Scabby Nannas Reform

A bit over ten years ago, some mates of mine formed a band, and they had one performance: at Viv’s 21st. Their whirlwind tour of Robe over, the Scabby Nannas split up, moved on to other projects, and so on. They are back. I never thought I’d link to a myspace page, but here we go: The Scabby Nannas. You can hear their one original track “Always Go For Goals!”, and if you look hard enough you’ll also find videos of their performance earlier this year at the Walkerville RSL. Not sure if this was a paying gig, or just Viv’s 31st, but videos don’t lie. Since then, they’ve apparently been hard at work, recording this track (and possibly some more, under a secret alias I can’t remember anymore). (I’ve put this under Popular Music, although I’m not sure they are exactly “Popular”, per se. Maybe one day). Oh, and happy birth, Mitchell Vickery.

Always Go For GoalsSuper VillianScabby Nannas ★★★

90s Flowchart

xkcd - A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language - By Randall Munroe

Review: Like a Version Two

Back when I first got bought a CD burner, a clunky 4x SCSI internal model for our PowerMac 8600, I went through a phase of making bootleg CDs. Not pirating CDs, but recording from the radio - mainly from Triple J’s Live at the Wireless program that was running at the time, and apparently still is. I obviously haven’t ripped any of those CDs to my iTunes, as there aren’t any there. One other CD I made was from Merrick and Rosso. They had a group of well-known Australian Artists cover other Australian Artists’ classic songs. There were some brilliant covers, but the two that stick in my memory were You Am I doing a Paul Kelly track (When I First Met Your Ma), and then Paul Kelly returning the favour with Heavy Heart. This was a turning point in my musical taste, with me then purchasing every You Am I, and every Paul Kelly album. I went into Like a Version Two with a similar hope. That these covers might reflect some of the class, and fun, that Merrick and Rosso had back in November 99 or 2000. Since this is a Triple J release, I was counting on some cool stuff. And was not totally disappointed. Whilst about the only track from this album I had heard before was the Herd’s sacrilegious butchering of the old Redgum classic I Was Only 19, Sophie Koh managed to improve upon the Radiohead track Creep. Her vocal style and husky voice suit the track, and, since I was never that much of a Radiohead fan, I think this one track might make it into my regular rotation. Sarah Blasko reminded me of why I love her music - with Goodbye Yellow Brick Road now vying for her cover of Flame Trees, perhaps Cold Chisel’s greatest song, as my favourite of her songs. The Eels covered a Prince track passably, but the Drones droned on for 3:00 too long on a 3:24 Beasts of Bourbon song. Bourbon still reminds me of Wild Turkey, and the night before AFL Grand Final 1993, when I made an absolute mess of myself on a whole bottle of this nasty liquor. So, that wasn’t a good connection for starters. Crooked Fingers have a faithful reproduction of Johnny Cash, complete with strumming guitar and gravelly voice. And I thought the point of a reinterpretation was to make it your own. It’s not that it’s bad, but it just isn’t different enough. Dancing in the Dark, however, shows how a song can be altered by arrangement. Tegan and Sara’s interpretation of the Springsteen hit make it sound much more like a thinking song than the Rock-y original. This one might be worth another listen or two. Evermore bravely take on a modern-ish track: Relapse, originally by Little Birdy. It’s a satisfactory song, but I’ll take the original over it any day. 67 Special repeated the risk with a cover of Missy Higgins’ Scar; this one is vastly different. Without knowing that it was the same song, I probably wouldn’t have picked it. Having said that, Jaq did, but she listens to stuff better than I do. I do like how the tempo changes to a more jazzy version about two-thirds of the way through. Another album out in the wild at the moment is She Will Have Her Way, a collection of female artists reinterpreting classic songs by the Brothers Finn. My Mistake wasn’t on that album, and The Panda Band sound more like the Beatles than anyone else with their cover of this. Much better than Wild World, by the Mountain Goats, which sounds amateurish and weak. Funnily enough, this was a track some other listeners actually liked most on the album… Much of the remainder of the album, however, is neither outstanding nor vile. Spoon stumble through Upwards at 45 Degrees, originally by Julian Cope. Since I’ve heard of neither the artist or the track, it didn’t do a lot for me. Lior’s cover of Neil Young’s Needle and the Damage Done was better than anything I’ve seen on Idol recently, but that’s more of a reflection on that fantastic program. Sarcasm intended. So does it get the thumbs up? Not really. Thank got for iTunes, and iPod, as I can just scrape the cream off the top of this one, and drop the remainder into digital oblivion. Of course, those of you who know me will realise that this won’t happen. All tracks stay in the Library, just get a poor rating.

Don’t Let Me Be MisunderstoodNew BuffaloLike A Version Two

More on Lyrics: Goodbye My Lover

I’ve written about various songs and their meanings, or at least what I interpret them to be, several times before. I really dig songs that have real meaning, and I think about various song meanings often. Today, while washing the dishes, on came James Blunt’s Goodbye My Lover. This song has had me thinking about what it means for some time now. I’d thought, at various times, that it was about a girl who had left him, or one who had died. Now I’m not so sure. The first verse, which I’m not sure I’d actually listened to in detail before, starts with:

Did I disappoint you or let you down? Should I be feeling guilty or let the judges frown? ‘Cause I saw the end before we’d begun, Yes I saw you were blinded and I knew I had won. So I took what’s mine by eternal right. Took your soul out into the night.

