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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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Indie Rock Music Song of the Day

Song of the Day (A-Z): The Jesus And Mary Chain – Just Like Honey

Day 10 (J) & we’re having a look at the feedback-drenched bubblegum pop of Psychocandy-era The Jesus And Mary Chain. Featuring a young Bobby Gillespie (Primal Scream) on drums, Just Like Honey riffs on the same drum beat as the Phil Spector produced Be My Baby by the Ronnettes. We might take the marriage of abrasive guitar noise with ’60’s influenced pop melodies a little for granted now, but when Just Like Honey (and earlier singles like Never Understand) came a long, it was a breath of fresh air which revitalised the Post-Punk landscape.

Listen to the girl
As she takes on half the world
Moving up and so alive
In her honey dripping beehive
Beehive
It’s good, so good, it’s so good
So good

Walking back to you
Is the hardest thing that
I can do
That I can do for you
For youI’ll be your plastic toy
I’ll be your plastic toy
For you

Eating up the scum
Is the hardest thing for
Me to do

Just like honey 
Just like honey 
Just like honey 
Just like honey 
Just like honey 
Just like honey 
Just like honey 
Just like honey 
Just like honey 
Just like honey 
Just like honey 
Just like honey 
Just like honey 
Just like honey 
Just like honey 
Just like honey
Just like honey

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Electronic Music Indie Rock Music Song of the Day

Song of the Day (A-Z): Radiohead – Idioteque

Day 9 (I) & we’ve finally hit a vein of pure Radiohead. After the success of OK Computer in the late ’90’s, the music industry had high hopes & expectations for Radiohead’s follow up. Radiohead however, made one of (if not the) most dramatic left turns in music history. During the touring & aftermath of OK Computer, Thom Yorke & the boys had been listening to a lot of the electronic music which was starting to really gain momentum at that point. We’re talking Aphex Twin, Autechre, Boards of Canada & Squarepusher to name a few.

Thom Yorke & Johnny Greenwood twiddling knobs & patching parameters, 2014

Radiohead took these new influences on board wholeheartedly, and emerged from the studio with Kid A, an album of experimental electronic music incorporating all of these influences. Despite the “moral panic” & hate from so-called “hardcore fans” over this change of direction, Kid A isn’t quite the departure it seems at first listen. Scratch the surface and you still find all the elements which made Radiohead great in the first place.

Idioteque, despite initial indifference, has in later years taken it’s place in the Radiohead catalogue as a firm favourite for me. This BBC performance (which serves as the “official” video) gives an excellent insight into how Radiohead would play these experimental songs live to the same high standard as their more rock-based material.

Who’s in a bunker?
Who’s in a bunker?
Women and children first
And the children first
And the children

I’ll laugh until my head comes off
I’ll swallow till I burst
Until I burst
Until I

Who’s in a bunker?
Who’s in a bunker?
I have seen too much
I haven’t seen enough
You haven’t seen it

I’ll laugh until my head comes off
Women and children first
And children first
And children

Here I’m alive
Everything all of the time
Here I’m alive
Everything all of the time

Ice age coming
Ice age coming
Let me hear both sides
Let me hear both sides
Let me hear both

Ice age coming
Ice age coming
Throw it in the fire
Throw it in the fire
Throw it on the

We’re not scaremongering
This is really happening
Happening
We’re not scaremongering
This is really happening
Happening

Mobiles squerking
Mobiles chirping
Take the money run
Take the money run
Take the money

Here I’m alive
Everything all of the time
Here I’m alive
Everything all of the time

Here I’m alive
Everything all of the time
Here I’m alive
Everything all of the time

The first of the children [Repeat until fade]

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Indie Rock Music Punk Song of the Day

Song of the Day (A-Z): Minutemen – History Lesson Part 2

This blogpost is dedicated to the memory of D. Boon. RIP.

Day 8 (H) & it’s History Lesson (Part 2) by Minutemen. You almost certainly know a Minutemen song, even if you’ve never heard of them. Their song Corona was made world famous by it’s use as the theme music for Jackass. I find this amusing as, lyrically, it’s a very intelligent song about US foreign policy in central America. For it to be then used for a show like Jackass. Hilarious.

