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Britpop Indie Rock Music Song of the Day

Song of the Day (A-Z): Suede – Trash

Day 20 (T) & we’re listening to Trash by Suede. Trash was the first single from their ’96 album Coming Up. With it’s heroic depictions of the faded glamour of working class Britain & it’s soaring, reverb-drenched chorus it was a surefire hit for Suede at the absolute peak of Britpop’s chart success. It’s hard to imagine a song celebrating the underclass reaching number 3 in the charts in 2020.

Singer Brett Anderson describes Trash as being “about believing in the romance of the everyday.” He describes it as the soundtrack of is life & it’s about the ethos of Suede & about “being a Suede… person”.

Oh maybe, maybe it’s the clothes we wear
The tasteless bracelets and the dye in our hair
Maybe it’s our kookiness
Or maybe, maybe it’s our nowhere towns
Our nothing places and our cellophane sounds
Maybe it’s our looseness

But we’re trash, you and me
We’re the litter on the breeze
We’re the lovers on the streets
Just trash, me and you
It’s in everything we do
It’s in everything we do

Oh maybe, maybe it’s the things we say
The words we’ve heard and the music we play
Maybe it’s our cheapness
Or maybe, maybe it’s the times we’ve had
The lazy days and the crazes and the fads
Maybe it’s our sweetness

But we’re trash, you and me
We’re the litter on the breeze
We’re the lovers on the streets
Just trash, me and you
It’s in everything we do
It’s in everything we do

We’re trash, you and me
We’re the lovers on the streets
We’re the litter on the breeze
Just trash, me and you
It’s in everything we do
It’s in everything we do

Oh, you and me, yeah
You and me
(We’re the litter on the breeze)Oh, you and me, yeah
You and me
(It’s in everything we do)

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Hip Hop Song of the Day

Song of the Day (A-Z): A Tribe Called Quest – Scenario (feat. Leaders Of The New School)

Day 19 (S). In Scenario, A Tribe Called Quest & Leaders Of The New School combine their powers to drop what is widely considered the best posse rap. Each rapper gives jaw-dropping performances & the Q-Tip production is excellent.

Some also credit Scenario as being the song which launched Busta Rhymes’ career. His verse here is ridiculously good & has passed into Hip-Hop culture & mythology to such an extent that other artists quote from it (“Raow, raow like a dungeon dragon”) in respect.

The music video, directed by Jim Swaffield, plays on an interactive desktop, and features cameo appearances by Spike LeeDe La SoulBrand NubianFab Five Freddy and Redman.

from Wikipedia

Here we go yo, here we go yo
So what so what so what’s the scenario
Here we go yo, here we go yo
So what so what so what’s the scenario

A-yo Bo knows this (what?) and Bo knows that (what?)
But Bo don’t know jack, cause Bo can’t rap
Well what do you know, the Di-Dawg, is first up to bat
No batteries included, and no strings attached
No holds barred, no time for move faking
Gots to get the loot so I can bring home the bacon
Brothers front, they say the Tribe can’t flow
But we’ve been known to do the impossible like Broadway Joe so
Sleep if you want NyQuil will help you get your Z’s, troop
But here’s the real scoop
I’m all that and then some, short dark and handsome
Bust a nut inside your eye, to show you where I come from
I’m vexed, fuming, I’ve had it up to here
My days of paying dues are over, acknowledge me as in there (yeah!)
Head for the border, go get a taco
Watch me wreck it from the jump street, meaning from the get-go
Sit back relax and let yourself go
Don’t sweat what you heard, but act like you know

Yes yes y’all (yes y’all!)
Who got the vibe it’s the Tribe y’all (Tribe y’all!)
Real live y’all (live y’all!)
Inside outside come around
(Who’s that?) Brown!
Some may, I say, call me Charlie
The word is the herb and I’m deep like Bob Marley
Lay back on the payback, evolve rotate the gates
(Contact!) Can I get a hit? (Hit!)
Boom bip with a brother named Tip and we’re ready to flip
East coast stomping, ripping and romping
New York, North Cak-a-laka, and Compton
Checka-checka-check it out
The loops for the troops, more bounce to the ounce
And wow how now wow how now Brown cow
We’re ill till the skill gets down
For the flex, next, it’s the textbook old to the new
But the rest are doo-doo
From radio, to the video, to Arsenio
Tell me! Yo, what’s the scenario

