Sunday, December 19, 2004

Xmas CD!

Esteemed friends, it being the season that it is, I am generously donating my time, taste and blank CDs to the act of sending out my nationally famous Christmas Compilation CDs. Anyway, I'll be posting these out shortly. You should get one, unless I've forgotten you, in which case feel free to grouse, gripe, winge, whine and generally throw your toys out of your bloody pram, you big baby. I'll send you one, ok? Space being limited on the back of the cd packet, I offer you an extended discussion of each of the tracks, mixing fact and opinion as I see fit:

1.Annie:Chewing Gum
Hmm, good start. I don't know an awful lot about this song. It's great, though, isn't it?

[consults internet]

Oh, it's Richard X. That makes sense. It's great stark deadpan-delivery elctropop, and it gets my extended metaphor of the year award for the lyrics. Plus, she looks pretty.

2.Dogs Die In Hot Cars:paul newman’s eyes
Great Glasgow band, equal parts XTC and Talking Heads, with a bit of Orange Juice too. This is a good thing. The album Please Describe Yourself is equally fine, if not moreso.

3.belle & Sebastian:your cover’s blown

Double A-side that didn't get much in the way of radio play, but it's funky, which B&S aren't as a rule.

4.Magnetic fields:I thought you were my boyfriend
Electrpop! Whisper: I think he's gay. He likes concept albums. There was 69 Love Songs which was 69 love songs on a triple-album, but without letting the quality control slip too much, and this year's I, where all the song titles start with the letter I. My, he's urbane. Also, I've just (like half an hour ago) watched Pieces of April, a very funny and strange but touching black comedy, for which Stephen Merrit who is the Magnetic Fields wrote the soundtrack. Trivia!

5.warren zevon:werewolves of London
Released in 1978, this song has some of the best delivered lines I think I've ever heard. A-woo! Look at the lyrics. I've just bought his greatest hits as a present, and the sleevenotes are written by Will Self - that's a good sign, surely? It is my ambition for 2005 to eat at Lee Ho Fook's, although perhaps not beef chow mein. I'll have to see the menu first.

6.the killers:jenny was a friend of mine
These guys wish the '80s were still going on. Nice bass line.

7.Loretta lynn:Portland, Oregon
In which leading presentphobe Jack "White Stripes" White decides to revive the career of country singer Loretta Lynn by producing her album. This, the single, is the best thing on it, although the rest's quite good, except for the track where she (Glenn Hoddle style) blames the disabled for their condition. It's nice to listen to this track and imagine pasty haircut-dodger White getting it on with octagenarian Lynn. Oh no, it's not. Ugh.

I've taken the first 40 seconds of noodling off the start of the song, you lucky buggers.

8.the czars:little pink house
Man, this is good. It was hard to choose which track to put on. Overblown, isn't it? Album of the year? Possibly. I haven't decided yet. green:take me to the river
Nothing to do with 2004 except that I first heard it this year, having believed up until then that it was written by Talking Heads. I'm older and wiser.

10.nancy Sinatra:don’t let him waste your time
It's like a Pulp song (good) with Nancy Sinatra singing it (good), and the line "some skinny bitch walks by in hot pants" is just brilliant.

11.PJ Harvey:pocket knife
I'm getting a bit bored now. How many ways are there to say that a song's good? Go and buy the bloody album.

12.Johnny cash:father and son
He's dead, which is a shame. This is quite an affecting cover of the Cat Steven's song. His name is Johnny Cash...

13.sons & daughters:broken bones
...which segues beautifully into this band, who have a song called Johnny Cash. Which obviously isn't this song. This song has a better bass line.

14.nouvelle vague:just can’t get enough
First heard this while hungover in a pub, and it's just the sort of song you want to hear when you've had a rough weekend. When will people learn? If you're going to do a cover of a good song - for the love of Jesus, Mary and the Three Wise Men, do it bloody different. If you're doing a cover of a song that isn't good, I think you want to think about your motives more.

15.snow patrol:spitting games
Yeah, they're a bit anonymous and that, but at least they're not bloody Coldplay, or those awful corpses with haircuts, Keane. This song sounds like My Bloody Valentine trying to have a hit, which is no bad thing.

