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Indie Rock Pop Song of the Day

Song of the Day (Chaotic Neutral): The Cardigans – Erase/Rewind

Day 2.

At work we (sometimes) listen to Absolute Radio (or one of its decade themed sister stations like Absolute ’90’s) & today this song was played as I was leaving work, reminding me how great a band The Cardigans are & how great a tune this is.

This is a downtempo, sensual Indie Pop song with sonic features akin to genres as diverse as Alternative Rock & Trip Hop. Nina Persson’s saccharine vocals are particularly engrossing on Erase/Rewind, lending it a warm, inviting vibe.

The excellent video references sci-fi classics like 2001: Space Odyssey & the first Star Wars movie.

Hey, what did you hear me say
You know the difference it makes
What did you hear me say

Yes, I said it’s fine before
But I don’t think so no more
I said it’s fine before

I’ve changed my mind
I take it back
Erase and rewind
‘Cause I’ve been changing my mind
I’ve changed my mind

So, where did you see me go
It’s not the right way, you know
Where did you see me go

No, it’s not that I don’t know
I just don`t want it to grow
It’s not that I don’t know

I’ve changed my mind
I take it back

Looking for some great music? Here it is.

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Indie Rock

Radiohead – Airbag/How Am I Driving?

The Airbag/How A I Driving EP, released by Radiohead towards the end of the promotional campaign for OK Computer, featured not only some amazing b-sides from the OK Computer era, but also some of the most unique & compelling artwork of any CD I’ve ever bought.

There are all sorts of prescient seeming phrases in the artwork which make me think of 2020. Especially the disclaimers on the “survey” which explain what will happen to the data you give. These feel like an explicit reference to what we now call Big Data which Radiohead, in 1997-8, could already see creeping into our lives. In many ways the artwork of this EP could be considered a satirical masterpiece of Capitalist Realism, which resonates strongly today, in the chaotic atmosphere of late capitalism.

The point of this post is to show you the incredible artwork. Unfortunately, my copy has spent about twenty years in a smoking house & has become yellowed with age, losing its brilliant white colour. I am a little disappointed by this but luckily I was able to find excellent pictures of the packaging on Discogs.

My smoke-yellowed & dog-eared copy.

How it’s supposed to look.

The cartoon on the left is a little blurry & indistinct on the Discogs pic so here’s a close up taken from my old copy:

Pictures courtesy of Discogs

Airbag was never commercially released as a single, & as such never had a promo video produced, so here’s a great live version of it from the UK TV show Later With Jools Holland. As an aside: I’m sure I remember reading, possibly in an interview around the tie of release, that all of the songs on OK Computer were going to have videos made for them. Obviously this never happened but would have been amazing.

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Experimental Folk Indie Rock Song of the Day

Song of the Day (Movie Soundtracks): The Beta Band – Dry The Rain

Day 10. I’m not really sure how I feel about the movie adaptation of Nick Hornby’s The High Fidelity. I remember enjoying it somewhat, but the smug, salesman-like smarminess of the scene in which Dry The Rain by The Beta Band plays really grates on me. I guess it does highlight how amazing the song is, even if it does so in such an aloof & arrogant way. What did you folks make of this scene?

Dry The Rain was the lead track on The Beta Band’s 1997 debut EP Champion Versions (& later The Three E.P.’s). This acid-soaked, Psyche Folk melancholia was a blast of invigoratingly fresh air when it first emerged. It was millions of miles away from the late Britpop which was just about hanging on to relevance in 1997.

Late afterthought: While adding The Beta Band to the ‘tags’ on this post I was surprised to see I haven’t written anything about them before. Expect this to be addressed soon.

