Sorry to keep using the same welcome-mat picture, but you’ll just have to deal with it. We’ve added another contributor, this one a bit unexpected. Please welcome Rhys.
Hi! My name’s Rhys. I’m 18 and I’m born and bred in England, just south of London. I spend an inordinate amount of time searching for new music (either music that’s just been released or older music I was unaware of), often at the expense of my own sleep and productivity… Since I discovered Tympanogram several months ago it has become one of my favourite sources. I write a blog myself, found at http://folkpunkgazesblog.blogspot.com/, and I emailed Andy to ask if I could do a series of posts akin to the Tympanogram ‘1000 Minutes’ posts. He was more than happy, and I mentioned that I wished to high heaven that I lived in the States after reading that Tympanogram was doing a shout out for new writers. However, he and Dave have been kind enough to grant me the privilege of writing for such a wonderful site and I hope I can bring something new and exciting to them and to you.
Just to share a bit about my musical history with you – I come from a pretty musically mixed family. Mother tried raising me on ABBA and The Osmonds, Dad tried obscure reggae and punk, older brother tried hip-hop, grandparents tried Big Band and Easy Listening. I’ve gained something from all of them in a lot of ways, but in my early teens I knew I wanted to strike out and find some music that really mattered (spurred on as well by the increasingly decrepit state of the UK Charts). The first band I really connected with was Green Day, and my tastes have only broadened from there. A portion of my tastes are still largely grounded in guitar bands, but I’m committed to being diverse; variety being the spice of life and all that. Some of my favourite artists right now are Laura Marling, The Coral, Arrested Development, LCD Soundsystem, Frank Sinatra, Akron/Family, Belle & Sebastian, Titus Andronicus, and Jens Lekman… I’d love to go on, I really would. There are very few people I know who I have a lot of musical tastes in common with, so I’m hoping that I can find kindred spirits within the Tympanogram family!
With the internet being… well, the internet, it’s pretty easy to get music from all corners of the world, wherever you are. However, I hope that I can provide a bit more of an insight into what’s going on in the UK that the majority of Tympanogram’s US followers won’t hear about as much or as soon. I don’t claim to be Anglo-omnipotent, but I’ll be doing my best! And I hope I can contribute to the general running and coverage of this awesome blog as well.
I’ve been thinking a great deal lately about the first song I’m listing, so I figured today was as good as any to write up the latest edition of my personal 1000 Minutes. As I look at the amount of time remaining for me to fit my selections into, I hope everything I’ve included on my list thus far is something I will continue to want. I’m more than halfway through it, though with our slowed pace I have more time to consider what to include. That is a worry for another day.
124. The Little Ones – Morning Tide (mp3) from Morning Tide (4:01) [Time Remaining: 443:02]
This song will always hold strong personal meaning to me due to a very specific time in my life that I directly associate it with. It was a new song when I went on a trip a few years ago, and it sound-tracked my flight as well as numerous instances of that particular week. It was a great week, and this is a great, incredibly catchy song I will always adore – due in large part to its association with that time.
125. Madonna – Hung Up (mp3) from Confessions On A Dance Floor (5:36) [Time Remaining: 437:26]
While I can’t say I’m completely positive, I can say with a fair sense of certainty that this will be the only Madonna song that makes my 1K. This song doesn’t hold any special meaning for me, I just dig the hell out of it. It’s a great song to dance to, if you are so inclined, and it just sounds damn good.
I’ve taken a bit of a break from these like Andy has, not as much because I was losing interest, but similarly in that I was finding it more difficult to choose songs I felt as passionately about. A bit of a break should assist with that, though defying that particular logic today, I’m posting a few songs that Andy has already included on his list and not employing much passion.
122. DJ Shadow – You Made It feat. Chris James (mp3) from The Outsider (2:47) [Time Remaining: 450:55]
For someone I’ve never heard anything from before or since, Chris James, whomever he may be, has an incredible voice. The vocals in this song are the selling point, the music consisting of a fairly simple parts but for the incredible instrument of his voice. Certainly in symphony with each other the elements increase in effectiveness, but I believe the music would fall a bit flat without James’ involvement.
123. Tricky – Christiansands (mp3) from Pre-Millennium Tension (3:52) [Time Remaining: 447:03]
Another strong vocalist, though entirely on the opposite end of the spectrum, is Adrian Nicholas Matthews Thaws. Tricky, as he is professionally known, employs a guttural, altogether unique sprechgesang, as Andy previously mentioned in his 1K post about the song. The guy has been around a long time. He was instrumental in the formation of Massive Attack, has been in a few movies and has many other songs I greatly enjoy, though not to the same level as I do “Christiansands.” As for the why, I suppose I’ve just always really liked the song. I don’t have a special affinity for the lyrics or any one particular element, but I love the beat and everything all put together.
After a little more than a month away from doing one of these posts, it’s been interesting to think about what I might want to put in my next one. If you hadn’t noticed, we tend to shy away from posting tracks from, say, The Beatles. This isn’t because we don’t love The Beatles, but more that their music isn’t personally defining. But maybe I’m just speaking for me. Let’s get back into it. It’s probably going to be another month before I do another one of these.
121. Badly Drawn Boy – Disillusion (mp3) from The Hour of Bewilderbeast (4:07) [Time Remaining: 448:39]
I haven’t been much of a fan of Damon Gough’s work after his Mercury Prize-winning The Hour of Bewilderbeast. But my appreciation for his first album is so complete that I could include at least two more songs from it on my particular list. That’s in addition to this one and “Once Around the Block,” which I talked about previously. “Disillusion” is just such a flat out great feeling song that it is impossible to ignore. It ends with a rollicking minute and a half jam session that defines what I love so much about it. It’s like he sings in the lyrics: “Why’d you have to make it so complicated? Can’t it just be beautiful?” Sometimes, that’s all any of us need to hear.
122. Ben Folds Five – Selfless, Cold and Composed (mp3) from Whatever & Ever Amen (6:10) [Time Remaining: 442:29]
On the opposite end of the spectrum from Badly Drawn Boy is Ben Folds Five’s “Selfless, Cold and Composed.” I play this song often when it gets into fall around here. With the falling leaves and the autumn rains, it becomes much more apropos. It’s a sweeping, sad song about the end of a relationship. (Ben Folds has been married four times, so he has plenty of experience on that subject from which to draw.) And while my own relationships might not end with such gorgeous music, I can certainly identify with the sentiment of wanting the other person to display some kind of emotion over the end of a relationship. Thankfully, it’s been a while since I’ve had to feel that way.
As this latest edition of my 1K posts, I will be likely asleep. I happen to be in Portland, Oregon, and am probably asleep due to there being a time difference and everything. Andy and I are both out west for our friend’s wedding and we scheduled some stuff in advance to keep a steady flow on the site. My computer is back at home and so is Andy’s. We are off the radar. As for my two latest selections, I can’t think of a better pair of songs to bring me past the half way point of this list.
120. Deerhunter – Nothing Ever Happened (mp3) from Microcastle (5:50) [Time Remaining: 457:40]
121. Atlas Sound – Walkabout [w/ Noah Lennox] (mp3) from Logos (3:58) [Time Remaining: 453:42]
I’m writing this post fairly quickly, and as such I am using two songs by an artist whose music I’ve grown to be particularly fond of. I would be hard pressed to name someone whose last several pieces of work, while being completely different entities in and of themselves, have appealed to me so much as that of Bradford Cox. I’ve written about both these songs in the past, so if you care, feel free to check the back-logs for what ever I had to say at the time. My positive feelings have only increased about each, hence their inclusion here.