dtunes Editor’s Week, day 5: Matthew Razak

[dTunes is a community organized blog showcasing the musical tastes of Destructoid’s users. For two weeks, the editorial team is commandeering the series because, hey, we like music too. To further expand your horizons, make sure to check out the dTunes blog.]

Hi! Don’t worry it’s not the weekend yet. You didn’t just waste your entire Saturday at work. Nick was kind enough to let me out of my cage a few hours early so that I could share with you my favorite music much like Conrad, Topher, R3Y and Brad already have. If you haven’t checked out their posts yet you really should as it turns out us editors have really good taste in music.

Well, the other guys do. I admittedly have terrible taste in music. See I’m simple and easily distracted by anything that’s poppy and catchy. I’m not talking good pop either. I’ve caught myself enjoying Miley Cyrus’s Party in the U.S.A. on multiple occasions. It’s catchy! Don’t look at me like that. I’m already ashamed enough as it is. Seriously, if my radio isn’t on NPR then it’s on one of DC’s three top 40 stations. I feel like there is a major contradiction in that sentence, but whatever.

Despite being hopelessly addicted to catchy hooks from over-produced pop stars I think I have a few bands/musicians here that I hope I can interest you in. Most of them you’ve probably heard of here or there since the last time I tried to go underground with my music taste was when I buried a toy drum in the backyard at the age of five. And with that ridiculously bad joke I beg you to hit the jump.

Get Over It – OK Go

Remember when I said I was simple and fell hard for catchy hooks. Well OK Go is the king of catchy hooks so I’m addicted to them. You most likely know of them from the music video for Here It Goes Again. You know the one with the treadmills and the ridiculously catchy song. I find most people didn’t take the time to do much else than watch that video, but most of their songs are that catchy and entertaining. Get Over It is the “big” single from their first album and probably one of my favorite songs of theirs. Every song they put out just has a great hook that sucks you in, even the slower ones. Considering their next single is going to be on the soundtrack of New Moon I’m prepping for either a fall from greatness or a meteoric rise to pop rock stardom.

Mika – Grace Kelly

Mika is probably my favorite male vocalist out there right now. To put it simply, the man rocks. He’s got the voice of Freddy Mercury, which he clearly knows, with a rock and roll sensibility that is hard to find with anyone else. His albums (the second one just came out) are some of the most uniquely enjoyable things out there right now. It’s impossible not to tap your toe to most of his songs and they also should spread a massive smile across your face. His lyrics and beats are usually happy and upbeat and entirely refreshing. Plus, he can wail like none other. I’m pretty sure I listened to Grace Kelly and the rest of its accompanying album on loop for about a month. You should also check out Lollipop.

Come By Me – Harry Connick Jr. 

The man brought back big band music. No matter how briefly it was for, Harry Connick Jr. has my eternal praise for that. A lot of times I think I should have been born in the 1920s. I love big band music, swinging jazz and if I could dress like they did back then without bankrupting myself on nice suits I would. Connick also happens to be an immensely talented musician in a plethora of other areas as well, and one of the few remaining well known crooners. People also say I look like him, so I’m even more inclined to like him. 

The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side – The Magnetic Fields

Ugggg, selecting one song off of The Magnetic Fields’ epic 69 Love Songs, a three disc compilation of 69 love songs by the band, was probably the hardest thing to do on this list. Not only are almost all 69 songs fantastic, but they encompass almost every style of music you could imagine. 69 Love Songs isn’t an album about love, but an album about love songs and so it meanders its way through every genre imaginable. Sometimes in a mocking tone, sometimes in praise and sometimes just being downright funny. The plethora of pop culture references (Busby Berkley Dreams!) don’t hurt it much either. To tell the truth I haven’t listened to much other Magnetic Fields outside of this album, but I figure with 69 songs I’m doing OK. 

