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Indie Rock Song of the Day

Song of the Day (The Chain): Mercury Rev – Goddess On A HiWay

Day 6. A slightly more obscure link today. The link between NYC by Interpol & Goddess On A HiWay by Mercury Rev is that they were both recorded by the same engineer, Peter Katis.

As well as sharing of behind-the-scenes personnel, both songs share a similar melancholic, almost elegiac, quality. Goddess On A HiWay is a huge, cinematic late ’90’s production & was a fairly big deal on alternative music TV (namely/mainly MTV2) & with UK radio DJ’s like Steve Lamacq & John Peel.

Well, I got us on a highway and I got us in a car
Got us going faster than we’ve ever gone before
I got us on a highway and I got us in a car
Got us going faster than we’ve ever gone before


And I know it ain’t gonna last
And I know it ain’t gonna last
When I see your eyes arrive
They explode like two bugs on glass


Far above the ocean, deep under the sea
There’s a river running dry because of you and me
Far above the ocean, deep under the sea
There’s a river running dry because of you and me

And I know it ain’t gonna last
And I know it ain’t gonna last
When I see your eyes arrive
They explode like two bugs on glass

She’s a goddess on a highway, a goddess in a car
A goddess going faster than she’s ever gone before
She’s a goddess on a highway, a goddess in a car
A goddess going faster than she’s ever gone before

And I know it ain’t gonna last
And I know it ain’t gonna last
When I see your eyes arrive
They explode like two bugs on glass
And I know it ain’t gonna last …
It ain’t gonna last …

Keep up to date with the Song of the Day (The Chain) Spotify playlist.

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Indie Rock Song of the Day

Song of the Day (The Chain): Interpol – NYC

Day 5. It would have been so easy to go with something by Bright Eyes to link up with yesterdays tune by Phoebe Bridgers, since they have a band together. Instead I decided to go with another link. Cities. I was thinking about songs which are about cities & are named after one. A friend of mine had just posted on Facebook that they were listening to Interpol’s debut album, Turn On The Bright Lights, & I remembered that it included the excellent, melancholic NYC.

So from Kyoto to NYC we go. NYC is one of the more downtempo tunes on Turn On The Bright Lights, a mournful dirge, claustrophobically bleak. The most common comparison made by the music press at the time of release was Joy Division. This isn’t inaccurate, but I definitely see a lot more influences in their, not least their contemporaries & fellow New Yorkers, The Strokes.

I had seven faces 
Thought I knew which one to wear
I’m sick of spending these lonely nights 
Training myself not to care

The subway is a porno 
The pavements they are a mess
I know you’ve supported me for a long time
Somehow I’m not impressed

But New York cares (got to be some more change in my life)
New York cares (got to be some more change in my life)
New York cares (got to be some more change in my life)
New York cares (got to be some more change in my life)

Subway she is a porno 
And the pavements they are a mess
I know you’ve supported me for a long time
Somehow I’m not impressed

It’s up to me now turn on the bright lights
Oh, it’s up to me now turn on the bright lights

New York cares (got to be some more change in my life)
New York cares (got to be some more change in my life)
New York cares (got to be some more change in my life)
New York cares (got to be some more change in my life)

It’s up to me now turn on the bright lights
(Got to be some more change in my life)
Oh, it’s up to me now turn on the bright lights
(Got to be some more change in my life)

Keep up to date with the Song of the Day (The Chain) Spotify playlist.

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Indie Rock Synth Pop

The Flaming Lips – My Religion Is You

Hot on the heels of their last single, May’s Flowers Of Neptune 6, those fabulous freaks The Flaming Lips drop another new single from their forthcoming album American Head, due out on 11th September.

My Religion Is You pulls off a tried, tested & extremely effective trick with the mournful, acoustic folk intro which soon morphs into widescreen psychedelic Pop. The guitars all but disappear, synthetic bass & sampled strings laying the groundwork for Wayne Coyne’s acid-frazzled falsetto. Some delightfully off-kilter lead guitars melodies return for the songs instrumental bridge.

