Friday 11 December 2009

I think about life and I think about death....

Earworms of the Week

> "Fool's Gold" - The Stone Roses

I haven't listened to this in months, but for some reason, that little drum bit at the beginning has been stuck in my head all week.  You know, that bit before that incredibly loose-limbed groove kicks in.  It only lasts a couple of seconds, but it's utterly wedged.  I used to loathe the Stone Roses, you know.  When I was in my heavy metal phase, and baggy was just taking off, I used to see them as the epitome of everything that I disliked about music.  Apparently I came to my senses at some point after that.  That debut album is majestic.  I'm not convinced by the revisionists who have tried to make out that "Second Coming" isn't actually all that bad, but that first album is one of the greats.

> Theme tune to Terry & June

We've got a new director in my department.  He's been doing his induction and hasn't really spent much time in the office yet, but he's started to make his presence felt around the place already and can be seen hunched over his laptop, looking all serious..... until his mobile phone rings and plays the theme tune to this much-loved sitcom.

Funny, but really?

> "Is It Any Wonder" - Keane
> "Lyla" - Oasis

Some songs, it seems, sound the same underwater.  I recognised both of these whilst swimming this evening.  The first I was quite pleased to hear, and it's stood up quite well over time... the other was by Oasis.

> "Me And Stephen Hawking" - Manic Street Preachers

.....Journal for Plague Lovers" is still on my car stereo then.

"We missed the sex revolution
When we failed the physical..."

> "Killing in the Name" - Rage Against the Machine

Or, as I heard someone describe it the other day, referring to the reason why it was picked by that Facebook campaign to challenge the X-Factor winner for Christmas number one, "Swearing LoLs".

> "Kingdom of Doom" - The Good, The Bad & The Queen

This album just seems to get better and better.  The more I listen to it, the more it seems to sum up the post 9/11, post-Iraq and Afghanistan invasion world that we live in.  Gloomy, downbeat and serious. 

> "Free" - Cat Power

Chan Marshall is rapidly moving up my LastFM charts as my most listened to female artist.  In fact, she's recently overtaken Carla Bruni and Dusty Springfield to sit at the top of that particular pile (scandalously only 25th overall though).  It's not hard to understand why when you listen to this song.  She's got the most amazing voice, for starters.  I also love her slightly downbeat material.  Yeah, so I'm a downbeat kind of a guy.

 > "Hallelujah" - Leonard Cohen

It's a great song, obviously.... but it's taken me a while to come round to the charms of Cohen's original.  Initially, I discarded it as being rather plinky-plonky and not a patch on Jeff Buckley's cover.  I still like Buckley's version, of course, but I'm starting to appreciate the rather less obvious charms of Cohen's original.   Cohen's voice might be an acquired taste, but it's so full of character and it really brings out the poetry of those beautiful lyrics.  It's seems superfluous to say so, but it's an absolutely magnificent record.

> "Nowhere Fast" - The Smiths

It's not their best song, and I can take or leave that stuff about dropping your trousers to the Queen, but I just can't get this lyric out of my head:

"And when a train goes by,
It's such a sad sound...."

The lines, the way that Morrissey sings them, filling them with sadness.  Ah, it gets me every time.   Yup, it's The Smiths again.  An enduring love.

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