Archive for the ‘Music’ Category
She can take the dark out of the nighttime and paint the daytime black
“She Belongs to Me,” Bob Dylan, 1965
I often wake up with a song in my head. Pretty much every day. Most days in fact. Probably not alone in that.
It’s not like I skip out of a bed with a song in my heart. Quite the opposite. I get out of bed feeling grumpy. I put water in the kettle, turn the kettle on, then go to bathroom, always wonder why I don’t just go wee first cos the filling of the kettle does make me wanna go a bit too much. It takes a while to get myself feeling normal. I look out of the window at the people working at the taco stand on the other side of the street, preparing some stuff for the early morning diners. If it’s a clear day, I’ll have a look to see if there’s any smoke coming out of the top of Popocatépetl, the volcano on the outskirts of the city. Part of that process of waking up is to do my “daily tasks.” This is a folder on my computer desktop. In it are some files that I update every morning.
I make a note of how long I sleep. I’ve been doing since September 2006.
Since January 2008, I’ve noted ever time I’ve been to a live sporting event.
I keep track of the baseball caps I wear every day, which I’ve been doing since May 2009.
I write down every creative thing I do (drawings, writing, whatever) every day. I’m on my third year of doing that.
And for the last six months, I’ve been keeping a note of the song that’s in my head when I wake up. There’s been a lot of Swifty recently. Here they are:
20/11/14: Brenda – The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
21/11/14: Each One Dub – Augustus Pablo
22/11/14: King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown – Augustus Pablo
23/11/14: No Scrubs – TLC
24/11/14: King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown – Augustus Pablo
25/11/14: Either Way – Wilco
26/11/14: Your Song – Elton John
27/11/14: He’s On the Phone – Saint Etienne
28/11/14: Skin & Bones – The Sundays
29/11/14: He’s On the Phone – Saint Etienne
30/11/14: A Certain Someone – The Sundays
1/12/14: Hobart Paving – Saint Etienne
2/12/14: Hello It’s Me – Todd Rundgren
3/12/14: Hobart Paving – Saint Etienne
4/12/14: Skin & Bones – The Sundays
5/12/14: Paradise – Coldplay
6/12/14: Princess of China – Coldplay
7/12/14: Hurts Like Heaven – Coldplay
9/12/14: Cubic – 808 State
10/12/14: Peg – Steely Dan
11/12/14: Block Rockin’ Beats – The Chemical Brothers
14/12/14: You Stole the Sun from My Heart – Manic Street Preachers
16/12/14: Sunshine of Your Love – Cream
17/12/14: La Tristessa Durera – Manic Street Preachers
18/12/14: The Littlest Birds – The Be Good Tanyas
19/12/14: Motorcycle Emptiness – Manic Street Preachers
20/12/14: Adagio for Strings – Samuel Barber
21/12/14: Power – Kanye West
22/12/14: Merry Christmas Everyone – Shakin’ Stevens
23/12/14: All I Want for Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
24/12/14: Overload – Sugababes
25/12/14: Santa Claus is Coming to Town – Bruce Springsteen
26/12/14: Old Ned – Ron Grainer
27/12/14: Crazy – Gnarls Barkley
28/12/14: I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day – Wizzard
29/12/14: Don’t Stop Movin’ – S Club 7
30/12/14: 4st 7lb – Manic Street Preachers
31/12/14: Feel It – The Tamperer feat. Maya
1/1/15: Que Nadie Sepa Mi Sufrir – La Sonora Dinamita
2/1/15: It’s My Life – No Doubt
3/1/15: Flash Delirium – MGMT
4/1/15: Let it Bleed – The Rolling Stones
5/1/15: It’s Working – MGMT
6/1/15: Someone’s Missing – MGMT
7/1/15: Here Comes the Summer – The Undertones
8/1/15: Wednesday Week – The Undertones
9/1/15: Flash Delirium – MGMT
10/1/15: It’s Working – MGMT
11/1/15: Flash Delirium – MGMT
12/1/15: Song for Dan Treacy – MGMT
13/1/15: Siberian Breaks – MGMT
14/1/15: Song for Dan Treacy – MGMT
15/1/15: Siberian Breaks – MGMT
16/1/15: Flash Delirium – MGMT
17/1/15: Flash Delirium – MGMT
18/1/15: It’s Working – MGMT
19/1/15: Have a Day/Celebratory – The Polyphonic Spree
20/1/15: Boom Clap – Charli XCX
21/1/15: Baby Love – Petite Meller
22/1/15: Have a Day/Celebratory – The Polyphonic Spree
23/1/15: Baby Love – Petite Meller
24/1/15: Don’t Leave Me This Way – The Communards
25/1/15: I Fink U Freeky – Die Antwoord
26/1/15: Die Roboter – Kraftwerk
27/1/15: Baby Love – Petite Meller
28/1/15: Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke
29/1/15: Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen
30/1/15: Everything is Awesome – Tegan and Sara
31/1/15: Ohm Sweet Ohm – Kraftwerk
1/2/15: The Life of Riley – The Lightning Seeds
