Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Dress sexy at my funeral

I went into the studio today. Andrew and Lynette hadn't looked at my blog - probably just as well - so I didn't get attacked for my gratuitous attack on their musical choices as I walked through the door.

Andrew did try to counter by suggesting that the music I had played in the studio was 'dismal'. This cut me to the quick a little. I think this is probably a bit of projection. Because I'm a bit of a miserable, cantankerous character, it stands to reason I would like miserable music. Andrew assumed I would be a Morrissey fan for the same reason. I can't say I am or ever have been. I liked the Smiths but was never a fan. Panic might be on the list below if I had it on my iPod. A chorus of 'Hang the DJ, hang the DJ, hang the DJ' is a lovely thing.

I do have some music others might find dismal. Tom Waits is a bit of an acquired taste. But often I think that is again an assumption about the limitations of popular music. People who don't really see it as a valid art form think that it has to be either feel good music or background music. They hear a slow tune and a sombre voice and assume that the song must be 'dismal'. Leonard Cohen suffers from this. He can be very, very (albeit darkly) funny, but is rarely thought of in that way.

But in any case, the last thing Andrew asked me to turn off was Funkadelic's One Nation Under a Groove. Maybe not conducive to work - but dismal? I think not. Anyway - in a shared space you have to respect other people's needs. Lynette prefers total silence, so I actually haven't played any music (out loud) in the studio for about six months. Which is fine.

But it made me think that I ought to do a list of - well, not necessarily 'happy' tunes, but ones that lift the spirit, just in case anyone looking at the blog thought I listened to nothing but tearjerkers.

Well, they lift my spirit anyway. It may seem odd for instance to have a song called Dress Sexy At My Funeral, but I defy anyone to listen to that and not smile. Fairy Tale of New York City may also seem an odd choice - but it contains one of my favourtite piece of lyrics: the interchange between Shane MacGowan - 'I could have been someone' and Kirsty McCall - 'Well so could anyone'. Mind you, Prince's 'Shake your body like a horny pony would' from Alphabet St is also pretty good. For You by Springsteen is one of my son's favourite songs - and he's only 11. Starman takes me back to me bedroom on the Kenton Bar Estate in Newcastle and dreams of escape. Here he is, landing like a parrot in my front room in the early seventies. Oh how my dad hated him.

I Know There's An Answer - The Beach Boys
Nantes - Beirut
I Feel Good - James Brown
For You - Bruce Springsteen
Bankrobber - The Clash
Brimful of Asha - Cornershop
Close To You (Remix) - The Cure
Starman - David Bowie
Groove Is In The Heart - Deee-Lite
I Feel Just Like a Child - Devendra Banhart
Sunshine Superman - Donovan
Touch Me - The Doors
Crystal Days - Echo & The Bunnyman
Girl Like You - Edwin Collins
Station Approach - Elbow
I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down - Elvis Costello
One Nation Under a Groove - Funkadelic
Crazy - Gnarls Barkley
Dare - Gorillaz
Now It's On - Grandaddy
Made Up Love Song #43 - The Guillemots
Ready For the Floor - Hot Chip
The Farm - Howe Gelb
I'm Bored - Iggy Pop
Dignified & Old - Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers
Cloudbusting - Kate Bush
Waterloo Sunset - The Kinks
Can't Get You Out Of My Head - Kylie Minogue
Up With The People - Lambchop
Wild Child - Lou Reed
Family Affair - Mary J Blige
Three Little Birds - Bob Marley & The Wailers
Regret - New Order
Mausam - Nitan Sawnhey
Hey Ya! - Outkast
Life's A Gamble - Penetration
Young Folks - Peter, Bjorn & John
Papas Got A Brand New Pigbag - Pigbag
Fairy Tale of New York - The Pogues & Kirsty McCall
Movin' On Up - Primal Scream
Alphabet St - Prince
Rockaway Beach - The Ramones
When I Get To The Border - Richard & Linda Thompson
Let's Spend The Night Together - The Rolling Stones
Pyjamarama - Roxy Music
Dress Sexy At My Funeral - Smog
Go Amanda - Steve Earle
Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing - Stevie Wonder
Someday - The Strokes
Jeepster - T Rex
American Girl - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Sweet Jane - The Velvet Underground

And if I could just have one, it would probably be Sweet Jane. Goodness knows how many times I've heard it, but from the opening, 'Standing on the corner, suitcase in my hand' I'm always hooked.

Here's Peter, Bjorn and John with Young Folks. . .

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