Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Your Favourite Writers #2 - ROSS

Who are you?
Ross is Boss

Where are you?
The Cente of Funk (aka, Biggleswade)

How are you?
Perfectly cromulent.

What are you?
On Halo: Spartan General Grade 1. In real life: Lapwing Commander

How do you listen to music?
With my ears and sometimes a CD player or whatever is currently clogging up my hard drive.

How long have you been listening to music?
Ages. Since this morning I reckon.

First album bought by yourself for yourself?
Now 29 ON TAPE! - (tryhard indie bellend)

Who were your “gateway” band?
The Prodigy. I remember getting 'The Fat of the Land' for Christmas and being very excited and then playing it to death. I'd never heard anything like it before - completely blew my mind. They were perhaps the only band I was interested in, until discovering Blur and The Manics (only ‘Everything Must Go’).

Favourite moment in any music ever for sending shivers down your spine? And why?
Actually, I’m going to say a quite recent one, as I was going to just say “whenever I’ve seen Brand New play live” but I saw Them Crooked Vultures last year at Download and I’d had a few shandies, but their performance was absolutely mesmerising – possibly a weird combination of drunken excitement and brilliant music, but I’ve never felt quite like that before, it was a weird euphoric bliss. So yeah, their whole set was one big spine-tingle of WOW.

What music would it surprise people to know you like?
Even though they look like terrible douchebags I really like 3OH!3 and their ridiculous rapping and frat boy PARTY WHOOO antics.

Remember music videos? What's your favourite?
You’re Not Alone’ by Home Grown. It’s kind of a parody of typical pop-punk videos – always some little hidden in-joke dotted around in the annotations; i.e. lots of mocking directed at the drummer and a close up of Dan (which he hates).

Do you care about album artwork any more? You do? Great! What's your favourite, and why?
Yeah I care about artwork, it’s part of the record, it ties it all together. It’s packaging, it’s something to relate to the music you’re listening to. Plus, it’s good for your stupid friends who don’t know which album certain songs are on, so you can say “it’s on the album that has the fat naked man in a box on the front.”

Favourite? STANDARD

What's guaranteed to get you on the dancefloor?
Anything associated with DJ Lethal.

What's guaranteed to get you off the dancefloor?
Anything that doesn’t ask you to take it to the Mathew’s Bridge.

Who's your favourite person as a person in music?
Without a doubt, it’s John ‘Speedo’ Reis. He’s the Swami of punk rock and one of the nicest dudes I have met, a true gentlemen and a fantastic guitarist.

Best injury caused by music?
Saw a band called Arnocorps about 5 years ago in a small venue near my home town. The singer wanted a stage invasion; I scrambled up there with several others and found myself hugging the singer – then suddenly I was sitting on the drummer’s kit and he started hitting me in the back with his sticks. I couldn’t move for several seconds due to the cram of people, but was quite relieved (as was my back) to be free. I ached a fair bit the next day, but that’s rock ‘n roll.

Best music caused by injury?
Steve Snere of These Arms Are Snakes; completely ruined on whatever drugs/alcohol he’d been consuming before the gig, acting like it was the last days of Rome. His knuckles were bleeding, he’d probably been rolling in broken glass and I witnessed him smash his back on a monitor near the end of their set, but by god, he put on amazing show, mostly due to injuring himself during the night. Nutter.

Most you've ever embarrassed yourself in the cause of music?
Probably my awful singing voice – had to follow one of my friends who can actually sing at a karaoke night and I pretty much murdered ‘Enjoy The Silence’. I was out of key, forgot half the lyrics and started doing some ridiculous hand-dance moves and dropped the microphone several times. I got a sympathy clap from the guy running it.

Imagine someone you fancy, right. What band is it they say they love that tips you over the edge?
Rocket From The Crypt.

Worst band you've ever seen live?
Lots of competition for this. In the smaller bands stake, it was a group called Lion Sex. Two of them thought they were in Steel Panther – quite the opposite lads. One of them even had a wireless bass. Try-hard glam rock, that everyone in the venue and I mean EVERYONE looked bored to tears with. I felt embarrassed, the band must have felt embarrassed, the claps were surely out of sympathy. After a woeful cover of ‘I Fought The Law’ they finally stopped which was for the best. One of the first times I’ve seen a band properly die on stage.

