Friday, 5 August 2011

rewritten by machine and new technology.....

Earworms of the Week

Rockaway Beach” – The Ramones

I’m still unable to shift the Ramones out of my head. It’s often argued that their songs all sound the same, and although there’s obviously a grain of truth in this, it’s also largely unfair and hides the fact that, within their own limitations, they actually explored quite a lot of different avenues of expression. It might sound superficially similar, but there’s surely an ocean of difference between this song and, say, “beat on the brat”? This song actually manages to sound nostalgic. How many punk songs is that true of?

Life Becoming a Landslide” – Manic Street Preachers

When I got up on Sunday morning after a long day of drinking at the Test Match and before we set off for another full day’s play, I put this song on. You might not think of the Manics as being a good Sunday morning band, something to listen to as you toast the bagels and make some coffee, but that just shows how much you know about these things.

Steady, As She Goes” – The Raconteurs

I tend to find the Raconteurs a bit limited as a band, albeit not as limited as the Dead Weather, one of Jack White’s other side projects (does he do anything but side projects these days?). They bored me rigid when I saw them live as they just seemed to find themselves and their endless solos far more interesting that their audience did. Still, they did write a couple of cracking songs that just rollick along. This one was their first single, and I still find it a little strange listening to the rocking tune and listening to the strangely homey lyrics. Jack White is a strange one.

Still Ill” – The Smiths

Prompted, somewhat bizarrely, by a look at Joey Barton’s twitter feed. Barton has a reputation as being a bit of an idiot: he has been involved in a number of scandals, both in his professional and personal life, most recently getting involved in a spat with his club over his views expressed on twitter. Imagine my surprise to find these remarks on his feed interspersed with quotes by the likes of Nietzsche, Seneca and Orwell. The earworm was prompted by his profile, which reads “I decree today that life is simply taking and not giving. England is mine and it owes me a living.” Why I should be surprised is interesting: presumably it is possible for someone to be a footballer, a twat, well read and with great taste in music all at the same time? You don’t have to exist in just the one box that people try and put you in, eh?

Chicago” – Sufjan Stevens

One of my colleagues is about to go on holiday and asked me for a few recommendations. He likes rockier stuff generally, but as well as suggesting people like White Denim and Band of Skulls, I found myself suggesting much quieter stuff like Nick Drake and “Come on Feel the Illinoise” by Sufjan Stevens. Well, he did say he liked Damien Rice… actually, of all things I suggested, this is the one that he was interested enough to listen to on my iPod as he was working at his desk this morning, and he’s going to download it when he gets home. When he gave me my iPod back, I gave it another listen to. Good album, isn’t it? I love how this song is joyful and yet also wistful.

Theme to Bullitt – Lalo Shifrin

It’s a three and a half hour drive from here to Bournemouth. That’s a long time to spend in the car with a man who has no fewer than 5 Showaddywaddy albums on his MP3 player. We were listening to it on shuffle, and it swung wildly from Elvis and Johnny Cymbal, through Erasure, Boney-M and other lost 80s classics and on to Alexandra Burke and Gnarls Barkley. On the way back, we changed MP3 player, and quickly discovered that Derek is not as tolerant of other people’s taste in music as he expects other people to be of his. “What’s this?” he said, as this classic theme tune popped up. “It’s the theme from the Steve McQueen film Bullitt”. “Right. Is the film as crap as the soundtrack”. Ouch. You should have heard him on the Stone Roses.

Long Sleeves for the Summer” – Gene

Love Gene, and it’s been that kind of a summer, hasn’t it? Popped up when I was about five miles into a nine mile run, and was most welcome. 1997, would you believe?

Meeting Mr. Miandad” – Duckworth Lewis Method

Speaking of songs that pop up when you’re running…. I was about halfway through a ten miler last night when this song popped up on shuffle. In spite of a day’s rest, my thigh muscles were still very sore from the three runs I did mon/tue/weds this week, and even the first mile was a bit of a slog. It was one of those runs where you just have to grit your teeth, and I was motivating myself by rewarding myself with a starburst sour every couple of miles or so. Just as I was at my furthest from home though, this song came on and put a real spring in my step. I actually ran the last 4 miles faster than all of the others. It seemed to hurt a little less. Great song on a great album, by the way. But you’ve heard enough about cricket from me for one week.

Video Killed the Radio Star” - Buggles

Actually on Derek’s MP3 player in the car on the way down to Bournemouth, or at least the Erasure cover version was. Weapons grade, this one. Approach with caution.

Right. That’s your lot. I’m off to Twickenham to watch a centre pairing of a samoan and a kiwi play for England. Hurray! Have a good weekend y’all.

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