Tuesday, 31 May 2011

30 Days Music Challenge

With thanks to my friend and literary fencing partner Dan Holloway, here is my 30 day music challenge to give you a little insight into me and my likes and dislikes. Each song has a link to a YouTube video.

Day 1 Favourite song - "I Wanna Be Adored" - Stone Roses. Undoubtedly a great song, managing to suggest both rampant egoism and yet a tentative self-doubt in his voice. I'll probably have a new favourite song next week. Pop's fickle like that.

Day 2 Least favourite song - "Love Will Tear Us Apart" by Paul Jones or "She's Lost Control" by Grace Jones. Such abominations of the original Joy Division meisterwerks that I can't bring myself to link to them.

Day 3 Song that makes you happy - "Come Down Easy - Spacemen 3. I've never taken recreational drugs and have little tolerance for those who do. However, Spacemen 3 made some of the most sublime stoner music ever and this track so joyously surrenders itself to ecstatic bliss that I am suffused in it too. Maybe this should be a guilty pleasure song (see day 13)?

Day 4 Song that makes you sad - "Love In Vain" - The Ruts Lead singer Malcolm Owen pledges his determination never to return to the heroin needle in a voice that drips emotion. He died of a heroin overdose

Day 5 Song that reminds you of someone - Toss up between "Kerosene" by Big Black and "Cry Me A River" by Julie London, somewhat divergent styles of music I'm sure you'll agree. Both remind me of my first girlfriend who turned me on to both artists. She had pretty eclectic tastes and I will always honour her for that. Oh yes and for being the first of course...

Day 6 Song that reminds you of somewhere - "Fire Spirit" - Gun Club. I'd gone to see these guys on the recommendation of The Fall's Mark E Smith via John Peel's radio show. I'd never heard any of their songs and turned up at the venue to find it was a sit down place with waitress service, but boy did they blow the stage away that night. I'll always remember that venue though, sadly no longer with us, but hopefully to be immortalised in my WIP...

Day 7 Song that reminds you of an event - "Decades" - Joy Division. My second ever play was performed at the Edinburgh Festival and was about a Joy Division fan still trapped in denial 5 years after his hero has committed suicide {not autobiographical in the least there ;-)} This song was the inspiration behind the play. "Here are the young men, the weight on their shoulders". The play was about urban alienation and we were performing in a bus depot so periodically through the play there would be tannoy announcements about buses pulling out. Very apt.

Day 8 Song you know all the words to - "Bankrobber" - The Clash, but then there aren't all that many words in it! I do love singing along to it though much to my sons' chagrin. "My daddy was a bankrobber" - at such moments they probably wish I was and accordingly languishing behind bars...

Day 9 Song you can dance to - "Nothing Can Go Wrong" - South Central. I've never been big on dance music or rave, but this is quite catchy and besides I'm sure you're all bored with me posting 23 Skidoo's "IY" on every other music blog post I do...

Day 10 Song that helps you fall to sleep - I don't believe I possess any music that puts me to sleep. Music is supposed to reach out through the speakers, grab the top of your spine and make you want to MOOOOVE. I would imagine any Prog Rock group like Yes or Ozric Tentacles to put me to sleep, but I've never tried them. An oversight on my part perhaps, since I am actually an insomniac. Wonder if I can get hold of their CDs on an NHS prescription?

Day 11 Song from your favourite band - "Kalte Sterne" by Einsturzende Neubauten. God I loved this band. German is THE language for pop music.

Day 12 Song from a band you hate - Anything by Oasis. I'm not posting a link, I believe you can find some of their stuff on the internet somewhere... Why do I hate them? This isn't a Blur V Oasis thing, cos I was never a fan of Blur either. Actually it sort of is in an inverse way. Blur were seen as the London cool and Oasis the Northern lads' band (hence the rivalry), but even though I'm a Londoner, I acknowledge that Manchester has been the rock and roll capital of the UK for the last 35 years, yet Oasis a band from Manchester always wanted to sound like The Beatles, a band from Liverpool and that pop pickers, is tantamount to TREASON. Manchester and Liverpool hate each other more than either hates London. I think it had something to do with Liverpool charging Manchester rent to ship Manchester's manufactured textiles out to the world. Petty. Bit like my dislike of Oasis really...

Day 13 Song that is a guilty pleasure - "Jump Around" - House Of Pain, a really dumb song, from a band with a really crass Plastic Paddyness, yet that groove just gets me. Soz.

Day 14 Song that no one would expect you to love - "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" - St Etienne. I dunno, I normally like a bit of edge to my music, but Sarah Cracknell's voice on this wins me over. Mind you she's got more edge than Neil Young's reedy original.

