Not entirely sure i like these post-match analyses – i sort of feel like when i’m done with it, i’m done – but if it’s expected i’ll bang up a brief one. I did a b-list last year so the amount of labor and the process itself wasn’t unfamiliar to me. But a b-list is different from an A-list, and Jon D did the heavy lifting there last year. It’s a whole different can of worms. I did all new-to-me’s on my b-list last year because i could. But an A-list needs a write up and a theme, there are songs that want zedding, and have to be justified and explained.
One thing i did very differently than Chris is that i listened to the tunes first, and then dealt with lyrics later. That’s how i would have done it anyway, but i think it was a very good call this week because there were a lot of songs that had fantastic lyrics (hip hoppy stuff, punk, rants, etc) but were musically uninteresting, and i wanted a playlist that was listenable. After i got down to probably 100 tunes or so, i started to sift through themes, and weed out songs with similar themes, and choose the one i thought best. And i think that paradox was really what i was looking for most. Funny bile, cheery vitriol, sexy rape songs (yes, i know i don’t deserve to live), pissed off hippies, positive metal, punk, and hip hop….
Problem with this is that you get a list heavy on my own personal taste in music. I love my A-list. So it’s probably a bit too rock-heavy for a lot of people’s taste, but to be fair i did post an early warning that i asked for a rock-friendly topic. There really isn’t enough variety. But it is what it is. One thing i did right this time – paced myself in listening. I’d listen to a page full of tunes, then take a break for an hour or two. So unlike last time i did the b-list, i’m not sick and tired of music. Looking very forward to the Festive Spill lists.
For a b-list i just did a grab bag of new-to-me tunes i thought were great. That was almost tougher than an A-list, because i had to leave just so much out. There were so many good tunes this week. My favorite thing about RR isn’t getting my own noms zedded, fun as that is, but discovering new tunes, and that’s what’s best about guruship. I feel like a big part of the job is to point people to some great tunes that they may have missed.
So a brief explanation of my A-list choices -
1. PIL – Rise There was pretty much no way this song wasn’t going to get listed.
2. Fatima Mansions – Shiny Happy People Much as i love this song, I had no intention of listing it. But i wanted at least one song with a bile filled rant. Siouxie’s Drop Dead got a lot of donds and recommendations, but i hate the song, i think it’s really ugly. Even if John Cooper Clarke’s Twat wasn’t zedded, i wouldn’t have listed it as it’s musically uninteresting to me. There were plenty of others that could have fit the bill, but in the end this one was musically interesting enough, the bile was aimed at the right targets, and it’s not without humor for diffusion purposes.
3. Soft Boys – I Wanna Destroy You I just love this song, think it’s fantastic. Happy that Shiv nommed it, and happy to list it.
4. Rolling Stones – Midnight Rambler No apologies for this one whatsoever. Sorry Stones fans (all 2 or 3 of you), but this was pretty much the only Stones tune i would have considered, it’s the one i would have put up myself. Blessedly Alfie coughed it up almost right away. I probably would have been devastated if i couldn’t have fit it on the list. But it dealt with a theme i wanted to highlight, it’s a great song, and no one else was ever going to zed it, unless maybe we got a topic about Rape or something. The other alternative would have been the Mountain Goats angry sex song, but a bit too nebulous to pin down.
5. Pavement – Spit on a Stranger It became clear as i was listening that i had a motherlode of angry breakup tunes, so that aspect of anger certainly deserved a slot. And Alanis probably totally deserved it too, it probably should have been her here (more on that downthread). Damien Rice was another strong contender. I went with Pavement in the end because i love the song, it’s a bit more subtle, and i felt the list needed a bit of a change of pace here.
6. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five – The Message When i saw this go up on the boards, i pretty much knew that this was going to be the one for the hip-hop / social anger slot. Fantastic tune, bang on topic, thrilled to be able to zed this puppy finally.
7. Angelic Upstarts – Murder of Liddle Towers This was the shoehorn of the list – really more than the others i think an angry song more than being about anger. Considered a lot of alternatives for social anger, but in the end this one got the slot because it’s such a flat out great tune. But if Conflict was more interesting musically, it could have well had the slot.
8. Pantera – Mouth For War A list of songs about anger really had to have a metal tune. I’m pretty happy with this one – i like the message, and it totally rocks.
9. Yes – Long Distance Runaround No apologies for this one either, even though it might sound a bit proggily dated and a bit out of place. If it’s not one of their very best top tier tunes, it’s a goodun, it’s well on topic, and Yes was badly overdue for a zedding.
10.Plan B – Who Needs Action When You Got Words If I was going to list an American hip hop tune, i really felt like i needed a British one too. The more i listen to this one, the more i like it. I’m pretty happy with this one, it’s a nice counterpoint to Grandmaster Flash. US vs UK, old skool vs contemporary, frustrated / impotent anger vs solutions. A lot more musically interesting to me than the much recommended / donded Ill Manors too. I like this guy.
11.Bob Marley – Them Belly Full Happy with this one too. Reggae a nice change of pace, and a positive message in the face of legitimate anger.
12.Sinead O’Connor – This IS a Rebel Song So happy i could get this one listed. Love, love the song, and i like that it shows a way to deal with anger that is not one’s own. And encompasses both the personal and larger scale issues. Really a perfect wrap up song for what i wanted to say.
Missed Opptunities -
My failure to zed these tunes may well come back to haunt me. They all deserved to be A-listed. In fact, i’m afraid that i might go to hell.
Jimi Hendrix – Bold As Love
Alanis Morrisette – You Oughta Know
Oasis – Don’t Look Back in Anger
Smashing Pumpkins – Bullet With Butterfly Wings
Veruca Salt – Seether
Marvin Gaye – Inner City Blues
Animals – I’m Mad Again