Earworms of the Week
“Metal Mickey” – Suede
As I had the house to myself the other day, and didn’t have anywhere to be, I put on a record and just sat in my chair reading a book and listening to some music. The album I chose was Suede’s debut, and an excellent album it is too. I’m not sure that the cat is the biggest fan of the vinyl format: she’d just got settled in my lap when I needed to stand up and turn the record over, and she had the hump, but I very much enjoyed it. My book’s good too. I’m reading “Kafka on the Shore” and very much enjoying both the Japanese perspective and the whimsical plot. A good way to spend the evening: cat, cup of tea, book, classic record.
“Epic” – Faith No More
“From Out of Nowhere” from this album was the song that we used to play before we headed off to the school gymnasium to sit our GCSE exams…. So that makes the album pretty much 25 years old. At the time, Faith No More sounded like almost nobody else: bass-driven and funky, but also pretty hard-rocking with the often peculiar vocals of Mike Patton, who famously raps on this record about the things he might do to a crying baby lying on the floor. I heard it again the other day, and was reminded quite how good a band they were. I was at their gig in Birmingham (was it in Birmingham? Maybe I’m dreaming that and it was at Wembley Arena or somewhere) when they played “Easy” and everyone tossed their seat covers, which floated serenely down onto the stage. They’re reforming and putting out a new album, aren’t they? Goodness, I’m old (so old that I don't think I even have this album ripped - only "Angel Dust". I need to get onto that).
There's a brilliant comments exchange on YouTube about this song:
Commentator 1: I have a theory for this song. Both lyrics and video are very satirical. The song is about how people view certain bands as being deep and that's why it's called Epic. ''It's so cool, it's so hip, it's alright, it's so groovy it's out of sight'' The music video itself is making fun of thrash metal music videos at the time with its ridiculous effects.
Commentator 2: It's about masturbation.
“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” – Perry Como
I work for a retailer. If anyone wanted it to be Christmas every day of the year, it’s us. We put out our first Christmas offer last week, the Christmas gift guide was launched this week and we’ve been merchandising our stores with their Christmas stuff all week, IT’S OCTOBER THE THIRD! NO ONE WANTS TO SHOP CHRISTMAS YET. THE SUN IS SHINING AND IT’S NOT LOOKING AT ALL LIKE BLOODY CHRISTMAS! At least they haven’t put Xmas songs onto the PA in reception yet. I’m sure it’s not far away.
“Overkill” – Motorhead
Well, where else do you go from a Perry Como Christmas song but Motorhead and the drum sound that launched thrash metal?
“Octopus’s Garden” – The Beatles
Not their finest record, for sure, but a very charming one. I haven’t listened to it in an absolute age, but for some reason it’s the song that I’ve been singing at my desk at work. So the kids tell me, anyway. They sort of recognised it, but had to ask me what it was…. Which is perhaps feedback on how well I’m singing it more than their knowledge of the Beatles back catalogue.
“Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm” – Crash Test Dummies
This is in my head purely because of Peter Allen. It was his last day on the Five Live Drive show that he’s anchored since the station first launched, and I turned the radio on in time to catch a montage of some of his finest moments, which for some reason included him humming a version of this song. He’s a brilliant broadcaster and will surely be missed, but this song I could probably have lived without. Cheers Peter.
“Take the Power Back” – Rage Against the Machine
Bring that shit in!
Come on. COME ON!
“Say It Ain’t So” – Weezer
Old school Weezer. I have a question for you: were they the more quintessentially hipster band at this period of their career or in their later, much cooler, incarnations? They probably actually pre-date hipsters, and around this time they were basically seen as nerd rock, weren’t they?
“Europa Geht Durch Mich” – Manic Street Preachers
Futurology is a fantastic album – their second fantastic album in the last twelve months, actually. They’ve always liked a good collaboration, starting with “Little Baby Nothing” (originally intended for Kylie but eventually sung by Traci Lords), but also featuring people like Nina Persson and Richard Hawley. This album also has a collaboration with Green Gartside, but it’s this song that they did with the German actress Nina Hoss that has really caught my ear. There’s something almost Kraftwerk-ian about this, with it’s pounding industrial chic. I love it.
“If You Go Away” – Scott Walker
Scott Walker is without question my favourite ever singer. That said, usually, this isn’t my favourite version of this song. I like it better than the Nina Simone version, but it comes some way behind the Jacques Brel original or the Dusty Springfield version that I absolutely adore. I was listening to some Scott Walker this week, and this song caught me at just the right moment. The lyrics are wonderful (although perhaps not as good in translation as they are in French - and Brel's performance is astonishing), and Walker’s beautiful voice just communicates hurt and loss.
I do like sad records.
Who doesn’t? Weirdos, that's who....
That’s it. Have a good weekend, y’all. I’ll be running and all that shizzle, but hopefully I’ll see you all on the other side.