In the bigger bands stake, definitely Five Finger Death Punch at Download in 2010. Possibly the worst band I have ever seen. Someone needed to tell them that nu-metal was about 9 years ago, obviously didn’t get the memo and their macho-bullshit dross they call music was so awful and contrived I was glad when their set was cut early due to a load of fans swarming the stage. I genuinely have no idea how anyone could consider this band as a favourite, let alone wear a t-shirt of theirs, but the amount of belms I witnessed wearing them was staggering.

Also, Stone Temple Pilots – either get to rehab or stop performing you old cokehead.

Did you just fart?
Yeah, apologies.

Tell us your favourite story you've ever heard about some musician.
I’ve always found the fact when Papa Roach first started they didn’t have a guitarist, but instead had a trombone player really, really funny. Imagine if they’d kept him onboard for ‘Infest’?

*Trombone solo*

Favourite soundtrack to anything – film, computer game, TV show, commercial:
Probably the Halo Reach soundtrack; wonderfully overblown in places, yet quite moving in others. Hats off to Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori for making just breathtaking soundscapes.

Whistle the theme from “Midnight Cowboy” for me.
I tried to, but I ended up humming the Jurassic Park theme really loudly instead.


Who are you?
Mark Peter Shields

Where are you?
Houston, Texas, by way of Glasgow and Aberdeen.

How are you?
Fine; tired, and too hot.

What are you?
Young, bearded, skeptical Scottish-man.

How do you listen to music?
Headphones whilst working, or in the car on the way to work.

How long have you been listening to music?
First album was bought for me in 1995 (Hits 1996 and Now' 35 I think, both on double cassette), so around 16 years in total, but really listening music probably only since 4th Year at High School, which was in 2001, so ten years or so.

First album bought by yourself for yourself?
Idlewild - 100 Broken Windows

Who were your “gateway” band?
Certainly Coldplay, at first, and then others from that acoustic-era in the beginning of the last decade, such as Turin Brakes, Starsailor, and maybe Kings of Convenience.

Favourite moment in any music ever for sending shivers down your spine? And why?
Both the buzzing synth line from LCD Soundsystem's Someone Great and the drop to a lower key in Ashes in the SNow from MONO's Hymn to the Immortal Wind.

What music would it surprise people to know you like?
It would surprise many that I love Celtic Fusion and have seen several bands that perform such music, like Peatbog Faeries. I also regularly go to the Celtic Connections festival that takes place in Glasgow in January of each year.

Remember music videos? What's your favourite?
Jamiroquai's Virtual Insanity is the best.

Do you care about album artwork any more? You do? Great! What's your favourite, and why?
I love artwork that is a photograph and has no title or band name written on it, that is the best. Currently I really like the Phantom Band's The Wants cover, but also the new Mark McGuire compilation has very good artwork.

What's guaranteed to get you on the dancefloor?
Anything by Franz Ferdinand, Lostprophets, or Belle and Sebastian.

What's guaranteed to get you off the dancefloor?
A song that uses autotune.

Who's your favourite person as a person in music?
Jarvis Cocker or Roddy Woomble; it's the music and the beards.

Best injury caused by music?
Black eye and hospital visit when playing drums and losing, quite spectacularly, the control of the right handed drum stick, and almost blinding my self in one eye. Or, if you can count it, my impending deafness. I suppose you could ask me later in my life which.

Best music caused by injury?
Eh... no idea.

Most you've ever embarrassed yourself in the cause of music?
On a first date trying to use my guest-list entry to go and see This Town Need Guns when my name wasn't on the list. Luckily, I knew the promoter and guy holding the night, who let us in, but for a short while it was touch and go. And it was a fairly dreadful gig.

Imagine someone you fancy, right. What band is it they say they love that tips your over the edge?
Not a band, but a genre; post-rock.

Worst band you've ever seen live?
The Star Spangles, in 2002, in Edinburgh.

Did you just fart?

You did, didn't you?

God almighty. I'm trying to do a music questionnaire here.

Tell us your favourite story you've ever heard about some musician.
I went to a night where Roddy Woomble was DJing, and he was on fairly late as the bands had ran late. There wasn't that many people left milling around on the dancefloor, except for me and my friends. He put on an amazing Celtic folk song, and I decided that I'd go and ask him about it. He later admitted that he was trying to clear the dance floor and go home, and they'd let him play anything he wanted, so was playing that. We conversed about his attempts to clear the dancefloor and how they'd been fairly successful.

