Archive for July, 2007

The Nails

I like list songs.

Mary Lou Lord performs one stand-out, ‘His Indie World’, a nicely twee tribute to boys who love a particular type of band. In it she reels off the names of a number of lo-fi types, even rhyming ‘Sebadoh’, ‘Sentridoh’ and ‘I don’t know’ in one verse. This takes a particularly rare kind of talent indeed.

Then there’s ‘I’ve been Everywhere’, most famously performed by Johnny Cash, but far more satisfying in its original Australian guise, if only because you don’t get to hear the names ‘Woolloomooloo’ and ‘Woodenbong’ mentioned in song too often.

My favourite, however, is ’88 Lines About 44 Women’ by The Nails, which is almost certainly unique amongst list songs in that you know exactly what you’re getting before it starts. There’s no messing around, no ambiguity: in all likelihood the single came shrink-wrapped with a warning declaring ATTENTION: THIS IS A LIST SONG. GOT THAT?

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It’s also a completely pointless record. It doesn’t really have a beginning, a middle or an end. There’s no proper verses and definitely no chorus, unless you count the tuneless humming. It’s literally a list of ladies and their likes, read out in increasingly hysterical fashion over an electronic backing that sounds as if it came free with a breakfast cereal.

It’s a triumph.

Update: It’s like waiting for buses. I haven’t written about music in an age, then three entries come along at once. The third is over at the Greencine blog, where I rattle on at length about some music films you might not have seen.


“We’ve always felt that in the battle between the corporates on the one hand and the nutters in bedrooms on the other, the latter would prevail. Hence we’ve hired our own nutter.”

I have a new job. Quite why this is the kind of news that makes the media pages of The Guardian (registration required), I’m not sure, but I’m not complaining, and do I love the quote. I feel like it gives me carte blanche to turn up on my first day at work on all fours, pushing a pea along with my nose, or to arrive by tricycle, dressed as Kate Bush, juggling soot.

More worryingly, I’m going to be surrounded by people who’ll know more about music than I do. So I’ve decided to turn blogjam into one of those occasional mp3blog type-things, at least until I get bored, or until the first cease & desist order arrives. This, of course, is a willfully crude attempt to curry favour with my new colleagues, and to give them the impression that I’m not the musical ignoramus they’ll no doubt suspect.

My first track is Dynamite Chair by The Poster Children, and because there’s a video on YouTube, I’m not even going to bother with the mp3.

I’ve never been convinced by the theory that music is supposed to mean anything, but it should make you feel something, and Dynamite Chair makes me want to bounce. Up and down. Frantically. Or if, I’m not in a environment where I can safely bounce, I’ll flail. No other track generates this reaction for me.

I have no idea what the song is about – the video may offer some clues, containing a series of rather spectacular explosions and a man being gaffa-taped to a chair before being offered sushi – but none of this matters.

Just bounce.

easyjet action

Some things appeal to the 12-year-old schoolboy in me. This is one.

Imagine the scene: You’re a bored junior designer at an ad agency. You’d love to be working on prestigious TV campaigns, but you’re stuck producing banner ads at the thin end of the budget. Your latest brief is for Easyjet’s summer promotions, and you’re struggling for inspiration.

Hmmm. Holidays. The Beach. Sun. Sunburn. Sun cream. Yeah, that’ll do. Whatever.

Then you spot something. You’ve noticed that often the bottom half of skyscraper ads drop below the fold, and with a cunning bit of graphical trickery you can make that lotion look like… well, you figure it out.

Or, to put it another way: I don’t believe this was an accident.