song obsession friday! (for the week ending Jan 2/ year of 2008)

Song obsessions are those songs that we listen to on repeat. I noticed that my obsessions are often a week long. I also thought that other people might have similar obsessions. I’ve collected a panel of a few like-minded individuals and gotten their “song obsessions of the week.” Quite often it’s easy to explain why the song is good; it’s much hard to explain why we’re obsessed. Maybe you’ll become obsessed with one of these.

This week I asked contributors for either their song obsession of the week or their top song obsession of the year (or both). My top song obsessions post is forthcoming, so stay tuned for that. Meanwhile, here’s an honestly pretty odd set of songs.

Adrian (me):
Ben E. King – Stand By Me (mp3) (buy)

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I was mining the soul section at Dave’s Music Mine with an Aretha Franklin collection already in hand when I saw the Ben E. King CDs. I liked his songs that I knew (“Stand By Me”, “Spanish Harlem”) and I recognized a few more plus the Drifters tunes, so I decided to pick up this collection. (Incidentally, I’ve found some great gems in this manner–buying collections for the oldies artists whose hits I like.)

“Spanish Harlem” is my favorite song of his as of now, but “Stand By Me” is first one the record. That figures in because I decided to use my CD player for the first time in a year+ the other night, putting this disc in to fall asleep to. So I put it on and dozed off, but I had a bit of a restless night and each time I woke up, I’d put it on again, only to doze off again. This wasn’t a song obsessed so much as a song that I repeated a bunch of times.

But while I’m on the topic of “Stand By Me”: while it brings up images of young Corey Feldman and Wil Wheaton or teenagers singing in a group–or is that just me?–when you listen to the song, it’s pretty great. Classic production and great vocals.

Keith:
Friendly Fires – Lovesick (mp3) (buy)

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I have the tendency to overthink these categorical qualifications, such as “song obsession of the year.” What criteria should be used to make such a judgment? The song I listened to the most? The song I repeat played the most? My favorite song on my favorite release? The song with the longest tenure of obsession?

In the end I scrapped the calculations and selected a song that didn’t impress me much at first but kept coming back around begging to be heard again, to the point where I had to purchase the disc just to have that one song. That disc has made the trek from office to car to bedroom and back many times, obediently servicing my obsession even when it could not be sated. So I guess that is the criteria for most obsessed … it’s not the best song of the year but it’s the one that has consistently refused to go to the back of the bus.


Scott:
Sonny Sharrock – Portrait of Linda in Three Colors, All Black (mp3) (buy)

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Karl Blau – Noah Richards Sun (mp3) (buy)

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my song obsession for the week has been ‘portrait of linda in three colors, all black’ by sonny sharrock off of black woman.

i’d have to say that ‘noah richard’s sun’ by karl blau off of am is my song obsession of the year. i don’t know if i already sent that one in, but that’s my most played song this year on my last.fm page, so i guess that is my 2008 song. maybe it’s up there because i set it as my alarm on my ipod and then forgot about it, letting the playcount rack up…i once had it rigged to my computer speakers as an alarm clock and the opening tone scared the s*** out of my sleeping roommate (i usually try to be more considerate (i meant it to go off quietly) and he’s a deep sleeper). he was confused and terrified and later reported that he thought waking up to that sound meant that ‘things are going to be different now,’ which i interpret to mean his liminal consciousness treated him some sort of vision of the end of the world or visitation by supernatural beings or something in that scope.

Andy:
J. Tillman – High Enough to Raise (mp3) (not available as far as I’m aware)

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This is one of a few tracks that Josh has posted to myspace, and which have subsequently disappeared. (daytrips, anyone? I can’t find a copy to save my life.) I understand the desire, as an artist, to have control over output, but damn – this song is good. The sparse (how often do I use that word in these blurbs?) production is an open toll lane to my heart, and lines like “No one’s sure, but everybody knows what you went in there for” just kill.

So yeah, it’s obvious that I’ve got a man/music crush on the dude, but it’s with good reason, at least.



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