As opposed to our favorite songs, or songs we'd like to think define our listening habits, taking a look at what a person actually listens to can be far more revealing. With that in mind, every Wednesday we ask an artist to take a look at the most-played songs in their iTunes libraries and share with us the results. We do this on the honor system, and we ask our subjects to share a few words about each song.
P. Nick Curran
Boston-based rock crew Mean Creek are well loved in their native Bean Town--the group was recently named "Best Boston Band" by the readers of The Boston Phoenix for the second year in a row--but have yet to create as much of a splash out our way. A West Coast run and tour dates with the Counting Crows sure couldn't hurt the pop-rock four-piece, and the band's new single, "Sunlight," from their John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr., Kurt Vile) produced EP Hemophiliac rocks a buoyant melody and a driving beat that delivers solid pop perfection.
Mean Creek opens for the Counting Crows at the Showbox Sodo this Friday (4/13) and the show is sold-out. If you didn't get a ticket, here's the next best thing: this week's iTunes Questionnaire, a sneak peak at the influences and inner-workings of this up-and-coming band, as viewed through bassist Erik Wormwood and drummer Mikey Holland's top five most played songs. Enjoy the cuts!
Erik Wormwood, bass:
"What Is Life," George Harrison: This song makes me feel elated when I hear it. It has that R&B feeling to the rhythm and one of my all time favorite vocal melodies in the chorus. I still get tingles when I listen to it at times.
"The Birth and Death of the Day," Explosions in the Sky: I first heard of this band after reading a David Fricke review of The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place. I remember it was one of those rare times that reading a review of a piece of music TOTALLY motivated me to rush out and buy a record. There is such a lush, cinematic, and otherworldly character to the sonics and the melodies that is totally amazing. I reference this band a lot when Mean Creek tries to write sections that should sound epic and huge.
"The Ballad of El Goodo," Big Star: I totally dig the triumphant nature of this song. It pumps me up. Our soon-to-be tour mates, Counting Crows, have done a killer cover of this song as well!
"I Feel It All," Feist: I remember seeing this video in a hotel room in the middle of nowhere with Mikey [Holland] while we were on tour with our old band. Aside from being one of the coolest videos I have ever seen, I totally fell in love with this song. The title is also a good description of Mikey, my musical brother.
"March of the Fire Ants," Mastodon: I am a sucker for a big riff. This song is sweet and it pumps me up. Growing up in Maine I definitely had a steady diet of thrash-y metal (Metallica, Iron Maiden, etc.) and this love of heavy definitely sticks with me today. I also love the rhythmic aspect of a riff; the way every instrument kind of coalesces together in a super heavy way.
Mikey Holland, drums:
"Badlands," Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band: This song captivated me the first time I ever heard it. I grew up in a city that felt very claustrophobic and hopeless. The words to this song just hit me in the gut and sent me running. The passion and conviction in his voice has always brought me back to that town no matter where I am.
"The End's Not Near," The New Year: I've always been a huge Bedhead fan. It was natural progression for me to love The New Year. They always have interesting lyrics and melodies but this song seems to come out of nowhere. The piano and the guitar notes combined give this beautiful mysterious vibe. I've always been very much in love with the way this song makes me feel.
"Abel," The National: This song gets me every time. They use one of the oldest tricks in the book: Start with the chorus and rope them in. This song is ALWAYS played on repeat.
"Best Night," The War On Drugs: I truly love this band. Everything song on this record makes me feel like I'm locked in a dream. There is this beautiful ambiance that floats through this entire record. But this particular song has such a great lushness to it. There are all these tiny influences that shine on this song but yet they all come across very fresh and new. This is one of my favorite records in the last few years. The name The War On Drugs was thrown around a lot during the making of our new record "Youth Companion."
"Unsatisfied," The Replacements: This song set me free. There is not much more to say than that. To this day I still can't shake how this song makes me feel.