Justification: I’m tired – actually, I’m beyond tired and into the sort of level of exhaustion that’s more like a temple-stabbing headache combined with hallucinations – and I can’t remember any song that I’ve heard longer than two days ago. That means that I should forget the existence of this song any second, having literally wiped a tear from my eye upon hearing it on Saturday night at Custard‘s second night at the Standard. It’s the lines “we are living/and we’re dying/in the spaces by the side of the road” that does it to me. Conversely, the gloriously inept video makes me laugh, and that revolving ARIA is completely legit – they won it for ‘Girls Like That (Don’t Go For Guys Like Us)’.
This was their last ever single, with guitarist Matthew Strong either unable or unwilling to make the video shoot – hence his representation via cardboard cut-out (again, referencing an earlier SYSRTBIIA, in this case Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Tusk’. Where do people get full-sized cardboard cut-outs made, anyway, and is it only for bands?).
Jesus I’m tired. #352? Why do I keep doing this? Say what you like, you can’t accuse me of not being utterly bloody-minded about keeping to a plan, regardless how pointless the damn thing is.
SONG YOU SHOULD HAVE REDISCOVERED THIS TIME IN 2010: Lager, lager, lager – that was years away from Underworld at this point, who were still using real instruments and making songs like ‘Underneath the Radar’.
Justification: Kathleen Hanna might well end up going down in musical history solely for having written “Kurt smells like teen spirit” on a Seattle bedroom wall, leading the infatuated inhabitant of said bedroom, one Kurt Cobain, to write a song based upon the phrase (although, reportedly, he took the phrase at face value rather than being aware that Teen Spirit was a deodorant marketed at young girls). However, there are far better reasons for her to be remembered by generations to come: more or less inventing Riot Grrl as a genre via Bikini Kill, being a tireless and vocal advocate for LGBT rights in the public sphere and – via ‘Deceptacon’ – making the only thing connected with Transformers that isn’t complete arse.
As with Sleater-Kinney I only saw Le Tigre at the Big Day Out, which wasn’t the ideal place for it, but they were still giving it their all in 40-something degrees. And JD Samson ended her DJ set with it, which I thought was a bit cheeky – although technically she didn’t join the band until after this album. And, also similarly to Sleater-Kinney, there are whispers of a reunion, which is good news for people who like things that are good. They did kinda reunite to work on Christina Aguilera’s last album, so it’s hardly that big a stretch, surely?
SONG YOU SHOULD HAVE REDISCOVERED ON THIS DAY IN 2010: Fountains of Wayne’s sweet, sad ‘Radiation Vibe’.
Justification: Another regular song at the late, great 90s club Space Capsule (along with Gerling’s ‘The Deer In You’) and about half of the songs on this list, was Bis’ lively ironic-but-not-really disco number which saw them swap the brattiness of their debut album for something a bit more polished and sophisticated. The Andy Gill From Gang Of Four-produced album was a hit in Japan and was released in the US on the Beastie Boys’ ultra-cool and disappointingly brief label Grand Royal, but failed to translate elsewhere and one indie release later (the unimpressive Return to Central), they split. All three members later reconvened in the short-lived Data Panik before doing the inevitable reunion thing in 2007 (for the 10th anniversary of their debut) and they played some festivals in 2009 and 2010. However, this is from the period where it seemed like bratty Scottish teenagers were actually going to take over the world. The fact that this isn’t still a staple in indie club sets is baffling to me.
They were surprisingly good live too, by the way. They played the Adelaide UniBar behind this album and it was a blinder of a gig.
THIS TIME IN 2010: It appears I had a day off. Nice!
Justification: There’s a reason that Supergrass generally doesn’t get spoken of in the same hushed tones as other Britpop A-listers like Blur, Pulp and Oasis: they actually had a sense of humour. This was one of their greatest strengths – the jaunty ‘Alright’ broke the band worldwide in a way that their contemporaries never did – but it also meant that while the other bands were “dreamy”, “arch” and “hard”, respectively, Supergrass ended up with “goofy”. Then again, that’s what the public wanted: this was one of their biggest hits, boasted a video with the band rendered as giant puppets and – oh, ho ho ho – had the band very clearly sing “humping” instead of “pumping”. Yeah, real mature guys.
Still, one damned catchy song. They were always great live too.
Justification: “That song doesn’t normally go for three hours, but we got into a serious thing. And then I forgot how it ended.”
Seriously: do you need more justification than that? Beck’s appearance on Futurama was not just hilarious: it was fucking hilarious. The rhyming Becktionary. Cold-lampin’. Hands-in-the-air rhymes with just-don’t-care. Was there a single moment in that episode that wasn’t gold? No, there was not. And it’s important to have those moments with Beck because no matter how great his music – and it’s almost all great, by the way; for someone who first appeared as gimmicky as Dread Zeppelin he’s proved to be a shockingly consistent artist – there’s that whole weird Super-Scientology thing that seems completely at odds with his demeanour as someone who’s not, y’know, nuts. Although if there’s a crazy Beck album, it’s probably Midnite Vultures – his attempt at a Prince-style disco-funk album fails left and right in wildly entertaining ways, and finishes with a remarkably straight-faced slow-jam that Boyz II Men would have been proud to call their own. And the lead single was a killer too. He might believe in some batshit lunacy, but to give the man credit: there aren’t many people who’d go “You know what this brass-drenched dance hit really needs? A slathering of down-home banjo!” – and be completely right.