Thursday, April 17, 2008

Six Pack of the Week - Rainy Day Tunes

The month of April and rain are nearly synonymous in the north-western hemisphere of the world. Since that's where I live those are the lamentations you shall hear today.

It rained (and snowed) today in the little place I call home and I'm sure it will keep on raining through the end of the month. And then stop. Forever. Because I live in a desert.

We've got some tunes to get your drenched and dreary soul through the day. First off, my (Kraig) picks:

The Beatles - Rain

Oh, The Beatles. They're either the greatest thing since sliced bread or the most over-hyped band that's ever graced the planet depending on your stance. Regardless of whether you like them or not, most people seem to agree on the overwhelming influence The Beatles have had on popular music over the past 40 years. "Rain" is a shining example of why they were such a revolutionary band.

The song features the best drum fills Ringo has made this side of Abbey Road, some of the sweetest tone to be heard at the time on the bass, a collection of the first real "psychedelic" lyrics John brought our way - not to mention the fact that we're hearing the first implementation of a backwards track when John's vocals reverse right before it starts to fade out. Really, The Beatles don't get much better than this. And it's a b-side?? Seriously - there's very few tracks I hold in this high of a regard and it's not even an a-side single. Crazy. Oh, and it's about rain (well, probably) if you didn't guess.

[mp3] The Beatles - Rain

Buy some music from The Beatles: Amazon

Pearl Jam - Wash

This song has more to do with "washing away" then rain, but there's a heavy dose of precipitation imagery involved throughout. When I hear this I can always see Eddie screaming to the skies to open themselves up as the song closes out - a lot of passion there. I was a bit surprised that they were able to retain the original grit when this was re-recorded for Lost Dogs a few years ago. I've posted the most recent version, but the original is quite epic as well.

The most important thing here is that I get to hype my two favorite bands in the same post for songs they aren't well known for. How often does that happen?

[mp3] Pearl Jam - Wash

Buy some Pearl Jam: Amazon | iTunes
Visit them online: Official | Myspace


Collective Soul - She Gathers Rain

I once asked Kraig if this song was about a fat chick. It makes sense, doesn't it? If she's gathering rain, she must be a pretty big girl. Pretty self-explanatory to me, but I think it came at Kraig completely out of left field.

I was never very fond of this song until I had the privilege to hear it live. A couple years ago CSoul came to Boise, Idaho, and played at the Idaho State Fair (of all places!), and we (Kraig, Brock, myself, and some friends) decided this was too good an opportunity to pass up. We all squeezed in a tiny car and drove the 4-5 hour trip up to Boise. The song wasn't any different at the show, but for some reason the hook just sounded soooo good live. Now She Gathers Rain is one of the songs I think of when I think Collective Soul. Oh, and it also has the rain theme we're featuring this week. Ya, nice.

[mp3] Collective Soul - She Gathers Rain

Buy some Collective Soul: Amazon | iTunes
Visit them online: Official | Myspace

Adam Elk - It's Raining In Here

I don't really feel qualified to talk about Adam Elk (as I know incredibly little about him, besides that he's an ex-member of the Mommyheads), but I knew I had to include this track in our rainy day list. Elk brings the funk and, wow, is it good. That's some good funk right there. A couple years ago I wasn't a fan of the funk, but I credit many of the tracks on Labello to bringing me over to the funk side.

[mp3] Adam Elk - It's Raining In Here

Buy some Adam Elk: Amazon | iTunes

Brock's Songs

The Apples in Stereo - The Rainbow

This is a song that's ostensibly about rain, but in a happy way! The Apples in Stereo can't really help but make you happy, with such a excellent mix of quasi-psychadelic, 60's-style sugary sweet pop. Check it out!

The sites: Official | Myspace
The sounds: iTunes | Amazon

The Jayhawks - Save It For a Rainy Day

If you don't own the album Rainy Day Music by the Jayhawks, you're missing out on a modern masterpiece. It's fantastic that evokes early Beatles and has some of the greatest vocal harmonies around. The Jayhawks are currently on hiatus, which fills me with some rain-soaked sadness.

The sites: Fansite
The sounds: iTunes


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