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Modest Mouse – Custom Concern Lyrics 11 years ago
I don't know anything about your life, TheSink, so far be it for me to judge. But based solely on what you just said, you sound like a real idiot.

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Joanna Newsom – Only Skin Lyrics 11 years ago
Truthfully, I think this song is about a drug user. I think the narrator is in love with or infatuated with a drug user. References to "candy weighing down pockets," "bitter herbs" and "scraps of sassafras" and what have you. I think something terrible happened to her subject, and he spiraled into drug addiction.

You can read all sorts of things into these kinds of open-ended lyrics, but that's my interpretation. The following lines really stick out to me; addiction in terms of Sisyphus, having to constantly struggle against a boulder on a hill:

"but always up the mountainside you're clambering
groping blindly, hungry for anything:
picking through your pocket linings - well, what is this?
scrap of sassafras, eh Sisyphus?"

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Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Mama, Won't You Keep Them Castles in the Air and Burning? Lyrics 12 years ago
I've noticed a lot of things I'm certain are wrong. The fourth stanza should be:

"So now I'm out for political favors
Salary that corresponds with labor
Big house and a morning paper
Good fences that make good neighbors"

The last line is from a Robert Frost poem.

I'm willing to bet that a lot of other lines aren't 100% as well, but I have nothing concrete to back it up.

Great song, though. Very open-ended lyrically, like most Clap Your Hands songs.

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The Hold Steady – First Night Lyrics 12 years ago
Really, really unbelievably good.

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The Constantines – Lizaveta Lyrics 12 years ago
Really great song. I always thought it was "The traction leads the sod..." and "The traction keeps him down," but I don't have access to my CD insert, so I suppose I'm probably wrong. Truly a quality band, though.

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Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood Lyrics 13 years ago
If Sammich's comment was actually arbitrary and not based on some rumor, then it's probably the funniest thing I've read on this website. The review of this song from jamisonlikewhat.com:

"In the race to call Clap the new band to like/name check/whatever-- behind all the gun-jumping to wait in line for their tickets and find their records and download their early demos and Bogart whatever lo-fi live takes are lying around-- outside all that commotion, I think a lot of people forgot or just never noticed that Clap Your Hands Say Yeah make better music than you or I have ever heard. I promised myself I was going to start talking more trash in these things, but I listen to this song, and their whole record, and every artist who has ever put tone to tempo, and I come to realize that I just like music a lot more than I don’t like music, and that maybe that’s all there is to it.

'In This Home On Ice' borders on the spiritual, if you just let it in: Congealed, it's a journey less about guitars, bass and drums and more about a sort of sound-as-coalescence amalgam, dulcet elements bursting into a corporate alloy and expanding in all directions. The home that Clap erect is one of singular splendor and majesty, but hey, ice is thin! It breaks, people-- and maybe it even breaks people? Rickety relationships are by no means unusual fare for bands of the indie rock persuasion, but is there more to it than that? Out-of-body, maybe Alec Ounsworth’s nasal tenor is attempting to explore certain depths and heights that you and I have never even dreamt of? 'Hell, I never knew, was what we made it/ Let’s just take it slow in this home on ice,' he vibrates, right before everything falls apart (or, perhaps, into place) and he can’t do anything but repeat himself. 'Hell is what we made it'-- is this not staggering to we as mortals? Does it not buckle floorboards, and humble the soul? Does it not wash away idea and body and spirit and leave only Heaven-knows-what? These days, on this Earth, in this life, where people spend a lot more time trying to be cool than trying to be people, it’s hard to admit to such things. But I will admit, however loud and clear and jubilant and anything, that it does all those things and much, much more, and I don’t care what anyone else has to say about it. This song is perfect."

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Sufjan Stevens – The Lord God Bird Lyrics 13 years ago
from jamisonlikewhat.com:

So the story goes that a few silly reporters at NPR weren’t yet absolutely convinced of Sufjan Stevens’ prowess as a songsmith. Pffft. I know, right? The newsmen sent our hero for the duration out to the small town of Brinkley, Arkansas with naught in hand but a guitar and a smile and told him to get to work. Two weeks later, Stevens emerges from the bijou with “The Lord God Bird” in tow.

Come on, Dan Collison and Elizabeth Meister, NPR session producers and masters of the fine art of underestimation– can’t you do any better than this? Send Sufjan Stevens– the Sufjan Stevens– to a town where the ivory-billed woodpecker (or “Lord God Bird,” to Brinkley natives, of all things) daily fights for its very survival against the soulless forces of industrialization? This is a test?! Why not just send him to the cancer ward at your local children’s hospital? Full of orphans? With tuberculosis?

Stevens gives the bird the weight it needs and does so without breaking a sweat. For three minutes and forty-three seconds, it’s all you’ll care about. But what did you expect? Was the man really going to drop the ball with such obvious songwriting fodder before him? As if Sufjan Stevens couldn’t write a song about anything, at this point. He’s half-composer, half-virtuoso, all superhero. He can do whatever the hell he wants.

