Friday, October 24, 2014

Here's Your Seasonal Mix Of Trashcan Sinatras Tunes

Everyone has seasonal tunes.  They might go by different names - "beach jamz!1!!!" or whatever, but we all have certain artists or genres we go for when the weather changes.  As the year enters the homestretch towards Thanksgiving and Christmas, for example, I will move towards a musical diet that is rich in bebop.  I don't know why for sure - I think because there's an intimacy and warmth to the sound of drums, upright bass and piano that I crave as the days get short, cold and gray.  The move towards jazz is never really a conscious decision; it's really something that just gradually happens.  When I get my first longings for spring, I start to listen to twangy, surf-tinged songs.  Same thing:  it just sort of happens.

But we are at the height of fall, and fall has been exceptionally beautiful around here this year.  Fall is clubbing over the head with its, uh, "fallness".  For me, fall means listening to songs with a higher concentration of jangly guitars, layered harmonies and effects that give the songs a sense of spaciousness.  For years, the Smiths satisfied this urge; the past 15 years or so it has been the Trashcan Sinatras.

There's a lot going on in Trashcan Sinatras' tunes.  I tend to seize upon the complex, always interesting harmonies. But at any given time, there are three or more guitars layered into the tune.  You can hear a different guitar almost every time you listen to the same song, and I love this.  In some nonspecific way, their tunes conjure up their homeland of Scotland quite nicely.  I tend to think of foggy forests, greener than life peat bogs, and northern industrial mining towns.  They're reliance on word play and puns in songs can be a bit annoying, but it doesn't dampen my love for these tunes too much.  It's just something I notice from time to time.  Otherwise, the songs are sparkly pop gems, and since I'm shitty at describing them, let's listen to a few that will help you enjoy your autumn, shall we?

Use headphones for maximum satisfaction.

"Earlies" - hadn't heard this one until yesterday, and I love the laid back feeling it gives me.  Listen for the unexpected banjo (possibly a bantar?) towards the middle.
"Send For Henny" - another mellow vibe
"How Can I Apply?" - are you chillaxed yet?
"Oranges And Apples" - a nice "Penny Lane"-type song
"Blood Rush" - picks up the pace a bit.
"Hayfever" - trippy video, a little bit more urgency than the previous tunes
"Twisted And Bent" - this tune is riddled with wordplay and puns, but don't let that stop you from enjoying the solo and the fade out.  Wait for the funny Scottish guy at the end of the video.
"Only Tongue Can Tell" - this was the song that started it all off for me.  I never forgot how much I loved this song after seeing it on "120 Minutes" in high school.  Memorable because it sounded great, but also because the singer played a guitar with a Gibson SG body, but a Fender neck.  Trippy.
"I'm Immortal" - this one seems stripped down, but it's just as layered as any of the previous songs
"Snow" - oddly, the shitty falsetto singing towards the middle makes this song even better.  This song always draws me in without fail.

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