Posts Tagged ‘Morrissey’
The Letter S Mixtape.
I am having a brief respite on a day bookended by two job interviews, done all on a mild to middling hangover and a wonky fringe trim. Music will get me through it. Every indie boys ultimate girl crush St Vincent to a band named after a vibrator. From Sharon Van Etten (possibly my album of the year and my own personal girl crush) to the most perfect love song from Suede.
“Cos on you my tattoo will be bleeding and the name will stain”
- Shout Out Louds – The Comeback
- Supertramp – Goodbye Stranger
- Sleigh Bells – Rill Rill
- Steely Dan – Reelin’ In The Years
- SBTRKT – Trials Of The Past
- St Vincent – Cruel
- Siouxsie And The Banshees – Happy House
- The Smiths – Cemetery Gates
- Sharon Van Etten – Serpents
- Suede – The Wild Ones
This week I have learnt it is far easier to make a nine-hour playlist than it is to make a marzipan Morrissey. While making a cake topper has eluded me (so far) the music selection for my sisters & faux bro’s wedding has not. Those nine hours were eventually whittled down by half, still a lot more than is required of me. Here is a random selection of ten tracks that made the final cut. I reluctantly admitted that Azealia Banks 212 was not entirely appropriate. However I maintain I have a future career as a bad wedding DJ calling me.
My ridiculously handsome parents on their wedding day (I suspect I was the milkman and Avon ladies offspring).
- Otis Redding – Love Man
- Bugsy Malone – You Give A Little Love
- Haircut 100 – Fantastic Day
- Marvin Gaye – Got To Give It Up
- Space – Me & You Vs The World
- Alabama Shakes – I Found You
- The Clash – Train In Vain
- The Proclaimers – Lets Get Married
- Morrissey – You’re The One For Me Fatty
- Pulp – Do You Remember The First Time
I grew up in a small seaside town, the type that Morrissey was scorning in Everyday Is Like Sunday. From a young age I learnt how to sneak into holiday camps, how to prise a Winkle from its shell and that if a bird shat on you it was good luck. I also fell in love with books.
Brixham had a small, tiny library in the town centre. It was essentially a hut. Spurred on by my mothers bedtime readings of The Hobbit, Funny Bones and Mrs. Gaddy and the Ghost (my favourite) we would visit the library on a weekly basis and choose a book for the week. A practise that I sadly suspect has declined over the years.
The book that I took out of the library the most was what I referred to as “the eggs and tadpoles book”. For some unknown reason (Feminism, a belief that we should choose our own books, a belief that knowledge is power) my mum let me continually check this book out of the library. Continually. I don’t exaggerate. I loved that book. It was a polite and inoffensive introduction to the reproductive system which left the below image burnt in my brain.
My odd obsession thankfully did not result in an over sexed teenager (in fact the extreme opposite as I was a painfully awkward teenager with bad skin and slightly batty enough to remain ensconced in my own strange little world but that’s another story), leaving my mum worry free and eventually able to be head of the local schools library once we were all at senior school. It seems her entire life, even that strange land us children can’t get our heads around, the time before there was an us, my mum has surrounded herself with books.
I have strong memories of seeing books being dried on the radiators, their pages crinkling under the heat and the print blurring from the shock of water, after she’d inevitably dropped them in the bath. A habit passed down from mother to daughter along with a love of reading.
It’s National Libraries Day on Saturday 4th February. It’s so important we keep literacy alive and our libraries from becoming extinct. Do go support your local library, even if it means getting out a book on the reproductive system. ♥
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This weeks mixtape is making me feel like I have multiple personalities, swinging from Indie to Pop to Reggae. I had the pleasure of speaking to Steve Lamacq a week ago today on his 6 Music show on an item called Good Day/Bad Day. He summed up my two choices (Yeah Yeah Yeahs Date With The night and R.E.M’s Nightswimming) as “wild abandon or melancholy meditation”. Dear friend Ms Mangetout, owner of the worlds coolest slow cooker, said that summed me up perfectly. Strange how your music tastes sub-consciously reflect elements of your personality.
I spent this weekend at our family home in Devon. My parents moved into the house when I came along (I’m the youngest in the photo below) and 33 years later its still a true haven for me. I took long walks along cliffs, beaches and through fields. I stuffed myself with so many vegetables at Riverford Farm that I am still full up two days later. I picked Sloes with my Mum in preparation to make barrels of gin whilst getting caught in brambles and stung on the bum by nettles. But what struck me the most this weekend is how my parents still teach and introduce me to new things, namely Therese Raquin, Bert Weedon and Knitting on this occasion. Their seemingly never-ending knowledge on almost every subject you can think of is something I’m very grateful for. That and the fact that they swear so I don’t have to mind my language!
