Thursday, July 30, 2009

woe is me

I don't know about you, but when I'm sick, really sick, IV drip type sick, I consider myself fine. Don't know what the fuss is. Of course I'm fine to go to work.

But my tonsils are another matter. When I was younger, in my 20s, I got tonsillitis regularly. Three or four times a year up they would come. I would know it was coming because I'd get a certain taste in my mouth. The taste of infinite death and suffering.

This time it's snuck up on me. Bigger than they've ever been before, touch me under the jaw line and scream in agony. My ears are blocked and aching. I'm miserable god damn it.

I spent some time trying to take a picture, so you could see how big and pussy my tonsils are, but lucky for you it didn't work. So here's a picture of Thurston The Wonder Cat instead.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

brain...... oozing... out... ears

Have just spent all evening reading applications for a junior administrative position in our School.

Word of advice: if you are thinking of applying for such a position - smiley faces are not dot points.

..... really.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

a kitchen disaster post

Since I started my current job late last year I've managed to wow the crowds with my culinary outings, from my famous Italian style pate, to a lovely chestnut tart, a rhubarb and raspberry crumble cake and a gigantic slab of baklava.

Tomorrow we're having lunch to say farewell to a departing fellow servant of the state.

In my head I had fantastic pastry. Mini shepherds pies and gorgeous lentil pasties. So I came briskly home from work to set upon the pastry. First thing to do was get that brand new packet of plain flour out of the pantry.

Hang on. How long have they been printing 'self raising' on plain flour?


Ok, ok, don't panic. There's a bit in the plain flour container, and you have some pizza flour and some of the really cheap stuff that you use for dusting. OK, 5gm short. Hurrah.

mmmmm.... not so hurrah. After it's rested, it's dry and crumbly and I have awful trouble rolling it out. I make a couple of the pies, and decide to leave that, it's just too hard to get the dough into the mini muffin tins. Stick with the pasties.

I had made the most wonderful lentil curry on the weekend, so I set about cutting out circles of the less than perfect pastry. I should have stuck with the pies. Ever time I went to crimp the pasties, the dough broke and the curry leaked out, if I managed to get a circle of dough that was thin enough in the first place.

These are some of the better specimens

However, this is what most of them looked like.

I could have dealt with it if they tasted good, but the lentils had dried out and the pastry was way to short. It was like a mouthful of chalk.

Panic! Out come all my standard books, something with self raising flour,and not too much butter, as I'm running low on that too. Why can't I find anything with self raising flour!!!!!

Then I realise I have what I need for banana cake. Hardly revolutionary, but at least I won't go empty handed.

OK, flour, sugar, eggs, butter, bananas, milk. All set. Cream the butter and sugar. Hey this doesn't look right.

Of course it doesn't you dim-wit, because you've put in the flour, not the sugar.

Having used the last of the butter I have no choice other than to press on and mix it to within an inch of it's life. When I put it in the pan it had big chunks of butter still sitting in it. It's out now,and looks OK, but I think I'll cut it and try it before I leave tomorrow, just in case I have to face the ignominy of stopping at the shops on the way.

So, what started out as a sparkling clean kitchen and dreams of glory, ended with not one, but potentially three failed dishes and a kitchen that looks like this.

Worst thing is, as I was cleaning up I found another packet of butter in the fridge.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


OK, the top 20 are now on the radio, and I'm on the final stretch. Hope I have the energy to make it to the end

101 There She Goes - The Las
At one time widely considered by music journalists to be the best song ever written. Don't know if that was actually the case then or now, but it's a jolly fine tune.

102 Throw Your Arms Around Me - Hunters and Collectors
Going to show that Australian Pub Rock and have a soft side. Mark Seymour was just on the radio talking about this being a song about love. We all know it's a song about getting your leg over.

103 Tijuana Lady - Gomez
It took me a long time to come around to Gomez. This comes from the Bring it On album, which I've just found out is only 10 years old. Seems like they've been around longer than that. Great album, but I must admit to never having listened to anything else they've written.

