Friday, 3 August 2012

Music, Music Everywhere... And Not a Drop to Drink

I've long been toying with the idea of compiling various lists, of a musical variety. I thought of doing all the standards such as top 5 albums/songs of all time (according to me... obviously) and some such. However, reflection led me to realise that not only was that incredible boring/egotistical, but that the whole idea was rather finite. How could I try and top "MY 4 MOST FAVOURITIST SONGS IN THE WORLD EVA"?

So instead, I thought I'd write a regular blog that contained 5 songs I think people should listen to right now. Chances are they won't be current (I'd be surprised if ANY were) and there's a fair chance you know them already. I'm going to try to do this once a week so that I can get into the habit of writing regularly (any feedback or discussion will probably make this a more interesting and easier task - although I'm sure some of the stuff I post won't be everyone's cup of tea).

 While I'll strive to stay away from the aforementioned favourite songs/albums saga that my train of thought usually resorts to, there probably will be themes to some of the weekly posts. Ideas milling through my mind right now are the following;

"Songs whose album version will never sound as good as when played live" E.g.Where Have You Been, from Manchester Orchestra's 2007 album Like A Virgin Losing A Child.

"Songs, which after a couple months of an album, release were relegated to "album track" status, but are fucking good" E.g. A Whole Child Ago, from Biffy Clyro's 2007 album Puzzle.

"Songs I like where the backing vocals/harmonies are more important to me than the lead vocals" E.g. Most John Frusciante era Red Hot Chili Peppers.

 I'll also inevitably compile more standard lists involving things like favourite guitar solos or favourite cover versions also. But hopefully they'll be enjoyable.

 Right... anyway. Let's start this shit. For this first edition, I don't think there's any theme other than Fuck, I Love This Song. I'm going to hit you up with 5 pieces of music I've been enjoying lately that I couldn't recommend you listen to enough.

First up is..
 "A Conspiracy and A Devil" by Marmaduke Duke (The Magnificent Duke, 2005)

This song is taken from Biffy Clyro/Succioperro side project Marmaduke Duke's 2005 debut album "The Magnificent Duke". The album was 18 songs long and comprises of 3 very different sections - really heavy (The World Explodes), acoustic tunes (The World Implodes) and instrumental (The World Corrodes). This ditty falls into the second category and is quite frankly one of the most beautiful songs I've ever come across. I fail to see how someone couldn't appreciate the raw simplicity this song provides. If you're into the more melodic moments supplied by either Biffy or the Sooch then you should enjoy.

Next up we have...
 My Friend Marcus by Manchester Orchestra (Mean Everything to Nothing, 2009)

This song isn't the title track to Mean Everything to Nothing (a definite contender for album of 2009), but it provides it, if that makes any sense. I just love this. The vocal melodies are so enjoyable and make me feel compelled to sing along, even if the lyrics are a bit dark. That being said, thing song contains one of my very favourite sing-along moments leading into one of the verses - "I don't give a good shit if you're lonesome, I think that you should go home son". Some of my favourite lyrics off an album that is home to an abundance of good 'uns. 

 Third of all ...
 Have You Passed Through This Night - Explosion In The Sky (Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever, 2001)

  One of only Explosions In The Sky Songs to feature any lyrics, and they belong to a monologue lifted from Terrence Mallick's "The Thin Red Line". All you really need to know about this song is that it's absolutely fantastic. The drums are a particularly special component, maintaining a wonderful presence through the maelstrom of guitars as the song reaches its climax.


"Balbo's Theme" - Mclusky (Mcluskyism [B-Sides], 2006)

This song never ever made it on to a Mclusky album. However, from the first time I've listened to it, I've thought of it as perfect. It might lack the usual energy and edginess associated with Mclusky, but fuck, it's such a wonderful song. Thinking about how under-appreciated this song remains, while bawbags wander the earth blissfully unaware of its existence makes me crazy sad.

A fifth is a type of booze bottle in the U S of States. Eminem just drank a vodka one. Dare him to drive?

The Ballad Of Burnt Dave - LaFaro (LaFaro, 2010)

This is some high-energy liveliness from Northern Ireland's LaFaro. Their first album is full of gems like this. I can't recommend it highly enough. After seeing them live a couple of times in the build up to the release of the eponymous debut, I fell hard for this song. It might not be a popular as the album's big hitter Tuppeny Nudger, but it's hard to deny this tune is catchy as hell. The relentlessness of the drums and the fact you can almost imagine the snarl on frontman Johnny Black's face as he delivers those vocals makes this song a favourite of mine. If you like this, look on yootoob for a great acoustic version they filmed for TG4 at Glasgowbury a few years ago. It'll have you wondering if you're even listening to the same song.

There we have it... 5 songs I thought of just now that someone might take some pleasure from, served up with some terrible writing. Enjoy.


  1. Good stuff, haven't listened to some of these in ages. Mclusky especially, Jesus.

  2. They were all a bit of a blast from the past. I wrote this on Wednesday night, but I did't post it right away because I thought it was probably littered with mistakes because it was so late at night. Probably still is.

    Any of you lads be able to tell me how I can format my posts so that the full thing doesn't show up on the main page. I think it makes for a neater front page if articles just have a slight preview and a "read more" link. But I couldn't figure out how to do it.

  3. There's a button right beside the 'insert video' button, called 'insert jump break. You just click it whenever you want to insert the break.

  4. Swish. Thank you Vonavan.

    See you tonight at some stage? Team HumanShield are hitting the shaft to record an opus.

  5. Where's this week's installment? >:(