Thursday 14 February 2008

and when you get there better kiss me...

>>>>> ST's ALPHABETICON - T <<<<<

Previously in the Alphabeticon: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, singles, N, O, P, Q, R, S

I'm fully aware that site is in serious danger of becoming nothing more than a set of music-related lists, but as Macbeth once said,

"I am in blood
Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o'er."

In other words, I've started this bloody thing, so I'm damn well going to finish it.

Anyway, we're nearly at the end now, aren't we? This is the week where we finally move from the main shelving unit and into the CD stack off to one side. Nearly there. Just this lot and then a couple of stragglers on the bookshelf with the CD singles and the freebies and we'll be done!

You know, the more that I do this, the more that I realise (ridiculous as it sounds) that this list of hundreds and hundreds of CDs isn't actually all that representative of where I am musically at all. I suppose it's a snapshot of the journey I've been on, but it doesn't say all that much about where I am now as it doesn't really include many recent purchases or stuff I've downloaded. Ah well. On we go, eh?

[I'm about to start the list now, so if you're only skimming this, you might want to bomb down to the end about now]

465. Turin Brakes – The Optimist LP
466. Turin Brakes – Ether Song

Ah, a charming acoustic duo who I think first came to my attention when they were nominated for the Mercury Music prize way back in 2001. I've seen them live a couple of times too, once at Rock City, and once at the Birmingham NEC before James (I think). They were incredibly nervous in front of the half-empty arena too, bless them. I much prefer the first album to the second, and I didn't bother with the next one at all. I think they've got an album out soon actually. The chubby bloke can really sing.

467. T-Rex – very best

A gift. I don't like T-Rex at all and as a result I don't believe I have ever listened to this. Not my cup of tea at all, I'm afraid.

468. Travis – The Man Who
469. Travis – The Invisible Band

Hmm. Travis first came to my attention when I was working in HMV in York and they were a
vibrant young band releasing singles like "U16 Girls" and "All I Want To Do Is Rock". They hit the big time with"The Man Who...", thanks in part to the success of "Why Does It Always Rain on Me?", but also thanks to the relentless TV advertising campaign that their record company put together. The songs still sound pretty good to me, but Travis have been forever tainted in my ears by becoming increasingly slushy and sentimental as their career progressed. Fran Healey fell in love and their records turned to shite - "The Invisible Band" is almost entirely forgettable. I understand that they may have partially rediscovered their mojo recently, but I'm not sure I can forgive him for that ridiculous hat he wore for many years. Travis are also a band that bored me silly live. Fran Healey took the trouble to inform a heckler in the crowd that going to a Travis gig wasn't like going to another band's shows. Travis didn't just play a facsimile of their record to the audience. Sadly, that's exactly what Travis then did. Perhaps it's unfair that as a band they are pretty much synonymous with bland, limp music, but that's just the way it is. And yes, I am aware of the irony that I like Coldplay.

470. Thirteen Senses – The Invitation

Thirteen Senses were given a lot of press support in advance of the release of their debut album, and over-excited comparisons were made with Radiohead. Well, Thirteen Senses sound nothing like Radiohead and could only suffer in the comparison. What they are, though, is a very competent band in the Keane / Colplay / Travis mould. In a lot of people's eyes, that probably damns them immediately, but actually I think they're pretty good. I've got their second album on my iPod too, although it hasn't received as much attention as it probably deserves. They were pretty limp live though - it's not ideal having your lead singer sat down behind a keyboard, is it?

471. Therapy? – Infernal Love
472. Therapy? – Troublegum

"Troublegum" is worth the price of admission just to get a copy of "Screamager", which remains an absolutely fantastic song. Clearly that was enough for me to buy the follow-up, although I couldn't honestly tell you the name of a single song on it. I used to have a room at University that looked out onto a pretty busy path into campus, and on the wall above my bed I used to have an absolutely massive "Teethgrinder" poster - you know, the one of the kid's mouth being forced open by some hideous dental device. I used to get a lot of double-takes.

