Thursday, 30 August 2012

Top Five Best and Worst - Vol 1: Songs of all time

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I love hearing people's best and worst list of anything. It's my grown up version of asking your favourite colour. 
Starting pretty basic with songs of all time. Not by genre, or decade or tv theme songs or life changing moments. I'm sure those will make an appearance in volumes to come. Just songs that you love and songs that you loathe. This is going to be a challenge for me, as I sub-categorize everything, but here goes.

We'll begin with the worst, they are always more fun. Clearly there are hundreds more, but this is a fine start. I went with the songs I am known for hating. I have a flair for gracefully sharing opinions. It's a gift.

Kryptonite - 3 Doors Down
AKA rhyming 101. You stumbled in and bumped your head, if not for me then you'd be dead. Barf. I'm not sick, but I'm not well...oh wait, that's the next one.

Flagpole Sitta - Harvey Danger
Paranoia, Paranoia everybody's coming to beat you. There's a reason no one's saluting. Now your an amputee. Goddamn you.

Possum Kingdom - The Toadies
Yup. I wanna die. So help me, Jesus.

We Built This City - Starship
Oh how the mighty did fall. Ms. Slick, from White Rabbit to this? Don't blame the hookah smoking caterpillar. Corporation games indeed. Is the decade really enough of an excuse? Go ask Alice.

#1 [with a bullet]
Banditos - The Refreshments
Ick. There aren't enough words to describe how much I loathe this song. 
Everybody knows, that the world is full of stupid lyrics. Yeah, that seems fair.

Zero (*Honourable Mention*) - The Marineland theme
AKA the bane of my existence. Nails on a chalkboard, sprinting for the remote to mute/change the channel type hatred. Worst.Thing.Ever.

Now the best. This was almost impossible to get down to five. I tried to start with songs (records) that had some major impact on my life. Specific genres that represent moments in time and such. It helped a little I guess but I have to finish this post, so here goes.

Paranoid - Black Sabbath
This song is just pure riffy, heavy goodness...and memories.
Can you help me, occupy my brain? Oh yeah.
Forever and always.

Head On - The Jesus and Mary Chain
This song fills me with pure unbounded joy. Seeing it live this year for the first time made me the happiest girl in the world.
Makes you wanna feel, makes you wanna try.. Makes you wanna blow the stars from the sky.
Yeah it does.

Pass the Mic - Beastie Boys
One of my favourite bands of all time. Words cannot express how much I love them. They are pure magic that can never be duplicated. 
If you can feel what I'm feelin', then it's a musical masterpiece. 

Don't Think Twice, It's Alright - Bob Dylan
How do you you pick just one Dylan song? I chose this one mainly because it's the most elegantly phrased fuck you exit to a relationship I've ever heard. 
"Goodbye's too good a word, babe. So I'll just say fare thee well". Yup.
"You just kinda wasted my precious time". Brilliant.

Purple Rain - Prince
This song (and movie) represents my childhood and is beyond sentimental. Once I saw it in the theatre, it was all over. I bought the soundtrack and VHS tape and played them both endlessly. I finally saw him play this live (as the third song of his set no less) just last year in my hometown. Mere blocks away from the theatre I first saw it in. It was a full on epic encore worthy version. Everything I thought it would be and more. I openly wept. No joke. 

So there you have it. Agree, disagree? What are your top fives? I want'em all. I'll settle for three. Or best and worst. Whatever you got, I wanna know. Pretty please?


Thursday, 16 August 2012

Where it's at...I got two guitars, a djembe and a microphone

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Uncovering the covers in Ltown 

So you live in London, want a night of pints, funky-folky cover tunes and don't know where to go? Conundrum! Fear not my local friends, I have some recommends for you.

I'm a firm believer that weekends start on a Thursday night. I mean, it's pretty much the end of the week anyway right? It makes the actual weekend feel longer and Friday's are almost always slack-ish. It just makes good sense.

To commence your Thursday evening festivities, look no further than the magical Poacher's Arms for the fabulous Fairmonts! They are a guitar and djembe duo with some sweet harp and vocals, and a little mando for good measure. Justin and Scotty serve up all sorts of folky-rock goodness for your entertainment pleasure including CCR, The Stones, Dylan, The Band and Wilco (to name a few). 

Wanna funk up your Friday nights? Make your way down to Barney's Lounge (yes, it has an 'inside') and check out a little Samurai Night Fever (formerly The Danslingers)! Justin, Dan and Ryan deliver the groove like nobody's business. Sexy jams, slammin' bass and gorgeous harmonies. What more could you ask for really? If you feel like shakin' your tail feather, or even rockin' the table sway, electric slide down to the Lounge for a fistful of funk. You'll be glad you did. 

Sidebar: In the summertime, when the weather is cooperating, SNF rocks the patio instead from 5ish to 8ish. A little somethin' for everyone. 

Speaking of options, if you're feelin' some 90's nostalgia, The Spoonmen have got you covered (see what I did there). This delightful trio rock the Poach on select Fridays (check listings here) and make you yearn for simpler - pre-internet, mp3, smart phone - times. Scotty, Glenn and Sherk kick out the classics and unplug them, in true 90's fashion. If this wasn't enough, Glenn bears an uncanny resemblance to my fave low-fi indie rocker Lou Barlow (Sebadoh, Folk Implosion, Dinosaur Jr), so that in itself is worth checking out. This may be the only reason I forgive him for covering Banditos. 

If that wasn't enough Friday night goodness, check out Rock'n'Roll monthly at Scot's Corner for some straight up jams. Scotty even breaks out the kit for this one, Danny gets all Manzarek on the keys, with Pat and Clay providing the sweet sweet solos. Ten minute renditions of Grapevine and Blue Sky, ohhhh yes, it's enough to make my hippie heart skip a beat. 

Missed the Fairmonts on Thursday? Not to worry. Saturday nights they're rockin' Barney's Lounge 'til Scotty's hair turns grey. This venue lends itself to dance floor groovin' quite nicely, and I highly recommend it. 

I hope this has been a helpful tool to guide your 'nothing to do' weekends into something fabulous to do. As always, thanks for reading and supporting local music!