Sunday, March 17, 2013
Monday, January 7, 2013
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
A few weeks ago I finally submitted my tops 5 albums of all time to make up part of the Phantom 500. Here they are, along with why I chose them.
#5 The Cure Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me
I discovered The Cure back when I was 15 years old through watching a recording of their MTV: Unplugged gig. I was so in awe of the musical loveliness of Robert Smith and co. that I immediately rifled through my sisters' old record collection to find copies of Standing On A Beach: The Singles and Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me. This album showcases very different sides to The Cure. Tracks such as 'If Only Tonight We Could Sleep' and 'Like Cockatoos' portray the melancholy often associated with this particular band. Then you have edgier tracks such as 'The Kiss', 'Torture' and 'Fight' are filled with passion and longing, but with a bite. Songs such as 'Just Like Heaven' and 'The Perfect Girl' are sugar-coated and, well, a little bit magical. After this initial discovery I went on to find more Cure albums to love, but this one has always had a special place in my heart.
#4 M83 Hurry Up, We're Dreaming
Roll your eyes if you must, but this has definitely become one of my favourite albums. As I mentioned in a previous post, there has not been a week since this album came out that I haven't listened to it. I bought it myself on CD and received it on vinyl as an anniversary gift from a certain tall person. Incidentally, it's also the first album I ever owned on vinyl that I hadn't borrowed, let's say, from a sibling. An interesting thing that I learned about this album is that apparently Anthony Gonzales took the inspiration for the double album from Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by The Smashing Pumpkins. But more on that later. Hurry Up, We're Dreaming has been with me through good days and bad days, and will continue to bring to mind happy memories for some time to come.
#3 The Smashing Pumpkins Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
Third spot was a toss-up between this and Nirvana's In Utero. As you can see, Mellon Collie... won out. At the tender age of 14 this was probably my favorite album of all time. I listened to it obsessively, knew every single word, scrawled the lyrics across school books, folders etc. You know, the usual teenage thing. Tracks such as 'Zero', 'Bullet WIth Butterfly Wings', 'Where Boys Fear To Tread' and 'Bodies' were perfect for angsty bed-jumping, air guitar-playing purposes, while 'Cupid de Locke', 'Lily (My One And Only)' and 'We Only Come Out At Night' were favourite silly sing-along songs of mine. As for songs that are simply brilliant, you can't ignore 'Tonight, Tonight' and '1979' - and don't get me started on songs that I love just because they're pretty ('Porcelina of the Vast Oceans', Stumbeleine' and 'Farewell and Goodnight' to name but a few). The re-issue of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness is definitely next on my vinyl wish list.
#2 Nine Inch Nails The Downward Spiral
Again, my choice for second place was between this and The Fragile. I decided on The Downward Spiral as it was the album that introduced me to Nine Inch Nails at 16 years of age. People are often surprised to hear that I like Nine Inch Nails as the music Trent Reznor writes is so heavy and, let's face it, quite dark. I don't like Nine Inch Nails. I love them. It's a struggle to think of a song that I don't like on this album, although there are some songs I love more than others. Some of my favorites include 'Mr. Self-Destruct', 'Closer', 'The Becoming' and 'Hurt'. I love Nine Inch Nails' more recent releases almost as much as those I grew up with - not to mention Trent Reznor's recent soundtrack work and his side project How To Destroy Angels - but The Downward Spiral is one album that I always come back to.
#1 Arcade Fire Funeral
Arcade Fire's 2004 release Funeral is quite simply beautiful. I heard this album for the first time in the summer between finishing secondary school and starting college, after seeing the video for 'Rebellion (Lies)'. Funeral earned Arcade Fire a place in my heart as one of my favourite bands and is an album I come back to again and again. From the magical opening track 'Neighbourhood #1 (Tunnels)' which reminds me of clear, bright mornings, through to 'Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out)' and on to 'Haiti' and 'In The Backseat' which showcase Régine Chassagne's gorgeous vocals - there is not a single song I would skip on this album. For this reason I have chosen it as my favourite album of all time.
The Phantom 500 has sparked many discussions and debates over the past week and has reminded me of some of the albums that didn't quite make it into my top 5.
I would like to give an honourable mention to the following albums:
Bjork Post / Jeff Buckley Grace / Eels Souljacker / Pixies Doolittle / Radiohead OK Computer / The Smiths The Queen Is Dead / Yeah Yeah Yeahs Fever To Tell
There you have it - a selection of some of my favourite albums of all time. Compiling this list has brought back memories of many weird and wonderful parts of my formative years, and has given me the chance to listen to some amazing music that I hadn't listened to in a while. Hopefully the Phantom 500 (or this blog post) has inspired you to do them same.
images via wikipedia.org
Monday, December 31, 2012
Here we are again, the end of another year. This can only mean one thing - it's time for me to share my favorite songs, albums, bands, gigs and movies from the past twelve months. You may notice that some of my choices in certain categories are somewhat biased in favour of a certain French electronic/shoegaze band.
I still stand by these choices.
M83 Steve McQueen / Sleigh Bells Comeback Kid / Bloc Party Kettling / Santigold Disparate Youth / MIA Bad Girls / Silversun Pickups Bloody Mary / M83 OK Pal / Django Django Default / Tame Impala Elephant / Jack White Sixteen Salteens / Bat For Lashes All Your Gold / Cat Power Ruin / alt-J Something Good / David Byrne & St. Vincent Who / M83 Reunion / Purity Ring Lofticries / Chromatics Kill For Love / Beach House Wild / Placebo B3 / Everything Everything Kemosabe / The Maccabees Pelican / Of Monsters and Men Mountain Sound / Bjork Mutual Core / Grimes Oblivion / Crystal Castles Suffocation / YACHT Summer Song / Azaelia Banks 212 / The xx Chained / Blur Under The Westway / M83 Wait
Have a listen to the playlist in full over on my Grooveshark page.
Have a listen to the playlist in full over on my Grooveshark page.
alt-J An Awesome Wave / Bat For Lashes The Haunted Man / Beach House Bloom / Bloc Party Four / Chromatics Kill For Love / Crystal Castles III / Grimes Visions / Purity Ring Shrines / Santigold Master Of My Make-Believe / The xx Coexist
Songs by Irish Bands
Le Galaxie The Nightcaller
Cast of Cheers Trucks At Night
Little Green Cars The John Wayne
M83 / Purity Ring / Grimes / alt -J / Chromatics
M83 @ Mandela Hall / The Cure @ Primavera / Justice @ Primavera / Le Galaxie @ Academy 2 / St. Vincent @ Body & Soul / CODES @ The Workman's Club / Sebastien Tellier @ Pitchfork Paris / Beach House @ Vicar Street / Sleigh Bells @ The Academy / Bon Iver @ The O2
Pitchfork Paris / Primavera / Body & Soul
Movie of the Year
The Perks of Being A Wallflower
So there we have it - my year in lists. Now all that's left to do, as ever, is thank all the folks who helped fill 2012 with much-needed fun.
Thank you to all my partners in crime who accompanied me on various musical pilgrimages, little old lady holidays and dance-tastic nights out.
Thanks to the boys from CODES for putting me up during my many London trips and enduring my fondness for cupcakes and Game of Thrones.
Thanks also to Anthony Gonzales, for being so lovely during those brief encounters where I waved like a lunatic at him and he smiled and waved back. I should also probably thank him for not filing a restraining order against me.
And to the person who endured all of my dorkiness over the past year with a roll of the eyes, a shake of the head and a loving smile - thank you from the bottom of my heart. x