Music 2019 (Andrew)

Someone told me that you lose interest in music when you get to 40. Can’t remember who it was, can’t remember why we were talking about it, but, it stayed with me. I love music. And when I heard it I thought: “Not me, grandad, I’ll still be buying CD’s and tapes when I’m 100!”

I was wrong. I haven’t bought music in 10 years – thank you, Mr Internet! And, apologies to all those struggling bands not getting paid any more, I promise I’ll buy a ticket for your live show!

But, as I’m now 41, and officially older than 40, I do try and listen to as much new music as I can to prove that comment wrong.  I do sometime wonder why this comment stuck with me and not a useful one like “you’ll lose interest in cases and statutes when you get to 40!” and I would now be working furiously to be a top notch lawyer to prove them wrong. But, hey ho, I got music.

So, in a challenge similar to Iain’s – see his post – I  also tried this year to listen to different types of music. I tried jazz, opera, classic, techno and Abba. All the ones I would normally avoid (except country because no one should listen to country, not even for a Christmas timed music blog).  And this is what I learned:

I hate jazz.

I hate opera.

I hate any form of metal. Death. Thrash. Doom or -icca.

But… I did discover a love of modern classical, obscure German techno that goes BOOM, BOOM, BOOM and Kylie. (Who doesn’t love Kylie!)

Most of all I learned that music doesn’t have to end at a specific age because hearing new music is easier than it’s ever been. There’s millions of songs just a click away and the challenge now is not just to remain interested but to actually listen to music more than once. As soon I listen to an album, I listen to another then another and then it’s the next week and there’s more albums out and more tracks and I never get back to the songs I liked just seven days ago.

So, this year, when I was thinking of what music I loved, my favourites are those I returned to again and again such as:

Daithi – Have To Go

Calvin Harris should sue for plagiarism.

Sarah Blasko – Heaven Sent

Richard Marx should sue for ‘Hazard’.

Pictures of You – HMLTD

Lady Gaga should sue.

(I’m noticing a theme)

Confide In Me – Kylie (from the Abbey Road Session)

An original. Well, a live version of an original.

Teleman – Cactus

Finally, an actual original. Pity the rest of the album didn’t equal this.

Brockhampton – BOOGIE

And neither did this. But this is P A R T Y with a capital [expletive deleted – parental advisory warning]

The Joubert Singers – Stand On The Word – Larry Levan Mix 

Praise the lord, this list is nearly over because we have the two best songs of the year.

Let’s Eat Grandma – Donnie Darko

Ten minutes. Doesn’t get going for two of them but, when it does, does it beat…

Sufjan Stevens – Visions of Gideon

And it does. While Visions of Gideon is pure heart breaking Sufjan Stevens it has the in-built advantage of me loving everything Sufjan has does for the last 10 years. So, in the spirit of new music, this year’s best song is….

Donnie Darko and here’s a video of it live with an awkward Dutch man in the front row wishing that he was anywhere else.

Top Of The Pops 2018 (Iain)

When I was 18 I wanted to be in a rock and roll band There was only one problem – I couldn’t sing. I had this confirmed when I auditioned for the school choir. The choir master asked me to sing “Doe Ray Me Far Sew La TeaDoh!” I got as far as Ray before he said “NEXT!”

In fact there was two problems. I also can’t play a musical instrument. I bought a guitar when I was 18 years old. 23 years later I still have it. I’ve never changed the strings on it. It sounds the same now as it did back then – bloody awful!

Whenever I look at the guitar, I remember what the great philosopher Homer Simpson said “If something’s hard to do, then it’s not worth doing”

I often wonder what would have happened if I had formed a band. What would the name be? It’s a tricky choice. The name would have to reflect both my personity and musical syle. I don’t think I’m shouty or angry enoughto carry off the name “Tropical Fuck Storm.”  or am I prog rock enough to call myself “King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard“ 

I could use my own name but someone has beaten me to it.

 All the band name’s I mentioned above are real names of bands! Surprisingly, Tropical Fuck Storm are not as punk and angry as the name suggests. 

So in ourannual brak from sports blogs here’s my top 5 tunes of the year:

5. Neon Church by Tim Mcgraw

I like going musical exploring in Spotify – I choose a genre I don’t normally listen to and then try out various random songs and artists in it. I recently started listening to random Country & Western songs to see if were any I like. Whilst musical panning for gold I’ve had to listen to allot of nuggets of rock but this a great pop rock country song with a catchy chorus.

