M from velvetwhip
1 - Maybe Tomorrow by the Stereophonics. Maybe tomorrow I'll find my way home. Aside from Kelly Jones looking ridiculously hot in the video for this song, it just hits home. It's a beautiful ballad from a band who want to be rockers but who have an ultimately celtic sensibility. Just... makes me sit back and nod.
2 - Matinee by Franz Ferdinand. I have a strange relationship with Franz Ferdinand. Partly, I see them as a guilty pleasure because they are the kind of band I would have looked down on when I was at Uni. "Check out the Art School grads" would have been an insult then, but now it's kinda cool. I like Franz Ferdinand and will forever regret the panic attack that prevented me going to the gig with smileawhile last year. I got to see them, with Denise, in Edinburgh though. That was very cool.
3 - My Imaginary Friend by The Divine Comedy. Neil Hannon (or 'little Neil' as engelsteorra calls him) blows me away with his songwriting talent. He is, like Franz Ferdinand, one of those musicians who could easily veer into the "just an arse'" end of the spectrum, but somehow manages to be just quirky enough to stay on this side of being cool. Peripatetically. Who manages to work that into a song? Neil Hannon, that's who.
4 - Man Out Of Time by Elvis Costello. I think the dichotomy of this track is what makes me love it so. Costello’s political songs ring so true with me - Shipbuilding will always be my favourite song because of my family background and the political realities of the song - and his genius to me is always that slyness. That certain something which was playing the game, being commercially ‘on’ but the knowingness that stood back and said ‘screw you’ to the establishment. Yeah, this song almost embodies the dichotomy. It starts off as Radio 2 fodder, and then just randomly changes into something so much closer to the bone. So much… closer to the heart. Love it.
5 - Mothers of the Disappeared by U2. Okay, so it probably won’t come as a surprise to most of you, but I am a political idealist. I was raised in an environment where debate was encouraged and my parents seemed to maintain opposing sides, (My mum was a monarchist, my dad was a Marxist). Seeing both sides, understanding, was always an important goal in my life. In my early teens I became aware of U2. I am, and always will be, a fan of U2 in the early years. When they were angry young men. When songs like Mothers of the Disappeared could be heard by a thirteen year old girl and make that girl see that the world was so much bigger and so much more horrific than she could ever have thought.
6 - Moondance by Van Morrison. I have a slightly strange, but not all that odd, academic history. I was second best in my secondary school, and I hated it. I wasn‘t top of the class because that was always Euan. I was second best and who cared? I was given an unconditional acceptance to the third oldest university in the UK and the oldest university in Scotland (St Andrews). I went there, and I fucked up. Hugely. Somehow I survived (although I will never, ever take another paracetamol in my life) and I spent the next few months finding myself. I went back to uni (Glasgow Caledonian Uni), and I met a girl called Jenny, with whom I wish I was still in contact, and she introduced me to “Sunday music”. Including Van Morrison. And I met Anwen, and others, and I re-learned my appreciation for music. Jenny and I would listen to anything we could and Anwen and I would sing and play guitar together. Van Morrison songs became a staple. This song and ‘Stoned Me’ will stay with me forever. I don’t know what became of either Jenny or Anwen. Part of me wishes I did, but the bigger part of me wants to hold onto the hope that they ended up where they wanted. That Jenny truly became self sufficient, that Anwen is writing songs and still playing her Gibson. That they’re happy.
7 - My Sweet Prince by Placebo. Fandom based purely. Although it is a good song! A while ago I got into writing a Xander/Angel slash tag fic with Missy (no longer on my flist, the reasons behind which are a long and boring story, and whose LJ name I can’t actually remember off the top of my head - Claudia6913? Something like that) and this song was what I played when I was writing it. I still love the song, and I still miss Missy. But I totally understand why she came down on that side of that particular issue and accept it. (and it had nothing to do with any problems I had previously with slashing Xander.)
8 - Medication by Garbage. I love Shirley Manson. If I swung that way? Totally. And this song? “Nobody gives a damn about me, or anybody else…” So world weary. So fucking true.
9 - Mary Can You Come Outside by Kane. I had the absolute privilege of being at the gig where the “Acoustic Live in London” gig was recorded, and it was the first time I heard this song live. So yes, I saw Chris’s face when he told the story of how he lived next door to this girl and how he heard her being abused by her partner and how he “politely knocked on the door and politely beat the shit out of him”. I love Kane. They have brought me round to appreciating country music, which is kinda a big deal for me (for all sorts of reasons, which I may or may not discuss with my therapist at my next appointment…).
10 - Make It Tonight by Wet Wet Wet. For a good part of my life I followed this band around the country. smileawhile will attest to that. I kind of moved away from it, but part of me still wishes I could be that person. I remember those days as being carefree, of not caring that we were verging on stalkerdom. I still have the video that Jane made. I still cherish it. smileawhile, I still smile. I’m still High on the Happy Side.
Just a little side note, as I’m typing this I’m watching Billy Eliot, and I heard the song “Town Called Malice”, The Jam. I tried so hard to justify “Malice” as being worthy of putting this on the list, but right now, I’ll make it an honorary number 11. This song, and all it represents, just… yeah. This is the country I grew up in. Wanna know what it was like to be me as a kid? Listen to two tracks on a loop - Town Called Malice and Ghost Town by The Specials - and you have my childhood. (wanna little existentialism in there? Throw in UB40’s One in Ten and you’re set.)
Y’never know, tomorrow when I’ve had less beer and slightly more to eat I might just edit this to upload the songs somewhere. I’m kinda drunk right now. Always a danger when watching rugby, especially when watching it with people who used to be friends and who kinda sided with your ex after you broke up….
(I’m not bitter, honest, me and D did not work, there is no universe in which we would have worked, but I hate that our mutual friends still feel awkward about it all)
This is an addendum; I’m not editing the original statement, but right now, FUCK OFF. I lived through the 1980s. I remember the Miners’ Strike. I was ten years old and I gave my pocket money to the collectors in Clydebank to support the Miners who were on strike, to help their families eat. I’m watching Billy Elliot and am fucking furious that this film seems to be implying right now that the strike was for nothing. Fuck right off.
Britain’s a classless society? Aye, right.
Okay, added addendum, I'm downloading a TV series right now so my computer's being slow. As I was waiting for this page to load, UKTV Gold went to an ad break with the act break of the snob guy saying "Oh Mister Elliot? Good Luck with the strike." and I've kinda changed my view.
Am I just a child of the 80s? Am I just a naive idealist who wants to believe that the people can make a difference? Am I just a hopeless idealist?
I don't play the lottery, as much because of 1984 as because of lack of money, I distrust anything that comes out of the government press reports, and not just because I kinda know Alistair Campbell's brother. If they paid a salary, I would be a professional cynic.
God. As I'm watching, the best moment of this kid's life (this kid who is the same age as I was in the time this film is set) is offset by the fact that the strike was broken.
Is this a part of my psychosis? In this country, I grew up in one of the biggest moments in our history. Is this why nothing I do feels like it matters? Is this the reason I'm so fucked up?
I'm a child of the 80s. I'm a product of the Cold War. I grew up knowing what the Four Minute Warning was. I knew what I would do if it ever came. Thank fuck it didn't.
But now, years later, watching a film that shows my lifetime as nostalgia, as history, I have to sit back and think. This is what made me who I am. This is what fucked me up. This is what saved me.