Thursday, 21 February 2013

My Musical Diary L

This happens to be the fiftieth edition of this series of Diary blog posts and at the same time the one year anniversary of me writing them. Wow. I prevailed. This calls for a celebration.

Anyhoo, here are my 5 most important songs from this past week. Enjoy!

Bryan Ferry - Shameless

Let's start with something sexyyy. Rock n' roll desire. The song has a very distinct sensual aura. I could sit here trying to analyse the lyrics (which are not in any way straightforward come hither sort of thing) but I'd rather give up on that and get up and dance. There's something seductive about the song. Rock n' roll desire.

Iggy Pop & Kesha - Dirty Love

iTunes only credit this one as Kesha - Dirty Love, so those who don't listen to Kesha and don't follow Iggy's every move would never know this is pretty much a 50/50 duet between these two (which appears on Kesha's second album, whatever that is called). And it's a rock song which is not shabby at all. It suits both of them, it's loud and brash and I had no idea Kesha was capable of something like this. Kudos. Fun rock song in which Kesha's signature "rap" is nowhere in sight and her singing doesn't even sound autotuned here.

As for Iggy's involvement...I think it's totally in line with his reputation. Why not collaborate with someone who pisses off parents, music critics and music snobs alike? Iggy can do whatever the fuck he wants. Adverts, American Idol, even Kesha (ewww).

Marc Bolan & T. Rex - Dandy In the Underworld

At this point I don't know enough about Marc Bolan to guess to what degree the lyrics of this song were self reflective, but they definitely are an interesting read even on their own.

Now his lovers have left him
And his youth's ill spent
He cries in the dungeons and tries to repent
But change is a monster and changing is hard
But he'll freeze away his summers in his
Underground yard

The song itself, the title track from T. Rex's last album, is a memorable one, even after one listen. My problem with Bolan's songs is they all sound a bit same-y to me and it takes a while for them to start emerging as individual pieces (that was my problem with Lana Del Rey at first as well). But I had no such problem with Dandy. It's an incredibly strong song and it does make me feel sad Marc didn't get the chance to write more songs. He could have been onto something really good. On the other hand, with him dying two weeks before turning 30 we forever have this image of an elfin spirit, never ageing, always with at least one eye on the camera, mugging and grinning away - and that is not a bad legacy.

Kelly Clarkson - Because of You

Clive Davis, the music mogul, released his autobiography last week and apart from coming out as bi, he also wrote some stuff about Kelly Clarkson. Some not very nice stuff. Kelly being Kelly didn't let it slide and took to Whosay. Everyone pretty much applauded her for it (except for Davis, naturally), including me. I love Queen Kelly. Davis apparently wasn't a fan of Kelly's self-penned song Because of You and called her a shitty writer, Kelly had to fight for the song not only with him but with pretty much everyone on her label. Of course the song turned out to be a big worldwide hit, so...that speaks for itself. Even if a group of seasoned pros agree on something, it doesn't mean they're right.

Musically the song is a 100% pop ballad - I'm not into ballads but I've always liked this one. It's a great tune. What makes this song powerful for me personally are the lyrics. If you don't listen to them and just concentrate on the title you could think the song was a love ballad, but it really is the furtherest thing from a love song you could find. I connect to the lyrics almost completely.

I will not make the same mistakes that you did
I will not let myself
Cause my heart so much misery
I will not break the way you did,
You fell so hard
I've learned the hard way
To never let it get that far

Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side so I don't get hurt
Because of you
I find it hard to trust not only me, but everyone around me
Because of you
I am afraid

I lose my way
And it's not too long before you point it out
I cannot cry
Because I know that's weakness in your eyes
I'm forced to fake
A smile, a laugh everyday of my life
My heart can't possibly break
When it wasn't even whole to start with

Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side so I don't get hurt
Because of you
I find it hard to trust not only me, but everyone around me
Because of you
I am afraid

I watched you die
I heard you cry every night in your sleep
I was so young
You should have known better than to lean on me
You never thought of anyone else
You just saw your pain
And now I cry in the middle of the night
For the same damn thing

Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side so I don't get hurt
Because of you
I try my hardest just to forget everything
Because of you
I don't know how to let anyone else in
Because of you
I'm ashamed of my life because it's empty
Because of you
I am afraid

I love this Grammy 2006 live performance of the song. It gets very emotional by the end (as does Kelly, and me with her. :) )

Kate Bush - Wuthering Heights

Last week it was the 35th anniversary of the release of Kate Bush's debut album The Kick Inside - and I wrote a little something about it a few days ago, so I won't elaborate on the significance of the album any further here. Since WH appears on the album (in fact it was Kate's first single - and a huge hit), I decided to finally watch an adaptation of the Wuthering Heights novel the day of the anniversary.

I read the novel three times. And I just never liked it. Both of the main protagonists make me want to murder them, I just don't care about their passion and love at all. I much prefer the other Brontë sister's Jane Eyre. Anyway, I decided to watch Wyler's 1939 film adaptation, as it's considered one of the very best, plus I like old films. Well, it was even worse than the novel, since it focused solely on flippin Heathcliff and frakkin Cathy. Oh my lohd.

So to this day, the best thing that ever came out of this novel is Kate's song, hands down. It's gothic, disturbing, poetic, cute, sensual, and completely otherworldly. And it features a guitar solo that doesn't make me wanna skip the rest of the song or take a bathroom break. It's perfection.

Video Bonus:

Marc Bolan: Ride On (documentary)

I discovered the following Marc Bolan documentary on YouTube last week. It came out on DVD in 2005, but thanks to the wonders of the internet you can watch it here for free. I think it's a solid documentary - I wouldn't pay for it but it's definitely worth watching. So, in case you're interested in this glam rock legend and haven't seen the Ride On documentary yet, make sure you check it out below:

Marc (TV show)

I've been aware of the six episodes of Bolan's 1977 music TV programme for weeks but only got around to watching them last week and definitely had great time watching them. Five of them are to be found on this YouTube channel:

and the 2nd one is available here:

The Killers & Bernard Sumner - Crystal (live)

The Killers performed in Manchester last week and Bernard Sumner of Joy Division/New Order fame appeared on stage with them to play New Order's song Crystal. As Brandon explains at the beginning of the video below, The Killers call themselves after the fictional band in the video for Crystal, so this performance makes perfect sense. It's a great performance, by the way. Brandon is in fine voice and Mark excels on the bass. Well done.

Thanks for checking out my blog on this golden occasion. I hope I'll keep writing these even a year from now and that we'll make it past 100 Diary posts and even further than that. Hope you'll return for more next week and until then...

Love, Peace and Ringo! xxx

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