Favourite soundtrack to anything – film, computer game, TV show, commercial:
The entire LA Noire soundtrack is amazing because of the 1940s Jazz that it uses which is absolutely brilliant, and I am listneing to it a lot, but I think the best gaming soundtrack is Shenmue's. I don't really like TV or film soundtracks.

Whistle the theme from “Midnight Cowboy” for me.
I don't even know what that is.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Scottish Bands for the Summer

Like it or not, the large percentage of my musical wares that I keep on my iTunes and thundering through my earphones and speakers are from my home-country. It was partly due to the fact that I grew up there and have an affinity to push those who are from the same crucible of life that I came from, but also that there's just been something about the music that Scotland has been producing in the last few years that has resonated with me.

Resonated with my fucking soul.

If I was to list the bands on my current iPod that are Scottish, you might blush with embarrassment for me because I am so biased, I shouldn't even be writing this, putting pen to paper or even putting cursor to LCD screen, but recently there's been another burst of bands from Scotland that have blown me away, in various ways, and some of them have been around long enough in my ears for me to finally write a bit about them and be like "aw yeah, look at what I have listened to that you haven't, so get on it and listen to these now!".

If I am lucky you'll like them. Which you will because if you don't I'm going to grab my honours and get them round your house and pan your windows in. But you will like them, because they are all amazing.

It's rare for a band to drop into my lap randomly without me remembering where I heard them first, but for some reason Found are exactly that. I can't remember where they came from, be it from a Last.fm recommendation, a review, supporting a different band, but they were synced to my iPod a while ago and haven't left. Hailing from Edinburgh the band have been around for ages, really, and I kicked myself for not investigating their music earlier... but maybe they didn't exist before I had heard them, and have been planted into the memory of things afterwards, so that's not my fault. Clever trick. I have been mostly taken in by their third long player Factorycraft that was released earlier this year on Chemikal Underground, the bastion of Scottish expression that they are. Listen to this and then head here to get it.

Kiss me. No, seriously - kiss me right in the face. If you haven't already, you will be stupid not to after I've told you about this other tiny band that hails from Glasgow. OVER THE WALL are like, the best ever sex you've ever had, but it was video taped and you are watching it on a Saturday Morning, with Phillip Schofield and Gordon the Gofer introducing it. It's quite amazing pop-electronic-fun and, well, also has something that I love - melody. If you were to listen to the album Treacherous long enough you'll end up wanting to rush out and buy it - this happened to my friend in Texas who literally bought the whole album after hearing the track Istanbul twice. So listen to it here and buy the album here (Sorry for the Myspace link, ugh).

Find more Over The Wall albums at Myspace Music

Aberdeen, represent. I first saw these gentlefolks powering through a set supporting a band in Aberdeen, and since then have seen them a few other times, picking up a CDR or two along the way and FINALLY they have managed to get a record out and by the thunder of Thor it's pretty special. I've yet to pick a copy up (I will pick one up from my local record store in Aberdeen, the bloody brilliant One Up, when I get home OR grab one from their Bandcamp page) (linked at the bottom). So what do they sound like? Well, I think it's like a more electronic or experimental Twilight Sad, but that's my useless attempt at sounding like I have any idea how to describe their pulsing rhythms and grand vocals that bound across the soundscape. Live however, they sound entirely a different beast, so loud and thudding, like a hell march set in 1990s Falaraki. I'd listen to the album and see what you folks make of it, but they are excellent. And from Aberdeen, did I mention that? So listen to them here and then go and buy their album from here.
Empty Your Lungs and Breathe by IndianRedLopez

What is it with going to Idlewild play concerts and being barraged by some of the best support acts I have ever seen? In going to Idlewild concerts I have been introduced to The Walkmen, Stapleton, The Twilight Sad, and now Fatherson. From Kilmarnock (which for some music writers is close enough to be called Glasgow, but I know different) this trio came at me like a bolt of hot sweaty thunder, like an erection in the middle of watching a triple heart bypass. It was such a surprise to hear the loud-quiet dynamics from such a close knit group of young fellows. I quickly purchased the EP Where the Water Meets the Land and decided that I really liked them - I mean like I want to make them a mix tape like them, they are that interesting. They have since released another thingmy online, Town For Tourists are due to release the self-titled EP in July 2011. I guess you could go and see them live, if you so fancy it... They are great. So listen to them here and go and get their EP here.

