Monday, December 12, 2005

Xmas CD

December, eh? Well, without further ado, it's time to get on with the tracklisting for what the chosen amongst you will be receiving over the next couple of days. It's my way of saying Merry Xmas and enforcing my musical tastes on you like a F├╝hrer Christmas.

Track One: Gwen Stefani - Hollaback Girl

Yay - pop! In which Ms Gwendoline denies that she is a girl who hollas back, and who, dear listener, are you to disbelieve her? Features some of the most breathtaking spelling of the word 'banana' in a pop record. Well, mis-spelling. It's best not to dwell on the line 'my shit is bananas', really. In fact, I think this may contain the most swearing of any record I've ever heard. Amazing.

Track Two: Beck - Go It Alone

Beck back with actually quite a good album - his best since his Prince-Shoulda-Sued-Like-A-Mad-Midget-With-Badass-Lawyers album, Midnite Vultures. Good dooting (as the noise is technically known).

Track Three: The White Stripes - Blue Orchid

Looking back, I'd forgotten that this was the taster for their new album. An important moral to the song too: don't go painting flowers colours that they aren't, or else you'll have pasty hat-wearer Jack White to answer to. This issue has previously only been dealt with in adverts for Simple soap, and never before in stomp-rock.

Track Four: Queens of the Stone Age - Little Sister

My one forray into Kerrang territory is testament to my high regard for the awkwardly shortened QOTSA. I don't often say this, but: nice solo.

Track Five: The Brakes - Ring A Ding Ding

A Brighton supergroup (featuring a man who once went to a British Sea Power gig, Electralaine's postman, and a man who's role in the band is to loudly declaim on the topic of why there's too many people down from London this weekend), which is utterly derivative. Utterly. There's no excuse. It's Roxy Music's debut single, Virginia Plain. They throw in the start from the Sex Pistol's Anarchy in the UK to try and put you and your copyright lawyer off the scent, but all the same. And it only lasts ninety seconds too. Refreshing.

Track Six: Goldfrapp - Lovely 2 C U

Characteristically good track from the woman/band described by me and my mate Tim when they were supporting some indie band somewhere in the late-Nineties as looking like the band formed by the science teachers of a secondary school in order to impress the sexy trainee art teacher who was with the school. While this remains one of the best pieces of description in music criticism, it needs to be noted that since then, the science teachers haven't got anywhere with the Miss Goldfrapp, who now has Qualified Teacher Status, although the Head has some concerns about the clothes she wears to school. And her spelling. It takes some gumption to out-Prince Prince with that title.

Track Seven: Gorillaz - Dare

It is hard to add anything to the simple joy of being able to go, 'It's coming up, it's coming up, it's coming up - it's DARE!'. The video gave me nightmares, and I'm surprised one or more government ministries weren't mobilised to the threat of giant pock-marked Shaun Ryder heads lurking in houses, taking up entire rooms, connected to all manner of gadgetry and barking away. Ugh.

Track Eight: Le Tigre - Nanny Nanny Boo Boo

Features mannered rapping, synth stabs and general greatness.

Track Nine: LCD Soundsystem - Tribulations

Continuing the 'get up and dance' section of the evening, we have this track, that fair motors along, while telling you to cheer up and stop moaning. It's over three times as long as The Brakes' track, for those who want quantitative comparisons instead of flimsy floaty whimsy.

Track Ten: Clor - Love+Pain

I have to confess that I don't know what a clor is, but this should be a track that sets indie disco floors alight, if such things exist any more. 2005 was the year of jerky angular music, wasn't it? I think 2006 will be feature more orchestras, and will have less skinny boys in shirts.

Track Eleven: The Kills - No Wow

What I was going to do here was have a track by The Black Keys as well, and make some clever point about bluesy two-person bands. It would have been brilliant. However, CDs are only 80 mins, so you can't have that. You'll just have to wait for the director's cut in 2015. On that topic, are there no directors who, on reflection, think their film should have been shorter? Christ knows I've sat through some three-hour piece of shit often enough, the only thing keeping me conscious being the hope that someday, a Director's Cut DVD would be released transforming the bloated gut monster of a movie I was sitting through into a lean punchy thrill-a-minute wonder. Yes, Lord of the Rings, I'm talking about you. Don't slouch at the back there - get on with some bloody work.

