Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I find end-of-year musical countdowns a little bit irksome, to be honest with you. They go hand in hand with songs that celebrate Christmas. At any other time of the year, they would be considered inappropriate and even a little bit stupid. After all, why would you ever want to revisit the top ten songs of 1999? Wasn't it painful enough the first time?


End-of-year countdowns also remind me of someone I once knew. The ultimate conclusion of this person's countdown was something that was peculiarly stinging. It was something like, the only thing that they had learned from that year was that there was absolutely no merit in the musical past. That they had completely abandoned any inclination to explore "old" music because it was not relevant anymore.

Maybe it wasn't Pitchfork approved? I don't know.

Perhaps the end-of-year countdown seeks to remind us of the very disposability of pop music. Of course, there may be a little cheeky commentary for the end-of-year round up, but what is the point really? Why should you write anything about these songs if they will be ultimately rendered irrelevant and unfashionable? Even so, was there anything in 2008 worth remembering anyway? I think you can draw your own conclusions.

Cassettes & Chocolate Milk: Mod Podcast #11
Loved Ones - The Loved One
Smile - Step On Me
St Louis Union - East Side Story
The Theme from the Patty Duke Show
The Hi-Fi's - I Keep Forgettin'
The Barracudas - Summer Fun
The Easybeats - Sorry
Yachts - Suffice to Say
Elvis Costello - (I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea
The Sussed - I've Got Me Parka

Download (27.7 MB)


Anonymous said...

Quite an embarrassing entry for me to read, timing wise, considering I am half way through my countdown of Christmas songs and have just sent off my albums of the year for the (communist) paper!

I like Christmas Songs because they remind me of Christmas, often a lot more than Christmas itself actually does.

I try to make a list of top ten albums of each year, not because I am determined to listen only to new music but because I would forget to entirely if I didn't.

Also, boys make lists because they are boys. It just appears to be the way their brains are wired. We try to fight it but it's sometimes impossible.

Eleanor said...

Hah! I know you're doing your countdown! You featured "It's Clichéd To Be Cynical At Christmas" and my only thought was: IT'S ME! IT'S ME! GOD DAMN, IT'S ME! OH MY FREAKING HUMBUG!

O and just because countdowns aren't really my bag doesn't mean I don't do lots of other stupid things. For some reason, I only listen to Queen's Live Killers and Ace of Base's Happy Nation (US Version). I reread Five Go To Smugglers Top.. and perhaps my book of romantic Roman poetry.. and I watch the Some Mothers Do Ave Em Christmas Special and perhaps Carry on Loving. But I might change Carry on Loving this year because it's just getting a bit too depressing.

I suppose I'm going to have to get used to writing lists if I want any British musical publication to take notice, huh?

Anonymous said...

Have you ever seen Five Go Mad In Dorset, you anglophile you?


jeffen said...

A Queen fan!

Damn, I remember my older twin sisters had "Night at the Opera (one of about twenty-odd records in their shared collection). We kids loved it of course but my father, a slightly-deaf and rather unflappable philosophy prof took rare exception to the line "And now you can kiss my ass goodbye." I Don't remember him ever taking an opinion on pop music other than expressing a mild fondness for Leo Sayer's mush-rock smash "When I Need You".

In my teen years, I went through the requisite Canadian 'riding-around-listening to "Bohemian Rhapsody"' business which Mike Meyers would later immortalize.

P.S. The Smile was interesting Since I was only vaguely aware of their existence.

P.P.S. "Summer Fun" is such a good song that it hurts.

Eleanor said...

I understand why your Dad would take particular exception to that line in Death on Two Legs. It has been known to offend! My favourite track off NATO is The Prophet Song though. Minutes upon minutes of vocal overlays, asking "people can you hear me?"

Smile are very good indeed. I would also recommend April Lady and Earth. Easily trackable on YouTube or any other Q source.

PS Hooray for the Barracudas!

Erin said...

my goodness Ely, i've just seen this entry as of course I've been interweb-less for so long...and it's not letting me hear it! This makes me deeply sad, so I shall beg you to send it to me at some point as I see two of my all time fave aussie songs on there in The Loved One and Sorry!
Mucho love to you,

Erin xo