Sometimes a song will fill a niche perfectly, reminding you of some memory or matching some daydream you've been dragging around for years. Or the connection may be more primative and tweak more basic elements of your psyche. Whatever the hook, once you've worn the audio patterns into your gray matter, it's there for good!

I've decided to compile a list of some music that I'm now stuck with in case anyone else is looking for a fix. :)

  "Still"   from Dead Air
By Heatmiser
One model of biological evolution holds that change is anything but gradual. Instead, some random change triggers a disruption in the status quo, and "progress" has a chance to take root and flourish in the resulting chaos. If such a pivotal moment ever needs a theme song, this song will do nicely. The core here, the element binding everything together, is a sense of racing tension. Like the charged air before a North Carolina thunderstorm, everything seems alive and ready to burst. Will lightning strike, starting a wildfire among the pine trees? Maybe yes, maybe no... In the interim sounds are sharp and crisp, even as the wind grows louder and louder.
8-May-1998(lmt)      Comments?
  "Infected"   from Infected
By The The
If you could bend spoons with your mind, or had some other way of forcing things to serve you will... Oh, and this is important, were generally aggitated (in a non-violent way), and were too intellectually tortured to find any of the popular "mass opiates" calming, then you might make a song like this. Of course you'd have to be a master of vicious lyrical taunts as well. "Infected" is a mockery, a twisted sculpture of incompatible influences, all brilliantly assembled into a snarling sermon on sexual obsession. The first line of the song, "I've got to much energy to switch off my mind", sums it all up nicely.

Eons ago, this album came out in 1986, the record store I worked in had a policy of not playing "offensive" songs when there were cutomers in the store. But since what they really wanted was not to piss off anyone that was browsing, we were giving wide latitude to base our decisions on the people in the shop at any given time. The sad truth was that nobody cared about the actual content, they were just offended by clearly audible buzzwords. So a moronic metal song with "fuck" screamed at random would cause a fuss, but nobody ever complained about this album. Now if they'd paid more attention, the uptight, repressed ones would have clapped their hands over their childrens ears and rushed out the door. Those are the people that most need to hear The The.

