Friday, 31 January 2014

the sands of time for me are running low.....

Earworms of the Week

"Touch Me" - The Doors

Jim Morrison isn't really all that well suited to my vocal range - I'm much more of a Johnny Cash man. This hasn't stopped me singing this one out loud at my desk for most of the week. Well, at least I've managed to restrain myself from vocalising that brilliant intro too.... I've restricted myself to doing that one in my head.

"Return of the Mack" - Mark Morrison
"Gangster's Paradise" - Coolio

I went to a quiz at the Rescue Rooms last week with LB, and the theme was "90s music". Our table apart, the average age of the gathering looked to be about 20, and it was like taking candy from a baby. It's slightly sobering to realise that these children are enjoying these songs on a retro basis, and singing along guilelessly to the Spice Girls, but we totally owned the quiz and walked away having barely got anything wrong (and to chants of "google!"). We got full marks in the impossible-to-google intros round, which beautifully included these two songs. Everyone knew the Coolio and gleefully sang the first line when the intro was over, but it seems that not many people were aware of the East Midland's finest ever rapper. Yes it is! Here I am! etc.  Ridiculous man.

"No Limit" - 2Unlimited

Baffling how this got in my head, but now that it's here.... ugh.  It's awful, isn't it?

"Big Spender" - Shirley Bassey

This song, when caught in your head, is always to be accompanied with a little shoulder wiggle to be timed with the "bup-bup bup-bup baa baa ding" bits. Obviously. Everyone does that, right? Apparently, having this song caught in my head says a lot about me, or so I was told this week. What that might be, I'm not quite sure, but I feel as though they're insinuating something.

"D.I.S.C.O."- Ottowan

If having "Big Spender" caught in my head says something about me, then what on earth does this one say? I actually had to look up the original artist, as I genuinely did not have a clue. Interestingly, all the 20-somethings in my team are familiar with this one. They have no idea who Jimi Hendrix is, but they can sing along to a disco classic. Young people, eh?

"The Laughing Cavaliers" - The Duckworth Lewis Method

Probably best if we don't talk about cricket after England have just completed their worst ever tour, but I do like the Duckworth Lewis Method, and their gig before the start of the Trent Bridge Test in July 2013 was a real delight. I initially didn't think much of this song, but listening to the album as I was out for a run the other day has really changed my mind. Perhaps if England's cricketers had more this sort of attitude than the one that involves a rather pompous recipe book that was sent to each ground on this tour, detailing the tasty nutritious snacks during the matches, then perhaps we might have done better. We certainly couldn't have done much worse.

"Black Belt" - John Grant

I've had "Pale Green Ghosts" for some months now, but for various reasons, I haven't ever really got around to listening to it. I finally put it onto my iPod as I cycled to work this morning*. Not only is it really good, but it also seemed to be quite familiar, and I must have subconsciously absorbed a lot of it from places like 6Music. This song in particular. I think, when I've heard it, I just had it written down as something from the early 90s, as that's the kind of vibe the song seems to have. Nice and acerbic though, I like it.

What you got is a black belt in BS,
But you can't hawk your pretty wares up in here anymore.
Hit your head on the playground at recess.
Etch-a-sketch your way out of this one, reject!

Take that, loser!

*low volumes, for obvious reasons... naturally. It's not really the time or the place for heavy metal at deafening volumes, is it?  Sadly.....

"The Milkman of Human Kindness" - Billy Bragg

I bought "Life's a Riot with Spy vs Spy" on vinyl the other week, and promptly had to learn how to manually switch the drive belt of my record player onto 45rpm.... vinyl is so gloriously manual, isn't it? It sounds amazing, of course, but although the EP also includes "New England", it's this song that seems to sum up the compassion of Bragg the best. He's famous for his political views, but so many of his songs are much more personal than that... mostly about girls, in fact. Thirty years old, this record, would you believe?

"Say Hello to the Angels" - Interpol

I was pleased to see that Interpol have just announced a date at Rock City, but slightly disappointed to discover that they are headlining the latest NME tour. I've been to a couple of these, and generally speaking they've been pretty disappointing. I've seen some great bands play on the lineup, but mostly it seems to be filled with kids screaming at bands that have been overly hyped and have very little substance - Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong are the most obvious example, but I really wasn't taken by the Palma Violets at all a couple of years ago. By the time Django Django came on as headliners the last time I went, most of the kids had already left... which was their loss, as they were brilliant. It's no surprise that this event is often sponsored by someone like Shockwaves. Not sure how Interpol got the gig headlining a tour like this, because they're not really a good time band, are they? Still, they're good, and if this means that they've got new material out, then that's excellent news. I still like their first album best, mind....

"Hallowed Be Thy Name" - Iron Maiden

Perennial gig-closer, I actually left Twickenham when the band started playing this song a few years back: it was obviously going to be their last song, I've seen them play it many times, and I simply couldn't face the idea of the crowd nightmare to get back into London on the tube... so I'm afraid to say I left a gig for the first time ever as the music was still playing. I'm not proud of it, but there it is. Whisper it, but I have also spent large periods of my life not really liking this song. I love the band, and perhaps I'd simply heard it too often and its appeal had just worn off over time. I think I'm back in love with it now, in all of it's epic glory. There aren't many metal bands with the sheer longevity of success of Iron Maiden, but they actually write some really interesting songs on an enormously diverse range of subjects... the Battle of Britain, the Crimea, the First World War.... well, okay, there's a lot of war... but as well as war, they've written an adaptation of the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, a song about Alan Sillitoe's "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner", stories about Ancient Egypt and shizzle like that.  Yeah, so it's a bit boy's own... but they're a lot more eclectic than, say, Motley Crue, no?  Hmm, now that's faint praise....

And on that bombshell......... have a good weekend, y'all.  I'm going to watch a whole lot of rugby, and maybe the Superbowl (although please don't tell me the score until I've seen it at some point on Monday evening.)

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