Friday 28 November 2014

accept leavings when leavings come...

Earworms of the Week

The Trooper” – Iron Maiden
Immigrant Song” – Led Zeppelin

After more than two years of “London Calling” as my ringtone, I finally contemplated a change this week. One of the problems with choosing a song as your ringtone is that, whenever you hear that song, you immediate reaction is to reach for your phone. This exact thing happened to me this week and prompted the thought that perhaps a change was due. These two songs represent my shortlist. Both are fine records, but I’m leaning towards Led Zeppelin mostly because of the Viking Kittens. I think maybe I’ll give it a trial and see how it feels. You don’t really know how you’ll feel about your ringtone playing in a room full of people at work until you’ve road-tested it. The Clash passed that test with flying colours, and I’m hoping for something similar with Led Zep. Time will tell.
My wife’s ringtone will remain as the Imperial March, obviously.

Psychotherapy” - Ramones

Because, as I said last week, sometimes you just can’t beat the Ramones. Like AC/DC, it’s glorious in its unchanging simplicity. I think I first heard this song via the Skid Row cover.  Imagine!

Molly’s Chambers” – Kings of Leon

They were brilliant for their first two albums, and then they began the slow descent towards becoming the Eagles. Ah well, it was good while it lasted, and I’m happy for their success. I preferred them when they had absurd haircuts, avant-garde facial hair and completely incomprehensible lyrics. They still have that last bit intact, but they just aren’t as raw and urgent now as they were back then. More’s the pity.

Fugitive Motel” – Elbow

Like the Kings of Leon, another band that I got into at more or less the very beginning. With Elbow, it was when Yahoo or someone was hosting a steam of “Red”. Unlike the Kings of Leon, I’m inclined to think that Elbow are one of those bands who have got better and better as they’ve got older. Their last album, for me, was one of their very finest. “Fugitive Motel” is ancient by comparison, from 2003, but it might just be my favourite Elbow song. Always a highlight of their live set when they do occasionally play it. I love the playful lyrics:

"I'm tired" I said
"You always look tired" she said
"I'm admired" I said
"You always look tired" she said

Guy Garvey is such an old, but realistic, romantic.

Talk” – Coldplay

I checked out of Coldplay’s career a couple of albums ago, and I’ve heard nothing recently that is making me want to get back onboard. Still, listening to X&Y, I’m reminded of why I loved them in the first place. Sure, Chris Martin is overly fond of a certain unspecified relationship anxiety in his lyrics, but at this point, I still found it charming. The Kraftwerk riff probably helps, mind….

Gepetto” – Belly

Back in the Summer of 1993, I had a portable cassette player in my car and three albums on an almost permanent rotation: “Modern Life Is Rubbish”, “Suede” and “Star” by Belly (I’m pretty sure I still have the tapes too, even if I’m no longer sure I have anything to play them on). Even now, I couldn’t honestly tell you that it wasn’t the Belly album that I loved best of all. I never saw Tanya Donnelly perform live, but I guess it’s not yet too late. Now I think of it, I’m not even sure I’ve got this album ripped as an MP3. I really need to get onto that, eh? Songs like “Dusted”, “Feed the Tree” and this one ought to be enough of a reason. Hmm. I reckon this might have popped into my head with all this talk about the “Fables” comic books…..

Moving On” – James

Instantly recognisable as James and an instant classic. Damn but they’re a good band and they haven’t lost it. (Great video too, incidentally)

Northern Sky”/ “Black Eyed Dog” – Nick Drake

It’s 40 years this week since Nick Drake died. One of my friends has written about just that in the Telegraph.  I got into Drake almost by accident, picking up a copy of “Way to Blue: an introduction to Nick Drake” in Our Price Milton Keynes, I think after reading a review in Q magazine. Even though I was a heavy metal head, there was something about his beautiful and intricate music that really connected with me. I’ve been hooked ever since. He’s pretty much my go-to guy for late night listening. Gone too young. He was twenty-six years old when he killed himself. 26. So much talent. Listen to “Black Eyed Dog” and shudder at how depression can take hold of people’s lives.

Helicopter” – Bloc Party

The song that got me into Bloc Party and still the song that explodes out of the speakers when I play “Silent Alarm”. I first saw them perform this song on Later…. With Jools Holland, I think on the same show as Keane and Interpol also appearing, although perhaps my memory is playing tricks on me there (it was November 2004, and apparently Ray La Montagne was on the same show too). As ever with that show, you give a band you don't know a couple of seconds to grab your attention before doing something else or just winding on to the band you like.  Well, this grabbed me in seconds.  Apart from anything else, that's a brilliant drummer.  I saw them at Rock City not long afterwards, after the release of their debut album. That gig was the fullest I’ve ever experienced Rock City, and although I was ten years younger than I am now, I still felt like comfortably the oldest person in the room. Good times. It’s just an electrifying, propulsive piece of rock music.

Right, well that’s it from me for the week. You might not like these posts (and my wife tends to skip over them), but least it isn’t another post about running, eh?

Have a good weekend, y’all.

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