Sunday, September 27, 2020

September Songs

A day or two early with the monthly musical round-up but I'm working Monday and Tuesday and I have a ton of stuff to do on Wednesday so there probably won't be any more posts in September. Might as well get it done while I have both the time and the inclination.

Last month's collection was particularly fine, I thought. September's isn't quite up to that standard but it's not bad. Not at all. And it's not obvious, either. Obvious is so much worse than just plain old bad, don't you think? It just doesn't feel very... oh, I don't know, coherent. I think that's what I'm saying.

Hardly surprising, when you pull the lyrics out of a hat the way I mostly do these days. It's not what you'd call an organic process, is it? You wouldn't program a radio show this way or even the playlist for a party. 

Or maybe you would. Isn't that what Spotify's algorithm's doing? Not to mention the shuffle setting on your iPod. 

Whatever. Let's get to it, why don't we?

Summer's Over - Rialto - Okay, you got me. I picked this as the title of last month's music post, when summer really wasn't over, just so I could open with it this month, when it really would be. That's the only actual programming you're going to get, I promise. 

I love this song. It's got that classic seaside town out of season vibe. Gets me, every time. I bought it on a CD single when it came out in the '90s. I would have seen them live, second on the bill to My Life Story, but I went with someone who didn't think it was important to get to the gig in time to catch the support band. Never, ever miss the support band. I learned that when I was, like, fourteen.

Out Of Time - The Rolling Stones - By contrast, I've never really liked this one much. I'm a huge Stones fan, have been since I was about thirteen, but there's a good reason they gave this one to Chris Farlowe. Even in my teens in the 1970s I found the lyric uncomfortable and the melody brays along with the sentiment. The Ramones get about as much out of it as anyone could.

Labor Day - The Dead Milkmen - I think if I'd had to watch Jerry Lewis doing a twenty-four hour TV marathon each and every year, I'd feel that way about it, too.

Ready For Combat - The Archer  - Taylor Swift - I dunno, is it just me or is Taylor Swift totally punk rock? The way she sits on a note and rides it, line after line. The way she builds flatness into a crescendo. It reminds me of the classic New York sound, when Richard Hell was still in Television. I mean, I'm not saying Taylor would have written Blank Generation but y'know, she could.

Read The Fine Print - The Fine Print - King Geedorah - I love feeding these generic phrases into and seeing what spits out. Sometimes it's nothing good, other times it's cornucopia. King Geedorah toplines because it's a fine tune but also for the Dr. Doom video, which is apparently a thing, although this was the first I knew of it. I can see why.

Want to know what I rejected? Coming up!

Blood Money by The Church. I believe I've mentioned them before. One of those odd bands, where I've liked everything I've heard by them yet don't own any of their records. Might have gone with it if there'd been a live video.  

Superball by Aimee Mann, which is distinguished by not being on YouTube at all! How many songs can say that? I saw 'Til Tuesday in a basement club back in the eighties. I prefer that period to her solo stuff, I think, but she's always good, whatever she does. 

Last and definitely least, even though I like it well enough, Sweet Talk 101 by Cute Is What We Aim For. Pop-punk with an emo whine always goes down well with me. Again, no video. Try harder, dude!

Stargirl Interlude - The Weeknd feat. Lana del Rey - I literally yelped when this came up on a search. I put "Stargirl" into the field expecting no returns at all and I got Lana del Rey! Probably the most perfect match I've ever had since I started this. Of course, I ought to have known about it before - it's Lana ffs - but she does so much I can't keep track. Not all her collabs have the genius she brings to her own stuff but she always works well with The Weeknd. Glorious glorious glorious!

Didn't Know What I Wanted - Sheena Is A Tee-Shirt Salesman - Future of the Left   Now, see, I would have gone with Cool Rock Boy by the ever-wonderful Julianna Hatfield but she didn't have an attention-grabbing video like this lot. If they were that angry in 2012 I shudder to think what they must be like now.

Park Life - Traffic Accident - Sleeper - Told you what I thought about being obvious, didn't I? And anyway, we've got Blur coming up later. Plus I freakin' love Sleeper. Louise Wener is crazy underrated. I must get the rest of her novels. In fact I'm going to put them on my Amazon wish list right this second.

