Spill Game Week Five – Ten shots of happy – One shot of sad.

(This is Severin‘s list)

Now the rules are – there are eleven songs in the bed. They all roll over and
one falls out. You decide which one.

There is of course no such thing as a perfect song so these are just a
selection that I like listening to. That’s the happy bit. One, however, has to go.
That’s the sad bit.

Most are old favourites – a couple are (slightly) more recent. If all goes well
there should be a track-listing down there somewhere.

As ever do be gentle with the musicians. They’re doing their best and none of
them asked to be here.

Many thanks to AmyLee for technical assistance (i.e. doing everything except
choosing the tracks and writing this)



1) Two Shots of Happy, One Shot of Sad – Nancy Sinatra
2) Dead Man – Nitin Sawhney
3) The Fall of Saigon – This Heat
4) Sipple Out Deh (Jamaican Mix) – Max Romeo
5) The Light Pours Out of Me – Magazine
6) Bombsite Boy – The Adverts
7) Best Dress On – Joan Armatrading
8) God’s Great Dust Storm – Katzenjammer
9) Tomorrow is a Long Time – Sandy Denny
10) By This River – Brian Eno
11) Daddy’s Little Girl – Speech Debelle

46 thoughts on “Spill Game Week Five – Ten shots of happy – One shot of sad.

  1. Hurrah, a distraction!

    Nancy Sinatra: I have (and love) the album this is taken from… although this isn’t one of my favourite songs from it. It’s trying to ape the Ratpack sound too faithfully for me (I know that’s the point). I prefer the Jarvis Cocker tracks. But it’s still an enjoyable listen. Stay.

    Nitin Sawhney: Not heard this one before. I much prefer the bits in Hindi (?) with the lady singer in. The other bits seem to me to drag a bit. Hm, not sure about it. It might be a contender for jettisoning…

    This Heat: Not even heard of the band, let alone heard the song. Blimey, this isn’t going to be an ‘easy’ listen, is it? Interesting sound(s), interesting-sounding lyric. It might involve more work than I’ve got the energy for today.

    Max Romeo: Phew, on safer ground here. Being a tad juvenile, I prefer Max’s “Wet Dream”, but yeah, lovely song. I also managed to get the (already zedded) “I Chase The Devil” re-listed for Songs About Space. So Max stays.

    Magazine: Again, a newie to me (I only know “Shot by Both Sides”), but I like this. In a doomy way. Stay.

    The Adverts: Another unnerving one. Blimey, Severin, are you trying to induce nightmares?! I actually like this a lot – especially now it’s got more upbeat. Stay.

    Joan Armatrading: This is more the sort of thing I was expecting from the list. Although it’s rockier than I expected from Joan. Think I prefer her more gentle moments.

    Katzenjammer: Ah, this is more restful. Yeah, love it.

    Sandy Denny: She could sing anything and it would soothe one’s soul, innit? The first that I have been able unreservedly to relax into.

    Brian Eno: What a lovely simple sound. I was expecting something more clever-clever (cleverer-cleverer?). Like this a lot.

    Speech Debelle: Yeah, really like this too. Admirable, courageous honesty. And articulacy.

    What a fantastic, varied list – that went in lots of unexpected directions. It’s between Nitin and This Heat for jettisoning… I really wouldn’t have expected to say this before listening to the list, but I think I have to lose Nitin. With regret an’ that. Thanks for sharing, Severin – really enjoyed listening through them. (And thanks to Amy for putting the post together!)

  2. I’m writing these responses blind as I listen, so no preconceptions.

    1. I’m sure I should know both the singer and the song. I don’t, but it’s excellent. Keep.

    2. Ah, Nitin Sawhney – I’m a fan, and this is a keeper.

    3. Drone-tastic… took a while to get into this, but it became rather hypnotic. I definitely want another listen. I have no idea who this is.

    4. A bit of reggae follows very nicely. I don’t know this, although I may just have heard one or two other reggae songs that mention Babylon. Is it Bob Marley? Is it embarrassing that I have to ask?

    5. Dark… Early 80s, somewhere between post-punk and goth? Not my era or my thing really, but I like the way it builds. Oh, and stops abruptly. Is it PIL maybe?

    6. Never heard this. It’s fun. It’s either a (post-)punk band I’ve never heard of, or someone who’s now an elder statesmen of rock.

    7. Don’t know this either. Catchy. The chorus, the vocals and a lot of the guitar work are kind of classic-rocky, but it’s more interesting than that – I like the middle eight. Keeping this.

    8. Ja! Katzenjammer! They sang this as an encore when I saw them, and their voices were a force of nature. Keep!

    9. Keep. Not a Dylan song I own anywhere. Lovely. I should probably know who’s singing…

    10. I know this, and may even own it, but I can’t place it. Like it, anyway. Keep.

    11. Speech deBelle? Pleasant backing, not so pleasant theme. Nice, but a bit worthy.

    Hmm, this is hard. Certainly nothing I didn’t like here. I think number 5 has to go. Sorry.