So, now that you've heard them, GIVE THEM A HUG at a live show:
FOUND, OVER THE WALL and FATHERSON are all playing the Summer Nights festival run of shows at the incredible King Tut's Wah Wah Hut. Get it on.

INDIAN RED LOPEZ at Box in Glasgow - 25th June 2011 AND Snafu in Aberdeen - 30th June 2011

Monday, 20 June 2011

Father and Son: Tim Buckley, Jeff Buckley and Me

So, one of the things I remember about meeting people at university who weren't really into music was that they all absolutely fucking loved Jeff Buckley's version of Hallelujah. Even more so after it was on that episode of the O.C., you got all these geography students and trainee primary school teachers emoting to it whenever it came on wherever you were. If this were Rob's history in High Fidelity, essentially it's the new Baby I Love Your Way, or something.

That's a bit unfair on poor deceased Jeff, and I'll happily admit his version of Hallelujah is bloody good. It's ridiculously over-the-top on the melodrama, but when you've got a voice like that, you can pretty much get away with it. Besides which, if you've ever seen Leonard Cohen's performance of it on French-language TV, you'll wonder how Jeff pulled that much heartbreak out of it.

Nonetheless, I went through uni sporadically enjoying Jeff Buckley, especially Lover, You Should've Come Over and Grace, for what it's worth (always skipped Lilac Wine, obviously). And yeah, Grace is still a good album, for all that it's quite rightly criticised as being overindulgent it shows someone not afraid to show off their numerous musical talents, and while it's gained some extra fame (infamy?) since his death, I don't really think it's undeserved at all.

But one day I discovered Tim Buckley. Now, I knew Jeff had a vaguely famous Dad to some degree, but he was just one of those names to me at that some point – someone I'd heard of but never bothered to engage with. At that time, he'd sit alongside John Martyn, Richard Thompson, Neil Young...y'know, the sort of people who shouldn't be gaps in your, er, listening history. In any case, an opportunistic young me picked up a whole bunch of Tim Buckley CDs from someone on a messageboard (who I'd go on to have a feud of sort with) for next to nothing, just on impulse. And they're a mixed bunch. His last album, Look at the Fool, for instance, sounds like what it is, a man coming to the end of his tether both creatively and technically (his voice! His poor voice.)

So now I've badmouthed him, I'm going to build him up to high heaven. For those that don't know, Tim Buckley died in 1975 at the age 28 as a result of doing what can only be described as a large amount of heroin, having released nine albums. Yeah, nine! They really worked them hard in those days. His first album was only in 1966, and it's a self-titled, vaguely psychedelic, obviously Beatles-influenced poppy album. Considering he'd essentially go on first to be a folk-rock staple and then a slightly misguided step towards what was described as “sex funk”, the dude definitely knew a genre or two.

It's for his folk-rock and free-jazz stuff that he's best known. Starsailor – from his free-jazz leanings – is his most highly-regarded album, and yes, that is where there early 00s English yawn-core band got their name from, but my favourite is, of all things, a not-very-well-known live album from his folk-rock days, Dream Letter: Live in London.

It's a two disc affair, recorded at Buckley's first ever performance in England (or outside North America at all, really). It's a stripped back affair, with voice, guitar, vibes and bass, and he rattles through twenty songs (over 16 tracks) with that wonderfully soulful voice, sympathetically backed by his band; songs passing through 7 or 8 minutes sometimes without ever seeming like it. Supposedly – though I know this from Wiki-browsing – these performances, with more improvisation and less of a focus on being the “folk-rock poster boy” he apparently was, alienated audiences a bit. Well, more fool them, it's totally hypnotic. Phantasmagoria in Two gets a cheer, and deservedly so, though not until everyone recognises that “If a fiddler played you a song, my love” line. It's still a magical song, as is Morning Glory, a surprising song of anti-sentimentality, demonstrating perhaps a bit more than the simple declarations of love Buckley can be associated with.

