Favourite Songwriter

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Author Topic: Favourite Songwriter  (Read 2613 times)

Great One

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Favourite Songwriter
« on: January 01, 2010, 10:36:11 PM »

This discussion topic is simple: who is your favourite songwriter?

My current pick would probably be Paul Simon. I really got into him as an artist last year. I had, of course, heard of him long ago, but I didn't truly emerge myself into his music, until then. I guess it is something everyone comes to naturally, and this was the year that my tastes matured to suit his brand of music?

Songs like 'I am a Rock', 'the Sound of Silence', 'For Emily, wherever I may find her' are simply brilliant.

Verses like this one:

I've built walls,
A fortress deep and mighty,
That none may penetrate.
I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain.
It's laughter and it's loving I disdain.
I am a rock,
I am an island.


Are just ones that hit deep. Love 'em.

Want to share your choices?
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Bacchus

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Re: Favourite Songwriter
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2010, 10:47:57 PM »

to me, lyrics are of very little importance when listening to music...

it's hard to pin down one fav though. Paul Simon is definitely in my list, but not quite sure how high. think it would be a tie between Tony Scalzo and Brian Wilson
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Great One

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Re: Favourite Songwriter
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2010, 11:00:22 PM »

to me, lyrics are of very little importance when listening to music...

Surprised to hear you say that, baz. I would have imagined you'd have a good appreciation of lyrics, as you're a book reader.

I guess the two don't go hand in hand, like I thought?

Also, I always find it interesting how some book readers don't take the time for poetry or graphic novels, when they're essentially just the same as prose, only in a different style form. There's a lot to be taken from both that goes overlooked. I know for myself I've cast aside poetry, in particular, with what I read, but my tastes are changing. I'd certainly expect to be reading more this year than last year.
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Bacchus

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Re: Favourite Songwriter
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2010, 11:07:05 PM »

i can definitely appreciate a good play of words. but it's hard to like a novel when the reading is crap, but it's possible to like a song when the lyrics suck. for me, as far as music goes, lyrics are of lesser importance. for me, it's the tune that keeps stuck in your head, not the lyrics
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"If nobody comes down here and buys a car in the next hour, I'm gonna club this baby seal. That's right! I'm gonna club this seal to make a better deal. You know I'll do it, too, cause I'm crazy."

- Crazy Ernie

Great One

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Re: Favourite Songwriter
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2010, 11:12:40 PM »

That is fairly true. However, lyrics can have their moments. Like I often think 'my words come back to me in shades of mediocrity', which is all Paul Simon. Just as 'words are wind' from GRRM's ASoIF series come to me often. I guess that is mostly down to my own disliking of things people say, and general discontent and jadedness. But whatever.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2010, 11:14:16 PM by Great One »
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Bacchus

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Re: Favourite Songwriter
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2010, 11:16:07 PM »

true. i can enjoy good lyrics... but my resentment comes from people who say they like Eminem or 50 Cent because they have good lyrics. apart from the fact that both mentioned often rape the english language, shouldn't you like a musician for it's music first? if you want good lyrics, read a book perhaps?
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"If nobody comes down here and buys a car in the next hour, I'm gonna club this baby seal. That's right! I'm gonna club this seal to make a better deal. You know I'll do it, too, cause I'm crazy."

- Crazy Ernie

Great One

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Re: Favourite Songwriter
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2010, 11:26:12 PM »

Aha, I would not group Eminem in with 50 Cent. The difference is, Eminem actually used to be a respected lyricist, whereas 50 Cent has always been a gimmick artist, at best. The only question marks concerning Eminem's old music is the truth of his lyrical content, which has led to messy (and no doubt, costly) family court cases. A man with mother issues, definitely. He did not hold back his punches, that's for sure. Songs like 'Cleaning out the closet' and 'Stan' are respectable lyric-wise, I think, even now.
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Bacchus

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Re: Favourite Songwriter
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2010, 11:31:32 PM »

try to avoid his music at all... everytime i hear Eminem give an interview it hurts my ears. he sounds like the biggest tool, and to be honest, he probably is a big tool. there's this great Weird Al Yankovic fake interview, which can be found on youtube for sure. i'll look it up later. it certainly proves my point
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"If nobody comes down here and buys a car in the next hour, I'm gonna club this baby seal. That's right! I'm gonna club this seal to make a better deal. You know I'll do it, too, cause I'm crazy."

- Crazy Ernie

Alrin

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Re: Favourite Songwriter
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2010, 11:58:06 PM »

In a purely lyrical sense, probably John Samson. Or maybe Elliott Smith. Both natural poets.

Musically, maybe Jackson Mould.

In combination, probably Tomas Kalnoky.

Ah, f**k it. It has to be Patton. Without a doubt. Nobody compares. Nobody even comes close.
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vega1

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Re: Favourite Songwriter
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2010, 05:11:32 PM »

Thats a tough one....

Some that come to mind that IMHO have some mad lyricist skills would include (in no specific order) Roger Waters, Niel Peart, Regina Spektor, Niel Young, and Dave Grohl.

sometimes I think it takes a collaboration to really nail it though... witness the greatness that Waters, Mason, Wright, and Gilmore achieved....

"Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you're older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time.
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over,
Thought I'd something more to say."

 :D
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Great One

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Re: Favourite Songwriter
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2010, 03:12:55 AM »

Another Paul Simon classic...



Hello darkness, my old friend,
I've come to talk with you again,
Because a vision softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was sleeping,
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence.

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone,
'Neath the halo of a street lamp,
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence.

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more.
People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence.