104 Tomorrow Will Do - Hilltop Hoods
Adelaide's favourite sons. The Calling is a ripper little album, and this is my favourite song on it. Good phrasing. Nosebleed Section, from the same album, has just appeared on the radio at number 13.

105 Tower of Song - Leonard Cohen
Leonard played this when I saw him earlier in the year and the earth moved.

106 Town Called Malice - The Jam
Paul Weller grew up in Woking, which is enough to drive anyone to Punk I should imagine. Bands like the Jam, or the Saints or the Talking Heads, show that punk's not all about safety pins and spitting. Town Called Malice's about boredom and disillusion and knowing that there has to be something better, something more meaningful out that. I think we all think that. I wonder how many of us actually do something about it.

107 Transmission - Joy Division
Oh. My. Fucking. God. What a great song. I think my generation have been scarred by being taught to dance by Ian Curtis, Bez and Peter Garret. No wonder we all look like we're having fits. Ooops, Ian Curtis had epilepsy, didn't he? Errrr... sorry about that.

108 Try a Little Tenderness
Ducky Dale introduced me to this song. It builds, and troughs, and builds again, and then peaks incredibly!

109 Unbelievable - EMF
Not the greatest song ever, so people may be wondering it's doing in this list. If you have to ask, you weren't there.

110 Unfinished Sympathy - Massive Attack
The video for this, which was one continuous shot, was a ground breaker. I love the tempo and the phrasing of this track.

111 Vapour Trail - Ride
The Oxford group to challenge Manchester. Two fantastic albums and a really difficult, quite awful third one. Their guitarist Andy Bell now plays with Oasis, which shows how the mighty can fall.

112 Waterloo Sunset - The Kinks
The ultimate London band doing the ultimate song about London. If you've ever been near Waterloo Bridge on the way home from work on Friday, with the City starting to go to sleep, but Soho and South Bank starting to wake up, this song is like poetry.

113 Weirdo - The Charlatans
I've always had a soft spot for The Charlatans. They've always had an edge amongst a lot of soft brit pop. This song really is weird.

114 What Difference Does it Make - The Smiths
My official vote was for How Soon is Now, which did rate in the final count, but I only voted for that because I knew it had a chance. But really this is my favourite Smiths song. I love Morrisey's rhythm, and this song is a great example. Johnny Marr shows why he was the musical genius in the band.

115 White Riot - The Clash
Another quintessential London band, they grew up to the immediate north of where I worked, under the shadow of the West Way. Having experience the Notting Hill race riots, this is a song of solidarity and class politics. But having seen black Londoners risk life and limb to stand up against the establishment, it's also urging working class white English kids to work out what they believe in and take it to the streets.

116 Wrote for Luck - The Happy Mondays
I fell instantly in love with this song, and have multiple 12 inch remixes of it. The heady heyday of the Hacienda on vinyl.

117 Young Folks - Peter Bjorn and John
A very young contender in a list of old standards.

118 You Do Something to Me - Sinead O'Connor
Sinead O'Connor is obviously barking. But this is a beautiful version of this song.

119 You Made Me Realise - My Bloody Valentine
A friend of mine once served Kevin Sheilds a pint in a bar near Kings Cross. Back in Australia at this stage, I got an hysterical call from him around closing time in London. I had to go around and tell everyone that my friend McBeath had meet Kevin Sheilds. No one got it.

120 - Young Man, Old Man - The Dissociatives
Finally at number 120. I have a secret crush on Daniel Johns. I think we all do.


Getting closer now.

76 Loretta's Scars - Pavement
See Number number 94

77 Love Comes Quickly- The Pet Shop Boys
The Pet Shop Boys get overlooked by those creating 'great' lists. The Pet Shop Boys were endearing. They were around forever, from the mid-80s until recently. Hell, for all I know they're still together. They made the wonderful disco tunes, with thought provoking lyrics and were really Out before it became common practice. Which is shameful really.

78 Lust for Life - Iggy Pop
This is best listened to on a car radio. Now famous for its role in the Trainspotting movie, it completely effectively conveys the title. This is a song that makes you enthusiastic about getting out and living. And form Iggy Pop. Who would have thunk it? It is noted that Iggy Pop also appears on the long list of people I regret not seeing at a Big Day Out.