Day 15 Song that describes you - "You've Got My Number, Why Don't You Use It" - The Undertones. Hey I'm a struggling writer, what more can I say?

Day 16 Song that you used to love but now hate - "The Knife" - Genesis. Peter Gabriel Genesis, Pink Floyd, Led Zep, I used to be into them during my formative musical years, but when punk came along I just couldn't listen to them any more because they just sounded SO SLOOOWWW. I mean this song even has a flautist on stage, what was I thinking? Seriously, I'm impressed there is actual footage of this up on YouTube. I wanted a decent live version of Pink Floyd's "Dogs" but there didn't seem to be one.

Day 17 Song that you hear often on the radio - "Can't Live Without My Radio" - World Domination Enterprises. Bit of a cheat this one as since DJ John Peel died, I don't listen to the radio for my tunes. World Dom do a marvellously OTT version of "Funkytown". Check it out.

Day 18 Song that you wish you heard on the radio - "Politicians And Paedophiles" - The Bug. The clue is in the title really, and you won't hear many more angry songs than this. Having said that, I bet there's some pirate radio station broadcasting out of a garret in a South London crack house that is playing this on the airwaves.

Day 19 Song from your favourite album - "Ghetto Of The City" - Misty In Roots. I don't really have a favourite album, but Misty In Roots "Live At The Counter Eurovision" is about as perfect an album as you can get with not one duff track on it. Thing is I no longer own it as some ex-housemate waltzed off with my vinyl copy many moons ago. Not that I would have a record player to play it on anyway.

Day 20 Song you listen to when you're angry - "To Hell With Poverty" - Gang Of Four

Day 21 Song you listen to when you're happy - "Groovy Situation" - Keith Rowe. Oh man that voice, that voice!

Day 22 Song you listen to when you're sad - "Let There Be Light" - Nas. Ugh, crushing.

Day 23 Song you want to play at your wedding - "Don't Touch Me There" - The Tubes. Hey I've had my wedding, so what's the problem? There was an outside chance, a real long shot, that The Beastie Boys could have been induced to play at my wedding as they were playing a set in Rough Trade Record Shop where I was working. But the inlaws nixed the idea... No Klezmer band either.

Day 24 Song you want played at your funeral - "Paper Planes" - MIA seems a fitting send off... "If you catch me at the border, I got visas in my name". Let's hope so eh St Peter?

Day 25 Song that makes you laugh - "Art Bitch" - CSS Being funny in a second language, nuff respec'. Check out those lyrics in the box below the vid.

Day 26 Song you can play on an instrument - "Gdansk" - Test Department. I like doing guerilla art stunts. It started at college when we played a midnight concert on the croquet lawn outside the halls of residence, running the amp cables into the basement. I couldn't and can't actually play any instruments, so I hit a beer keg with a sledgehammer in tribute to Test Dept. The problem was the rest of the band were playing "Bela Lugosi's Dead" by Bauhaus. Still it was all good fun until someone threatened to report us. Swot. I went on to hit an oil drum with the same sledgehammer in a play wot I wrote for the 1985 Edinburgh Festival, where we met some striking Kent miners who were performing a play about mining and de-industrialisation which Test Dept had backed. Funny that this vid has a cello piece so prominent, since I was supposed to learn the instrument at school, but I handed mine back in two pieces and the music department didn't ask me back again next term.

Day 27 Song you wish you could play - "Nice'N' Sleazy" - The Stranglers. I was always dreaming of being the bassist in a band, but couldn't even master 4 strings. There are so many low down and dirty bass riffs, but JJ.Burnel was maybe the king of them all. Did you know The Stranglers were reputed to have 3 men who were all draft dodgers in their respective countries?

Day 28 Song that makes you feel guilty - "Bombastic" - Shaggy. One isn't supposed to approve of Shaggy, or the sentiments on this song, but again, you find the right sound and I roll over and let you tickle my tummy.

Day 29 Song from your childhood - "Rhubarb And Custard" Theme Tune. Can't remember watching the show particularly, but the theme was simply awesome. Of course a bloody Rave DJ got hold of it and remixed it and it was horrible... Though I did like the version of the Rainbow theme tune by Crazed Mr Bungle.

Day 30 Your favourite song this time last year - "It Doesn't Make It Alright" - The Specials. I rediscovered the Specials last year and the plaint in Terry Hall's voice here makes me want to cry and rage all at the same time.


Dan Holloway said...

In "surprising facts about me" you can file that I once heard Sounth Central at a gig. They were supporting Pendulum and they were excepyionally good

RaShelle said...

Some cool songs. Other I haven't hear of and will have to check them out. =D