My iPod #17: The Offspring – All I Want

So I’m watching standard TV one day, I change it to MTV2 and then suddenly “ALL I WAAAAAAAAAAAANT YAH YAH YAH YAH YAH” and a guy falls into a pit of mud and the video ends.

Wh-what.

I should probably start from the very beginning. Everyone knows ‘Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)‘ right? If you have heard this song, even a clip of it in the shop or an advert or what not, this is the band who made that song.

I probably knew that song when I was, like 4. It got to number one in the UK for about a week, and I think I liked it and I remember my sister singing it too. Of course then I didn’t know who it was by, but the counting in Spanish and ‘Give it to me baby, UH-HUH UH-HUHs’ were too catchy. I barely like it anymore, it’s really cheesy for me anyway. I haven’t got it on my iPod.

My cousin bought me The Offspring’s Greatest Hits compilation for Christmas 2005, but that was because I knew that songs like ‘Hit That’, ‘Original Prankster’ and ‘Can’t Repeat’ were on there, so I didn’t pay as much attention to ‘All I Want’.

I would probably talk more about how I got to like The Offspring. But that will probably in the blog for ‘Hit That’ when I come to it. Maybe next year. Or 2015.

In regards to ‘All I Want’, that split second of the ending of the video left me really puzzled. I never listened to ‘All I Want’ before so I went onto YouTube. The comments below were mostly along the lines of ‘Yeah, this song rocks’ to ‘Yeah, Crazy Taxi’ to which I thought, ‘OK… back to the video.’

The song is very quick. It’s on their album ‘Ixnay on the Hombre‘ released in 1997 and was released as the first single from it. It’s a fast, punchy, all-up-in-your-face punk song about breaking free, fuck the system, ‘I DON’T WANNA BE CONTROLLED, ‘SALL I WAAAAAAAANNT.’

Dexter Holland singing ‘Want’ in the chorus probably takes up half the song, but it’s a hell of a chorus. You just feel like running down a corridor screaming that shit.

The video is something else too. It’s pretty funny, you get the band performing the song in a house with different colour effects, a guy pushing women over, stepping in some weird shit on the ground, running past policemen on pogo sticks and random clips of a guy with sunglasses and a mask over his face whilst playing the piano. It’s crazy. It’s cool. IT’S ALLLLL I WAANNNNNNNNNNNNNNT. YAH YAH YAH YAH YAH.

Until next time.

Jamie.

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My iPod #16: Radiohead – All I Need

‘In Rainbows’ was the long awaited Radiohead album that was released as a download, pay-as-much-as-you-want in 2007.

I’m not a great fan of the band, in comparison to other crazy Radiohead fans, I am nothing – I might have already said this in my ‘Airbag‘ blog.

So when ‘In Rainbows’ way back when, I didn’t really see the fuss about it. I thought it was cool that people could pay whatever they wanted like 1p or £100, most fans paid nothing anyway, which resulted in many complaints about how companies don’t get enough money for their stuff being released or whatever. Apparently, pre-release sales were more profitable than the total money from sales of ‘Hail to the Thief.’ So they must have done something right from changing their selling tactics.

I have to admit too that as an album, I still haven’t given ‘In Rainbows’ a chance. I’ve never sat down and fully listened to the whole package. I should do. I really should. Most fans like it more than ‘Hail to the Thief’ and I think that ‘HTTT’ is a very good album, so what could go wrong?

The songs on my iPod from this album are not those I liked upon listening to the album once I received it for Christmas 2007. ‘Jigsaw Falling into Place’ played repeatedly on MTV2 and I liked that song and the video too, no matter how weird the cameras were. The song would be the first I would hear from ‘In Rainbows’.

I first properly paid attention to ‘All I Need’ when MTV2, again, dedicated five minutes of its schedule to advertise its EXIT campaign. The ‘advert’ was basically a music video for ‘All I Need’, which you can watch by clicking these two words.

Still, I didn’t think much of it.

Listening to it many times after though, I realised that the song is great. Quite calming actually. You’re provided with a smooth, soothing vocal by Thom Yorke with a steady backbeat by Phil Selway and a strong bassline by Colin Greenwood. The lyrics come off kinda stalkerish, ‘I am all the days, that you choose to ignore’, ‘You are all I need. You’re alll I neeeeeeeed.’ You probably wouldn’t recognise this, because the instrumentation is very calming. It’s like slowly sinking into a beanbag when you begin to sleep in it. But then, the song picks up and there are thrashing cymbal crashes, a chorus of piano and, overall, a real build in tension of atmosphere with Thom singing ‘It’s all right, it’s allll riiiiiiiight!’ And just when you think the song is going to climax, it ends.

It’s a magical song. I really need to listen to ‘In Rainbows’. Fully though, not just the singles.

Until next time.

Jamie.

My iPod #15: They Might Be Giants – Alienation’s for the Rich

Oh my god, I’m so late. Sorry guys. I’ve been revising, so… yeah.