473. Teenage Fanclub – Songs from a Northern Britain
474. Teenage Fanclub – Grand Prix
475. Teenage Fanclub – Bandwagonesque
476. Teenage Fanclub – Howdy!
477. Teenage Fanclub – Four Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty-Six Seconds

A much underrated band that for some reason I had written off as indie no-hopers before the release of "Grand Prix" (I think it was something to do with the ball on the cover of "Thirteen" - it just screamed mediocrity at me). "Grand Prix" is a work of genius and remains my favourite of their albums. Songs like "Sparky's Dream", "Verisimilitude" and "Neil Jung" are just perfect. "Songs From a Northern Britain" and "Howdy!" are more of the same, and got me burrowing back into their back catalogue for "Bandwagonesque", although I'm still avoiding "Thirteen". There's just something timeless about their beautiful, Bryds-like songs... and I have many fond memories of listening to them, from playing "Sparky's Dream" over and over again on University Radio after my finals through to painting the skirting boards in dining room of the house I still share with C as Hans Blix was delivering his report on WMDs to the United Nations. There's simply no justice that they haven't been more successful.

478. Tindersticks – 1st Tindersticks Album
479. Tindersticks – 2nd Tindersticks Album

A Nottingham band! We're not a city reknowned for producing bands, but we certainly produced this one. Stuart Staples simply has the most remarkably miserable, smokey baritone and the albums themselves sound fantastically lush. Misery has rarely sounded so appealing. Or so booze soaked. Hypnotic.

480. Throwing Muses – The Real Ramona

I almost certainly worked my way backwards to this album having been a huge fan of Belly... this having been Tanya Donnelly's last album with the Throwing Muses before heading off to the Breeders and Belly. It's quite a poppy album, in an indie kind of way. I haven't listened to this for a while actually. I really must dig it out.

481. Tiny Dancers – Free School Milk

One of the best albums of 2007, and certainly a favourite in the LB and Hen household. I probably haven't listened to it enough to do it justice, but I do know that they were one of the best live bands that I saw last year. Quirky and distinctive, but without losing their ear for a killer pop song. A band to watch, I reckon.

482. TV on the Radio – Return to Cookie Mountain

Sweeping the Nation's album of 2006, as I recall, and bought largely on that basis. I just don't get it. I don't mind album's being challenging, but I just can't get my head around this one and I plain don't want to listen to it.

483. Thin Lizzy - Dedication

Can I count Thin Lizzy as a guilty pleasure? Big, stupid dumb rock. Everyone knows "The Boys Are Back In Town", but I infinitely prefer the pleasures of songs like "Rocker" (sample lyric: "I love to rock and roll. I get my records at the Rock On stall") and "Jailbreak" (sample lyric: "Tonight there's going to be a jailbreak, somewhere in this town".... er, at the jail?). Brilliant.

[OK, we're pretty much done with the list now, so you can stop scrolling and start reading again if you like]

Missing in iTunes: Toto, The Twang, Toots & the Maytals, Tokyo Police Club, Tinariwen, Tight Fit, Third Eye Blind, Terrorvision, Tenacious D, The Temptations, The Tears, Talking Heads, Take That....

In next time's exciting installment of the Alphabeticon...... U2.


  1. Hey, I'm reading the list - not scrolling. Some great stuff there.

    I will however be skipping the next post. Wake me up when you're done with Bono. ;-)

  2. *tries to think of some other Us*

    Ungdomskulen! they'll be in the list.


    That might be it. And luckily I don't even have all that much U2. I used to passionately loathe them, now I don't even have the energy for that.

    And thanks for reading, but my wife will still be skipping it, and earworms, and every other post that looks a bit like a list!


  3. Lists are purely a bloke thing. Nick Hornby got that right.

  4. Two things - a little late, I know, so you'll maybe not read this, but I have had the lurgy and am lagging behind.

    Firstly, where on earth is A Catholic Education in the Teenage Fanclub collection? Surely their finest album, and containing the most magnificent Everything Flows. I thought you'd have loved that? If you're for a copy, let me know - I am now able to make CDs, of which I am very proud!

    And two, I have been earworming Belly's "White Belly" all week, for no reason at all. How very odd to read about them on here!

    (And Underworld? Er, Ultravox?)

  5. of course I'm still reading this Cat - what kind of blogger do you think I am? That Fannies song is on the four-thousand etc.etc.etc. retrospective, so I haven't entirely missed out. It fits into the rest of their canon like a glove.
    Belly were a good band, and I'm still suffering the dread lurgy. It seems to be spreading its tentacles a bit deeper into my lungs every minute.


  6. Still haven't seen what so many critics and the friend who first lent it to me saw in Return To Cookie Mountain, but it's certainly grown on me over time. I'd suggest keeping on trying...

    Re: Infernal Love - you mean to say you couldn't name 'Diane', the strings-and-vocals-only cover that so upset Husker Du they threatened to sue? Still love the opening lines to 'Bad Mother' too. With hindsight, the album's a bloated cocaine mess, though...