79 Neighbourhood #1 - Arcade Fire
Quite possibly the best song every written in the history of time. The high-hat that comes in at the beginning makes all the badness in the world disappear.

80 One Step Beyond - Madness
Madness are interesting. Everyone loves them from Rude Boys to Grandmas. If you've ever been to the Camden Lock Markets you'll understand how much sense they make there.

81 Pablo Picasso - Modern Lovers
I once saw Jonathan Richmond interviewed and it may have been the funniest thing I've ever seen. I discovered this song when it was covered by a local act I used to see a lot when I was a first year. Their version was fantastic, but the original is always the best. John Cale produced this, which you can really hear.

82 Personal Jesus - Depeche Mode
This has added appeal to me, as a collector of religious stuff as I do have several personal Jesuses. This is seriously danceable, and is extra good for Goths who can swing around on the dance floor with their deathy robes flowing out behind them. I'm not sure if Depeche Mode wanted to be Goth icons, starting as New Wave I think they'd prefer to be Gay Icons. But Dave Gahn is quite obviously barking mad - heroin addictions, obsessive tattooing etc.

83 Psycho Killer - Talking Heads
The punk band you're having when you're not having a punk band. This had a great clip too, although apparently one of the few I'm not adding here. They always seemed to be out of place in their genre, even before David Byrne donned the over sized suit, really I think they were more a movement of their own.

84 Punk Rock Girl - The Dead Milkmen
I'm not sure if I'm the only person on earth who would have this in their list. Possibly. But on the radio they're playing Guns'n'Roses at the moment, so I ask you - who's crazy now?

85 Rise - Public Image Limited
Johnny Rotten headed the Sex Pistols. We all though he was a genius. Then we discovered the Malcolm McLaren was the genius. We all thought Johnny Rotten was a tool. Then we realised that Malcolm McLaren was a very annoying, pretentious idiot. Then John Lydon came along with PIL. We thought, actually maybe this guy has something to say. And the song's are good too. Then the Sex Pistols reformed to cash in on the punk-revival and we weren't sure what to think anymore. Apparently he's now doing adds for margarine on UK telly.

86 Rock and Roll All Night - Kiss
Most of us have been to a wedding, or some dodgy party where this has played when we've had enough champagne cocktails that we've got onto the dancefloor.

87 Running Up That Hill - Kate Bush
When I was younger I couldn't stand Kate Bush. Really, really disliked her. Really. Then one day, not that long ago, I heard this song somewhere and suddenly, in my adult world, the lyric made sense and the music just jumped inside me and went for a bit of a run around. Kind of like Kate and the hill, I guess.

88 Shake Your Rump - Beastie Boys
Whoop Whoop, it's the Disco Call

89 She Sells Sanctuary - The Cult
The Cult haven't aged as well as you might have thought they would, although they did have a comeback single recently, or Ian Astbury did.

90 Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
I suspect that this may take up the number 1 spot in the official countdown. I don't think it's necessarily a fantastic song, I don't even think it's Nirvana's best song, and I'm not even a great Nirvana fan. But when this song came out, everything seemed to change, and I think that earns it a spot in this list.

91 Son of a Preacher Man - Dusty Springfield
Poor Dusty didn't have the easiest of lives. But her songs are timeless.

92 Song 2 - Blur
Blur started as a pretty boy Brit Pop band, coming off they back of Madchester with a great single 'she's so high', which had a picture of a hippopotamus on the cover of the 7-inch. I still remember the first time I heard it. Their first couple of albums were good, but very scenish, which I think destracts people from just how good song writers they are, and how solid their later albums are. I think this is one of the shortest songs ever written, and always reminds me of low flying planes, not sure why. Maybe because they're made of heavy metal. God, I'm cracking myself up today... .... ...

93 Streets of Your Town - The Go-Betweens
Another summer song, which is not surprising for a Queensland band. This song broke the Go-Betweens into mainstream, just as their careers were coming to an end. Reminds me that Anything I Could Do should have been in this list as well.

