Sunday, December 10, 2006

Sometimes You Rise Above it, Sometimes You Sneak Below: My Favorite Lyrics of 2006

With A.V. Club's '06 music issue coming up, I got into a best-of-the-year frame of mind, which was odd, because I've never worked on a best-of list, and I'm pretty new to the paper and to writing about entertainment professionally. I'm still glad I got to put my piece in, because I like my job and the folks I work with. Rather than pretend to speak with some kind of authority twice over, I figured I'd just pull some of my favorite lyrics from the year's releases (no ranking, though). Here goes.

Hamell On Trial, "Hey Boss," from Songs For Parents Who Enjoy Drugs
You might wonder, what's my political affiliation,
well, I consider it to be one of extreme moderation,
I'd love to ride up Pennsylvania Ave. and see the right
with all their heads mounted on poles and I'd like 'em at the same height.
(I'm a Libra, I need that balance.)
Actually, the funniest tracks on this album are two sketches called "Maddy's," in which Ed Hamell places a delivery order to Maddy's Fascist Diner. Overall, I think this album was my favorite this year.

Alejandro Escovedo, "Sacramento And Polk," from The Boxing Mirror
I never could jump from high enough
I never could jump from high enough
I never could jump from high enough
A third-story jump ain't high enough,
It's just a mess on Market Street
(Chorus) I'm under a spell her name

Palo Alto Hotal at Sacramento and Polk
The neighbors spend their days
Washing their socks and staring out the windows
In a thorazine haze
They don't know what to do with their hands
They vaguely remember some plans
But that was so long
That was so long ago
(Chorus) I'm under a spell her name

The Thermals, "An Ear For Baby," from The Body, The Blood, The Machine
So pull out your dead roots,
pull out your best suit,
you know, the one they're gonna bury you in

Good luck getting God on the phone
good luck getting even a tone
you can trust me, it's not a test
and I won't leave you in this mess
Any questions?
You, in the back

Pernice Brothers, "Cruelty To Animals," from Live A Little
In the coming years, let's try and milk a fortune off them
I think we're qualified by now

Alouette, gentille alouette,
Head to toe so thoroughly until we're both dismembered
Alouette, gentille alouette,
Naive, yes, but none the worse, spinning glue back into horses...

Todd Snider, "The Devil You Know," from The Devil You Know
Better turn on my alarm and lock myself in
helicopters over the house again

Sometimes you rise above it
sometimes you sneak below
somewhere in between believing in heaven
and facing the devil you know

Frank Black and Reid Paley, "I'm Not Dead (I'm In Pittsburgh)," from Fast Man Raider Man

It's all just one big monkey house to me
Just living ain't the same as being free
Don't stop and think about it
It'll only make you sad
Come put me out of my misery

'Cause I'm not dead (I'm in Pittsburgh)
Where a man can lose his mind
I'm not dead (I'm in Pittsburgh)
They've got me suited up for crazy time
Hate to wank my own horn here, but my favorite bit from the interview I did with Frank Black:

AVC: Are there other musicians you'd like to work with?

FB: Do you know any nice guys? Introduce me to a nice guy, and he'll probably end up on my next record.