Thursday, May 29, 2008

B-sides, Demos, Alternate Takes, Rarities, Bootlegs... Part 2

by Jack Probst

Jen wrote a post on Tuesday all about her favorite b-sides, rarities, alternate takes, etc. from her favorite bands, so I thought I'd dig though my collection and share a few of my favorite gems with the blogging world. Enjoy!

B-side: "Freak Out/Starry Eyes" - LCD Soundsystem - 45:33

This track is a two part, twelve minute epic of groove. Part one is a funky chill out with horns included. It’s fairly repetitive, with James Murphy repeating, “If you do it again/I’m gonna freak out/So do it again” over a sweet bass line backed by intricate percussion. Part two begins after a raging two minute drum solo, and jumps directly into techno trance. It’s disorienting in a good way. A woman robotically recites the lyrics in a sugary voice, like a really sexy machine. This would have felt really out of place on an album, but it’s a track that all LCD fans should hear. Then suddenly, it ends.

Rarity: "Trapeze Swinger" - Iron & Wine - In Good Company [Soundtrack]

Why this song was in a lame movie staring Topher Grace & Dennis Quaid and not on an Iron & Wine record baffles me. I consider this to not only be the greatest song Sam Beam has written, but one of the greatest songs I’ve ever heard in my entire life. Yes, that is saying a lot. This hushed folk tune plays like a dream, with low hums and chimes. The lyrics beautifully poke at the afterlife and remembrance. “…they went on to say/that the pearly gates/have some eloquent graffiti/like 'We’ll meet again'/and 'Fuck the man'/and 'Tell my mother not to worry.'" These words sound so sweet when sung by Beam, who is almost whispering this lullaby in your ear. It builds ever slowly, but adds so many small musical details, like percussion and guitar riffs played in reverse. I honestly cannot think of a song I love more than this one.

Alternate Take: "I Wanna Be Your J-Lo" - CSS - Rob Da Bank Session February 5th, 2007

I believe this version was recorded for some sort of internet radio show. I originally heard this as two songs in a bunch of CSS demos I found floating online. This live version energetically mixes both styles of songs they were ripping off, which are all about wanting to be your J-Lo. CSS let you know exactly what J-Lo has had to face in her hard life to get where she is today… or maybe it’s just how she seems in the media? Who knows? This track is too fun to think that deeply about. I would really like to see this song on the new album.

B-side: "My Shit's On Fire" - Hot Chip - ???

(Instead of picking a bootleg like Jen, I’m substituting in another b-side. The reason being is I have no idea where it originated. I’ve never been able to track down what single this was a b-side from, so if you know, please tell me in the comments)!

Hot Chip b-sides seem to be hit-or-miss with me, but this is this album material. The opening line, “Not even a thousand R. Kelly records could save me now” is unforgettable and just plain hilarious. It seems to be constantly changing, starting real low and neutral, until the sharp guitar strikes. Then it erupts into a dance frenzy, which quickly becomes more spastic and scattered. Once the smoke clears, things get back to the basics until they sputter out completely.


Jen said...

yeah...yea-ah-oh / yeah...yea-ah-oh/ I wanna be your...Joey Ramone?!

I hear a Sleater-Kinney reference here (from "I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone," of course).

Tell me I'm not imagining that.

This is such a great song. I can't wait to hear Donkey when it comes out!

Euclid Records said...

yes, you are correct! DONKEY will be amazing!