Top 100 singles of all time: The B52s, Kate Bush, Aerosmith, Run DMC and the Sisters of Mercy

The B52s - Rock Lobster

What’s the word I’m looking for? Congruence? Confluence? A meeting-point where the weird and the popular align. I’ve been impressed by that a lot lately – how curveball acts like Dutch Uncles and Everything Everything have become as commercially successfully as they are acclaimed.  Even so, even 35 years on, there has never been anything quite like Rock Lobster. Continue reading

National Treasures Mixtape

I’m British like I’m Irish: when it suits me. I view the Royals with the same casual indifference as I view … peas. The Queen is a public servant, and provided she keeps on doing the job well and bringing in more than she costs, I’m quite happy for her to continue.

We’re going to spend the weekend munching miniature cupcakes on the village green with all those neighbours we’ve never said more than two words to. I did buy some tiny Scotch eggs, but I probably ought to have grabbed some sausage rolls, too, while I was at it. Oh well. It’s going to piss down anyway, so the whole thing will likely fizzle out after about half an hour. Why didn’t I buy any Pimms?

Having purchased a tiny Union Jack bowtie (for my baby daughter to wear as a headband) and fully loaded up with cucumber-and-cream-cheese sandwiches I’m about ready for a right royal knees-up. For which we’ll need a soundtrack …  Continue reading

Best of 2011: Make your own MTV!

Remember I mentioned a couple of days back about the new features on the Xbox 360? Well, you probably knew all about them anyway. So, today I explored the Youtube facility of being able to play back your “Watch Later” playlist, and – on the nice big shiny screen of the TV – it’s like having your own MTV where the music is actually good!

Since I don’t really have time to sit there reading through blog posts any more and clicking on all the links, I just add the Youtube clips to my Watch Later list and can then investigate each recommendation from the comfort of the sofa while I’m taking care of Her Tiny Highness. The list of recommendations I was just exploring comes from Collapse Board’s various “best of 2011” posts, so I would in turn suggest that you add these to your own Watch Later list and play along at home.

Continue reading

#musicmonday : Kate Bush

I might have been a mischievous little minx, generating controversy over at Collapse Board, but frankly I blame ET for making the flippant remark in the first place. “Mostly only art created by women has any validity”? Absurd! Yes, we can all point to talented and able female rock stars, but where are the trailblazers? That was the crux of my argument, in an itty bitty nutshell. I could say the reverse about pop music, where it’s the boys who lag behind.

Then my pal Shannon jumped in with a name: Kate Bush. Whether it contradicts or supports my argument depends largely on whether you classify her as “pop” or “rock”, but I’m going to give him this one cheerfully because Kate Bush was like nothing else that came before.

Continue reading

#trendingtopics: 15 Vocalists

Ofra Haza

The rules:  Don’t take too long to think about it.  Fifteen vocalists that will always stick with you.  List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes.  And in no particular order.  Tag fifteen friends, and me, because I’m interested in seeing what singers my friends choose. (To do this, go to your Notes tab on your profile page, paste rules in a new note, cast your fifteen picks, and tag people in the note — in the ‘tag’ line.

Here are mine:

Continue reading

Songs about nature

I’m in the mood for Swedes warbling about birds. I blame The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

If you’ve missed Game Informer’s coverage here, here and here, make sure to head on over to check it out, along with their latest magazine issue which contains huge amounts of information on Bethesda’s latest life-eating elf sim.

Before you do so, let’s take a moment to appreciate some of the other fine things Sweden has given us in addition to (part of) the inspiration for what will undoubtedly be 2011’s Game of the Year.

Continue reading