2/2/15: Como Te Voy A Olvidar – Los Angeles Azules
3/2/15: Shake it Off -Taylor Swift
4/2/15: All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor
5/2/15: Baby Love – Petite Meller
6/2/15: Push the Button – Sugababes
7/2/15: Baby Love – Petite Meller
8/2/15: Baby Love – Petite Meller
9/2/15: Baby Love – Petite Meller
10/2/15: Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus
11/2/15: Siberian Breaks – MGMT
12/2/15: Thank U – Alanis Morissette
13/2/15: Crazy in Love – Beyoncé
14/2/15: Lazy Sunday – The Small Faces
15/2/15: Diamonds From Sierra Leone – Kanye West
16/2/15: SexyBack – Justin Timberlake
17/2/15: Float On – Modest Mouse
18/2/15: I Don’t Want to Talk About It – Everything but the Girl
19/2/15: Breakout – Swing Out Sister
20/2/15: Something About You – Level 42
21/2/15: A Horse with No Name – America
22/2/15: Wannabe – The Spice Girls
23/2/15: Vision of Love – Mariah Carey
24/2/15: Shake it Off -Taylor Swift
25/2/15: Shake it Off -Taylor Swift
26/2/15: Afuera – Caifanes
27/2/15: Don’t Cha – The Pussycat Dolls
28/2/15: Starlight – Muse
1/3/15: Stand by Me – Oasis
2/3/15: Anaconda – Nicki Minaj
3/3/15: Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen
4/3/15: I Really Like You – Carly Rae Jepsen
5/3/15: Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen
6/3/15: Four Five Seconds – Rihanna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartney
7/3/15: Happy – Pharrell Williams
8/3/15: I Really Like You – Carly Rae Jepsen
9/3/15: Paradise – Coldplay
10/3/15: Booty Call – All Saints
11/3/15: All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor
12/3/15: Flash Delirium – MGMT
13/3/15: Shake it Off -Taylor Swift
14/3/15: Echoes – Pink Floyd
15/3/15: Leuchtturm – Nena
16/3/15: Shake it Off -Taylor Swift
17/3/15: All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor
18/3/15: Alone Again Naturally – Gilbert O’Sullivan
19/3/15: Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen
20/3/15: I’ll Be There – The Jackson Five
21/3/15: Anaconda – Nicki Minaj
22/3/15: Anaconda – Nicki Minaj
23/3/15: Anaconda – Nicki Minaj
24/3/15: Shake it Off -Taylor Swift
25/3/15: Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep – Middle of the Road
26/3/15: Sitting Up Straight – Supergrass
27/3/15: Man I Feel Like a Woman – Shania Twain
28/3/15: Rich Girl – Hall & Oates
29/3/15: Shake it Off -Taylor Swift
30/3/15: Victoria – The Kinks
31/3/15: Do Nothing – The Specials
1/4/15: Stupid Marriage – The Specials
2/4/15: Zion’s Blood – The Upsetters
3/4/15: Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash
4/4/15: So Macho – Sinitta
5/4/15: Funky Town – Lipps Inc
6/4/15: Go Out – Blur
7/4/15: We Like to Party! – Vengaboys
8/4/15: Dead End Street – The Kinks
9/4/15: My Girl – Madness
10/4/15: A Stalawatt Version – King Tubby
11/4/15: Sweat – Inner Circle
12/4/15: Doctor Zhivago – Tommy McCook & the Skatalites
13/4/15: Enjoy Yourself – The Specials
14/4/15: I Really Like You – Carly Rae Jepsen
15/4/15: Doesn’t Make it Alright – The Specials
16/4/15: Enjoy Yourself – The Specials
17/4/15: Enjoy Yourself – The Specials
18/4/15: Architect – C Duncan
19/4/15: Best Days – Blur
20/4/15: Shake it Off -Taylor Swift
21/4/15: Doesn’t Make it Alright – The Specials
22/4/15: Renegade – The Rebs
23/4/15: Under the Pressure – The War on Drugs
24/4/15: El Tango de Roxanne – Ewan McGregor
25/4/15: Roadkill – Pulp
26/4/15: Bump N Grind – R. Kelly
27/4/15: Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke
28/4/15: Crazy – Gnarls Barkley
29/4/15: Shake it Off -Taylor Swift
30/4/15: Parklife – Blur
1/5/15: Himno Nacional de Mexico
2/5/15: Como Te Voy Olvida – Los Angeles Azules
3/5/15: Baby One More Time – Britney Spears
4/5/15: You Oughta Know – Alanis Morissette
5/5/15: Go Out – Blur
6/5/15: Style – Taylor Swift
7/5/15: Style – Taylor Swift
8/5/15: Red Eyes – The War on Drugs
9/5/15: Blank Slate – Taylor Swift
10/5/15: Bad Blood – Taylor Swift
11/5/15: Out of the Woods – Taylor Swift
12/5/15: Shake it Off -Taylor Swift
13/5/15: All You Had To Do Was Stay – Taylor Swift
14/5/15: Wildest Dreams – Taylor Swift
15/5/15: How You Get The Girl – Taylor Swift
16/5/15: Out of the Woods – Taylor Swift
17/5/15: All You Had To Do Was Stay – Taylor Swift
18/5/15: I Wish You Would – Taylor Swift
19/5/15: Blank Slate – Taylor Swift
I did this drawing a few weeks ago. The idea was to not do any re-drawing. Just draw once and hope it comes out alright. Some are, as you would imagine, terrible. But I kinda like the drawings of Stevie Wonder and Steve Perry.