Mar-5-1998(lmt)      Comments?
  "Wet Heart"   from Moonhead
By Thin White Rope
There's a complicated emotional state somewhere beween world-weariness, resolved anger, dispassionate wisdom, unfocused yearning and intellectually dissected depression. And while there may not be a word or simple phrase for this human condition, anyone who's felt it will recognize the smouldering moods of "Wet Heart" instantly. This song casts a large, looming shadow with gorgeous, intertwining guitar drones, shattered/gravelly vocals, and a bass/percussion track that smack out sharp blasts like a timer on a hidden bomb. It's weightly, intense, a bit malicious, and just feels dangerous somehow? It reminds me of a scene from the movie "The Forbidden Zone" where the villanous Susan Tyrell struggles to ask "why does being bad have to feel so good?" before dying in the dirt. Those of us that couldn't resist getting too close fires when we were kids will find the message irresistible.
Feb-27-1998(lmt)      Comments?
  "Lets All Go"   from Fire Dances
By Killing Joke
A throbbing monolith sending out mind numbing pulses, washing away good (and bad) intentions, polite conversation and personal introspection. Think monkeys, think 2001, then stop thinking and internalize the mantra. Let's all go to the fire dances, let's all go, let's all go... The chiming guitars peel layers of hesitation with each descending pass until you submit to the primal, repetitive drone of drums, bass and harshly chanted vocals. And somehow, despite the noise and brutal edges of the sounds used, "Lets All Go" still works as a gorgeous pop song too!
Feb-20-1998(lmt)      Comments?
  "Empty Ships"   from Creeper Lagoon (EP)
By  Creeper Lagoon
A curious collection of "reminds me of..." neurons fire as this song glides thru your brain. It's an odd mix of sounds/styles that somehow works as a whole. Curious also in that it sounds both familiar and fresh at the same time. At first I couldn't tell if I listened to it over and over to figure out the references, or because it was just infectious. "Empty Ships" is dark and brooding, with a not-slow/not-fast tempo, thumpy rhythym track, choppy guitar center, and impressive vocal and guitar hooks throughout. As a pop song, it's brilliantly constructed. And as an amalgamation of drony guitar rock, bouncy, bass heavy pop and indie-pop vocal testimonial it's perfectly balanced.
Feb-19-1998(lmt)      Comments?
  "Naomi"   from The Boo Radleys (EP)
By  Boo Radleys
Crying in your beer never had a better voice than "Naomi". The simplest of lyrics bleed through a rough and thick mix of sounds, guitars arch up in stabbing calls then crash and surge like storm blown waves on a rocky beach. Buoyed up by drums that pulse like an overcharged heartbeat, this is no comforting lullaby. But as an emotional plea from an abandoned lover, it's remarkbly honest and convincing.
Feb-19-1998(lmt)      Comments?
  "Two Girls Kissing"   from They Spent Their Wild Youthful Days in the Glittering World of the Salons
By  Swirlies
A race... Nerve racking moments just before the start, the excruciating rush of the initial exceleration, narcotic effects from intense sensory stimulation repeated, repeated, repeated, surrendering control as the momentum builds, and finally winding down in a fuzzy overload of expended energies. Or is that sex? Maybe there's some of both here? Either way, the message is clear. There's primal energy under our civilized candy shells. And it's just waiting for a chance to bubble out and leave chocolate covered fingerprints all over the place.
Feb-18-1998(lmt)      Comments?
  "Savannah"   from How to Live With a Tiger
By  Hail/Snail
A secret you can admit to yourself only in the safest moments, feelings so personal that they vanish as soon as you try to confront them, a haunting doppelganger that's also your best buddy when you're all alone... "Savannah" teases you forward, but you're not sure where it's leading? The mood is distracting, the sound is immediate yet remote and it's impossible to focus clearly on any section before everything changes. There are a variety of instruments at work here with the various cameo flute, piano, whispers, etc... bits adding to the magic of the piece. The core elements of the song are a stream of guitar chords strummed to provide the only consistent pace, trumpet parts that hang in fat sunny/hazy notes in the middle of the sound, vocals that refuse to stand apart from the other instruments, and a wonderfully understated rhythym track. "Savannah" is a something close to a lazy float down a river on a sunny afternoon. Sensing the chaos of normal life playing itself out on the shores, while unable to participate, is both mildly disturbing and deeply cathartic.
Feb-18-1998(lmt)      Comments?
  "Sometimes"   from Loveless
By  My Bloody Valentine
A friend of mine once jokingly called Thorazin "a vaccuum cleaner for your mind". My Bloody Valentine has the same effect at times. But instead of sucking the life out of you, the textured, buzzing, pulsing washes scatter around in your head, filling every hidden corner and dark crevice with a warm tingling substance. It's bit like that completely satisfied feeling behind your eyes after a tremendous sneeze., And anyone who hears it won't mind if you stand there, eyes glazed over, with your mouth hanging open for a moment while the buzz fades away.
Feb-10-98(lmt)      Comments?
  "Fed Up"   from Create Your Friends
By  Lemonheads
First things first... Create Your Friends is a reissue combining Hate Your Friends and Creator. I can't find my copies of the originals, so I don't know which one "Fed Up" is from.

The Lemonheads have reinvented themselves a few times. And while each incarnation has been creative, and turned out excellent pop music, my favorite is definitely the earlier style. It's raucous, snotty, hyper-active, and generally a good time in a chaotic sort of way. This track is a perfect example, starting with whining guitars that drop to an insistant roar while pushy drums convey the pissed off attitude required to support lyrics like "gotta find a way to let you know, that I'm fed up with you". If Risky Business had been a punk movie instead of a suburban fairytale, this would be the track on the turntable when Stiv Bators was thrashing around the living room in his undies.

