Friday 26 September 2014

you always mistook fists for flowers....

Earworms of the Week

It's been a while.  Shall we do this?

Hooked on a Feeling” – Blue Swede

It’s been a few weeks since I saw Guardians of the Galaxy, but Awesome Mix vol.1 is still very much with me. Simon Pegg – no stranger to putting together cool soundtracks himself – remarked that you could tell Guardians… was a major studio film with financial muscle simply by the quality of song they were able to put onto the soundtrack. Given that the album was a number one on the US Billboard chart, I imagine that they will find Awesome Mix vol.2 rather a lot easier to license. This is just a great record, right?

All the Rage Back Home” – Interpol

Fair to say that opinion is divided on Interpol. I even read an article somewhere the other day that was suggesting that they were perfectly fine when they were pretty small and just starting out, but got too big on the back of the hysteria about the Strokes, quickly finding themselves with a status beyond their talent. Well, interesting theory, but bollocks. Interpol have always been capable of writing absolutely killer songs, and their debut album, “Turn on the Bright Lights” is a classic. Perhaps they’ve stagnated a bit, and they’re certainly not to everyone’s taste, but their last couple of albums have been perfectly acceptable – on revisiting them last week, they actually seem to have improved with a bit of time. The new one also seems to be pretty good, based on the first few listens. Never mind that though, apparently Paul Banks, the man with the voice of an undertaker reading a legal textbook, is dating Helena Christiansen. Yes, that Helena Christiansen.

Primal Concrete Sledge” - Pantera
I Am The Law” - Anthrax

Watching “Metal Evolution” has got me reaching back into my past to listen to some proper old school metal. No messing. In truth, neither of these sound as heavy as they did when I was fourteen years old, and neither did Slayer when I listened to them the other day. Perhaps I’m getting old. Or perhaps I’ve just taken the edge off my hearing listening to all this metal over the years?

My Favourite Number is Six” – Bert and Ernie

Last year, I promised a dear friend of mine that I would act like a musical godfather for her daughter and send her a compilation CD for her birthday each year. She was five last year, and I opened the mix with “5-4-3-2-1” by Manfred Mann. I wanted to follow a similar theme this year, and start the mix for her sixth birthday with a song featuring the number six. I was a bit stumped, but when I outsourced the problem to my team at work, they come up trumps with this one. What’s not to like about this? It’s just perfect.

Bert: Six

Ernie: Six?

Bert: My favorite number is six

Ernie: Bert, nobody's favorite number is six.

Bert: Sometimes I spend the whole afternoon
Sitting around, and singing a tune about

Ernie: Six, hmm?

Bert: Sometimes I think of six bricks.

Ernie: Bert, that's very boring.

Bert: Or else I think of six sticks

Ernie: Well, that's even more boring.

Bert: Not five bricks or stick, but six
Now two is your eyes and one's your nose
And five is your fingers or your toes
And four is the legs on an easy chair
Yet there's no number can compare with

I’m already thinking about next year’s opener, so suggestions on songs featuring the number seven are warmly welcomed.

Every Other Freckle” – Alt-J

Like a crisp packet? Oh Romeo… *swoons*

Rusty Cage” – Soundgarden
Rusty Cage” – Johnny Cash

One of the episodes of “Metal Evolution” I’ve just watched was about the grunge scene in Seattle. Following hard on the heels of the episode about hair metal, what was funniest about it was watching a succession of key figures in the grunge scene denying that they had any kind of influence in their music at all from heavy metal. It’s as if you were basically directly accusing them of wearing spandex and using hairspray. I don’t know about you, but if you listen to the likes of Alice in Chains or Soundgarden, those rock influences are never really very far away, and watching Kim Thayil from Soundgarden in particular denying the link as we watched a clip of the band rocking out with one of the best modern rock vocalists, was actually pretty funny. Soundgarden rock. I don’t know why they’re afraid of admitting their influences (he did come as far as saying that, maybe, Led Zeppelin were an influence), but they’re obvious to anyone with ears. Alice in Chains even toured with Anthrax, Megadeth and Slayer back in the day, didn’t they? Rusty Cage is a great song, anyway. Perhaps even better in the Cash version, which clearly isn’t metal. So maybe…..

What Difference Does it Make?” – The Smiths

This song was deployed to great effect in “Pride” as we follow our “outsider” character into a houseparty in 1980s London. He’s tentatively stepping outside the closet, and the lyrics to this song seem so spectacularly apt. Plus it’s a magnificent record, obviously. Morrissey’s appearance on the band’s Top of the Pops debut, performing this song whilst wearing a hearing aid was groundbreaking because he seemed to come from a different planet. Is it any wonder that outsiders identified with him?

The Intense Humming of Evil” – Manic Street Preachers

Welcome welcome soldier smiling
Funeral march for agony's last edge

Six million screaming souls.
Maybe misery, maybe nothing at all.”

I got the tickets.

Have a good weekend, y’all. I’m busy flogging myself in a timed 5k, having a flu jab and helping to marshall the Robin Hood marathon. It’s all good.

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