Scooby Doo, whoopie doo
Scenarios, radios, rates more than four
Scores for the smores that smother dance floors
Now I go for mine, shades of sea shore
Ship-shape plush Grape Apes to play tapes
Papes make drakes baked for the wakes
Of an L-AH, an E-ADER, simply just a leader
Bass innerspace means peace see ya later
Later (later!), later alligator
Pop blows the weasel and the herb’s the inflater
So yo the D what the O, incorporate I-N-C into a flow
Funk flipped flat back first this foul fight fight fight
Laugh yo, how’d that sound? (oh!)

It’s a Leader Quest mission and we got the goods here (here!)
Never on the left cause my right’s my good ear (ear!)
I could give a damn about a ill subliminal
Stay away from crime so I ain’t no criminal
I love my young nation, groovy sensation
No time for hibernation, only elation
Don’t ever try to test, the water little kid
Yo Mr. Busta Rhymes, tell him what I did

I heard you rushed and rushed, and attacked
Then they rebuked then you had to smack
Causing rambunction throughout the sphere
Raise the levels of the boom inside the ear

You know I did it
So don’t violate or you’ll get violated
The Hip Hop sound is well agitated
Won’t ever waste no time on the played out ego
So here’s Busta Rhymes with the scenario

Watch, as I combine all the juice from the mind
Heel up, wheel up, bring it back, come rewind
Powerful impact – boom! – from the cannon
Not bragging, try to read my mind just imagine
Vocabulary’s necessary
When digging into my library
Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!
Eating Ital Stew like the one Peter Tosh
Uh! Uh! Uh! All over the track man
Uh! Pardon me, uh! As I come back
As I did it yo I heard you beg your pardon
When I travel through the town I roll with the squadron
Raow, raow like a dungeon dragon
Change your little drawers cause your pants are sagging
Try to step to this, I will twist you in a turban
And have you smelling ripe like some old stale urine
Chickity-choco, the chocolate chicken
The rear cock diesel, buttcheeks they were kicking
Yo, bust it out before the Busta bust another rhyme
The rhythm is in sync (Uh!) the rhymes are on time (time!)
Rippin’ up the sound just like Horatio
Observe the vibe and check out the scenario

Here we go yo, here we go yo (yeah, my man, mothafucka)
So what so what so what’s the scenario
Here we go yo, here we go yo
So what so what so what’s the scenario

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Indie Rock Music Song of the Day

Song of the Day (A-Z): Silver Jews – Random Rules

Day 18 (R). The late, great David Berman was as much a poet as he was a musician and “In 1984 I was hospitalized for approaching perfection” is generally considered to be one of the greatest lines to ever open an album. Random Rules opens Silver Jews’ (affectionately known as the “Joos”) third studio album, American Water, a key album in both Indie Rock mythology & a masterpiece by a truly unique artist. A truly unique artist who will be sorely missed.

In 1984 I was hospitalized for approaching perfection
Slowly screwing my way across Europe, they had to make a correction
Broken and smokin’ where the infrared deer plunge in the digital snake
I tell you, they make it so you can’t shake hands when they make your hands shake

I know you like to line dance, everything so democratic and cool
But baby there’s no guidance when random rules

I know that a lot of what I say has been lifted off of men’s room walls
Maybe I’ve crossed the wrong rivers and walked down all the wrong halls
But nothing can change the fact that we used to share a bed
And that’s why it scared me so when you turned to me and said”

Yeah, you look like someone
Yeah you look like someone who up and left me low
Boy, you look like someone I used to know”

I know you like to line dance, everything so democratic and cool
But baby there’s no guidance when random rules

I asked the painter why the roads are colored black
He said, “Steve, it’s because people leave
And no highway will bring them back”
So if you don’t want me I promise not to linger
But before I go I gotta ask you dear about the tan line on your ring finger

No one should have two lives
Now you know my middle names are wrong and right
Honey we’ve got two lives to give tonight
To give tonight
To give tonight, oh oh oh oh oh

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Indie Rock Music Song of the Day

Song of the Day (A-Z): Garbage – Queer

Day 17 (Q). I was actually quite worried about the letter Q. I couldn’t think of anything for ages. When I sat down & started to look through my record collection though I actually found plenty.