Track Twelve: Antony & The Johnsons - Fistful Of Love

Ah, I couldn't have undermined my point much better if I'd tried. This is the most overblown-with-knobs-on kind of tripe that normally falls heavily on its velvet-trousered arse, but seeing as it's here on this CD, you know it's actually as if the Memphis Horns were reformed by a group of talented mediums with ouiji-trumpets. I've saved you from having to go into a record shop and ask for a Fistful of Love, which is likely to put an end to your pleasant retail experience. I've also prevented you from needing to type 'fistful love' into a search engine, which I guess won't help your job security any, unless you're currently working for a gay porn mag. If so, what's the holiday entitlement like?

Track Thirteen: Ryan Adams - Easy Plateau

Right, Adams, I've got a bone to pick with you. Stop releasing albums. Yes. Just stop. I've bloody got enough on my plate, without having to listen to another one of your bloody records. Just go on holiday. Go and work in an office. Give me a break. The bugger has released three albums this year that I know of. There's no feeling of anticipation with a Ryan Adams album, because you've already got a backlog, which grows larger all the time. I think he receives massive EU subsidies through the Common Agricultural Policy to overproduce his country-inflected songs, while in the Third World there are families who don't have enough pedal steel guitars to feed their children. His record company even tried to help the situation, with a creditable attempt to supress the release of the Love is Hell album, but the best they could manage was to slow the tide while the album trickled out as two mini-albums. Many good record company men were lost in this battle, and it is in their memory that this compilation is dedicated.

Track Fourteen: Richard Hawley - The Ocean

Ah, now here's the lush smoky-voiced late night lushness I've been hankering after. He comes close to sounding like a British Johnny Cash or Scott Walker on the album, which is much less laughable than it sounds.

Track Fifteen: Madeleine Peyroux - You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go

My mum says, and always has, that Bob Dylan was a great songwriter, and a rubbish singer. With this borne in mind, lots of people have covered Crouch End Bob's work, often passing over the option to include the sneering and screeching that Zimmerman favours. This, from the excellent Blood on the Tracks, is one of my favourites, and benefits from the slightly maudlin tone that only a breathy jazz cover can give it.

Track Sixteen: Lord Kitchener - London is The Place For Me

Erm, this was recorded in 2005, ok? You'll just have to take my word for it. It's great though.

Track Seventeen: The Decemberists - The Sporting Life

These, from Portland, Oregon, America, are a wordy bunch of buggers, and currently holders of my Album of the Year (although by the time I've closed these parentheses, this may well have changed several times and settled on being something else entirely). I've selected this track above others mainly because it effortlessly plagiarises Iggy Pop's Lust For Life, but with a little tale about sporting ineptitude. 'They condescend to fix on me a frown' is a great turn of phrase.

Track Eighteen: The Dresden Dolls - The Jeep Song

I've previously raved about this track. it's still great. And it's still 2005. So listen up, punks, and get an earful of when overly theatrical goths make brilliant music. Their live version of Black Sabbath's War Pigs is very good too.

Track Nineteen: Johnny Boy - You Are The Generation Who Bought More Shoes And You Get What You Deserve

OK, I'll freely admit that this was released in 2004. However, for sounding like a fight between the Supremes, the Manics many years before they went shit, Fireworks Night and Christmas, with a title that even the Manics would have rejected as too much like tubthumping, I let them slip into my 2005 cd, and we'll have nothing more said on the matter, eh? At least we will if you know what's good for you.

Track Twenty: Low - Just like christmas

As though the last few songs with their increasing use of sleighbells hadn't signposted where we're going, here's a proper Xmas song. Except it might well be about being disappointed by a lack of Xmas feeling. But what do lyrics mean, anyway? Stupid songwriting. More sleighbells, I say.

Well, that's that all wrapped up. Have good xmases!


  1. ooooo, 20 lucious juicy tracks to get my teeth into!

    Hang on a mintute, how dare you dis Anthony and the Js', that album is beautiful!

    And staying on the line of Dares, if only I'd know 'It's Dare' was to be on this year's compliation I wouldn't have wasted £1.50 downloading in from their website, dag nammit!

  2. Any excuse to get a hitler reference into your write-up - tut.

  3. Strong post, especially Ryan Adams. Looking forward to receiving the CD (fingers crossed).

  4. stripes but no monkeys?

  5. That's the last time I take your word for anything, you liar. Lord Kitchener recording in 2005? Check out this, this, and, especially, damning, this Yeah, that's right, check the dates.

    Brilliant song though. No thanks to you.


  6. Wheres mine?

    I want it now!


  7. i still haven't got mine either...