Saturday, September 13, 2008

"Heaven covereth him that hath no burial. And to conclude, I will revenge his death!"

I was really pleased when Maddy mentioned that she was envisioning lots of Jacobean style revenge this week. Revenge tragedy, as a genre, is something that I love. Its often overlooked for the pleasanter stuff that came before it and after it but, if its blood, guts and poetry that you're after then Middleton, Beaumont, Fletcher, Tourneur, a bit of Shakespeare, Rowley, Marlowe and more are where its at. A lecturer of mine at university wrote a book on Crime Fiction, of the pulp variety mainly, and drew a clear line between the tales of Marlowe, Spade et al and the murderous sprees of Hieronimo, Vindice, Hamlet (ish) and the rest. The above quote is from The Spanish Tragedy, and it follows a lovely, long, blood-lusty speech about how the world will suffer. He then rounds it up as if to say, 'Yep, so, all in all, keep up the good work, lads.' Cold-eyed and cool.

All this bluster leads me on to what is, I think, my first full, weekend playlist on an RR topic. Don't ask me why that should be, I maybe just have more time on my hands this weekend than most as I don't seem to be waiting as long as some of you for it to load. Most of these probably aren't fully inside the rubric, but its all fun, innit?

Iiiiiiiin, one:

Crime Scene Part 1 by the Afghan Whigs. Being the start of an album based around the committing of a vengeful act. The song beautifully sets up the question of whether the better revenge will be secured via the truth or via lies. I love this band. They must get in the list.

the afghan whigs - black love - 01 - crime scene part one.mp3

Next up, Song For The Dumped by the Ben Folds Five. For obvious reasons I nominate it. For obvious other reasons (mainly that I think it is a hatchet job and didn't Dorian hate it?) it won't get in. But its always good to hear it again anyway.

04 Song For The Dumped.mp3

Following that raucousness, we move to Okkervil River and more raucousnosity. I didn't nominate this (the honour goes, I THINK, to Fuel), but Black is the song that first alerted me to the River. All bouncy keys, bobbing bass, happy chorus and dark dark lyrical matter. The band in a shell of nut.

04 Black.mp3

And now Mogwai. Dial:Revenge is one of their few songs with comprehensible lyrics. Comprehensible, but Welsh, that is. Courtesy of Gruff Rhys from the Super Furries, the lyric is based around the fact that 'Dial' in Welsh means 'revenge', so any trip to a phone box for a Welsh-speaker is a potentially aggressive experience...

04 Dial- Revenge.mp3

Elbow come next. One of the quiet, broody ones from the quiet, broody end of Cast of Thousands, I've Got Your Number is full of menace and the threat of revenge. It also includes one of those great Elbow noises at the end, a sound the like of which you don't tend to hear anywhere else.

07-07 I _ ve Got Your Number.mp3

Samson by Regina Spektor probably isn't about revenge at all, but it invokes the story of Samson and is a gorgeous song. I'd like to try Wonder Bread.

03 - regina spektor - samson.mp3

Another one now by Titus Andronicus. Nominated more for the name than anything else, but the song is a ramshackle kind of two-fingered salute and it ends with a recitation from the play of the same name, and that qualifies it enough for me. Plus it rocks. Fear and Loathing in Mahwah NJ:

01) - Fear And Loathing In Mahwah, Nj.mp3

Lastly, I promised it. The Meat Loaf song. I'm Gonna Love Her For Both of Us struck me first on my parents' vinyl when I was about four. I think its that dumb piano opening. It has stayed with me ever since. Listen or don't listen. I promise I wont hunt you down if you don't, but I do think your day will be that bit less fun.

02 I'm Gonna Love Her for Both of Us.mp3



Shoegazer said...

Regina & Titus stood out for me, along with old faves Elbow & Mogwai

What to you think of the new Ben Folds/Regina Spektor team-up?

snadfrod said...

Sadly I am not yet that keen on it. I think it is very nice, very likeable but also very by numbers. I've only heard it twice, but it just strikes me that they got Regina in and said to her, "Oh don't forget to do that Oh-Oh-Oh thing at the end..."

That said, if you go to his myspace, watch the video for Cologne. That IS a very good song and the film is very funny too. Might post it anon.

snadfrod said...

A link to the Ben Folds 'Cologne' video, since it doesn't seem to want to embed.

"You were a little ungrateful and irreverent..."

steenbeck said...

I liked most of these!! A lot of bands I've heard a lot about but not heard a lot of actual music from--like Mogwai and Elbow. I liked Fear and Loathing in Mahwah NJ a lot. I wonder if I've ever been to Mahwah?

snadfrod said...

Cheers steen - I reckon you should seek out a copy of Elbo's The Seldom Seen Kid asap, cos they really are one of those bands who fully fully deserve all the recognition they are now starting to get.

As for Mogwai, that track wouldn't be especially indicative of the band in general, but the album it is on - Rock Action - is a good place to start, I think.

darceysdad said...

Evening steenbeck.

I'll dond one and counter one of Snadfrod's leads - donds to starting with Mogwai's Rock Action (accessible, digestible, typical and consistently good), but I really recommend starting with Elbow's debut Asleep At The Back, and running through them chronologically ... Cast Of Thousands ... Leaders Of The Free World ... Seldom Seen Kid. I reckon they're one of those bands who you feel you can connect to their "growing up".

snadfrod said...

@DsD - actually, I think you might be right, there. I was a bit hasty. I think i've always held back from recommending Asleep to people first up as it took me so long to get into. It is very dense indeed. But, having recently seen how much hammer Mrs Frod has given it in the car, which I hadn't expected at all, you may just be right. Ignore me, steen, go sequential!!

Proudfoot said...

DsD. That's the way to do it, Elbowise. I wouldn't necessarily recommend this for Pink Floyd (you'd stop half way through Ummagumma and miss some good bits) the Beatles or David Bowie, but this would do for most artists wouldn't it?

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