Saturday, 16 January 2010

Random Musings 2010

So here we are, for the third year running, with the random music challenge. Sorry. The Random Music Challenge. That's better.

Have a look at what I did in 2008 and 2009 to get an idea of the Challenge. It's really quite simple. Get your iPod or similar digital musical doohickey. Hit the 'shuffle' button. And write about the first five tracks that appear. No cheating - you can't skip the embarrassing ones. So if Steps comes up, you can't pretend it was actually John Coltrane.

Here goes:

1) Crowded House - Not the Girl You Think You Are

I'm a big fan of the Finn brothers as songwriters - they could do a phone ringtone and you'd be tapping your feet to it. This is a break from the stuff most people know from Crowded House - a Beatles-like singalong on first play but with dark undertones on repeated listening. I love a little wonky piano every now and then.

2) Kaiser Chiefs - Modern Way

I remember watching Live Eight on TV in 2005 and seeing Kaiser Chiefs take to the stage as openers at Philadelphia, singing "I Predict a Riot" in front of an estimated 750,000 people. London got the Killers, Brandon Flowers in silver lame and anthemic numbers. Philly got a bloke in a porkpie hat singing about his night out in Leeds.

3) Frank Zappa - Rubber Shirt

Anyone who can have albums entitled "Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch", "Lumpy Gravy", "Make A Jazz Noise Here" and "Sheik Yerbouti" (which this one is from) is alright by me. And the track names are even more entertaining. However, this one is a bit of instrumental wibbling, to be honest.

4) Temptations - Papa Was a Rolling Stone

Listen to those strings. Feel that bass. Get that wah-wah guitar going. And here comes the trumpet. Two whole minutes in before the vocals begin. And what vocals! Nerdy fact: Dennis Edwards sings that first line, and his father had actually died on the 3rd September, but it's a complete fluke as the song had been written independently from the group. The producer, on realising this co-incidence, got Edwards to repeat the line again and again in recording just to get the right level of bitterness in his voice. That's soul music. I can't imagine Justin Timberlake doing that, somehow.

5) Boards of Canada - Under the Coke Sign

One-and-a-half minutes of the same three notes slowly repeated again and again over the sound of a highway. I realise I'm not selling it in to you, but it's great, trust me. Boards of Canada produce electronic music using old analogue instruments, distortion effects and samples. Still not selling it in, am I? It's from their EP "Trans Canada Highway" and yes, as you've guessed, they're from, um, Scotland. I can't quite explain how this once long-haired rock-and-roller found himself listening to stuff like this. Variety is the spice of life, you know. OK, if it makes you happy, the sixth track would have been Van Halen.

Now it's your turn. Go off and get your five random tracks, and post them in the comments (or in your own blog, if you have one, with a link in the comments). I've shown you mine, now show me yours.


City Girl said...

Wow. Here's eclectic for you:
Counting Crows
Charlotte Church
Billy Joel and
YoYo Ma

The one and only Charlotte Church recording I own, and it rears its ugly head during an iPod meme. If I didn't have bad luck, I wouldn't have any luck at all....

emma said...

1. you're not the girl you think you are - Crowded House. I'm not making this up, but it was the last track I played before switching to 'random' so maybe machine thought it would be clever and not think...
2. Telepathic Agriculture by Joao Taborda & Antonio Olaio. Porty nutjobs sounding a bit like REM, nick cave and sporting immortal lyrics like "if you plant cabbages in your ears your brain will melt"
3. Albinoni's Adagio in G Minor; not actually by Albinoni at all but but some dude called Remo Giazotto in 1958. "quintissential baroque" ER, FAKE.
4. Goody Goody by Benny Goodman. 1930's pop.
5. Bell Bottomed Tear by The Beautiful South. Like the Finns, sounds light and fun, disguising its dark depths. Music for the commonly flawed.
That was so much fun, and seeing as it's sunny, windy and freezing, random seems right for today.


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