Friday, 13 July 2012

20/20 visions and murals with metaphors...

Earworms of the Week

The Laughing Gnome” – David Bowie

The Thin White Duke would probably cringe if he knew it, but this is probably the song of his that pops into my head the most often.  I don't even own a copy of this, and I own copies of loads of his more other stuff.... but it's the novelty song that pops in when I least expect it.  I was even listening to Ziggy Stardust the other day too, and is any of that in my head?  No.  I've long since given up expecting to find logic in what crops up on my internal jukebox... but this just seems ridiculous.  That joke about the Gnome Service?  I'm not sure it was funny back in the day, and it's definitely not funny now.  I bet I still find it funnier than Bowie does, mind....

Here Comes the Rumour Mill” – The Young Knives

Although I think the Young Knives have just been getting better and better, it has to be said that their debut album is absolutely knock-out and still sounds as fresh today as it did then.  There's no one quite like them and we should cherish them in all their tweedy glory.

Where I End and You Begin” – Radiohead

Me and Radiohead go way back, all the way to when I ignored them at a whipround disco at the University of Warwick when no one knew who they were and just resented the noise they made as we tried to have a drink with our friends in the bar (it was called a whipround because people came round with collection tins, and that's how the band were paid).  Then they became brilliant, and then they disappeared up their own arses and stopped giving a shit about the people who bought their records or who turned up at their gigs.  Post-OK Computer, I've not really been on-board.  There are bits of Kid A, Amnesiac and Hail to the Thief that are brilliant, but they're a lot further apart than they used to be.  The band owe me nothing and can chase their muse wherever it takes them, what really pissed me off was the arena show I went to where they just treated their audience with absolute contempt and just amused themselves with extended jams of songs we didn't know.  Anyway.  This song is on one of my running playlists, and as I ran down the canal past Sainsburys the other day with Running Club, I was reminded of how good this record is.

Cat’s in the Cradle” – Ugly Kid Joe

I was reading an article in the Guardian about great American Novelists and thinking about how I really need to re-read Salinger and Harper Lee and need to get hold of some more Cormac McCarthy and Kurt Vonnegut, when this song popped into my head.  It took me a moment to figure it out, but eventually my conscious mind caught up with my subconscious.  The reason, of course, is that one of the books I need to read is Vonnegut's "Cat's Cradle".   Cue Ugly Kid Joe.  Not the definitive version of this, but the one that I got.

Bats in the Attic” – King Creosote & Jon Hopkins

Several months later and I still find it hard to scroll past this album when I'm browsing through my iPod.  I absolutely love it's gentle beauty and those wistful, Scottish brouge-ed lyrics.

...and then I scrolled further down my iPod and stuck this on.

"Communication Breakdown" - Led Zeppelin

I've not always seen eye-to-eye with Led Zep, and find a fair bit of their stuff pompous and over-blown....but I haven't listened for a while, and a quick blast of this and some of their earlier stuff was a real tonic as I was writing some tedious document or other at my desk this morning with a big cup of coffee.  Progress was good.  For once.

Detroit Rock City” & "Calling Doctor Love" – Kiss

Another couple of 'worms prompted by an article in the Guardian: this time one about Kiss, who are promoting some stupidly massive limited edition book at the moment.  The comments underneath were mainly populated by people getting all snobby about Kiss as a band and Gene Simmons in particular for some of his more robust opinions and politics.  Me, I think they're okay.  Their music definitely isn't clever, but if you haven't got room in your life to like a song like "Strutter" for what it is, then you're definitely missing out.  "Detroit Rock City" is a cracking little number, and I can't listen to "Calling Doctor Love" without bursting out laughing.  I can't confirm this, but I'm pretty sure that the only person who has ever called Gene Simmons "Doctor Love" is Gene Simmons.  I'm also reminded of the time when I was driving back from the Mansfield Road end of town at about 3pm one Friday afternoon when I glanced in my rear-view mirror and saw that the clapped out Ford Fiesta behind me was being driven by someone in full Peter Criss "cat" makeup.  I had to do a double-take to make sure I wasn't hallucinating, but there he was.  I checked when I got home to see if there was a Kiss tribute act playing in town somewhere that night... but no.  Apparently there's just a guy who drives around in full Kiss make-up.  Brilliant.

In The Garage” - Weezer

Talk of Kiss always makes me think of this song.  Still one of my favourites by the band.  It's probably the geek in me that likes the mention of Nightcrawler and Kitty Pryde as well as the namecheck for Ace Frehley and Peter Criss.  Yeah, I was a nerd long before I spent 165 hours (and counting) in Skyrim....

Wake Up” – Rage Against The Machine

I watched the Matrix the other day.  It stands up pretty well as a film, and the central premise -- in the original at least -- is brilliant.  As always when I watch this though, I'm struck by how good a choice this song was for the closing credits.  It's just absolutely perfect.  One of the best choices of song to soundtrack that I can think of.  Great song.  A band that I'd very much like to see and have consistently always missed the chance.  Maybe one day, eh?  Actually, I'm a bit light on gigs this year full-stop.   I'll have to get on the case.....

Right.  I'm done.  My Skyrim game glitched and I've got to go back 8 hours to a stable save and go through all those Daedric quests again.  Yeah, the Ebony Mail again.  Oh well.  Needs must.

Have a good weekend, y'all.

Come on!  Ugghh!

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