The scene

This is the definition of my life
Lying in bed in the sunlight
Choking on the vitamin tablet
The doctor gave in the hope of saving me
In the hope of saving me

Walked in the corner of the room
A junk yard fool with eyes of gloom
I asked him time again
Take me in and dry the rain
Take me in and dry the rain
Take me in and dry the rain
Take me in and dry the rain the rain
The rain the rain the rain now

Dusty brown boots in the corner
By the ironing board
Spray on dust is the greatest thing
Sure is the greatest thing
Since the last since the last

Walked in the corner of the room
A junk yard fool with eyes of gloom
I asked him time again
Take me in and dry the rain
Take me in and dry the rain
Take me in and dry the rain
Take me in and dry the rain the rain
The rain the rain the rain now

I asked him time again
Take me in and dry the rain
Take me in and dry the rain
Take me in and dry the rain
Take me in and dry the rain
The rain the rain the rain now

If there’s something inside that you want to say
Say it out loud it’ll be okay
I will be your light
I will be your light
I will be your light
I will be your light

If there’s something inside that you want to say
Say it out loud it’ll be okay
I will be your light
I will be your light
I will be your light
I will be your light

I Need Love, yeah
I Need Love

If there’s something inside that you want to say
Say it out loud it’ll be okay
I will be your light
I will be your light
I will be your light
I will be your light

If there’s something inside that you want to say
Say it out loud it’ll be okay
I will be your light
I will be your light
I will be your light
I will be your light

I need love
I need love

Looking for some great music? Check the Song of the Day (Movie Soundtracks) Spotify playlist.

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Indie Rock Song of the Day

Song of the Day (Movie Soundtracks): Pixies – Where Is My Mind?

Day 9. “Oooh. Stop!” Where Is My Mind? by the Pixies not only soundtracks the explosive finale of the psychological late ’90’s uber-thriller Fight Club (below) but it’s also a ridiculously good song that doesn’t really need an excuse to post about it. It’s a rare song (although, come to think about it, Pixies have quite a few) that doesn’t sound as if it was written & recorded so much as it was grown. It’s got an elemental, organic feel to it that is preciously rare in a way which I find difficult to explain.

Partly as a result of it’s inclusion in Fight Club & partly as a result of it’s inclusion on the genre-defining Indie Rock masterpiece Surfer Rosa, Where Is My Mind? absolutely writhes with the kind of cultural significance that that you could write entire series of books about. To attempt to get the importance of this phenomenal work of art, I have included below both the ending scene of Fight Club during which the song is utilised & an excellent live (TV) performance of the song by the band back in 1988, at the absolute peak of their powers.

Pixies, 1988, “I guess you guys aren’t ready for that yet. But your kids are gonna love it.”

Ooh, stop

With your feet on the air and your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head will collapse
But there’s nothing in it
And you’ll ask yourself

Where is my mind?
Where is my mind?
Where is my mind?
Way out in the water
See it swimmin’

I was swimmin’ in the Caribbean
Animals were hiding behind the rock
Except the little fish
But they told me, he swears
Tryin’ to talk to me koi koy

Where is my mind?
Where is my mind?
Where is my mind?
Way out in the water
See it swimmin’

With your feet on the air and your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head will collapse
If there’s nothing in it
And you’ll ask yourself

Where is my mind?
Where is my mind?
Where is my mind?
Way out in the water
See it swimmin’

Ooh
With your feet on the air and your head on the ground
Ooh
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Ooh
Ooh
Ooh
Ooh
Ooh

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

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Indie Rock

Cowgirl – Only Lasts A Moment b/w Hold Me

Another great new single from my local boutique cassette label, Safe Suburban Home. This time it’s the York band Cowgirl. Fuzzy, exciting Indie Rock with Noise Rock & Britpop undertones.

On Only Lasts A Moment, Cowgirl seem to excel at painting a lush sound world of loping melodicism & swirling fuzziness. Simple & pretty lead guitar patterns weave in & out of lazy, midtempo rhythms. I feel that they’ve taken a bubblegum Pop approach to the kind of ethereal shimmer of early Ride, particularly the way they apply the sonic conventions of Shoegaze to the melodic swagger of Britpop.

B-Side Hold Me turns up the tempo & the intensity somewhat, & there’s a definite Shine compilation vibe to the floaty, reverb soaked vocals over the rock solid rhythms. There’s also a Grungy, Alt Rock edge to this too. It’s somewhere in the sonic vicinity of The Bluetones maybe.

