Thursday, June 4, 2009

Songs for Clouds and a 70% Chance of Showers

There are people who carry one of those tiny umbrellas in their bag at all times. There are other people who are responsible enough to check the weather in the morning before they leave the house. And then, of course, there are those of us that roll out of bed and into our shoes and stumble out the door only to realize we're destined to be precipitated upon until we get home again that night. These are songs for people resigned to damp hoodies, water dripping off their noses, wet socks, pruny fingers, hair re-drying in wacky configurations, unlightable smokes, and unbidden, meteorologically-affected melancholy.

Songs for Clouds and a 70% Chance of Showers
(Complete mixtape available on

1. Songs: Ohia - Hold On Magnolia
2. A.A. Bondy - Black Rain, Black Rain
Kai says: When it comes to songs about rain, I like things that are either really obvious, or ones that make me feel like I'm sitting on a porch in the South. These manage to be both.

3. Nina Nastasia - Stormy Weather
Kai says: This is just a little song where Nina goes back and forth about being afraid of the bad weather. It's simple, but I like it.

4. Vashti Bunyan - Against the Sky
Kathy says: Rain is one of my excuses to break out the folk. I'm not sure what it is about precipitation that makes an acoustic guitar sound better, but at the first droplets on my glasses I'm itching to kumbaya. Weirdo Vashti Bunyan is about as hippieward as I'm willing to go, but I love this song.

5. Nada Surf - Blonde on Blonde
Kai says: Rain is different when you live in different places, but this is the perfect song to listen to on repeat when it's raining and you're living in the city.

6. Blitzen Trapper - Lady on the Water
Kathy says: Another quasi-southern folk ditty, but this one's a little stranger, which is nice. Their rain's in a bottle. And possessed by a magic lady in a pond. Which is better than collecting in my boots.

7. Asobi Seksu - Lions and Tigers
Kathy says: In an effort to not make everything on my half of the tape so acoustic and patchouli-scented, here's this. There's something equally cloudy about shoegazey numbers like this one. I don't even know what the hell it's supposed to be about or why they call it Lions and Tigers, but they mention tears and rain and it's stirring while simultaneously seeming like it could be in the background of teen drama. Total rainy day win.

8. Fastball - Fire Escape
Kai says: My absolutely necessary 90s throwback choice. "I'll be the rain falling on your fire escape." It works.

9. Neko Case - Buckets of Rain
Kai says: Another southern porch choice, but the "buckets of rain, buckets of tears" part is too good to pass up.

10. The Ronettes - Walking in the Rain
11. The Temptations - I Wish It Would Rain
Kathy says: I love these two songs next to each other, and at the end. No one gets a gray day induced funk like these guys and girls, but they come at it from opposite perspectives. Roni Spector's all "..I'll be certain he's my guy by the things he'll like to walking in the rain." She's looking for a partner in soggy romance. The Temptations, on the other hand, are all "I need rain to disguise the tears in my eyes." Because sometimes, the rain alone is your bro.

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