Wednesday 28 February 2007

what use is love without a heart?

So, it's getting late and I'm still not sure whether I have remembered everything in that final 5% of my packing that I didn't get done yesterday. So what should a guy do? Write out a list? Try to see the bigger picture and make sure that I have my passport and my credit card, shrug and just let it go?

Here's what I definitely shouldn't be doing:

Shuffleathon Update

1. SarahY
2. MandyYreview
3. YokoY
4. AlanY
5. CharlieY
6. KaY
7. spinsY
8. bedshapedY
9. bytheseashoreY
10. Mike Y
11. AlecyaY
sort of review
12. PynchonY
13. Ben Y
14. Flash Y
15. Michael Y
16. Lord BargainY
17. TinaY
18. DelY
19. Mark Y
20. Graham Y
21. Stef
22. AdemYreview
23. ThreelightY
24. Jenni Y
25. Leah Y
26. Pete Y
27. Statue JohnY
28. MonogodoY
29. Him Y
30. Me!
31. TheCatGirlSpeaks (virtually)
Ymy review
her review

The final CD -- Jenni's CD to me -- finally arrived a couple of weeks ago after several attempts to get it through the post from the USA to the UK. Well, it finally got here. I promised Jenni that I would try to get a review up before I left, so....

1. Gene - "Somewhere in the World"

Well, here's a way to start a compilation! I loved Gene. In the UK music press they were always portrayed as nothing more than a Smiths covers band, but I knew that they were much better than that. Sure Martin Rossiter used to style himself somewhat on Morrissey, and fancied that he had a similarly waspish tongue.... but musically it was something of a lazy comparison. Perhaps it wasn't an entirely unfounded criticism in the early days, but as time went on, the more Gene found a sound of their own, and it was a sound that was much more soulful than the Smiths.

If my memory serves me correctly, this song comes from "Libertine", their last album. I saw Gene performing this. It was their last tour and they played before a half full Rock City that had been forced to endure a performance poet by the name of Selina Saliva as the support. They were fantastic. They were always fantastic. They were great when I saw them perform on the Melody Maker stage just after Jeff Buckley.

Wistful. Melancholy. Soulful. An excellent choice.

2. Alanis Morissette - "Out is Through"

I own one Alanis Morissette album. Can you guess which one? This song seems alright to me. It's pleasant enough, but it sounds a bit "by numbers" to me. I'm sure it's heartfelt, but she could have phoned this in. Perhaps I'm being a bit unfair, but I think I prefer her when she's angry? Does she do angry any more?

3. Carbon Leaf - "Life Less Ordinary"

I'm a big fan of the Ash song of the same name, and when I saw this on the tracklisting, I wondered if this was a cover. It's not a cover. It's another slice of American rock. Fair enough, I like a bit of American rock from time to time. This is pleasant, but it doesn't really grab me. It's a bit soft rock.

4. Ben Harper - "Another Lonely Day"

Ben Harper is one of those artists that I am familiar with, but I've never quite got around to checking out any of his stuff. Again, this is another mellow track, but it's nice and introspective and I have to say that I quite like it. One to come back to, I think.

What's his other stuff like?

5. Shakira - "Your Embrace"

Ah, the bonkers bird from South America. She seems to be fairly restrained here though. In fact, I think I would go as far as to say that she's being admirably restrained here. In the hands of a Maria Carey or a Celine Dion, this would be a different song indeed and would certainly be inferior. Having said that, it's not really my cup of tea, I'm afraid.

6. Saving Jane - "Girl Next Door"

Oh, I like the intro to this. I think it's because it sounds just like it could have been by the Foo Fighters.... well, until the vocal kicks in and you realise that the singer is not Dave Grohl, but is a woman. I think I've heard this somewhere. Again, it's a touch "American rock" and I could easily imagine hearing this on the radio, but it is a good record.

A hit!

Nothing wrong with being the girl next door either. Prom queens and cheerleaders (unless they are indestructible) are overrated, in my opinion.

7. Chicago - "If You Leave Me Now"

I think there was a spot of telepathy going on here. I had been earworming this song for about 2 weeks solid when this CD arrived. On the downside, this meant that I was going to have to resign myself to never shaking this bloody song out of my head.

