Friday, October 30, 2009

Ghosts and Zombies: Ghost (x4)

We've had two songs simply named Zombie this week. Seemed high time to give some similarly stark, soundalike spirit-world song titles a spin. Thus: some favorite songs named, simply, Ghost.

Neutral Milk Hotel: Ghost


Lo-fi indie darlings Neutral Milk Hotel lasted less than a decade, but their envelope-pushing combination of odd lyrics, noodling electric production, and eclectic instrumentation are still cited by many children of the nineties now pushing their own indie blogs, and even more working to spread their own indie band names across the blogosphere. With catchy fuzzed out songs like this, it's easy to see why.

Mark Erelli: Ghost


Erelli's star never rose as high as it did immediately following the release of Compass and Companion, a slightly countrified contemporary folk disk which led me to the local folk artist. Since then, I've seen him several times in concert, and reviewed his work more than once, but I still come back to this and other tracks from his earlier years. That raspy, adolescent's tenor never sounded more apropos as it does here, as a narrator haunted by his preference for the ideal over the real.

Indigo Girls: Ghost


One of my favorite Indigo Girls songs, from my favorite Indigo Girls album - sweeter than their usual fare, and out of the context the album provides, almost too melodramatic for unembarrassed mixed company. Still, it starts so tender, and rises so far and so majestically, it's hard not to sing along.

Land of Talk: Ghost


A ghost just needs a home... A bit more recent than our usual fare here on Star Maker Machine, but I couldn't resist this intimate, unplugged take on indierock trio Land of Talk's Ghost, if only because where so many ghost songs use the spirit as unobtainable object of affection, here, a rare reversal puts the ghost in first person. I know what it's like to be unseen, to feel adrift and out of place in the mortal world; I suspect we all do.

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