The Rich Girls Are Weeping

16 December 2005

Ok, so I lied. We're back this morning with more goodness. Which is good, really, because today's lead track is something I found earlier today, right after I woke up extra early to schlep into work for a loathsome meeting.

I came to Stars via a good friend who always seems to tip me off to things I really, really love or really, really hate. It's interesting seeing where our tastes diverge and meet up again. In the case of Stars, we're both suckers for boy/girl vocals and semi-swirly and complex pop songs, and the band delivers on both fronts. Unfortunately, I've never seen the band live -- I caught a sliver of a day party set at SXSW this year, but missed the two sold out shows they played with Death Cab for Cutie this fall. I imagine that tour gave them gobs more exposure, which couldn't be more wonderful in my book. The track below is a pretty straightforward cover of "Fairytale of New York," originally done by The Pogues with
Kirsty MacColl, but the swirling strings and mellow saxes added to the brass section smooth out the song's rough edges. (It's one of my favorite Christmas songs, btw, which I think makes me kind of morbid. It's right up there with Tom Waits' "Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis.") Anyway, this song is the b-side to Stars' single release of "Your Ex-Lover is Dead," taken from their wonderful 2005 release, Set Yourself on Fire. (available at Rough Trade.)

Stars - Fairytale of New York (follow link to download)

Here's the thing about Tilly and the Wall. Generally, they're kind of too precious for my tastes, what with the tap dancing percussionist and heartbreaking little songs and all. But this track (and the hidden one after the silence...), which closes out their 2004 album
Wild Like Children, is kind of amazing and epic, but it's the hidden track (after about several minutes of silence and then random studio noise, wait for it!) that really slays me. It's one of those songs where as you listen, you're pretty sure you know exactly the kind of person the song might be about. It's almost too intimate and raw and open, almost like you're trespassing on the memory. (Why did you have to get up and put your coat on?) I find that I always want to put one or both of these songs on a mix cd, but splitting the songs up, (or subjecting someone to several minutes of silence) just seems wrong. You'll see what I mean -- and sorry for the size of the download! (Available from Insound.)

Tilly and the Wall - Ice Storm, Big Gust, and You (+ hidden track) (follow link to download)


Blogger JOE GILLIS said...

Whoa! Anyway you can re-post the Stars' version of Fairytale of New York. The Stars have been a recent fave of mine, and that song is perhaps my favorite X-mas tune as well. (Found you by way of Largehearted; glad I did). Happy new year.

Sunday, December 25, 2005 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger cindy hotpoint said...

Sorry it took me so long, but I've reposted all the songs from the early entries. Enjoy!

Friday, December 30, 2005 11:57:00 AM  

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