As I am supposed to be educating my children in our spare time I thought I should start their musical and cultural education in earnest. So today we watched this. Had the whole set on the TV. The kids wandered in and out but mostly they were captivated, stopping by to dance, comment and ask questions. I don’t blame them. Everything about it is fab -the sun soaked atmosphere, the dogs on blankets, the crowd yelling at that photographer to get down!
R said this is his “favourite music ever” and that he wants to learn the guitar. S says the “guitar sounds crunchy and strong”. At one point they were both jumping and spinning round the living room in a mixture of break dancing and wrestling.
I totally blew their minds by saying that the young people in the crowd are Grandma and Grandad’s age and older. “Even the pretty lady?”. “Yes, the pretty lady is about Grandma’s age now”. That got me sceptical, wide-eyed stares. “How old were you mummy?”. “I wasn’t born yet”. Wider eyes “Really? Not at all, not even a little bit born?”
Ah, the passing of time. Tricky one to get your head round.
In my music listening I am going through a bit of a Britpop revival at the moment, with mixed results (a post about it will emerge at some point…). I do remember at the time being only so/so about the whole thing, as I mostly (unfairly, I expect) associated it with the bloke-ish bravado of Oasis, a band I dislike, or just cute, irritating happy songs. I recall thinking that the Americans were way ahead of anything the Brits were producing (REM, Nirvana, Tori Amos, Hole, Green Day, The Offspring, Rage against the Machine…) with the exception of the Manics and Radiohead, neither of which I associate with Britpop. But I do, for better or worse, have great recall of the well-known Britpop songs of the era and they conjure up so many memories for me (admittedly mostly of cheap cider, sticky dance floors and being groped…).
I always liked Pulp, they were probably the standout group for me, and it is in large part due to their magnificent lyrics. I am always partial to bitchy social commentary in musical form. Whenever I was on a dancefloor in that era there would be a Pulp song. Usually it was either Disco 2000 or Common People, both excellent songs, but sometimes, just occasionally, a particularly great DJ would be in charge and would choose Mis-Shapes instead. That would always be a good night. I would come away feeling like they had played my anthem, and there would usually be one or two others on the dancefloor who felt the same. It is hands down my favourite Pulp song, and it’s as divisive, angry, inspiring, and relevant now as it’s always been. Yes, it is a bit tribal but, my god, it is so accurate.
Provided to YouTube by Universal Music Group Mis-Shapes · Pulp Different Class ℗ 1995 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited Released on: 1995-01-01 Producer: Chris Thomas Composer: Steve Mackey Composer: Nick Banks Composer: Russell Senior Composer: Mark Webber Composer: Candida Doyle Composer Lyricist: Jarvis Cocker
Mis-shapes, mistakes, misfits. Raised on a diet of broken biscuits, oh We don’t look the same as you, We don’t do the things you do, But we live round here too. Oh really.
Mis-shapes, mistakes, misfits, We’d like to go to town but we can’t risk it, Oh ’cause they just want to keep us out. You could end up with a smash in the mouth Just for standing out. Oh really.
Brothers, sisters, can’t you see? The future’s owned by you and me. There won’t be fighting in the street. They think they’ve got us beat, But revenge is going to be so sweet.
We’re making a move, We’re making it now, We’re coming out of the side-lines. Just put your hands up – it’s a raid yeah.
We want your homes, We want your lives, We want the things you won’t allow us. We won’t use guns, We won’t use bombs, We’ll use the one thing we’ve got more of – That’s our minds.
Check your lucky numbers, That much money could drag you under, oh. What’s the point in being rich If you cant think what to do with it? ‘Cause you’re so bleeding thick.
Oh we weren’t supposed to be, We learnt too much at school now we Can’t help but see That the future that you’ve got mapped out is Nothing much to shout about.
We’re making a move, We’re making it now, We’re coming out of the side-lines. Just put your hands up – it’s a raid.
We want your homes, We want your lives, We want the things you won’t allow us. We won’t use guns, We won’t use bombs, We’ll use the one thing we’ve got more of That’s our minds.
Brothers, sisters, can’t you see? The future’s owned by you and me. There won’t be fighting in the street. They think they’ve got us beat But revenge is going to be so sweet.
