tom Waits songs and I was singing along once I realized what they were doing. I'd already been treated to a great cover of "beat on the brat" by the Postelles and now it was "Step right up"; the night just kept getting better and better. During one of their last numbers Elijah jumped out into the audience and started running around like he was nuts, running into people and then collapsing onto the floor. I loved it. Here he is on the ground:

Jones was just as cool as the vocalist/rhythm guitarist from the Postelles. I handed him a business card for the blog and we talked about Tom Waits me for a second while he was breaking down the equipment. Classy guy. The Constellations' debut album, Southern Gothic, comes out in May. Be sure to look for it. From what I've heard, I'm sure it will blow your minds.

Yet another great show in the Warehouse Live Ballroom.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

MP3 Review: 500 Days of Summer soundtrack

My fianceé and I watched this movie a couple months ago and it was a great little indie love story. If you haven't already seen it then I urge you to go out and rent it. The soundtrack for "500 Days of Summer" was also phenomenal and included a wide range of artists including The Smiths, The Temper Trap, Simon and Garfunkel, and the Black Lips, just to give you an idea of the diversity. Think of a more grown-up version of the "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist" soundtrack and you'll probably get an idea of what I'm talking about. There's a sort of indie feel to the soundtrack but somehow the compilers weren't afraid to go back in time as opposed to "Nick and Norah" where all of the songs selected were written more or less in the past five years. The inclusion of bands old and new on the "500 Days" soundtrack has allowed me to basically treat it like a cool playlist; it's eclectic enough to remain interesting for a long time. I love the "Nick and Norah" soundtrack too but just for different reasons.

One of the best songs on the soundtrack was "There is a light that never goes out" by the immortal Smiths. It fit the mood of the movie perfectly. The lines "to die by your side well the pleasure, the privilege is mine" go along well with the main character's obsession with Summer and I'll admit I'm just a fool for endeavor that includes a well placed Smiths song or two.

The other older song that made the soundtrack memorable for me was Hall and Oates' "You make my dreams come true". With the dated-sounding keyboards (albeit very cool) and overly happy mood it might not seem like a great fit for such a melancholy movie. However, when played alongside other songs on the soundtrack and its representation of the main character's hope for something more than unrequited love from Summer it really seems to fit. The song marks a time in the movie before the main character, Tom, realizes that the relationship isn't going to go anywhere; the calm before the storm.

Some of my other favorite songs on the soundtrack were a number by Doves called "there goes the fear", two excellent songs by Regina Spektor ("Hero" and "us"), and a She & Him cover of the Smith's "Please, please, please, let me get what I want".

I won't rate soundtracks the way I rate normal albums because they're only a compilation of stuff by different artists and can't be thought of the same way as a regular LP. I'll just say that I highly recommend the movie and the soundtrack.