On studio recordings, Tim Buckley's voice can seem a little over-produced. Add raspiness and remove the fake-gravitas from the album recording of Pleasant Street, and it's slightly menacing, but rich and honest in a live environment. The guy was what, 21 when he sang this live? 20 when he recorded it? Already with a heck of a body of work behind him and a strange knack for sounding mature in tone and deed? Christ. My highlight of the live album is Buzzin Fly, perhaps a simpler number, a more straightforward song, but Buckley's rich, pleading voice and rhythmic guitar drives the song along as the band flex their muscles. This is more of the traditional love song, but the slight jazz feel to it that belies the path he was taking gives it that extra dimension. Sure, at heart it's a folk-rock song, but it's about as good as folk-rock songs come. Elsewhere, check out the sparse, solo performance of The Earth if Broken, which is so quiet you're straining your ears but it's worth it.

It's his voice, isn't it? That honest sound to every syllable; that's the key that makes me really buy into Tim Buckley. His son's is a little too ostentatious, and maybe that's why I've always felt a little distant and excluded, it's someone showing off rather than consoling with you. Tim Buckley's voice is pretty much empathy and sympathy incarnate. This man, who released nine albums in nine years across a ridiculous array of genres, battled heroin addiction, and eventually drove himself to destruction. He was a fantastic writer of songs, and an addictive live performer from what little I've heard, but the way his voice just pings off the heartstrings...that's how music gets me.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

30 Day Song Challenge (Gareth's Edition)

Alrighty, so those of you who're on Facebook are probably well aware of the 30 day Song Challenge that's floating about at the minute. Being the impatient sod what I am (and potentially lazy too) I can't really be bothered doing it one song a day, so instead I'm doing it one massive burst, with a Spotify link to each song, and a link to a full uninterrupted playlist at the end. Owing to the fact it centres around Spotify some choices reflect that. I'd love to be able to put in a Felt song but as none are available on the aforementioned streaming service I'll have to do without. Oh, and for those wondering why I've out my name in brackets in the post title, it's because I've no idea if anyone else is doing one, so to leave it merely as 30 Day Song Challenge could, in time, confuse. Yes.

Song 1: Your favourite song - I don't really have an all time favourite song, so I'm going with one of my favourite new discoveries. It's called Sunset by Selebrities and it sounds like a corss between OMD and Wild Nothing. Which makes it brilliant, naturally. I've yet to introduce this song to someone who hasn't enjoyed it. Selebrities – Sunset

Song 2: Your least favourite song - There are too many to choose here, but I'm going to go for Mika's Grace Kelly. There aren't many musicians (sorry, 'musicians') that I'd want to clobber in the face with a spade, but if I was keeping a list this bubble-perm'd sod would be high up it. Especially after this abomination MIKA – Grace Kelly

Song 3: A song that makes you happy - I'm going to cheat ever so slightly on this one. The song itself is a sad one lyrically ('Emma's house is empty, so why do I call it Emma's house?') but musically has a set of great jangly guiar lines that keep it just the right side of melancholic. But in reality my reaction to it is linked to memories: discovering it at 17, hearing a friend drop it on NYE (the first time I'd heard it in a club), the fact another friend always seems to play it when I go to his clubnight. All happy wholesome stuff. In fact, such is my unbridled joy at hearing it on nights out that I now get told 'Gareth, the DJ's just uttered the magic words!' (the magic words being that he's about to play this song) The Field Mice – Emma's House

Song 4: A song that makes you sad - Again, it's to do with association. I recently asked for people's suggestions for songs about friendships for something that may or may not see the light of day in future. One of them came from someone's who's rapdily become one of my best friends but is soon to move further away. This, coupled with the beauty of the song and its ruminations on friendship combine to mean it's something of a challenge to sit through it all. Lovely as it is. Adem – These Are Your Friends

Song 5: A song that reminds you of someone - Growing up on Anglesey, there weren't many people I knew who cared about music as much I did/do. In fact, I knew but one person. Then he went to live in Vietnam for a year. This song is full of references to Ho Chi Minh city (where he lives) so it always makes me think of him. That and the fact we were both huge Clash fans when he was still here. Just before he went we went around the pubs of the nearest University city in fresher's week just after MIA's Paper Planes came out (which for those who don't know, samples Straight To Hell), and kept putting on the Clash song and watching everyone get confused. It sounds like a twattish thing to do, and it probably was. Still funny though. The Clash – Straight To Hell

