Monday 19 November 2018

30-day song challenge: part 1

Perhaps inevitably, I am a complete sucker for those internet challenges that get you to list or recommend music, films or books in some form or another... But I also find that life gets in the way and I can't keep up with the (usually) daily pace.

This latest 'game' - mostly prevalent on Facebook as far as I can tell - asks for a song a day, for a month, generated by certain prompts. So, rather than trying to come up with some kind of 'Top 30', the meme probes deeper into your psyche, to see what you might pick to fit the 'clues'.

Instead of attempting to post every day, I decided to do this one through the blog. So, here are my first 15 choices: I hope you enjoy them. Part 2 (hopefully with a Spotify version, if I can find all the tracks) to follow very soon.


A song you like with a colour in the title

Elvis Costello and the Attractions: 'Green Shirt'

One of those classic EC songs that the Attractions somehow make both poppy and eerie.

A song you like with a number in the title

Kate Bush: 'Experiment IV'

A genuinely terrifying SF tale wrapped up in an amazing song. That 'missing' drum beat can really get to you.

A song that reminds you of summertime

Texas: 'Faith'

An explosion of slide-guitar joy, speaking of stadiums and accidentally discovering support bands.

A song that reminds you of someone you'd rather forget

Elvis Presley: '(Marie's the Name) His Latest Flame'

Marie was not an old flame, or anything even like it. I still shudder anytime I'm reminded of her, though.

A song that needs to be played loud

Led Zeppelin: 'When the Levee Breaks'

Scientifically impossible to play this quietly, surely.

A song that makes you want to dance

A-ha: 'Riding the Crest'

I think it's the rumbling synthy bass during the verse that gives my feet a mind of their own (which is a very accurate description of my 'dancing' in any case).

A song to drive to

Clutch: 'Gullah'

I genuinely think this band write the best riffs of any group currently working today.

A song about drugs or alcohol

Uncle Tupelo: 'Whiskey Bottle'

Arguably the first 'alternative country' band; definitely one of the finest.

A song that makes you happy

Broken Bells: 'After the Disco'

James Mercer of the Shins collaborating with Danger Mouse is such a glorious meeting of minds: JM's wistful melancholy fronting DM's laidback beats - I love that it sounds like the euphoria and the comedown simultaneously. Every section of the song sounds like a chorus. Perfection.

A song that makes you sad

Nick Drake: 'Cello Song'

What could have been.

A song you never get tired of

Belle and Sebastian: 'Play for Today'

It's a good seven minutes, and I'll still happily play it on repeat over and over. Not a second is wasted, especially as the backing singers ("Author! Author!") creep up on the lead vocalists in the outro.

A song from your preteen years

Fine Young Cannibals: 'Johnny Come Home'

Unforgettable hook in this chorus. Regularly comes to my mind, all these years later.

A song you like from the 70s

Joni Mitchell: 'Carey'


A song you'd love to be played at your wedding

Sailor: 'A Glass of Champagne'

Bit late to be choosing wedding songs! - but if we'd had a first dance, we'd have flung ourselves round like goons to this.

A song you like that's a cover by another artist

Emmylou Harris: 'Goodbye'

From the mighty 'Wrecking Ball' album, where EH stepped outside country into spacey, ethereal rock surroundings and utterly transformed a particular batch of songs in the process. This was originally a Steve Earle track.

To be continued...

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