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TGTF Top 10: Songs with Science-y Titles

 
By on Friday, 12th October 2012 at 11:00 am
 

With the 2012 Nobel Prize winners in Medicine and Physiology, Physics and Chemistry announced this week, us here at TGTF thought it would be fitting for some discussion of the best songs that have managed to sneak science into their titles. This year’s Literature and Peace Prize winners have also been announced, but let’s face it. There are way too many tunes that would be appropriate and it’s a lot easier to get peace and love into a song, and music is just another art like literature, innit? So without further adieu…

10. Freelance Whales – ‘Enzymes’ (chemistry)
I’m not sure what this song means. “Turn into the tide / spill out your enzymes”: is that a sexual reference? Or maybe a cleansing of your soul? Not sure. Either way, they start the list with a obviously geeky song title.

9. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – ‘Twins’ (medicine / physiology)
While it would have been cool to have a song that was literally about the making of twins, this song instead is talking about how people can be perceived as twins as being peas in a pod. Which is the closest you’re going to get outside of genetics. And sheer luck.

8. Everything Everything – ‘Tin (the Manhole)’ (chemistry)
A song with a chemistry title but really about mortality (so could fit in the medicine / physiology group too).

7. Muse – ‘The Resistance’ (physics)
While it’s a stretch with “love is our resistance”, the next line “they keep us apart and they won’t stop breaking us down” actually, rather hilariously, sounds like how in biology, a receptor grabs onto its substrate: made for each other.

6. Maximo Park – ‘Our Velocity’ (physics)
“Never, never try to gauge temperature / when you tend to travel / at such speed / it’s our velocity” – it’s like a physics nerd’s love poem!

5. Tom Williams and the Boat – ‘My Bones’ (medicine / physiology)
Tom Williams effectively harnesses the feelings deep down in one’s bones, the only kind that love lost can engender.

4. The Wombats – ‘Anti-D’ (medicine / physiology)
This is the true story of lead singer Murph’s experience with anti-depressants that didn’t work. It even names citalopram, an actual anti-depressant that physically makes it impossible to cry (“the only tears come from our heads when we concentrate”).

3. Noah and the Whale – ‘Two Atoms in a Molecule’ (chemistry)
Love compared to what happens when two atoms come together to make a molecule? Yes, Charlie Fink *did* go there.

2. Mystery Jets – ‘Serotonin’ (medicine / physiology)
Named after the ‘happy’ neurotransmitter, it’s used effectively here as a way to call out a girl’s name (“Sarah…serotonin…”) and describe the way you feel like when you’re in love. Perfect, really.

1. OMD – ‘Electricity’ (physics)
The song is literally about power, or rather the wasting of it by mankind. Who knew the current flowing through Thomas Edison’s lightbulbs had it going on? And it was the ’80s, so here is a catchy as hell synth melody.

Honourable mention: Thomas Dolby – ‘She Blinded Me with Science’
It’s set in a wacky (no pun intended) mental institution. And come on, there’s an actual scientist – Magnus Pyke – in the video and adding strange interjections into the song. It doesn’t fall into any category but we’d be remiss not mentioning it on this list.

 

MP3 of the Day #679: Freelance Whales

 
By on Monday, 24th September 2012 at 10:00 am
 

Freelance Whales will be release their next album ‘Diluvia’ on Mom + Pop/Frenchkiss the 9th of October in America, and here’s a freebie related to the release. This is ‘Spitting Image’, remixed by electro act Little Daylight. Listen to and download it below.

 

Broken Records and Freelance Whales / January and February 2011 UK/Irish Tour

 
By on Thursday, 6th January 2011 at 5:15 pm
 

New York’s Freelance Whales (pictured above) will be co-headlining a short tour with Edinburgh’s Broken Records later this month. The tour starts 30 January at Edinburgh’s Liquid Rooms and concludes at Brighton’s Audio on 5 February. Tickets are available now.

For a taste of the Freelance Whales live experience, you can read Mary’s DC reviews of them supporting Cymbals Eat Guitars and headlining a show at the Black Cat, both shows last year.

