Sufjan Stevens - "Vesuvius"
Sufjan Stevens? More like Paul Stevens. And by Paul I mean Paul Simon. Specifically I mean Simon's 1972 self-titled album, from which Stevens certainly stole some sounds for this ditty, which is so good it'll have you on the ground -- petrified, ash-covered -- in no time. Makes sense, as Stevens has said that Simon's "The Sound of Silence" inspired his "All Delighted People" EP, precursor and close musical cousin to this "Age of Adz" LP.
I've actually seen Paul Simon before, back in his heyday, during his fall tour for that very same self-titled album in '72. He was at a Duane Reade in midtown -- suspect this was during break from his rehearsals for his show at the Garden later that night -- and we bumped into each other in the deodorant aisle. I noticed that he had opted for unscented, and to this very day I regret not having asked him why he didn't use scented, which, call me old-fashioned, just makes more scent.
Twin Sister isn't from the five boroughs, but they're from Long Island, which I'm told is the seventh one behind Philly. So they count. And count... and count... the time signature or beats -- whatever -- quite a bit, as this frownies thing they're doing is grooving. You can just picture the band playing this song and grooving like maniacs, shimmying or however it's done, doubtlessly breaking into a bit of a sweat.
Frank (just Frank) - "Collapse"
Well I guess this is the tri-state edition of New York Sexy Songs, because Frank hails from New Jersey. The other band person, whose name I will assume is also Frank, is from Sweden or one of the Scandinavias -- something like that. Now I think they're based in Paris? No matter. They're straight-up NYC (by way of NJ) at heart. And let me explain in precise terms why that is. First though, back to the Paul Simon thing for a second: I mean, who does this guy think he is walking around unscented? If I'm standing in a really packed space, queued up or whatever, and there's a guy standing next to me wearing unscented deodorant, the chances are definitely higher that he'd emit odor than someone with the good sense and, frankly, compassion to go for scented. And I could care less if that guy happened to have been part of a extremely successful singer-songwriter duo known for its close vocal harmonies who also went on to have a long (and, may I say, simply magical) solo career as well. If you stink you stink, thirteen grammies ain't covering up nothin'.
Sharon Van Etten - "Don't Do It"
It's just selfish -- that's the only word for it. Why else? Why? What would explain the thought process of someone who can't see the appeal in a nice lavender, or even apricot, scent. Yes, Paul, they make those scents these days. They're called Tom's of Maine, and they're f-ing fantastic.