Archive for November, 2013

Devil’s night out – The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

Hoo boy. Anyway, i suffer from this twitch where i reflexively say “Satan!” at non-pointed moments. For no reason, it pours out of my mouth before i can catch it with such regularity that has, in my usual way of not seeking help or educated answers at all, lead me to a self-diagnosis of possible mild Tourette’s. I’m pretty sure it’s not that, but it’s something. Everything else i can keep inside except “Satan.” It hasn’t gotten me in trouble yet, but that might be because i’m never around people enough for someone to catch me, except my girlfriend who tolerates it by making fun of me. I’m worried it will get worse as i get older. One evident consequence of it is the amount of songs here that have been triggered by it. Here’s one. A song i haven’t listened to in at least fifteen years. I had forgotten how insane Dicky Barrett’s vocals are. And about that disappointing ska break.

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Sluttering (May 4th) – Jawbreaker

As much as i love Jawbreaker, i’ve never had any use for their lyrics. I mean that kind of commiserating, life-augmenting, giving voice to the twisted things inside to throw out at the person who twisted them so use that serves a lot of people. And fingers crossed i never have to. I was thinking maybe it’s because i’m less grouchy, but that just seems laughably impossible. Maybe i just haven’t come across the right people yet, but it’s just not in me to be this consistently hateful and sour.

I don’t think even Blake himself can keep it up. Like at the end of this where the venom keeps getting more and more feeble. e.g. “…Tell the kids that we will never have…” and “…if you hear this song a hundred times it still won’t be enough…” What is that but not easily shrug-offable? But it does kind of work when read in the moment as the pathetic, hack ammunition fired when the fight has gone on too exhaustingly long. This is the sound of someone hurt, in whose mind the only recourse is to hurt back. One of my favourite Jawbreaker songs, even though it’s off the “bad” album.

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Not Proud of the U.S.A.

Not proud of the U.S.A. – The Mice

One of those world’s best kept secrets, unearthed by dedicated people who know its power and do their meagre best to open it: Bands that cover their songs, small labels on the verge of bankruptcy that reissue their material, people no one wants to read that write about them. So they basically forever remain best kept secrets. It’s an unfair world. I’m just glad it’s fair enough so that this could reach me.

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Yesterday: Different kind of girl – The Beat

Today: Yesterday: With you – The Blue

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Public Image

Public image – Public Image Ltd.

A Public Image Ltd. without John Lydon. That’s my wish. It’s my biggest obstacle in getting completely in to them – an obstacle i’m sure many non-losers have no problem looking past. My view is that if you’re going to have a personality out the front, overwhelming everything with their voice as much as their image and self, then that personality had better not be a boring, goony deadshit. His vocals have often been labelled unlistenable and i agree, though not on grounds of tunelessness, but rather on the ground of who would want to listen to a big baby force perfunctory, ego-bound dumb words out of their cartoon mouth? The strength of the band lies solely in the music. I’m not sure if he had a hand in writing any of it.

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True Confessions

True confessions – The Undertones

Recently, in my own typical delayed way, i’ve been exploring later era Undertones, meaning songs beyond the Teenage Kicks EP. So, of course, enjoy a song from that first EP. But, and this is news to no one i’m sure, in the four or five years they were releasing music they really did get adventurous and accomplished in their songwriting. Not that all of it was good or has kept as well as their pop punk stuff, but now going back to this you totally can see that songwriting mastery and willingness to explore evident from the very beginning. I’m not sure how the shift was received at the time; if people turned on them or not. If they were a band now they would have seen exactly that. And me growing up amongst cries of “sell out” and holding bands to unshifting ideals, i would have no doubt joined them. I’m coming around.

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Escalator Over The Hill

Escalator over the hill – Talulah Gosh

I really have no grasp on the world. Until last year i had no conception of escalators over hills possibly even existing (we just don’t have them here), but also until this morning i had no idea of Carla Bley’s 1976 jazz opera of the same name. So now i don’t know where to place this song. I had always thought that it referred to some imagined, wonderous, impossible place of memory and longing, but now it might be a real escalator or perhaps refer to that opera, both themselves equally investable as wonderous, impossible places of memory and longing.

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Again – Kudo Shizuka

I’ve posted a number of Shizuka’s songs multiple times but this one only once. I can’t explain why, it’s one of my favourites. Here’s her singing it as the showstopper in a 1990 concert, which thanks to the Japanese adoption of laserdisc has been preserved pristinely for this youtube generation.

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Moshimo dameki ga sekai ni itara – Yumi

Real name Morishita Yumiko, blood type A, Yumi was the lead vocalist in Soft Cream in the early 80’s before venturing solo, this being her first single. And guess what it’s the closing theme to an anime. One about a raccoon named Moshi, whom i think may have traveled around the world teaching Japanese kids about different countries. And that’s basically what this song is: Yumi sings the same verse over and over, each turn a new country is visited, its capital city is mentioned and the greeting is sung in that country’s language. Sung in a very heavy idol accent, mind.

The U.S.A, Italy, Brazil, Ethiopia, the Soviet Union, Netherlands, India, Egypt, France and Antarctica all get a turn. Antarctica has its greeting sung “Konnichiwa” for some reason. The Japanese do have a number of scientific research stations on the continent (for whaling i think), and to offer the greeting in English, Spanish or Norwegian would have been to declare claim to any of those countries over the other, defying the Antarctic Treaty System. It should have been sung in a penguin language, but i guess to its audience it carries a sense of yours, mine and everybody’s when kept in Japanese.

I’m posting the first version of this song. There being too many countries and greetings in the world for one song, even one seven minute song, a sequel was released. It is exactly the same, only we visit Spain, China, Norway, the UK, Argentina, Denmark, South Korea, Greece and Switzerland in that. I actually prefer the second version because it has a better arrangement i.e. doesn’t have jungle noises pasted over the top of everything. If this comes up again i’ll post it. But both, in their length and repetitiveness, have this gentle, lulling quality, perfect for what they are, sending me right back to my primary school library and that 910 section i spent all of my time in.

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Yesterday: No – The Automatics

Today: Bombtrack – Rage Against the Machine

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