tremble clef

Monday, September 25, 2006

Peter Bjorn and John, "Chills" (2006)

When I first heard of Peter Bjorn and John, I thought they were a duo. And immediately, I felt bad for "John," because he, unlike "Peter Bjorn," didn't get to have his middle or last name be part of the band moniker, and that didn't seem fair to me. Well, unless that was because his next name was something embarrassing like "Quentin," or "Cosmo." And then I was reminded of a teacher I once had; his name was Keith, and we loved, respected, but also slightly feared him, until the day we found out his middle name was "Vivian." Um, wait, what was I talking about? Oh, yeah, "Peter Bjorn and John." Who are, in point of fact, three people. I'm guessing they also eat shoots and leaves.

Although the Swedish band have been around for about six years, they are only now attaining their highest profile with the song "Young Folks" (it's all over the "blogosphere"). I quite like the track, although I also find it too distracting to listen to. Saturday Night Live once had a recurring skit, called either "Christmas Is Number One" or "A Christmas Treat" -- I feel like maybe three other people remember it aside from me, and Youtube doesn't have a clip. But it usually consisted of Horatio Sanz, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan, and Tracy Morgan, singing a hilariously dorky little Christmas song, but at various incongruous times of the year. Most memorably, the song featured an intentionally dinky little synth riff, and that riff to my ears sounds exactly like the whistling part in "Young Folks."

"Chills" is not, melody-wise, as annoyingly catchy as "Young Folks," but great in its own way, and at least devoid of strange associations. The drumming is fantastic, and most of all, I love it because it has a great ssh-ssh-ssh-ssh-ssh! sound in the background. (Marimba? Ay caramba? Maracas. That's the word I'm looking for.) He sings about getting the chills, but the maracas make me think he's really getting the shits. So, as I said, no bizarre associations here.


  • It's not maracas, but I can't think of what it is. And I agree that the pronunciation of "chills" as something closer to "shills" does lead to weird associations -- as if the narrator is taking revenge on a date for insisting on going to a bad Mexican restaurant.

    By Anonymous esque, at 8:29 PM  

  • Salt shakers? No?

    I like that narrative -- Basement Jaxx should have incorporated that storyline into "Hush Boy."

    By Blogger Brittle, at 11:52 AM  

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