Tuesday, 7 March 2017
The Soundtrack Of My Life...
Have you ever tried to write a blog post about songs you love without falling down a youtube rabbit hole? I tried and failed.
I was having a bit of a tidy up the other day when I came across old copies of NME and the ‘Soundtrack of my Life’ features that they used to do. It got me thinking about the tracks that have stuck with me over the years or remind me of a specific period of my life, and I thought it might be helluva nice to collate them on here!
What do you think? Okay so it's pretty naff and narcissistic. To be honest, I want a written record of it so I can look back in another 10 years time to see how it compares. Are you all settled with a cuppa? It's a helluva long one and pretty cringe...
THE FIRST ALBUM I BOUGHT: BE HERE NOW
It was August 1997 and I had just turned 9. I'd obviously received birthday money which I excitedly took to my local HMV (it might have been Our Price - remember that?) with every intention of exchanging for the holy grail of Girl Power: Spiceworld. During that visit, my mum performed some kind of maternal witchcraft, persuading me that I would regret such a purchase as I would be "over it in a couple of weeks". That was to be a lie. I came home with Oasis’ Be Here Now. I recall being v. dubious in the shop and even more dubious when I got home. My mum did buy me the Spice Girls album eventually… when I was 17. Noel, Liam; no disrespect but we all know what should have been at the top of this list.
THE LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIP ALBUM: THE MILK-EYED MENDER
When it comes to Joanna Newsom, I’m in it for the long-haul. I remember first hearing The Sprout & The Bean on one of those free mix cds that NME dished out every now and again and thinking: “what the hell is this!?”. After a few listens something clicked and this album has been in my heart ever since. I LOVE HER. I love that she’s a harp wizard. I love that she’s plays a bossin' business lady momma in MGMT 's video for Kids and I love that she’s married to Andy Samberg. My favourite songs on the album are Peach, Plum, Pear and The Book of Right On, both of which are pure deliciousness. The Roots’ version of Right On is so blooming good too.
THE SONG THAT MAKES ME WANT TO DANCE: TROUBLE
Garagy-fuzzy goodness from Music Machine that makes me wish I was a Go-Go dancer.
THE SONG THAT MAKES ME HAPPY: ROCKOLLECTION
When we'd both moved back home after uni, my best friend Rhianna & I lived together in Twee Towers - the name we gave to the house we were renting to semi-justify the fact that we had painted the place in multiple pastel shades and filled it to the brim with vintage junk. It was during that time that the idea for the After-Dinner Dance Party was birthed.
Exactly what it says on the tin, this was the Post-Dinner dance time that we would give ourselves whilst doing the dishes and all those other monotonous house chores that grown-ups are forced to partake in. Whizzing around our kitchen floor, our weekly playlists were documented on our first blog She Dressed in Black. It would vary from pop-punk to French pop to songs about Flying Saucers but no matter what the theme of the night, the crescendo of every dance party would always be a manic boogie to Laurent Voulzy’s Rockollection. The first time we stumbled across it, we were couldn’t move for laughing so hard and it’s been our good-time dance anthem ever since. If you haven’t heard it before, I urge you to put it on RIGHT NOW.
MY FIRST GIG: THE LIBERTINES
Since local gigs don’t count, the first proper show I went to was to see The Libertines at Brixton Academy with my friend Heather. I recall going into HMV one Saturday and buying the album before hearing a single track from it simply because i'd heard the name banded around - did anyone else do that? The Good Old Days was me fave at the time and we were dead chuffed when we were sat in school a couple of months later, flicking through the library’s copy of the NME and we noticed our smiley, happy faces in the centre-fold poster of the gig.
THE SONG I WISH I’D WRITTEN: THE AGE OF THE UNDERSTATEMENT
I’ve never been a fan of musicals (soz, La La Land) but I have realised that almost all of my absolute favourite songs all have a real orchestral, film-score feel about them. The chorus of Gainsbourg’s Initials B.B is heaven. The Last of The Shadow Puppets’ ‘The Age of the Understatement’ first caught my attention with all its Morricone-esque rhythmic a-rumbling (that’s muso language, right?), but it’s Alex Turner’s lyrics that makes me wish that I’d written this song. I'm a nerdy English Grad and whilst my own ramblings would not reveal it, I’m always a sucker for creative diction; and boy, does Al know what he’s doing.