“They Might Be Giants again?” Yes. Deal with it.

It is another song from their debut entitled ‘Alienation’s for the Rich’, one of those songs with a title which would make you immediately think, ‘Oh hohoho. Those Giants and their weird, quirky titles derp derp derp.’

No.

I have to say, it did take me quite some time to actually get into this song. I would listen to the album, and it was so quick. You would be listening to songs with great melodies and eclectic instrumentation but they would be over so quickly before you realised.

Then ‘Alienation’ would start, and it just sounded so slow compared to the others. I was even like ‘Alienation’s for the Rich, like wh… what does that mean?’ It was a song on the album that I would skip over quite a bit.

After listening to it a few more times, I have realised that it is probably one of the best songs out of the last five of the album, Rhythm Section Want Ad takes first place. Do you want to know why I changed my mind?

I will tell you anyway.

Yes, the first section of the song is pretty much samey samey, but it definitely captures the ‘couch-potato, lazy sod’ emotion and attitude that the ‘narrator’ is in. To me, just from the lyrics, it’s about someone who ‘needs a job’ and needs to ‘get some pay’, but he doesn’t give a shit and he feels fine.

John Flansburgh is a very underrated vocalist. I think that needs to be said. Both Johns are. They are very good singers. In this case, Flansburgh has a very wide range of vocal ability, ranging from girly-sounded whispers to a giant yelling his triumphs high from the hills. And he is able to use it well in any kind of song.

That is when the song completely changes. With a sudden key change after the instrumental bridge, Flansburgh starts belting out the second verse at the top of his lungs! I don’t really know how to say it to you, I’m listening to the song in my head and trying to write how it sounds.

It’s just brings a real elation to the track. You realise that the narrator is not miserable in the state he is in, but is damn proud of it. He really doesn’t care. I mean, listen to the maniacal laughter at the end. LISTEN TO IT.

If only this was possible in real life.

Until next time.

Jamie.

A-HEY HEY HEY.

My iPod #14: Mystery Jets – Alas Agnes

Evening everyone.

I went to Coventry today, not for a fun day out or anything, but for an open day at its university. This time of year is very busy for me. I’ve got my A-Levels in the summer, two months and a bit to be more precise, and those exams basically decide whether my life is over or if it has only just begun. Coventry was alright. The weather was a bit shitty, but the place was nice and nothing was extremely bad about it.

Coventry is in England, which is also where London is. South West of London is the ‘large suburban town’ of Twickenham, where Mystery Jets come from.

Mystery Jets were much more popular during the mid-noughties. They’ve faded out quite a bit in the past few years, but it was in 2006 (2006 again… see?) when they burst onto the scene.

‘Alas Agnes’ is the penultimate track from their album ‘Making Dens’. It’s got a very pantomimey, showtime kind of vibe to it, like the last number in a musical; that was probably due to its music video and the subject matter.

The narrator thought he fell in love with a girl, but he can’t tell whether it is a girl or actually a boy. His mind was in such a swirl, his mother shivered with fright.

The narrator eventually got dumped. He harms himself with cigarette burns. Although, he still can’t help but reminisce about that sweet transvestite butt.

Oh, Mystery Jets. Surely there must be a musical about that. I would see it.

If you are American and like British music or are British and don’t know Mystery Jets, Try these out for size.

It seems I only have American and British viewers on this blog, and some from Germany too.

Until next time.

Jamie.

My iPod #13: They Might Be Giants – AKA Driver

Another song by They Might Be Giants.

I mentioned this already in a previous post, but I’ll just remind you again.

Years ago, Yahoo! owned this website/company called LAUNCHcast which was a radio/video music site where you could mark your favourite bands and listen to radio stations based on your preferences.

If it wasn’t for that site, I don’t think I would have any interest in They Might Be Giants as I do now. It doesn’t exist anymore, but I shall thank it for eternity. This is what it looked like for anyone who cares.

AKA Driver was one of the three songs from ‘John Henry’ that I remember playing on a radio station that I would listen to, with the others being ‘Destination Moon’ and ‘The End of the Tour’.

Does anyone remember MSN Spaces? For anyone who doesn’t Windows Live Messenger, formerly MSN, had this blogging network too, similar to this, where you could post anything you wanted and type in the music you liked in these huge lists that you could give names to. I remember putting ‘AKA Driver’ into a list, bearing in mind that I had only listened to it once and never listened to it again until 2010.

MSN Spaces died too. Just like LAUNCHcast. Why does every cool internet thing I encounter die 😦

I digress.

Autumn 2010 was They Might Be Giants season for me. I downloaded almost every album by them during that time. Apparently ‘John Henry’ isn’t a favourite for some TMBG fans because that is when they were considered to have sold out, because before then the band had only performed as a duo comprising of the two Johns.

But I don’t understand that. Yes they did incorporate a full band, but that only added to their sound. The two main guys were still there, but the (then new) real rhythm section just added an extra depth and a fuller sound.

