Earworms of the Week
"Out of Time" - Blur
I've loved Blur more or less since the very first time that I heard "Modern Life is Rubbish" when I was a student. I went off them about circa "The Great Escape", when they were massive, but the whole Blur vs Oasis thing was never really much of a debate for me (although, oddly, I've seen Oasis live a few times and only saw Blur when they played Glastonbury in 2009). By the time they released this song, Graham Coxon had gone, the band were on their last legs, and their audience was leaving in droves. I really like it. They recorded it in Morocco, if memory serves me correctly, and I love the loose-limbed bass on this song (even though I have an enduring dislike of Alex James, surely the most hated man in cheese). Damon Albarn also does regret so well. Good song.
"Dear Prudence" - Siouxie and the Banshees
Well, it's not my favourite Beatles song, and I'm not even sure that this is the best version of the song that I've heard.... and yet still the power of the song is enough to ensure that one listen to it and it's been in my head for the rest of the afternoon. Are you happy now GJ? Are you?
"Autumn Almanac" - The Kinks
Ray Davies was busy declaring in an interview this week that he was "easy to love, but impossible to live with". Well, maybe so, but his songbook is almost without comparison. This isn't even one of his most famous songs, and I suppose the recording of it sounds a little dated, but I just love the way he puts words together. Proper genius. How many other songwriters would use the word "Almanac"? Nevermind doing it in a way that harks back to the England of yesteryear....?
"Romeo & Juliet" - The Killers
I adore this song. Obviously, I discovered it through the Dire Straits version, but this week I have been very specifically earworming this version. It's faithful, but it's also abundantly clear that it's Brandon Flowers singing and not Mark Knopfler. I love the lyrics to this song, and it always takes me right back to a happy day when we skiied down from La Rosiere into Italy, where it was playing over a huge PA, and where we had a splendid, boozy lunch for absolute buttons before wobbling our way back over the mountains in the gathering gloom on unsteady ski legs. A good day.
"Tennessee Stud" - Johnny Cash
This song very specifically reminds me of being on an overnight sleeper train in Vietnam from Hue to Hanoi. We were armed with Jim Beam, Smirnoff, a pack of cards and a tiny speaker. Marissa didn't have much Johnny Cash on her little computer, but she did have this and a few other songs. Another happy memory.
"Aquarius / Let the Sunshine In" - 5th Dimension
Worth including purely for the lyric
"Mystic crystal revelation
And the mind's true liberation"
and the mental image of Steve Carrell and Cath Keener frolicking through a meadow.
"Why Don't We Do It In The Road" - The Beatles
Peter didn't believe me that Paul McCartney was capable of something as downright dirty as this song, so obviously I had to play it to him. Possibly my favourite Beatles song inspired by watching monkeys fucking in India. Slightly spoiled by the thought that Macca was probably thinking of Jane Asher when he wrote it. Have you seen Jane Asher? Do you imagine this is something she would ever consider? Me neither....
"November Spawned a Monster" / "Interesting Drug" - Morrissey
I was listening to "Bona Drag" the other day, the collection of songs from Morrissey's early solo career, and was struck by how much good stuff there is on here. Yes, obviously we all know about "Last of the Famous International Playboys", "Every Day Is Like Sunday" and "Suedehead".... but "Piccadilly Palare", "Hairdresser on Fire", "Ouiji Board, Ouiji Board"... all clearly showcase Moz's talent. Even here, you can see how much Johnny Marr is missed, but they're good songs nonetheless. The sensitivity in "November Spawned a Monster" still almost brings a tear to my eye, with Sinead O'Connor wailing in the background.... "Interesting Drug", as well as Kirsty McColl's lovely backing vocals, also brings to mind a mondegreen every time I hear it:
"There are some bad people on the right...."
Well, David Cameron for one, eh Moz?
"Tonight's the Kind of Night" - Noah and the Whale
From my most-listened to album of the year by a country mile. I'm seeing them again later on this month and very much looking forward to it. Yeah, so perhaps there's more than a touch of Deacon Blue in here, but since when was that ever a bad thing?
"Surfing on a Rocket" - Air
I've taken to reading my book in my cave of an evening, often listening to my stereo. One night, at about 11pm, I was wondering what to put on that wouldn't jar with either my mood or my reading, and settled on Air. It proved to be a masterstroke. I've not listened to them much recently, and decided on the spot that this was something that I really should remedy at once.... a resolution that was somewhat spoiled when, a couple of nights later, I popped on "10,000 Hz Legend" at about the same time of the evening and it jarred horribly. Hey ho. You live and learn. Nick Drake usually soothes away problems like that.
"Here Comes the Rumour Mill" - The Young Knives"
Have they got new stuff coming out? I could have sworn I heard them on the radio the other day.... They seem to be unfairly overlooked, if you ask me. Perhaps they look a little....eccentric... but you just go and listen to this album and tell me that they're not one of our most dynamic and interesting bands.
"Bullet with Butterfly Wings" - Smashing Pumpkins
It's not been a great week at work, to be honest. Is it just me, or do the short weeks after a bank holiday sometimes seem like the longest and most difficult to deal with of the whole year? Well, anyway... apart from an incident this afternoon where I found myself reaching for my headphones to blow away my irritation with a little "Death Magnetic" at high volume, I've not had a chance to listen to a lot of music at my desk to soothe my troubled brow. I did get to listen to "Siamese Dream" though. Now, I know lots of people absolutely adore this record, but I've always seen it as overlong, a bit pompous and quite whiny. Well, it seemed to suit my mood this week, anyway.
"Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage
Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage
Then someone will say what is lost can never be saved
Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage"
Yeah. You tell them Billy. Me too. You and me both.