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Perfectly Happy

I’ve written here about a movie and music experiences that have disappointed me. I’ll do it again, because it helps me understand where the artist/audience contract broke down. I don’t want to repeat the mistakes myself. However, when something makes me really happy, I want to share that, too.

I’ve picked up two albums in the last couple of months that just keep making me happier. (Really, I downloaded them off iTunes, but at least I didn’t call them records.) The first is The Killers’ Sam’s Town, which I wasn’t too sure about the first time I heard it. It isn’t quite like anything else I’ve heard. Every time I think I know where it’s going, it doesn’t. But the more I listen to it and take it on it’s own terms, the more I love it, because that unexpected choice is always right. I liked their first big album, but this blows that out of the water. If you like your music instantly accessible, this isn’t for you. If you like things a bit more complicated, give it a try–or two or three.

My most recent acquisition is Cat Empire’s Two Shoes. It’s a…uh…well, it…. Okay, look; it combines ska, hip hop, Cuban funk, and Aussie punk attitude–generally all in the same song. I was listening this morning on the way to work, and I just grinned like an idiot. The scratching and the trumpet combined soooo beautifully. It was all wrong and completely right. This one you’ll have to listen to on your own to decide whether you’ll love it or be driven insane by it. But by all means, listen.

If you like it, I recommend Madness’s “Swan Lake,” Royal Crown Revue’s “Barflys on the Beach,” and the Insane Clown Posse cover of “Let’s Go All the Way.” No, really. And if you think all this means I like weird music…oh, yeah.