I remember listening to ‘AKA Driver’ in 2010, five years after first finding it, thinking, ‘So this is what it sounded like!’ John Flansburgh sings this one, don’t worry I do like Linnell’s songs too, and it comes right after the song ‘Unrelated Thing’, a much slower song on the album.

‘Driver’ is quite fast paced. It’s got a driving, no pun intended, beat which gets your head bobbing.

And it’s only a song about driving whilst on drugs/intoxicated. I mean, how cool is that!

It is not. I will say that. Don’t do it. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t do drugs either.

It’s only got two verses, a bitchin’ solo and a lot of repeated choruses and motifs: “It’s just a full day’s drive away”, “Heeeeeeeey Nyquil Driver’. But it is still a highlight from the album. Look out for the change in mood of the song near the end, where the electric guitars are replaced by acoustic guitars and a theremin-type instrument whilst still keeping the momentum that the song has already set.

John Henry is a great album. Give it a chance guys.

Until next time.

Jamie.

My iPod #12: Radiohead – Airbag

The opening track to, according to besteveralbums.com, the best ever album… ever.

I got OK Computer as a present for my fifteenth birthday, along with Hail to the Thief, and I think The Bends too.

OK Computer is an excellent album, I can say that. When I generally listen to any album for the first time, I never think anything special of it. Especially if it’s one that is always talked about, like this, or ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’, ‘Sgt. Pepper’ or whatever. But after a few listens, I always get why people talk. ‘Paranoid Android’, ‘Karma Police’ and ‘No Surprises’ were those that I’d seen and listened to and liked – the videos for those singles are something else too. But they only made the songs better for me.

‘Airbag’ isn’t my favourite song from the album. However it’s a great way to start things off, look at the opening lyrics:

‘In the next world war
In a jack knifed juggernaut,
I am born again.

That’s pretty awesome considering how before 1997, when the album was released, ‘The Bends’ was their last album. Putting in ‘OK’, hearing the first notes of ‘Airbag’… I could only imagine that it would have been a slap in the face for many a Radiohead fan. Radiohead certainly had been born again. I was only two, so I can’t really speak for anyone.

The chopped up drums, the semi-complete bassline, the spaced out guitar sounds by Jonny Greenwood and Ed O’Brien, Thom Yorke’s vocals. Yeah. It can’t get much better.

“In an interstellar buuuuuuuuurrrrrst.
I’m back to save the uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuniveeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrse.”

Until next time.

Jamie.

P.S. This may have seemed like a really lazy blog. I apologise if it did. Many Radiohead fans may be disappointed. But there are many more Radiohead songs to come.

My iPod #11: Daft Punk – Aerodynamic

Hi everybody, I just finished listening to ‘The Battle of Los Angeles’ and I completely forgot that it was blogging time.

So, Daft Punk…… where can I begin?

I haven’t really come to this blog with any ideas. I’m not an avid follower of their music but from what I sense from reviewers their albums ‘Homework’ and ‘Discovery’ are their best ones, and ‘Human After All’… not so much.

For me, Discovery is the absolute shit. Somehow it just brings out a huge gigantic hand, grabs you by the balls and squeezes until you just can’t take it no more. I only really listened to it in 2010. That was nine years too late.

‘Aerodynamic’ is the second song on the album, between album opener ‘One More Time’ and ‘Digital Love’ and it all segues together seamlessly. After the epic party starter of ‘OMT’, a huge bell brings everything to a stand still, a sense of doom and foreboding. All of a sudden the beat starts like a punch in the face, and you find yourself Spongebobbing and pop-lock ‘n’ droppin’ all over.

That part lasts for 30 seconds or so.

And then……. the solo. THE SOLO. The most unexpected bloody awesome guitar solo that you could come across in a ‘house, techno’ whatever the hell album.  If you listen to the song for the first time, it’s just a total surprise. Where the fuck does it come from?

I thought it was a copy of some classical music composer’s work, but Daft Punk don’t acknowledge them. So I can only assume they made it up. Which is even more crazy.

I’m not a very good music analyser or anything. I’m not a music reviewer guy at all. I’m just giving my opinions on the songs I have on my iPod. But that is just one of many highlights on the album.

The aforementioned bell brings an end to the middle section. Then everything cools down, synthesisers start playing the melody of the solo and it’s very relaxing. It’s a major comedown after the solo, and the doom bell rings again and ‘Digital Love’ begins. But you will all have to experience it for yourselves.

Now… when I was younger I saw the video for ‘One More Time’, it didn’t make very much sense to me. Why were there cartoon people playing the songs? Why were they blue? Why was everyone blue?

I then found out that it was all part of a movie. ‘Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem’ is its name. For those who don’t know, the movie has no dialogue, only ‘Discovery’ playing over it. I’ll tell you…. it gave me a totally different understanding of the album. It is actually great.
 
 
Until next time.
 
Jamie.