Call me Russ L

Seven Songs

Posted in Music, Well, it passes the time by Russ L on 29 September, 2008

And so it came to pass that Thrizzilver ticked (I’ve spoken about the verbiage before) me with the Seven Songs meme/chain-letter. The rules run thusly:

“List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now, shaping your spring. Post these instructions in your blog along with your 7 songs. Then tag 7 other people to see what they’re listening to.”

It’s not spring anymore so I’ll just pretend that it says aroundabout-now-ish. I’m daring like that.

Tunng – “Woodcat” (2006)

Having spent a lot of time considering this, I think that one (only one, there are more) of the reasons I like Tunng so much is because they’re lovely. That may seem like very vague praise, but I invite the reader to note the fact that I genuinely do consider “Loveliness”, “Awesomeness” and “Righteousness” to be the three great virtues towards which all might aspire. This one actually uses the word ‘lovely’ a lot, too, so everyone’s a winner. It’s the more straightforward folky end of Tunng, anyway, but that’s no bad thing. The bit where most of the backing drops away and leaves the singing always sounds absolutely amazing when you see them do it live.

Louis Jordan And The Tympany Five – “What’s The Use Of Getting Sober (When You’re Gonna Get Drunk Again)” (1942) (I can’t find a helpful link, sorry)

In which the initially stern-seeming father (”Shut up boy”) drifts away from warning his protesting son about the dangers of alcoholism, and instead ends up relating tales of his own drinking in a distinctly pleased-with-himself fashion. With a stunningly clear recording for 1942, the jazzy backing lopes along gently and allows plenty of space for Mr Jordan’s warm and witty spoken delivery. This is one of the rare occasions when you can genuinely say that they don’t make ’em like this anymore, or not precisely like this at the very least.

Roberta Flack – “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” (1969)

‘Our Song’. Well, sort of.

Black Mekon – “Lo-Rent Sex” (2007)

Black Mekon played at a semi-secret thing-thing in Brum recently, and this was track I fell in love with when glancing at a few TheirSpaces in preparation. They played it, too. It may well be Lo(w)-Rent but it’s definitely Hi(gh)-Energy, whizzing about the place in a blur of booming drums and filthy harmonica (more hygienic to listen to than to play, these filthy harmonicas).

Jimmy Dean – “Big Bad John” (1961)

I heard this for the first time in years played between bands at the gig abovementioned. It’s been going through my head repeatedly, ever since then. I still sometimes half-expect to hear “Big Bad Dom” though. Bloody television. Also: ‘Jimmy Dean’ – what? You’d think he’d have got himself a pseudonym, wouldn’t you? Mind you, I suppose it is faintly apt for a fella who sang a song about a hardknock dying before his time.

Aaliyah – “More Than A Woman” (2001)

Sometimes disparate things fuse together and seem to radiate their one-ness outwards, making the imperfect world without feel a tiny bit better. J.S. Bach organ fugues, for example, or the marriage of the late Aaliyah’s ever-so-slightly-unearthly vocals and Timberland’s weirdo spring‘n’squelch-funk. Soaring whilst grounded. Sublime. Divine.

Rolo Tomassi – “Abraxas” (2008)

It felt right to have something from the new Rolo Tomassi album here, but the choice was difficult – I don’t particularly see them as a ‘song’ band (more of a ‘moment’ band. Or perhaps even a ‘changing space between moments’ band. Don’t worry, it makes sense to me). After thought, I’ve opted for this. Starting with the a typically Rolesque fusillade of guitar and bleep, it spends time switching back and forth between sundry tech-metal and jazz parts and even momentarily threatening a beatdown section before eventually falling (it does feel like falling) at around 1:33 into this keyboard part that goes “bipbipbipbipbipbipbipbipdoodledoodledoodledoodle bipbipbipbipbipbipbipbipdoodledoodledoodledoodle”. Stabs of guitar and screamy vox eventually rejoin the tune and it really does groove in a very effective way. There is method in their madness, although I do sometimes get the feeling that this method may well be unsound.

* * *

Now comes the part that I’ve been dreading. I’m meant to pass this onto seven other operatives in the intertelligence network, but the last time I did one of these meme-larks neither of my recipients were particular pleased by the fact that I’d picked them. With that as a given, I will commit what must surely be the ultimate cop-out in this context, and say “Anyone who wants to do can be one of my seven”.

* Dodges brickbats *

Let me know if you’re taking this up, though – if you like doing memes I will keep you in mind for any future pass-ons. Anyone?

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