Earworms of the Week
“West End Girls” – Pet Shop Boys
I grew up with the Pet Shop Boys. I have very fond memories of sitting in my pyjamas in front of Top of the Pops performing various hits, of which this one was probably the first... hitting the number one slot early in 1986. I can’t say that I’ve followed their career rigorously, but I have dipped in and out on several occasions over the years, be that listening to “I Wouldn’t Normally Do This Kind of Thing” in my shared house in Leamington Spa as a second year undergraduate (I bought the CD single), or heading down to watch them perform at the BBC Radio Theatre around about 2002, around about the time of “Home and Dry”. LB won us the tickets for that one on Radio 2, if I remember correctly. I have a lot of their stuff on my iPod, and they’re one of those bands, that whenever I hear them somewhere, I remember how good they actually are. Their Imperial Phase is kind of hard to top though, eh?
“Orange Crush” – R.E.M.
It’s usually pretty hard to tell from Michael Stype’s famously elliptical lyrics, but seem to remember that this one is about the dropping of Agent Orange onto Vietnam and the subsequent human impact in terms of long-term genetic damage and deformity... I’ve already written about this here a number of times, but I was both shocked and moved by what I saw of this with my own eyes when travelling up through Vietnam in August. This is also a very good song, by the way. I quite like the cover the Editors did of it too, even if it’s not really a patch on the original.
“We Are The Pigs” – Suede
If you’re not already doing so, then you really need to be following @reallybanderson on Twitter. It’s someone pretending to be Brett Anderson from Suede, and doing so far more entertainingly than the real one could ever possibly hope to be. Here are a few random examples from this week:
“Britpop secret: Paul Kennedy from Salad is a cannibal”
“Mood: Byronic. Current music: Brett Anderson”
“Britpop secret: Richard Ashcroft’s fave TV show is Pet Rescue. His wife shows tapes of it at 4pm daily so he doesn’t know it got cancelled”
The other person I followed this week was @Ed_Miliband, and although he’s already sent me a direct message asking for my support, I can’t say that he’s really anywhere near as entertaining
“Blueberry Hill”- Fats Domino
I think I first heard this song when Ewan McGregor sang along to it in Dennis Potter’s “Lipstick on Your Collar”. Anyway, it’s one of those earworms that pops into my head so often that in the end I just gave up and downloaded it. I love the way he sings the lyrics.
“Hollywood” – Marina & The Diamonds
One of a batch of acts that emerged whilst I’ve been travelling, and who LB has kindly let me catch up on by lending me their CDs. As with lots of the other CDs he’s lent me, it’s taken me a while to get around to giving this a proper listen, but this week I gave it a good spin as I was working on an especially dull requirements document. This song I know from the radio, but I quite liked the whole thing. I like the way that she namechecks herself in some of the songs, not in a rap-style attempt to big herself up, but just talking about her life. It’s quite poppy, and I’m sure that it’s not something that I’m likely to listen to all the time (it’s not doomy or guitary enough for that....) but I like it.
“London’s Burning” – The Clash
Great record, obviously. One thing though: who are you expecting to get if you dial “9-9-9-9-9” as advised in the song? Am I missing something?
“Viva La Vida” – Weezer
A bonus track on Weezer’s new album, “Hurley”. The album itself is a real return to the form shown on their first few albums, and I’ve really been enjoying it, but this live recording tacked onto the end is a corker. It’s pretty faithful to the original, but often seem to do, it really shows up quite how good the song itself actually is. It really is. I don’t care how crap you think Coldplay are, this one is a keeper.
“Memory Serves” – Interpol
The more I think about it, the more appropriate the word seems to this song. Mourning or expressing sorrow for that which is irrecoverably past. Yeah, that just about covers it. They’re not everyone’s cup of tea, and singer Paul Banks has a voice that is something of an acquired taste, I think... but I really, really like the new album and I’m really looking forward to seeing them at Rock City in November.
“Monster” – The Automatic
MASSIVE CHORUS. Aghhhh!
“I Know What I Am” – Band of Skulls
I apparently received a tip off many months ago that this was exactly the kind of band that I was going to LOVE. Well better late than never, but I picked this album up last weekend and.... Gordon, you were right. They’re awesome. They have more than a little touch of the White Stripes about them, particularly with the swapping male and female voices and the blues-y guitars, but they’re ACE. It’s one of those rare albums that you hear and you instantly click with. This song pretty much jumped out of the speakers and grabbed me by the throat. I can’t wait to see them live (and yes, they were at Glastonbury this year......I know. I know. Well, I like them now. YOU WERE ALL RIGHT.) I got there in the end. Alright?
Have a good weekend, y'all. Good luck with Glastonbury tickets on Sunday morning...!