Sunday 30th January 2011 – Edinburgh Liquid Rooms
Tuesday 1st February 2011 – Dublin Crawdaddy
Wednesday 2nd February 2011 – London XOYO
Thursday 3rd February 2011 – Manchester Deaf Institute
Friday 4th February 2011 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Saturday 5th February 2011 – Brighton Audio

 

Live Review: Freelance Whales with Miniature Tigers at Black Cat, Washington DC – 6th November 2010

 
By on Tuesday, 9th November 2010 at 2:00 pm
 

I don’t know what’s been going on with Washington lately but the Freelance Whales show at the Black Cat Saturday night was the second that week (after the Script on Tuesday at the 9:30) that upon reaching the venue, I was in utter shock by the queue that awaited me. The show was not sold out prior to the evening, but there were some people in the queue that commented nervously, “who knows if there’ll be any tickets by the time we reach the front”. I sincerely hope they all got in. But for sure, the Cat was packed that night, if not sold out.

Brooklyn quartet Miniature Tigers were the support. I figured they’d be indie folk/rock like Freelance Whales, with the occasional synth effect or tambourine rattle by guitarist Algernon Quashie. But I definitely was not expecting a Ruby Suns, tropical dance vibe at all (listen to ‘Goldskull’ on their MySpace and you’ll see what I mean). At one point during the song ‘Coyote Enchantment’, frontman Charlie Brand jumped down into the crowd, the red hood on his jacket over his head so that he looked like a wizard from far away. He made his way across the floor, getting bemused audience members to sing with him.

The harmonies between Brand and drummer Rick Schaier approached Byrds-like beauty at times (‘Tell It to the Volcano’) and bassist Alex Gerber added another level of sophistication with his occasional – and may I mention spot-on – whistling. Another highlight was ‘Bullfighter Jacket’, which began with a funny “yah-yah-yah” lyric that just begged for audience participation. (I’m laughing just thinking about it – watch the promo for the song below.) What fun.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxPb5C1Y9P4[/youtube]

I should have automatically assumed that if TGTF favourites Fanfarlo chose Freelance Whales to tour with them in late 2009 (before anyone in the blogosphere knew who they were), this extremely talented quintet were worth my full attention. Fast forward a year later and now they’re headlining their own big tour of North America and judging by the crowd at the Cat, people adore them here. And who wouldn’t? Though glockenspiels are a dime a dozen these days in indie folk bands, Freelance Whales are great songwriters, weaving emotive lyrics through instrumentally complex yet enjoyable to listen to music. Some songs are swirly, almost lighter-in-the-air territory (‘Hannah’ [watch video as a VOTM here], ‘Ghosting’), while others demand you to sing along (‘The Great Estates’, ‘Generator 2nd Floor’).

Whenever there’s a local mention, there is bound to be punter appreciation, as was the case of lead singer Judah Dadone’s admission that he attended local George Washington University and one of the first gigs he ever saw was at the Black Cat. “DC is like our second home, really!” he also commented, leading the university kid-heavy attendance to hoot in approval. They played several new songs including ‘Enzymes’ (which you can snag from this earlier MP3 of the Day post), bassist Doris Cellar admitting, “we’ve only been playing these songs live for 2 weeks”. To be honest, had she not mentioned anything, I wouldn’t have been able to guess this. Guitars, banjo, glockenspiel, accordion, synths, drums – it sounds like a very everything-but-the-kitchen-sink kind of approach, but for Freelance Whales, it works – and works gorgeously.

Set lists and photos after the cut.

Continue reading Live Review: Freelance Whales with Miniature Tigers at Black Cat, Washington DC – 6th November 2010

 

MP3 of the Day #254: Freelance Whales

 
By on Wednesday, 20th October 2010 at 10:00 am
 

Freelance Whales are giving away a new track, ‘Enzymes’. It starts out with militant drumming – a little different than what I expected from this eclectic folk/pop/rock band – but then synths and heavenly vocals come in and remind you it’s Freelance Whales. I really like this one, and I think you will too.

 

Video of the Moment #369: Freelance Whales

 
By on Friday, 15th October 2010 at 6:00 pm
 

I wasn’t sure where Freelance Whales were going to go with the promo video for ‘Hannah’ after the very strange one they filmed for ‘Generator Second Floor’. ‘Hannah’ the song is a gentle masterpiece and the video, directed by Ariel Danziger and Isaac Ravishankara, is a pretty cool mix of showing the band playing their varied unusual instruments (glockenspiels ahoy!). Is Hannah an apparition? Or a real woman? Is she even of this world? Watch below and find out.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/14962437[/vimeo]

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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