A sliver of light on the floor is keeping me awake.
Examine more closely to find it's two or three smaller beams crisscrossed, much like the lines on my cheek in the morning.
There's an invisible silver knife cascading primary colours—
a slice of moon on my floor.
The couple above me is making noise and perhaps a baby.
Twenty feet from my head, a symphony of cars crescendos and quickly fades like ocean waves.
Two sentences wander aimlessly around the ceiling, end face-to-face on the same period, and have nowhere to go.
It happens late at night. When the clouds hold desperately to silver light, when your fingers swell and tingle as you rub them together and you shiver as your car slowly heats up, when you yawn and tears creep up around your eyes, when only sad music sounds right, it sinks in.
This one will be fun. It's about all the great songs you've never heard of, but are written by really good, semi-popular bands! They're usually pretty deep cuts, but definitely worth trying to get your hands on.
1. L. Wells by Franz Ferdinand. - Easily the most uplifting song I've ever heard from a non-Christian band. It's absolutely charming. Only available on the double A-side single, The Fallen, the entire thing is worth buying (which I did because I'm a hopeless FF fanboy) simply for this one song. It even has a sweet music video! And because she's in it (and pretty), I would marry that actress just for that. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJM2iCH_XR8
2. Edit the Sad Parts by Modest Mouse - What a gem. In my opinion, it narrowly surpasses Tundra-Desert and Custom Concern for the best song Modest Mouse wrote before The Lonesome Crowded West's unsurpassed Trailer Trash. It's got all their best qualities: a brilliant loping bassline, complex drumming that's not showy, a gorgeous lead guitar line, atypical verse progression, and heartbreaking lyrics. The feedback at the end is a perfect way to finish. Available on the Interstate 8 EP or on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qD-ssGhX7s
3. Dry Drunk Emperor by TV on the Radio - Here's another long song that's worth digging into. I don't know much about where you can find it, but it's the first TVOTR song I ever heard, and I still think it's one of the best. The heavy, buzzing low end is incredibly satisfying to listen to at high volumes. Kind of depressing lyrics, but it's a good example of this remarkable band's overall aesthetic. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKxSLfHN3uw
4. Cardinal Song by The National - The first cut from their (in my opinion) criminally underrated second album "Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers," this might actually be my favourite song of theirs. It's got a gloomy, plodding, but simultaneously chilled-out feel, with a gorgeous violin interlude to separate the coda from the rest of the song. The lyrics are a sort of cautionary tale about opening up yourself to another. The line, "Jesus Christ you have confused me/Cornered, wasted, blessed and used me/Forgive me girls I am confused/Stiff and pissed and lost and loose" just sticks with you. It's so miserable, but so beautiful. I love it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOk5OFXHD5E
5. Island of the Honest Man by Hot Hot Heat - Okay, the last three songs were pretty long, so here's a snappy tune for y'all. I know "Make Up the Breakdown" is the only really good Hot Hot Heat record, but I think this is their best song. It's just plain fun, what with the way the chorus just feels like it's bursting out of a dark room into the sunlight and the silly quasi-pastoral lyrical accompaniment. (This live clip is a lousy half-time version, but it was all I could find. Sorry.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NRBIUyQlDY
6. Specialist by Interpol - Off their self-titled EP, this offers nothing sonically that any Interpol fan hasn't heard before, but it's just another great freaking song. It's got a great bassline, off of which the jangly, understated guitars are able to build and build and build throughout the song. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-B2ipW8eaQ (lyrics in the video are a little wrong)
8. Why? by Andrew Bird - This one stems back to his days with his Bowl of Fire, but he still plays it live, which makes me SO FREAKING HAPPY. It serves as a fantastic showcase for his jaw-dropping, violin-shredding, loop-pedaling, spastic-gesturing performance that makes an Andrew Bird show such a great experience in the first place. I also like the bluesy feel to the music and lyrics. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZBoZ0sUT3k
9. Tracy by Mogwai - Oh, it's so beautiful. I can't believe how often people talk about how they love songs on the same album, but ignore this gem in favor of Mogwai Fear Satan, Like Herod, or Summer. I suppose it's because Mogwai fans attach to different particular songs, and this one just happens to be the one I like. Anyhow, it's gorgeous - a perfect song to fall asleep to, whether it's the voices having a telephone conversation, the immaculate bassline, or the dreamy glockenspiel motif. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cCw1eHEL2A
11. Lake Somerset by Deerhunter - Now, I'm not entirely sure how many people know about Deerhunter, but I've heard some folks are big on their newer stuff. In any case, they SHOULD be popular. This song is off the earlier Cryptograms, though, and boy is it creepy! The bass, the skewed vocals, the increasing chaos of the guitars, the insistent percussion, it all just builds into a manic whole that is the stuff of nightmares. On top of that, it's coupled with a surreal video that just adds to the delicious sense of unrest I get when I listen to it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EuzC_eOdAE
I'm sure there's more, and I might get around to it later, but right now I'm tired. Enjoy.