94 Summer Babe - Pavement
Speaking of songs that should be in this list, this is the second Pavement song in this post. And all it does is to remind me of the songs that should have been in the list that aren't: Gold Soundz, Cut Your Hair, Range Life, Summer Babe, Two States. Best band ever? Gotta be in the top 5 (no, I'm not making any more lists)

95 Sure Shot - The Beastie Boys
Ha! The beasties are on the radio now. But for Sabotage, which is another fantastic song, and could happily have appeared as my third Beastie Boys song in the 's' category. Both Sabotage and Sure Shot were on their Ill Communication album, which I have had stolen no less than twice. Maybe three times, I'm starting to loose track. Sure Shot opens up the record, which is a classic in itself. The Beasties are one of those acts that sort of fly under the radar, despite having released decades worth of solid music. I did actually manage to see them one year at the infamous Big Day Out and the bogan Australian crowd were dreadful to them. Will be amazed if they ever come back.

96 TeenAge Riot - Sonic Youth
A bunch of old(er) folk writing about teenagedom. Successfully. Everyone thinks my cat Thurston is names after Thurston Moore. He's not, that's another story. But I do have a friend whose son is named Thurston after Thurston Moore. Apparently their new album rocks. Stayers when so many of their peers have faded away (Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr etc). Lee Ranaldo has also produced some of the best records over two centuries.

97 That's Entertainment - The Jam
This paints such a picture. The Wonder Stuff did a not nearly as good a version too.

98 The Killing Moon - Echo and the Bunnymen
Despite the intrinsic value of this song it always reminds me of the Young Ones, the scene when Vyvyan steals Ric's "girly purse" and he threatens to write to his MP. But you don't have an MP Ric, you're and Anarchist. OK then, I'll write to the lead singer of Echo and the Bunnymen - Dear Mr Echo...... Oh tee hee, sorry lost myself there a moment.

99 The King is Dead - The Herd
Talk about a moment in time. This was the Howard defeat in the election of 2007. One of the best moments of my life.

100 The Partisan - Leonard Cohen
There are many reasons to love this song. It's Leonard Cohen. A part of it's in French. It's about WWII.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


The real Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time starts in about an hour, so I'm going to try to get all of mine posted, before I find out what the nation's number one is sometime Sunday afternoon.

61. Hey Boy, Hey Girl - The Chemical Brothers
This entry also involves the by now infamous XTC fan who has featured widely in this little adventure. When I was a student I was certainly part of the 'music scene'. Adelaide has a pretty lively and healthy music scene for a town of its size, maybe because for young people there's precious little to do other than drink large quantities of beer and go out to gigs. So when I was younger it seemed like everyone I knew was involved in the music industry. I shared a house for a few years with a guitarists/music retailer/label owner/band manager/music whore. Often when one of his bands was supporting a touring Australian band I'd wake up to find the hall full of amps and the lounge room full of rhythm section members smelling of cheap spirits.

But this is getting away a bit from the Chemical Brothers. The XTC fan worked in a record shop with the the guitarist flatmate. I use to spend a stupid amount of money on records purely on the basis that the NME told me they were good. Often they were, often they weren't. But we were Indie Kids. Not Rude Boys. Not Punks. Not Goths and certainly not ravers. And we did not listen to dance music. Except me. I will dance to almost anything. And I was derided for it seriously. If I were still in touch with the XTC fan he would be mortified to see the Chemical Brothers in this list.

I once saw the Chemical Brothers play at the Brixton Academy. On a Tuesday and it was almost midnight when they came on. I was less than functional the next day. The next time I saw them was in the Boiler Room at the Big Day out and I had to queue for about a quarter of the set to get in!

62. I Melt With You - Modern English
You probably have to have watched John Hughes movies as a teenager to appreciate the musical value of this song, but the guitars have a particular quality that I think appeal to people my age.

63. I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor
What a great song! Fantastic lyrics of, well, survival. Not a song of a woman moping about pining for the bloke who left her, who by all accounts sounds like a bit of a boar. No, Gloria shoves two fingers proudly to the world and gets on with it.