Threatened By My Work Ethic - Whateva Will Be - A Tribe Called Quest -Never heard anything by A Tribe Called Quest that I didn't like. I'm a sucker for daisy age rap as must be very obvious by now.

I Can Take A Hint - On The Road Again - Canned Heat - Hmm. That thing I was saying about Taylor Swift and the New York sound? Just the blues, innit? If you want your work to last, take it down a notch. Dying young never hurts, either, sadly.

What Does It Mean? - Twinkle Song - Miley Cyrus - A search for "what does it mean" on returned fifty-eight thousand results. This was the first on the list and so it damn well should be. A seriously wonderful performance in which Miley fails to hold back the tears as she sings a heartfelt tribute to her dead dog.  Sent shivers down my spine the first time I saw it. We love Miley in our house. 

Back To The Mountain - The Mountain - Ladytron - No video, sadly, but that's such a Hipgnosis album cover it almost doesn't matter. 

Touch Too Much? - Arrows - No question mark in the original song title but let's not quibble over punctuation. Arrows were big enough once to have their own t.v. show, which is where this clip comes from. Not big enough to stop the producer cutting them off before they'd finished, though. They're probably best-known for writing I Love Rock n Roll, which Joan Jett adopted and turned into her trademark after seeing them do it on the aforementioned show. Contrary to a story Rolling Stone once ran, suggesting lead singer and co-writer Alan Merrill had sold the rights to Joan Jett for $2,5000, he actually retained them, which made him a very wealthy man. His parents both lived into their nineties and he looked about ready to do the same until he died of coronavirus in March. He was in good health with no underlying conditions. Good luck comes and then it goes. 


That got unexpectedly dark. Maybe I should have gone with AC/DC. I saw the original line-up on a school trip when I was about sixteen. Yes, our music teacher organized an official school outing to see AC/DC in concert in 1976. He was one of those teachers who wanted the kids to treat him like a friend, the ones no-one trusts and most despise. I was already well past the stage of liking hard rock and metal by then but a school trip to a rock show isn't something you want to miss, even if you're not that struck on the band. According to wikipedia AC/DC actually played the venue twice that year, which is pretty astounding. I think it must have been the May date that I saw, with the Tyla Gang in support. I vaguely remember seeing them, maybe... I very much remember seeing AC/DC, who were predictably great. Even as a sixteen-year old hipster I couldn't pretend otherwise.

D.A.I.S.Y. Age? De La Soul - My interrogative. De La Soul weren't in any doubt. Just like I've never been in any doubt about them. Pure genius.

Ghost Ship - Blur - I'm not really up to speed on later Blur. On this evidence I probably ought to be. Other ghost ships in competition included Faroa and We Are Parasols - both very good tunes but no videos, so...

Just Relax - Relax - Superorganism  - I toyed with Electric Relaxation by A Tribe Called Quest (again) or Relax Relax Relax Relax by Cold Mailman but I wasn't going to miss the chance to showcase one of my favorite bands of recent years. Whatever happened to Superorganism, anyway? I had them pegged as the next Next Big Thing, what was it, two years ago? One amazing album, a scattering of phenomenally dissociative media appearances and that's it? Also, I only just found out half of Superorganism is/are/was/were The Eversons, a band I always thought of as a comedy act, which kind of puts a different complexion on the whole project...

Let's Go To The Moon (Like We Did Last Winter) - Jet Set - Alphaville - One for Syp's playlist, I think. As the top comment on the YouTube thread puts it, "the most 80s thing I've ever seen in my life". I never really rated Alphaville at the time but they afford a certain nostalgic comfort, forty years on. 

It's All Panda Panda Now - It's All Panda - Ex-Norwegian - Great title but not a great song by any means. Arguably, not a song at all. Don't write them off, though. They have better tunes. Or, tunes. This, for example  

Extreme Makeover - Automatically - Neil Leyton and the Ghosts - Good performance, lousy sound, unfortunately. The studio version is better, anyway.

And that's it. With the return to work these monthly wrap-ups are going to be shorter but that's all to the good, I think. See you in November!

Full song titles used as post titles (even if altered)  - Large, Bold, Green Quotes from lyrics used as titles (even if altered) - Large, Bold, Blue Original titles from which quotes were drawn - Small, Italic, Bold, Green All other music - Small, Italic, Green

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