Last weeks playlist… no explanation given – no explanation required.
1. “Love Buzz” – Nirvana
Something about the bass line in “Love Buzz” that at times seems both sinister and fun. Then the guitar kicks in and you can’t decide which instrument to ‘air-play’ to, and when you finally decide, you find yourself doing vocals and tearing your throat apart in a vain attempt to capture that fierce Cobain voice. I could listen to this over and over like a demented 13 year old and never see myself getting sick of it.
2. “Kid With Crooked Face” – Bob Mould
A long time ago, I saw Sugar play several times. I was always blown away by how Mould can convey image and emotion with a dry vocal competing against his fierce (and very loud) guitar work. He’s also the guy that convinced me to have a pair of ear plugs in my pocket at a concert… my ears were ringing for two days after I saw Sugar for the first time.
3. “The Simspsons Theme” – Green Day
Well I couldn’t very well talk about the Lego Simpsons house without sneaking in this wonderful bit of Green Day noise.
4. “The Way We Were” – Me First & the Gimme Gimmes
Most people think of Streisand when they hear this song. Instead I get killed by the heartache and laughter of the late great Gilda Radner. I think she would like this version too.
5. “In The Heat Of The Moment” – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
Noel Gallagher is one of those artists I will purchase without even hearing a song. He just has that dependable rock’n’roll sound that gets me humming in whatever setting I’m in.
6. “Listen To Some Music” – BMX Bandits
Glasgow band has fun with a jangling low-fi house party sound. Would love to see them live, but the Atlantic Ocean provides a small barrier between me and that little dream.
7. “Spider-Man” – The Mr. T Experience
I must have listened to a 100 different versions before I picked this one. You would think I would get sick of it… but no – I just wondered where the hell the Ramones version went.
8. “Lampshades On Fire” – Modest Mouse
Like the song, but if I see a lampshade on fire, I’m reaching for a frickin’ extinguisher, not dancin’ around.
9. “Panic In Detroit” – David Bowie
This is a preview – I will soon be writing about a special vinyl acquisition and I couldn’t wait to play something from it. Here’s a picture – I just hope it sounds as good as it looks.
10. “The Great Salt Lake” – Band Of Horses
Arriving with the new Modest Mouse, came this great record in a coke bottle clear colour. Sounds great, looks great, and is another of that limited stuff I buy every so often.
11. “On My Wall” – Travis
I’ve been a fan of Travis for years, but the weird thing is, I couldn’t tell you much about them other than the Brit-Pop connection and that I have always enjoyed them. It’s like they have been stuck on the mellow side of Radiohead’s The Bends, and continue to dwell and explore that place.
12. “Lego” – The Maccabees
The band with a religious name that doesn’t follow any religion – but can write a pretty decent tune involving Lego… well ok… as usual my wit has escaped me.
13. “Delinquency” – V Twin
Another Glasgow band said to be the “Next Big Thing” falls short. Still, like Teenage Fanclub before them, they write some great tunes. Only problem is finding their stuff.
14. “The Hardest Button To Button” – The White Stripes
Seeing as I wrote about Elephant only yesterday, I figured they should hit the mix today. Besides it gave me another opportunity to include that Simpsons/White Stripes video.
15. “Elevator Operator” – Courtney Barnett
Due to my fascination with vinyl I don’t often talk about new artists, but damn, this song was too good to pass by without putting it into the mix, ask me in a month if I feel the same way about the album.
16. “Tin Soldier” – Small Faces
I was always a bigger Faces fan than the Small Faces, but in recent years I’ve gone back to discover that when these guys were at the top of their game, they were every bit as good as the Kinks and Who… which is about the biggest compliment I can give.
17. “The Letter” – The Box Tops
It’s hard to believe that Alex Chilton has departed this place; even harder to believe he was only 16 when he recorded and had a #1 hit with this song. He certainly doesn’t sound like a kid.
18. “Free Again” – Alex Chilton
Because I was in the mood for Chilton, I could help but throw this on right after the Box Tops. It is an awesome song in its own right. The album can still be purchased from Omnivore. For a good laugh, you can see how much Chilton hated lip-synching.
19. “Sundown” – Gordon Lightfoot
A prize find at last year’s RSD, I’ve spent many hours since mellowing by the window reading books and listening to this record.
20. “Echo Beach” – Martha & the Muffins
One of my favourite songs from childhood, it convinced me I really didn’t want to grow up. Unfortunately, responsibilities have a way of making such proclamations sound rather silly. Still, I would rather be at “Echo Beach” on a mid August evening than in front of a computer in March. It was a long winter.
One doesn’t order a record off the Noel Gallagher menu and expect to be served a pretentious fine dining experience that includes things you can barely pronounce. Instead, Gallagher is a well seasoned steak served with a bed of rice and veggies you can get at your local supermarket; and in this age of ‘pop’ bullshit where the radio plays only songs that are written by committee, a good old fashioned rock ‘n’ roll record is welcome.
Gallagher’s greatest gift has always been a recognizable hook backed with hummable lyrics and melody that could have been lifted from the Fab Four in ’65. Since Oasis bid adieu, NGHFB’s sound has been a little beefier than the previous band and comes without the let down of huge expectations. You get the feeling that Gallagher is enjoying himself again without the baggage that came with his former band and the sibling tension that rode with it. If he isn’t, he certainly is exorcizing the past. Like the Beatles post break-up, there seems to be messages littered throughout Chasing Dreams to the glorious past. Along with the obvious album title, songs “The Dying Of The Light”, “While The Song Remains The Same” and “You Know We Can’t Go Back” all play to the theme of times gone by, while other songs go back to Gallagher’s bread winning formula of songs for life affirmation.
As formula as one might accuse him of being, no one quite does it as well as Noel Gallagher. When he rocks out on “In The Heat Of The Moment”, “The Mexican” and “The Ballad Of The Mighty I” you can’t help but smile. Sure, like the song said, “you can’t go back”, but that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate what you have in the here and now.
If you pick this up on vinyl it also comes with a CD. Enjoy!