64. I Won - The Sundays
I am now listening to the official countdown streaming through my computer and number 100 is Franz Ferdinand's Take Me Out. The Sundays piss all over Franz Ferdinand. I think they only released one album (maybe two) but all tracks are little corkers. Gloria Gaynor would be proud of Harriet Wheeler and this song. But please tell me, how come I can remember the name of the singer from a band from the 1980s but I can't remember the password for the HR account at work?

65. In A Big Country - Big Country
Guitar Bag Pipes. Need I say more?

66. Johnny Come Home - The Fine Young Cannibals
The Fine Young Cannibals may have the honour of being the most un-photogenic band in history, and maybe the for being the worst dancers.

67. Jump Around - The House of Pain
I don't think I should like this song. I think it's a bit violent and a little misogynistic. But it's soooo catchy.

68. Know Your Product - The Saints
This is one of my official top ten votes. The Saints were probably Australia's first punk band. The lads are from Brisbane, then a banana republic thanks to highly conservative, regressive, restrictive, corrupt, dictatorial politics led by then premier Joh Bjeelke-Petersen. Aka The Devil. Like most Brissy bands of the time I think that The Saints were forced to move camp to southern states/overseas to make sure that baton wielding police didn't shut their shows down.

I find that punk song can have this much brass in it rather refreshing.

69. La Vie En Rose - Edith Piaf
The only song I can confidently sing in French from beginning to end. Beautiful.

70. Last Goodbye - Jeff Buckley
Jeff made an appearance yesterday. The son of famous 1960-70s musician Tim Buckley, both met sad, early ends. Jeff famously calmly, consciously walked in the Mississippi River one night never to return. And so the Last Goodbye became even more poignant.

71. Lazarus - The Boo Radleys
I tried to find a clip for this song to upload, because I'm not really sure how to describe it. A swirling storm of trumpet and pedal and swimming shoe gazer vocals.

72. Lazy Eye - Silversun Pickups
Every summer there's a song. A song I can't get out of my head. A couple of years ago this was it. I haven't heard anything else by this mob that comes close, and frankly first time I heard it I though the singer was female. It has a stonkingly good guitar solo in the middle.

73. Levi Stubb's Tears - Billy Bragg
Midnight Oil are on the radio now. I don't know if I've forgiven Peter Garrett, or if he needs to be forgiven.

But this is Billy Bragg's second appearance in as many posts. Like David Gedge from the Wedding Present Billy manages to combine beautiful lyrics with an inability to sing. Would the songs mean as much if he could? Probably not. The narrative in this one makes you want to cry.

74. Like A Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan
Probably about 15 years ago there was a TV documentary series called Dancing in the Streets, which followed the development of Western popular music. I'd never really been that much of a Dylan fan, but this series had a whole episode of him.

Suddenly, I got it. And the gods swooned.

I've never really had such a light bulb moment. So this is what everyone's been talking about! And I was hooked. Seriously hooked. Whole back catalogue in one purchase hooked. I could see how he, and others but particularly him, stood out from the other bubblegum singers of the 1960s.

75. Lock It - Falling Joys
Another classic Australian song. Great guitars that envelope you like diving into the ocean on a hot day.

And as I sign off Stevie Wonder's playing. Solid.

Friday, July 10, 2009


In a rush, heading off to eat steaming hot plates of Indian food, so this will be brief.

51. Great Leap Forward - Billy Bragg
Billy Bragg really does write the best lyrics, and one of the best bits about this song is when you hear him play it live he changes the content to suit contemporary politics.

52. Groove Is In The Heart - Deelite
Believe it or not, this is considered by many to be my theme song.

53. Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley
I could have picked Leonard Cohen or KD Lang's version of this, but I have a soft spot for Jeff

54. Happy House - Siouxie and the Banshees
My Goth roots shining through

55. Happy When It Rains - Jesus and Mary Chain

56. Hazy Shade of Winter - Simon and Garfunkel
I like the line about the Salvation Army Band with the little trumpet. The Bangles did an all-things-considered not too bad cover of this that appear in the film Less Than Zero, based on the Bret Easton Ellis novel, a book and film that were icons for me and my teenage friends, and was included on an extended research piece I did for Year 12 English on contemporary American authors.

