Thursday, June 21, 2007

This Week's Repeat Vol. II

Yes, it's time for another episode of "This Week's Repeat", where I describe tracks that I've suddenly (re)discovered, and show off my complete lack of musical taste.

Wait, where are you going?

Fine. I'm going to talk about it anyway, so there.

"Mine's Not a High Horse" - The Shins

Look, I'm not going to beat around the bush. I am a stubborn and contrary man by nature, and when some band becomes the latest indie darling my urge is to run as far in the opposite direction as possible. I think the most glaring example of this was when Coldplay's debut, "Parachutes", was released and every radio station had a simultaneous orgasm. Compounded with the fact that I thought the omnipresent first single from that album, "Yellow", was a pile of bunk (which I still do, btw), meant I gave the album a wide berth. Fast forward many months, and I have no idea what to pick up for my sister for a gift. In desperation I grab her "Parachutes", and figure I may as well listen to it before I send it off. I must have listened to the album non-stop for two days. My bad.

Thus it was with me and The Shins. Yeah, I had heard they were great. Yeah, I had even heard some of their songs (as all angst-ridden twenty-somethings did, I had purchased the "Garden State" soundtrack), and had given them the Garthmeister J. "meh" rating. So it was with some surprise last week when I was listening to an internet radio stream and heard a wonderful track come on. Stopping everything immediately to go see what it was, to my surprise it was this song, "Mine's Not a High Horse", by The Shins.

Just a wonderful little tune, and I'm still listening to it, almost non-stop. Once I get sick of that I might actually have to see if there any other gems waiting for me amongst their other critic-approved tracks.

"Love Spreads" - The Stone Roses

God I love this song. The Stone Roses are always going to remind me of University, not just because this track was released just as I was starting my post-high school career, but because it was where I was first exposed to The Stone Roses at all. Their amazing debut, cunningly named "The Stone Roses", features some fantastic songs, culminating in the one-two punch of "I am the Resurrection" and "Fools Gold" which clock in at over 10 minutes apiece (do not be fooled by the single versions of "Fools Gold"). "The Stone Roses" became my background music while studying crazily for my final exams. Just amazing that this album came out in 1989 - you can win a lot of bar bets with that info.

Nonetheless, the song that I always seem to come back to is "Love Spreads", despite the fact that it was the flagship of the Roses' second album "Second Coming" which was roundly panned. What do people know anyway? I love the riff, love the chorus, love love love. When I get around to forming my band (you know, once I work out how to sing and how to play guitar) "Love Spreads" will be one of the tracks we play, along with "Cigarettes and Alcohol" by Oasis.

Consider yourselves warned.

"Ground on Down" - Ben Harper

OK kids, you should know that Ben Harper rocks. At the time I was first exposed to this I was completely into his "The Will To Live" album, with the great tracks "Faded" and "Glory and Consequence" (I also loved the single version of "Mama's Trippin'", but was not a fan of the album version).

In Australia a rite of passage for young people everywhere is "rage", a TV show that is played late at night on the ABC (Australia's version of the BBC). Late at night on Friday and Saturday the ABC plays music videos until the next morning. Friday night is usually just a mix of whatever is on high rotation on Triple J (aka The Best Radio Station in the World). But Saturday night they usually get a "Guest DJ" (i.e. the biggest act currently in Australia touring) to play their favourite clips. In 1999-2000 I was living in Canberra, and my normal Friday/Saturday night schedule went as follows. 1) take a bus into the city centre, 2) get shitfaced at a variety of bars with a bunch of young public servants, 3) take a taxi back up to Belconnen, 4) grab a burger with the lot (minus egg) and fries with gravy, 5) walk to my apartment and eat everything while watching "rage".

One Saturday night I came home inebriated, burger and fries in hand, and flicked on "Rage". I was then subjected to an amazing run of clips: gospel, hip hop, some acoustic stuff, you name it. And all of it was great. I simultaneously found myself wondering what the next clip was going to be, and who the hell was putting together such an eclectic collection of wonderful music. Finally I got my answer when the current run of clips finished. The Guest DJ? Trent Reznor, of Nine Inch Nails fame.


The very next film clip was this one, and instantly became my favourite Ben Harper song of all time. Not only that, it's a fantastic video, with Ben playing slide guitar in a skating bowl as skateboarders zip around him. If you haven't seen it, click here to watch it. You won't be disappointed.


  • Stone Roses always do it for me. I love "Love Spreads" and my other favorites are "So Young", "I Wanna be Adored", "Waterfall", and "She Bangs The Drums".

    By Blogger Karol, at 7:30 PM  

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