whiskeytown – avenues (1997)
well, goddamn!!…the entirety of ‘strangers alamanac’by whiskeytown, a stone cold alt country rock classic in my humble opinion functions as an alternative valentines day album, over flowing with beautifully rendered tender,raucous lamentations. but this little twilight hour heartbreaker hits you right in the gut; acoustic guitar, organ and a youthful ryan adams vocalizing with the battered whiskey soaked wisdom of a much older man. I first clapped my giant ears on this record back in late 1999 maybe, working in a Dublin record store, got me through a rough period at that time and well, now with hindsight and all, now it sounds quite timeless.
Schoolly D – PSK – What Does It Mean? (1985)
yeah, the flow and all that. I do not claim to be any kind of expert on hip hop history after watching a few documentaries but I know what I like when I hear it; here, it’s the attack,the delivery, the sparseness, brutality, harshness of the beat, drum machine pulverising like gunfire, grabbing the ears, commanding your attention. Philadelphia son Schooly D’s on the ground account of thug street life is seen as the prototype for the ‘gangsta’ rap phenomenon of the late 80’s to mid 90’s for better or worse.
charles was an unmarried satyr
here there everywhere he did roam
no satisfaction could he find
til one day like magick a figure
neither man woman nor animal
did appear, it did said to him
‘ dear sir…what do you want? what do you need?’
to which charles confused did reply
‘fucked if i know! both, please!’
nine inch nails – the art of self destruction part one (1995)
oh well. no going back now. release the hounds. i fucked up. i fucked up good. (canned laughter then several gunshots)
ministry – jesus built my hotrod (1991)
jesus was a hero to most but he never meant shit to me….except that one time he starred in his own tv miniseries back in ’77 y’all. that was some all-star lew grade level shit right there….
phil lynott – old town (1982)
i can feel myself shrinking, getting smaller, beset on all sides. when this happens, i freeze. an animal on the run. chased, judged, hated. my response? shut down. stay away. hide in the shadows, sneak around the edges of existence. never fully alive. disengaged. one foot out the door. afraid of being caught, trapped or blamed for things I did not do. sometimes i allow myself to be freed, led to a promised land. the sadness and the fear fading into the background. then, i am the closest to a best, true version of myself. it doesnt seem to last and the floor falls from under my feet. i try to cling on. i do. i swear. but it’s not quite enough for them. the deciders of fates. nor is it enough for me. we do our best in the moment. in the day. in our lives. when is it enough? how do we know?
nothing more. nothing less. my recordings. indulge me.
Run Dmc – Christmas in hollis (1987)
The Kinks – Father Christmas (1977)
jeff buckley – corpus christi carol (1994)
kate bush- snowflake (2011)
and so it is….merry christmas! take care of each other out there in the big bad world!
MEW- she came home for christmas (2002)
danish progrockpopcombo with a typically dark, sad and lovely scando tale detailing some past traumatic experience we dare only to speak of in balladsongform. when the singers voice soars to heavenly heights just before the climactic chorus, the winterfrost in your souls and perhaps on your homesteads will melt into christmas tears.
7.The Ramones – Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to fight tonight) (1989)
speeding in like greasy lightning at number 7 legendary NYC punk rockers extoll peace love misunderstandings and the virtues yuletides in honour of lordchristchild.
Big Star – Jesus Christ (1974?)
Like much of Big Star’s Third/Sisterlovers ‘final’ album, the track begins off kilter then gains a steady foothold but remains curiously forlorn, empty and bedraggled like springsteen and the eband on prozac. what should be a spiritual celebration sounds more like a surrender, a defeat at the crossroads of ambitious will, talent and apathy that is both beautiful and sad. jesus gets a lookin with a semi-rousing chorus but God has left the building. Merry f***in Christmas music lovers! Now go read your Beano annual! (chortle)
8.Tom Waits – Silent Night (1989)
well, if you want to scare the kids at chrimbo, forget yer arsenic laced puds or gremlins and bad santa dvd combo pack and press their ears up against the possessed hobo yuletidings of the bard of the bar-room, patron of lost angels and weird eggs, mr waits. so scary and yet so tender and bright…this is his first ever top 10 hit (Rod the Sod’s 1990 fairlight keyboardin ‘downtown train’ cover notwithstandin)
The Verve – Never Wanna See You Cry
Oasis – Don’t Go Away
Bjork – All is Full of Love
don’t look back. dangerous to lose oneself in the past, especially your own. but you still have my copy of JG Ballard’s Crash somewhere. God, i was and perhaps still a pretentious fuckface. But you understood I think. any road buddy – i never liked that word in a dublin context – a brief tribute. i had almost forgotten but music prevents that from ever becoming a 100% reality. and old age will probably seal the deal but I hope not.