Feb-9-98(lmt)      Comments?
  "Here Visit"   from This Way to the Shivering Man
By  Bruce Gilbert
Highly repetitive, largely percussive, and without vocals, this piece isn't "pop" music by most definitions. But anyone with an interest in a rhythymic experimentation will find something interesting in "Here Visit". It's highly structured without sounding like a computer program, haunting and "trancy" without sounding brittle or harsh, and conveys shape/size without collapsing under it's own weight. It makes me want to sit quietly in the dark and spy on whatever process, presumably organic, is sending out all this churning energy. Since it was commissioned for a dance piece, I'm certain that was at least part of the idea. I just wish I'd seen the performance!
Feb-9-98(lmt)      Comments?
  "Ghost"   from Standing Up Straight
By  Wolfgang Press
Wolfgang Press covered Pink Floyd's "Time" several years after this album was released. This song suggests the same relentless, unstoppable progression. But unlike that song, "Ghost" layers on a mood confusion, self searching, and slightly manic anxiety. With a powerful, if lumbering, rhythym track rolling over all obstacles, and lyrics like "What do I know, and what should I say? Give me your smile to show me your faith" it's a glimpse into a life out of control, surging forward blindly.
Feb-9-98(lmt)      Comments?
  "Seen and Not Heard"   from Eva Luna
By  Moonshake
Moonshake was rumored to be a band in constant artistic turmoil, with the two writers in the group pulling the band in different directions. There is a certain "tension" in much of the recordings on Eva Luna. It works perfectly on "Seen and Not Heard", Big, fat, chunks of raw inner truth are hurled out for public display. Steam rising from the edges, it's bold and uncaring no matter how hard you stare. That's the way "Seen and Not Heard" comes across. A dissection of some (fictional?) Neanderthal subconcious, with slinking bass lines, sharp, stabbing guitar flourishes and neurotic vibrating keyboards. I don't want the meet the person who'd really believe these lyrics, but it's a compelling portrait of how fanatical values might skew someone's basic humanity. Various manipulative, exploitative, cultish religious groups are strongly suggested... This is not a good song to include on a tape you intend to play under polite dinner conversation.
Feb-9-98(lmt)      Comments?
  "The Have Nots"   from Under the Big Black Sun
By  X
Yahoo! Not the search engine, just a plain old fashioned blast of double strength fun. What else can you say about a song where the lyrics are a long rambling list of bars in Los Angeles strung together phrases with "dawn comes soon enough for the working class"? It's the equivalent of an Irish drinking song, interpreted by post-punks from LA. With lots of fun, and lots of energy, it's the song I'd most like to hear in a loud bar on my birthday.
Feb-9-98(lmt)      Comments?
  "Fin"   from Brighten the Corners
By  Pavement
I've yet to read the lyrics to "Fin", but I'm sure they're sad. Everything about this gorgeous track is emotional and raw. The vocals are just a little strained, the guitars are clingy, thick and ringing, the bass and drums are large and looming, and the pace is perfectly sombre. "Fin" moves along at the speed of an anguished soul, not determined enough to stride, not depressed enough to mope. Think back to a moment when some painful truth stung you into a daze, leaving you uncomfortable but unsure how to make things better. This song captures that moment and plays out the emotional reaction that follows.
Feb-8-98(lmt)      Comments?
  "Big Plans"   from In Excelsior Dayglo
By  Christmas
The energy streaming out of this composition is fantastic! It fades in with an guitar drone sounding vaguely like an old radio broadcast, then takes off at full force. Sometimes a trio really is the perfect vehicle for a song. When everything clicks and a song roars along like a perfectly tuned machine it's easy to get swept along for the ride. "Big Plans" has an unstoppable bassline, which would probably prop up the song even if the arrangement wasn't so energetic. That solid core is combined with a crisp/clean drum track, alternately twangy and dissonent guitars atmospherics, and multi voiced vocals. The result is a bit manic, wonderfully infectious and way too short.
Feb-8-98(lmt)      Comments?
  "Sunspots"   from Fried
By  Julian Cope
Absurdity... That's what this song is about for me. Nonsensical musical silliness, with something not quite right under the surface. The rhythyms suggest clowns and circuses, the vocals are oddly serious and creepy despite the seemingly simple lyrics. With pulsing guitar blasts, it's like bits of fireworks in your mind as you drift off to sleep after a long day. As whimsical and charming as a childhood memory, "Sunspots" is weird enough to hold your adult attention as well.
Feb-8-98(lmt)      Comments?