Well I Wonder ...

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

Monday, September 26, 2005

Do You Remember Me?

Listening to How Soon Is Now - The Smiths, Slide Away - the Verve ....

Well I wonder why it took so long, but for some strange reason (he he) I've finally been inspired to do my top 30 songs of all time and to figure out how to get back to blogland. I initially wrote out a 'short' list consisting of exactly twice the amount of songs so this may end up a top 50 if I have trouble getting rid of some. I'll try to keep it one entry per band only, not to mention I will be listening to each band as I comment about them. So in no particular order...

Let's Go!

1. How Soon Is Now -The Smiths Has to start here because for me it did start here. I remember sitting in my room in around 1987 taping songs off this new radio station I had found that played stuff that was totally different from the top 40 pop that I was accustomed to. The music totally intrigued me and connected with me on a level I could understand both musically and lyrically. That night was the first time I had ever heard this song as I taped it along with Depeche Mode - Never Let Me Down Again, The Cure's Let's Go To Bed, New Order - Blue Monday, Love and Rockets - Ball of Confusion, Renegade Soundwave, INXS, Midnight Oil, Ministry, the Clash... the list goes on and on. That night set the stage for the rest of my life, musically speaking. At that time I found the vocals strange and hard to get used to, but the music was so fresh and really really cool. Over the years I have probably played this song more than any other. Between Johnny Marr's guitar wizardry and Morrissey's gift to put the anguish of adolescence into words, almost every Smiths song could end up in this list, and this one is the perfect representative of thier work.

2. Slide Away - The Verve (produced by John Leckie) Station to Station in St. Catharines to this day, is my favourite music store cuz they were the ones to have all the rare singles and bootlegs that no-one else could find; very helpful to a Cure completist as I was when I started going there. The lady in there was in her 60's at the time and knew more about music than anyone else I knew. She loved David Bowie and the Chameleons and Peter Murphy and David Sylvian and introduced me to so many cool bands at that time. It was the early 90's and i remember just starting to slowly get out of my "Cure and Cure only" phase and discovering fresh new bands like The Stone Roses, Blur, Suede and Slowdive. That day I picked up a Stone Roses single (I Want To Be Adored) and a used copy of Just For a Day by Slowdive. She looked at what I had and said I might also want to get the used copy of the Verve's Storm In Heaven that she had just put out minutes earlier. I hadn't heard of them yet and didn't have time to sample it, so I just left it there. Oops. A few days later I heard them on CFNY and from the first few bars of Slide Away I was hooked to its swelling mass of spacious sound. I went back a few days later but of course it was gone and never showed up used again.

3. Over The Wall - Echo and the Bunnymen It was 1997 and I couldn't beleive that I was going to see one of my favourite bands from high school that had been broken up for ten years. They sounded so good playing all the old stuff from Songs to Learn and Sing and thier self-titled album (which were the only two cassettes I had of thiers) along with thier passable new material. The show was totally thrilling; Ian had such a cool stage presence, the tunes were perfect and full of energy and I knew every one - that is 'till the very last song. I had never heard it before and my jaw literally dropped it was so fecking amazing. Powerful, haunting and hypnotic, Over The Wall singlehandedly solidified thier place as my favourite band of the 80's not named the Smiths.

4. Me And Giuliani Down By The Schoolyard - !!! (pronounced chk chk chk) This would be a recent favourite. Totally funky and sporting the coolest transitions and sweeping guitarlines, this 10 minute long masterpiece is by far one of the coolest things I've ever heard. I've been listening to it like every day for the last few months and still sounds sweet.Yes they do use more profanity than I like, but the music is undeniably tight and the basswork is stellar. Besides nothing is 'funner' than cruising around with the windows open and everyone singing along to the doo doo doo doot doot doo part.

5. Svefn G Englar - Sigur Ros Anyone who's seen the video for this lovely song has witnessed a visually stunning and gripping masterpiece. This haunting, lush and beautiful piece of sonic art is brilliantly complemented by an Icelandic drama troup made up entirely of people with downs syndrome. Dressed as angels, thier natural aura of innocence and the fact that it is all shot in slow motion make it the perfect complement to the music. Also I might add that they are the only band that I've seen live that have actually brought tears to my eyes due to how powerfully beautiful the music was. I wasn't bawling, it was just so emotionally powerful that tears started falling down my face during Vidrar Vel Til Loftarasa.

