Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Generation XX

OK, I have been tagged. In case you don’t know (I didn't) this means someone has done something on his/her site, and has asked me to do the same. In this case it's The Curve, who got it from Slaminsky. (What is this... an STD clinic?) The thing that gets passed on is called a meme. This time, the deal is to identify 20 tracks that fit given criteria. And at the bottom I'll name one or two people who have to pick up the baton, or else.

1. A track from your early childhood
Probably ‘Congratulations’ or ‘Goodbye Sam, Hello Samantha’ by Cliff Richard. I liked him when I was about 4. It was the flowery shirts he wore at the time, I think. I seem to recall that I thought Cliff was married to Olivia Newton-John, and Hank Marvin was their son. In retrospect, ‘Goodbye Sam’ sounds as if it’s about one of those weird Christian organisations that ‘deliver’ you from homosexuality.

2. A track that you associate with your first love
‘It’s My Party’ by Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin.

3. A track that reminds you of a holiday trip
When I was about 16, I went and stayed with my friend Alex at his farm in Herefordshire. It was a week of almost clichéd bucolic delight (sunshine, haystacks and cider) and the soundtrack was Pink Floyd’s first and only truly great album, Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. If I have to single out one track, it's ‘Scarecrow’.

4. A track that you like but wouldn’t want to be associated with in public
‘We Got Tonite’ by Bob Seger. Now, my family and I would like a little privacy at this difficult time.

5. A track that accompanied you when you were lovesick
‘Stay With Me, Baby’ by Lorraine Ellison. You think you know deep soul? This is deeeeeeep soul.

6. A track that you have probably listened to most often
What’s that, iTunes? You think it’s ‘The State I Am In’ by Belle and Sebastian? Well, in recent months maybe, but over a lifetime it’s probably something like the Pearl & Dean theme, or even the ‘clock’ music from Countdown.

7. A track that is your favourite instrumental
‘Get Up And Get It’ by Jackie Mittoo or Bach's Brandenburg Five.

8. A track that represents one of your favourite bands
‘You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Baby’ by a little-known beat combo from Mancunia.

9. A track which represents yourself best
Since it’s the only track I’ve ever performed at karaoke, ‘Pretty Vacant’.

10. A track that reminds you of a special occasion (which one?)
The greatest gig I ever saw was when Brian Wilson played the Royal Festival Hall in 2002. It was the one when he played Pet Sounds in full; the only difference being that when he got to track 9, instead of the wanky, Mike Love-approved ‘I Know There's An Answer’, he sang the lyrics he'd always intended, the hatchet job on Transcendental Meditation that is ‘Hang On To Your Ego’. And the audience roared its approval. And somewhere in California, Mike Love tried to work out a way that he could sue that audience.

11. A track that you can relax to
I can’t relax. I don’t think I know what the word means.

12. A track that stands for a really good time in your life
I have happy, happy memories of dancing stupidly in eighteen inches of mud in a farmyard in Devon to ‘Cool For Cats’ by Squeeze. Which might just as well go to number 4.

13. A track that is currently your favourite
Either ‘Everyone’s A VIP To Someone’ by The Go! Team or ‘Tower Of Love’ by Jim Noir. Either of which could usurp number 7 at some stage.

14. A track that you’d dedicate to your best friend
‘How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?’ by Al Green.

15. A track that you think nobody but you likes
‘Good Morning’ by Maher Shalal Hash Baz. Too weird for pop, too happy for rock.

16. A track that you like especially for its lyrics
‘The Gift’ by the Velvet Underground or ‘How Fucking Romantic’ by the Magnetic Fields.

17. A track that you like that’s neither English nor German
Damn you, Curve. I was going to go for ‘Birthday’, or ‘Ammæli’ as we pedants like to think of it. And if that was taken, I’d pick something from Mwng, although in my case it would probably be ‘Ymaelodi A’r Ymylon’ (and, yes, I had to look both of those up). And I don’t want to repeat myself, so none of MSHB’s Japanese stuff. OK, howzabout ‘Paloma Negra’ by Chavela Vargas, because everyone needs some Costa Rican lesbian alcoholic torch songs in amongst the shuffle. It’s on the Frida soundtrack; it’s the one playing when she cuts her hair off.

18. A track that lets you release tension best
This is suspiciously close to number 11, isn’t it? But one that does make me smile and put my little problems in perspective and occasionally bop around the room in a knot-loosening manner is the Leningrad Cowboys’ version of ‘Happy Together’.

19. A track that you want to be played on your funeral
‘Ghost Riders In The Sky’ by Johnny Cash.

20. A track that you’d nominate for the ‘best of all time’ category
The one I'd keep above all others if Sue Lawley summoned me to her desert island today would be ‘Don’t Play That Song’ by Aretha Franklin.

Apologies to the Mighty Wah!, Stravinsky, Prince Buster, Pulp, Grant Green, Stereolab, Ornette Coleman, Gavin Bryars, und so weiter.

Right then. I tag... Bob Swipe, because he makes me laugh, and The Spinster, because she's distractingly wiggly, apparently, and Joel from Robotic Hat, so he can disprove my calumny that his musical tastes are 'wacky'. You go, girl. And, er, boys.


The Curve said...

I'd forgotten about 'The Gift', you are right the words/lyrics are brilliant. Am I right in thinking it was originally a short story by Lou Reed? I might have to take back what I said about listening to lyrics.

Tim Footman said...

I believe so - written when he was sitting at the feet of dipso poet Delmore Schwartz. But Cale's rendition is so deadpan, he makes it his own. I think WL/WH is probably my favourite album of all time.

Anonymous said...

Ok I feel like the young pastey kid with spots and greasy hair trying to keep the talk up with the cool kids at the record store... you should turn that into a compilation

Spinsterella said...



Spinsterella said...



Will get cracking Mr Footman Sir.

Robert A. Swipe said...


Thanks for thinking of me. I hate to point out that all my postings are written in a spirit of complete earnestness. I'm pleased that they amuse you, but I was rather hoping that you'd also be taking rather more from them than a few laughs - much as there is a lot to those other noteworthy "guides to life", The Bible, The I Ching and The Koran besides the comedy element (less so in the Koran, obviously - although the sequence where the mountains are loosened like wool always cracks ME up!). Still as the Buddha said, "it takes a lot to laugh, it takes a train to get to Stranraer to catch the night ferry to Larne - change at Carlisle and don't touch anything from the buffet car above Cowdenbeath"...

Keep smiling,


p.s. Read some of your pieces on the Tangents website. "Voice your choice" by the Radiants is a fave of mine. Is "You left the running", the Maurice and Mac track you review, available on a comp anywhere? Haven't heard it but just know I will love it.

Tim Footman said...

It's on a compilation called Chess Tearjerkers. Universal really seems to be bigging up the non-blues angle of the label, which seems to be a bit of a brand dilution scenario, but hey, there ya go. Don't get me started on branding, I go all Naomi Klein and the veins in my forehead stand out.

Loved your tagging response, btw. And Tangents is bloody fab, isn't it? Everyone else should go there as well.

Joel said...

I've been peat-bogged with work, but my response will appear sometime next week. Inside a loaf of bread.

Tim Footman said...

That's cool, Joel, sure it'll be good whenever it shows. Say hello to young Jove from me.