Posted by: Paul | July 10, 2011

Facebook’s 30 Day Song Challenge – Day 22

Day 22 – A song you listen to when you’re sad. The Cure – ‘A Letter To Elise’

My relationship with The Cure is deep and long-lasting. Several Cure albums would make it into my top twenty albums of all time, if I was pushed to write such a thing, and I really have only picked one of several dozen songs which would have done the job here. But I like this combination of a slightly sweet melody (bittersweet, even) underscored with their trademark childlike keyboards, with a sad story you feel like you’ve been dropped right into the middle of. Almost all The Cure’s songs are effective little vignettes of one kind or another, but ‘A Letter To Elise’ has the added charm of being that rare thing – an ultra-sad singalong.

Posted by: Paul | July 9, 2011

Facebook’s 30 Day Song Challenge – Day 21

Day 21 – A song you listen to when you’re happy. Arcade Fire – Rebellion (Lies)

Perhaps a slightly odd choice on the surface, a song of protest and defiance, but the tune is so hugely uplifting that whenever I’m in a good mood this is never far from the top of the list of things I want to hear. There isn’t a great deal of music which makes me want to dance with joy but this is one such song – it’s a foot-stomping, pogoing, fist in the air CLASSIC. And live it’s even better, it makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Music at it’s most thrillingly visceral.

Posted by: Paul | July 8, 2011

Facebook’s 30 Day Song Challenge – Day 20

Day 20 – A song you listen to when you’re angry. Bloc Party – ‘Uniform’

I don’t waste an awful lot of time being angry, but when I am – say, your vendors are not forthcoming with material information during a house move, or that client has failed to pay you again – this is a great song for working off some of that stress. It has a sedate start, granted, but when it kicks into gear it’s marvellous for enthusiastic leaping around. Or, equally, fast and angry ironing.

Posted by: Paul | July 7, 2011

Facebook’s 30 Day Song Challenge – Day 19

Day 19 – A song from your favourite album. dEUS – ‘Instant Street’

Brilliant, weird, visionary Belgians who, at times, sound like they’ve been parachuted in from another universe, made what is probably my favourite ever album in 1999, and I’ve been listening to it on and off ever since. It is a record of many levels, which rewards on all of them – melodically, lyrically, and in terms of the whole production and the pace of the record it is sublime. A true example of the album as a body of work.

The standout from an album of standouts for me is the single, ‘Instant Street’. As much fun to play on the guitar as it is to listen to, it builds to an amazing crescendo – and has a brilliantly oddball video to go with it, which develops in a similarly tangential way to the song. Enjoy!

Posted by: Paul | July 6, 2011

Facebook’s 30 Day Song Challenge – Day 18

Day 18 – A song you wish you heard on the radio. The Long Winters – ‘Fire Island, AK’

The Long Winters are the single best live band I have ever seen in my life. And I’ve seen a lot. They give so much, are so entertaining and their songs come to life when played in the flesh like no-one else I’ve ever been to see. Their frontman, John Roderick, is not only a musical genius but could have a second line as a stand-up comic. Witty and erudite, he’s a bit like the Stephen Fry of indie rock. He can be followed on Twitter. I suggest you do this. If you’re into that sort of thing.

I have never heard The Long Winters on the radio. This is a situation which must not be allowed to continue. The only stumbling block, and the only criticism I have of the band, is that it takes them so damn long to make a record. I’ve been waiting since 2006 for a follow-up to ‘Putting The Days To Bed’, from where this track is lifted. Five years. FIVE YEARS, JOHN.

As they say, perfection does not happen overnight. And The Long Winters’ stock in trade is perfect indie pop songs. But I’m hungry for more!

Posted by: Paul | July 5, 2011

Facebook’s 30 Day Song Challenge – Day 17

Day 17 – A song you hear often on the radio. Swedish House Mafia – ‘Who’s gonna save the world tonight’

Popular music, eh? It shows that being popular is not the same as being worthwhile. I hear this hideous piece of eurotrash dross with alarming regularity, and as such I’ve stopped flicking past Radio 1 (something I do just to check the world of music intended for ‘young people’ remains a world I do not wish to visit) for the past week or two in order to avoid it.

I do quite like the name though – does exactly what it says on the tin!

Posted by: Paul | July 4, 2011

Facebook’s 30 Day Song Challenge – Day 16

Day 16 – A song which you used to love but now hate. INXS – ‘Need You Tonight’

I used to adore INXS. As a twelve year old I thought Michael Hutchence was about the coolest man I had ever seen. Ho hum.

Posted by: Paul | July 3, 2011

Facebook’s 30 Day Song Challenge – Day 15

Day 15 – A song which describes you. Nada Surf – ‘Always Love’

Another dumbass category. Instead, here’s a song with a noble sentiment I aspire to. Let go of the hate, anger and negativity, and feel the love!

I do love Nada Surf. One of those great American bands which have never had the success they deserve over here. They fell prey to their career peaking with their very first single, ‘Popular’, which was what I believe they described back in the day as an ‘MTV hit’, and so they did what any self-respecting band would do in their position – they simply stopped playing it. Kudos to them for doing that, but sadly they’ve never quite regained that popularity despite making one of the best albums of the last 10 years in ‘Let Go’. Quite, quite awesome and if you like melodic rock with an uplifting feel then you should check it out immediately.

Posted by: Paul | July 2, 2011

Facebook’s 30 Day Song Challenge – Day 14

Day 14 – A song no-one would expect you to love. Junior Senior – ‘Move Your Feet’

Bit of an odd category, this one. Like I said yesterday I wear my influences pretty openly, so since I don’t really like electronic music, or dancing, or anything remotely cheesy, perhaps it’s a mild surprise that I would like this.

It is mostly due to the video though. Truly excellent video. And a true one-hit-wonder – where are they now!

Posted by: Paul | July 1, 2011

Facebook’s 30 Day Song Challenge – Day 13

Day 13 – A song which is a guilty pleasure – Ellie Goulding – ‘Under The Sheets’

Not sure if this really qualifies as a ‘guilty pleasure’, as I don’t listen to anything I’m not proud to admit to, but this is about as close to mainstream pop as I get.

This particular song, and what’s more this performance of it, are what sold Ellie Goulding to me as a writer and singer. It’s pretty unlike most of the rather light, very overproduced fare on her debut album ‘Lights’, and all the better for it.

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