Yo Yo Ma – Prelude, Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1

So I’m not sure if I should give credit here to Bach or Yo Yo Ma, but my guess is its a combination of two geniuses working together. Yo Yo Ma can do things with a cello that have literally moved me to tears. Close your eyes and listen to this piece. Maybe it’s just me, but it literally reaches down and rips into me emotionally. I think classical music has that power over modern music. There’s something about the many layers of a classical piece that can’t be produced by any form of modern music, and it simply makes you feel it more. I probably sound like I’m 90 years old now and raving about the young kids and their hibbity hop and rockity roll, but if you haven’t listened to classical music recently put some on the next time your working or just bored.

I apologize for the quality of the video, but it was the only one I could find of this piece and I love this piece. Try to ignore the asshole talking at the end. 

PUSA – Some Post Man

The Presidents of the United States of America use to be my favorite band ever. I think at some point I sort of out grew them. It also didn’t help that they broke up. However, they’re back together now, and while their new music is far from my favorite across the board some of their songs remind me of why I liked them so much back in middle school. Also, this music video is f-ing awesome. It’s shot almost completely on cell phones, which is totally epic. I think what I really like about PUSA is that they always seem like they’re just having fun. They don’t take their music too seriously, they just rock.

Irish Drinking Song – Dropkick Murphys

Rocking out is something that I do. I mean full, unbridled head banging, horns in the air, jumping around my room rocking out. If you’re drinking and rocking out there is no better song than this. I once headbanged so hard to this while drinking that I woke up the next day and couldn’t move my neck it was so sore. One time I tried to actually do as the song says, but unfortunately I’m not Irish so I only got to drink and drink and drink and drink before passing out. No fight and no pretty girl.

Upside Down – Jack Johnson

If I could be someone else (not that I want to be, I’m doing pretty good with what I got) I’d want to be Jack Johnson. Not only is he an awesome documentary filmmaker, but he’s also a successful musician. As I’m putting this list together I’m noticing that I really dig musicians whose music is pretty upbeat and gets you smiling or moving and a lot of Jack Johnson’s stuff does this. Upside Down is off of the the Curious George soundtrack so it also reminds me of monkeys, which is always a good thing. Man, I’ve got to stop being so cheerful. Let me find something depressing. 

Bridge and Tunnel – The Honorary Title

The Honorary Title are relentlessly depressing. This might be their most upbeat song and it’s not that upbeat at all. Despite the depressing themes of their music it’s still relentlessly catchy, which, if you couldn’t tell, is something that I like. I don’t follow them as well as I should, but whenever I’m in a bad mood and want to hear some depressing music I put them on.

Why do people always put sad music on when they’re sad? Doesn’t it just make you more depressed? Misery loves company I suppose.

Jailhouse Rock – Elvis

I was raised on oldies. Literally. I don’t think I knew popular music until some time in middle school. I only got into 80s music when it became cool again (though I do really, really love the 80s). Thus Elvis was my God. So were The Beatles, but I had to make a decision here and Elvis seemed less cliche. Sure he stole all his music from black singers and songwriters, and sure he got old, fat and addicted to drugs, but the man was still the King. I’m often surprised by the amount of people who have never listened to an Elvis song on their own. Yes, he pops up everywhere in movies and the like, but most people don’t listen to him anymore otherwise. Try it out. Full warning: there’s a lot of hip gyrating in that video up there. Raised some controversy back in the day.

The Sweater Song – Weezer

Weezer is my favorite band so I didn’t want to leave them off this list, but I have another motive behind posting The Sweater Song in particular. This song is the perfect leaving song. Put it on right before you leave anywhere and listen to it all the way through to the last chord. Once you’ve done so you’ll be in the prefect mood to leave any place and heat out into the night. Things will seem right with the world. I’m not sure what it is about this song, but it is truly the greatest leaving song ever made. I can’t embed the album version because the record companies are are anal about not embedding, but I suggest using that version for all leaving purposes. You can find it here.

Well, that’s it for me. To be honest I thought this was going to be a lot harder before I wrote it up. Once I got going though all these great songs kept popping up. This has been some of the most fun I’ve had writing in a while, and there are like 50 more songs I want to share. I didn’t even get into the 80s or current songs. Oh well, maybe next time.

Stayed tuned for Monday when Joseph will be rocking your world with his musical stylings.

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Matthew Razak
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