Friday, April 07, 2006

20 Tracks

UPDATE: Tag-ees now listed at the end.

Hurrah for Chaucer’s Bitch, who nominated me for this one, which I’ve been dying to do for ages. I did stamp my foot and sulk until she tagged me though, so it may not really count, but still, here goes:

1. A track from your early childhood
I was sheltered from the media in a tiny cottage in the North of Scotland for a lot of my early childhood, but when I was nine my Dad bought my brother and me a dodgy old telly for a pound in the school jumble sale. On this telly I remember watching Top of the Pops, and on Top of the Pops in 1980* I remember seeing Video Killed the Radio Star by Buggles, Going Underground by The Jam, and Sergeant Rock by XTC. As early song memories go, that’s a pretty damn fine selection.

2. A track that you associate with your first love
Love as in actual real grown-up love, or love as in playground love? If the latter, then definitely It’s My Party And I’ll Cry If I Want To by Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin. I was 11 or 12. Jonathan Thompson was my first boyfriend. I don’t know where he is now. (Jonathan, if you’re reading, please make yourself known).

My first real grown-up love was Camouflage Netting Man. In the declining days of our relationship, we lived in a shared house in Windsor with a bunch of DJs, including the future editor of Sleazenation mag. They were all students; I’d graduated and was the only one with a job (working behind the till in Past Times). On one of my mornings off, Camo Netting Man and I were lying in bed listening to Fallen by One Dove, when his Dad burst in unannounced – which was quite amazing, since he lived a hundred miles away – and ordered me to get up and clean the house, because that was my job as “the only woman in the place.” (There was another girl who lived upstairs, ACTUALLY, but we never saw her). I still have that CD. It still reminds me of being ordered out of bed by my boyfriend’s dad to clean up after a bunch of lazy stoner students. Possibly not what One Dove, or this question, intended.

3. A track that reminds you of a holiday trip
Teardrop by Massive Attack reminds me of my first proper holiday – a week in Tuscany with ex-Mr P not long after we’d started going out. With him at the wheel, I’d managed to navigate our way out of Rome in a hire car with only a map of the Rome metro for guidance. Not an approach I would necessarily recommend to other holidaymakers. I spent this holiday drinking, smoking, crying about my parents splitting up, fending off snakes with a broom, looking at frescos by Piero della Francesca, translating things into and out of Italian, and reading Catch-22. My Dad, his girlfriend and his dog also kept turning up, which was quite amazing, since they lived in a completely different country.

4. A track you like but wouldn't want to be associated with in public
I Want You by Savage Garden. Let us not examine this too closely.

5. A track that accompanied you when you were lovesick
Where Do We Go Now But Nowhere? by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. I don’t recommend this song to anyone. Every time I hear it the sky goes black, birds drop from the trees and I’m immediately compelled to rock back and forth in my chair, sobbing desolately. Painful memories, and all the more painful for still being pretty recent.

6. The track you have listened to most often
According to iTunes, There She Goes, My Beautiful World, also by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. And who am I to argue with iTunes?

7. A track that is your favourite instrumental
I’m a terrible philistine when it comes to music, and I really only like songs for the lyrics. I have very little truck with instrumentals. I can just about listen to all of Hunted by a Freak by Mogwai, so it’ll have to be that.

8. A track that represents one of your favourite bands
Black Heart by Calexico. The greatest broken-heart dirge ever, unlike Where Do We Go Now But Nowhere?, which is just mental cruelty in song form.

9. A track which best represents yourself
Return To Yesterday by the Lilac Time. I’m still listening to it after nearly 20 years, which is quite something, seeing as I normally grow to hate all songs within a fortnight of deciding I like them.

10. A track which reminds you of a special person
Mechanic Dancing by XTC (in fact, anything by XTC) reminds me of my little brother, and he’s very special (everyone say “awwwww”).

11. A track to which you can relax
Still…Sleeping by Canyon Country. I’ve never heard this song to the end, because it does actually send me to sleep. In a nice way.

12. A track that stands for a really good time in your life
The best time I’ve had in my life is undoubtedly right now, so I’ll go for Gold Lion by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Yeah.

13. A track that is currently your favourite
This week’s Song of the Week is But I Did Not, by Howe Gelb, ex-frontman of British Net Celebrity-scaring band Giant Sand. It’s like Lou Reed singing Appalachian porch blues (I have no idea what I’m talking about there, incidentally) with a Canadian gospel choir thrown in. Marvellous.

14. A track that you'd dedicate to your best friend
Does this require me to be soppy and that? I don’t really do soppy. I also have more than one best friend. It’s a minefield! Alright then, for Smat, Don’t Go by the Hothouse Flowers, for reasons she’ll appreciate and that are mainly to do with binbags, and for Tabby Rabbit, Chicago by Sufjan Stevens, because that’s where we’re going in July. Not in a van, sadly, but you can't have everything.

