Friday, 7 February 2014

trying not to be sick again.....

Earworms of the Week

"Deepest Blue" - LL Cool J

Ah, a floating laboratory in the middle of the ocean where killer sharks are being genetically engineered to be more intelligent: what could possibly go wrong?  Deep Blue Sea is one of the finest films ever made.  With that premise, how could it not be?  I first saw it in the cinema at Copenhagen, and one of the things that has stayed with me the longest is the LL Cool J record that appears over the end credits.  In what way is your head like a shark's fin, LL?  Could you explain that to me?  Brilliantly stupid, like the film.

"Vienna" - Ultravox
"Amadeus" - Falco

One of my colleagues is being taken by her new-ish boyfriend to Vienna next week (including Valentines Day!  Aw!)  Neither of them have ever been before, and bless her, she's very excited about the whole thing.  We got married there, of course, and some of our best friends are Viennese; we love the city and I was more than happy to lend her some guidebooks and to tell her that if I find out that she's been in a Starbucks whilst she's there, I'll never speak to her again.  And I WILL FIND OUT.  As she was born in 1990, it's not likely that she's familiar with either of these records (or the fact that every Austrian of a certain age knows all of the words to the Falco rap in "Amadeus".  Quite a sight, believe me).  Given that she hasn't even seen "Raiders of the Lost Ark", I'm not holding out much hope that she's seen "Amadeus", to be honest.  Still, she is keen to see some palaces and Vienna has certainly got a few of those.  Lucky girl.  She's going to have a brilliant time.  As long as she doesn't think it's going to be warm at this time of year, anyway.....

"TVC15" - David Bowie

Pete from Uborka has reached "Station to Station" in his chronological trawl through David Bowie's albums.  We're out of glam, but not quite at the Berlin albums just yet, so it's very much a crossroads in the Dame's career.  "Golden Years" is the most famous song on the album, but I've got a soft spot for this song.  You remember the Britannia Music Club that used to advertise in every magazine?  You joined up and got something like 5 or 6 albums free, but you then had to commit to buying another album every month for the next however long, and specifically had to tell them if you didn't want the "club choice" sending each month?  A mailorder music club?  I know!  How quaint!  Anyway, I was a member and I had a David Bowie 2CD greatest hits in my initial selection.  Lots of classics on there, of course, but for some reason, it was TVC15 that really stuck in my head.  Just hearing Pete mention it this week has been more than enough to take me back to those days.  It's not a terrible song, but it's not really in his top 10, is it?  In fact, even on a double-CD of Bowie songs, it seems a bit of an eccentric choice.  Perhaps they were trying to represent every album?  Who knows?

"No Regrets" - The Walker Brothers

Not their finest song, but what a showcase for THAT voice.  A very unexpected guitar solo too, and it bought them the time to do "Nite Flights"... surely worth the price of entry just for that, no?

"Why Does It Always Rain On Me?" - Travis

They seem irredeemably naff now, of course, and I think Fran Healey's songwriting ability has long since disappeared into the sugary quagmire of domestic bliss.... but there was a time when Travis were actually pretty good.  You can deride them as proto-Coldplay bed-wetters if you must, but "The Man Who" holds it's own to this day as a perfectly respectable record.  That said, they remain one of the worst arena gigs that I have ever had the misfortune to attend, something rendered even worse by the fact that they clearly believed they were a unique live act too, doing something more than just soullessly reproducing the record onstage.   Why's it in my head?  Who knows.  It's not like I've listened to it recently, or anything.  Now I think of it though, I just might do that.

"Sunday Morning" - The Velvet Underground

A band that I keep coming back to.  This is the first song on the first album of theirs that I own, and although it's not exactly representative of their work, it's still a doozy, isn't it?

"A Design for Life" - Manic Street Preachers

I was chatting on Facebook the other day about the Stone Roses gig at Wembley Arena in December 1995.  I attended in spite of a raging case of glandular fever and had a pretty good night.  The headliners were on pretty good form in what turned out to be John Squire's last gig with the band before they reformed in 2012.  I remember their 1-2-3-4 punch of "I Wanna Be Adored", "She Bangs the Drums", "Waterfall" and "10 Storey Love Song" as being one of the best openings to a gig that I have ever seen, but they then broke the spell by playing "Daybreak" and "Breaking into Heaven" which both seem to go on forever, even on record.  The Roses were backed that night by the Manics, and although I remember them being brilliant, the thing I remember most clearly was the fans, who at that time were still all there with big hair and lots of makeup.  Look at the setlist that night:

Elvis Impersonator: Blackpool Pier
You Love Us
From Despair to Where
A Design for Life
Enola/Alone
Roses in the Hospital
Australia
Everything Must Go
Motown Junk
Motorcycle Emptiness

This was still a good six months before the release of "Everything Must Go", so clearly this was my first chance to hear much of that new material... something I have almost no recollection of, although I do remember the finish of "Motown Junk" and "Motorcycle Emptiness".  Damn good band.  Love their most recent album too, so I really should be making more effort to go and see them again.... before it's too late.

"Lippy Kids" - Elbow

I've got tickets to see Elbow next month (I think) and they've got a new album coming out reasonably soon too.  I listened to "Build a Rocket Boys!" when I was out running in the pissing rain the other day.  It's an album that, after "The Seldom Seen Kid", I found quite hard to love.  Coming back to it with a bit of distance really seems to have helped though.  Damn, they're a good band, aren't they?  I can remember listening to "Red" on some early Yahoo-type web player in about 2000, so they've been around for a fair old while now.  Another band to really cherish.

"For Tomorrow" - Blur

I've been toying with the idea of buying the Blur boxset that has all of their albums and various b-sides and bonus material.  It's not cheap, but they're a band I go some way back with.  When I first began to escape from the clutches of heavy metal (I've just bought a vinyl picture disc of "The Number of the Beast", by the way....), along with The Smiths, Suede and Belly, Blur were one of the first bands that began to show me (somewhat ironically) that there was another way.  I absolutely loved "Modern Life is Rubbish", and actually bought "Girls and Boys" on single as soon as it was released and well before "Parklife" came out.  Of course, like any idiot twenty-year old, I went right off the band when they became massive, and never even got around to buying "The Great Escape".  Although I own the eponymous album and "Think Tank", I don't actually own "13" and was thinking that it might be quite nice to have the whole lot on vinyl.  I've never listened to "Leisure", so perhaps I'd be better off cherry-picking a couple of the albums instead.  One to think about.  "Parklife" sounds absolutely magnificent, by the way.  With a little bit of distance from all the nonsense, you can really hear what a great album it is.  I was also really struck by how great the cover looks on LP too.  I own the CD, which is small enough, but I suppose I most often see the tiny little picture attached to iTunes.  This song is really where my love of the band started though, even if Alex James remains the most puncheable man in cheese.......

That's your lot.  Have a good weekend, y'all.

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