Only Lasts A Moment b/w Hold Me is released on 11th September 2020 on Safe Suburban Home. You can pre-order the Cassette or digital versions here.

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Indie Rock Song of the Day

Song of the Day (Movie Soundtracks): Grandaddy – A.M. 180

Day 5. This incredible slice of Fuzzy, synth-led Indie Pop wasn’t actually written for a movie soundtrack, but it did appear on Danny Boyle‘s brutal zombie thriller 28 Days Later. My love of Grandaddy is well documented so, as you can imagine, I was extremely excited to hear this song when I watched the movie for the first time.

You may remember, a short while ago, this same song was in fact Song of the Day for the Covers series. The excellent new version by PUP.

Don’t change your name
Keep it the same
For fear I may lose you again
I know you won’t
It’s just that I am unorganized
And I want to find you when
Something good happens

If you come down
We’ll go to town
I haven’t been there for years
But I’d be fine
Wasting our time
Not doing anything here
Just doing nothing

We’ll sit for days
And talk about things
Important to us like whatever
We’ll defuse bombs
Walk marathons
And take home whatever together

Whatever together
Whatever together
Whatever together
Whatever together
Whatever together

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

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Experimental Indie Rock Song of the Day

Song of the Day (Movie Soundtracks): Beck – Deadweight

Day 2. I’ve decided to go with another song from the same movie as yesterdays choice, A Life Less Ordinary, this time Beck’s Deadweight. This was probably Beck’s first release following his magnum opus Odelay & as such seems to come from the same place sonically. It’s certainly a mile away from Psych-Folk madness of the full-length follow-up, Mutations.

On a highway unpaved, goin’ my way
You’re so alone today
Like a ghost town I’ve found
There’s no relief, no soul, no mercy

Is it true what they say
You can’t behave
You gamble your soul away

Measuring a jinx of this life seems
Like the gristle of loneliness

Don’t let the sun catch you cryin’
Don’t let the sun catch you cryin’

Like an ice age, nice days on your way
Sipping the golden days on a riptide
Freak’s ride, sleep inside
A parasite’s appetite

Oh, say can’t you see the chemistry
The parasites that clean up for me?
Death never hails, recycled cans
Get well cards to the hostage vans

Don’t let the sun catch you cryin’
Don’t let the sun catch you cryin’

You’re a deadweight, right straight
On your way, sunk in the midnight shade
Skies burn, eyes turn
Learning to counterfeit their disease

In this town where we roam
We bluff our souls
On canteen patio
Drink the latest draft

The music drags
The music drags
The music drags

Don’t let the sun catch you cryin’
Don’t let the sun catch you cryin

Looking for some great music? Check the Song of the Day (Movie Soundtracks) Spotify playlist.

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Indie Rock Song of the Day

Song of the Day (Movie Soundtracks): Ash – A Life Less Ordinary

Day 1. Welcome to day 1 of the new series of Song of the Day. This time it’s based around songs which were featured in movies. They may have even being written &/or recorded for the movie. They definitely have a higher chance of me choosing them if they have a music video which features scenes from the movie, though that isn’t a dealbreaker.

Ash’s excellent A Life Less Ordinary (from the film of the same name) was their first release following their critically acclaimed (& in my opinion unparalleled) debut album 1977 & the joining of their second guitarist Charlotte Hatherley. The song is a masterclass of an Indie Rock love song. Romantic lyrics, fuzzy guitars, uplifting vibes & the huge sing-a-long chorus help Ash off to a great start to the second phase of their career. It’s only a shame that they seemed to lose the momentum almost immediately after this (in my opinion).

