Playlist: Crocodiles Pick Ten Devastating Songs for Summer
|Photo by Alex Kacha|
Now, the shimmering, glam beauty of last year's Sleep Forever (watch the video for "Sleep Forever") shows these guys can grasp any sort of pop songwriting -- this time it's a fuzzy, dream narrative that'll still sound great overloading the speakers as it causes an uncontainable emotional swell in the chest. Carrying these songs on two sets of shoulders proved to be too much in concert, though. What used to be a stripped-down, squalling two-piece live show has grown to a full band, which includes drummer Alianna Kalaba, bassist Marco Gonzalez, and keyboardist Robin Eisenberg.
Just to get a better grasp of how the guys settled on their multilayered sound and prior to Saturday's performance at Respectable Street, New Times hit up Welchez and Rowell for a playlist of influential melodies -- with no Jesus and Mary Chain necessary here. These ten songs are all devastating, beautiful, and filled with the hypercharged human spirit coloring their own work.
1) X - "Dancing With Tears In My Eyes"
I think Leadbelly wrote this. Either way, it's a standard, there are a ton of versions. X was the first version I heard, though, and the lyrics still get me. "Dancing with tears in my eyes because the girl in my arms isn't you." I think everyone can relate to that.
2) Ivy Green - "I'm Sure We're Gonna Make It"
A Dutch punk band from the late '70s who were way ahead of their time in terms of minimalism with this track. There is so much energy and aggression in this song, which is really just one chord (a second chord makes a brief appearance but only lasts a second).
3) John Cale - "Big White Cloud"
An absolutely beautiful song. Very simple melodically and lyrically and totally perfect.
4) Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - "Deanna"
This is exactly how music should sound to me. Weird, intense, imperfect, lyrical but above all, catchy as fuck.
5) Patti Smith - "Babelogue/Rock And Roll Nigger"
Patti is one of the best and bravest lyricists of all time. She reappropriates a hateful term and turns it around to be a person of any race who understands suffering and strives to transcend the strictures of culture. The lyrics are incredible. "Outside of society, they're waiting for me/Outside of society, that's where I wanna be." In the song, she name-checks Jimi Hendrix, Jackson Pollock, Jesus Christ, and her grandmother as people who attained this special status.