It's a cracker though, isn't it?

8. Barenaked Ladies - "Call And Answer"

Ah, a band I always feel like I ought to loathe. I have history with the Barenaked Ladies, or at least with some of their fans. They always seem to me to be a little too in love with their own cleverness. They are capable of writing some excellent songs though, and this one seems to be pretty reasonable. I can't help that this is another downbeat song, Jenni. It's melancholy, but it seems to have a hopeful heart.

Oh wait a minute, what's this?

"But I'm warning you, don't ever do
Those crazy, messed up things that you do
If you ever do
I promise you Ill be the first to crucify you
Now its time to prove that you've come back
Here to rebuild."

Not so hopeful after all, eh? I think I know where this one is coming from.

9. Anna Nalick - "Wreck of the Day"

Hmmm. I'm not familiar with this one, although I note that it's another sad sounding song. I like this one, it's understated and it's got a jazzy feel.

I like it.

10. Jimmy Buffett - "Come Monday"

This is an artist I have heard of, but as far as I know I have never heard a single note he has recorded. Isn't he the butt of comedians jokes for some reason? Wikipedia tells me that this is one of his "Big 8" songs that he is certain to play at every show.

Nah - does nothing for me. Remind me never to go to a Jimmy Buffet gig.

11. Keane - "Snowed Under"

Just like the Gene record, I can detect the influence of a certain Lord Bargain here. Am I going to be forced to be nice about Keane for the second time inside a week? Well, I'll keep it brief: it's a nice record. He's got a good voice. Will that do?

12. Powderfinger - "My Happiness"

Ah. An Australian legacy? I've tried listening to Powderfinger before because almost every Australian I have ever met tells me how brilliant they are. I've never quite seen it myself, but there you go. A nice record, albeit I feel as though it's about to take off at any moment and it never quite does. Where's the screaming guitar solo? I feel as though they might have a screaming guitar solo in them. The one in the song is a bit.... meh.... They should have gone big! How can you go wrong with a screaming, tongue out, down on your knees guitar solo?

Thanks Jenni. Well worth the wait, and a CD that easily stands up to repeat listening, and you can't really ask for more than that, can you?

I now declare the (*ahem*) 2006 shuffleathon closed!

At some point I'll get round to doing a round up. Maybe.....


And with that, ladies and gentlemen, I declare this blog to be on pause for three weeks whilst I get myself off to South America... assuming I can get my packing finished anyway.

See you on 25th March.

Play nicely.


  1. have lovely holidays. we return on the 25th as well.

  2. I believe I sent you a warning that the Shuffleathon songs were picked when the ex was away...I was probably feeling a bit...wistful, as you put it.

    Enjoy your trip!!!

  3. So - you'll be back just in time to open the 2007 Shuffleathon, right?

    Hope it's blimmin' marvellous.

  4. Hey, thanks for dropping by my blog. For the record, I don't think Powderfinger has done anything worthwhile since their third album in 1997 or so... so there's one Aussie at least who doesn't fit that particular mould, kinda :)

  5. Ben Harper can't really be categorized as far as music style. His stuff will range from the mellow (like you just heard), to funk, to a sort of 70's style R&B (he does an amazing cover of marvin gaye's sexual healing), to rock, to reggae... not to mention he's an absolutely amazing slide guitar player... although that aspect of him is something you really only see at his shows.

  6. So I suppose I shouldn't mention that I'm a massive Ben Folds fan and quite fond of the Barenaked Ladies as well? :p

    It might detract from the value of my opinion when I agree with Megan (big surprise) that Powderfinger's earlier work was better. ;)

    I still can't go beyond their first "big" album "double allergic" and haven't bought anything of theirs since "Internationalist". I did get the first album by their lead singer (Bernard Fanning) though... :)

    Anyway, hope you're having a ball on your holidays.


  7. Whoa, having a whole 2006 timewarp thing going on!

    Have a top holiday, see you when you're back!

  8. Blimey Swiss, it seems like you have been away a month already.

    Hope you're having a smashing time.

  9. Have a good trip. And great to have closure on the shuffleathon. I feel at peace.