6. Just Like Honey - Jesus and Mary Chain When I heard the first few bars start playing at the end of Lost In Translation just as Bill Murray's character Bob Harris starts looking for Charlotte (played by the lovely Scarlet Johansson) on the busy Tokyo streets, it was so amazing I almost cried. I thought to myself, it's as if all along the song was written specifically for the movie, but they wouldn't have known till over 15 years later. Psychocandy is still my favourite album of thiers to this day.

7. Best Man's Fall - The Trashcan Sinatras (produced by John Leckie) Until I dicovered thier clever and whitty lyrics (as well as a greater appreciation for the rich sounds of a 12 string Rickenbacker) I just passed them off as a bland Scottish outfit that sounded like they wanted do be another cheap Smiths knock off. I found this tune on an HMV comp and slowly fell in love with the lyrics. Bought the album a few years later and fell in love with it and it's one of my absolute faves now. This particular tune features gem lines such as "she came into my life like a brick thru a window and I cracked a smile", "penny up but if you have no money your attention will do, and if you don't give a damn your welcome to keep it" and "scars of the night before have turned into scabs and still I'm seeing double and , I'm looking twice my age, its getting to the stage where, I'm old not wise just worried." Every song is laced with clever lines such as these. Just heard another line I love in the song that comes after it (Circling the Circumference) "that's my story and I'm stuck with it..."

8. Something I Can Never Have - Nine Inch Nails There was this show on CFNY every week called Friday Night High where they would go into schools and set up a dance. However, the kids were able to have an active part in choosing some of the songs - like a top ten list or something like that so you would end up hearing stuff they normally wouldn't play. Well I remember one night they were palying some awesome stuff and they played Violent Femmes - Kiss Off and The Smiths - Please, Please, Please... and then they played this song which I had never heard before and it totally grabbed me. I was already a bit of a fan of NIN before but didn't have the cassette yet. That week I went out and bought Pretty Hate Machine and played it endlessly for months. That song still remains eerily true for my life even now as much or moreso than it did then...

9. Second Skin - The Chameleons A very underrated 80's band that very few people knew of until bands like Interpol and more recently the Departure and Editors started ripping off thier signature pulsating guitar riffs. I first heard the song Swamp Thing on a Hardest Hits compilation and totally loved it and started buying anything I could find of thiers which proved quite a task. For ages all I could find was a few Radio sessions and a compilation album. Eventually I found a copy of Script of the Bridge at the old Sam the Record Man in Toronto and was instantly thrilled upon listening to it. Certain songs kept growing on me such as Paper Tigers and Don't Fall but Second Skin has grown to be my absolute favourite Chameleons tune. There's a really cool transition in the middle where the rest of the music fades out and while it keeps the same beat it slowly comes back in but changes over the melody to something quite different. It's like getting two really sweet tunes in one clean package.

10. A Day In The Life - The Beatles As a kid I never really got along with my dad so not liking the Beatles was just a part of not liking him. We were just different people and I liked 80's pop and eventually 80's alternative which bears little resemblance to the Fab 4. He passed away 15 years ago and over those years I really learned to appreciate a lot of the things I didn't like about him. I love the 60's pop he used to like now: The Beatles, The Zombies, Buddy Holly, Donovan, Dylan some Guess Who and on and on.... There are many times when I wish I could invite him over and sit down and listen to my Beatles records with him and ask him about all those bands that I missed out on. As far as this track goes I think its the best they ever did; features both John and Paul at thier creative best, the transitional orchestra swells are fantastic and I think this song more than any other they created really introduced the masses to a new era of musical experimentation.

ok this will be the last one till later cuz I've got stuff to do....

3 Comments:

At September 26, 2005 at 8:46 PM, Anonymous uncle alro said...

hey, I do remember you.

I still don't have a storm in heaven, geeze, and I should get it right now!

 
At September 30, 2005 at 7:04 AM, Anonymous falco said...

Uncle Alro has no friends and smells funny too

 
At October 10, 2005 at 3:41 PM, Anonymous The Falcon said...

I have friends, just not many.


I am the Falcon!

 

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