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30 songs in (almost) 30 days: day 21

June 17, 2011

day 21 – a song that you listen to when you’re happy: Apples in Stereo: “You Said That Last Night”

I started about half a dozen versions of this post. I have a lot of happy songs. I have an entire playlist called “Happy Day.” It starts out with Loudon Wainwright III’s “It Feels So Good,” but I can’t seem to find an online source for that song.

I also considered Three Dog Night’s “Shambala” off of the same mix. It’s my favorite song to play on the guitar when I’m happy. But I think I’ve written about it recently and I think I like playing it better than I like listening to it.

(However, that album cover makes me VERY happy. Hysterical, even.)

And lately, I’ve been playing a lot of “On the 54” by the Dandelions, a Stockholm-based band. I had it on driving home from the grocery store this morning, playing loud with all the windows rolled down (my 21-year-old minivan has no air conditioning):

It appears that the Dandelions are lacking air conditioning too. How else to explain the lack of shirtage?

But then I thought of the Apples in Stereo’s “You Said That Last Night.”

The Apples in Stereo are one of my go-to bands when I need a happy soundtrack and “You Said That Last Night” is probably my favorite Apples in Stereo song. Once again, it’s less about lyrics than about sound, although the lyrics for this one are, at least, not totally depressing. There’s some hope.

Writing on the wall
I wanna say, but I can’t say it
you said it’s my fault
but today’s another day and…

You said that last night
do you feel like that today?
You said it’s all right
do you feel like that today?

Hurts my peace of mind
when we say the things we say
it makes me feel unkind
but yesterday’s another day and…

You said that last night
do you feel like that today?
You said it’s all right
do you feel like that today?

What’s the meaning of right or wrong?
Makes no sense when we get along.
What’s the meaning of wrong or right?
We’ve got our worries, we get uptight…

I like the contrapuntal texture of the instrumentals and I really like the vocal harmonies, which are sort of a throwback to the late sixties/early seventies. “You Said That Last Night” always reminds me in particular of “Never, My Love” by The Association, which was released in 1967:

Now the Apples in Stereo definitely rock harder than the Association – a love the fuzzy, slightly grungy bass and the jangly guitar sound. It’s a little bit messy and it perfectly sets off the smooth perfection of the vocals, which are clearly inspired by that California pop sound that the Association embodies. Even the lyrics are lightweight and vague, not unlike “Never My Love.” But they are a little less optimistic and those fuzzy guitars give the sugar sweet vocals a bit of modern edge. But what really makes me happy is the way the melody keeps winding in and out on itself. It sounds like an Escher print to me, an ever rising line that doesn’t actually go anywhere. And with harmonies like this, where else would you want to go?

The Apples in Stereo is probably best known for this contribution to the Powerpuff Girls, which used to air regularly on Cartoon Network:

The Powerpuff Girls make me happy too.

What music do you listen to when you’re happy?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. freshhell permalink
    June 17, 2011 9:44 pm

    On the way home tonight, I listened to the Polaris (Miracle Legion members) cd. The songs are featured on Pete and Pete, a great 90’s Nickeloden show. It makes me happy and I like to hear it when I’m happy.

  2. June 17, 2011 9:57 pm

    I saw that you’d just liked Miracle Legion on Facebook. I haven’t thought of them in years. I’m listening to them now. I’ll try Polaris. And Pete and Pete, which I have never seen.

  3. freshhell permalink
    June 18, 2011 1:13 pm

    Pete and Pete is one of the best shows ever.Only the first two seasons are available on DVD. Don’t know if they’re available on streaming yet. A third season hasn’t been released yet. Dusty loves it and it holds up really well. I think you and AJ would like it. The main characters are two brothers named Pete and Pete and have similar personalities to Dusty and Red. Polaris may only have one album – music made for the show. Great stuff.

  4. June 18, 2011 7:19 pm

    Happy – well, lots of stuff here. But a bow drawn at a venture: have you ever heard Freshlyground? Their album “Ma’Cherie” is a delight (especially the video for “Pot Belly” – so charming).

  5. June 18, 2011 8:01 pm

    Freshhell, AJ and I just watched two episodes. AJ was underwhelmed by the first one but we both loved the second one which featured cameos by Michael Stipe and Kate Pearson. Also, did I see The Magnetic Fields in the credits? Quite the musical pedigree for this show. Jill, I had not heard of them but I *loved* that song and the video. I’ll be looking for more.

  6. freshhell permalink
    June 19, 2011 9:24 am

    It’s a great show! Syd Straw is the math teacher in many of them. Suzi Roche plays a traffic cop in another episode. Iggy Pop plays Nona’s father in the second season.

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