Earworms of the Week
Long week? Yeah, me too. Ah well, let's rock:
> "You And Me Are Gonna Be Friends" - The White Stripes
One of the most restrained songs in their repertoire, this song about childhood friendship has long been one of my favourites of theirs. Much though I love the guitar stuff, there's just something beautifully sweet, simple and touching about it. Do you remember your first days at school when it was so easy to make friends? It was a long time ago for me, but I can.
**stop press** the White Stripes have cancelled their forthcoming UK tour due to Meg suffering from stress. What? Grr. Get well soon Meg.
> "Girls Who Play Guitars" - Maximo Park
Still my favourite album of this year, this was back on my car stereo again this week. I could almost have picked any song of it, but this is the opening track and somehow wormed its way into my head when I was sat in the office working on a troublesome document... a welcome distraction, I must say. Stupid job.
> "Frayed Ends of Sanity" - Metallica
This one came up on my iPod when I was working on the same document. This is an absolute beast of a track from an absolutely monumental album - an album which I originally bought way back in 1987 when I was 13 years old. Well, you're never to young to get into this kind of genius, are you?
> "Still Take You Home" - Arctic Monkeys
There's something raw and basic about this track, and yet even here Alex Turner manages to show a deft touch that belies his years and his relative lack of experience. This was never a standout track for me on that debut album, but listening to it now, it's an absolute cracker. They rock too, don't they?
> "Smiley Faces" - Gnarls Barkley
Another song that didn't do all that much for me when I first heard the album... although to be fair, when that came out, it was pretty much all about "Crazy", wasn't it? Cee-Lo has a pretty damn good voice too, and this track rumbles along quite nicely with a black and slightly ominous undertone throughout.
> "Black Mirror" - Arcade Fire
It's taken a while for this album to grow on me, but it's finally starting to sink in, and I'm really starting to look forward to seeing them play live in a few weeks time. I know the band are renowned as multi-instrumentalists and all that, but when you listen to some of this stuff closely, the backing is actually quite simple although oddly the effect of the whole is still deceptively dense. Hmmm. They're a band that have the critics purring, and although I find them slightly hard to love, there's no denying that they are fantastic and very much on the top of their game. Another track one on the list. I think I must be especially susceptible to opening songs....
> "Wild World" - Jimmy Cliff
It's a Cat Stevens song, of course, but it was actually the Jimmy Cliff version that charted earliest, and it's perhaps no coincidence that a lot of the subsequent covers have tended to have a reggae feel to them. I like Jimmy Cliff a lot, and listening to him reminds me of a particularly sunny Sunday afternoon at Glastonbury a few years back. Now that it's starting to get dark at around half-seven, I'll take all of the summer I can get, thanks very much.
> "Suzanne" - Leonard Cohen
Not the best singer in the world, for sure, but is there anybody who writes more poetic lyrics than the published poet?
"And Jesus was a sailor
When he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching
From his lonely wooden tower
And when he knew for certain
Only drowning men could see him
He said "All men will be sailors then
Until the sea shall free them"
But he himself was broken
Long before the sky would open
Forsaken, almost human
He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone
And you want to travel with him
And you want to travel blind
And you think maybe you'll trust him
For he's touched your perfect body with his mind. "
Beautiful. I love this song.
Track one on his debut album, I notice.
> "Now My Heart is Full" - Morrissey
I know exactly where this one has come from: I'm reading "Brighton Rock" for the first time at the moment, and every time I see the names of the characters, I am reminded of this song by Moz from one of his best albums.
"Dallow, Spicer, Pinkie, Cubitt
Rush to danger
Wind up nowhere"
Another track one. God, am I really so predictable? Next week: Smells Like Teen Spirit.
I spent most of my evening in the company of Sarah, watching a Greek tragedy instead of spending my time in front of the telly watching an English farce.... I don't really know who was the more miserable King Creon (and the coconuts?) with his dead family or Jason Robinson at the Stade de France and his tattered hamstring.
36-0? I know the odds on a two-horse race were attractive, but that's ten pounds I'm never going to see again isn't it? I went for a straight win, but even that initially attractive looking 17.5 point start on offer as a handicap bet turned out not to be all that generous of the bookies, eh?
And thanks to Sky+, I didn't miss a single bloody moment.
The slow walk home
3 days ago