 4. Don’t Fuck With Joe by The Blackwater Fever

I discovered this song at the same time as I discover Tim. Its a bluesy/rock blast. When played on daytime radio the lyrcis are changed to Don’t Mess With The Crows. I also work with a man called Joe so it has some relvance.

3. Lovely Stornoway by Calum Kennedy

I’d never heard of this song until this year but as I’m from Stornoway it has to make my top 5. My only complaint about the song is the lyric

Make your way to Stornoway,
On the road to Orinsay,

Orinsay is not on the road to Stornoway!  Orinsay is an island! He should sing

Make your way to stornoway.

On the ferry to Orinsay. 

2. Eat Shiitake Mushrooms – Let’s Eat Grandma

The worst named band on the list but probably the most musically interesting is Lets Eat Grandma. They mix musical styles from all out pop to drone rock. The amazing things is they are Teenagers. At their age I was getting rejected from the school choir.

 1. Danny Nedelko by Idles

I don’t normally like punk rock. It can be a bit one dimensional but Idles delivered the most intelligent and prescient album of the year with songs dealing with toxic masculinity, immigration and the loss of a child. The description sounds somber but the tunes are surprisingly upbeat.

Top of the Pops (Iain)

There are three types of twin – identical, fraternal and Jedward.

Identical twins are… identical (no surprise there,  the clue’s in the name). Fraternal twins are brother and sister. Jedward twins are f&%ing mental! Two untalented brothers who hang out together, have the same hobbies and laugh at each others jokes.

Andrew and I are identical twins!

Ignore anyone who says: “are you sure you aren’t Jedward twins?” We are identical but there is one thing we differ on – music.

I read with interest his top 10 of the year. I’m not sure he was entirely honest with the readers of this blog.

Andrew has a giant picture of Justin Bieber on his bedroom wall. He’s a member of the Belieber fan club. He took Spanish lessons just to understand what JB was singing in Despacito.

What I’m saying is that it was surprising that JB’s no 1 fan, Andrew, had a lack of Bieber action in his top 10.

Andrew, it’s okay! You’re amongst friends. You don’t have to pretend you like cool London bands like The Horrors. Embrace your inner Justin and scream “baby, baby, baby, ooooooooooh”

So, instead of his list, here’s my selection. Which I have not filtered to be cool!

Arcade Fire – Everything Now

I don’t normally like Arcade Fire. I saw them play Glasgow University on there first ever visit to the UK. The drummer had a wee bird flapping about inside his drum kit. I couldn’t enjoy the gig because I kept wondering:

A) Did he put it there? If so, that seems very cruel.

B) If he didn’t put it there, should I have told him there was a bird trapped in his drum?

This though is a great upbeat song with hints of ABBA. Pity, the rest of the album was rubbish.

Bon Appetit – Katy Perry

This song follows the great American song writing tradition of writing about sex whilst pretending to be about something else. It goes back to Chuck Berry singing about his ding a ling, 50 Cent discussing his lollipop and just about every song on an R Kelly album.

This song is not cool or clever but it does have great production and it always makes me laugh because like all the other songs its pretty blatant what its actually about.

Richard Ashcroft – Hold On

Back in the 90’s I loved britpop.  I grew my hair to look like Liam Gallacher. Thankfully only one photo existed of this. I look like a twat. I destroyed the photo.

This was a great return to form for Richard Ashcroft. Who’s mostly stayed out of the limelight since the end of Britpop. He can still write a great tune.

Plan B – Hearbeat

Plan B wrote the greatest song of the last ten years – Ill Manors. An angry punk/rap song that was a retort to David Cameron. It’s accompanied by a self written/self directed film of the same name which showed exactly what its like to grow up in London of ‘Broken Britain’. It’s not an easy watch but check it out if you can.

He’s also been out of the limelight for a few years but this showcases his talent: great vocals and great tune.

Galway Girl – Ed Sheeran 

Is this the worst song ever made?

It certainly elicited the best review of the year (in The Guardian)

“The people of Galway must be hoping a nuclear bomb goes off in their county to save them the embarrassment of having to say – yes that Ed Sheeran song is about us.”

It’s a song so awful even his record company begged him to not include it on his album.

But my song of the year is Galway Girl because I admire a man who released a song even though he knew everyone would hate him. That’s more punk than any punk song. Just don’t make me listen to it!

PS Normal sporty related blogs will resume in the New Year. Over Christmas it’s just blogs about films/music and any other nonsense 🙂