Earworms of the Week
Turin Brakes – “Painkiller”
I loved the first album by Turin Brakes, and I was charmed by the fact that when I first saw them at Rock City, they were still at that stage of their career where they were slightly in awe of the fact that anyone had come to see them at all (and they were basically overwhelmed when they played the Pyramid Stage, if I remember correctly). The second album I didn’t like so much, but this is probably my favourite of their songs and an obvious highlight. What happened to them?
Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Don’t Forget Me”
I know they’re not everyone’s cup of tea, and they went somewhat off the boil for me with Stadium Arcadium, but for a good few years the Chilis were untouchable and just getting better and better. I started listening to them around the time of “Mother’s Milk” and fell head over heels in love with “Blood Sugar Sex Magick”, but for me their high-point is “By The Way”, where the harmonies and melodies are just sublime. John Frusciante is clearly a genius, and the band have not been the same whenever he hasn’t been with them. This particular song wasn’t ever really a highlight for me until I saw an extraordinary performance of it on YouTube. I don’t think I’ve ever seen guitar playing like it. He’s incredible. Watch and see for yourself.
The Specials – “Friday Night, Saturday Morning”
They’re a marvellous band, of course, but the lyric that keeps popping into my head is:
Wish I had lipstick on my shirt
Instead of piss stains on my shoes
I’m not sure I can think of many more lyrics that capture a moment quite so perfectly or so descriptively.
Tom Petty – “Freefallin’”
I suppose you should only really be listening to this song if you’re in a car with the roof down and you’re driving along an arrow-straight freeway somewhere in the middle of a western desert…. But I suppose listening to it when you’re running in the rain will just have to do, eh?
Harry Belafonte – “Man Smart (Woman Smarter)”
I can trace my love of Harry Belafonte back to hearing Huey Morgan playing “Zombie Jamboree (Back to Back)” on his six music show last Halloween… but since then my interest in him has only grown. Needless to say, C. is a big fan of this song.
Garden of Eden was very nice
Adam never work in Paradise
Eve meet snake, Paradise gone
She make Adam work from that day on
That’s right, the woman is (uh!) smarter. That’s right. That’s right. Only a fool would disagree, no?
Bloc Party – “Helicopter”
The first Bloc Party song I heard and still my favourite. I just love the way that guitar explodes out of the song. Another band who never really did it for me after their fantastic first album. Great drummer too. I think I actually first heard this song on the Later.... show in that video. If memory serves me correctly, they were on the same show as Interpol.
Iron Maiden – “The Phantom of the Opera”
I’ve said so many times before, but there are some songs that you put on your running playlist that just give you a perceptible lift at a crucial moment. For me, 10 miles into a half marathon and starting to slow as I was running down Castle Boulevard in Nottingham, it was this song. Brilliant record. I’m no Daley Thompson (although that was a brilliant advert), but for the duration of this song, I really felt as though I could be. “Bulls on Parade” was pretty important a bit earlier in the race too.
The Pretenders - “Where Has Everybody Gone”
You know that scene from “The Living Daylights” where the KGNB assassin disguised as a milkman infiltrates the MI6 safehouse and kills people in a variety of pretty brutal ways, often using exploding milk bottles, but also at one point an electric carving knife? Yeah, that one. Well, the milkman/agent does all of this whilst listening to a walkman (if George Lucas was remastering this film, he would probably digitally replace this with an iPod, even allowing for the fact that milkmen don’t really exist anymore, do they?) Playing on the walkman as he goes about his lethal business is this song. And it’s been caught in my head all day after reading an article on the Guardian about the film.
Speaking of Bond film music, do go and check out LB’s comprehensive guide to all the soundtracks. Well worth a few minutes of your time, I would say.
Muse – “Madness”
Muse appear to be something of a “marmite” band, with lots of people either passionately loving them or loathing them. I’ve seen a predictably wide spread of opinions for their new album too. I really like it: I like the fact that they’re experimenting with their sound. Yes, they do sometimes sound like Queen, and in this track there’s a snipped of very Edge guitar work, but in the main, I think they are a pretty distinctive and interesting band. I watched them performing this on “Later…” last week, and I love the electronic bass thing that they use for the key riff. It’s a good song, something different for them (whilst remaining recognisably Muse-like) and is so damn catchy that I’ve had the melody stuck in my head all week. Who could ask for more than that?
Right. That's it. This week I will mostly NOT be running a half marathon (although my crazy wife will be!). Have a good weekend, y'all.
Twitter Highlights from 2016
2 hours ago