D. Boon, 1985

History Lesson (Part 2) is about the origins of the Minutemen (“Me & Mike Watt played for years”, “we drove up from Pedro”) and also engages in some mythmaking & world building for the Punk Rock community. “This is Bob Dylan to me” is intended to equate the acclaim Dylan enjoys with Punk Rock music, lending it a sense of legitimacy which we take for granted in 2020. There was a time when this music was viewed as obscene & talentless noise. In the here & now, it is the fountainhead of most of the music we listen to from Hip-Hop to Alternative Rock. The lyrics also take pains to point out the normality of the band members, D. Boon, Mike Watt & George Hurley. This is what is being addressed by the opening couplet “Our band could be your life, real names’d be proof”.

Our band could be your life
Real names’d be proof
Me and mike watt played for years
Punk rock changed our lives

We learned punk rock in Hollywood
Drove up from Pedro
We were fucking corn dogs
We’d go drink and pogo

Mr. Narrator
This is Bob Dylan to me
My story could be his songs
I’m his soldier child

Our band is scientist rock
But I was E. Bloom and Richard Hell
Joe Strummer, and John Doe
Me and Mike Watt, playing guitar

As a bonus, while searching for a decent video of History Lesson (Part 2) I found this lovely video, from 2009, of bassist Mike Watt reading the lyrics & explaining a little about what they were saying and how they were wrote. Notice how Watt’s eyes seem to tear up and he chokes slightly on his words when he mentions bandmate D. Boon. Boon was killed in a road vehicle accident in 1985, when Minutemen were at the peak of their power & facing a bright & successful career. I hope you enjoy.

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Indie Rock Music Song of the Day

Song of the Day (A-Z): Belle & Sebastian – Get Me Away From Here I’m Dying

Day 7 (G) and we’re going with some delightfully twee, melancholy pop music. Belle & Sebastian’s Get Me Away From Here I’m Dying is an ode to feeling constrained by your environment. About the overwhelming desire to break free from the monotony of everyday life.

Taken from their second album, If You’re Feeling Sinister, this is one of my favourite Belle & Sebastian songs. I hope you’ll agree.

As there is no official video fro Get Me Away From Here I’m Dying, I have found this fan made video which which utilises edited footage from the film IL POSTO. It seems to work very well, in my opinion.

Ooh! Get me away from here I’m dying
Play me a song to set me free
Nobody writes them like they used to
So it may as well be me
Here on my own now after hours
Here on my own now on a bus
Think of it this way
You could either be successful or be us
With our winning smiles, and us
With our catchy tunes, and us
Now we’re photogenic
You know, we don’t stand a chance

Oh, I’ll settle down with some old story
About a boy who’s just like me
Thought there was love in everything and everyone
You’re so naive!
After a while they always get it
They always reach a sorry end
Still it was worth it as I turned the pages solemnly, and then
With a winning smile, the boy
With naivety succeeds
At the final moment, I cried
I always cry at endings

Oh, that wasn’t what I meant to say at all
From where I’m sitting, rain
Washing against the lonely tenement
Has set my mind to wander
Into the windows of my lovers
They never know unless I write
“This is no declaration, I just thought I’d let you know goodbye”
Said the hero in the story
“It is mightier than swords
I could kill you sure
But I could only make you cry with these words”

Oh, get me away, I’m dying…

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Music Song of the Day

Song of The Day (A-Z): Nadine Shah – Evil

Day 5 (E). Today I’ve chosen Evil by Nadine Shah, Tyneside-based singer/songwriter of Pakistani/Norwegian heritage. Evil, from her excellent 2017 album Holiday Destination deals with her sense of identity and heritage through the lens of the post-Brexit spike in anti-immigrant hate crime.

I love the energy & confident visible in this excellent live performance.

