Every year we, at The Muso, like to take a piece of litmus paper to the South African blogosphere to try and determine what our esteemed blogger comrades are listening to. With a pretty broad brief (to write about the one song that they couldn’t stop listening to) this is what our fellow bloggers had to say…
Contributor: The Don
Song: The Album Leaf – Over The Pond
While my current obsession with post rock has been a recent digression from my normal listening tastes that doesn’t at all diminish how addictive I have found this. The Album Leaf has been the newest addition to my ever expanding adoration list. There is something about the sweet simplicity in the music that is strangely alluring. While the bulk of the music I listen to steam rolls me with intricate and often messy vocals, experimental instruments and off beat timings the clear structure of this track provides me with an oasis in an expanding melee of auditory assaults. Music has always had the ability to inspire or motivate but it has been a long time since a track (or an album for that matter) has managed to relax me as well as the tender melodies of the Album Leaf.
Song: Duke – So in love with you
This song was our (my girlfriends and I) dance anthem. If we weren’t already on the dance floor, this song would get us RUNNING to the floor to boogie. It reminds me of a time where we were at the height of our party lives. It was 1997 and we lived in a stunning flat right on the Waterfront. We had cool clothes, cool cars and we had lots of disposable income. We did some shit I hope my kids don’t do one day, but dammit, we had fun. Spyce, Farcyde, Funktion….. Damn, those were fun times.
Song: The Sleeping – Don’t hold back
Again, this is a track that has me living by the lyrics. Late last year I was at a crossroads in terms of where I was headed in business, and unsure of making a drastic change. Basically, ‘don’t hold back’ is something that keeps me going. I decided to make the change. It’s been a year in the making, but that change is finally coming to a hopefully huge success. So much so that I, again, tattoo’d it onto my arm to remind me everyday to not hold back and give 100% in everything, always. Rad.
Song: Oxbow – A Winner Every Time
It’s strange how most of us embrace intensity, savagery and a guided tour of The Heart Of The Beast more readily in one artform than another. Edvard Munch’s Scream and Hannibal Lecter movies are far more widely, er, consumed than anything similar in the musical domain. And, while on the subject of Mr Lecter, ain’t that mix of urbane wit and depravity just the wrong side of seductive?
It is for similar reasons that I love Oxbow’s music – “A Winner Every Time” drifts effortlessly from wood-panelled refinement to divine annihilation in a way that even the most hardened Metalheaded derivative would never anticipate. It is by far the most exhilarating thing that I have heard so far this year.
Song: Led Zeppelin – Whole Lotta Love
When we heard the sick rumour that Led Zeppelin were planning to reform and play a reunion concert at London’s O2 arena, we did what nearly 2 million other people did at the same time and tried to get tickets – promptly crashing and frying the ticket website’s server.
Ticketless and desperately wishing to relive our glory days of hedonistic reckless abandon as penniless Maties – we hauled out the old Zep CDs from their cotton wool beds and started replaying the classic sounds of a band that was frankly, years ahead of its time.
Do yourself a big favour – load up the all time killer Zep track ‘Whole lotta love’ on your fancy car system…open all the windows, crank it up as far as you can take it before the speakers blow and do a little cruising on the highway while drumming your fingers to that legendary drum solo. Or better yet – try get your grubby little mitts onto one of the very limited-edition live tickets, which are being carefully distributed for the November 26th show.
Now that’s rock ‘n roll baby, yeah!
Song: Sonic Youth – Unmade Bed
Ok I know this album is already over three years old, but it has probably been my most listened to track of 2007. From the opening jangle to the soaring guitar riffs that crunch Neil Young style; this song is just pure bliss. I really love the understated vocals of Thurston Moore, the beautiful clean guitar and his voice really establish this song as a bit of a slow groove and then all of a sudden at 1 minute and 40 sec, that great distorted guitar introduces itself bringing the song to life. I was driving in my car the other day listening to this and I couldn’t help thinking that if ever there was a song that was Sonic Youth doing Neil Young and Crazy Horse, then this is it. It’s in the way the song effortlessly moves from delicate beauty to snarling distortion and the way that distorted guitar rambles like a straggler, aggressive yet unsure of itself.
The connection between Sonic Youth and Young are well documented, it was the Youth who helped to revive Young’s career in the late eighties and early nineties when they were touring buddies, by introducing him to new audiences as ‘the Godfather of Grunge’ during the Ragged Glory era. This touring partnership also resulted in Arc, the feedback instrumental piece, which young released after being inspired by the Youth’s use of sound sculpting. Then there is the cover of Computer Age from the critically written-off eighties album Trans that Sonic Youth contributed to the Neil Young tribute album The Bridge.
Anyway getting back to Unmade Bed, it is the sheer beauty of a song like this that places Sonic Nurse right up there with my favourite Sonic Youth albums.