1. Shout Out Louds – The Comeback (When I first heard this band I thought they hailed from New York, they have that sound reminiscent of cool NY art students lurking around lofts. I still can’t get over they’re from Stockholm. This was always my favourite track of theirs).
2. Garbage – I’m Only Happy When It Rains (Shirley Manson is on my list of girls who look untouchable hot as red heads, she’d have been at the top until Karen Gillan came in to my life. Whenever I’m wandering down Britpop lane Garbage will be one of the first bands that get played).
3. This Many Boyfriends – Young Lovers Go Pop (Every now and again a song comes along that you know you’re going to love simply from the title alone. This is THAT track).
4. The Smiths – Girlfriend In A Coma (My sister & boyfriend have been together a huge amount of time, they have cited their reason for tying the knot based on the following. If one of them ever falls into a coma they want the other to have the right to turn the machine off. They are both Morrissey fans. It’s a very Morrissey reason. This song is for my sister).
5. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Over & Over Again (This track reminds me of living in Kentish Town, my beloved little corner of London, calling in sick after midweek gigs, bacon sandwiches at Mario’s Cafe, parties at The Pineapple. Like Talking Heads have chilled the fuck out).
6. Desmond Dekker – You Can Get It If You Really Want (Stupidly bright and sunny in Devon this weekend, I sat watching people swim down Breakwater beach, resisting the urge to hide their clothes. I listened to old hip hop and reggae tracks as I sat there, this sums up what I’m trying to tell myself constantly).
7. Devo – Whip It (From reggae to some classic 80’s. When watching the video for this last week I claimed that they wouldn’t be able to make videos like this anymore, in hindsight how ridiculous is it that I think that way when pop videos are so overtly sexual now?).
8. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Hysteric (I have to restrain myself from putting a YYY track on my mixtape posts every week. Possibly my most consistently listened to band over the past few years. Karen O once described herself as always knowing she was “a volcano, waiting to erupt”. This track is a love song, the surprise of someone suddenly completing you, its stunning).
9. Florence + The Machine – Shake It Out (I have played this over three times a day the past week, everything about it screams & shouts to me at the moment for reasons too personal and EMO to bore you all with. From a purely musical perspective it’s so well produced. Lungs was brilliant but I suspect too many producers spoiled the broth so to speak. Collaborating solely with Paul Epworth on Ceremonials will no doubt have created something magical and more complete).
10. Lana Del Rey – Video Games (I’d heard this on the radio a dozen times but it was her performance on Jools Holland that connected me to it. Now I understand the hype, funny how sometimes I have to see a live performance to “get it”. Massive girl crush).
I alternate between a weary sigh and laughter when I see people launch themselves through half closed tube doors in London, shoulders being thrown out of joint and laptop bags been trapped as they’ve flailed behind. I laugh because those people who do look silly. I sigh because if you’re that late already waiting for the next [insert tube line here] train arriving in 1 minute is not going to make any difference. I don’t, won’t and never will run for public transport. I have a country pace of life instilled in me, it’s my heritage and after 7 years of living in London I don’t think I’m likely to change.
I recently took the boy down to where I’m from, The English Riviera (title of Metronomy’s 3rd & now Mercury nominated album). On a walk along a beach in Brixham I asked him if he thought the place where I grew up represented my personality. In a split second he said “Yes, you’re so patient and on a level”.
That was the moment I realised that place, that little bay, has actually had an impact on who I am, even though I never really felt like I fitted in. I grew up in a wonderful, intelligent and caring family but my school years were difficult. I was in top sets but my teenage years were tormented by terrible, crippling acne and the bullying that comes with it (as Morrissey says “I can smile about it now, but at the time it was terrible”). After school you fall into three categories in that area. You’re either pregnant as you’re sitting your GCSE’s so your life is mapped out (notoriously high levels of teen pregnancies in Torbay). Alternatively you go to University or you find a job. I took the job route and still felt like I wasn’t fitting in. My Mum once described living with me was like “living with a ghost”. It was only when I moved to London that I felt the ground beneath my feet was Mecca, home, my pilgrimage complete.
