Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hideous tricks on the brain


Fame, fame, fatal fame ... and all that stuff. It's difficult to follow frogprincess's fine list (thankfully, the way that these new-fangled bloggy things work, this actually precedes it) so I won't try anything too tricksy.

I will however, start my list with a response to The Velvet Underground's Femme Fatale in the shape of Tracey Thorn's take on the song, from her debut album A Distant Shore. I'm that rare specimen - a Jonathan Richman fan who doesn't have much time for The Velvets - don't know why - I'm probably wrong but, what the hey...

Next up (and here's a real attempt to out frogprincess, frogprincess) it's David Essex with Gonna Make You A Star. Leo Sayer a few weeks ago - now this. I genuinely have no shame - but it's still a great song, innit?

Microdisney's Singer's Hampstead Home covers the trappings of fame and was allegedly written with Boy George in mind. Like all the best Cathal Coughlan/Sean O'Hagan compositions, it's crystal pure pop, hiding an acerbic under-belly.

Including a Barenaked Ladies song in a 'Spill post always does wonders for our Google hits. This just happens to be one of my favourites. A poignant look at the rise and fall of a pop star, told from the point of view of his career-spanning Box Set. Listen to the lyrics - it's very funny.

You Just Haven't Earned It Yet, Baby is a typically upbeat song from the late Kirsty MacColl. She was a wonderful songwriter and a great singer and I still have to stop myself wondering when her next album's coming ...

Oops - just noticed that placing Dead Pop Stars next in the playlist was not such a good idea. Sorry! Anyway, any excuse to hear the sublime Ms Grogan (who, by the way, would be my choice for the pop star I'd most like to see bouncing around on a trampoline). Just thought I'd mention that...

Crowded House? Are they underrated or overrated? Answers on a postcard to... Well, I like them and I particularly like Woodface, the album from what this track is taken. Some people, I know, find them a bit too clean and over-produced. I saw them live a few times in the late 80s and they were brilliant. So there.

I really hope you like the next track. It's called Wheels Go Round and it's by a band called Blue Train and as far as I can tell, this is the only thing they ever did. Shame, as it shows much promise and a good ear for a jazzy pop tune. If anyone out there involved in the band is reading this, please post a comment here. You have a fan.

Last up, it's REM with All The Way To Reno from the 2001 album, Reveal. Overall, this is not one of their greatest works but this is the standout track - I love the corny guitar.





As usual frogprincess has taken the best supplementary question, so I'll ask you this. If you were famous, what would you like to be famous for?

8 comments:

FP said...

Ideally I'd like to write a really good screenplay. Which means I need to get down to it and start typing out my ideas. I just see; to get sidetracked by... other issues. Tee Hee. Will stick your list through the speakers now. Off for brunch. Muffins and Frank Coopers Oxford Fine Cut anyone?

Frogprincess said...

This list is the hot muffin dripping with butter and Frank Coopers marmalade of all lists. That good. Glad you dared the David Essex. Wonderful to hear that again. I used to fancy him something rotten when I was a kid. It was the Heathcliffe gypsy look so beloved of 70s pop stars and indeed TV presenters. Fine days indeed.....

steenbeck said...

Just listening to your list as I type. I DO like Wheels go Round.

I'd like to be famous for my ability to tie cherry stems with my tongue. I can tie two together!!

Actually, I'd like to write a novel, I've started a few, and I've got one in my head now that I think could be really good, but I ruin it every time I try to write it. I have a bit written, but... And I'd like to make films that get distribution and lots of people see. Um, I've got one in my head and I think...Sigh.

ToffeeBoy said...

@ fp - glad to be of service.

@ steenbeck - it's good isn't it? I wonder what happened to them? The singer's probably just been made redundant from a branch of Barclay's bank in Croydon. The bass player's working in IT somewhere in Helsinki, and you can make the rest up yourselves...

OK - what is that's stoppong us from writing these things? We're creative people for god's sake!

I've got a great children's novel in my head and what am I doing about it? Abosultely nothing! How many times do we think we get the chance to - we only get one shot, do not miss this opportunity...

ToffeeBoy said...

@ steen - be careful - you're dealing with male fantasies there!

Blimpy said...

Film making, please!

tincanman said...

I've quite enjoyed Wheels Go Round, too. Thanks for saving me the trouble of looking for more by them.

As for writing, I heard a thing once I thought was pretty good. It was one of those silly psych things about fear of failure and all that, but there is something in it.

When people say they want to write a book, what they are really saying is they want to write a book that gets published and brings them admiration, fame, money, etc.

A book itself is 10,000 words (or whatever), and if you sit down and spend an hour typing instead of watching Eastenders and Corrie, in about a year you'll be done. Now writing perfect words, words guaranteed to get you published, to bring you big material rewards - well that'll take you about twice as long as its taken you so far.

His advice to anyone who wants to write a book? Write it. Worry about whether it is any good at the rewrite stage.

ToffeeBoy said...

@ tincanman - sound advice, that, wherever it's from. Just write for god's sake. I think we're all a bit intimidated by the idea of people being singers, musicians, writers and artists. I prefer to think of them as people who sing, play music, write and create art - they're just talented people, that's all.