Like Flowers Of Neptune 6, My Religion Is You is accompanied by a fiery video. Coyne sings into the camera in front of a wall of fire, holding a bunch of oversized flowers. A Buddhist monk carries a crucifix with a floral wreath attached to it. Like the recent Bright Eyes single I reviewed a couple of days ago, The Flaming Lips seem to be in a pessimistically apocalyptic mood right now. Perhaps there’s something in the air.

Yeah Buddha’s cool
And you’re no fool
To believe anything
You need
To believe in
If Hari Krishna
Maybe it’s the
Thing for you

Hey that’s cool
I don’t need no religion
You’re all I need
You’re the thing I believe in

Nothing else is true
My religion is you
My religion is you
My religion is you

If being a Christian
Is your thing then
Own it friend
Don’t phone it in

I don’t need no religion
You’re all I need
You’re the thing I believe in

Nothing else is true
My religion is you
My religion is you
My religion is you

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Folk Indie Rock Song of the Day

Song of the Day (The Chain): Phoebe Bridgers – Kyoto

Day 4. The connection between The Lemonheads & Phoebe Bridgers is that they’ve both covered songs by Simon & Garfunkel. I told you the links could be as obvious or obscure as I feel like. The links can refer to either the song, the artist or both. Since yesterdays Lemonheads tune wasn’t their Simon & Garfunkel cover (Mrs. Robinson), I decided not to use Phoebe Bridgers’ Simon & Garfunkel cover (7 O’Clock News / Silent Night) either. I chose Kyoto because a) it’s a great tune & b) it’s a great video. As simple as that.

Kyoto is taken from Phoebe Bridgers’ excellent new album, Punisher, released last Friday. This is already a strong contender for my album of the year so expect a review of it in the next few days.

Day off in Kyoto
I got bored at the temple
Looked around at the 7-11
The band took the speed train
Went to the arcade
I wanted to go but I didn’t
You called me from a payphone
They still got pay phones
It cost a dollar a minute
To tell me you’re getting sober 
And you wrote me a letter
But I don’t have to read it
I’m gonna kill you
If you don’t beat me to it
Dreaming through Tokyo skies
I wanted to see the world
Then I flew over the ocean
And I changed my mind
Sunset’s been a freak show
On the weekend 
So I’ve been driving out to the suburbs
To park at the Goodwill 
And stare at the chem trails
With my little brother
He said you called on his birthday
You were off by like ten days
But you get a few points for trying
Remember getting the truck fixed 
When you let us drive it
Twenty-five felt like flying
I don’t forgive you
But please don’t hold me to it
Born under Scorpio skies
I wanted to see the world
Through your eyes until it happened
Then I changed my mind
Guess I lied
I’m a liar
Who lies
‘Cause I’m a liar

Keep up to date with the Song of the Day (The Chain) Spotify playlist.

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Blues Folk Poetry Rock

Bob Dylan breaks record for oldest artist ot top UK album chart

It was reported by the BBC today that Bob Dylan has just broken the record for oldest artist to have a number one album of new, original material in the UK. This is great new for Dylan & his fans. It also comes hot on the heels of his first US Billboard chart number one, with the fantastic new single Murder Most Foul.

At 79 years old, Dylan has overtaken previous record holder, Paul Simon, who hit the top spot in 2006, at the age of 74, with Stranger To Stranger. Dame Vera Lynne holds the record for oldest artist to have a number one album with her 2009 greatest hit’s collection, We’ll Meet Again. She was 92. Maybe in 13 years time, Dylan can beat her too.

This is a significant achievement & I’m happy for DYlan. Check out this great animated lyric video for Dylan’s most recent single, False Prophet.

And while we’re on the topic of Bob Dylan, he’s just uploaded this video to his YouTube channel. An alternative take of If Not For You.