57. Heart's a Mess - Goyte
This is an odd choice for me, but there's something sad and dark about this that I like. Apparently he plays all his own instruments, if you know what I mean. His name's pronounce like Gautier, as in Jean Paul, but apparently it's Flemish for William or something.

58. Henry Lee - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Looooooovvvvvvvveeeee Nick Cave. This was a somewhat random pick. Most of Abattoir Blues or Henry's Dream could have made it.

59. Heroes - David Bowie
I love the chorus to this. Apparently it's the way vocal gates were set up on a series of mics in the studio that did it.

60. Hey - Pixies
Hey, been dying to meet you!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Unfortunately things have been busy recently and keeping me away from my list making. Even more unfortunate was the fact that one of those things is food poisoning. I like to think I have a fairly strong constitution, but there's apparently a limit to how long you can keep meat in the fridge. I have found that limit.

But on a happier note.

41. Ever Fallen In Love - the Buzzcocks
Lots of punk in this list. I'm obviously more punk rock that I thought. I've seen the Buzzcocks play more times than someone born in the 70s should. One year they played the Old Lion. A jaunty little local act, Cerveza y Putas, supported. I went to Uni with the CYP chaps. So I was at the British for a couple of drinks before (I went with the XTC fan from a previous post. Being an 'industry' kind of person he had is name on the door. I was his plus one. Had to say my name was Bruce or something like that). Anyhoo, a stand in was drumming for the cocks this particular tour. So, we said to the CYPC (cerveza y putas chaps) at the bar at the British - what's it like meeting the Buzzcocks. FUCK THE BUZZCOCKS they said WE MEET MIKE JOYCE. Who would have thought the drummer from a fey little group called The Smiths would end up with a band called The Buzzcocks. So I can say I once sat next to some guy at a bar who meet the drummer from The Smiths.

I may never wash again.

42. Every Me Every You - Placebo
If this song plays anywhere in my vicinity I will jump up, grab you by the arm and bouncing like a tigger drag you onto the dance floor.

Don't say you haven't been warned.

43. Everybody's Got Something to Hide - the Beatles
Ah The Beatles. Is there anything you can't do? Like may I grew up with The Beatles and have inherited my mother's numbered White Album vinyl. Ringo does his best work on this.

44. Express Yourself - NWA
One year the announcers at Triple J were told they had to play Kylie Minogue tracks. Back then The Js were much more hard core, so they all went on strike and played this track on continuous loop for days. It's got great beats, not to mention great lyrics... essspress yourself!

45. Eye Know - De La Soul
Back in the day, De La Soul were a little daisy chain in paddock of grunge.

46. Freak Scene - Dinosaur Jr
You cannot, I mean cannot, have a top 100 with out this song. Whether it should be there or not is immaterial. It's just the way it always has been.

47. Ghost Town - the Specials
Ska. What a strange, magical beast. Having shared a house for many, many years with one of South Australia's biggest ska fans, I speak from some knowledge. This is a classic, but for some reason when I sing the chorus in my head I always end up humming Madness songs.

48. Gigantic - the Pixies
The Pixies raise their gigantic heads again. There are not adjectives in the English language superlative enough to qualify just how fucking fantastic this song is.

49. Girl From Mars - Ash
Jingle-jangle-pretty-boy. And I'm dancin' again

50. God is a DJ - Faithless
If God is a DJ what colour undies does he wear?

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Last post went on a bit. Didn't it? Far less pop-trivia today. In fact I'm going to try to keep them to one or two sentences each. Lots of videos today though, because I just can't pick one.

31. Crazy - Gnarls Barkley
Catchy, catchy, catchy

32. Crunchy Granola - Neil Diamond
Everyone owns Hot August Night, don't they?

33. Dalliance - The Wedding Present
I know you've never heard of the Wedding Present, but I an assure you, if you love perfectly crafted songs of broken hearts and endless yearning set to the most outstanding guitar music on earth sung by some bloke who can't really sing but is so poetic it makes your heart want to weep you haven't lived until you Buy This Album.

