Earworms of the Week
“Walk the Dinosaur” – Was Not Was
Boom boom acka lacka lacka boom / Boom boom acka lacko boom boom / Boom boom acka lacka lacka boom.... isn't that all you need to know?
“Firestarter” – Prodigy
Fat of the Land was released when I was working in HMV in York, and because it was the biggest album of the month, we tended to play it all day. Now, when you work in a record shop, you become pretty adept at tuning out the godawful chart shite we generally had to play. When you do get to play something you like, it's almost worse because constant repetition will kill pretty much anything. It took me years to make peace with OK Computer for exactly that reason. Fat of the Land actually held up pretty well, on the whole. The main problem was that our manager decided that "Smack My Bitch Up" was not appropriate to be played across the shop, so every time it came on, everyone dropped whatever they were doing and the nearest person to the CD player had to dive across the counter and hit skip. This continued for a while, then I innocently enquired if our CD player was like every other CD player in the world and could, in fact, be programmed. It could. I programmed it. I kind of missed the adrenaline rush. Can you remember when "Firestarter" was considered in some way a threat to society?
“Stay Together” / “Sleeping Pills” – Suede
I've only seen Suede once live; at Glastonbury in 1993. They were really good. Now that they've been back together and performing for 4 years, I should probably pull my finger out and see them again. Some friends of mine saw them performing "Dog Man Star" at the Albert Hall last Sunday, and by all accounts they were superb. It's an album that will always remind me of living in Venice. Apparently they don't play the full version of "Stay Together" live very often (if at all), but they played it on Sunday to an ecstatic crowd. Lucky them. I just bought the first two records on vinyl and they sound magnificent.
“Do You Remember the First Time?” - Pulp
One of my team has been dating a guy she met on eHarmony. It's been about five weeks and tonight is apparently their eighth date. He's pulled all the stops out by booking a decent restaurant and by asking her to come round to his so they can travel into town together. Of course, what this really means is that he's asking her to stay the night, and that tonight it's on, for the very first time in their budding relationship. She's been bouncing around the office all day with excitement and nerves, and it's been lovely to watch. My wife finds it hysterical that my team tell me these sorts of things, but I like that they do and actually I feel kind of nervous for her. As Pulp say in this song, can you remember a worse time? It's exciting but so awkward and fumbling and I'm not sure I'd want to be back there again. You probably just need to get it out of the way, right? Still, if things don't go well, there's always another song by Jarvis that seems apt: "Don't Let Him Waste Your Time".
“Helplessness Blues” – Fleet Foxes
Quite a departure from the more choral stuff on their first album, but the second album by the Fleet Foxes is quite beautiful too.
“Beat It” – Michael Jackson
One of my oldest friends and I disagree on Michael Jackson. When this song popped up on the stereo at our dinner party the other day, he promptly despatched his wife to skip tracks. As I was literally in the middle of a conversation with someone about what a good song this is.... definitely in my MJ top 3... I wasn't having that, stood up and put it back on. It's my party, etc. At the very least, there are ways of going about it, eh?
It's a classic!
“Happiness” - Pharrell
I defy you not to be uplifted by this. It may actually be impossible.
“New York Morning” – Elbow
I'm seeing Elbow on Monday night and very much looking forward to it because their new album is a corker. Are there many better lyricists than lovely Guy Garvey?
“Antenna up and out into New York
Somewhere in all that talk is all the answers
And oh, my giddy aunt, New York can talk
It's the modern Rome where folk are nice to Yoko”
Fantastic band. Seemingly getting better and better. Plus, as I discovered the other week, Garvey is exactly one day older than me. I think I've aged better, to be honest.... but he's perhaps more successful. It depends how you're keeping score....
“Harvester of Sorrow” / “Blackened” - Metallica
As the party wore on last week, the number of people in our private room at the hotel slowly dwindled. By about midnight, we were down to the hardcore and all the women had left. So what did we do? We drank bourbon and put on Metallica. I bought "....And Justice For All" when I was about 13 or 14 years old. On cassette. It sounded epic then and it sounds pretty good now. On Saturday night, in the company of three or four of the guys I used to sit and listen to this album with back in 1988, it just felt right. I was apologetic to the hotel on Monday, when they asked me if everything had gone okay, and said I hoped we weren't too noisy. Not a single complaint, apparently. I suppose that means that, even after a lot of drinking, we're old enough and polite enough to keep the volume down and the door shut. It was a fantastic night.... and what a band to finish with.
Right. That's your lot. Have a good weekend, y'all.