    Now to find out what all these were…

  3. Hmm, I didn’t do too badly. Yes, probably should have recognised Nancy Sinatra and Sandy Denny, and no, that wasn’t Bob Marley. Joan Armatrading was a surprise, as was Brian Eno – I guess I picked this up from Dropbox at some point. Great stuff, anyway.

  4. Believe it or not, Severin, i didn’t cheat. Save to listen to a second or two of each one to be sure they worked in the player.

    Surprisingly to me, i loved Nancy. Not my usual thing, but it worked for me. Nitin Sawhney was a big keep, i loved it. I think This Heat may be the one to go, not really doing much. And Max Romeo has to be the one to keep if i have to pick, it very nearly made my own list. Except i thought it was called ‘War Inna Babylon’, that would have been embarassing if i listed it as such.

    I liked both Magazine, and especially the Adverts. Keep. Joan – hmm. All i guess i know is Love and Affection, which i absolutely love. This one maybe not so much. Katzenjammer – surprisingly this one didn’t do much for me. I guess i like the sunnier ones – this was a bit gospelly.

    The Sandy Denny was gorgeous. I’d say a bit too country for my taste, but that didn’t bother me on this one. Loved Brian Eno – I’m used to hearing him without vocals. Is he singing on that one? Liked the Speech Debelle too. Not motivated to seek out more, but enjoyed listening.

    Thanks Severin, who knew you would have made me a Nancy fan. And will be exploring more Ninan Sawhney.

    • Nitin Sawhney is a real renaissance man – capable of writing dance anthems and classical ballet scores, not to mention having a hand in the most successful Asian comedy series to appear on UK TV and generally pronouncing articulately on various issues. Beyond Skin in particular is a classic album. Let me know if you’d like me to Drop you a taster…

      • Whenever you have free time – a taster would be much appreciated. Very easy to listen to while working. Thanks! Some other later stragglers onto here may be interested too.

  5. Great list, Severin. Really enjoyed the selection and I feel like I understand your musical taste better now!

    I loved the Nancy Sinatra, Nitin was new to me and I liked it. Wasn’t overly keen on the next two, possibly I was in the wrong mood, the tracks are fine, Magazine was good to hear again.

    The Adverts were good, but I’m afraid the Sandy Denny was too country for me. I do love her voice, but I don’t always like what she chose to surround it with.

    Loved the Eno and I can admire Speech Debelle without really wanting to listen to it multiple times.

    I think the one rolling out of bed is going to be This Heat’s ‘The Fall of Saigon’. Thanks for an educating list.

  6. Nancy Sinatra: I don’t really know much of her music really, just the obvious ones, but this was good. Not made for Walkin’

    Nitin Sawhney: He’s great. I only have Beyond Skin which is a superb album, which I need to look out and listen to again. Another keeper

    This Heat: Difficult music back in the 70s and still difficult and edgy., but in a good way. This one isn’t waiting for a helicopter on the hotel roof.

    Max Romeo: Lovely stuff.

    Magazine: Great band, great song. Every home needs a selection of Magazine albums.

    The Adverts: This was OK, but not really a favourite.

    Joan Armatrading: I like her quieter songs, but she really can’t do rock ‘n’ roll. A candidate for the taxi, I fear.

    Katzenjammer: I wasn’t sure at first, but it began to exercise its charms as it went on. A keeper.

    Sandy Denny: One of the true greats. Sandy is always welcome in my ears

    Brian Eno: I was listening to Before And After Science at the weekend, oddly enough. He’s great, one of the true British Eccentrics, as well as being immensely talented and influential.

    Speech Debelle: Not really familiar with her, and it was OK, but I didn’t feel like going out and listening to any more of her stuff.

    So, it comes down to Speech, The Adverts and Joanie for the drop.

    Sorry Joan, but you need to unplug ithe electric and put it away. Your outta here.

  7. I love listening to these playlists. They are so interesting and varied, and – this week in particular – full of surprises. You think you know a bloke from RR, and, well, you don’t.

    There were only a couple of duds for me this week and most will be spinneth many more times. Thanks Severin.

    And now:
    1) I am willing to fight to the death to keep Nitin Sawheny in. Never heard it before or of him, but am truly impressed.

    2) Thanks for proving the old real estate adage Location Location Location because I’ve never understood the appeal of Magazine until hearing them in this playlist. If I listen to the songs out of order, I want to vote them out.

    Joan. Did she record this because KISS rejected it?

  8. Nancy Sinatra: Not her best work, but still, she can’t go far wrong. It’s a keeper.

    Nitin Sawhney: Ooh. Never heard before. Lurved it.

    This Heat: Er, not so much. I think I’m going to bin this one.

    Max Romeo: Not my favourite reggae tune, but I like it. Keeper

    Magazine: Fab. Love.

    The Adverts: Pogoing like mad. Keeper.

    Joan Armatrading: I’m not Joanie’s biggest fan, but it’s fine. Keeper

    Katzenjammer: Not my favourite of their tunes (thanks for introducing me to them btw). Keeper.

    Sandy Denny: Lovely and bonus points for the country twang.

    Brian Eno: Delicious I felt my backbone melt and as it’s really hurting that’s ultra good.