34. Dear God - XTC
The problem with being staunchly political, is that it invades every aspect of your life, and I also had a friend who was a member of the XTC fan club. Yes, an actual member.

35. Debaser - The Pixies
Everyone loves to pogo to songs about slicing up eyeballs and movies with great stretches of guitar solos. The Pixies are one of the few bands to make multiple appearances in my list.

36. Dirty Harry - Gorillaz
Showing that Damon's not just a pretty boy with the marvellous concept of a cartoon band with a couple of good strong albums that make you get up off your seat at 4.30am for one more dance, this song featured strongly in my 30th Birthday outing.

37. Don't Believe the Hype - Public Enemy
I'm not sure if you can be white and really understand Public Enemy? Their duet with Anthrax is another stand out - Hear The Drummer Get Wicked!!!!!

38. Don't Know Why I Love You - The House of Love
Another poorly known band with more strong connections to the XTC fan. Perfectly captures a moment on the musical timeline.

39. Don't Want to Know if You Are Lonely - Husker Du
Pure Rock'n'Roll.

40. Don't You Want Me - Human League
Classic New Romantic song, another one with a good narrative.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


21 Brimful of Asha - Cornershop
Famously the song with the 'bosom' line. Cornershop started off as an ultra-alternative bedroom band, limited release 7-inch records that the gang at seeing ears records lapped up like crazy. This song was a move to the mainstream. Frankly, it was much better than the stuff on the limited release 7-inch records. I know. I have several.

22 Brown Eyed Girl -Van Morrison
Old Grumpy Bum. How can someone so dour write words so soft? Like the Hummingbirds below, this is the sort of song you want to listen to on a warm day, maybe in a car with windows wound down, playing loud with you and a mate singing the tra-la-las at the top of your lungs.

23 Bye Bye Badman - The Stone Roses
I wasn't around when punk broke like a big fat fart over the stodge of prog-rock - well I was. In 1978 I was in Mr Burford's year 3 class and bit oblivious to punk, although I did have a tartan skirt. Not a lot of punks in eastern suburbs Adelaide. But ten years on and things were again starting to get a bit boring.

BAM! Madchester

and at the forefront was the Stone Roses divine, debut, eponymous album. The album with 'the best song of all time' on constant loop. It's a tough job to pick my favourite Stone Roses song, but I've tried to have bands in this list once only, so this is it. Like Okervill River's Black this has such dark lyrics in such an up tempo song. Fools Gold comes in at number 2, but really it could have been any of them.

24 Bye Bye Pride - The Go-Betweens
To not love the Go-Betweens is about as un-Australian as it's possible to get. Amanda whats-her-name's clarinet in this makes it so memorable. But I also love the lyrics. Amanda Brown, I just googled it.

25 Cannonball - The Breeders
When the Pixies broke up we all wanted to die. Then Kim Deal and her twin sister whose name escapes me formed the Breeders. And it was like the Pixies, but different, and just as good, but different. Particularly the weird sound effects and heavy rhythm, but maybe that's because of the highly developed ego of the bass player.

26 Caravan of Love - The Housemartins
Socialist Christians? I should think nothing is guaranteed to make you into a socialist like living in Thatcher's England. What amazes me is that it turned out one of these guys is Fatboy Slim.

27 Cigarettes Will Kill You - Ben Lee
When Ben Lee was a lad he used to spend time hanging out in lounge rooms with Evan Dando from the Lemonheads playing dirty, nasty guitar music. Then he hit those difficult teenage years, when most people grow their hair and wear t-shirts with rude words on them. However young Ben cut his hair, moved to America and shacked up with Claire Danes. Strange.

And mostly his music went seriously downhill. I understand that the lads from the Chaser did a skit about him last night. And why are they always the 'lads' from the Chaser. Apparently they're also in the poo for doing a skit about Michael Jackson, but is there a comedian on earth who hasn't done a skit about Michael Jackson? If so they're not trying hard enough. But I digress.

This is a good song. I like it.

28 Come on Eileen - Dexy's Midnight Runners
Raggle Taggle before there was Raggle Taggle. Strangely I think they also did a version of Jackie Wilson Said, also performed by the divine Mr Grumpy Trousers mentioned above.