Garbage were a great Indie Rock band from the mid-to-late ’90’s. Garbage featured Butch Vig, who produced Nirvana’s Nevermind, & seemed to have some crossover potential with the heavier Rock crowd. I remember their song Push It being on a free Kerrang! CD & their music in general being played at the Alternative Nights at local nightclubs (which mainly played Metal/Nu Metal at the time).

Queer, like much of their material, seems to draw liberally from a wealth of influences ranging from Trip-Hop to Industrial. I don’t really remember it’s release but I imagine the title probably caused a bit of a stir & generated some excellent publicity. Attitudes towards sexuality were still fairly underdeveloped (to put it diplomatically) in 1995.

Hey boy, take a look at me
Let me dirty up your mind
I’ll strip away your hard veneer
And see what I can find

The queerest of the queer
The strangest of the strange
The coldest of the cool
The lamest of the lame
The numbest of the dumb
I hate to see you here
You choke behind a smile
A fake behind the fear
The queerest of the queer

This is what he pays me for
I’ll show you how it’s done
You learn to love the pain you feel
Like father like son

The queerest of the queer
Hide inside your head
The blindest of the blind
The deadest of the dead
You’re hungry ’cause you starve
While holding back the tears
Choking on your smile
A fake behind the fear
The queerest of the queer

I know what’s good for you, you can touch me if you want
I know you’re dying to, you can touch me if you want
I know what’s good for you, you can touch me if you want
But you can’t stop

The queerest of the queer
The strangest of the strange
The coldest of the cool
The lamest of the lame
The numbest of the dumb
I hate to see you here
You choke behind a smile
A fake behind the fear
The queerest of the queer
The strangest of the strange
The coldest of the cool
You’re nothing special here
A fake behind the fear
The queerest of the queer

I know what’s good for you I know you’re dying to
I know what’s good for you
I bet you’re dying to
You can touch me if you want
You can touch me if you want
You can touch me
You can touch me
But you can’t stop

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Indie Rock Music Post-Rock Song of the Day

Song of the Day (A-Z): Mogwai – Party In The Dark

Day 16 (P). Predominately instrumental Post-Rock pioneers Mogwai trying their hand at psychedelic Dream-Pop. This is Mogwai at their most playful & seems to me to suggest shades of latter day Slowdive & (pretty much any period) New Order. Taken from their 2017 album, Every Country’s Sun, Party In The Dark came out just as my own band, Nauseous Skies, was forming & was a huge influence on our sound. We included it in our playlist of reference material we gave to the engineer when we recorded our debut singles, Only Shadows and Stay Young.

I see everything
All their suffering
Tiny vehicles
Space-age miracles

All our hearts were sore
No fight left in this war
Before the ghostly chase
All those that rearrange

I, taken from those spirals be both kind
Hungry for another piece of mind
Silent and impatient without time
Directionless and innocent

Wards are ours to keep
Definition free
Unkind and alone
End of the idea

I, taken from those spirals be both kind
Hungry for another piece of mind
Silent and impatient without time
Directionless and innocent

I, taken from those spirals be both kind
Hungry for another piece of mind
Silent and impatient without time
Directionless and innocent

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Categories
Music Post Punk Punk Song of the Day

Song of the Day (A-Z): Wire – Outdoor Miner

Wow, we’re already at day 15 (O). This is one of my favourite songs of all time & quite possibly one of the songs that started the whole Indie Rock ball rolling, Outdoor Miner by Post-Punk pioneers, Wire. Taken from their second LP, 1978’s Chairs Missing, Outdoor Miner bears striking similarities to much of the Indie Rock which came along in it’s wake.

Always eager to find new & interesting things to write about, the experimental lyrics to this song are based on bassist Graham Lewis’ fascination with the Serpentine leaf miner, a fly larva, & details it’s life cycle. The song is even mentioned on it’s wikipedia page.

