Friday, October 3, 2008

Now, what was I saying....



... oh yes ... that's it ... songs about memory and stuff like that.

I'm not convinced that all of these would pass Maddy's strict songs-that-are-actually-about-memory-rather-than-just-mentioning-the-idea-of-remembering-something-in-the-past [As opposed to remembering something in the future? Ed.] requirement but as DarceysDad once said in these parts, 'who cares?' (yes, I know - that's a fairly loose translation but you get the point).

Anyhoo, here are six songs from the ToffeeBoy/Mark68 collection for your delectation:

1. Only A Memory - The Smithereens. To start things off, here's an excellent track from The Smithereens' debut album, Green Thoughts. It's the second track of theirs that I've posted this week (see Musical Homonyms) and although I know I'm not the only Smithereens fan in this village, I still feel it incumbent upon me to promote this much under-rated group as much as I can.

2. Stupid Memory - Sondre Lerche. Another second of the week and another artist who I feel deserves more recognition. My brother introduced me to this Norwegian singer-songwriter about a year ago and he's been near the top of my last.fm chart ever since (that's Sondre Lerche - not my brother, by the way). I only know one of his albums (again, we're talking about Mr Lerche, not my brother - please keep up) but apparently he's recorded five albums in all so I have much to look forward to. It never fails to impress me when non-native English speakers write such intelligent songs in what is after all a foreign language to them. I'm yet to write even a half-decent song in Norwegian...

3. Gangway - Do You Remember?. Staying up north in Scandinavialand (have I just coined a Bushism?) we come to Denmark's Gangway. If this band had been British, I really believe that they would have been huge. This track was originally the B-Side to their 1986 single My Girl And Me - the closest they ever came to having a hit single. They were sort of a Pet Shop Boys meet The Smiths indie-pop kind of thing and I seem to remember that John Peel was an admirer of theirs. Like the above-mentioned Sondre Lerche, what made them stand out for me was their intelligent and thoughtful lyrics. Do You Remember? is a wonderful track which I've been saving for the Songs About Bullying list - which surely can't be too far away...

4. Elvis Costello - Painted From Memory. One of the standout tracks from his strangely under-rated collaboration with Burt Bacharach, Painted From Memory. Some don't like it - I do - 'nuff said.

5. Prefab Sprout - I Remember That. This is, in truth, more a song about nostalgia than it is about memory as such - in fact I'd go so far as to say that it's a shoe-in for a Songs About Nostalgia list.
Nothing sounds as good as,
I remember that.
Interestingly, [Really? Ed.] it's one of those songs that I remember exactly where I was when I first heard it. I was working at Our Price Records in Wembley when From Langley Park To Memphis (the album on which this track appears) came out and I clearly remember listening to the album for the first time after everyone else had gone home and then playing it another five or six times - I loved it then and I love it still.

6. The Go-Betweens - Dive For Your Memory. No justification is necessary for this beautiful song...
I can't be the only one around here to have noticed that the posts which tend elicit the highest numbers of responses are the ones which end with a thought-provoking question - frogprincess, of course, being the mistress (well I can't say 'master' can I?) of this sly practice ;o}. So what I'd like to ask you all is: "If I want to get loads of comments on this thread, what question should I ask?"

21 comments:

saneshane said...

Zebras.. black stripes on a white body..or


.... better drummers for the white stripes?

answers please.

Shoegazer said...

Probably not that one.

Shoegazer said...

But, then again it seems to be working 3 already.

Frogprincess said...

Everyone knows that a zebra is a horse in pyjamas. Choh! I'm a mistress now. I find that rather cool. I don't really have any formula for the questions - they just seem to arise out of my bletherings. The thing is to toss a ball into the fray and to watch people picking it up and running with it. It's fascinating to see where the thread leads. But I always like to reply to people who are kind enough to reply to my posts. Donds for Prefab Sprout obviously!!

saneshane said...