Like anywhere you reminisce over I have an appreciation for it now I don’t live there. Joe Mount paints a pretty picture of The English Riviera, sending up the area in the video to The Bay making it look like you’re in Cannes with scantily clad girls spreading their legs. It’s not far from the truth even though it’s tongue in cheek. It really is a beautiful, breathtaking area (where women use bronzing balls to enhance their cleavage), “Those endless beaches that go on and on….” sings Mount.
Hearing the sea gulls eerily echo as it opens, the picture painted of domestic violence in Corinne by someone in the forces is a picture I can sadly say is true of practically every friend I had in Torquay (yes, listen closely to the upbeat song & you’ll hear it has a dark undertone), the fairground organ used in The Look conjuring up images of shabby Paignton pier. I remember when Muse revealed they were from Teignmouth and I was ranting to my Dad how I couldn’t believe they were from sleepy Devon, he didn’t look up from his paper as he said “Everyone has to come from somewhere”. So yes, why not from Torbay, The English Riviera. Where my parents met, where they eventually wed & raised four children. Where I lost my virginity, got caught shoplifting as a teen, wanted to escape from, learned to swim, whistle, took ballet classes… you get the picture.
Hearing a whole album based on an area you know so intimately tugs at my heart strings, I feel a connection to it. It’s my album, it makes me think of home and makes me think of everything I am now. I even have a nod to lyrics from She Wants permanently etched onto my foot. It get’s my vote for the Mercury Album prize, and I’m not sure anything will rival it for my personal album of the year. In love. ♥
Listen to Metronomy – The English Riviera on Spotify
I recently threw myself into the iTunes 30 day music challenge, it made me feel merrily schizophrenic (Betty Boo to Foo Fighters! Hell yeah) but there’s a few questions I wished Steve Jobs would of asked. Here are the songs I’d of crowbarred in here given ultimate control…
#31. The song that gets me out of bed even when I want to ignore the world
I could chose a ton of tracks from Arcade Fire that would get me out of bed (avoiding the obvious Wake Up as I don’t want to be that transparent). They’re definitely the band that get me moving on a work day when you really really really don’t want to get out of bed but you’ve no excuses to bunk off. Lolita explained this track as being Cyndi Lauper meets The Knife, I can’t sum it up better than him.
#32. A song from my first ever gig
Because my parents have impeccable taste in music the first gig I was taken to was Van Morrison at Torquay theatre, courtesy of my Dad. I know he’s an old grouch (Van the man, not my Dad who is awesomeness personified) but seeing him live with the tightest band I’ve ever witnessed was such an exhilarating start to my live music obsession.
#33. The ultimate sex song
Truly this is the sexiest song ever penned, ignore Marvin Gaye and a thousand million porn soundtracks. It’s Jarvis who rules the bedroom for me. Ever listened to his Sunday Service on 6 Music? It’s basically radio porn for geek girls, and boys for that matter.
#34. A song from someone I’d like to be a PA for.
I’ve been a long serving PA for some time now, I often fantasise about working for the perfect boss but I nearly always come back to Morrissey. Someone who is notoriously impossible to work for I still think I could easily handle him in comparison to previous bosses I’ve had. I dream about it, seriously. In my dreams he always throws me a brilliant birthday party & doesn’t make me become vegan.
#35. A song for my year so far – 2011
This year has been a really odd mix of highs and lows. The highs being spending my evenings in great company, and getting to see lots of gigs. The lows being spending my days in a miserable work environment. It’s also been a huge year for soul searching, realising my limits, what makes me happy, what I want to change. When this album was released it was this song that literally made my heart stop a little bit. I don’t think a day goes past without me listening to it, no exaggeration. ♥
Such is the power of music that an ex-colleague from four years ago emailed me out of the blue today. To share with me that she loves the new PJ Harvey album, and I quote “it’s pure genius. Perhaps where Morrissey once was but no longer is”.
High accolade indeed from one of the Morrissey faithful. More on the man himself another time.
Little moments like this make me tingle, that your ears register an amazing sound and you want to share it with someone. Even if that someone is a person who you haven’t been in touch with for a while, just because you know they will appreciate it in the same way you do.
Quite rightly so as well. I’ve adored the woman since I laid eyes and ears on her as an awkward teen and she helped me see that people with the most interesting things to say and sing were not groomed in soulless girl bands. Her latest album could well be a contender for my album of they year, and it’s only February! I’ve been spotting comments of a similar nature from mere mortals up to the dizzy talents of Arcade Fire.
All hail Polly Jean Harvey. ♥