All these folk, they think that I’m evil
Like I am the living devil himself
All these folk, they think that I’m evil
Like I am the living devil

Look, I’m standing right here before you
I can only offer what I’ve been taught
And you look on with eyes from another
How can I compete with an ingrained thought
And tell your followers that I’m crazy
If it stops them questioning anymore
Oh, keep them tidy, keep them beside you
And keep them coming back for more

All these folk, they think that I’m evil
Like I am the living devil himself
All these folk, they think that I’m evil
Like I am the living devil

Look, I’m standing right here before you
I can only offer what I’ve been taught
And you look on with eyes from another
How can I compete with an ingrained thought
And tell your followers that I’m crazy
If it stops them questioning anymore
Oh, keep them tidy, keep them beside you
And keep them coming back for more

All these folk, they think that I’m evil
Like I am the living devil himself
All these folk, they think that I’m evil
Like I am the living devil himself
All these folk, they think that I’m evil
Like I am the living devil himself
All these folk, they think that I’m evil
Like I am the living devil

All these folk, they think that I’m evil
Like I am the living devil himself
All these folk, they think that I’m evil
Like I am the living devil himself
All these folk, they think that I’m evil
Like I am the living devil himself
All these folk, they think that I’m evil
Like I am the living devil

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Electronic Music Music Song of the Day

Song of the Day (A-Z) – Death In Vegas – Dirt

Day 4 (D). Crunchy breakbeats, heavy guitar riffs and unusual vocal samples are the order of the day on Death In Vegas’ 1996 single Dirt. I remember first hearing it on a CD which came free with Vox Magazine and absolutely loving it.

As well as the official video, I also present to you an excellent fan made video I found while looking for it. Enjoy.

This is one thing that I was gonna wait a while before we talked about. Maybe we’ll talk about it now so you can think about it. Because you all, we all have to make some kind of plans for ourselves. It’s a free concert from now on…

But the one major thing you have to remember tonight when you back up to the woods to go to sleep or if you stay here, is that the man next to you is your brother and you damn well better treat each other that way, cause if you don’t, then we blow the whole thing, but we’ve got it right there.

What’s that spell!
“fuck!”
What’s that spell!
“fuck!”
What’s that spell!
“fuck!”
What’s that spell!
“fuck!”
What’s that spell!
“fuck!”

“Gimme an “F”
“F”
“Gimme a “U”
“U”
“Gimme a “C”
“C”
Gimme a “K”
“K”
What’s that spell!…?

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Categories
Music Prog Song of the Day

Song of the Day (A-Z): Pink Floyd – Cymbaline

Day 3 (C) and it’s a beautiful and oft overlooked Pink Floyd song from their 1969 soundtrack to the film, More. I really enjoy the gentle, plodding verses and the contrasting soaring choruses. It gives a melodically psychedelic experience. It is also an example of What Kurt Cobain famously called a “quiet-loud” formula decades before Nirvana (or the Pixies) made it famous.

The path you tread is narrow
And the drop is shear and very high
The ravens all are watching
From a vantage point nearby
Apprehension creeping
Like a tube-train up your spine
Will the tightrope reach the end
Will the final couplet rhyme

And it’s high time
Cymbaline
It’s high time
Cymbaline
Please wake me

A butterfly with broken wings
Is falling by your side
The ravens all are closing in
And there’s nowhere you can hide
Your manager and agent
Are both busy on the phone
Selling coloured photographs
To magazines back home

And it’s high time
Cymbaline
It’s high time
Cymbaline
Please wake me

The lines converging where you stand
They must have moved the picture plane
The leaves are heavy around your feet
You hear the thunder of the train
And suddenly it strikes you
That they’re moving into range
Doctor Strange is always changing size

And it’s high time
Cymbaline
It’s high time
Cymbaline
Please wake me

And it’s high time
Cymbaline
It’s high time
Cymbaline
Please wake me

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Indie Rock Music Poetry Song of the Day

Song of the Day (A-Z): The Cribs – Be Safe (feat. Lee Ranaldo)

Day 2 (B) of the Song of the Day challenge.

Be Safe is a bit of a weird one. It’s a collaboration between Wakefield indie rockers The Cribs & Sonic Youth guitar maestro Lee Ranaldo. Only Ranaldo isn’t playing guitar. He’s giving a spoken word performance of one of his excellent poems.

