Monday 29 August 2016

no plastic money anymore...

Earworms of the Week

Look... it's a bank holiday weekend, so everyone's timings are out of line. It's perfectly fine to put a post that usually appears on a Friday up on a Monday.  Anyway, I've not been doing these all that much recently, so make the most of it!

"Purple Rain" – Prince

I wouldn’t say that I was much of a fan of Prince. His death was obviously very sad, and his music clearly means a lot to an awful lot of people… but I’ve never really connected with it. In fact, in my whole collection, I have the grand total of one Prince song… I don’t actually like it much and only downloaded it specifically for a compilation I was making. That being said, I haven’t had my head in a bucket for the last thirty years, and I’m familiar with lots of his work and can even see the genius in some of it. There are loads of examples (Nothing Compares to U, When Doves Cry, Raspberry Beret…) but this is probably the most obvious one. Quite why it popped into my head as I was walking around an alp in Switzeland, heaven only knows.

"Moving On" – James

James opened Glastonbury this year, with the first slot on the Other Stage. As befits band of their status, they were actually introduced by Michael Eavis themselves and played to a pretty big crowd. They played what I would describe as an entirely typical James setlist: when many other bands with their sort of back catalogue might well have just played a greatest hits set, James determinedly played songs from their last two or three albums with a few of the hits thrown in between. Here’s the thing though: their new stuff is actually really good. Tim Booth always said that he’s not interested in being in a nostalgia band, and it’s clear to me that their creative juices are still going strong after all these years. People might have expected them to play Sit Down (they didn’t), but I was quite happy when they played this. The latest album sounded really good too, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing them on their rescheduled Nottingham date in December.

"Californication" - Red Hot Chili Peppers

This album soundtracked a roadtrip that me and my friend did in Florida in the summer of 1999. We had a hire car and this was one of the cassettes that we had taken along with us. It seemed like, every time I turned on the car radio, they were playing the Backstreet Boys, so we mostly listened to the tape. For my money, the band actually peaked on their next album, By The Way, but this one still sounds pretty good to me, albeit they haven’t quite grown out of their juvenilia quite yet and he’s still occasionally guilty of singing about his sexual prowess (although there’s nothing here to match Special Secret Song Inside from the Uplift Mofo Party Plan).

"I Kissed A Girl" - Katie Perry

Sounded pretty good as a singalong in the Punto on the way to the Wachau in Austria. You can’t beat a good pop song, can you?

"Lose Yourself" - Eminem

As a lot of the Olympic athletes – most famously Michael Phelps - liked to wear headphones as they prepared for their events, there was quite a lot of interest in what songs they put on their playlists. There’s quite a lot of rap… but this song is unsurprisingly popular. Personally, I’d prefer the Rocky Theme or Eye of the Tiger, but I suppose this isn’t too bad.

"Delia's Gone" / "Folsom Prison Blues" / “I’ve Been Everywhere”- Johnny Cash

More great singalong songs for the car. Perhaps it’s the register of my voice, but I can’t get enough of Johnny Cash… I’ve been Everywhere in particular is an in-car favourite and reminds me especially of the trip we took to British Colombia in July 2010. I can manage the choruses alright, but I think I’ll need to put a bit of really focused effort in before I can master the words in the verses….

All together now.

I've been everywhere, man
I've been everywhere, man
Crossed the deserts bare, man
I've breatherd the mountain air, man
Travel, I've had my share, man
I've been everywhere
I've been to,
I'm a Killer...

"Chicago" - Sufjan Stevens / The Staves

I found out in Vienna that this has been covered by the Staves – and that my friend recognised the original only because he’d heard them singing the song on FM4 (cool Austrian radio station). I had no idea. They’re not bad, eh?  They're from Watford, you know...

"Royals" – Lorde

Over the last couple of years, I’ve noticed that I’m not really listening to much new music… new music in the sense of recently produced music by bands I’ve never heard of before. Yeah, sure I do reviews for Leftlion every month, but I’m worried that I might be reaching the age where I’m relatively happy with what I like and simply lack the curiosity to hear more new stuff. That would be rubbish, wouldn’t it. Now, I’m not claiming that Lorde is a great unknown or anything like that, but at least she is a sign that I’m not entirely musically incurious just yet. Even if I’m no longer really capable of listening to Radio 1 (good God, No!) I need to listen to more 6 Music so I can hear more new things.

"Rock Me Amadeus" – Falco

Because every single Austrian of a certain age is able to sing this song from start to finish, and because that’s hysterically funny every single time. My wife is determined to put the work in to make this her new party piece too, and I think that’s to be heartily encouraged, don’t you? Good song, too. Even after all these years.

That's your lot.  Um... Hope you enjoyed your weekends...

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