Friday, 12 April 2013

pleasures remain, so does the pain....

Earworms of the Week

Life is a Roller Coaster” – Ronan Keating

Do I need to say that the prospect of Ronan Keating providing the entertainment at this black tie thing I’m going to in Frankfurt doesn’t really thrill me? Excellent. Then I won’t labour the point. Do you think he’ll do any Boyzone stuff? Apparently he flies Ryanair, according to a colleague of mine who found herself sitting behind him on a flight to Portugal. Maybe these corporate events don’t pay as generously as you might imagine?

We Are Young” – Fun (feat. Janelle Monae)

Triggered by a Rock City email sent to me this week which showed that these guys are coming to town, but that the gig is long sold out (I think the only other sell out on the list was Alt-J, although perhaps I was only picking out the gigs I might have gone to). It is a fantastic record though, isn’t it?

Somebody to Love” – Queen

I don’t even chuffing like Queen… and yet I have this bloody, over-produced, chanting going through my head. Rubbish. RUBBISH.

No One Knows” – Queens of the Stone Age

Ah, now that’s better. New material coming too… and after my comment last week, I see that the National are about to put something out too. Result!

The Number of the Beast” – Iron Maiden

I know they featured last week, but they’re currently a more or less permanent presence on my internal jukebox. I blame Facebook. I wouldn’t call myself a power user by any means, and I haven’t “liked” very much, but I have “liked” Iron Maiden. I didn’t think that this was anything more than a statement of personal preference and the occasional update from the band in my timeline, but apparently Facebook have changed something. All of a sudden, my timeline is being inundated with posts by other people who mention Iron Maiden. The big problem with this is that Iron Maiden have a very large and vociferous international fanbase (much noisier than those of some of my other likes, people like Paul Auster and Charles Dickens). The other problem is that this fanbase seems to like putting up things like hand-drawn pictures of their heroes. It’s quite sweet, I suppose… but seriously? I like to debate the serious issues of the day on my feed, and a meticulously drawn fan picture of Bruce Dickinson just doesn’t really fit in. It’s making me think long and hard about unliking a band that have been a massive formative influence on my love of music, and I just don’t want to do it. As one of my friends said the other day, haven’t I already “unliked” the Blaze Bayley era? Tee hee.

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead

This isn’t so much a political statement as a simple comment on the catchy nature of this tune. As Billy Bragg said the other day though, it doesn’t seem right to celebrate the death of an infirm old lady. The debate on Thatcher is incredibly polarised, and the truth of the matter is lost somewhere in the middle. Would I play it on the chart? Who listens to the fucking charts? Who cares? It won’t change a damn thing. If you really care about what Thatcher did to the country, then get off your arse and do something constructive about it, not just downloading a song from the 1930s for the sake of a pretty feeble joke.

Truth, Rest Your Head” – Gene

I first read about Gene in the NME in the library at Warwick University in about 1994. Even then, they were getting slagged off as Smiths rip-offs. Listening to their first album again, that comparison is so lazy as to be ridiculous. Perhaps some of the lyrical style, but they sound nothing like them musically and Martin Rossiter sounds nothing like Morrissey. They got a 3* review, if I remember correctly, and that seems even more stupid and unfair listening to the album today as it did back in the day. Although, to be fair, it’s pretty sad that I’m still railing about an unjust review from 20 years ago in the NME, eh? I bet the band have moved on.

Queen of the Night Aria” from the Magic Flute – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

It’s just scales and it’s in bloody German, but it’s still a magnificent piece of music. Do I want to accompany my wife to a performance of the Magic Flute in London next week? No. I’m afraid that, in spite of my best efforts, this music makes my head hurt over any period of time. Each to their own though, eh? This is splendid though. I hope she has a great time. It’s about three hours long, apparently. When I asked if the seats were comfortable in the Opera House, she told me that she’d see this standing up when she lived in Vienna. Good lord. That’s like being at a Neil Young gig.... which I loved and she hated.  As I say, each to their own.

Life’s a Happy Song” – The Muppets

Ah. From the sublime to…. I absolutely adore this record, and one of the most life-affirming things I have seen this year was a little Facebook clip of a 4 year old girl singing this song after I sent her mum a compilation CD including this song. It’s probably just as well that she chose this song to sing and not “Dr Kitch”, mind… (“mummy, why is the lady scared of the doctor?”) I’m sending her the whole soundtrack immediately, of course.

Enjoy the Silence” – Depeche Mode

After displaying the depths of my own ignorance of some of the most beautiful music ever written, perhaps it’s only appropriate that we finish with this. I actually heard this played on 6Music as I was getting ready for work the other day and was reminded of what an incredibly good record this is. Violater was promptly dug out forthwith and musical happiness ensued.

That’s it. Have a good weekend y’all.

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