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Okkervil River – Black Lyrics 13 years ago
from jamisonlikewhat.com:

“Black” is a fluff-pop explosion of the most potent kind: theatric, runny-egg organs, bleeding-heart bass via the decade of 1980, pre-chorus build-ups worthy of WHAM!, themselves– one could mistake it for a bastard Cure b-side, were the whole ordeal not held in check by the delicious alt-country yelp of Dr. Will Sheff, Okkervil River’s primary singer/songwriter. The saying goes that all the best cowboys have daddy issues and Sheff does the next best thing in their absence: Finds a girlfriend with a couple, “But if I could tear his throat/ Spill his blood between my jaws/ And erase his name for good/ Don’t you know that I would.” No, you’re not about to download the new Slayer record– in fact, a casual listen doesn’t even disclose Sheff’s lyrical lynchings; such an infectious melody is rarely employed for singing about anything besides sunshine and lollipops. The stark contrast between sound and verse does serve to amplify the grievous wrongs done, though, and besides, for all Sheff’s barking, his gal seems to have put it behind her, “Don’t lose me now/ I’ll help you out/ Though I know I’m not useful anyhow/ Just let me stick around.” I wish I could write about how this song isn’t as morbid as I’m making it sound. I can’t. It’s an up-tempo funeral dirge about feeling useless, inept, and bitter while taking a stroll down Sesame Street– everything has gone to shit, but hey, the weather’s nice.

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Sufjan Stevens – Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois Lyrics 13 years ago
from jamisonlikewhat.com:

In the opening seconds of Stevens’ latest and lushest musical sojourn, Illinois, you’re unsure as to whether you should take your territorial cheerleader seriously or not– a song about aliens? The piano echoes off of itself and the woodwind section beckons Stevens to life. The spaceship descends and our hero begins to sing. The song is about what the title says it is, right? Right. But when our favorite cherub-like folksman half-croons, half-moans, “Oh, God,” you begin to get antsy. What’s going on here? The man’s freaking out, so you start to, too. But why?

Because when Sir Sufjan Stevens tells you that “History involved itself,” you know damn well that the dude means business. And as soon as you realize this, stars begin to explode, galaxies start to crash into themselves, and the physical universe that we know and love is never again the same: The word “revenant” means “one who returns after death.” Hmmm. The “Incarnation of three stars?” Three stars. Make the connection yet? See, people, the thing is this: Sufjan really thinks the song is about an alien– something or someone so completely foreign to this Earth that it has never been seen since, but may one day be seen again. The other thing is this: Sufjan doesn’t actually believe that it got here on a spaceship.

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The Strokes – What Ever Happened? Lyrics 13 years ago
Are these lyrics from the CD insert? I'm not hearing some of this stuff.

Tennessee certainly references T. Williams, the playwrite. I looked up plays by him containing "come together" but I didn't find much.

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The Strokes – You Only Live Once Lyrics 13 years ago
And I thought he was saying "Shimmy down, shimmy up." Could be wrong.

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The Strokes – You Only Live Once Lyrics 13 years ago
"29 different attributes" is a reference to that e-harmony website, I think. The commercials with the pleasant old guy talking about all the ways they match compatability. There are 29. Pretty interesting.

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Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Details of the War Lyrics 13 years ago
I expressly do not think that this song is subtly about George W. Bush.

However, it is amazing. I am going to use it in a movie someday.

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The Strokes – Ask Me Anything Lyrics 13 years ago
very different, and maybe a departure from the themes of first impressions as a whole-- but a very cool song, nonetheless. no one listens to the strokes for their lyrics. i like to see bands try different things, personally, and that's what this is.

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The Strokes – Ask Me Anything Lyrics 13 years ago
very different, and maybe a departure from the themes of first impressions as a whole-- but a very cool song, nonetheless. no one listens to the strokes for their lyrics. i like to see bands try different things, personally, and that's what this is.

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The Strokes – Razorblade Lyrics 13 years ago
i got about five records on the day i got this album, and i am not going to listen to any of them for the next month, i'm sure-- what a stellar release.

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Okkervil River – Black Lyrics 13 years ago
I don't think the song is about sexual abuse. I see nothing to imply that. In fact, the fact that he has a new wife and another child and they still won't go get him in trouble speaks against this theory. It would be irresponsible, almost criminally so, to allow a child molester to foster another child.

I just think her dad was a scumbag and left. It's more a song about abandonment, in my mind. I could be off, though.

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Okkervil River – Black Sheep Boy Lyrics 13 years ago
I'm pretty sure it's "I'm the family's unowned boy," but I could be wrong.

Regardless, this is about being known as the family outcast, clearly, but returning home after having finally found some measure of success and trying to communicate that to your loved ones. My two cents, anyway. Pretty brlliant metaphor, if you ask me.

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Rocky Votolato – Crabtree And Evelyn Lyrics 13 years ago
this song is great because rocky takes a simple, mundane chore like folding laundry and turns it into a sincere, earnest love song of the most potent kind. he really shows how your sense memory can take you back to a moment in time. killer songwriter, this guy.

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