No blind spots in the leopard’s eyes
Can only help to jeopardize
The lives of lambs, the shepherd cries 

An outdoor life for a silverfish
Eternal dust less ticklish
Than the clean room, a houseguest’s wish

He lies on his side, is he trying to hide?
In fact it’s the earth, which he’s known since birth

He lies on his side, is he trying to hide?
In fact it’s the earth, which he’s known since birth

Face worker, a serpentine miner
A roof falls, an under-liner
Of leaf structure, the egg timer

He lies on his side, is he trying to hide?
In fact it’s the earth, which he’s known since birth

He lies on his side, is he trying to hide? 
In fact it’s the earth, which he’s known since birth

He lies on his side, is he trying to hide? (he lies on his side)
In fact it’s the earth, which he’s known since birth (is he trying to hide?)

He lies on his side, is he trying to hide? (he lies on his side)
In fact it’s the earth, which he’s known since birth (is he trying to hide?)

He lies on his side, is he trying to hide? (he lies on his side)
In fact it’s the earth, which he’s known since birth (is he trying to hide?)

Outdoor Miner has been covered by many different Indie bands over the years. A personal favourite of mine is the version by Flying Saucer Attack, below.

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Indie Rock Music Song of the Day

Song of the Day (A-Z): The Thermals – No Culture Icons

Day 14 (N). This writer first heard The Thermals, and this song in particular on the excellent Sub Pop Sampler CD, Infecting The Galaxy One Planet At A Time (pictured). Released in 2003, it was an excellent collection of amazing indie music at the time & I wore out my copy from overplay (as a result of writing this post, I have ordered a new copy. I shall write a retrospective review of it when it arrives. For nostalgia’s sake).

No Culture Icons is a fiery blast of DIY, lo-fi Indie Punk which, in hindsight, should have been massive at a time when bands like The Strokes & The White Stripes were experiencing large scale commercial success. The rawness of the production may have been all that excluded No Culture Icons, and it’s parent album More Parts Per Million, from greater success.

The Thermals did go on to experience moderate success. Their third album, The Body, The Blood, The Machine (a scathing George W Bush-era protest album telling “the story of a young couple who must flee a United States governed by fascist faux-Christians.”), produced by Fugazi’s Brendan Canty, went on to enjoy cult success. Pitchfork placed it at number 186 on their list of top 200 albums of the 2000s.

“Full Thermal Jacket
War + Patriotism = Sales”

Hardly art
Hardly starving
Hardly art
Hardly garbage

More coloured liquid
No scent, no skin
More stained paper
More parts per million
No new deafness
No self reference
No cults and
No new stands

No one ideal
Know what I feel
No two the same
Know two with the
Same name

More coloured liquid
No scent, no skin
More stained paper
More parts per million
No new deafness
No self reference
No getting psyched on
No culture icons

No one ideal
No what I feel
No two the same
Know two with the same name
Eyes so deep
You’d never see through
I can’t fucking stop
Thinking about you

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Indie Rock Music Song of the Day

Song of the Day (A-Z): Jason Lytle – Matterhorn

Day 13 (M). Jason Lytle is almost certainly best known for his work as the frontman & main songwriter in the top-tier Indie rock band, Grandaddy. Away from Grandaddy, Lytle has also crafted a small solo career. Matterhorn is grand, widescreen elegiac pop music in a similar vein to another favourite of mine, British Sea Power, but with Jason Lytle’s signature falsetto vocals & analogue synths.

This version is a solo acoustic version which Lytle actually recorded on the mountainside of the Matterhorn itself, the titular mountain which straddles the Swiss/Italian border. The song itself wonders at the merits of braving dangerous situations, like climbing the Matterhorn, versus the merits of staying home where it’s “safe and warm”. This lends a humorous element to the choice of location.

