“In the End, It Took Me a Dictionary to Find Out the Meaning of Unrequited” #1

If someone were to analyse the subject matter of songs, I think it’s a fairly safe bet that it would conclude that the most written about topic is **drum roll**……… **dramatic pause**…..love.

That’s reciprocated love, of course. I love you and you love me, isn’t it great, everyone’s happy, la la la, repeat to fade.

Life’s not always like that though, is it? For every successful relationship or love affair, there must be at least, conservative (with a small c) estimate ten failed ones.

So, I imagine the second most popular subject would be that of unrequited love, or that of a lover spurned. Because while we all know what it feels like to be in love, we also all know what it’s like for that love to be totally unsuccessful, unappreciated or unwelcome.

And that’s where music really steps in.

Who amongst us hasn’t, frustrated by a potential partner’s utter failure to acknowledge our obsession with them, or dejected by rejection, turned to our best friend for companionship, solace and verification. Our best friend being our record collection, of course.

Unless you’re an idiot like me (and many of my peers, judging by the Comments on a recent post) who has sold or given away records and instantly regretted it, then your music collection is probably the one true constant in your life. Those records never leave you, they’re just there, waiting for the time to be right for you to blow the dust off them again.

And so to this, one of the most honest, visceral, downright fucking angry and upset lyrics you’ll ever hear. And, I’ll wager, one of the greatest records of the 21st century:

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The Walkmen – The Rat

Before you ask, I’m fine. I’ve not been dumped recently (chance would be a fine thing), it just strikes me this is a rich seam worth digging into.

 More soon.

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I Am The Mouth

Slowly but surely I’m plugging my way through all of the Glastonbury footage I recorded last weekend.

I have to say I’ve been a little disappointed with the BBC coverage, which seems to focus on the headliners, with a passing glimpse of anything else. That’s all very well, but anyone who’s been to Glasto knows there’s always things tucked away lower down on the bill or on an obscure stage that deserves some attention. By which I mean, of course, where was the Quo’s Friday night headline set on the Acoustic Stage?

Anyway, a little surprise which popped up was a set by The Killers on the John Peel Stage. Who knew The Killers were still a thing?

You know the John Peel Stage. Devoted to the new, up and coming bands. Like, erm, the Killers.

I’ll be fair: Killers’ main man Brandon Flowers had a self-deprecating take on it: “They say you play the John Peel Stage twice in your career,” he announced. “Once on the way up, once on the way down. It’s good to be back,” .

So anyway, watch The Killers and you know they’re going to finish with “Mr Brightside” and you know they’re going to play that frigging awful song about having soul but not being a soldier, which really doesn’t work as an analogy and which I’ve always struggled to understand the popularity of.

It struck me that “Mr Brightside” is the tune which always gets churned out at Indie nights, usually at close to chucking out time, which prompted me to write this post, pointing out there’s better songs than those mentioned in their back catalogue. Not many, but some.

Now, I must admit I have a bit of a soft spot for “Somebody Told Me”, which I think is a much over-looked absolute belter of a record.

But there’s another single of there’s which wasn’t included in the highlights of their set showed on the BBC (I don’t think; I watched much of it on fast forward).

I mean this:

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The Killers – Bones

Although I must admit, part of the reason I like that tune is the Tim Burton directed video, which surprisingly doesn’t feature Johnny Depp or Helena Bonham Carter:

Oh and since I mentioned it, here’s “Somebody Told Me”.

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The Killers – Somebody Told Me

More soon.

Acoustic Afternoons

Ever since I posted that Glen Campbell cover of the Foo Fighters track, then the acoustic Foo Fighters track, followed by The Sundays track on…erm…Sunday, I’ve found myself generating towards acoustic records, and in particular acoustic versions of songs that I have in my record collection.

Since the wet weather more associated with the British summer time seems to have returned, thereby outing my usual splurge of summer tunes on ice for a while at least, I thought I’d share a few of them with you, every now and then, when I can be bothered. Another of my sporadic themed posts that pop up every now and then, if you like.

