The B-list provides an opportunity to compile a list free of the constraints and pressures of the A-List. To give a hearing to some tunes of choice without the limits of PC or taste. So i was a bit piqued to find my choices and list were less varied, less offensive, and more user-friendly that i had hoped for. (I used a bigger shoehorn too!) Almost too damn pretty of a list. I think Wyngatecarpenter may have put his finger on it – “Clearly this subject brings out a softer side in some of my favourite artists.“ Slim pickings this week for hard rock, metal, punk, thrash, grunge, and hardcore hip-hop. On the upside – a banner week for 60′s grooviness, earthy blues, psychedelia, folk, culture, goth, indie/alt and J-pop.
B-list for me meant no pressure to tick boxes, choose crowd-pleasers, or debate wasting a zed opportunity for a classic or favorite. Consequently all songs on the B-list here were new to me, and i thank you for these. As well as for the songs that (painfully!) just missed the cut (a lot of them!) and for all other tunes duly nommed. Fantastic batch of tunes on offer this week. Thank you to all on this Thanksgiving Day.
Many tunes here were somewhat obscure or without much online supporting information available. Apologies in advance for any errors in facts or interpretation – pedantic correction and clarification most welcome.
July – Dandelion Seeds Bluesy 60′s psychedelia trips out on dandelion seeds drifting upon the breeze. Typical hippies, on their own trip blowing on dandelion heads with nary a thought to the eventual havoc the result will wreak on the lawn – sorry, garden. Have to concur that the Lemonheads do a bang up cover.
New Riders of the Purple Sage – Garden of Eden Planet Earth as the Garden of Eden. Touchingly earnest appeal to us all to not tear the whole thing down. Do have to wonder where some of the “in the air… smoke fillin’ everywhere” might possibly be coming from. Deadtastic.
The Dentists – Strawberries Growing in My Garden (And it’s Wintertime) Achingly gorgeous Byrds – influenced tune by this Medway indie pop band.
Levellers – This Garden 90′s alt-folkies don’t much approve what you’ve got up to in this garden. Seems to be some financial type voodoo, with some fox-hunting to boot – so their mate turned Tory? Donding Sonofwebcore‘s sentiment – ba****d scum!
Meat Puppets – Chemical Garden Another 90′s tune, this by Arizona alt-rockers. Thought that title might imply some sort of horticultural eco-abuse. Alas, apparently not. Delightful paean to psychedelics and psychedelia, fuzzy guitars and all.
The Marionettes – Savage Garden 80′s goth rockers invite you to follow them to their savage garden underground. A grave? (something about “in 200 years i will reappear”). I’d take them up on the invite anyway – sexy vocals and Cult-ish guitarwork are pied pipes to your temporary sub-guru.
Echo and the Bunnymen – Over the Wall Used up my “1 shoehorn free” card to get this song on the list. Ominous, paranoid, and more than a bit desperate. Over the wall – into or out of the (alleged) garden? Epic. (ps to Wyngate – agreed, epic drumming too. Not to mention bass.)
Pulp – Weeds II Hypnotic track compares weeds to the, er, common people. “Found flowering on wasteland unnoticed, unofficial, accidental. Weeds do not thrive under hothouse conditions & wilt when in competition with more exotic strains.” Can be passed around and smoked at dinner parties too. (Hope i was an especially potent strain of skunk.)
Luscious Jackson – Water Your Garden Smooth Asian – tinged pop funk from this NYC trio seems to compare a garden that needs watering with a relationship that needs tending. Sanskrit chant at the end hints at deeper meanings.
Tom Waits – Buzz Fledderjohn Never expected to list a Tom Waits tune. The man isn’t exactly hurting for zeds, but just couldn’t leave this beautifully sleazy backwater blues tune off. Young child looks down on neighbor’s forbidden lawn – er, garden – from his rooftop next door.
Sin Fang Bous – Advent in Ives Garden Sublime Icelandic indie pop tune. No clue what it means, but some disturbing hints of cruelty to animals.
Ani DiFranco – Garden of Simple Beautiful slice of indie folk. Singer dreams of a “garden of simple”, reunited with an estranged lover, stripped of the baggage acquired in this modern world.
The National – Gospel “Hang your holiday rainbow lights in the garden”. Song by this Brooklyn indie band seems to reference the Emily Dickinson poem “Tie the strings to my life, my Lord”, with the singer preparing to leave the life he used to know. Hints of rueful anti-war sentiment. Haunting and extraordinary.
Cathedral – The Garden This opus by Coventry – based doom metallists, based on Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, begins with a full 1 1/2 minutes of electronic drone. Oh joy, 30 minutes worth of tiresome proggery by ELP wannabees. Guess again. The drone leads into an etheral folky segment, followed by a heavy metal bit straight into a righteous blast of proper banging thrash. Hallelujah. Styles shift over the whole duration – an entire playlist packed up into a single piece. Bless, Chinny.
Bonus Track #1 : Lawnmower Deth – Lawnmowers for Heroes, Comics for Zeroes
Spotty only, except for a Myspace video. I’m totally obsessed with this song. Can’t stop listening to it.
Bonus Track #2: Guitar Solo of the Week
Johnny Marr for The The – I’ve Been Waiting for Tomorrow (All of my Life)
Bonus Track #3: Marv Johnson – I’ll Pick A Rose For My Rose
Marv! Where have you been all of my life? Couldn’t quite fit this on the list, but he’s still my new boyfriend.
Bonus C- List – Grab Bag of Culture / Instrumental Pieces
Because some pieces are just too special for a list as pedestrian as an A or B.
(Please don’t shoot me for that, culture snobs! I loved all versions of that song.)
*The Necks were also A- listed!
(PS to Bethnoir – would loved to have included your Steve Hillage- Garden of Paradise but my bladder protested mightily.)