Music: best derivatives and best angry songs

Some best ofs in my current favourite lists.

Best derivatives

While most of the music on my favourites list are original compositions, here are some cover versions and songs that sample others that I currently like a lot:

Something For Kate — Born To Run — I almost like this more than Springsteen’s original.

P Diddy with Jimmy Page — Come With Me — samples Led Zep’s Kashmir. Not the sort of creation I’d normally like, but I do.

The Gaslight Anthem — Baba O’Riley — this is really quite good. Incidentally, I read over the weekend that Meha Baba also inspired Bobby McFerrin’s Don’t Worry Be Happy — a far more annoying song.

Spiderbait — Black Betty — in particular the iTunes Originals recording, which rocks harder and longer than the album version.

Best angry songs

Some angry songs from my list:

Area 7 — Second Class Citizen — angry yoof.

Lily Allen — F$%# You — apparently about George W Bush

The Tenants — You Shit Me To Tears

Faith No More’s Epic is a bit of a grumpy song, rather than an angry song. I seem to recall The Datsuns’ MF From Hell would go well here.

What others are out there?

Another old obscure music video clip: Jellyfish “New Mistake” (1993) – and a new one

An obscure music video from 1993, twenty years ago. I caught this video on Rage one night, and got into the band Jellyfish from there.

I’m not even sure quite why I like it. The quirky music video (it was never clear enough on VHS, but it is here — all the band’s shots are obviously filmed backwards), the Queen-like harmonies, the wierdo lyrics. Dunno, but I was listening again to the album (“Spilt Milk”) again last week, and I still like it.

(I can see I’ve mentioned this song a couple of times before)

I didn’t know another song on the album also got a video: The Ghost At Number One. Sadly I don’t think that song is as catchy, and I guess neither did the public… after this album (their second) the band split-up.

No, here’s a better (new) recommendation: an excellent song for anybody who has stood in Bunnings and felt a little inept… Billy Bragg’s new one, “Handyman Blues”.

The past and future of retail

In one lunchtime walk yesterday, I saw both the past and future of retail.

“As seen on TV.” Seriously, they still use this tagline to hook people in? Does it still work? It’s never the name-brand products which used this — always the slightly dodgy ones. I walked past this display twice, and saw nobody actually looking. Perhaps they do when there’s a shouty person with a microphone spruiking it.
"As seen on TV"

Meanwhile in the mall… Perhaps busking bands are moving away from selling CDs — instead they just sell you a token for an MP3 download.
Buskers - selling music downloads

Obscure songs: JC001: Never Again

20 odd years ago, when I was into music videos (and television in general), I used to regularly record (yes, on VHS) a few hours of Rage on a Friday and/or Saturday night, and watch it the next day.

I’d categorise each song as a 1, 2 or 3. 1s I would copy onto another tape for keeping — a kind of Rage mix-tape. 2s I would watch once. 3s I would spin through.

One much-loved but long-forgotten song that I’ve just encountered is JC001′s “Never Again”.

(Once again WordPress is playing up. If it decides again to remove the embedded clip, it’s here.)

Apart from the good anti-racism, pro-mixed-race message (something I can relate to), the fast-paced lyrics made it ripe for parody in our family: “I intend to defend my blender ’til the end!”

The song has been hailed in some circles as “One of the best, most underrated uk hip hop singles ever.”

And it also apparently samples The Specials, so you’ve gotta like that.

JC001′s real name is Jonathan Pandy, and he’s still around apparently, for instance on Twitter. I wonder if he still has the crazy eyes.

My retro iPod

I just realised my iPod is nearly nine years old. That’s an age in the world of computers and electronics… does that make it a retro item?

My iPod

It’s a third-generation iPod, back from before they had silly features like apps, movie playback, and colour screens… And yes, it’s still going strong, though admittedly most of its use is at home in its cradle, playing music into the stereo.

And yeah, the ear phones aren’t in such good shape, which is why I’m not using them currently.