I was only trying an example..
I wanted to add..
speech doesn't have capital letters, why does writing?
..to My post but the teachers would give me hell.

to make up for my slur on meg, whoops, Meg.
I just scanned their elephant cd and turned it into a 'Spill wine glass, yes I'm really that bored!

how many posts we got for you toffee old chap?
pyjamas.. funky
(and fp this and RR post you've done has reminded me of a Pony Club track I got to search out..umm 'I still feel the same' is it memory?)

oh good tunes.. I'm slowly getting them listened to.

Shoegazer said...

Shane trying to salvage his old mix tapes from yesteryear, made me wonder who else has some & do you remember what year it was made & what's on them?

(How's that, Toffee?)

saneshane said...

grrr
3 tapes have snapped already.

there is a whole set 100 odd.. that has a page each of Metropolis the novel as covers.. they look beautiful lined up.. but I can't believe I used the book pages as tape sleeves.

I have no shame (but I do have another copy, so maybe ok)

my nan used to buy copies of Shane at jumble sales so I could use them in collages too.

But I'm guessing out of 15 black sacks of tapes.. I'm not going to copy them all.

Mostly I remember the tracks and why they were done... and gives an interesting glow to my memories.

some are hitting home.

But going through the records actually gives me a stranger jolt of old flash backs.

Frogprincess said...

And. They're. Off!!!!!! Coming up on the rails it's FP with an answer to a stonkingly good question - details of favourite ever mixer tape. No contest really. 1990. First year I lived in France professionally. A pal of mine sent me a Madchester mixer tape chock full of Primal Screams, Inspiral Carpets, Happy Mondays and the like. I keep it in a vault 2 metres below the ground, constant temperature 15°C and two armed guards to keep it company. THAT precious. Although I could just re-create it on deezer.

Frogprincess said...

A fine list, Toffee. I'm not doing one this week end as I've got lots on 'Haustechnisch'. But I'm listening to all your lists. New discoveries very much liked - Gangway and the Go-Betweens. The Elvis Costello, needless to say, is divine too.

treefrogdemon said...

For those of you who don't read the actual Grauniad - in the Family section today there's a sweet story about some kids making a mixtape to help their father calm down in the car.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2008/oct/04/family5

ToffeeBoy said...

Well this has turned out nice (sorry, webcore's teacher) - in New Labour terms, we're offering real choice to the citizen.

@ saneshane - apparently no two zebras are the same - a bit like snowflakes and thumbprints - but what I always want to know is 'How do they know?' Have they checked all the zebras (snowflakes/thumbprints) - what about zebra twins? We need answers.

Sorry - 3 year old niece needs my attention - back later....

ToffeeBoy said...

Now watching Balamory - she seems to be happy with that. My two are aged 16 and 14 and big enough and ugly enough to do their own thing and I'd forgotten how demanding little ones are - very hard work - but rewarding nonetheless.

Right where was I? OK...

@ mistress fp - you always seem to have the knack of asking the most intriguing questions - but as you say, the beauty of it is when a thread that starts out as one thing evolves into something entirely different. The one about arguments which turned into a discussion of Scottish ice cream was the best example of this.

Mix tapes - now there's a good topic. Apart from the ones that I forced ToffeeGirl to listen to before she was ToffeeGirl (I seem to remember these were a strange mix of everything I loved from the previous ten years so Genesis, Jethro Tull, Focus, Hatfield & The North all got a look in alongside such unlikely bed partners as Steely Dan, James Taylor, The Beat, Madness and The Pretenders) - sorry lost the thread there - oh yes, apart from these early efforts there are two that really stand out for me, both of which I made in the mid 80's and they featured two very diverse types of music which I was then heavily into.

The first was called Don't Die Of Independence and was my own attempt at a C86-type collection featuring bands like The Wedding Present, Hurrah!, The June Brides, The Stars Of Heaven, The Pastels, The Railway Children and some more obscure bands like A Riot Of Colour, Blue Train and The Enormous Room. I made several copies but I now cannot find my original - and from time to time this troubles me. I should have gone for the underground vault option.

