If you read my first Shazamit! post, you know how scared fascinated I am by “the computers” and the many ways in which they are slowly but surely taking over the world. Soon they will be doing all of our thinking for us. For now, they must content themselves with worming their way into our lives by performing dazzling tricks, such as instantly identifying random songs that we hear playing in the grocery store or Starbucks. This is actually a critically essential service. It’s very important when you hear a song to be able to find out immediately who the artist and album are so that you can go and buy it, thus further lining the pockets of Steve Jobs contributing to the convalescence of the global economy. Shazam even has a convenient link to iTunes. How helpful is that! Thank you, computers! I love you, and I fear you. Obviously a very healthy relationship.
Anyway, as previously mentioned, I use the Shazam app a lot. It has led me to some really good music over the years, and also some not-so-great songs. Working in chronological order from my previous list, here are my next 10 tags…
Desolation Row – My Chemical Romance – Tagged 2009-04-10
I’ve never gotten into this band. I’m sure I’ve heard some of their songs, but I don’t think I could identify any of them as My Chemical Romance if there was a gun to my head. Hopefully that situation will never come to pass. As for this cover…I don’t hate it or anything, but I don’t love it either. If you’re gonna take on Dylan you better bring it, and I don’t think they did here.
This Is Me – Demi Lovato & Joe Jonas – Tagged 2009-04-10
So I was watching Disney’s Camp Rock (yes. I totally was.) and it’s about a girl who goes to summer camp and meets the Jonas brothers but they aren’t actually the Jonas brothers in the movie, they’re some other famous boy-band brothers, and everyone sings and dances, and…I don’t even know, because the plot was so beside the point that I stopped paying attention about halfway through. During this song, I thought to myself “yeah, there is no way that this was performed “live”, so I shazammed it to see if it could be tagged. And look, I don’t even have particularly high standards when it comes to teen movies (I really, really don’t), but if the idea is that your characters are hanging out in the wilderness & shizz, they are probably not gonna have like 10 vocal tracks and Auto-Tune and stuff like that at their disposal. I’m just sayin’. Like, why not stick to a duet with one — maybe two — acoustic guitars for accompaniment? I don’t even know why I’m looking for authenticity in a Disney movie though. Clearly I’ve gone mad.
Stringbean – The Bluerunners – Tagged 2009-05-01
This tune is a jazzy cajun-tinged little number. I have no idea where I was when I tagged this, but it’s jaunty & jangly and makes me feel like dancin’.
Hey There Delilah – Plain White T’s – Tagged 2009-05-10
I really like how simple this song feels — just stripped down and pretty, a meandering little story about a relationship. Even though the two characters are in New York and therefore obviously surrounded by tons of people, it feels like they are alone together in their own little world.
Let the Love Back In – The Orange Lights – Tagged 2009-05-12
A pretty song from a band that sounds decidedly like The Verve, but not *quite* as good. Sorry, Orange Lights, it’s not your fault…The Verve is just super awesome. Actually, hearing to this song immediately made me want to listen to Urban Hymns. What an amazing record. I once had a long conversation with someone at a party in university in which we attempted to draw comparisons between “Bittersweet Symphony” and Virginia Woolf’s “To the Lighthouse”. Hahaha. English lit majors. So pretentious.
The Funeral – Band of Horses – Tagged 2009-05-19
This is a beautiful song, and one that I’ve listened to many times since I tagged it. One thing I love to do is walk around the streets of Toronto listening to music — it’s my way of chilling out and contemplating the meaning of life. This song has become a favourite of late during my “walk & think” sessions. I was listening to it recently as I crossed the Bloor Street Viaduct en route to meet some friends on the Danforth. The sun had just set and dusk was settling in, and as I took in the expansive view over the Don Valley I was hit with that amazing feeling of “this is exactly where I am right now”. Y’know, that sense of existing purely in the moment. For me it’s almost always fleeting, but this time it lasted for the whole length of that bridge and by god, it was beautiful. I thank my lucky stars every day that music gets me to that place.
Let Me Take You There – Plain White T’s – Tagged 2009-05-30
I seem to keep shazaming Plain White T’s songs, so I obviously like their music. Despite that, I haven’t gone out and bought any of their records. I totally want to, I just haven’t done it yet. Why? Who can say? Sometimes life is a mystery, my friends.
Cool It Now – New Edition – Tagged 2009-06-02
We have New Edition, one of the earliest boy band prototypes, to thank for many things. Their success paved the way for future acts such as New Kids on the Block, Boyz II Men, Backstreet Boys, and ‘N Sync. Not to mention the illustrious solo career of Bobby Brown, which spawned high-brow hits like “Humpin’ Around” as well as a marriage that was a veritable train-wreck of codependency and substance abuse (although I forgot until just now how much I love “Every Little Step”. So awesome). So thanks, New Edition, for ruining Whitney and unleashing Justin Timberlake upon the world. Bravo.
Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money in My Hand – Primitive Radio Gods – Tagged 2009-06-09
There’s an interesting story behind this song. The band, originally called the I-Rails, recorded four albums in the late 80’s/early ’90s to absolutely no acclaim whatsoever. Discouraged, they broke up and pursued other careers. Their lead singer, Chris O’Connor, continued to noodle around with material they had recorded for a 5th album and eventually released a tape under the name Primitive Radio Gods. This album also failed to garner any critical or commercial attention, so he packed it in. A few years later he discovered the old tapes in storage and, on a whim, sent them around to literally every major record label he could think of. “Phone Booth” caught the attention of an exec at Fiction Records, who signed O’Connor to a publishing deal and finagled a recording deal for the band with Columbia Records. The song was released as a single and was a runaway success, leading to to the album (Rocket) being certified gold.
I absolutely love this song, so it’s kind of crazy to think that it almost never saw the light of day. It’s actually hard to find on the internets (I couldn’t get it on iTunes and had to download it elsewhere) but it’s seriously worth tracking down. It awesomely samples B.B. King’s “How Blue Can You Get?” and is a dreamy, hooky, trip-hoppy extravaganza.
Slow Night, So Long – Kings of Leon – Tagged 2009-06-20
I have a weird and completely irrational aversion to Kings of Leon, due to the fact that I think they are too good looking. I know, I know, it makes no sense. Like most people, I am normally drawn to people I find attractive. Not in this case. I don’t know why and I can’t explain it, but it’s held me back from exploring their music. I have to say I don’t think this song is particularly exceptional, but in the interest of personal growth I have decided to be more open to the idea of checking out some of their other tunes. So if there are any Kings of Leon fans out there, give me your recommendations as to what songs/albums to listen to. Thank you.
Well that’s it for now friends! Stay tuned for more Shazam adventures. Let me know what songs have caught your ear & led you to some good downloads.