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Indie Rock Song of the Day

Song of the Day (The Chain): The Lemonheads – The Outdoor Type

Day 3. The connection between Dinosaur Jr’s Little Furry Things & The Outdoor Type by The Lemonheads is one of personnel. During this period of The Lemonheads career they were briefly joined by Patrick Murphy, aka Murph, after he had recently left Dinosaur Jr.

I’ve just found out tonight while making this blogpost that theis song was actually a cover. I honestly never knew. The original is by the Australian Indie band Smudge, who I likewise hadn’t heard of before tonight. That’s someone else for me to check out.

Always had a roof above me 
Always paid the rent
But I’ve never set foot inside a tent
Can’t build a fire to save my life
I lied about being the outdoor type

I’ve never slept out underneath the stars,
The closest that I came to that was one time my car
Broke down for an hour in the suburbs at night
I lied about being the outdoor type.

Too scared to let you know you knew what you were looking for
I lied until I fit the bill god bless the great indoors
I lied about being the outdoor type
I’ve never owned a sleeping bag let alone a mountain bike

I can’t go away with you on a rock climbing weekend
What if somethings on tv and its never shown again
Its just as well I’m not invited I’m afraid of heights
I lied about being the outdoor type

Never learned to swim can’t grow a beard or even fight
I lied about being the outdoor type

Keep up to date with the Song of the Day (The Chain) Spotify playlist.

[Spotify https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1xwDnnpH11CqLTAZdsHSDL?si=HKsDeZ0hTSq6I_hCMaoXhg%5D

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Indie Rock

Bright Eyes – Mariana Trench

A new single from Bright Eyes (his fourth this year) from his upcoming album Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was.

Mariana Trench doesn’t do anything different to what Bright Eyes has always done, but as the old idiom goes, if it ain’t broke… It’s heartfelt, intelligent Indie Folk with pessimistically apocalyptic lyrics, unusual instrumentation & a semi-improvised, jam-like quality to it. It’s what Bright Eyes fans want & expect from him & presumably why he’s switched back to using the Bright Eyes moniker. For the past several years he has been operating under his given name, Connor Oberst.

As well as being a great tune, Mariana Trench has a sad & beautiful animated video to accompany it. It’s a wonderful stop-motion watercolour film which seems to express regret at colonialism & the extinction by hunting of the American Bison. This feeds naturally into a lot of the debates currently raging in politics, especially in light of the impending environmental collapse & rise of populist nationalism which celebrates (& idolises) the horrors of colonialism.

Lyrically, this seems to be about the ongoing collapse of late stage capitalism which we are currently living through. This connects to the imagery in the video & the pessimistic apocalyptic vibes mentioned above. I don’t mind admitting that I’m sharing a lot of that pessimism myself & that automatically aligns me to this work & reminds me why I love the guy so much in the first place. Recent events have reminded me of his Old Soul Song (For A New World Order). It’s interesting to note that the protests he discusses in this were against the new puritanism of the George W Bush regime & the wars in Afghanistan & Iraq. Without downplaying the horror & death of those times, they almost seem like the ‘good old days’ compared to 2020.

Well they’d better save some space for me
In that growing cottage industry
Where selfishness is currency
People spend more than they make

So I wrapped my head in bandages
From the string of happy accidents
I guess maybe I asked for it
But who am I to say

The closing bell death tolls
Hear the market crash
A crying trader swears he’ll get out of the game
The cowboy drinks himself to death
Fresh out of rehab
While they’re loading all the rifles on the range

Look up at that Everest
Look down in that Mariana Trench
Look now as the crumbling 405 falls down
When the big one hits
Look out for the plainclothes
Look out for what the wiretap knows
Look out on the ever-widening money trail and where it goes

It takes a lot of gall
To try to please
These dehumanizing entities
I befriended all my enemies
They had my back against the wall

Oh a coward is
What a coward does
I suppose maybe I always was
But I’m sick of it
I’ve had enough
And now I’m ready for the war

The lion bows his head down
To the ringmaster
With the tightrope stretched so high
Above the crowd
All these faces are contortionists
It must have hurt
Because they all looked as unhappy
As a clown

Look long at that Stonehenge
Look quick is it something you missed
Look in to that smoldering building’s bombed out fog
Until it finally lifts
Look up at that big wave
Look down at your other brother’s grave
Look hard for a harder something to sacrifice
That’s what it takes
That’s what it takes

Look up at that Everest
Look down in that Mariana Trench
Look now as the crumbling 405 falls down
Oh when the big one hits
Look out for the plainclothes
Speak soft what the wiretap knows
Look out on that ever-widening money trail
And where it goes
Where does it go?

