Stuck on Repeat: Joy Division, Phantograms, Penguin Prison

27 Mar

The first person to work gets to pick the song of the day.

Every few weeks or so, I run across music that I can’t stop blaring on repeat.  Not only is this annoying to my roommates, but it inhibits me in the neverending quest to find new music.  I’m one of the better multi-taskers I know, but even I struggle to listen to two songs at once (probably why my attempts to party DJ have been less than successful).

With this in mind, I figure if I get the tracks out into the open, we’ll all sleep better, and I can get on with bringing more new music to light.

Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart

I stumbled across this oldie-but-goodie, and it struck me with its clean punk-pop beat, good energy, and light feeling melody – despite its somewhat heavy lyrics:

You cry out in your sleep,
All my failings exposed.
And there’s a taste in my mouth,
As desperation takes hold.
Just that something so good
Just can’t function no more.

But love, love will tear us apart again.
Love, love will tear us apart again.

The 1979 song was a reflection of lead singer Ian Curtis’ mental and emotional state as he grappled with marital problems.  He committed suicide in 1980.  But I still find the song eerily beautiful, and as such have it in a very short rotation right now.

Phantograms – Mouth Full of Diamonds

Have you ever had one of those moments, when a band/movie/book/show you’ve never heard of suddenly starts coming up in your life all the time, seemingly at random?  This happened to me with The Phantograms, a band from Saratoga Springs, NY.  A DJ friend of mine fired over the tracks, which I listened to late one night.  I earmarked them for posting, but life got in the way.  Probably a week or two later, I was hit with the song again, while giving a long overdue listen to a Podcast of tracks cut during CMJ, October’s college music festival in NYC.  Again, this track came up, but this time I pursued it, listened fully, and upgraded the group from “bands to blog about,” to “bands to see in concert next time they’re on the eastern seaboard.”

Their brand of electropop is pretty breathtaking.  I don’t think I mind a band where the drummer lives in a little box, and keys, guitar and a sultry little voice give life to the music.  Also, I think we’d all do well to find a girl like Sarah Barthel to be best friends with from childhood.  I give you the studio session they filmed for KEXP’s Cutting Room Studio sessions:

Penguin Prison – The Worse it Gets

This one was an almost completely arbitrary internet find – but I couldn’t help but love this track MORE, when it’s apparently the B-side single of his latest release.  Probably because “The Worse it Gets,” is the poppier track, though “Something I’m Not” is a winner as well.  At any rate, thus ends the shortlist I’m working with this week.  Enjoy!


2 Responses to “Stuck on Repeat: Joy Division, Phantograms, Penguin Prison”

  1. allstuffisgoodstuff March 27, 2010 at 7:51 PM #

    Whoever gave you that Phantogram tip must really have his shit together, huh?

    • Lord_B March 27, 2010 at 7:58 PM #

      At the least, he has already become a competent DJ, something that is on my bucket list.

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