We’re making a move. We’re making it now. We’re coming out of the side-lines. Just put your hands up – it’s a raid.
We want your homes, We want your lives, We want the things you won’t allow us. We won’t use guns, We won’t use bombs, We’ll use the one thing we’ve got more of That’s our minds. Yeah. And that’s our minds. Yeah.
My dad is visiting for a little while, forming a childcare bubble with me while the kids are on school holidays. It is blatantly clear to me that he has ADHD and that this is where I get it from. I think he has come around to this theory too. A post about this to follow at some point. But in the meantime here is a Weekly Music entry in honour of his visit. Our musical tastes are not particularly aligned (except for a mutual like of Elgar and Vaughan Williams) but we both love Ella Fitzgerald and her wonderful voice is the usual backdrop to our drinking and conversation. So, here is a lovely sample of Ella Fitzgerald lushness, Between the Devil & the Deep Blue Sea.
UMG (on behalf of Verve); LatinAutor – Warner Chappell, BMG Rights Management (US), LLC, CMRRA, LatinAutor – SonyATV, Sony ATV Publishing, ASCAP, LatinAutorPerf, UNIAO BRASILEIRA DE EDITORAS DE MUSICA – UBEM, and 6 Music Rights Societies
I am frankly disappointed in myself that I have got this far into posting songs and haven’t put any Tori Amos. She is probably my favourite solo artist and her albums Little Earthquakes and Under the Pink can be added in to that special category of ‘music that saved my life’ (and yes, the majority of the things in that category are from the mid 90s -because those were my teenage years).
Tori is magnificent and important to me. I can’t really put it better than that. Her music is on every device I own and I have CDs of those two albums in my car (yes, it’s a very old car, circa 2002) because I need to know they are not far off should I ever have the need. It’s hard to pick a favourite but I am going to nominate Precious Things. The anger, the beauty, the rawness …it has a cleansing effect on me every time. Cathartic.
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WMG; LatinAutorPerf, UMPI, União Brasileira de Compositores, UNIAO BRASILEIRA DE EDITORAS DE MUSICA – UBEM, LatinAutor, Downtown Music Publishing, ASCAP, and 10 Music Rights Societies
So I ran faster But it caught me here Yes, my loyalties turned Like my ankle In the seventh grade Running after Billy Running after the rain
These precious things Let them bleed, let them wash away These, I said precious things Let them break their hold over me
I, I, I, I said I go He said, he You go and I said, I said, I said I go with you
He said, you’re really an ugly girl But I like the way you play And I died But I thanked him Can you believe that? Sick, sick Holding on to his picture Dressing up every day I want to smash the faces Of those beautiful boys Those Christian boys
Beautiful boys I said, Christian boys Beautiful boys So you can make me come That doesn’t make you Jesus
These precious things Let them bleed now, wash away These I said precious things Let them break their hold over me
I, I, I said In and I said, you go and I, you
I remember, yes In my peach party dress No one dared No one cared to tell me Where the pretty girls are Those demigods With their nine inch nails And little fascist panties Tucked inside the heart of every nice girl
These are my, are in my life, I said Bleed now, bleed now These in my heart and You in my head and Bleed now, just bleed now You in my heart and these in my head And bleed now, bleed
I said these, oh precious things Let them bleed, yes Wash these things, daddy Wash away these things These are my precious things Let them bleed, yes Wash these things, daddy Wash away these things
These are my precious things Let them bleed now, girls just bleed These are my precious things Let them break, break their hold over me I, I, I, I said, I said, I said I can’t let you, let you go, yes Precious Precious
That Music Mondays thing just isn’t working out for me, for fairly obvious ADHD related reasons. So, I have started my own thing where basically I try to post a song each week on whichever day I get round to it.
Browsing social media one night when I should have been asleep I saw a reference to a band called X-Ray Spex. I had vaguely heard of them but had no idea about their music. A quick bit of Googling and…. wow. Mind blown. X-Ray Spex and their wonderful lead singer Poly Styrene have been a mainstay of my playlist ever since. Even my kids like them. I honestly don’t think any music collection is complete without them.
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