16.bison:fraggle rock
Friends of friends from Sheffield, but wait - listen! It's great isn't it? They have a website and are playing gigs dahn sarf in the new year. I may just go along...
17.nick cave:breathless
Speaking of gigs, I saw the best gig I've ever been to this year, Nick Cave at Brixton Academy. He's got such style, such a great croony voice, and a deftness with his lyrics that takes your breath away. The two new albums are well worth buying, should you get HMV vouchers from your aunt with all the cardigans.

BONUS TRACK! 18.Joe Tex:You're Right Ray Charles
By bonus track, I of course mean 'mistake on the track listing'. Anyway, Ray Charles died this year, and this is a track by Joe Tex commemorating what sounds like the skimpiest piece of advice ever offered, although Joe seems to have taken it to heart somewhat. However, if you make it funky enough, I'll listen to it.

19.rufus wainwright:oh what a world
I'm going to let this one talk for itself. I'd like to see him live. Hmm. The bastard written word makes it look like he's in the throws of a life-threatening disease. I hope that came across like I meant.


  1. Ah this sounds fab but the $64,000 question is who will be the lucky recipients?

  2. After a tallying up of the good/bad columns on my Santaesque Excel spreadsheet.

  3. Just wanted to compliment you on your clearly exquisite taste. This relates particularly to track 16 - cheers dude! Time for a shameless plug - Bison will be stampeding at West One Four in Kensington on the 5th of February. £6 door tax. All the fresh ska/funk/soul/jazz grooviness you can eat. Ra ra ra.

  4. What, no Maroon 5?

    I look forwards very much to this cd (I think I've been good this year...). There's a few tracks on there from albums I've been musing over - so you never know I might go out and buy them if I like the songs. SEE! mp3's really do help the industry!

    (and before I get pounced on: NO I wasn't serious about Maroon 5 who are in the same league as Keane, only more whiney).

  5. Sorry, I wasn't able to put any Maroon5 on because my Maroon 5 CD seems to be skipping, because it's heavily scratched. And on fire.

    Interesting experiment: "Hate Maroon 5" brings up 243 pages on google, "Hate Keane", 857. Science, comrades, science.

    Really, go and see Bison. They're heaps better.

  6. But surely most of those hate Roy Keane?

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. Yes, but what about people who hate the most hateful of all colours, maroon? It's like a shit red. Or 5, a self-confessed 'odd number'? What's to like about that?

  9. No, no Warband. I was going to, but then, the other night, I was visited by three lawyers, representing digital copyright past, present and future. I woke up sweating and ran out to buy a goose.

  10. Science experiments at lunchtime (with my Ned's Noodle Thai green curry yum yum). Great stuff!

    I decided to further your experiments. I took "hate U2" to be a control and got 1360 hits. I then entered 'hate the beautiful south' and got some surprising results which has led to what I call 'Keri's first paradox': why is it that "hate beautiful south" only returns 17 entries?

  11. the band at my works party looked and sounded like the aforementioned beautiful south...weren't they on jonathan ross the other week singing some SClub7 cover...I think I'll have to start a "I hate the beautiful south" blog

  12. Please do! I've been a dedicated hater of the beautiful south for about 10 years now. They have been known to make me throw up with disgust.

  13. Ladies, ladies, come now. In this season of all seasons, should we not put aside our petty differences with Paul Heaton's band of merry singers, and join together with them in singing songs of hope and peace?

    What's that? No? OK, have it your way. If you all hate the Beautiful South, you may be pleased to know that this year the released a rather underwhelming album of covers. Is a mediocre album by someone you dislike better than them on top of their game? As a loyal licence fee payer, I demand that the BBC dedicate at least an episode of The Moral Maze to discussing this issue, preferably an evening's themed viewing on BBC4, where noted philosophers slag off each other's favourite bands: "The Cure are shit, Roger Scruton! Or should I say, Roger SCROTUM!" "Yeah? Wanna take this outside, Peter Singer? Belle & Sebastian's new album blows!"