Tuesday 30 October 2007

now I wanna be your dog......

>>>>>ST's ALPHABETICON - Part ix: I<<<<<

Previously in the Alphabeticon: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H

Right. Another trawl through the dusty wastelands of the actual shelves holding my actual CD collection. As always, this is not an attempt to be a definitive list of the albums that I own and the bands that I like... rather, it's an unflinching look at the shelves in my study and the secrets that they hold. It does not include the CDs that are in my car, near any of the stereos in the house or in an untidy little pile on the stairs....

It's a pretty short list this week actually. "I" appears not to be the most populous letter of the alphabet when it comes to bands......... at least in my collection, anyway.

226. Interpol – Antics
227. Interpol – Turn on the Bright Lights

I've got "Our Love to Admire" kicking around somewhere too, but it's not on these shelves and is probably in the car... and thus doesn't count. I like Interpol. I discovered them when Zane Lowe played "Slow Hand" as I was driving home from work one evening. I was captivated by the monotone voice (which sounds like an undertaker reading from a legal textbook) together with the driving indie-style rock. I subsequently went out and picked up their debut album and, when it was released, "Antics". Both are excellent albums, and they are also an excellent live act. Sure, they're not the most original band in the world, and their bassist has clearly spent way, way too much time watching old footage of Peter Hook, but they are certainly effective in what they do. I was reading the other day how The Editors vehemently deny that they are influenced by Interpol and that it's a comparison that is brought about simply by the baritone voice of both singers. Hmmm. The Editors can only hope to be half as good and interesting a band as Interpol. One of my favourite discoveries of the last couple of years, even if I'm still not sure that "No I in Threesome" should be taken seriously.

228. Idlewild – The Remote Part

I suppose I bought this initially because of "American English", but in the end it was the rather more basic charms of "You Held the World in Your Arms" that captivated me. Ultimately I find this album a bit too slight to hold my attentions for long - it's neither as fey as someone like Belle & Sebastian nor as rocky as someone like Manic Street Preachers nor ultimately as good as someone like early period REM (who they could easily be compared to). It's a decent enough album, I suppose, but it's very second division, if you ask me. Singer Roddy Woomble does take the award for one of the most unlikely names in rock though.

229. Inspiral Carpets – The Singles

They were bloody brilliant on the Pyramid Stage on a rainy afternoon at Glastonbury, and they were pretty good at Rock City too. There's nothing big or clever about the Inspiral Carpets, but they're great anyway. "Saturn 5" is one of those songs that will get me up and dancing, and they're rare indeed.

230. Iron Maiden – Best of the Beast

Iron Maiden are one of the seminal bands in my musical life. I initially bought "The Number of the Beast" on cassette when I was 13 years old because I quite liked the cover. It proved to be a real gateway album into the world of heavy metal, and almost before I knew where I was, I had all the Iron Maiden albums and was busy exploring bands like Metallica, Faith No More and -- ahem -- Poison, Slaughter and Bon Jovi. Maiden were always where it was at for me though and they were always a great live band too. I was lucky enough to meet Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith at a signing when I worked at HMV in York and they were absolutely lovely. Where the boyband we had in the week before clearly couldn't give a monkey's about the fans that had be queuing for their autographs, Bruce spent as much time with each fan as they needed, happily signing material from his years in Samson and generally chewing the cud with the people who bought his records. They were also good enough to share their rider (some sandwiches and a few bags of crisps) with us in the staff room afterwards. And they signed my CD too. Since then, a rather lovely person has provided me with the MP3s of all those albums that I've got on tape, and I still get a kick out of listening to songs from "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son" (or whatever) pop up on my iPod when I'm listening on shuffle in the office. Great band.

231. Iggy & The Stooges - Raw Power
232. Iggy & The Stooges - Fun House
233. Iggy & The Stooges - The Stooges

I think I picked these up for a bargain price in Fopp or something like that.... they're just great, pretty straightforward rock albums that you need to listen to loud. "Search and Destroy" is one of my favourite songs for ages, although tragically it took me buying "Raw Power" to find out that it wasn't originally by the Red Hot Chili Peppers at all.... Strangely, I don't own any of Iggy's solo stuff. I'm not really sure why - probably because I've got "Lust for Life" and "The Passenger" on compilation albums somewhere. I'm sure I'm probably still missing out though. I also decided to give his set at Glastonbury a miss this year and went to watch Rodrigo Y Gabriella instead (and if I hadn't gone to see them, I probably would have tried to go and see Madness - making Iggy third choice on the night... but still above the Killers on the Pyramid). Good albums. Short, sharp shocks.

Missing in action (but sitting in iTunes): Ike & Tina Turner, I Am Kloot, The Icarus Line....

Next time: J.... featuring not just one, but two albums by Tom Jones. Two!


  1. Pointless letter "I" fact - Interpol were on my shuffleathon CD, and Idlewild are on the one I received.

    Bloody good, eh?

  2. I just had to do a double-take, as I thought I was on queue for next time, and had somehow volunteered for something without realizing it.

    Then I realized you just meant the letter.