Friday 6 July 2007

why can't we just play the other game?

Is it just me, or has this week lasted forever? Well, it's over now anyway.

Time to kick back, open a bottle of wine (well, finish off the nice bottle of Cab Sav I opened yesterday anyway) and relax.

Oh, hang on - there's something else I need to get done first.....

Earworms of the Week

> “Screamager” – Therapy?

On the BBC Wimbledon round-up the other day, they showed a montage of the rain falling and the covers coming on and off the courts. To soundtrack this, they used that old “you are my sunshine, my only sunshine / you make me happy when skies are grey” song. Rather than thinking how charming that all was, I was immediately thrown back to about 1994 and listening to “Troublegum”, which ends with this song being played on a loop so that the “…please don't take my sunshine away” bit is repeated until it sounds like “No way. No Way. No Way. No Way…”. Once that little seed was planted in my head, “Screamager” wasn’t very far behind.

Still a brilliant song.

I used to have a room at University around this time that had a window that looked out head-on onto the main path that students used to get from the main campus to one of the main accommodation areas. I used to have a massive Therapy? “Teethgrinder” poster above my bed, and this was clearly visible from the main path and attracted a lot of slightly worried stares…

> “Tour de France Etape 1” - Kraftwerk

The prologue of the Tour de France takes place in London tomorrow, and as I was reading about the riders, this unsurprisingly popped into my head. I know it’s a sport that appears to be absolutely riddled with drugs and corruption, but I still find myself awestruck when I watch these wiry little guys cycling up mountains that I ski down.

Mind you, I find it even more awe-inspiring when someone like (ex-Wolves legend and cancer survivor) Geoff Thomas does the same thing for charity.

> “A Fortnight’s Time” – Maximo Park

“Our Earthly Pleasures” is my favourite album of the year so far by some distance. I saw Maximo Park performing live on the telly the other day, and although “Our Velocity” is still a real standout track, both on the album and when performed live, this song is really growing on me. I think it’s something to do with the lyrics:

“Would you like to go on a date with me?
And I know it's old-fashioned to say so
Five times five equals twenty five
Don't you know your times tables by now?”

What’s that all about?

What about this?

“When it comes to girls, I'm mostly hypothetical
If I list their names, it's purely alphabetical
When it comes to girls, I'm truly theoretical
If I test their nerve, it's merely dialectical”

Any ideas?

Still, very catchy.

> “Lah-Di-Dah” – Jake Thackray

This was requested by C’s dad for the wedding, and it’s hard not to love this song, which is about the whole pantomime of getting married

“I'll be nice to your mother,
I'll come all over lah-di-dah,
Although she always gets up me nose.
(I love you very much.)
And so I'll smile and I'll acquiesce
When she invites me to caress
Her scabby cat;
I'll sit still while she knits
And witters, cross my heart,
And I shan't lay a finger on the crabby old batface.”

All sung in a winning 1920s stylee.

> “Pleasant Valley Sunday” – The Monkees

I watched a documentary on the “pre-fab four” recently and was interested to learn quite how little the band had to do with any of their early records – in may cases they didn’t even play the instruments, so the whole thing was actually even more of a sham than I thought. Still, you can’t deny that they did do some brilliant songs. There are the obvious ones (mainly with the word “believer” somewhere in the title), and there are some of the less obvious ones like “Last Train to Clarkesville”, “(I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone” and this. It’s not music that’s going to change the world, but it’s a great pop record. Sometimes that’s all you need.

> “Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors” - Editors

To be perfectly honest, the song that has most stuck in my head from the new Editors album is “Spiders” – but that’s entirely because it contains one of the funniest lyrics I have ever heard. Picture Tom Smith singing this with an absolutely straight face and in that great, portentous voice:

“There are spiders in your room / But there always will be”

Mmm. Deep.

“Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors” on the other hand is a whole lot less funny, but it is actually a pretty good record. The rest of the album? Hmmm. I’m not convinced.

> “Conquest” – The White Stripes

The White Stripes are brilliant at the best of times, but when you add a comedy mariachi trumpeter….



> “Proud Mary” – Creedence Clearwater Revival

I don’t think John Fogerty actually played this at Glastonbury, but it’s one of the great man’s best records.

Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’ on the river.


> “Your Love Alone Is Not Enough” / “Imperial Body Bags” – Manic Street Preachers

Until I saw them performing some of the songs live at Glastonbury the other week, I had steadfastly resisted the desire to buy the new Manic Street Preachers album. I’ve not really been a huge fan of anything much they have done since “This is My Truth…” nearly ten years ago. The new songs sounded good live though, so I figured I’d give it a crack. “Your Love Alone Is Not Enough” is a catchy little duet with Nina Persson from the Cardigans, but the song that really grabs me is “Imperial Body Bags”.

This is proper old school Manics. Who else would think of this rhyme?

“Imperial bodybags, coming home in dribs and drabs
Life is numbers, with doggy tags”

They don’t make’em like this anymore.

> “Evil” - Interpol

The new album (“Our Love to Admire”) is out on Monday and I’ve been listening to their first two albums for much of this week. To be honest, I prefer the first album to “Antics”, but this song is a real standout for me…

Apparently they’ve added some texture to their sound for the new record… but can I be the only one who actually likes a singer who sounds like an undertaker reading from a law book? Surely not?

…. killer video too (if a touch freaky).


Right, now about that wine......


  1. 5x5? 7x7

    I agree about the Editors. The Smokers song is good, but the rest, meh.

    Pleasant Valley Sunday was covered by the Wedding Present in their 12 singles period. Was that called 12x12? I'm not sure

  2. I'm anxiously awaiting that Interpol album winging its way to me, and very much looking forward to seeing them in August. I always think on the Editors as being a poor man's Interpol, funnily enough, and that Bowman thing is just unforgivable. But I do like that record.

  3. Yeah I dowloaded the manics just before I left.

    I simply cannot believe you guys are doing Zulu. I{ve been wanting to do that for bloody years.

    Ah well, it{s not raining in Ecuador, and I{m off on my luxury yacht tomorrow. I may even have a little sunburn for the first time in months and months.

    (have to post anonymously as can{t get a swirly at thingy up on this silly PC to log in).

    Anyway, you know who it is!

  4. Mike Nesmith played that killer lead guitar on "Pleasant Valley Sunday" and Peter Tork played keyboards. The drummer was a guy who want by the name of 'Fast' Eddie Ho.

    Yours, An Anorak.

  5. Just been listening to Our Love To Admire for the first time - it'll need a while to bed in, I think, but still better than An End Has A Start.

    'Imperial Bodybags' was really good at Glasto, wasn't it? Caught me a bit by surprise, to be honest - a bit incongruous alongside 'Autumnsong'...

    And I know exactly what you mean about 'You Are My Sunshine' - that song means Troublegum to me too.