15. A track that you like especially for its lyrics
I Am Trying To Break Your Heart by Wilco. Turgid song, but beautiful, quite erotic, emotionally twisted lyrics.

16. A track that no one likes but you
I Want You by Savage Garden, probably.

17. A track that you like that's neither English nor German
That only leaves French, because I don’t like songs with words I don’t understand. So, either the French version of Ballad of Cable Hogue by Calexico, or Le Freestyle de l’Obsolète by MC Solaar.

18. The track that best lets you release tension
That’s the same as 11, isn’t it?

19. A track you want to be played at your funeral
I really hope my friend S will a) still be with us, and will also b) DJ at my funeral wearing his electric blue catsuit and fairy wings. In which case it’s likely to be Ooh Aah Just A Little Bit by Gina G – and frankly I can’t think of a better song to accompany anyone to the grave.

20. A track that you'd nominate for "Best Track of All Time"
Oo, now this really *is* a minefield. Minefield, I tell you. You should have seen the withering look that Wyndham gave me on Wednesday night when I answered this very same question. I’m not saying.

UPDATE: Now hold still while I tag you, and you won't feel a thing: Pashmina, Nibus and Occasional Poster!

* Or 1979. Not sure.


Arabella said...

Ah, XTC. 'Senses Working Overtime' is the opener on my list of spiritual lifters. Always feel better for hearing it.
That's going to be a great funeral by the way.

Dave again said...

How odd. I've written about music I like for my blog post on Sunday (yes, I've written it in advance, because I know I'm going to be too busy to write then). My tastes veer more towards those of sad middle-aged men, I am afraid.

I'm not offended in any way that you don't want me to conduct your funeral (given that the odds are I'll be dead before you anyway).

Betty said...

Regarding (1.) it would've been early in 1980, as I assume the Jam's Going Underground had just crashed straight in at number one, which never used to happen in the charts in those days.

Also, Camouflage Netting Man's dad sounds awful. You had a lucky escape there. Fancy having him for an in-law.

nibus said...

Also regarding (1.): Sgt. Rock was released on 5th December 1980. And the only thing I remember watching on that TV was The Incredible Hulk.

And (10.): Awwwwww

patroclus said...

Thanks Betty, I had a feeling it was 1980, but it's all a bit lost in the mists of time. I suppose I could have looked it up :-)

Netting Man's dad was an unreconstructed, 70s-style man's man. Fortunately for Netting Man, he'd thoughtfully walked out when NM was but a tiny infant, leaving NM to be brought up by his mum, who was lovely.

patroclus said...

Nibus: I must be remembering this all wrong, because we'd moved by then, and we no longer had that telly. It could have been Making Plans For Nigel, although I was pretty sure it was Sgt. Rock. And I definitely remember watching the Incredible Hulk on that telly.

I would go off and download a bunch of early XTC stuff now, but my broadband has broken - boh.

Pashmina said...

Video Killed the Raido Star (one of my own earliest TOTP memories, as it happens, and a very fine one) was '79, if that's any help.

And Savage Garden. Heh.
*pauses to ponder what own guilty secret would be. remembers glass houses/stones adage*

patroclus said...

>>pauses to ponder what own guilty secret would be<<

Now that's just *asking* for a tagging. Post duly updated. Heh.

occasional poster of comments said...


[scrolls through media player library, then stares at what suddenly seem like an overwhelming number of CDs]

This could take a while...

Re: No. 20 - oh, go on, tell us.

patroclus said...

Well, I tried to nominate "Come Hell or High Water". But really I disagree with the whole idea of having a "best track of all time", because that would mean that you never changed as a person. And anyway, music is fundamentally disposable, isn't it? It is for me, anyway, but maybe that's because I'm an uncultured sort and more fond of ephemera than serious, lasting stuff.

I may have thought about this too much.

patroclus said...

Oh, and I'm really looking forward to your list, OPC, so I do hope you take this on!

taigathefox said...

During last night I had a major musical indentity crisis and suddenly I realised why. Thanks Patroclus :)

occasional poster of comments said...

I'm not too sure about nominating just one "Best track of all time" either, or the whole concept for that matter. On the other hand, one does come to mind, so...

Anyway, I'll certainly give this 20 Tracks thing a go, but between my terrible memory, my terrible procrastinatory tendencies and all the music I've got, it probably won't appear on the blog for at least a week.

Also, until recently I've tended to think in terms of albums, so there'll be some narrowing down to do.

Tabby Rabbit said...

Fab post.

We could go to Chicago in a van but it would take bloody ages. And be very wet.

Aww, every time I hear Gina G* I think of S and his fairy wings.

*Which is not that often