Of course, if I’m going to talk about artists doing acoustic versions of their own songs, it’s impossible not to mention the behemoth of the genre: MTV Unplugged.

So there, I’ve mentioned them, but to be honest I want to avoid those records as much as possible, as I figure most of you will know those recordings already. Instead, I’d prefer to have a look some lesser known ones.

Having said that, there are a couple from the MTV Unplugged series that I will feature – no, not the Nirvana one, what would be the point? – but ones which are perhaps less well known, particularly on this side of the pond, or have had a particular effect on me.

And so here’s one of those.

In 1993, 10,000 Maniacs recorded and released their Unplugged album and it, like many of their earlier albums, did little over here, with the possible exception of their cover of the Springsteen-penned “Because The Night”.

But, in the words of the host of a now defunct gameshow: we don’t want to give you that one.

Instead this, the original version of which appeared on 1992’s Our Time in Eden album, and is good, but this live, acoustic version knocks that one into a cocked hat, whatever that means.

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10,000 Maniacs – Stockton Gala Days(MTV Unplugged)

I adore lead singer Natalie Merchant’s voice, but sadly this album turned out to be her last recording with the band. She quit shortly afterwards, embarking on a solo career. The band, after a brief hiatus, continued without her. But neither of their subsequent careers are a patch on what they created as a whole.

Which is a bit of a shame, in my book.

More soon.

Which Reminds Me…

After digging out that Foo Fighters acoustic album I featured in the last post, I found myself thinking of this, a tune that featured in The Chain quite some time ago, so the link’s probably dead by now.

So, I make no apologies for re-posting this, the opening track from one of my favourite albums. See, it’s a gorgeous song from a gorgeous album, which is just about perfect for rounding off the weekend. Certainly better than watching Ed Sheeran, anyway.

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The Sunday – Skin & Bones

More soon.

Promise Not to Stop When I Say When

OK, so Foo Fighters’ brand of kick-ass rock’n’roll may not be suitable for our Country Sunday morning slot, but what about now it’s Sunday afternoon?

Maybe not.

But back in 2006, they released a live acoustic album called “Skin and Bones”, 15 tracks split between new songs and acoustic renditions of old favourites.

Here’s the song they always close their set with:

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Foo Fighters – Everlong (Live and Acoustic)

More soon.

Sunday Morning Coming Down

As expected, Foo Fighters rawk and rolled with great gusto on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury last night. I’d love to post something by them this morning, but they don’t exactly fit the Country vibe we have going on here of a Sunday morning.

Lucky for us, then, that a few years ago Glenn Campbell recorded a cover of the song they opened with last night:

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Glen Campbell – Times Like These

More soon.

Late Night Stargazing

Just as it’s impossible to see everything you want to when you’re actually at Glastonbury, so it’s almost impossible to watch everything that the BBC screens from the biggest and best festival in the world. I have an awful lot stacked up on my recorded/to watch list.

I’m writing this before the Foo Fighters headline the Saturday night (I’ve seen them a couple of times before – once supporting Oasis in Cardiff, which has always struck me as being the wrong way round, and once headlining at Hyde Park, with Motorhead, and Queens of the Stone Age supporting them – and I expect them to be fricking awesome), but my highlights so far have been The Pretenders, Royal Blood, Lorde, Katy Perry and, of course Radiohead.

The Oxford group delivered a breath-taking set, getting the balance of their more avant-garde bleepy moments and The Hits just about right.

One particular highlight was their rendition of “No Surprises”, not least for the spontaneous cheer that goes up after the line “Bring down the Government, they don’t speak for us”:

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Radiohead – No Surprises (Live at Glastonbury 2017)

To mark the 20th anniversary of the original release of the OK Computer album that first featured on, the band have recently released a remastered and expanded version of the album; here’s the same song lifted from that:

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Radiohead – No Surprises (OKNOTOK Remastered Version)

And finally, around the time of the original release of OK Computer, the band developed a reputation for producing visually stunning videos. I’ll leave you with the promo for “No Surprises”. Don’t have nightmares, now will you?

More soon.