I had this dream last night that I was in a city somewhere east of Europe. There were narrow shaded streets and big open areas where the sun was roasting. I was eating nuts and the adhan was being called out. And the sound of the adhan was different to what I’d heard before when I visited Istanbul. It was being made by instruments I didn’t recognise. Lots of different instruments combining to make one sound. Then over the top of that was the sound of voices repeating guttural consonants, like a slowly building choir of k sounds.
That sounds like the start of “Where the Streets Have No Name,” I thought.
I wanted to tell people. I had no device to email or tweet with. Oh my! U2 stole that! And nobody knows.
Then I looked again and found my device and wanted to tweet it, but I only had emojis. No proper alphabet to type with. I wanted there to be emojis that didn’t exist.
Man with blond hair.
Man with cigarette.
Man with hat and goatee.
Man with pink sunglasses.
But I couldn’t find these emojis and nobody knew that U2 stole the adhan.
This version, by Eumir Deodato, apparently won a Grammy in 1973. But then, Skrillex has won Grammys so the award is pretty meaningless. (via the excellent Things Magazine)
At a wedding in Berlin in 2002, I drunk-karaoked Rhinestone Cowboy. Please enjoy.
Back in 2008, when I was travelling around the Americas—when this blog was good—I noticed that there was a new moon on a Monday. I made a note to write about the Duran Duran song New Moon on Monday the next time one came around. I had “26 January New Moon on Monday” written in the text file of ideas and stuff that’s always on my computer desktop. Up until a few months ago, it still said “26 January New Moon on Monday.” I never did write about New Moon on Monday on Monday 26 January, 2009. So, today, 27 May, 2014, I’m writing this post so that when Monday 25 August and its new moon comes around, the post is already there, stored in WordPress, and scheduled to go online. Planning!
I wonder, though: maybe I will die between now (27 May) and now (25 August)? I wonder if anyone would bother to check my WordPress blog for scheduled posts if I die. Maybe they won’t and after a time of inactivity, the blog will be alive again for one post. Maybe I will die and people in my private life will know, but nobody out there in Internetland, nobody who reads this or looks at Twitter or Facebook will have noticed. Maybe someone here and there may have noticed for a passing moment, “he’s been quiet recently,” but I don’t really see how the news of my death would get out there. Anyway…
Back in 1984, when New Moon on Monday was released as a single, I was a big fan of Duran Duran. I had, by that point bought a lot of Duran Duran records with my one-pound-a-week pocket money. In chronological order, I bought:
Careless Memories (7″, 1981)
Duran Duran (LP, 1981)
Save a Prayer (7″, 1982)
Rio (LP, 1982)
I can’t be sure of the order of buying the album and the previous single, but it’s incredibly unlikely that I’d have bought a single that I already had on an album at that point in my life.
Is There Something I Should Know? (7″, 1983)
Straight in at number one. I remember listening to the chart countdown. It felt like a personal victory that the copy I had bought had contributed to its position. This, of course, was back in the day that very few records went straight into the UK charts at number. I used to be able to remember all of them. Off the top of my head: Here in my Heart by Al Martino, by default, cos he was number one in the first chart in 1952; Elvis had at least one, the Beatles had one, too; Slade had a couple; the Jam had three, I think; Don’t Stand So Close to Me by the Police; Stand and Deliver by Adam and the Ants; this Duran Duran one; Two Tribes by Frankie; Band Aid, obvs…
Union of the Snake (12″, 1983)
The first twelve-inch single I ever bought. From Save Records on the market in Lincoln. I remember being so proud, and a distinct feeling that I was growing up by buying a twelve-inch.