Song 6: A song that reminds you of somewhere: I can remember listening to this in my final year of university, sat in the library during the Autumn months watching the rain-battered windswept courtyard out the window and revelling in how warm and dry I was inside. This song plus the library's calming atmosphere always put me at ease James Yorkston – When The Haar Rolls In

Song 7: A song that reminds you of an event - I've never been a massive White Stripes fan, but I can just remember going apeshit to this at the last night of last year's Indietracks, surrounded by the myriad of people I'd met and who'd later go on to become great friends and thinking the world was a great place. Which for that sub 2 minute period it was. The White Stripes – Fell In Love With A Girl

Song 8: A song that you know all the words to: David Tattersall's always had an odd way with words, so deciphering the pyrics to Wave Pictures songs has never been the easiest of tasks. When the song is this good, and this catchy, it was/is worth the effort. The Wave Pictures – I Love You Like A Madman

Song 9: A song that you can dance to: Anyone can dance to this. Hell, even the title implores you to. David Bowie – Let's Dance (Single Version)

Song 10: A song that makes you fall asleep - Eno's stuff is always pretty dreamlike at the best of times. Chuck in the fact it was made for a film about the Apollo missions and it's a bonafide snooze inducer. It's pretty haunting and beautific if you stay awake through it all, though. So you win either way. Brian Eno – An Ending (Ascent)

Song 11: A song from your favourite band - I don't really have a favourite band but Orange Juice would probably be right up there. I keep looking back at their old press photos (especially around 1980/81) and wishing I was that suave and dressed that well. A man can but dream....Orange Juice – Rip It Up

Song 12: A song from a band you hate - This one is stupidly vague. Am I meant to just post a song from any band I hate, or a song I like from a band I hate? I have no idea. I'm going to go with the latter. In 2008 in a rare moment of weakness I got sucked into the Glasvegas hype. Even bought the album. Over time, i realised it was a load of bobbins, except for this track. It posesses all the elements that I dislike about Glasvegas (not least James Allen's ridiculous over-wrought vocals) yet it somehow survives the chopping block. Glasvegas – Geraldine

Song 13: A song that's a guilty pleasure - Let's face it, glam rock was a lovely bit of pantomime that added colour to a dour period culuturally, for a few years in the 1970s. However, its musical legacy hasn't really stood the test of time. Why then, do I still find it fun to flounce around to this, imagining I've got bell botoom flares on and stars stuck to my face? Sweet – Blockbuster

Song 14: A song no-one would expect you to like - Another daft one. No-one as in no-one at all? Half the people I associate with don't even know I like music, never mind what kinds I'm into. I don't know, I'm a bit stumped by this one to be honest, so I'll just go with this. Stupidly good fun to go apeshit to in a club. Motörhead – Ace Of Spades

Song 15: A song that describes you: The first two lines do the trick perfectly. The way they get sneered with no hint of self-pity or sadness is just brilliant. The second line might actually be my epitaph in due course, I'm not sure. Magazine – A Song From Under The Floorboards

Song 16: A song you used to love but now hate - The first couple of times I heard this I thought it was nice enough, but the more exposure I got to it the more I realised it was nauseating, disposable piffle that came perilously close to being beyond twee. I've not heard it since 2007/8 and have no intention of doing so again. Ever. Noah And The Whale – 5 Years Time

Song 17: A song you often hear on the radio - Time for another dose of spin. I (criminally) very rarely listen to the radio. The last time I did put in a concerted effort to do so was when 6music was in danger of being shut down. In the midst of what was quite a dark time for the station Lauren Laverne played this, and it seemed to be like a clarion call to resist the BBC's calls for closure. The station was saved and the song has stayed with me since. The Chameleons – Up The Down Escalator

Song 18: A song you wished you heard on the radio - Ironically, the first time I heard this song *was* on the radio. Lawrence from Felt (yes, that band again) played it on his show for the week of Domino radio that went out not long ago. It's Ian Broudie's pre-Lightning Seeds vehicle and it shows he was pretty handy at writing a song even back then (the early 80s). I've already decided that if I ever get in position to DJ on even a semi-regular basis this will be my signature song/joker up my sleeve. It's utterly magnificent. Care – Flaming Sword