Which really feels like he’s been the one to end it. However, it continues with a line that sounds like she’s finished it:

It may be over but it won’t stop there, I am here for you if you’d only care.

Pretty much the rest of the song continues in this type of vein:

You touched my heart you touched my soul. You changed my life and all my goals. And love is blind and that I knew when, My heart was blinded by you. I’ve kissed your lips and held your head. Shared your dreams and shared your bed. I know you well, I know your smell. I’ve been addicted to you. Goodbye my lover. Goodbye my friend. You have been the one. You have been the one for me. I am a dreamer but when I wake, You can’t break my spirit - it’s my dreams you take. And as you move on, remember me, Remember us and all we used to be I’ve seen you cry, I’ve seen you smile. I’ve watched you sleeping for a while. I’d be the father of your child. I’d spend a lifetime with you. I know your fears and you know mine. We’ve had our doubts but now we’re fine, And I love you, I swear that’s true. I cannot live without you. Goodbye my lover. Goodbye my friend. You have been the one. You have been the one for me. And I still hold your hand in mine. In mine when I’m asleep. And I will bear my soul in time, When I’m kneeling at your feet. Goodbye my lover. Goodbye my friend. You have been the one. You have been the one for me. I’m so hollow, baby, I’m so hollow. I’m so, I’m so, I’m so hollow.

One line in particular stands out as being about someone leaving him:

I cannot live without you.

But the bit I really don’t get is:

We’ve had our doubts but now we’re fine,

Because they clearly aren’t fine. It’s over, one way or another.

Tears and RainJames BluntBack to Bedlam ★★★★

Nova: 91-point-crap

We’ve had Nova 91.9 playing while we’ve been painting the last couple of nights. Some of the music is okay, but last night I noticed they are playing exactly the same songs as the night before. That’s okay - the young folk today are so whacked out on drugs (prescription, as well as recreational) so they probably don’t remember that these songs were on last night too. After about three hours, I realised they were playing a whole heap of songs for the second time that night! I mean, come on. You needs to smoke shit-loads of drugs to forget the songs that played in the last three hours. And it wasn’t just one or two, but more like all of them. Are the programmers so lazy they only program half a night worth of music, and just play it all twice? I want that job!

Time Flies like a Banana

A track just came onto my iTunes via Party Shuffle. It’s one I haven’t heard for a while, but reminded me of the time we went to see this band live. Especially notable, as it was at the Speigeltent, during the Adelaide Fringe Festival some years back, and it’s that time of the year again. It was, I believe, just before Derek left Adelaide for the big smoke of Sydney. Well, Wollongong, anyway. He did work in Sydney… Anyway, we went to see this band, on my birthday, and were the only customers there. That’s right, the whole venue was empty, and because of us, they had to perform. And there were good! I enjoyed them, and bought a CD. It’s about the only time I’ve ever bought a CD right after going to a gig. Maybe I felt a little sorry for them, maybe I didn’t. So, I just switched over to iTunes to see when the CD was released: 1999. That means it was probably 2000 when we went to see them. Six years ago. Has it been that long since Derek left? This is one of my favourite of the tracks on the album:

WishHoneyHoney ★★★★

More than anything, I wish that you were here; To laugh at all my fears; To hold me in your arms, and laugh at all my shame; And to love me still. But you’re gone and I hold my head down, And I wonder where you are; And I see you when I’m sleeping, babe; I Wish I’d Loved You, I Wish I’d Loved You, I Wish I’d Loved You More.

Here are some random links I found on Google about them: DM3, Honey @ Mojo’s Bar, September 25, 1999 Honey, Self-title album Review (This one I had to scroll back up a bit from the anchor point to read it, the link seems a bit broken.) I wonder if they are still together/performing/recording.

Song Lyrics and their Meanings

With no radio in the car at the moment (I broke the automatic aerial again, and it’s too expensive to justify buying a new one just yet), we tend to put 6 CDs in the stacker, and listen away. At the moment, we have:

  • Diesel • Short Cool Ones
  • Sheryl Crow • Tuesday Night Music Club
  • Coldplay • Parachutes
  • Diesel • Solid State Rhyme
  • Frank Bennett • Five O’Clock Shadow
  • Dido • No Angel

I know, I know, it’s a pretty Early 90s set of discs, but, hey… Now, the interesting thing is that we are sick of Frank Bennett already - he did a couple of albums that are covers of modern songs, in a Lounge/Swing style. We must have listened to them too much when we first bought the CDs! The big surprise for me was just how much I love Sheryl Crow.

I remember her being big with Tuesday Night Music Club back when I first started Uni (1993), and I still knew most of the words to most of the songs upon first listen. I tend to over-analyse song lyrics, after listening to too much Paul Kelly and Ben Folds, and people of that ilk, who really pack a lot of meaning into their songs, so this may be a bit over the top, but there’s one aspect of one of Sheryl Crow’s songs that made me look at the whole song a different way.

