Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Historical Songaday: Day 30 (The The - Naked Self)

DAY THIRTY: THE THE - NAKED SELF(Boiling Point, Shrunken Man, The Whisperers, Soul Catcher, Global Eyes, December Sunlight, Swine Fever, Diesel Breeze, Weather Belle, Voidy Numbness, Phantom Walls, Salt Water)
Surprise, it's NOT electronica! This is a little incongruous with my standard taste, but The The and this album have repeatedly topped my favorites list. I have passing obsessions with a song or a band, but when it gets down to it, I always return to The The and Naked Self. Boiling Point is the first song on the album, and it builds up slowly at first, working you into the album in the same way that Salt Water winds you out, starting at manic pace and easing you out. Every piece is an amazing song to me, though some more than others.
The The has a bit of trouble in its history. It started in the 80s, with Matt Johnson. Matt Johnson is the band's creator and first member, and the only member to remain throughout the history of The The. His first album was a solo album titled Burning Blue Soul(technically though, it's a duo of him and Keith Laws), and it is only sometimes accredited to The The, though it is always known as Matt Johnson's. His next album was made with a good size cast of guest characters, though no one I know other than Matt Johnson. This second album was Soul Mining, and is classed as synth-noir actually. It still features Johnson's wonderful wonderful voice and lyrics though, so it's all good. My dad thinks Soul Mining is The The's best album(followed closely by Infected). Despite the guests, it remains a solo album. Third was Infected, the only album I have not had the pleasure of hearing. It's supposed to be wonderful. The fourth was Mind Bomb, my least favorite of his albums, which he does with a full band. Actually, I lied a minute ago, I haven't heard Solitude either, but that album was a North American release of a song(Solitude) and an EP of remixes.
Then came Dusk. Dusk is my second-favorite of The The's albums, though not my second-favorite album overall. It has a darker tone, and some different country elements creep in. One of his songs here, Love Is Stronger Than Death, was written soon after the death of one of his brothers. This is a good point to mention that another of his brothers, Andy Dog Johnson, did all the album arts up through Dusk. They're pretty weird, and one in particular was very controversial(it was a Infected's cover, and it featured a devil masturbating).
After Dusk was Hanky Panky, which was a tribute album made entirely of Hank Williams cover tunes. It was done with a different band than Mind Bomb and Dusk, except for Matt Johnson of course. It's alright.
And then came Naked Self. Made with a different band than Hanky Panky, it is, in my opinion, the peak of his talent. Unfortunately, it is also the last of The The's albums. Matt Johnson continues to maintain The The(releasing a best hits album a couple years ago) alone, and has done a number of movie soundtracks, though both are without his vocals and don't at all match the amazingness he's expressed in the past. "Tony" and "Moonbug" are notable soundtracks of his.
His most famous song is "This Is The Day." It comes from Soul Mining, and has remained his most known song. It was featured in an M&M commercial last year.
Day 30 was given a special directive in the original Songaday concept: it was to be our favorite. Well, The The is my favorite, and NakedSelf is my favorite album. It's a very significant album to me, and is personally significant - the album helped me through a pretty formative part of my life. I'm always willing to talk about this guy ;) .
This was actually the album that I sent to Andy Kitkowski as my part of the Story Games Secret Santa in December.

Naked Self's Tracklist:
Boiling Point: Embeded above.
Shrunken Man: (one of my favorites)
The Whisperers:
Soul Catcher: (this is a live recording I didn't know existed, because the original isn't uploaded on Youtube - if you can, I recommend finding the original).
Global Eyes: (live recording, poor quality)
December Sunlight: (the 45 RPM version - that's his singles album. It's still good, but I far prefer the original and if you can find a good way to listen to it, DO)
Swine Fever: (live recording, not great - first half of the video is Swine Fever, back half is Phantom Walls)
Diesel Breeze: This song has NO videos anywhere of any kind and it is a damn shame.
Weather Belle: Also no videos >:(
Voidy Numbness:
Phantom Walls: (live recording, not great - first half of the video is Swine Fever, back half is Phantom Walls)
Salt Water: No videos.

But seriously. Go buy the album, and every other The The album you can find. I love him.

I don't know what tomorrow holds for Songaday. It could be nothing, or I might write something new. I'm done with J-Term now, so I've got a week off of schoolwork.
End Recording,

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