    Speech Debelle: Like it a lot. Keeper.

    The Heat is S’gon. Sorry.

  9. Thanks for the comments. I kind of get the impression that people expected something a bit duller (or at least mellower).

    Some vague random notes:

    I love Joan’s more melodic stuff best too but this is kind of unexpected and I get to hear “hey”s and shout-a-longs without the embarrassment of listening to Gary Glitter.

    This Heat aren’t really done justice by an MP3. They, like somebody said about Pere Ubu, were post punk before there was a punk to be post.

    The Nitin Sawhney track is the one that pops up most often on my IPod and became an earworm.

    That Eno track featured in an Italian film called The Son’s Room starring Nanni Moretti. It’s about Doctor who’s son dies, leaving him feeling guilty because he thinks he could have prevented it.
    In one scene he listens to some of his son’s favourite music and starts crying to this track. I did too.

    The Max Romeo is also called War inna Babylon but this version was released as a single in Jamaica under its original title (thanks Dorian!)

    Pray continue.

    ps my back hurts too.

  10. Nancy can do no wrong – she stays.

    Nitin, Indian blues? Reminds me of when Talvin Singh got his tablas out on the first Liitle Axe album. Keep.

    This Heat. Way ahead of their time. Will explore more.

    Max is the real deal. Keeper.

    Magazine. Winner.

    Adverts. Always good to hear. They never quite lived up to their potential though. On the cusp.

    My friend’s Mum used to live next door to Joan Armourplating. Nice to hear her rocking, but her folk side sometimes has more bite (& sometimes she can be a bit dull). Keep.

    Katzenjammer. Found this to be a bit empty & indulgent. Listening on the mobile, which probably doesn’t do it justice. Send ’em packing.

    Sandy. Prefer this to her usual trad folk. Great voice. Stay.

    Brian. Take the #2 spot behind the other bald genius.

    Speech. The name & the problem – that voice can get on your nerves after a bit. Admire her POV and she does have some good tunes. Keep.

    Fine list, Severin – well worth the wait.

  11. Great list and I loved the sequencing. This Heat are wonderful. 9h9k nommed one of their songs about a year ago and I’ve been a fan ever since.

    I’d move Katzenjammer to the hidden track at the end of the CD.

    • Fuel, wanna take a turn? Be happy to help if you need it with the Spillplayer.

      Upcoming to date –

      Sept 18 – GF

      Sept 25 – DsD

      Oct 2 – Bish

      Oct 9 – ?

      Oct 16 – Fintan

      • I could do Oct 9 if no one else is champing at the bit? Might need help though – it would give me a month to practice (and try to think of something interesting – not all gloomy or all dead)

      • You’re signed up for the 9th then, Ali!

        My email is botanicalphoto[at]gmail.com

        All you need to do is pick your 11 tunes, write a pasteable blurb, a title, and pick a picture. You can send email them all to me if you want me to do it for you, or if you want to give it a go youself, use Maki’s instructions under the “manual” tab at the top. If you’re having trouble with it, just ask anytime.

  12. Aggh! Just got as far as The Adverts then lost the post

    Nancy Sinatra – fine for what it is,but not my bag

    Nitin Sawhney – see above

    This Heat – Probably wouldn’t listen to often but certainly interesting. Keep

    Max Romeo – I only know Wet Dream so that was confusing! I found it repetetive, but by the end I’d decided I liked the repetition. Keep

    Magazine – A classic, obviously. Ahead of their time – before Joy Division and Bauhaus , but you can hear bits of both. Keep, obviously.

    The Adverts – Not my favourite punk band – I had the album and sold it. But it is interesting, a bit more thought obviously went into the song structure than with a lot of 77 punk. Keep

    Joan Armatrading – I wasn’t expecting it to sound like that at all. Liked it. Keep

    Katzenjammer – Not my sort of thing and also seemed to drag on.

    Sandy Denny – Only went to confirm that I really don’t like country.

    Brian Eno – somehow missed this one …I’ll come back to it…

    Speech Debelle – Thought that was ok and anyway I was at school with her record label boss, so this one has to stay.

  13. Great list Severin (and Amy), and a hard choice.

    Nancy Sinatra – great voice, though not my sort of thing. Stay.

    Nitin Sawhney – love this. New to me. Definitely keep.

    This Heat – OK. A bit Floydian in places. Went well with the Nitin Sawhney, somehow. Stays.

    Max Romeo – a bit dull, but not unpleasant – also stays.

    Magazine – no ticks from me. Might have to take a walk?

    The Adverts – Yeah, OK, about on a par with Max Romeo. Keep.

    Joan Armatrading – this track skipped so I got confused with Katzenjammer and wondered why everyone was saying it was too rocky. Having played it separately, I think it has to go. Hmmm.

    Katzenjammer – another discovery, I thought this was beautiful. Keep in special place with Nitin Sawhney.

    Sandy Denny – great voice, great song, so it stays, but I hate the country backing.

    Brian Eno – ever so understated. Pleasant. Stays.

    Speech Debelle – yeah, I like Speech Debelle. