Now, you lovely people probably aren’t as excited as I am over this installment of the 20 Day Challenge. It’s difficult for some to understand in this smart phone age that some people just don’t have easy access to music. Every day I mourn the loss of my near 250,000 track music collection (sob). These days my homelessness means I must rely on YouTube for musical shenanigans.
Hence why I’m so excited, because today I have an excuse to kill an hour by listening to some of the songs I never – ever – get tired of. The songs I know back to front, top to bottom, note for note. The songs that I will always sing whenever they’re playing! So sit back, hook up your headphones and take a journey into the eclectic musical taste of Addy.
Note: Given my utter love of everything ever released by Serena Ryder, Runrig, Paul Mounsey and Scottish artists in general, I am hereby excluding them from appearing within this post otherwise they will, as always, take over!
I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free (Nina Simone)
A song I’ve loved ever since discovering the magnificence of Nina Simone courtesy of the oft-maligned movie Point of No Return (aka The Assassin) in the late 1990s. In a slightly hypomanic/delusional state I once spent ten hours listening to this song on repeat whilst I wrote a feature-length movie-musical (a la Moulin Rouge) based on an instalment of my Chronicles. Whilst one of my happiest homeless moments was stumbling on a DVD of Nina Simone: Live at Ronnie Scott’s at Coburg library which I spent a glorious night enjoying under the stars.
F**kin’ Perfect (P!nk)
What? P!nk f**ckin’ rocks, deal with it. I love her voice, her personality, her stage presence, her energy, her politics, her everything. Of all the mainstream acts out there she’s the person I’d commit a naughty act to see her live in concert. As for this song, it’s become an almost pseudo-anthem for my abuse-traumatised soul. Everybody now, sing like you mean it: “Pretty pretty please, don’t you ever ever feel, like you’re less than fucking perfect…pretty pretty please, if you ever ever feel, like you’re nothing, you’re fucking perfect to me!”
Unwell (Matchbox 20)
Just listen to the lyrics if you need to know why this is on the list!
Born to Make You Happy [Acoustic Version] (Britney Spears)
What? Britney F**kin’ rocks, deal with it. Okay, so maybe there was a moment when she was producing, well, crap (Crossroads anyone?) but Early-Britney and Circus-Britney are contiguously awesome. In fact, I’ve stripped to Britney’s music more than any other artist…ever! As for this song, one of the most important turning points of the Chronicles is the death of a central character, who is randomly mown down by a drunk driver whilst this song plays from a nearby house. Hence, why I once spent two days listening to it as I worked my feckin’ arse off to nail that scene to perfection!
Common People (Pulp)
A song that not only reminds me of my angst ridden teenage years (self-harming in my bedroom whilst this played in the background) but of a drunken afternoon in Glasgow as Sammi and I consumed copious amounts of hard liquor to summon the confidence to karaoke it. Which we did with astounding awfulness! Pray you never see my Jarvis Cocker impersonation :p
Holding Out For a Hero (Bonnie Tyler)
One of the greatest songs ever recorded! I’ve danced to it, karaoked to it, kissed to it, had wild naughty sex to it, cried to it and become ratarsed to it. Once upon a time (whilst insane) I wrote an epic eight minute single-take scene to it! I envisioned it to be the opening of a movie version of The Ghosts That Haunt Me; an action packed motorcycle chase across the city of Inverness, which just happened to be falling apart because of an apocalyptic event! Cue demons, mermaids, giant lizard-bat thingmejigs, a sword fighting Faerie, random Mario Kart references, earthquakes, collapsing buildings and copious one liners as a twentysomething couple race to save the world from total annihilation. I can no longer listen to this song without seeing the entire sequence playing out in my mind!
In My Sleep (Austin Hartley-Leonard & Kendall Jane Meade)
A song the marvellous show Chuck introduced me to; simply beautiful.
We’re All Going To Die (Malcolm Middleton)
Just listen to it. I even broke my self-imposed ‘no Scottish music in this post’ rule because it’s so bloody good!
I Wish I Was the Moon (Neko Case)
This song reminds me of Louise (a big Neko Case fan) and of that fleeting period where I had what people consider a ‘life’. Sipping wine on a lazy Sunday afternoon, cycling the river, hanging out with friends, being a productive member of society that – shock horror – for a moment there people actually cared about. She is a divine singer with a magnificent voice and another person I would be all naughty for to see live. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to embrace my mischievous genes again!
The Staunton Lick (Lemon Jelly)
If you’re wondering what television show you’ve heard this in, it’s Spaced. It may have been used in others but Spaced is all that matters. I was so tempted to put my other favourite Lemon Jelly tracks in here (Ramblin’ Man and the much teased Nice Weather for Ducks) but there is something magical about this piece of music. Enjoy.
Fuel (Ani DiFranco)
A song that reminds me of Annie; of Canada; of singing my own version during a college radio production (!) A song that contains one of my favourite song lyrics ever! The brilliant: “People used to make records, as in a record of an event, the event of people playing music in a room, now everything is cross-marketing, it’s about sunglasses, and shoes, or guns, and drugs, you choose,”
Another track I listened to on repeat for days on end as I wrote a major sequence for my Chronicles. A pinnacle moment that saw the death of Megan, the beginning of the end for Beth, the fire that results in The Smiling Turtle, the nadir of Finn and the commencement of the hardest sequence I’ve ever had to write; the collapse of Shay and the subsequent hell he unleashes on those he loves. And of course, none of this will mean anything to anyone bar those two ‘lucky’ people who received my novel in 2009 (apologies to Steph and Grace for inflicting it on them) so forget everything I just said and listen to – Britney excepted – the darkest, most hardcore track in this post!
Northwest Passage (Stan Rogers)
If I was Prime Minister of Canada I would immediately issue a decree that this is the new National Anthem. No offense to Oh, Canada, but this song is utterly magnificent in every way, shape and form. Recently, an article was published on The Conversation about the Northwest Passage and I swore off the website for days for not seizing the opportunity to insert this video into the article. My counsellor told me I should have posted the link as a comment but he knew I wouldn’t, given my lack of comment-confidence. So here, for those who have never heard it, is the song Rachel and I sung whilst ratarsed in Halifax. The song that should be the anthem of that great and wonderful land!
Tomorrow: 12 Facts About Me…