"Fools" said I, "You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows.
Hear my words that I might teach you,
Take my arms that I might reach you."
But my words like silent raindrops fell,
And echoed
In the wells of silence.

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made.
And the sign flashed out its warning,
In the words that it was forming.
And the sign said, the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls.
And whisper'd in the sounds of silence."



Edit: Oh yeah, surprised I didn't expand originally more in the thread initially. Another favourite of mine is Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes). I went through a bit of man crush on him last year. Haven't listened to his music of late, as much. He's a bit of a morose bastard.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2010, 03:24:15 AM by Great One »
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Bacchus

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Re: Favourite Songwriter
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2010, 01:12:45 PM »

Conor Oberst is allright. I'm especially taken by his song Big Black Nothing. could go post the lyrics of the song, but that never is a reflection of any song, so i suggest you'd listen to the tune yourself
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"If nobody comes down here and buys a car in the next hour, I'm gonna club this baby seal. That's right! I'm gonna club this seal to make a better deal. You know I'll do it, too, cause I'm crazy."

- Crazy Ernie

The Squire Of Forest Deep

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Re: Favourite Songwriter
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2010, 03:58:42 PM »

Lyrics are extremely important to me in a song. Like Baz said, you can enjoy a good song with bad lyrics, but it makes such a difference if the'yre good.

 I'd probably have to go with Bright Eyes's Conor Oberst, as well. He's ridiculous:

A good woman will pick you apart:
a box full of suggestions for your possible heart
...
You'll be free child, once you have died,
from the shackles of language and measurable time.
And then we can trade places, play musical graves
Till then walk away, walk away ...


- 'Land Locked Blues'


I also like this line from 'Four Winds':

The Bible's blind, the Torah's deaf, the Koran's mute: if you burned them all together you'd get close to the truth ...


Other than that, I'd have to say Josh Pyke:

And the house came alive in the heat
all the curtains sucked to the screens
and then they billowed back out into the hallways
It was as if our house was breathing
And the hallways creak in the stairwells
conversationally ...


- 'Our House Breathing'


and The Middle East (not sure who writes the songs there):


Grandfather, weary soul, you'll fly
over your life once more before you die
Since our grandma passed away
you've waited for forever and a day just to die
and some day soon you will die

Oh, it was the only woman you ever loved
who got burned by the sun too often when she was young
and the cancer spread and it ran into her body and her blood
and there's nothing you can do about it now ...


- 'Blood'

Of course, all of these sound better when they're sung. I remember the first couple of times I heard that last one I glossed over it, but then I took notice of that verse and how sad it is, listened to it again the whole way through while reading along with the lyrics and was almost moved to tears. So simple and beautiful. I went to a thing as a part of the Sydney Writers' Festival where Josh Pyke was discussing his lyrics, and he said the same thing about that song, which was interesting.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2010, 04:00:32 PM by The Squire Of Forest Deep »
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Alrin

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Re: Favourite Songwriter
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2010, 01:07:56 PM »

Elliott Smith - Last Call

Last call
He was sick of it all
Asleep at home
Told you off and goodbye
Well you know one day it'll come to haunt you
That you didn't tell him quite the truth
You're a crisis
You're an icicle
You're a tongueless talker
You don't care what you say
You're a jaywalker and you just, just walk away
And that's all you do
The clap of the fading-out sound of your shoes
Made him wonder who he thought that he knew
Last call
He was sick of it all
The endless stream of reminders
Made him so sick of you sick of you sick of you
Sick of your sound
Sick of you coming around
Trying to crawl under my skin
When I already shed my best defense
It comes out all around that you won
And I think I'm all done
You can switch me off safely
While I'm lying here waiting for sleep to overtake me
Yeah yeah you're still here but just check to make sure
All you aspired to do was endure
You can't ask for more ask for more
Knowing you'll never get that which you ask for
So you cast your shadow everywhere like the man in the moon
You start to drink and just want to continue
It'll all be yesteryear soon
Church bells and now I'm awake
And I guess it must be some kind of holiday
I can't seem to join in the celebration
But I'll go to the service
And I'll go to pray
And I'll sing the praises of my maker's name
Like I was as good as she made me
And I wanted her to tell me that she would never wake me
I'm lying here waiting for sleep to overtake me



John Samson - My Favourite Chords

They're tearing up streets again
They're building a new hotel
The Mayor's out killing kids to keep taxes down
and me and my anger sit folding a paper bird
letting the curtains turn to beating wings
Wish I had a socket-set to dismantle this morning
And just one pair of clean socks
And a photo of you
When you get off work tonight
meet me at the construction site
and we'll write some notes to tape to the heavy machines,
like "We hope they treat you well. Hope you don't work too hard
We hope you get to be happy sometimes"
Bring your swiss-army knife, and a bottle of something,
and I'll bring some spraypaint and a new deck of cards
Hey I found the safest place to keep all our tenderness
Keep all those bad ideas. Keep all our hope
It's here in the smallest bones, the feet and the inner-ear
It's such an enormous thing to walk and to listen
I'd like to fall asleep to the beat of you breathing
in a room near a truckstop on a highway somewhere
You are a radio. You are an open door
I am a faulty string of blue christmas lights
You swim through frequencies
You let that stranger in, as I'm blinking off and on and off again
We've got a lot of time
Or maybe we don't, but I'd like to think so, so let me pretend
These are my favourite chords
I know you like them too
When I get a new guitar, you can have this one and sing me a lullaby
Sing me the alphabet
Sing me a story I haven't heard yet
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“Where words are scarce, they are seldom spent in vain.”
  —William Shakespeare, Richard II (II, i)
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