megafaun – hope you know (2011)
let me ask you somethin….If you knew what you know now 5, 10, 15 years…hell…fuck it! 5, 10, 15 minutes ago would you act the same way, make the same decisions, spend your time in the same manner? the answer is….who the fuck knows? it depends right? cop out answer bro. but if we get a chance to do things again in a different way, maybe we fuck that up too. human nature. we can’t help ourselves. maybe it’s better to live in the moment. are we living otherwise? tell me! what would you do? friend, if i gave you the chance to tell him or her or it how you feel about them because you didn’t when you had the chance or many many fuckin chances perhaps, would you have the nerve to take the path less travelled? or maybe you are an existential type sons o’ a bitch and you choose to take life as it comes and whatever will be will be and whatever is meant to be is meant to be or not or some such bullshit. you have no control over your fate and affairs of the heart you keep saying to yourself…to make one feel better about our bad decisions and indecisions, our goddamned regrets.
you know what i regret? i know you don’t wanna hear it but i’m gonna tell you , i’m on a roll here. i regret never having a dog..or a pet, not even a fucking goldfish. my folks they hated animals, nature, completely irrational and well, I never got around to it. maybe if i had some dumb animal to take care of, clean up their shit and piss, attend to their basic needs i could have turned out a better man. what do you think? ok, ok, i can see you are gettin tired. let me get on with it. so if you had the second chance to tell that someone how you felt, truly even if you knew the outcome would be rejection or worse indifference, would you pull the trigger, risk your weak, pathetic heart being broken one more time…would you compadre?
depeche mode – enjoy the silence (1990)
the knife – silent shout (2006)
the dickies – sounds of silence (1978)
Low – when i go deaf (2005)
new order -your silent face (1983)
John Cage – 4’33’
Sometimes, words are indeed most unnecessary. Such is the case here. Although I have written a few words now, probably unnecessary so…. why don’t I piss off?
nick cave – sad waters
scott walker – rosary
q lazarus – goodbye horses
character is not a given genetically speaking – bob carolgees on tiswas 1982
frank sidebottom feat. little frank – electricity (1988)
hilarious, sublime and quite unexpectedly beautiful. just flamin electric is this….fantastic stuff!
remember to pay your leccy bill folks!
…you know it is… it really is!
the fall -hark the herald angels sing
its those feckin carol singers again maggie…will i answer the door or just ignore the feckers?
just ignore them sean….they’ll only want money…probably spendin on drink or drugs the thievin bastards…charity me hole…
yeah, they do that every year dont they? never learn…bit wait, hang on a minute maggie…i think i see…no, it can’t be! mancunian alternative rock icon Mark E Smith singing Hark the Herald Angels Sing!!!
‘get out the fuck sean…can’t be…let me see…jesus christ on a stick…you’re right? that’s him! what’s he doing singing carols with a bunch of bumfluff pudge merchants?’
‘its a mystery to me mags…shouldn’t he be putting the finishing touches to his 547th The Fall album, firing incompetent band members or giving drunken dyspeptic interviews with a naive music journo at the local boozer?’
‘fuck! tis a christmas miracle sean….get me purse…maybe we can get him to sing the title track of the falls 1991 album Shift Work?’
‘good thinkin maggie…how much do you think we should give him?’
‘ah, a fiver should do it…if he asks for more than that, he can ponce off to his indie rock pals…