THE SONG THAT REMINDS ME OF BEING A TEENAGER: SONG 2
Ahh, Song 2. A song played by every half-decent local band during my teenage years. Those early days of moping around it parks with friends, reckless plans and lengthy conversations about who’s kissed who. I believe this was also the soundtrack to the planning my first ever ‘Festival’ – a gathering myself and my friend Sam held whilst her parents went on holiday to France which involved pretending that we were 18 to local councils to hire out a hall (we were 14), “booking” four bands to play and staying out in a field all night because no one could convince their parents to house 50-odd teenagers who weren't supposed to be organising a festival. “Woohooo, when I feel heavy metal…” (sorry mum).
THE SWEATIEST GIG I’VE EVER BEEN TO: NME AWARDS TOUR 2006
Now, I’ve been stuck in the middle of a Mars Volta mosh pit but nothing compares to watching Mystery Jets, Maximo Park, We Are Scientists and Arctic Monkeys in a small room at Leeds Uni and experiencing the beautifully gross phenomena of actual human sweat dripping from the ceiling like rain. IT WAS LIKE RAIN
THE SONG I SING ON KARAOKE: ALL THE ONES YOU SHOULDN’T SING ON KARAOKE
If there’s one thing you need to know about me it’s that I make terrible karaoke choices. There was the time that I performed Smells Like Teen Spirit to all my old colleagues after a too many beverages at my leaving-party. Then there was the time that my friend Jack wisely prophesied that a Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue wouldn't be best choice for that particular evening but I insisted (FYI Where the Wild Roses Grow WAS a mood-killer on New Years Eve). Though I am still proud that I know all the lyrics to Forgot About Dre and I will show-off about that wherever possible. Moral of the story: stick with Fleetwood Mac, Lauren. That’s all everyone ever wants to hear.
THE BEST GIG I’VE BEEN TO: PAUL McCARTNEY
Now in terms of atmosphere and all that malarky, I've definitely been to more fun gigs, but I had to stick with Sir Paul as the first time I saw him in Hyde Park, I cried because “he’s playing all my favourite Beatles songs and I will probably never have the opportunity to hear this again IN MY LIFETIME.” Then I cried all over again a year later at Manchester Arena because “okay here I am again but seriously, it’s ALL MY FAVOURITE BEATLES’ SONGS IN REAL LIFE”
THE SONGS THAT REMINDS ME OF HOME: WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS
This Justice Vs Simian track came at just the right time. I had just finished Sixth Form and trying to avoid thinking about what my A-Level results would be I spent the days working in a supermarket and my nights shuffling around indie dance-floors with the best of buddies.
Another close contender for this title is The Kooks' Ooh La. When I was about 15 my pal Ben sat in our Art Class and drew me as a cartoon character with eyes too big for my face, holding a giant lollipop. The nickname ‘Lollipop’ stuck for about five years. This morphed in to ‘Lala’ (myspace days), then ‘Lola’ (Twee Towers days) and “Loli” (nowadays). Whenever I would come home from Sheffield or meet up with friends at uni there were a whole lotta: “ooh LA, she was such a good girl to me" being shouted in to the airwaves...
MY LEAST FAVOURITE SONG (EVER): DON'T STOP BELIEVING
Seriously. Yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck yuck.
THE ARTIST I LISTEN TO WHEN I'M ON MY OWN: ADAM GREEN
I'm a bit obsessed with Adam Green. I bought the Gemstones album after accidentally catching him at Reading festival on my 17th birthday and the album is still on a continual rotation in my car. I just find his music so FUN. His lyrics can be quite fruity, so it's always a weird one to play in front of other people, but he's definitely in my top 5. Current favourite track is Baby's Gonna Die Tonight.
MY ULTIMATE DESERT-ISLAND DISC: HUNKY DORY
It was the album that cemented my love for Bowie. It’s my go-to for when I’m feeling: happy, melancholy, quizzical, chipper or just plain comme ci, comme ça.
“Will you stay in our lover's story... ”
THE SONG I WANT PLAYED AT MY FUNERAL: INTO MY ARMS
Ending on a happy note! Inspired by Bill Nighy and his character's truly splendid funeral song-choice in About Time. The combination of Bill and Nick Cave makes me absolutely sob and when my time is up I would like my friends and family to sob about a similar amount (even if it is from how beautiful this song is).
What would make it in to the soundtrack of your life? :-D Tag me in to your lists on twitter, I would love to hear.
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