29 Common People - Pulp
This is another dancehall fave. It has an interesting narrative for what is intrinsically a throw away pop song. Then again Neil Tennant once said the snappy pop tracks are the ones that will be remembered through time, because they're the ones that stick in your head. Always reminds me of being in smoky, poorly lit London bars, that always seem to have the loos up a perilously steep flight of stairs, unsuitable for the over-imbibed.

30 Connection - Elastica
Who will Justine end up dating? Will it be Damon Blur or that guy from Kingmaker (I quite liked Kingmaker. Have a couple of their albums. I may be the only person on earth who did on both counts). Of course for avid readers of the NME in 1993 she ended up with Damon, before he left her to leave someone else to end up with that French chick. Elastica burst onto the Camden scene and disappeared nearly as quickly. This record actually has a B-side that is probably better than this song, but that thumping base line makes you swing your hips in an oh-so particular way!


My last post has created many a comment (only one here, but many to my face). How do you pick 120 songs? Easy, you go through you record collection, and the list on the triplej website and rely on your crusty, decaying memory. Are they the best 120 songs of all time? Mercy, has there ever been a more subjective question. Do I think they are the best 120 songs of all time. Probably not, I don't know if I could make such a list. But they are 120 songs that I either love, have a particular memory attached to, or represent something for me (a musical movement, a political movement, a point in time).

And on that point I should note that normally the Jackson 5's I Want You Back probably would have appeared in here somewhere. But for some reason I can't explain I kind of feel like I'd be bandwagon jumping, so have left it out. Maybe it would have fallen out anyway, I started with a list of over 200.

Anyway, numbers eleven to twenty are:

11 Bizarre Love Triangle - New Order
If I were indeed writing a list of the best songs of all time, I quite probably would have put at least half the New Order catalogue in. They are probably my favourite band of all time. Born out of the ashes of Joy Division, they have consistently put out toe tapping, sometimes complex, little rippers. In reality I had five New Order songs on my short list. This one probably made it because I'd heard it on the radio in the car that day and so it was in the front of my mind.

12 Black - Okkervill River
Very Black indeed. The jaunty little pop tune belies the content, of abduction and child abuse. The lyrics intensely enticing and exciting; ripping troats out, the destruction of lives. These guys are genius.

13 Blank Generation - Richard Hell and Voidois
In the late 1970s it seemed like Richard Hell was in every band on earth. This song stuck in my head the first time I heard it "I was screaming get me outta here before I was even born". I probably heard this for the first time nearly 10 years after it was released, but it still rang true for me in my teenage angst then. The sound is just sooooo CBGBs

14 Blister in the Sun - Violent Femmes
When I was a teenager I probably saw the Violent Femmes play about a million times. OK, at least half a dozen.

15 Bloody Mother Fucking Arsehole - Martha Wainwright
Good punk sensibilities in today's list. This song impresses me with this woman standing up for herself, refusing to be something for someone else. Appeals to my pinko feminist philosophy. Martha also cranks out a jolly good tune.

16 Blue Flower - Mazzy Start
There is a story that goes with song, but I'm too much of a lady to repeat it here.

17 Blush - The Hummingbirds
Much more pop than punk, The Hummingbirds were part of a fraternity (or maybe sorority) of uber-poppy shoe gazing Australian bands. They are a summer band, you want to be standing somewhere with your bare feet on the grass and the sun shining, not too brightly, on your shoulders when you sing these songs. I memorably saw them play with The Falling Joys at Club Foote

18 Bohemian Like You - The Dandy Warhols
This song represents Shotz, a very dodgy nightclub I was going to about a decade ago. It's a great fun night out song and everyone can shout 'who-hoo' together in the chorus. Good percussion too.

19 Born Slippy - Underworld
I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor

10 Bottle Rocket - Go! Team
A couple of years ago the Big Day Out was a few days after I returned to work from a month's holiday in India. I didn't feel I could take another day off to go. The Go! Team played that year and I have regretted passing up the option to see them ever since. Thunder Lightening Strike is one of my all time favourite albums too.