Song 19: A song from your favourite album - As with bands, I don't really have a favourite album. There are those that are ever present at the top of my list but nothing ever really makes the top spot. This song's parent album will rank quite highly though, so I'll go for that for now. Hefner – Good Fruit

Song 20: A song you listen to when you're angry - These days I try not to listen to 'angry' songs when I'm pissed off. I either try and wait it out before putting on music or put something on that puts things in perspective and makes me snap out of it (more on that later). There was a time where I'd put this on though. It just seems to have this inherent pent-up rage waiting to burst out of it. Joy Division – Shadowplay

Song 21: A song you listen to when you're happy: I know this is probably too twee for some, and to an extent I agree with that sentiment. BUT, you have to be a heartless bastard to not have any element of happiness shine through when the recorder solo kicks in Belle & Sebastian – The Boy With the Arab Strap

Song 22: A song you listen to when you're sad - Let's face it, when we're sad we tend to want to wallow in it for a bit before picking ourselved back up. What better way to wallow than with 8 minutes of mournful Scottish melancholic pop. I picked this album up at a gig in March, then forgot to put it on until May and was blown away by it. It's a great album, and it's well worth listening to the whole thing. State Broadcasters – Archie's Tears

Song 23: A song you want played at your wedding - This is a tough one. Really, really tough. I've chosen this because it's about the notion of taking your partner's mundane quirks and foibles that most other people would find irritating, and turning them into something endearing and worth celebrating. Surely that's what love's about, right? Pelle Carlberg – I Love You, You Imbecile

Song 24: A song you want played at your funeral - This one started off as a joke and is now at a point whether I'm not actually sure if I'm serious or not. It would be gloriously daft, and I've always wanted my funeral to be something happy, not mournful. Getting people to dance in the aisles to this would encapsulate that idea perfectly. Electric Light Orchestra (Elo) – Mr Blue Sky (As an aside, other parts of the service include starting the service with my casket being crowdsurfed through the church to Born To Run, and at some point having Sid Vicious' cover of My Way blaring out. Again, I'm not really sure how serious these ideas are at this moment in time)

Song 25: A song that makes you laugh - It's a song about 1970s print pronography, told in a dry Mancunian accent. It's beyond funny. It's hilarious. JCC doesn't always cross that well over the North/South divide, but give it a spin anyway, you might enjoy it. John Cooper Clarke – Readers Wives

Song 26: A song you can play on an instrument - This has been a bugger to think of. I can't play an instrument save for an abortive attempt at the drums about 8+ years ago, and I was shit at them at the time, let alone now. Nonetheless, still reckon I could give this a good go given a bit of practice This Many Boyfriends – I Should Be A Communist

Song 27: A song you wish you could play on an instrument - I keep threatening to take up the ukulele, mainly because I'm too lazy and impatient to take up the guitar and figure it's a million times easier. I place the blame firmly at MJ Hibbett and Allo Darlin for this notion. If/when I get one/learn to play, i really want to learn the Allo Darlin song cannon. Such as this one Allo, Darlin' – Dreaming

Song 28: A song that makes you feel guilty - I touched upon this earlier during the 'song that you listen to when angry' entry. Not that long ago I was angry at some friends over some imagined slight (I can't actually remember the exact details, not that you need them), and went for a walk. While on a walk this came on, and it made me realise my petulance and put things in perspective. Having friends who're without exception far away (and some who will soon be even further), the line 'and it struck me to say while so far away you are with me today, you're here in my head, in my heart' always - without fail - kills me. Elbow – dear friends (See also: Scattered Black & Whites. That song always makes me guilty about people I've wronged and lost touch with over the years)

Song 29: A song from your childhood - I remember this coming out in 1996, and thinking it was pretty good at the time. I think it's even better now. Clearly 8 year old me did have something approaching taste. Sleeper – Sale Of The Century

Song 30: Your favourite song from this time last year - As I've said countless times, I've never really done out and out favourite songs at any point in recent memory, so I'm just going to post one of 'there or thereabouts' top songs for your listening pleasure and end this on a high. Nigh-on7 minutes of glockenspiel led Budweiser advertising pop perfection/mayhem anyone? YES.  Los Campesinos! – You! Me! Dancing!

And put it all together and what've you got? No, not the Bitsa theme (cool though that would be) but a Spotify playlist, in its entirety. Here you go you lovely, lovely people 30 Day Song Challenge