Seven and the Ragged Tiger (LP, 1983)
The Reflex (12″ picture disc, 1984)
Twelve inch. Picture disc. Amazing. It’s a picture and music comes out of it.
The Wild Boys (12″, 1984)
A View to a Kill (7″ white vinyl with a gatefold sleeve, 1985)
Notorious (LP, 1986)
I wasn’t buying Sugar Hill imports or listening to John Peel back in the early eighties. I was into pop music. Proper music. Music in the charts. But, while Hollywood movies or shitty nightclub party nights will have you believe the eighties were corny and shitty, the Top 40 was way better than it has been in the decades since then. Pop stars were, on the whole, real people not TV-show-no-hard-work-no-personality-white-teeth-shitfucks. The fantastic magazine Smash Hits saw to that. It was like that magazine wasn’t there to say, “hey, this group has a new album out,” but “hey group, we have some teenagers you need to impress, so you better be at the very least, slightly interesting when we interview you.”
1984 had fourteen number one singles. And I would imagine that you can sing the choruses of nearly all of them. Obviously that doesn’t mean they were intrinsically good (Stevie Wonder’s I Just Called to Say I Love You, for example, although, I did buy that at the time, for some reason), but they were at least memorable.
New Moon on Monday didn’t get to number one. It got to number nine. It’s my sixth favourite Duran Duran song. Yes, I have a list. The top five:
5. Union of the Snake
4. Girls on Film
3. Planet Earth
2. The Chauffeur
1. Careless Memories
My main memory of New Moon on Monday is such a tiny moment. My family, we were all in the dining room on a Sunday night. We might’ve been doing something like playing Trivial Pursuit. We had BBC Radio Lincolnshire on. (When writing this, I typo-ed “Lincolnshite,” which, y’know…) On Sunday nights, Radio Lincolnshire used to have a programme for younger people. The start of New Moon on Monday kicked in, those three echo-ey notes right at the start, without the DJ introducing it. And I said “Duran Duran!” or something. My mum noted that I knew a lot about pop music cos I recognised the song so quickly. It felt good at the time. I did know a lot about pop music.
Now, though, when I listen to it, I feel happy to have been a teenager in the 1980s. With Duran Duran. And that nice chorus. With those fireworks-y sound effects and the Fairlight CMI sounds. That sound, that Fairlight, there aren’t many instruments that evoke so many nice feelings in my head. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, when I first thought about writing this post back in 2008, I found a couple of .wav clips of Fairlight sounds. I downloaded them, but can’t remember where I got them, so unfortunately, I can’t credit a source, but here they are: aahh.wav and orch5.wav. Now you know what I’m on about, right? Also: someone did a Spotify playlist called Fairlight Moments which is worth a go, should you wanna wallow in this sort of thing.)
Rambling post. Not really about new moons. Or New Moon on Monday, really. But it was and is a great song. With a terrible video:
I started this about a year ago, and added a little more now and again. Finally, it’s finished.
It’s a series of ten drawings: one for each of the songs on Ian Dury and the Blockheads’ wonderful album New Boots and Panties!!
I drew them with the iPad app, Paper, and the idea was to kinda do them like decorative plates, thus the choice of the Willow Pattern-y blue.
Well, I stand up next to a mountain
And I chop it down with the edge of my hand
“Voodoo Chile” Jimi Hendrix
Lucky that my breasts are small and humble
So you don’t confuse them with mountains
“Whenever, Wherever” Shakira
The image above is every Beatles album (the UK albums) reduced in Photoshop to one pixel in size. (So they are easier to see, I then increased each pixel to a 20 pixel square.)
Below are three rows. The top row is my initial guess at what each sleeve would look like reduced to one pixel. The second row is of the sleeves reduced in Photoshop with the “Nearest Neighbor” setting. The bottom row (and the one at the top of this post) is with the sleeves resized using the “Bicubic” setting.
I’m starting a new ongoing project on the site today. It’s called Bandstand. Hopefully I’ll keep this going until I have done every single band that exists, has existed, and will ever exist. That last sentence is a lie. But I will do a lot more.
More finger painting here.
They say other peoples’ dreams are boring. But I would also suggest that they are also boring. Saying other peoples’ dreams are boring is boring. Not sure that entirely means we’ve come around to dreams being interesting again, but, well, er, this post is about a dream I had a while back.
I’d read a story on a news Web site about the Queen (that is, the Queen, Queen Elizabeth II) running out of money or something. Boo hoo. And I ended up dreaming about that and the way the BBC is always getting shit from the Daily fucking Mail about anything they feel they can stick the boot in about. So in the dream, the Queen was given a chat show on BBC One, to, y’know, earn her keep. In my dream, she was interviewing famous British people. And the first interview was with Robert Smith. Him out of the Cure.
Here’s a drawing.
I made a chart about Prince’s magnificent 1987 album. Here.