Song Of The Day #25.

The Offspring – Hit That

After trawling through some old albums (and bands) that I used to enjoy, I thought I’d dedicate a Song Of The Day to a band I can’t work out whether they’re good or not. I know I rather liked their music when I was younger, but that doesn’t mean it’s good… Especially considering the other crap I used to listen to. Anyway, this song I actually like, it’s a very good succinct unit and fantastically satisfying because of that. There are a great many classics I would have liked to put on here in place of ‘Hit That’, but the latter won in the end. I only ever really listened (avidly) to ‘Conspiracy Of One’ and ‘Americana’ (which this song is not on either, it’s off of the 2003 album ‘Splinter’), but I still did like The Offspring. At the time.


The Tuesday Muse – Classic Albums.

I am currently working my way through the vast expanse (seriously, it’s bloody huge) of ‘classic’ albums that exist but I’ve never actually heard. i started with Radiohead’s ‘Pablo Honey’, Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ and Primal Scream’s ‘Screamadelica’, which all proved to be pretty damn good really, an awful lot better than I was expecting. Then I delved onto albums I’d never heard as albums (only individual songs), including Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’ (I can safely say every song is a hit here) and David Bowie’s ‘Ziggy Stardust’ (obviously, the same can be said for this album). Moving onto Talking Heads’ ‘Talking Heads ’77’, I wasn’t as impressed as some of the other albums, but it’s still pretty good really. Perfectly listenable to, but not really amazing, and David Byrne’s voice kind of grates after 11 songs. Sorry Byrne, it’s true.

Anyway! The point of this blog was that it got me thinking of the classic albums of the first decade of the ‘naughties’. And yes I understand it’s not always possible to see what will be deemed classic and widely influential now, but what can we site as fantastic and those that will stand the test of time now? I can see very few, but then I don’t have the power of retrospect and all that. Anyone got any ideas? And don’t you dare say all music from this generation is drivel, because it’s not. There’s just a lot of drivel to sift and wade through before you get to the good stuff.

Song Of The Day #24.

The Decemberists – Down By The Water

I think I am completely in love with this song. A new offering from what has to be one of the best bands around at the moment – really, they are epic, and so worth a listen – AND I’M GOING TO SEE IN MARCH – and who have a new album out on January 11th, making that one of the best weeks for music in a hell of a long time. Last time this happened, British Sea Power released ‘Man Of Aran’ and the Manics released ‘Journal For Plague Lovers’. That was a good week. And as it starts the year off, I am very excited about January, as Sea Power are releasing Valhalla Dancehall on the same date. You won’t be seeing me for a few evenings, but you’ll probably be reading a lot about these new musical pieces.

On a slightly different tangent, the album title is ‘The King Is Dead’. This, I believe first made me think of Wishbone Ash and their album ‘Argus’, and also conjures up images of battles, farming, Thomas Hardy, mediaeval times – and the like. But thinking about it, there’s only one word that’s different from the title of The Smiths album ‘The Queen Is Dead’. And yet this makes me think of political things that I’d rather not thinking about. Is that because we currently have a queen atop the throne? Or because queen doesn’t say ‘traditional-horseback-flags-death-battle cry- etc’? Just a thought.

Anyway, this song was thrown in my direction by BenchLad, and we were both unaware of its inclusion on a new album, so as it takes a slightly different direction from most other Decemberists songs (as far as I’m aware, no characters die in this song), we presumed it to be early. But no! It’s fantastically catchy and yet retains good Decemberist roots in its traditional stance, as well as being quite fitting for the modern ear. Oh just listen to the bloody thing. You’ll probably listen to it five more times before sleeping. I LOVE THIS BAND.

Music Mondays – Living Is So Easy.

This technically should be a Song Of The Day, but come on! It’s British Sea Power, they need more than just a few words.