No One Said It Would Be Easy by Sheryl Crow, from the album Tuesday Night Music Club (1993):

It’s obvious the trouble we’re in,
When your father pulls up in a Mercedes Benz.
He says he just happened to be in the neighbourhood.
But before he leaves he slips the Landlord the rent.
You say, “It’s just a question of eliminating obstacles.”
As you throw your dinner out the kitchen door,
You say, “I know how you try,”
“But honey, let’s eat out tonight.”

[Chorus]: No one said it would be easy,
But no one said it’d be this hard.
No one said it would be easy,
No one thought we’d come this far.

You can’t seem to ever fold up a shirt.
I bring it up and you think I’m a jerk.
But I think we’re here to stay,
I can’t imagine it any other way.

[Chorus]

Sometimes I wonder who he’s picturing,
When he looks at me and smiles.

[Chorus]

Oh, and look we’ve come this far.

Without being too anal and looking at the whole song, I’m just going to talk about the chorus. Pretty straightforward:

No one said it would be easy, But no one said it’d be this hard. No one said it would be easy, No one thought we’d come this far.

I originally (probably correctly) thought that the last line had the meaning of:

No one thought we would come this far.

But think about the song, and how the meaning changes if you instead think about it as:

No one thought we had come this far.

Suddenly, the song changes meaning. In some ways, it makes more sense. Instead of it being a statement that “We’ve done better than anyone thought we would,” it becomes “We’ve come too far to quit: no one else thought we were as deep into this relationship as we are. It’s too late to get out now, not without losing too much.” And the final line:

Oh, and look we’ve come this far.

#1 Song on This Date in History

#1 Song on This Date in History This is cool: you plug in your birthday, or any other day, and it tells you what the #1 songs were on that day, back until about 1940. On the day I was born:

December 1963 (Oh, What a Night) by The Four Seasons

On Jaq’s day of birth:

Disco Lady by Johnnie Taylor

At least I’ve heard of my birth-song!

Fred Jones, Part One and Two

While listening to Party Shuffle on iTunes, up came:

Cigarette • Ben Folds FiveWhatever & Ever Amen ★★★½

Now, I’ve had this album since, well, it first came out. I remember when “Give Me My Money Back Bitch” was all we were singing (Song for the Dumped). But apparently I’d never really listened to the start of this song. It’s about Fred Jones. So what?

But, then, in his first solo album, Ben has the song:

Fred Jones, Part 2 • Ben FoldsRockin' The Suburbs ★★★★★

Which, those of you with decent fonts installed can see, is one of my all-time favourite songs. It’s a sad little number, about an old guy who retires from working at a Newspaper, where he’s worked his whole life, and everyone else in the whole place has been there for less time than he. The place has been taken over by the next generation, and he’s being made redundant. The live version on Ben Folds Live is truly excellent, with John McCrae from Cake helping out. (Apparently, he’s in the Album version as well. I always wondered who that was!)

So, what is the first song, Cigarettes about then?

The first hit from Google tells me:

Fred Jones was worn out from caring for his often screaming and crying wife during the day, but he couldn’t sleep at night for fear that she, in a stupor from the drugs that didn’t ease the pain, would set the house ablaze with a cigarette

Now, from what I can recall of Fred Jones, Part 2, there’s no mention of a wife. And Cigarettes makes it sound like he doesn’t have a job. Still, it’s pretty unlikely there’d be two people in the world with the same name - especially one like Fred Jones. And at least one reviewer seems to think it’s the same person

;)

For the record: the lyrics of Fred Jones, Part 2 are:

Fred sits alone at his desk in the dark, there’s an awkward young shadow that waits in the hall.

He has cleared all his things and he’s put them in boxes, things that remind him that life has been good.

Twenty-five years he’s worked at the paper, a man’s here to take him downstairs.

And “I’m sorry, Mr. Jones, it’s time.”

There was no party and there were no songs, ‘cause today’s just a day like the day that he started.

And no one is left here that knows his first name, yeah and life barrels on like a runaway train, where the passengers change they don’t change anything, you get off, someone else can get on.

And “I’m sorry, Mr. Jones, it’s time.”

The streetlight it shines through the shades, casting lines on the floor and lines on his face.

He reflects on the day.

Fred gets his paints out and goes to the basement. Projecting some slides onto a plain white canvas, and traces it, fills in the spaces, he turns off the slides and it doesn’t look right.

Yeah, and all of these bastards have taken his place. He’s forgotten, but not yet gone.

And “I’m sorry, Mr. Jones,” and “I’m sorry, Mr. Jones,” and “I’m sorry, Mr. Jones, it’s time.”

This song has so much power over me, it makes me feel sad just reading the lyrics. I guess it sums up my fears of wasting my life.

Schickel

One of my students today told me she had seen a poster for a band named after me. I did a little research (they played at Flinders Uni last Friday), and came up with this poster: As you can see, it’s pretty close. You can read about this band over on Music SA’s Schickel page, or the Official Schickel Website, and even listen to a track. It’s not too bad, actually.