Contributor: Vicky Plum
Song: The Catempire – Hello
“Hello” by The Catempire is just about the sexiest song I know. It’s a bit dated now, was released in 2003, but whenever I hear it I still have to jump out my chair and start shaking my ass. Felix Reibl’s cheeky lyrics, delivered with such a naughty glint and relaxed confidence, are backed by a tight band with spellbinding horns and a rock solid rhythm section. Happy music at it’s best.
Song: Doves – Pounding
My contribution is Pounding, by Doves. Reason I love it? “I just can´t get tired of this ditty. It starts out as a “pounding” anthem and builds constantly until it becomes difficult not to whip out the air drums. 60% of the time it makes me jizz my pants ALL the time. If the Doves were a woman, they´d be Jessica Alba.”
Peas On Toast
Song: Jose Padilla – Adios Vaya
This is going to be unconventional. I’ve started working in town, right. The traffic’s a bitch, taxis have all but taken off my back bumper, 5:00pm is the time I come closest to buying a gun and raining bullets over everyone in a mass killing spree. I got Cafe Del Mar Seis for my birthday. What a fucking life saver. Honestly, thank fuck for chill out music, and not a moment too soon.
Jose Padilla’s Adios Vaya (Track 13) is on repeat to the point where the laser in my CD shuttle is Going. To. Break. But until then, the windows are closed, the air con is on – and the man croons aimlessly on about “thinking about tomorrow, so I have to say goodbye” and shit like that. He’s goofed, that’s for fucking certain, but damn, it’s soothing. With the slightly repetitive trill of the pianotic-infused panpipes – no seriously – drawn together with his the soothingly dreamy voice, I’m transported a place of rolling green fields and Super M that comes directly of the taps. He’s the only dude who can take me there right now, so I’ll be damned if I have to listen to something else. In the heat of urban congestion, and the familiar tingle of deranged lunacy is banging away at your synapses? Whack this on. Or don’t and just kill people then, whatever.
Song: Korn – Coming Undone
“Keep holding on, when my brain’s ticking like a bomb.”
Heavy bass, a stomping rhythm, and Korn’s distinctive sound build into a great anthem about giving in to madness, when life’s pressure gets too much.
Some days, when the chaos is too great, you feel like you’re losing your grip and coming undone. This is the song that I thrash out at full volume on those days to remind me to hold it together.
Song: Wilco – Impossible Germany
Music Reviews. They’re a whole nother movie altogether.
Many so-called critics purport to be “music experts”, but are so far up their own arse that they show themselves to be nothing more than music fascists. Reading many critiques out there, you can’t help but imagine a frustrated guitarist or wedding singer with a pen and a dictionary, denigrating the reader with a spiteful, patronizing assessment that – they would have you believe – belongs in the universal constitution.
So allow me to break it down in a way that everyone will understand: Whether you’re a “music expert”, a music fascist or a music layman, you are formally invited to have your own opinion.
Wilco’s Impossible Germany is like that classic movie that you own on DVD. If not, then it’s the film that you’re too embarrassed to rent because the Mr. Video clerk will see that you’ve rented it 12 times already. Impossible Germany is quite possibly Casablanca. It’s The Shawshank Redemption or The Big Lebowski. It’s Jerry Maguire or Sideways and it’s certainly As Good As It Gets.
See what I did there…
Where this classic song might defy comparison with these titles is that it takes a few listens before you properly appreciate it. Perhaps it’s more like The Usual Suspects or Memento. More like Fight Club or The Sixth Sense.
A sixth sense would be recommended when you first hear the 3rd track on Sky Blue Sky. There is every chance you’ll experience a sensory overload as Nels Cline takes you on the journey that is his 3 minute guitar solo. Fear not though… you are permitted, nay, encouraged to hear it again. And again. And again. Even once you think you have it sussed, it continues to improve with every spin. Impossible Germany is Anchorman. It’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Yes ladies… It’s Dirty Dancing (heck, I might as well come out and say it: yes ladies and gentlemen, it’s Dirty Dancing).
The funny thing is, I don’t think I will ever quite understand what Jeff Tweedy and the lads are on about in this song. In that sense, I guess Impossible Germany might be more aptly related to The Matrix.
Although not the 3rd instalment in the trilogy. I don’t care about your opinion – that was crap!
Contributor: The Muso
Song: Patrick Wolf – Accident and Emergency
When it comes down to it, choosing one song from the many is a fairly brutal process. I’ve settled on Mr Wolf due to the fact that his latest album, The Magic Position, has resurrected itself in my estimations in recent months. Accident and Emergency represents the high point of the album, a lovely blend of analogue and digital and a tempo that I hope the band strives to achieve more often on future releases.