Friday 30 October 2009

with your triumphs and your charms....

Earworms of the Week

> "Buddy Holly" - Weezer

Weezer have actually been around now since 1992, displaying a longevity you would never have imagined possible upon hearing their first album. Don't get me wrong, I have an enormous soft-spot for songs like "Undone - The Sweater Song" and "In the Garage", but you wouldn't have thought that they were going to be anything like as durable a band as they have become. The reason for that longevity is probably because they keep evolving their sound: right from the opening chords - event the name - of "Tired of Sex" on "Pinkerton", it was clear that the cheerful geeks we see mucking about in the brilliant, Spike Jonze directed, "Happy Days" video accompanying "Buddy Holly" were already a thing of the past. That said, "Buddy Holly" might just be the perfect.

> "Dumb" - Nirvana

Not really amongst their finer work, and something of a respite from some of the other, more sonically challenging, tracks on "In Utero", but a good song nonetheless. There's a hint of angst there, of course, but it's really a showcase for a melody. As is their wont, the band try and hide it: not behind feedback this time, but behind a very loose sounding recording. They know it's there though, and are confident enough in it to add a cello to the track. Quite a contrast to "Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge" and "Very Ape", the two tracks either side of the song on the album, anyway. Good band. Watch out for them.

> "Vietnam" - Jimmy Cliff

I saw Jimmy Cliff playing the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury on a gloriously sunny Sunday afternoon. It was an almost perfect festival moment, baking in the sunshine, drinking beer and listening to songs like "The Harder They Come", "Many Rivers to Cross" and this song. The first thing I did when I got home the following day was to place an order for a greatest hits album. He was brilliant. A proper legend.

> "Lazy Sunday Afternoon" - The Small Faces

Just on the cusp of being too twee to listen to, I actually quite like this song. Whilst not quite being up there with the genius of Ray Davies' "Waterloo Sunset", the lyrics of this song are a snapshot of a world that is now gone. Does anyone still get lumbago? Come to that, is anyone still called Bert?

> "L.E.S. Artistes" - Santogold

I always feel as though Santogold is an artist that I somehow shouldn't like. Perhaps it's because I like to categorise myself as the kind of man who listens to miserable guitar music played by skinny white boys. Whatever, this album is superb, and it gets better with every listen. To hell with you, self-musical stereotyping!

> Theme to "Magnum P.I."

Sounds remarkably similar played backwards to played forwards. I was always more of a Jim Rockford or Quincy man myself, but Magnum had his moments, I suppose.

> "Salute Your Solution" - The Raconteurs

I'm not too sure about the rest of the album, but it's worth the effort just for the adrenaline rush of the guitar riff in this song. I've no idea what Jack White is on about, of course, but since when did that ever matter?

> "I Know It's Over" / "Never Had No One Ever" - The Smiths

The opening up of my iTunes library over my wireless network has meant that I'm able to listen to more or less whatever I want as I potter around. In practice, this seems to have meant that I've listened to a whole lot of Smiths records. Worse still, the ones that have been sticking in my head are the especially miserable, depressing ones. These two, of course, sit side-by-side on "The Queen is Dead", and both are epic. "I Know It's Over" is a towering song, one of Morrissey's finest. Is there a bleaker opening line anywhere in the world than "Oh Mother, I can feel the soil falling over my head"?

As always, Morrissey is able to put voice to the worst fears of the disaffected and lonely youth.

"If you're so funny
Then why are you on your own tonight ?

And if you're so clever

Then why are you on your own tonight ?

If you're so very entertaining

Then why are you on your own tonight ?

If you're so very good-looking

Why do you sleep alone tonight ?

...Because tonight is just like any other night

it's a great song, and it's followed by the preposterously lachrymose "Never Had No One Ever", which is self-pitying even by Morrissey's lofty standards:

"I had a really bad dream, It lasted 20 years, 7 months and 27 days".

There was a time in my life when I knew exactly what date it was when I hit that age myself and was wondering why the same thing seemed to be happening to me.

The answer is probably pretty simple, but to paraphrase another Smiths song, I just hadn't earned it yet, baby. I must suffer and cry for a longer time....

If you see the 20-something year old me, do me a favour and give him a slap will you?
Or a kiss.
Or both.

Have a good weekend, y'all.

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