10 o’clock and her life quit going
It wasn’t long till it started snowing
And the end saw the wind really blowing around

Lone bird on a perch nearby
Saw something in her come untied
And then shivered just a bit as she aimed toward the sky

Get down that Matterhorn
What’s wrong with the safe and warm?
What’s wrong with a book and tea at night?
Up high in a friendless wind
Tears frozen upon descent
Get down that matterhorn again

There’s a handwritten note he wrote
In the pocket of a cold down coat
On the body of the one who has left our world

And in the note there’s a love professed
And some apology about some mess
But she won’t be reading those words too soon

Get down that Matterhorn
What’s wrong with the safe and warm?
What’s wrong with a book and tea at night?
Up high in a friendless wind
Tears frozen upon descent
Get down that matterhorn again

Up high in a frightening sky
What’s wrong with a quiet night?
Get down that Matterhorn again.

Do you dig mountains as much as Jason Lytle?…
…Seriously, look at all those framed pictures of mountains in his studio.

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Indie Rock Music Song of the Day

Song of the Day (A-Z): Pixies – Levitate Me

Day 12 (L) & we’re hearing some Pixies. The wonderful Levitate Me is taken from the Pixies debut EP Come On Pilgrim (now repackaged with their debut long-player, Surfer Rosa).

The eight songs on Come On Pilgrim were hand picked by 4AD label owner Ivo Watts-Russell from the seventeen tracks Pixies recorded for their early demo, the famous “Purple Tape”. The remaining nine tracks surfaced in the 2002 Pixies EP.

This version of Levitate Me is taken from their gig in 1988 at Londons Town & Country Club. Incredibly, Pixies were supporting 4AD label mates Throwing Muses. This gig was released on DVD in 2004, well worth tracking down. They’re selling quite cheap these days.

Give me help
Give me help
You can, levitate me

Then take off them rings
Off them hose
Levitate me

Higher place
Levitate me

Elevator lady [Repeat: x4]
Lady levitate me

If all in all is true [Repeat: x3]
If all is true
Won’t you please fawn over me [Repeat: x4]

Shaky shake, shakey
Levitate me

Come on pilgrim
You know he loves you
Levitate me

Higher place
Levitate me

He kicked a baby
Elevator lady [Repeat: x3]
Lady
Elevator lady
Lady, lady, levitate meIf all in all is true [Repeat: x3]
If all is true
Won’t you please run over me [Repeat: x5]
Me, me, me, me

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Music Reggae Song of the Day

Song of the Day (A-Z): Steel Pulse – Ku Klux Klan

Day 11 (K). Ku Klux Klan. Anti-racist Reggae from Steel Pulse, a band who, in the late ’70’s, who couldn’t get gigs playing Caribbean venues due to their Rastafarianism. Instead, they managed to find gigs at Punk clubs in front of Punk crowds. This helped to solidify the already strong link between the two genres. In the minds of some fans, Steel Pulse were seen as an honorary Punk band. I personally heard them for the first time because this song appeared on a Punk & New Wave compilation.

Walking along just kicking stones
Minding my own business
I come face to face, with my foe
Disguised in violence from head to toe

I holla and I bawl (Ku Klux Klan)
But dem naw let me go now (Ku Klux Klan)
To let me go was not dem intention
Dem seh one nigger the less
The better for the show
Stand strong black skin and take your blow
It’s the Ku, the Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan (Ku Klux Klan)
Here to stamp out blackman yah
The Ku, the Ku Klux Klan heh!

To be taught a lesson not to walk alone
I was waiting for the Good Samaritan
But waiting was hopeless
It was all in vain
The Ku Klux Klan back again

I holla and I bawl (Ku Klux Klan)
Dem naw let me go now (Ku Klux Klan)
Dem seh one nigger the less
The better the show
Stand strong blackskin and take your blow
The Ku, Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan (Ku Klux Klan)
Rape, lynch, kill and maim
Things can’t remain the same yah no!

Blackman do unto the Klan
AS they would do to you
In this case hate they neighbour
Those cowards only kill who they fear
That’s why they hide behind
The hoods and cloaks they wear
I holla and I bawl (Ku Klux Klan)
Dem naw let me go no (Ku Klux Klan)

Oh no, oh no
Ku Klux Klan (Ku Klux Klan)
Here to stamp out black man yah
Rape, lynch, kill and maim
Things can’t remain the same yah
No, no, no, no (Ku Klux Klan)

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