Looking for more words like this: "Pull apart the double helix like a wishbone."
April 22, 2006 5:31 PM   Subscribe

I really like the lyrics of Why? {mp3 1 2 3}. Based solely on the words (fave lyrics here, here and here), what poets and other writers or songwriters would I like?
posted by You Should See the Other Guy to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
And does anyone want to take a stab at interpreting: "swallow a coal"? Is that referencing something I should be picking up?
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 5:33 PM on April 22, 2006

my only guess is that it might be a reference to swallowing charcoal, which can be done to flush drugs or other toxic chemicals from someone's system (see here).

i love why?. i'm not sure who would compare with him though. he's got a pretty unique voice, both in the sonic and literary senses.
posted by cathodeheart at 6:19 PM on April 22, 2006

I think The Eels have a similar tone/theme/content of lyrics. Somewhat similar sound too, as an added bonus.

Don't know what poets/writers to suggest though. I'd have to think about that one some more.
posted by degnarra at 8:06 PM on April 22, 2006

Why? are part of the Anitcon collective, so you should check out their many releases. I like the first cloudDEAD album quite a bit and think it is similar.
posted by Falconetti at 10:00 PM on April 22, 2006

small confession: I may only be recommending my favorite lyricist.

Destroyer has endlessly self-referential and literarily-referential lyrics that are often cutting, witty, and beautiful. Perhaps not as uniquely down-to-earth as Why? but similarly fun:
"We stole a gondola to sea and ditched the chaperones on jewel-encrusted roans who called us "unprofessional."
"She wanted blood, all she got was sacrifice"
"You try to summon up the spirits live on Face the Nation
But the port authority's just taxed incantations."
and more (slightly out-of-context) examples of them at the Bejar-O-Matic.

I get caught up in the whimsical storytelling of Of Montreal. There's one track in particular--uh, "Nickee Coco and the Invisible Tree"--that's part spoken word and mezmerizing. trippy poppy tunes to boot.

From the other artists listed on that very dedicated Memorized Breaths page, I'd say Joanna Newsom is probably lyrically the closest to Why?

(I like ending declarative sentences with Why?)

PS -> looking at the AMG 'related bands' & 'see also' I'll agree strongly with cLOUDEAD (of course--why?s a member. who's a member? why? yes.) the sound is a bit more industrial/harsh-sounding, but the lyrics are his much of the time I think. maybe you already knew that, though. good music!
posted by carsonb at 10:19 PM on April 22, 2006

I also just realized that all of the singers I mentioned have somewhat similar (if only similarly unique) singing voices as Why?
posted by carsonb at 10:21 PM on April 22, 2006

Second Destroyer, Bejar is a lyrical genius.

I'm also reminded of Neutral Milk Hotel, sort of. Here are some sample lyrics.
posted by Espy Gillespie at 10:58 PM on April 22, 2006

danah boyd has a fantastic page of Ani DiFranco's lyrics; try "Adam and Eve" and "Superhero". Ani rhymes more regularly than Why? appear to, but there's a similar complexity and intelligence. Maybe Iron & Wine, a melancholy, smart songwriter, haunted by mistakes and even by happy memories. And Stephen Merritt's various projects might appeal. Also, doesn't a title like Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots beg for investigation?

For poetry, I've recommended Anne Carson in AskMe before and likely will again; she's sharper and better read and better-voiced than . . . well, just read the excerpt.

William Gibson manages edges pretty well and tonally reminds me of your wishbone-splitting simile. If you read short stories, try Burning Chrome.
posted by cgc373 at 11:16 PM on April 22, 2006

That Iron & Wine link is completely fubar. Use this instead.
posted by cgc373 at 11:20 PM on April 22, 2006

You can never go wrong with Neutral Milk Hotel. Also The Mountain Goats.
posted by ludwig_van at 1:31 PM on April 23, 2006

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