My second favourite mid-80s mix tape was called Doo-Wop Heaven - I still have this one and still listen to it every now and then. There's something so pure about doo-wop that speaks to me on a very deep level. The Moonglows, The Dells, The Spaniels, The Prisonaires, The Flamingos, The Orioles - the list is endless. I want doo-wop played at my funeral. But not for a while yet...

Tatanka Yotanka said...

"If I want to get loads of comments on this thread, what question should I ask?"

What is my motivation?

ToffeeBoy said...

What is my motivation? - loads of comments of course! Comments=ideas - ideas=inspiration - inspiration=fun - fun= ... well isn't that what we're all here for?

Blimpy said...

Comments are now closed for this entry.

Blimpy said...

Just kidding!!

Abahachi said...

The joy of fp's closing questions is that they arise naturally out of the theme but then take it off in new directions and/or show it in a new light. Memory seems to be a gift to this sort of thing: earliest memory (musical or otherwise)? best and/or worst memory? or, more philosophically, if you could erase painful memories would you do it..?

I'm trying not to get too angsty today, despite all the temptations of the theme and the fact that - and I accept that this is a rather specialised concern - I've just received advance copies of my new book, and every time I open it I seem to find another misprint, invariably in the German. On the plus side, I've just discovered that my alter ego has actually been getting plays on last.fm by real people, and has even, behold the weirdness, been adopted by what appears to be a Romanian punk appreciation group...

Anyway, for all you amateur psychologists out there: earliest memory, being left to wait outside the post office by my mother and then dragged inside by concerned little old lady who thought I'd been abandoned; earliest musical memory, either singing along to Sylvia's Mother (father's favourite record) or hearing Hotel California on the car radio; best memory, probably my improvised performance in a version of Sophocles' Ajax....

Tecmessa (Ajax's wife): Oh, Ajax, whatever shall I do without you?

Ajax: At first you'll be afraid. You'll be petrified. You'll wonder how you'll ever get along without me by your side...

Worst memory: prefer not to think about it. Would I erase? no, probably not, on the assumption that I am the sum of all my experiences, even the less wonderful ones...

FP said...

Fine philosophy, abahachi. And what a slippery creature memory is! Mitleid for the Cherman Tippfehler. Don't these people know about WORD spellcheck? Mind you, that's RICH coming from me.....

ToffeeBoy said...

@ abahachi - with you on the misprints in books - my latest was rushed by the publishers and as a result contains numerous typos and incorrect 'see page..' references - and mine was all in English! What do they pay copy editors for?

The problem with earliest memories is that they're so often 'inherited' memories - things your parents told you about while you were growing up and you now think you actually remember them. Do I really remember my mum's reaction to hearing the news of JFK's death? I was a few months short of my third birthday but I have this picture in my mind of our front room and my mum almost fainting at the news - but do I really remember it?

Abahachi said...

I seem to recall a rather bad-tempered correspondence in the Guardian Magazine recently, with various scientific studies quoted to say that generally we can't remember anything before the age we start school so most people who think otherwise are dealing with inherited or acquired memories, and others getting cross along "what the hell do scientists know?" lines. There were serious floods around my home when I was about a year old, and I would swear that I remember being in my mother's arms when a fireman came to the door to deliver sandbags. All the scientific evidence says that I can't really remember anything from that age, but it's not something that was ever talked about later, so not comparable to your JFK example - rather, I had this particular image in my mind, and worked out myself what it might refer to.

ToffeeBoy said...

I'm not sure whether this came up in the Guardian Magazine piece but I was just discussing this with the littlest MissToffee and the problem for our children's generation (and presumably for all those to come) is that so many of their memories are not merely inherited or acquired - they're video-taped! So it's almost impossible for them to tell what are genuine memories.