Time for an explanation:

Why all the DJSelf Jeff?
You ask.
Where to start, dear reader?
I respond.

First of all; the voice.
It is so pure, and sweet. A pop voice that would be at home in any year since 1972.
He (I'm not even sure what his name is. We'll call him Mark for the sake of this blog. He sounds like a Mark, doesn't he?) sounds like he must come from California. Or maybe the Midwest. I suppose he could be a cool kid from Manhattan, or maybe Florida. All-American Mark, he is the voice of his generation! I was told once, by Glycerin I think, that he actually comes from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I don't hear any country in there. Maybe his dad teaches Statistics at Duke. That would explain the definite left brain leanings of his music.

Left Brain Leanings.
Think of Bach, Prince, Jon Brion...
That is how I think of Self. He has has a wealth of musical skill. He can play music in weird techno metal time signatures such as Lost My Senses. In this catchy ditty he rocks out in 11 beats per measure. If you want to try to count it out, just count out loud to 11, it's kinda fast, and make sure you say 10 and 11 when Mark says "I don't wanna". Normally this sort of beat would have 12 beats per measure. That would, however, make it more of what Chris would call "Sea Faring". In the wrong hands this 11 beats per measure song would sound like a kid who has listened to too many Yes records. But Mark is a pop songwriter who just happenes to have a extrordinary cranium with too many clever ideas, blowing the minds of bass players all over the land.

He is funny too!
Check out the end of Sucker from Breakfast With Girls
. He parodies the end of side one of Purple Rain. This is freaky supra talented muscian shit because Prince put that stuff down backwards. That means Mark (I just checked. His name is Matt) figured out what prince did, backwards (which is really forwards), then recorded his own tracks forward and then turned it backwards again. It amuses me to think that he is probably the only person in the history of the world to attempt so complicated a parody/tribute of this kind.
Mark loves the parody/tribute. He covers Let's Pretend We're Married and Alanis Morissette and The Doobie Brothers. And The Doobie Brothers cover is two-fold hilarious because it was recorded on toy instruments. All of Gizmodery was. This inside baseball fact fascinated me for the first 27 times I listened to the record. I was always trying to catch snippets of Speak 'N Spell and toy pianos. Eventually I realized that Mark greatest talent was his song writing. He has a prodigy's gift for music making but he has the even rarer gift of being a pop melodist.


Blogger glycerin said...

Thank GOD somebody is as obsessed with Self as I am. I constantly have to explain who he is to everyone anytime he comes up.

In Sucker he references another song of his by singing the lyric "better off dead." which song is from? Canon, I think.

I feel foolish that I didn't realize he was referencing Purple Rain at the end of this song.

I saw them/him live once in Austin during SXSW in which he played in a tent on a grass field somewhere near the club formerly known as Electric Lounge. I was in the front row, headbanging with all the 14 year old boys.

I spoke with him briefly after the show, shook his hand and told him how great he was, etc. He had a limp handshake, which pissed me off, but the really weird thing was that it didn't seem like he believed me about liking the band. If he only freaking KNEW.

If I had a nickel for every time I've sung Lost My Senses at the top of my lungs - or for how many times I've worked out to that song and tried to sync my running movement (or treadmill now, thanks Mr. Knee surgery) to that song, I would own a convertible mini cooper. A sweet one. I have actally played the drum fill very loudly with my hands on the treadmill's handles on several occassions.... after singing "all gone to waste, all gone to waste, all gone to waste" - see if you can hit the downbeat after 11, see if can, motherfuckers, yeah!

and you know what? That's right.... I don't know what the song is about. Nope, don't really know the lyrical content of the song. I'm way to busy listening to the production. Cause that dude can lay that shit down.

yee? haw.

1:10 AM  
Blogger black b said...

self is the ultimate running music. word UP on that. and on everything yous guys so eloquently put down here on the hallowed pages of rahn rahn.

gizmodery is also a great record to strut to. try it.

and you didn't even mention the =weezer= parody/tribute in the bridge of 'titanic' [titaaaanic! a big big boat!] set to the melody of 'the world has turned and left me here'. good stuff.

12:57 PM  
Blogger jEFF said...

And Titantic is a tribute/parody of Gigantic by the Pixies!
We are probably missing many other examples.

4:55 PM  

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