Don’t Carry It All by The Decemberists – In the past four or five years, I’ve found myself grouping together songs on my iTunes account (4657 songs, 13 days and 23.88 GBs as of this week.) (N.B. clearly I didn’t pay for all these (not to say that I stole them, Mr. Federal Agent). Let’s just say I acquired them.) based on something interesting I find about their titles. Non-exhaustive something interesting list (1) songs with first names in the title (I’ve written on this before); (2) songs with a digit numeral in the title as opposed to a written expression of the numeral (e.g. 2+2 = 5 (Radiohead) v. Four Horsemen (The Clash) (N.B. Those of my beloved profession have an annoying habit of writing sentences like this: “In the event Seventeen Hundred dollars ($1,700.00) is not an acceptable settlement proposal for your client, be advised that my client is prepared to seek damages in a total amount of Three-Thousand Two-Hundred dollars ($3,200.00) from your client. Given the shortness of time in this matter, your client has ten (10) days from the date of this letter to agree to this proposal.” Somewhere in America, some attorney just billed .75/hrs for those two sentences I just wrote.) (3) Songs with names of cities/towns in the title (there are a shit-load of these. I’ll save them for another time.) (4) Songs with months in the title. After names, this has proven to be my favorite grouping because I’m in constant search for the perfect year. Twelve (12) songs, one (1) for each month. I was reminded of this early this week, as the The Decemberists have a song, July, July! on my current list. Additionally, their new album, The King is Dead (which is really good and somehow both edgy and folky. I suddenly can’t get enough of it. This song, Don’t Carry It All is a knee-slapping treat in the vein of The Band, which once in my life I would have considered a knock against) has two songs with months in title January Hymn and June Hymn. One of which might make the final album (working title: El Mes Mejor) (However, one (watch it) would think as talented as The Decemberists are they could move past whatever fascination they have with the names of months….hmm) Here is the current track list for El Mes Mejor:
1. January by Bonnie McKee – I have no clue who this is and I don’t believe I have ever listened to the song to completion. Rest assured that January Hymn will soon replace it (but I’m open to suggestions).
2. February Stars by The Foo Fighters – Instant Time Machine. I hear this song, I’m 23. I’m sitting in my Jeep with Ford and the Truth in the parking lot of Opie’s in Norman, screaming this song at the top of my lungs.
3. Month of March by Peon Queen – See description for January. I found it unbelievably difficult to find a March song that wasn’t referencing to march: v. intr. To walk steadily and rhythmically forward in step with others or the associated noun. This is what I found and it’s so obscure I can’t even come up with a proper link for you to listen to it. Had I not stuck to my guns, I would have selected March of the Pigs by Nine Inch Nails
4. April Skies by The Jesus and Mary Chain – The J&MC (joining Nick Drake, Faces and Seu Jorge) are a band whose sole existence in my musical purview is owed to a Bill Murray movie, Lost in Translation. This is a fantastic song.
5. Month of May by Arcade Fire – I’ll spare you.
6. June by Pete Yorn – I don’t know what Pete Yorn is doing now. I hope he’s well. If his one flash of brilliance in life was musicforthemorningafter (I hate how doing this forces me to constantly reassess just how fucking great the music of ’00-’09 was. I’d forgotten how beautiful this album is) I’d say I owe him a beer. ‘Cause lord knows I drank enough of them sitting on the porch listening to this.
7. July, July! by The Decemberists – I say your uncle was a crooked French-Canadian and was gut shot running gin. And how his guts were all suspended in his fingers and how he held ’em how he held ’em held ’em in.
8. August by Rilo Kiley – This sounds just enough like Death Cab for Cutie for me to kind of hate it. Then it sounds enough like The Shins for me to really, really hate it.
10. October by Broken Bells – After talking shit on The Shins, here he is again. This is much better.
11. November Rain by Guns n Roses – This was by far the hardest decision. The National also have a song titled Mr. November which is unreal and grandiose (and which is also one of the nicknames for Derek Sanderson Jeter, #2, The Captain). Given my current musical tastes it should without a doubt occupy this slot. But November Rain, like a fucking boss, still. Twenty (20) years later, I love you Axl.
12. December 4th by Jay-Z – If you never want to make a bad mix tape (CD, whatever) end it with Shawn Carter. You could have a Kenny Chesney, Korn, Mariah Carey mash up and throw 99 Problems at the end of that shit and people will love you.