Well I Wonder ...

All men have secrets and here is mine so let it be known...

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

30 Tunes part 2...

listening to Something's Burning - Stone Roses

So I gotta do this while it's fresh otherwise I'll never get to the next scheduled top 30 - Movies. But for now I'm still working on the songs. Seeing as Wire has gotten me on a Roses kick might as well start with them....

Again, in addition to yesterday's 10 and in no particular order....

11. Standing Here - The Stone Roses (produced by John Leckie) Sadly these guys were shite live when we saw them in 95, but they left a huge legacy both personally and in the music world 5 years earlier. They first helped create the whole Madchester scene in the late 80's which went on to inspire the baggy and Britpop scenes, and individually inspired bands such as Oasis and the Verve as well as newer outfits like Kasabian. In the early 90's I had had enuff of all the Cure and friends and really needed a break from all that; a fresh start to go with getting married and moving out and beginning a new life with new hopes for the future. The bands I enjoyed before wrote great tunes, they just weren't uplifting in that sort of way - the Cure, New Order, Bauhaus, Joy Division, DM and all that kind of stuff. Along came the Roses, and they made life feel good and positive, with freshness and hope, and I guess what they did to the music industry was the same as what they did to my head. They wrote lovely jangly guitar based tunes filled with sunshine and swagger - acid house beats, funky bass rythms and hushed vocals. This wasn't thier most popular tune but it is my personal fave. They somehow managed to fuse a bit of Jimi Hendrix guitars with happy 60's era pop and tacked on a delicate little Byrds-esque sounding bit at the tail-end of it.

12. Orpheus - David Sylvian This is a fabulous piece of music by an artist who deserves to be farmore recognized than just as the former frontman for the glam-punk turned artsy new-wave band Japan in the early 80's. His solo portfolio is astounding, collaborating with industry legends such as Robert Fripp (guitarist from King Crimson), Eno and Ingrid Chavez as well as Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto and Krautrock legend Holger Czukay from Can. I wasn't supposed to buy this album (Secrets of the Beehive) because I was really short on cash and Whirligirl (at that time my girlfriend) was getting angry because I was spending so much time and money at the cd store. (I guess some things never did change.) I told her I bought this album and she quickly changed her tune. One listen and I knew why; song after song was organic bliss; classical guitar, orchestra, grand piano, string ensembles, and odd rythm arrangements making it seem like it was more suitable for being played at a wholistic healing centre but with Sylvian's familiar rich melancholy vocals keeping it grounded in my rock realm. Orpheus is particularly beautiful the way the song just seems to trail off in a warm orchestral fade and return a moment later with a sweet lazy trumpet solo over top.

13. Little L - Jamiroquai Another recent fave. I started playing this a few weeks ago and can't stop playing anything Jamiroquai. I guess this provides a bit of a pick up since my life is a little low right now, but that's not quite what this Little "L" is all about. I downloaded the new album and it has some real sweetass tunes from the rippin' Kravitz inspired Feels Just Like It Should to the usual killer disco, acid jazz and funky bass standards found in abundance on thier previous albums. But this Little L tune got me hooked. I just checked my iTunes and its my most played tune since i started on this computer 2 1/2 months ago. I hum it everywhere. Dang!! Wish I could afford to see them live at the end of October.

14. It's a Fast Driving Rave-Up With the Dandy Warhols Sixteen Minutes - The Dandy Warhols Speaking of bands I will be seeing soon... It was either this or Every Day Should Be a Holiday. I also saw them back when they had just put out this album (Dandy's Rule OK?). They opened for Pulp and I really liked it. It was totally different than the Brit-Pop stuff I was feeding on at the time. I couldn't really appreciate them as much as I should have though due to the fact that we brought my sister and her friend along. This friend kept complaining and wanting to go home (over an hour away) seeing as she told her parents she wouldn't be longer than 11 o'clock. Yeah... Right... I'm gonna leave a show in Toronto because some kid who obviously hadn't been to a show before had to get home for bed when I had clearly explained the details beforehand. Sorry, you made the mistake, you deal with it. I went to Station to Station the next day and tried to get the cd. I still remember how he said the name when i asked for it. "Oh, the 'Dandy' Warhols, right.... clever little name. It just came out. I definitely noticed it but I didn't order it because I hadn't heard anyone ask for it yet." So I guess I was the first person in St.Catharines... Anyways this song is a blissed-out jam that matches its title in length and worth every mesmerizing moment. They even set an alarm clock at the end so they know when to stop. Like the song title implies, it is very good for driving to and even raving to I suppose, although I have no experience with the latter. Would be trippy though...

15. Voodoo Ray - A Guy Called Gerald Speaking of raves... ok I'll stop doing that. Back in the late 80's of course being obsessed with mostly gothy guitar bands, I went through a period where I scorned almost everything electronic. Even though initially bands like Depeche Mode and New Order were huge influences on me, I left them behind for awhile especially during the House and Techno era of CFNY where every other song was Technotronic and Soul2Soul. Any band remotely electronic based seemed to be copying the trends. I tried hating New Order's Technique and the Mode's Violater which were highly influenced by that scene but now, ironically, those are my favourite albums by both. But that whole time I secretly loved this song. I don't know why but just the way they twisted those nobs at just the right times hooked me. There's not much to the tune really - simple but catchy, fun to dance to, and when I heard it as the tune they had on for the menu of the 24 Hour Party People movie, I hadn't heard it in ages and it totally brought me back to secretly taping it off the radio between the Sugarcubes and Janes Addiction. All those bands like the Orb and Saint Etienne and Beats International and KLF, I really hated back then, and now ....