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Indie Rock Song of the Day

Song of the Day (The Chain): Dinosaur Jr – Little Fury Things

Day 2. Following on from Teen Age Riot by Sonic Youth, I’ve gone for a fairly obvious link in the chain for the first one. As mentioned yesterday, Teen Age Riot is a song about a parallel world where J Mascis is president. So for day 2, here’s J Mascis himself, with his amazing band, Dinosaur Jr.

Little Fury Things is the opening track from the bands third album (and my personal favourite) You’re Living All Over Me. Regarding that album title, I may be wrong, but I can’t help but think about the scene in 1991: The Year Punk Broke where Murph is telling Thurston Moore that he shaved his hair off because he had headlice & he was sick of them bouncing off the drumskins. Grim.

What is it?
Who is it?
Where is it?

A rabbit falls away from me, I guess I’ll crawl
A rabbit always smashes me, again I’ll crawl
Tried to think what’s over me, it makes me crawl
Then she runs away from me, faster than I crawl

I stopped to call, tried to feel it all
Stuck my hand and pulled real hard, got stretch in miles, not in yards
Then I read about all those who believe all of your lies
Sunlight brings the rage right in your eyes

A rabbit falls away from me, I guess I’ll crawl
A rabbit always smashes me, again I’ll crawl
Tried to think what’s over me, it makes me crawl
Then she runs away from me, faster than I crawl

A rabbit falls away from me, I guess I’ll crawl
A rabbit always smashes me, again I’ll crawl
Tried to think what’s over me, it makes me crawl
Then she runs away from me, faster than I crawl

Keep up to date. Check out the Song of the Day (The Chain) Spotify playlist.

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Indie Rock Song of the Day

Song of the Day (The Chain) – Sonic Youth – Teen Age Riot

Okay, here we are at the beginning of a whole new series of Song of the Day. This time while trying to decide on a theme, I remembered a regular feature I liked on one of my favourite radio shows, Radcliffe & Maconie on 6Music. The feature is called The Chain & every hour of each show, listeners call in and suggest a song which is thematically linked in some way to the previous track. The link can be very obvious or very obscure, it doesn’t matter.

I have decided to adopt this idea for the Song of the Day series (& to name this series after it), so welcome to Day 1 of Song of the Day (The Chain).

To start with I have decided to go with one of my all time favourite songs, Teen Age Riot by Sonic Youth. Teen Age Riot, from Sonic Youth’s seminal Daydream Nation album, imagines an alternative reality where J Mascis (frontman of Alt Rock legends, Dinosaur Jr.) is the President of the USA.

You’re it
No, you’re it
Yeah, you’re really it
You’re it
No, I mean it, you’re it
Say it, don’t spray it
Spirit desire, face me
Spirit desire, don’t displace me
Spirit desire, we will fall
Miss me, don’t dismiss me
Spirit desire
Spirit desire, spirit desire
Spirit desire, we will fall
Spirit desire, we will fall
Spirit desire, spirit desire
Spirit desire, we will fall
Spirit desire, we will fall

Everybody’s talking ’bout the stormy weather
And what’s a man to do but work out whether it’s true
Looking for a man with a focus and a temper
Who can open up a map and see between one and two

Time to get it before you let it get to you
Here he comes now
Stick to your guns and let him through

Everybody’s coming from the winter vacation
Taking in the sun in a exaltation to you
You come running in on platform shoes
With Marshall stacks to at least just give us a clue
Ah, here it comes, I know it’s someone I knew