Oh by the way, I love this band. I suppose at this stage I should make reference to my brother, but only if I get to call him Dede. He, like with the Manics, introduced me to this band, but never really seems to go about introductions in the right way. It’s more a case of “listen to this, you need to, it’s essential. Actually, I’ll stick it on now”, as opposed to “oh there’s a band you might like, their EP’s on Spotify. For you to listen to at your leisure.” Anyway, that aside, I drove through the initial barrage of Sea Power love to find an endearing yet wildly underrated band – I can’t even find anyone to go and see them with me next February in Bristol, despite them wearing walking boots and chunky knits on stage (how is this not popular yet?). Eccentric and probably a bit weird actually, this band writes about melting polar ice caps, the flooding of Canvey Island and Dostoyevsky whilst rating castles and partaking in bird documentaries with Guy Garvey. But! Don’t let their odd antics put you off their music. This new release ahead of their upcoming album ‘Valhalla Dancehall’ in January 2011 (and subsequent tour) is, I think you’ll agree, rather good.

Called by the band “our most electronic song to date”, it has an initial pleasantly fake-sounding beat (is this to represent the fakeness of the characters in the lyrics?), with some classically unobtrusive and dreamy lyrics coming in a few moments after. And the lyrics are rather intriguing – I believe there’s no real historical or environmental story involved here, it’s more of a slightly tongue-in-cheek look at our times, and I think the title is perfect. Because it is! Everything they describe in the lyrics is indeed easy – how difficult is it to go to the party? How difficult is it to shop? – and I rather like the satisfaction of the thought ‘what will happen will happen.’ I get the impression that all the people they’re talking about are the people who BenchLad and I disapprove of/scorn, who always emerge at around 11pm dressed in next to nothing (in WINTER?! Bloody crazy idiots), looking to drink their body-weight, whilst we’re heading home for a good cup of tea and cuddle after seeing the latest film from Argentina. The soullessness of society is felt through the words from Sea Power, and again they’ve got it “just right”.

But then, is Yan just talking about a party? One where you go and meet people and have a mini groove? Or people just joining in with life? A “clay pigeon shoot” is mentioned at the start, which jars somewhat with everything else they talk about – so are they wanting people to meet in classic situations (who the hell meets at clay pigeon shoots Yan?) or at 2am in a sticky-floored club? I will never really know what Sea Power are saying, but that’s ok. Sometimes it’s enough just to let the music go.

Ps. Their artwork is AMAZING. And apologies for the video fading out before the actual end…

Song Of The Day #23.

Holy Fuck – Stay Lit

Also dubbed “an elaboration of the word “fuck”, this band has an unusual but amusing name. That aside, they make good music. Here is an excellent example. This band, from Canada, are also, aside from being electronica, called experimental rock, post-rock and industrial. Which is quite a mix. But I’m pretty sure they all cross over at one point or another. I believe we saw them twice at Glastonbury this year, and BenchLad was quite surprised that I liked them. Which saddens me as it must seem to him like I have incredibly dull taste. Anyway, for your enjoyment is ‘Stay Lit’ from their 2010 album ‘Latin’. Note the way the whole thing builds up subtly to an outstanding crescendo and eventual finish, without having to be too noisy and without having to ruin it. This piece is marvellous.

Song Of The Day #22.

Stevie Wonder/Paul McCartney – What’s That You’re Doing?

Now I’m not the world’s biggest fan of “Macca” (urgh, what a nickname), or The Beatles, but I can appreciate how much they’ve contributed to the musical world and I think there are some absolute choons in the repertoire of both. Stevie Wonder, on the other hand, is outstandingly cool. Groove-tastic, if you will. This is what would be deemed two of the greatest musicians of our times funking it up together, in 1982 on the ‘Tug Of War’ LP, rather well. If you think ‘Ebony and Ivory’ is good (which it isn’t), you haven’t seen ANYTHING yet. And neither has Stevie. Get your groove on kids:

Song Of The Day #21.

Weezer – Pork And Beans

Thought it was about time to include some seriously good/non serious choonage on here. Released in 2008 on the Red Album, this song is a reaction to a meeting with Geffen Records, and is the band’s most successful single to date. And if you haven’t heard this, or seen the video, or even HEARD of the video, you haven’t lived. This is a belter of a song, and the video encapsulates a hell of a lot of modern culture. “A good study of the times”, as Daddy Treagust would say. Plus, how good is the phrase “pork and beans”? That, combined with the video, and the outstanding song, make up for one brilliant production, and it’s something you should all be watching/listening/enjoying.