These guys kill me. I’m not talking about the weird song you hear on rocker-radio, “Somebody Told Me,” with the boyfriend/girlfriend lyrics. I’m not talking about “Mr. Brightside,” a boring weird song with a crummy creepy video. I’m not talking the better, positive, more fluid and brighter “Read My Mind.” I’m talking Track 3 on the new (well, latest) CD, Day and Age. “SPACEMAN. ” It rules. What the hell is it about? I mean, alien abduction and enlightenment? It starts with “It started” — cool, I already like it — “with a low light” — what is that? And the little Shakespeare reference (“I was hoping / that I could leave this “star-crossed” world behind”) is even in iambic pentameter, dude. And in such a positive, amazed sort of way, the guy in the narrative proceeds through life after his alteration. I can’t stop thinking about it, the way the lyrics keep changing and yet are sort of significant in different ways, like a villanelle, and if you look at them you realize the song is actually on some level about the creative process, the why and the how in life. Dude. It gets stuck in my mind and, as happens to the song’s protagonist, “it leaves a strange impression in my head.” And, wow, “they say the Nile used to run … from East to West.” Who did, the spaceman??
Wow, I must say (Edward E. Grimley aside) that Death Cab for Cutie is a great band. I have been walking around for weeks now with songs from Plans in my head — really all of them, and that’s a real testament to their yummy goodness.
I guess right now it’s “Can’t Find Nothin’ At All…” (perhaps not the song title, rrr), but often it’s the haunting (haunted?) “I Will Follow You into the Dark.” Or even the beginning, lyrically fascinating second track there: “In my head, there is a Greyyyyyhound station / Where I send my thoughts / To farrrr off destinayyyystons….”
Their Directions, the “companion” (so friendly) DVD with video by various independent directors for each of the songs on Plans, is excellent background, with a couple of standouts — worth the ride and/or to put a spin on songs we(I) already dig. Check it out.
I am (still, 2-3 weeks after first hearing it in the movie theater) enamored of this song, “Time to Pretend” by MGMT … and proud of it. A little like a Third Eye Blind or a Semisonic, which also had short runs with highly melodic, cool-and-a-little-edgy-lyric’ed, quirky guitary pop-rock, MGMT (formerly The Management) seems to have exploded very quietly onto the scene by way of the 21 soundtrack (the MIT-Vegas movie I unfortunately can’t recommend). The video here is either cartoonishly profound or just plain trippy (can we do both for 500, Alex?) Damn, it’s catchy, though. And they seem like good chaps, so what of it?