What a Nerve

I think it’s safe to say that I would have staked my life’s savings (hardly a fortune, but that’s not the point) on this being a Blondie original.  I recall the moment (only about 3 or 4 years ago) when I first heard The Nerves belting out the same song, almost note for note, and I wondered why they’d cover such a tune in such a way.  What was the point?  Imagine my surprise when I discovered I’d got it completely arse about face.  Now the question was, why had Blondie done this?  Then I realised it was of no consequence.  This is a terrific pop tune.  Here are both versions, and I’m counting this as one entry.  So there.

Next, a small glass of juice.

Thank you, 6

I doubt I’d have come to hear anything by Nick Drake if BBC 6Music had not done the honours.  Indeed, when I came to select a song, I was somewhat surprised to find so many potential recordings to feature here, all of which I have come to know during the past 13 years or so, while sat reading, writing and listening.  If ever there was a suitable definition of wistful, I think it may be found here:

If you are unfamiliar with ND’s work, and there’s still a good chance that he hasn’t made it to your ears, take my advice and seek out his other offerings.  He died long before he found any kind of commercial success.  Wrong time, wrong place, perhaps?  At least he managed to record a fair amount of material.  Perfect for a lazy, sunny afternoon.

Something on the radio just reminded me of a favourite song by Blondie, so that it now loaded and ready to play.


No, not that one.  (Too many associations with bad covers by mediocre talent show contestants.  Sorry, Mr Cohen.  Blame Cowell.)

This one:

This record has such a lovely vibe.  I don’t think I’ve used that term yet, but that’s what I think when listening to this wonderful piece of work.  The production is spot on and Mr Buckley’s vocal is sublime.  Such a shame he didn’t get to do much more work, eh?

This points me to another chap who died too young, but whose work was not really appreciated until after his death.  No, not Vincent van Gogh.  He was a painter.  Nick Drake.  See you tomorrow.

Love and Pride? Maybe not.

I thought for a few moments about featuring King’s Love and Pride, but I watched the video and decided that it doesn’t quite cut the mustard for me any more, so I decided on a King of the Crimson variety.  Not a band which features heavily in my life, and I only know of Greg Lake’s presence, but this is one of those tracks that always makes me stop and listen.  Find yourself seven minutes, then sit back and enjoy.

Next, I have to bring you something from Geoff Buckley.  Yes, probably the one you’re thinking about.  Maybe not though.

JH Brought us to JM

Some years ago, this young woman lept out of the television screen, courtesy of the wonderful BBC and Jules Holland’s show.  Rarely does a new act make an instant impression on me, but Ms Monae was simply captivating that night.  I forget which song(s) she performed, but it/they led me to this:

If that didn’t get your foot tapping, go and see your doctor.  Terrific stuff.

After that, I almost feel obliged to go to Prince, so I’ll go to another member of the royal family.  Just because I can.

Are We Not Men?

Devo.  A unique band if ever there was one.

I’ve been listening to this record for over 30 years and it was only this afternoon that I discovered what it’s called.  Confirmation that this is yet another band about which I know very little outside the realms of this particular song.  I’ll accept that it’s not for everyone, but it has something for me.  It’s unashamedly odd and, dare I say, quirky.  It brings a smile to my lips and I’ll spend the rest of the day singing “Are we not men? We are Devo!”  Utterly bonkers, but I’m happy that there was a place in the world for a band doing this kind of stuff.

A real shift in pace, style, date for tomorrow.  A young woman and her band who came to my attention on Jules Holland’s show a few years ago.

A Colour Supplement by any other name

I battered myself into the ground on yesterday morning’s training ride and spent the rest of the day trying to recover, so thoughts of writing were far from my mind.

Now, if there was a better song than this in 1978, I’ve yet to hear it.  It looks like this wasn’t even released as a single.  What were they thinking?  With an intro like that and with a guitar riff like that, let me ask again, what were they thinking?!  This would have made number one for 16 weeks fo’ sho’.  At least, it would have done in my alternate universe.

Since a gentleman by the name of Howard Devoto fronts Magazine, I am reminded of another band whose name features in his.

Better without the Visuals

Returned late after a hard training session last night and completely forgot about this.  Sorry.  Have some sympathy for an old and tired ex-pat Brit.

Anyway, here’s a cracking song which is rather spoiled (in this video) by the rather ridiculous garb these poor sods forced themselves to wear.  Can’t really say any more, except that I just remembered they also did one other half-decent record*, so I have just a teeny bit more love for them than I had yesterday.

*This one, obviously: Chant No1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On)

Later, something from a band who’ve long outgrown their early appeal.  A bunch of Irishmen.  Think hat and glasses.


A Youth From a French City?

At least, I assume that’s what this song is about.  If you know otherwise, perhaps you’d let me know.

The placebo effect.  Placebo.  It’s one of those words that has always given me problems concerning pronunciation.  Place bo – that’s what I see/hear.  Gazebo/gaze bo.  Similarly, Socrates ought to be sock rates; in my head Penelope is always pen elope.  Getting the stress in the right place(bo) is crucial.  I’d hate to have to learn English.  Rambling.  Sorry.

Back to the band and this cracking tune.  The band: fronted by a bloke called Brian (Molko). That’s all I know.  Tune: it has that blistering, fuzzy guitar sound to lift it above the ordinary.  I know a few other Placebo offerings, but nothing comes close to this.

I’m going to take a chance on my next entry.  It’s a brilliant debut record by a band I’d not really listen to under normal circumstances.  Nevertheless, I have to be true to my principles and play a slice of pop gold.