Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I am not one to reflect upon matters related to the festive season. For one thing, I am a little cynical of the whole Christmas venture and I find it all so embarrassingly irrelevant, especially come latterday reflection. But I admit that I enjoy the private rituals that tend to accompany this time of year. Listening to Queen's Live Killers and Ace of Base's Happy Nation (US Version), maybe sometimes even The Bridge. Reading Enid Blyton's Five Go To Smuggler's Top and fragments of Roman poetry from the Sweetness of Honey and the Sting of Bees. Every year I unintentionally take up new habits. Last year, for instance, I was obsessively listening to Yeasayer's Tightrope. The year before, we listened to Aqua's Candyman in my car. You emphatically insisted you didn't like it, even though it became increasingly apparent that you did.

I suppose it's a time that calls for tradition and for me, at least, a recreation of events passed. Yet at the same time, there demands a certain degree of reflection. A contemplation of the songs that meant something to us during the year. Hence the heady influx of 2010 lists, summaries, countdowns and other things that involve dotpoints, numbers and paragraphs with few words. It used to annoy me considerably. The compilation of lists and summaries is not my idea of sentimentality, but I understand it. I see how it offers a really neat way to view that which has passed. It is an easy way to sort and compartmentalise everything within an inch of its life. I also understand how that act of musical list-making is, in itself, a kind of tradition. In the same way that I return to my 1954 edition of Smugglers Top. I return for no other reason than I did it the year before (and the year before that and the year before that).

El does Eileen Soper

I leave you, my reader(s) with some questions: What are your private musical rituals at this time of year? Do you think of lists and summaries? Do you make them too? Are there any particular lists that you pay particular attention to?

Cassettes & Chocolate Milk: Mod Podcast #28
Apartment - The Car
The Riptides - Tomorrow's Tears
Thunderboys - FBI
The High Numbers - Zoot Suit
Beverley Ann - He's Coming Home
Razorlight - An Englishman in New York
The Beat - Mirror in the Bathroom
The Strangeways - Show Her You Care
The Style Council - Walls Come Tumbling Down!
The Long Blondes - Once and Never Again

Download (44.2 MB)

8 comments:

jeffen said...

Some people claim list-obsessiveness a guy thing but I'm not sure.
I do, however, fuss endlessly over my list. At their best these lists (the good ones anyway) give you one last chance to take hold of the present before the future comes crashing down.

Eleanor said...

Thank you for your comment, jeffen! So nice to see you on here, you know I'm a tremendous fan of Music Ruined My Life. From the Strummer essays to the Power Pop compilations, it fills me with much inspiration.

I don't know if listmaking is necessarily a guy thing, everyone I know seems to enjoy it. I know that many of the fashion and miscellaneous blogs for the creativity stumped seem to make lists. Their market is very feminine, at least I seem to think so.

I suppose a good thing about them is that they can become makeshift mixtapes too, especially when we don't really make or receive these things much anymore. I'm always longing for music to be introduced to me.

I just keep trying to think of good things about it, especially since I think of it as such a shortcut you know. I don't want it to be a substitute for real engagement. But who am I to question how people engage with music?

Adam said...

hey eleanor, love the blog. just saying, i think you have a really eclectic taste in music. where do you draw your inspiration from?

Eleanor said...

Thank you for taking the time to comment, Adam!

I tend to think many different people are responsible for the tastes represented on C&CM. Electro had a lot to do with growing up with my brother. Britpop had a lot to do with my first few relationships. Mod is largely a solitary pursuit, I simply listen to a lot of mod/punk compilations and pick out what I like. It was good in a way, I didn't want to think I liked something because someone else liked it.

What is your musical poison, Adam? Do you have any genre-recommendations for the podcasts?

FACTORY MINDS said...

Hey, great set. I can honestly say you have our favorite Modcast on the web!

Eleanor said...

That's super sweet of you to say, Factory Minds! Especially with such stellar competition too!

There's more to come shortly, I promise!

jono said...

Eleanor,
I have been following your podcasts for quite some time now

please keep it up!!

and your voice is soothing..

Thank you for the great podcasts!!

Eleanor said...

Thanks Jono! I really appreciate your support :)