This week’s virile playlist is dominated by male artists and vocals. In contrast to one packed with feisty femmes that I would put together for V-day or Lilith Fair, this is the type of playlist I might put together for Prostate Cancer Awareness month.---
Bands are often categorized and described by comparison to other groups because it’s an easy and vivid way to paint a portrait of a sound. Reaching for a comparison is usually the first place I go when I’m talking to someone who hasn’t heard of a band I’ve got on repeat in my head, on my computer and on my ipod. But instead of treating this week’s post as a play-by-play comparison of these manly bands to women I would consider to be their female doppelgangers, which was my first instinct, I decided to go in a different direction.
I’ve group these songs in twos, comparing their treatment of the same topic. So, as foodies group together wine and cheese because of the subtle notes found in their flavors, I’ve paired together songs that explore similar ideas in very different ways.
The first couple of songs muse over companionship. Peter Breinholt’s "Grow Old With Me" is an ultra-traditional ballad all about the joys of matrimony and the union of man and wife under the blessing of God. I think Breinhold was either in the honeymoon stages with whomever he was writing about, or he has already grown old and forgotten about the less delightful moments of cohabitation like spats over laundry, what you accidentally say and do when you’ve had too much to drink and the frustration of sleeping next to someone who hits the snooze button for an hour. "Jump Into the Fire" by The Wombats is what you might sing to someone after you’ve had enough of the former and you’re just looking for someone to share a night of numbness.
Aside from companionship, religion is another universal subject of reflection, and that is exactly what Mason Jennings and local musician Ryan Innes have written tributes to, but with widely disparate scopes. Jennings’ all encompassing “I love you and Buddha too,” is an all-out tribute to the big guy upstairs and all religious manifestations of him, while Innes’ “Courage to Stand Strong,” is about the challenges of being a good Christian and keeping your monotheistic love in check.
And lastly, something everyone wants -- victory, success, accomplishment -- is explored instrumentally in Grammatik’s stand-up song, “Victory.” And the failure to conquer and reach victory is tenderly seen in the Brian Jonestown Massacre’s “Straight Up and Down.” I think my interpretation of “Straight Up and Down,” is a little subjective, but lyrics like “I've made disappointment my very best friend,” say failure to me.
I think this playlist has a health spattering of victory, and it's opposing "up and down." Happy listening!
Music Live this Week
The State Room, 638 S. State, 9 p.m., $25; also on May 5
Peter Breinholt, Ryan Innes
Provo Town Square parking terrace rooftop, 100 N. 100 West, 8 p.m., free
The Wombats w/ Static Jacks and Flagship
Kilby Court, 741 S. Kilby Court (330 West), 7 p.m., $13 in advance, $15 day of show
The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9 p.m., $15
The Blue Angel Lounge at The Urban Lounge, 9 p.m., $17 in advance, $20 day of show