This week we have a fantastic playlist for you, curated by our own Fuzz Caminski, a discerning music fan and Steve Zissou Impersonator. Read a bit more about each song after the jump.
Maria – Blondie
17 years after their last single, Maria was released in 1999 and became the band’s sixth number 1 in the UK. It’s a fantastic comeback single, sounding somewhat Christmassy due to the bells during the chorus. My overriding memory of this track to be honest is the green night vision shots that accompanied the video. Along with the Matrix’s release in 1999 and it’s use of green filtered shots, I remember this year with a somewhat emerald toned recollection.
Rosa Parks – Outkast
A song named after the African-American civil rights activist with a chorus that includes the lyric “Ah ha, hush that fuss, everybody move to the back of the bus” is bound to generate a certain level of attention, not least from Rosa Parks herself, who felt the song misappropriated her name. None the less, it’s a fine slice of late 90’s hip hop. Also, I‘m certain this song has Andre 3000 singing “makalaka” in it, yet you don’t see ‘In The Night Garden’ objecting to that, then again, Makalaka isn’t an activist for children’s televisual character’s equal rights! So fair enough.
Rosanna – Toto
Rosanna by Toto is possibly the most badass song of all time! The keyboard solo is the stuff that legends are made of, simple as. It’s got funky glam influenced brass, wicked guitar riffs, sexy little bass hooks, wicked melodies and as I have mentioned, that keyboard solo. If I was Rosanna, I would be one part ashamed to have hurt Toto that badly, but at the same time proud beyond compare that I had fuelled the created of one of the most awesome songs of all time, and I mean of all time, yo!
Jolene – The White Stripes
The Dolly Parton original, or The White Stripes cover? I say the The White Stripes cover simplly because when played live it twists and turns into a sexualised, sweaty torrid affair. Jack White’s howling, desperate vocals and ominous melodies during the verse, accompanied by Meg White’s splashing cymbals full of kinetic angst and passion, make it a cover version to be admired and respected. Plus, who doesn’t love gender swapping in love songs?
Jona Vark – Gypsy And The Cat
Okay, they sing “Her name is Jona, Jona Vark”, so everyone that says that it’s not a real name can flip off, it clearly is a name, the band state so in the song. On a more serious note though, this track from antipodean duo, Gypsy And The Cat, is a woozy, dreamy piece of indie gorgeousness, perfect of summer evenings quaffing Pimm’s and ignoring how little you’ve actually done with your life. You’ve not even been to Thailand. You always wanted to go to Thailand, why not go to Thaila…you’re right this band have listened to *a lot* of Fleetwood Mac and Roxy Music.
Caroline – Status Quo
So Apollo 440’s ‘Can’t Stop The Rock’ may have been my first introduction to this track’s stonking riffage, but the original will always be the best. Fueled by denim and leather waistcoats, There really is something simplistic and pleasurable about Caroline, it’s an unashamed piece of classic rock n’ roll, and it never fails to raise a smile. Nothing else needs saying really.
Diane Young – Vampire Weekend
There’s something about this track that in my mind’s eye, resembles the entire cast of the puppets in The Muppet Show and Sesame Street being allowed to produce a single,. There’s an anarchic, artistic mayhem at work here, all bright colours and vivid shapes bouncing off one another and combining together just like ‘Station’ in Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey. STATION!
Emily’s Heart – Jamie T
There’s a sweetness and a sadness to this song that get me everytime, right in the guts. Jamie T needs to return, the sooner the better. His lyrics are soulful and honest, and have a kitchen sink quality that many acts and bands currently lack. When the strings begin on this song it soars, yet it’s almost a lullaby in it’s intimacy. Emily’s Heart, you have mine.
Mary Jane – The Vines
There was a time in the early 2000’s when it appeared for all intensive purposes that The Vines were destined to own the world, that sadly didn’t happen, various factors which I won’t explore here ultimately meant The Vines would never be able to live up to the media’s hype. Forgetting this, and focusing solely on the musical talent of Craig Nicholls and Co. ‘Mary Jane’ is a gloriously melodic, sweeping dream of a track, full of hypnotic, spaced out vocal melodies and strangled feedback. For proof of The Vines’ ability to produce some of the best shoegaze surfer-punk possible, just listen to title track, ‘Winning Days’, on their sophomore effort of 2004. Jeez, was that really a decade ago?
Suzy Is A Headbanger – The Ramones
It’s 1 minute and 54 seconds of classic punk fun. For all the anarchic spirit of the original punk movement, there is something of a simple joy to be had in this song. With lyrics as undemanding as “I really really love to watch her, watch her headbangin’, Suzy is a headbanger, her mother is a geek” it makes me nostalgic for my teen days when all my friends had punk bands and lyrics came secondary to a good three part melody.
Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine – The Killers
I seem to remember a while back there was talk of a short film being which told the story of this song (and some others). I’ve no idea actually if that film ever was made, that’s by the by though, ‘Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine’ is a perfect introduction of The Killers’ sound, a tale of intrigue and distrust as the boyfriend of a murdered girl is took in for questioning. That noticeable love of 80’s Indie, the accomplished swagger and that slightly weird love of dark subject matters are all present and correct in ‘Jenny…’.
Anna Sun – Walk The Moon
Walk The Moon, you spoil us with the choice of ‘Lisa Baby’, ‘Jenny’ and ‘Anna Sun’ just on your debut. Of the three, Anna Sun is a pure slice of indie pop, with one of the slickest guitar hooks in the chorus that I’ve heard in years, reminding me of late 80’s American cartoons like ‘Twinkle the Dream Being’ and ‘Potsworth & Co’ strangely. It feels like a technicolour cartoon come to bright life and just leaves me feeling happy.
Rosalie – Thin Lizzy
Some songs just defy age, they are timeless and sound fantastic in any era. For me, ‘Rosalie’ is such a perfect rock song that it’s hard to imagine adding or removing anything from it, you want to listen to Phil Lynott’s guitar and vocals as soon as the track ends, which is good as I have a strong held belief that songs should not outstay their welcome, and should end with the listener wanting to repeat the track immediately again. ‘Rosalie’ fits in to this category perfectly.
Words: Fuzz Caminski