Teenage riot in a public station
Gonna fight and tear it up in a hypernation for you

Now I see it
I think I’ll leave it out of the way
Now I come near you
And it’s not clear why you fade away

Looking for a ride to your secret location
Where the kids are setting up a free-speed nation for you
Got a foghorn and a drum and a hammer that’s rocking
And a cord and a pedal and a lock, that’ll do me for now

It better work out
I hope it works out my way
‘Cause it’s getting kind of quiet in my city head
Takes a teen age riot to get me out of bed right now

You better look it, we’re gonna shake it up to him
He acts the hero, we paint a zero on his hand

We know it’s down
We know it’s bound too loose
Everybody’s sound is around it
Everybody wants to be proud to choose
So who’s to take the blame for the stormy weather
You’re never gonna stop all the teenage leather and booze

It’s time to go round
A one man showdown, teach us how to fail
We’re off the streets now, and back on the road on the riot trail

Keep up to date. Check out the Song of the Day (The Chain) Spotify playlist.

[Spotify https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1xwDnnpH11CqLTAZdsHSDL?si=wxRSZOUhRHKZ2Au18l6muw%5D

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Rock And Roll Song of the Day

Song of the Day (BLM): Little Richard –

Journalist to Paul McCartney: “Aren’t you just copying Little Richard?”

Paul McCartney: “Isn’t everybody?”

Day 20. I’ve saved the most important, to me at least, artist in this list until last. Little Richard, it is fairly well agreed upon, is the originator of what we think of today as Rock and Roll. Without Little Richard, the majority, if not totality, of the music discussed on this blog would simply not exist. Little Richard is Rock and Roll & Rock ad Roll is Little Richard.

I can’t speak to the authenticity of the Paul McCartney quote presented above, but even as an anecdote I believe it & agree with it.

Another reason I saved Little Richard until last is that he very recently passed away, on the 9th May, aged 87. May he rest in peace & may we be eternally grateful for the gifts he bestowed upon the world.

Wop bop a loo bop a lop bom bom!

Tutti frutti, oh rootie
Tutti frutti, oh rootie
Tutti frutti, oh rootie
Tutti frutti, oh rootie
Tutti frutti, oh rootie
Wop bop a loo bop a lop ba ba!

I got a gal, named Sue, she knows just what to do
I got a gal, named Sue, she knows just what to do
She rock to the East, she rock to the West
She is the gal that I love best

Tutti frutti, oh rootie
Tutti frutti, oh rootie, ooh
Tutti frutti, oh rootie
Tutti frutti, oh rootie
Tutti frutti, oh rootie
Wop bop a loo bop a lop bom bom!

I got a gal, named Daisy, she almost drives me crazy
Got a gal, named Daisy, she almost drives me crazy
She knows how to love me, yes indeed
Boy you don’t know what she do to me

Tutti frutti, oh rootie
Tutti frutti, oh rootie, ooh
Tutti frutti, oh rootie
Tutti frutti, oh rootie
Tutti frutti, oh rootie
Wop bop a loo bop!

Oh tutti frutti, oh rootie
Tutti frutti, oh rootie, ooh
Tutti frutti, oh rootie
Tutti frutti, oh rootie
Tutti frutti, oh rootie
Wop bop a loo bop a lop bom bom!

I got a gal, named Daisy, she almost drive me crazy
Got a gal, named Daisy, she almost drive me crazy
She knows how to love me, yes indeed,
Boy you don’t know what she do to me

Tutti frutti, oh rootie
Tutti frutti, oh rootie
Tutti frutti, oh rootie
Tutti frutti, oh rootie
Tutti frutti, oh rootie
Wop bop a loo bop a lop bam boom!

Looking for some great music? Why not check out the Song of the Day (BLM) Spotify playlist?

[shortcode https://open.spotify.com/playlist/49s70jbxBv4z18zrIFiqAJ?si=-3se0XlQRqSELX6PpvXMUg%5D

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