16. There She Goes - The La's (rumoured to be originally produced by John Leckie) The far superior original version of this song written and sung by Lee Mavers, not the mediocre version done by Sixpence None the Richer and sung by Leigh Nash. Lee Mavers was probably the best pure 60s pop song writer of any generation including the 60s themselves. OK you can make an arguement for Dylan, but quite frankly Mavers sounds much nicer in the delivery. His song writing was remarkably simple and sounded simply remarkable. Clever little sun-soaked tunes carved out on a six string, and accompanied by tambourine and a sincere heart. It's a shame he had a run in so deep with the industry that he swore he would never release another song for any record company ever again. And to my knowledge still hasn't.

17. William It Was Really Nothing - The Smiths OK, OK, OK, I know I said I would try to not repeat any bands, but its the Smiths. C'mon! I really don't think you can appreciate the musical genius of Smiths tunes until you actually try to play one. Most just leave you shaking yer head in amazement. I don't think anyone can play this particular tune anywhere close to how Marr plays it. I put on the song for my guitar teacher, who could reasonably rip off just about any other band I would place before him, and he just shook his head and said those are some messed up chord changes. He poked around with the chords a bit and didn't even attempt to try the finger picking technique. I really don't think its possible. It was sad when I saw Johnny with his new band and that style he was known for was totally absent from his new songs. It was as if he was trying to out-Oasis Oasis, and although Oasis has written some decent tunes over the years they simply pale in comparison to the complexity of a Jonny Marr classic. Johnny just make up with Morrissey and then hell can freeze over and we can all be happy paying thousands for scalped Smiths reunion tickets.

18. Fragrant - Paul Oakley Most of the worship music I've ever heard all sounds the same. You could probably get almost anyone to play almost any modern worship tune by almost any of the multitudes of writers out there and you would barely be able to tell who wrote what. The scene has basically become one large well meaning throng of worship writers weilding a relatively homogenized batch of nice sounding songs. I am not knocking thier desire to serve God by writing for the masses (hehe sorry); it would just be nice to add a little creative twist now and then. Enter Paul Oakley who personally told me he was inspired by none other than the Stereophonics and Verve among other more creative secular influences for some of his cds. This song comes off his amazing Unafraid album for which he peeled back the layers of production and let the songs fight for themselves and find new breath with just accoustic guitars, a piano and a cello in a live setting. Lovely lush instrumentation with his rich vocals and you can totally hear that he is genuinely pouring his soul out before God - nothing for show. This song is not only beautiful - it's beautiful for all the right reasons and may just be my favourite song of all time.

19. The Promise - When In Rome There were a lot of one hit wonder bands in the alternative scene back in the 80's. I guess there were a lot in the 80's in general... Each had that "je ne sais quoi" for a song or two but could never manage to find the magic again to write another gem. But those gems were so good. Bands like Flesh For Lulu, Real Life, B-Movie, Endgames, Fiction Factory, Voice of America..... the list goes on. A lot of them I taped off the radio, loved the song, but didn't find out for years later who they were. And since they had so few hits, thier music was almost impossible to find later in music stores once i did find out. Most of them I did manage to track down on 80's rarities compilations over the years. This one I had to wait until the wonders of file sharing became available. I was also pleasantly surprised to hear it as the closing song on Napoleon Dynamite when they're playing tetherball, which coincidentally will likely be in my list of top 30 movies of all time.... if I ever get to it.

20. Pounding - Doves I was driving some friends home, one late summer night about 3 years ago and they were all asleep and I had this amazing almost surreal experience. I had finally succumbed to Jez's pressure, and had just bought The Last Broadcast album a few days earlier. It quickly replaced BRMC as a permanent fixture in my car cd player. That night, the clouds were all silvery as the moon was exceptionally bright, and the whole way there the sky was being lit up even more by one of those late summer heat electrical storms with really cool fork lighning and the whole bit. The sky that night mixed with the album so perfectly I will never forget it. The whole album is a collection of individual aural masterpieces that form one stellar soundscape from one end to the other using a range of musical styles, all flowing perfectly into one another and totally enhanced by some of the best production I have ever heard this side of Nine Inch Nails. Words can't describe how good this album is. It's totally uplifting and refreshing to listen to. On this track, borrowing the synth line from Joy Division's Love Will Tear Us Apart and the drum beat from The Stone Roses' I Am The Resurrection proves to be an amazing combination when added to that stellar production and crisp guitarwork. It truly is pounding and exhilerating along with the rest of the album.

Stay tuned for part 3....

5 Comments:

At September 28, 2005 at 8:43 PM, Blogger whirligirl said...

you should really look into a career as a music writer - you definitely have a gift there. no kidding. i'm impressed. well done! looking forward to reading the rest - and enjoying walking down memory lane with you.

 
At September 29, 2005 at 6:00 PM, Anonymous bob sanchez said...

Little low haha

I'm just waiting for the SSQ.

 
At September 30, 2005 at 7:07 AM, Anonymous The Queen Rola Is Dead said...

Whirligirl is very right! I mean come on, you have the gift!! Excellent writing...stands up against any music mag column i've ever read!

 
At October 10, 2005 at 3:47 PM, Anonymous who killed The Queen Rola? said...

One must agree with two of the previous posts.

 
At November 20, 2005 at 10:51 AM, Blogger Gordon said...

Hello, just visited your blog, I have a website about overcoming many kinds of addictions and it is very informative.

 

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