Friday Random Ten, July 13th

1. **Marillion, “If My Heart Were a Ball It Would Roll Downhill”**: Very neat track from
one of my favorite neo-progressive bands. Catchy, but with lots of layers.
2. **Mandelbrot Set, “Constellation of Rings”**: math-geek postrock. What’s not to love?
3. **The Police, ;Every Breath You Take”**: I’ve always been a fan of the Police. But
what I like most about this song is how often it’s been used by clueless people. I’ve
heard this at multiple weddings, where the couple thought it was a beautiful romantic
song. If you listen to it, it’s anything but romantic. It’s actually a rather evil
little song about a stalker: “Every breath you take, every vow you break,
every smile you fake, I’ll be watching you… Oh can’t you see, you belong to me?”
How can anyone miss that?
4. **Naftule’s Dream, “Speed Klez”**: John Zorn-influenced klezmer mixed with
a bit of thrash. Insane, but very very cool. Thrash with a trombone line!
5. **Jonathan Coulton, “Todd the T1000″**: Sci-fi geek pop. It’s a catchy little pop
song about trading in your old robot for a new one which turns out to be a
6. **Hamster Theater, “Reddy”**: A short track from a great band. Hamster Theater
is a sort-of spin-off from Thought Plague. It’s a bit more traditional than
what you’d hear from TP; still very dissonant, sometimes atonal, but more often
closer to traditional tonality and song structure. This track is a short instrumental
featuring an accordion solo.
7. **Transatlantic, “Mystery Train”**: great little song. It’s a track by one of
those so-called supergroups; Transatlantic is a side-project formed by members of
Marillion (bassist Pete Travawas), Dream Theater (drummer Mike Portnoy), Spock’s Beard (singer Neil Morse), and the Flower Kings (guitarist Royne Stolt). In general, these
supergroups have a sort of shaky sound. These guys are *great* together; it sounds
like they’ve been playing together for years: they’re sharp, there’s a great interplay
between the different instruments, it’s all incredibly precise. I’ve heard that the
music was written in advance mainly by Morse, but even with polished music pre-written,
it’s got a great sound, and you can here the distinctive musical voices of each of the
8. **Godspeed You! Black Emperor, “Antennas To Heaven”**: It’s Godspeed – which means
that it’s brilliant post-rock. This starts off with a very rough recording of a very
old-timey folkey tune, and uses it as a springboard into a very typical God-speed
9. **The Flower Kings, “Devil’s Playground”**: more neo-progressive stuff. This is an
incredibly long piece (25 minutes), very typical of Roine Stolt’s writing. It’s not
the sort of way-out-there kind of thing that you’d hear from, say, King Crimson; it’s
very structured, very melodic, but put together more in the structure of a symphony
(theme, development, restatement) than the typical ABACAB structure of a rock song.
10. **Porcupine Tree, “Sleep Together”**: a brilliant song by yet another neo-prog
band. Very odd… a strange electronic pulse drives the entire song; but it starts
off as a very quiet song with this electronic pulse giving it a tense feel. Then
the percussion comes in, and shifts your sense of the rhythm… And then it gets
to the chorus, which is big and loud, and features a full string section. Strange,
but wonderful.

0 thoughts on “Friday Random Ten, July 13th

  1. Matt B.

    Math-rock postrock? That is the most attractive genre I have ever come across. Downloading from emusic right now…
    Also, excellent Godspeed song…

  2. Chad Groft

    Excellent Police song. Elvis Costello’s “Alison” seems to turn up in much the same way.
    My favorite in this vein, though, is Blues Traveler’s “Hook”, wherein the lyrics openly mock all the people who never listen to a song’s lyrics. Hmm, haven’t listened to that album in a while…

  3. Mikelona

    Sleep Together by Porcupine Tree is a great song for sure but the CD Fear of a Blank Planet from which this song comes has far more to chew on. Take Anesthetize for example, a 17 minute prog rock opus, or Sentimental(my personal fave) is a great ballad with some real important social comments on todays youth. This band has to be one of the greatest kept secrets out there, can’t believe a band this good could stay under the radar for so long!

  4. Xanthir, FCD

    Heh, our photographer recommended that we listen to the song that would accompany our wedding-photo DVD very carefully to protect against exactly that sort of thing. ^_^

  5. Mark C. Chu-Carroll

    I agree completely about the latest Porcupine Tree. It’s a really fantastic album all around, and “Sleep Together” isn’t the strongest track. But for FRT, I really do use a randomizer, so that just happened to be what came up.


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