Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Wednesday Top 5.

I don't know about you but Wednesdays are are a limbo day for me, and no I don't mean the practice of going under a stick on ones holiday to the Dominican Republic. That point where the weekend is a distant memory and and the next one is not within easy grasp. I feel the yearning fro Friday to come around is a distraction from my work and so a perfect time to distract myself with lists. I like lists, Kev likes lists, people, normally boys, like lists.

When we were bandying about names for this blog, it was trying to meet the criteria of a musical reference related to someone we like, the only stipulation from my side is that it didn't come from the Satanic Pentalogy of U2, Radiohead, Muse, Coldplay and Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Bands who I thought were totally without merit.

This morning though I thought, every band has at least one track, one track at the very minimum that could be considered passable, so this Wednesdays top 5?

The Top 5 Tracks by The Bottom 5 Bands!

U2 kick things off, and with a huge back catalogue surely its easy? People who I know that like U2 (and I know a lot of people that like U2) say well how can you not love Beautiful Day, my reply is a withering stare that says "how can you not love that I am going to stab you in the eye"? Others try to appeal to my sense of musical history and say "Well you have to admit New Years Day and Pride are fantastic tunes", I would rather admit to have relations with my cat. So you see I struggle, bear in mind I have gone on record many times as saying, If you like U2, you have essentially declared to the world that you no longer like music. So the number one song by a bottom five band is.......

Angel of Harlem by U2.

My mate Dave or was it Jon, had the album this is from, I want to say Rattle and Hum, but as it is not worth the research so I wont check this fact. Or the fact that it was either Dave or Jon, although its not important at this juncture, lets say it was Dave. Dave used to play it a lot and the only single song on the album that raised an eyebrow was the paean to Billie Holiday, Angel of Harlem. This was Bongo's cowboy boots wearing phase and The Hedge started wearing 10 gallon hats to hide his balding pate. I would like to think that Larry Mullen Jr bought a horse and Adam Clayton started talking in a Texan accent and insisted that the rest of U2 called him Bucky Bob. Unfortunately this wasn't true, Bono started talking about world poverty, whilst accepting millions off Livenation as well as quite a large share in the company and putting all his cash in a Dutch bank account, to avoid all that tax nonsense. Nice one.

Radiohead. This band perplex me, and the people that listen to and appreciate Radiohead perplex me even more. The songwriting process must be an odd time.

Johnny Greenwood: I have come up with a right good riff, it's a little poppy, a little punky, its in 4/4 and the chords are A, D, E and back to D, have a listen Thom, I welcome your thoughts. Its called "I love a girl."

Thom Yorke: I likes it, its catchy, can you just make a few minor changes?

JG: Minor?

TY: Minor!

JG: OK, Rock on Tommy.

TY: First off, the chords, 4 chords.

JG: Yeah, I like its simplicity, 4 chords and the truth!

TY: 4 chords is for Sigur Ros, not for us sonny jim, you need to add a few more, and by few I mean ten, and by more I mean instead of and if there ain't #, 7m, diminished or 9ths after the name, give it to the Sugababes as you are clearly barking up the wrong tree.

JG: Tree?

TY: Tree!

JG: O…..K….so you want me to change a few chords, well OK, it's a learning process, I can do that, lets hit the studio!

TY: Not so fast Greenwood. The style, a bit poppy? A bit punky? You been listening to MTV2 again, we don't do poppy, we don't do punky, we do avant garde noise fuelled Stockhausen influenced minimal beat poetry combining the best aspects of Garbarek with elements of Bolivian folk songs, mixed by Photek. You dig Greenwood.

JG: B..b..but I have been listening to a lot of Green Day recently, Dookie in particular, I thought we could go off in a whole new direction, expand our fanbase.

TY: You ain't paid to think, you are paid to weave sounscapes to my tortured ramblings, you are paid to play in 2/36 time, you are paid to do that CHU-CHUG noise in creep, if you don't like it, I can get Mark Knoffler to fill you boots like that!

JG: Mark Knoffler?

TY: The Knoff!

So whats good then in a sea of shite, what floats?

Faithless The Wonderboy by Radiohead.

I bought Anyone can play guitar by Radiohead when I lived in Kent, I quite liked the A-side and the B-side was a tune called Faithless The Wonderboy . It turned out to be a lovely track rather reminiscent of Creep, but probably better. I have quite a defined line in the sand with Radiohead, I was actually a fan at one point, then OK Computer came out and it undid every single thing that had gone before it. That pattern continued up to the present day.

Muse are a tricky one, my daughter loves Muse, I cry at this thought of her liking them, I also cry at the fact that an ex member of The Senseless Things helped out on bass a few years back. When I am king, that will be a crime punishable by something less exciting than death but as equally distracting.
Muse for too long have been allowed to make rambling modern prog rock opuses (is that opii?) that mimic Radiohead. They are a band that sneakily and without warning ending up headlining festivals but people can't understand how they got there. (See also The Killers, Kings of Leon and The Offspring).
I view listening to any of their albums as a torture akin to waterboarding.

Plug In Baby by Muse.

I own this on single, I bought it from a place that me and Kev both used to work at, it was sold to me by a man that we both consider to be our friend, still he sold it me though and to be honest I like it. I like it quite a lot actually, maybe as it isn't a noodling prog rock opus. I have even danced to it on occasion, and by dance I mean move my body with the rhythmic nuances of a toddler throwing a strop. I throw shapes. People throw fish.

Coldplay, ah sweet little Coldplay, sweet indie Coldplay. I recall Coldplay before Chris started writing on his hand and lecturing me. They played Yellow on Jo Whileys show. I had just been for an interview for the job that I was made redundant from earlier this year, I popped home to change out of my suit and me and my short on stature wife listened intently to Yellow on the radio. But time is a mean sparring partner and her punch nary feels like a kiss. Pomposity and belief in ones own press will inevitably turn a band into the indie G4, an indie G4 that doesn't really need to try to hard as people will buy anything no matter what the quality is like.

The Scientist by Coldplay.

Coldplay are though, the easiest to think of one good track, up until Livin La Vida Loca, I possibly liked one track on each album, this isn't a good thing though, I could possibly listen to every Screwdriver album and feel that at least one track had a good beat. (Curse their nazi politics!!). The Scientist is chosen though as I am a sucker for sentimentality and it takes little more than Bradley off Eastenders frowning to send me into tears. The video is the telling in reverse of a car accident, Chris and his on screen lady, not Gwyneth, (she was probably busy), recreating a public information film on why its best to wear a seatbelt. You may also recall the follow up single, "During the summer holidays, stay off that building site".

For every Coldplay, there is a Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Rather unfortunately, where it was easy to think of a redeeming Coldplay song, it's a real struggle to do the same with RHCP. Do I cheat and go for Higher Ground, but then it isn't their song is it. You see the Chilli Peppers certainly have their fans but I really can not think of a more lumpen, dull band creating music today. They make Oasis seem cutting edge, the Klaxxons seem like geniuses, they even make The Kooks sound good.

Cabron by Red Hot Chilli Peppers

So it is Cabron, I think it is from the album By The Way, it reminds me in part of For Spacious Lies by Beats International. I first heard it trying to pretend I was young, and down with the kids watching Tony Hawks Boom Boom Huckjam, a skateboarding film. (I do not skateboard, my one and only foray into the sport ended up with me losing 5 seconds, splayed on my back on the floor and "friends" trying their best not to laugh) The skaters in it were singing along to the song, Cabron, it fitted perfectly. I think I really like the song, maybe because it doesn't sound like RHCP, maybe. I think Cabron means something rather rude in Spanish.

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