Posted by: SM | December 15, 2007

All He Did Was Give Me A Few Songs

24th September 2006 

Good morning friends (and colleagues) and thanks for logging on. I’ve had my wrist slapped for not updating this often enough but from experience blogs can be used against you in a place of work. AND anyway it should be noted that this person supports Bolton Wanderers so she has enough problems to deal with.

The next few months will be interesting musically, there is a challenge that awaits many bands. Arctic Monkeys will return to follow up their debut (not counting the EP they released), it will be interesting to see if they stick or twist. How do they build on a succesful and so fresh sounding first effort and if they don’t, will the same sounds be as appreciated again?

After Preston’s band The Ordinary Boys got the self-confessed leg up from Big Brother that he was hoping for – they also return to follow up ‘Brassbound’, the same questions apply although I hope that 9-to-5 single is not the watermark for the album. I’m off to see them live soon, I don’t want to have to glaze over after a few debut album tracks and Boys Will Be Boys.

The third of the trio I shall be watching with interest is The Killers. That album was American’s inspired by Oasis apparently, electro, rock whatever and it was a very very good album. How they return soon with their follow up is going to either be ‘must buy’ or ‘Remember that band, they did one good album and then what?’ They seem to have adopted a kind of Brokeback Mountain look in their latest video…yes well…

One such band I should have gotten into earlier is Pearl Jam. They are not new, have long since had the debut follow up and make some albums that divide opinion but my journey with them is only just starting.

Starting a new job is a long and boring story that I will not share with you here but it is important because one day I was sat there at my desk with my music on and the guy next to me, whom I had gotten to know pretty well in the couple of weeks since we had started the job, hands me his PSP and says “Here, listen to this, you might like it.” In my head I’m thinking “Okay, I doubt it, but okay.” I’m so bad to cater for my parents and none of the people important to me ever really buy me music and anyway, this guy supports Everton Football Club so I’m hardly likely to think that he is of sound mind and good judgement. The song starts, it’s pretty low and some guy is reeling of a sort of poet’s Christmas list – I wish I was this, I wish I was that. I’m thinking it’s okay but nothing more. Then he shuts up and the guitar comes in and bloody hell I’m hooked, the song just took off from there and after the guitar section flew into my head I listen to the words and it all makes sense. I don’t know what makes sense but IT definitely does. “I wish I was the verb to trust and never let you down.” By this point I’m trying not to get too carried away in front of him and therefore prove he was right to pass it to me. He changes the track to something that was and still is my favourite from this band.

I like the way I don’t know anything about this band, apart from the fact that the lead singer seems to talk politics about as much as Mr Springsteen, and the two united on the Vote For Change. I also knew that the guy twiddling the knobs was the guy that re-invigorated that same Brooce for ‘The Rising’, a certain Brendan O’Brien. Upon very first listen to any number of this band’s songs I thought to myself “Jesus, this many car songs, its no wonder he and Bruce get on!” – then a few weeks later VH1 Storytellers is shown and the lead singer makes reference to that very fact. I’ll not have a go for stealing my idea…the patterns are in there if you stare at the painting long enough. Nobody ever sees the same pictures, not entirely anyway. They each may agree on certain aspects but my interpretation varies from the guy down the street, or the guy that now sits across the room from me.

I like that I haven’t got it figured out yet, I’m looking forward to the journey. My friend already has his view of the art that he listens to and for whatever reason, mainly just to shut me up probably, he passed it on to me, and even though in the most important aspect of life – Football – his choices are somewhat flawed. He at least can be proud of the one particular moment of perfect judgement in introducing me to this band. When he reads this he’ll probably think, “All I did was give him a few songs”, nothing to write home about probably. For months I have been bugging him, “why is this song this?” “What do you think happens in Jeremy?” “Why in the name of Jesus and the Seven Dwarfs do they end concerts with Yellow Ledbetter?”. I’m like a kid at Christmas and it’s all there to figure out, or maybe not but I’ll give it a go.

And all he did was give me a few songs.
Peace, love and Pearl Jam


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