There isn’t an official video for Be Safe, and rather than just link to the official audio I found this excellent fan made video. It’s perfect to me.

One of those fucking, awful black days
When nothing is pleasing and everything that happens
Is an excuse for anger
An outlet for emotions stockpiled, an arsenal, an armor

These are the days when I hate the world
Hate the rich, hate the happy
Hate the complacent, the TV watchers
Beer drinkers, the satisfied ones

Because I know I can be all of those little hateful things
And then I hate myself for realizing that
There’s no preventative, directive or safe approach for living
We each know our own fate

We know from our youth, how to be treated
How we’ll be received, how we shall end
These things don’t change

You can change your clothes
Change your hairstyle, your friends, cities, continents
But sooner or later your own self will always catch up
Always it waits in the wingsIdeas swirl but don’t stick
They appear but then run off like the rain on the windshield

One of those rainy day car rides, my head implodes
The atmosphere in this car, a mirror of my skull
Wet, damp, windows dripping and misted with cold
Walls of grey, nothing good on the radio, not a thought in my head

I know a place we can go and I’m falling
Love so hard that you wish you were ten

Lets take life and slow it down incredibly slow
Frame by frame
With two minutes that take ten years to live out
Yeah, let’s do that

Telephone poles like praying mantis against the sky
Metal arms outstretched
So much land traveled, so little sense made of it
It doesn’t mean a thing, all this land laid out behind us

I’d like to take off into these woods and get good and lost for a while
I’m disgusted with petty concerns
Parking tickets, breakfast specials
Does someone just have to carry this weight?

Abstract typography, methane covenant
Linear gospel, Nashville sales lady, stocky emissary
Torturous lice, mad Elizabeth

Chemotherapy bullshit

I know a place we can go and I’m falling

The light within you shines like a diamond mine
Like an unarmed walrus, like a dead man face down on the highway
Like a skunk, eating it’s own tail
Steam turbine, frog farm

Two full closets burst open in disarray, soap bubbles in the sun
Hospital death bed, red convertible, shopping list, blow job
Deaths head, devils dancing, bleached white buildings, memories 
Movements, the movie, unfeeling, unreeling, about to begin

I know a place we can go and I’m falling
Love so hard that you wish you were ten

I’ve seen your hallway, you’re a darn call away
I’ve hear your stairs creak, I can fix my mind on your yes
And your no, I’ll film your face today in the sparkling canals
All red, yellow, blue, green brilliance and silver Dutch reflection

Racing thoughts, racing thoughts, all too real
You’re moving so fast now, I can’t hold your image
This image I have of your face by the window
Me standing beside you, arm on your shoulder
A catalog of images, flashing glimpses then gone again

Untethered to the posters soak in me, every clear afternoon now
I’ll think of you, up in the air, twisting your heel
Your knees up around me, my face in your hair
You scream so well, your smile so loud, it still rings in my ears

I know a place we can go and I’m falling
Love so hard that you wish you were ten

Imitation, distant, tired of longing, clean my teeth
Stay the course, hold the wheel, steer on to freedom
Open all the boxes, open all the boxes
Open all the boxes, open all the boxes

Times Square Midday, newspaper buildings
News headlines going around, you watch as they go
And hope there’s some good ones, those tree shadows in the park
They’re all whispering, shake some leaves

Around six p.m., shadows across the cobblestones
Girl in front of bathroom mirror, she slow and careful
Paints her face green and mask like
Like my cheese, portrait with green stripe

Long shot through apartment window
A monologue on top but no girl in shot
The light within me shines like a diamond mine

Like an unarmed walrus
Like a dead man face down on the highway
Like a snake eating its own tail
A steam turbine, frog pond

Two full closets burst open in disarray, soap bubbles in the sun
Hospital death bed, red convertible, shopping list, blow job
Deaths head, devils dancing, bleached white buildings, memories 
Movements, the movie, unreeling, about to begin

Oh, great by me
Yeah? Mine were alright, wasn’t my best one but who cares?
That’s the spirit

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