I smoke myself into a haze in the afternoon
Enveloped heart, and the air is cool
Put on your dress, white Goddess
And settle in, as the weather folds
In the slow haze of the afternoon
Swaying hips, made like a gun
Blackest sails, the most beautiful, star

In the world, in the air, on my tongue
Before my eyes, beyond the stars, beneath the sun

So, take me in your arms again
Lead me in my dreams again
So, what is it worth?
I’ll sell my soul, what is it worth?
Only you know

You were conceived in my heart, 
came like a dream
To save me from my mortality
Put on your dress, white Goddess
And settle in, as the weather folds
Our lives will be entwined, even when I die
You’ll see me through ’til the end of time
No earthly bride, the most beautiful, star

In the world, in the air, on my tongue 
Before my eyes, beyond the stars, 
beneath the sun So, take me in your arms again
Lead me in my dreams again
So, what is it worth?
I’ll sell my soul, what is it worth?
Only you know

Take me in your arms again
Lead me in my dreams again
So, what is it worth?
I’ll sell my soul, what is it worth?
I’ll sell my soul, what is it worth?
I’ll sell my soul, what is it worth?

Looking for some great music? Check out the Song of the Day (Movie Soundtracks) Spotify Playlist.

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Indie Rock Song of the Day

Song of the Day (Covers): Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine – Everybody’s Happy Nowadays

Day 25. Indie Rock royalty Carter USM & their take on the the Buzzcocks Pop Punk energy leads to something unique & recognisable. Taken from their 1993 covers collection This Is The Sound Of An Eclectic Guitar: A Collection Of Other Peoples Songs, the replacement of live drums for Carter’s motorik drum machine rhythms enhances the songs robotic, manic qualities. Fitting for a song which insists on its happiness while declaring that “life’s an illusion, love is a dream.”

I was so tired of being upset
Always wanting something I never could get
Life’s an illusion, love is a dream
But I don’t know what it is

Everybody’s happy nowadays
Everybody’s happy nowadays

I was so tired of being upset
Always wanting something I never could get
Life’s an illusion, love is a dream
But I don’t know what it is’

Cause everybody’s happy nowadays
Everybody’s happy nowadays

Life’s an illusion, love is the dream
But I don’t know what it is
Everyone’s saying things to me
But I know it’s okay, okay

Everybody’s happy nowadays
Everybody’s happy nowadays

Everybody’s happy nowadays
Everybody’s happy nowadays

Life’s an illusion, love is a dream
Life’s an illusion, love is the dream
Life’s the illusion, love is a dream
Life’s the illusion, love is the dream

Everybody’s happy nowadays
Everybody’s happy nowadays, days

Bet you are tired of being upset
Always wanting something you never can get
Life’s no illusion, love’s not a dream
Now, I know just what it is

Everybody’s happy nowadays
Everybody’s happy nowadays

Looking for some great music? Check out the Song of the Day (Covers) Spotify playlist.

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Grunge Indie Rock Song of the Day

Song of the Day (Covers): Dinosaur Jr – Just Like Heaven

Day 23. Here’s another excellent cover of a Cure song by an American Indie Rock heavyweight. This time it’s Dinosaur Jr’s rollicking version of Just Like Heaven. The romantic Pop brilliance is translated smoothly into the band’s fuzzy, Grungey style & Lou Barlow’s screaming chorus elevates it into another realm entirely. & If you’re not sold by that, & the awesome video, surely J Mascis’s incredible guitar work should win you over.

Show me, show me, show me how you do that trick
The one that makes me scream she said
The one that makes me laugh she said
Threw her arms around my neck
Show me how you do it and I’ll promise you
I’ll promise that I’ll run away with you, I’ll run away with you

Spinning on that dizzy edge
Kissed her face and kissed her head
Dreamed of all the different ways, I had to make her glow
Why are you so far away she said
Why won’t you ever know that I’m in love with you?
That I’m in love with you?

You, soft and only, you lost and lonely
You, strange as angels
Dancing in the deepest oceans
Twisting in the water
You’re just like a dream
You’re just like a dream

Daylight licked me into shape
I must have been asleep for days
And moving lips to breathe her name
I opened up my eyes
And found myself alone, alone, alone above a raging sea
That stole the only girl I loved and drowned her deep inside of me

You soft and only
You lost and lonely
You just like heaven

Looking for some great music? Check out the Song of the Day (Covers) Spotify playlist.

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