Friday, 28 August 2009

with your hands on your head or on the trigger of your gun....

Earworms of the Week

> "My Star" - Ian Brown

Ah, King Monkey! He couldn't carry a tune in a bucket, as anyone who has had the misfortune to see him live will be amply able to confirm, but he definitely has something about him. For starters, he was in one of the best British Bands ever, and that has to stand him in pretty good stead, and whatever his voice might be like live, on record he can be just about perfect. You want proof? Look no further than "I Wanna Be Adored" or "Fool's Gold", where that mumbling, shamanic chant of a voice really comes into its own. Some of his solo stuff is pretty reasonable too. I've no idea why this is in my head, particularly, although I did see a picture of the man himself in a magazine the other day reprising his appearance in Harry Potter (in the pub on Diagon Alley, reading "A Brief History of Time" and stirring his coffee without touching the spoon). This song was on a compilation tape that a friend gave me in about 1998 that I listened to when driving a colleague to a meeting in Wellingborough. He asked me to turn in down when this came on. Make of that what you will, but I like it. Military mission to Mars? Whatever you say, Ian.

> "Knights of Cydonia" - Muse

I'm not an especially big fan of Muse, I must say. I like the idea of them, and at their best they're pretty bloody good, but I really struggle to listen my way through a whole album. All that pseudo-classical symphonic nonsense really starts to hurt my head after a while. Still, credit where credit is due, and the solo on this song is just fantastic. You need a lift when you're out running sometimes, and this track was just the ticket for me the other day when I was about halfway through a 12-mile run and feeling the burn. There's a reason this is on Guitar Hero, you know.

> "Magnificent" / "Get On Your Boots" - U2

I wasn't the least bit tempted to buy "No Line on the Horizon" when it came out, but a colleague presented me with his copy the other day when he was raving about their live show in Cardiff. I really ought to give it a listen, apparently. I got about halfway through before I took it off and put on The Clash. I should probably say now that I quite like U2. It took me a long time to be able to admit that, but they slowly wormed their way into my brain and turned a pretty fierce loathing into a grudging respect and onwards to actually buying their records and seeing them live. The problem with this, and with their last couple of albums generally, is that the standout tracks are almost completely lost amidst a whole lot of turgid, over-emoting drivel. In my opinion, anyway. And even that is lost by the chronic over-exposure of that unbearable attention seeker, Bono. I like the band and I have a fair bit of time for the causes that Bono espouses, but I'm becoming increasingly less tolerant of having him hector me and am really starting to find their heart-on-sleeve-isn't-life-beautiful plods interchangeable. They're still capable of decent stuff, but I fear that for me it's getting lost amidst everything else about brand U2.

> "Killing in the Name" - Rage Against The Machine

I was reading Tom Morrello talking the other day (on Twitter, actually) in tribute to Les Paul; he was saying how he'd used a Gibson Les Paul on a few RATM tracks, mainly as overdubs, and quite a lot when in Audioslave. This was one of the overdubbed tracks he mentioned, and as chance would have it, it popped up on my iPod this week too. Well, I'm not sure what part chance has to play in the matter when I'm running more than 20 miles a week and I've been listening to the same playlist for weeks, but anyway.... it's a brilliant song this. Swearing has rarely been used to better effect on record.

> "Bulletproof" - La Roux

I can take or leave this whole "new-80s" thing that's happening in music at the moment, to be honest. I wasn't that big on this sort of thing the first time around, and I don't really get why people who weren't born the first time around are now picking the sounds and the fashions with such enthusiasm. Still, I do like this record, so.....

> "Ruby" - Kaiser Chiefs
> "Push It" - Salt n'Pepa
> "Build Me Up Buttercup" - The Foundations

"Ruby" is the earworm that will not die. It's been years now, and it's still going strong. Still, as someone pointed out to me when they heard me moaning about it, I should worry... their daughter is called "Ruby", so they can never, ever escape. The only possible cure is to try and find an earworm more virulent. My standby on these occasions is usually that Foundations record, but this chap suggested I try a touch of Salt n'Pepa. Not bad, but the relief was only temporary, and then the universe conspired to drop first "Never Miss a Beat" and then "I Predict a Riot" into my head. I'm learning to loathe the Kaiser bloody Chiefs, I tell thee....

> "All Hell Is Breaking Loose Down At Little Kathy Wilson's Place" - Wolfsbane

Another one for Des, this. Wolfsbane were a sadly much overlooked metal band from Tamworth, probably most notable for featuring future Iron Maiden singer Blaze Bayley on vocals. I loved them. Their records always sounded like they were recorded for about 12p, but they probably were. This song is based on the 1953 B-movie, "Invaders from Mars", which I discovered one night when watching the film on telly and wondering why the plot elements seemed so familiar. The album was about 20 minutes long and I loved it to bits. It's on my iPod, but I'm almost afraid to listen to it in case it's crap*. Aw, it's probably always been crap. That was part of the charm.

*actually, it sounds okay. Just click the link.....

> "Guns of Brixton" - The Clash

I've really got into The Clash recently, and was given a whole pile of their albums by my brother-in-law - a long-standing fan - for Christmas. I've been listening to "Live from Shea Stadium" in the car all week, and when this popped up in the bontempi organ round at the LeftLion pub quiz on Wednesday night, my fate was sealed and the song stuck. Credit where credit is due, it was C. who spotted the track first and won us the point... all those years listening to it through the wall from her brother's bedroom obviously paying off. Brilliant, brilliant song. The coolest bassist ever?


And that's your lot. We've a long bank holiday weekend to look forward to here, so I'm planning to do..... nothing. Hurray! Have a good weekend, y'all. It's a long way to the Christmas holidays from here, so let's make the most of this one, eh??


1 comment:

  1. Stone Roses were one of the best Brit bands EVER, but I don't dig his solo stuff.

    I have Chameleon's songs stuck in my head this week.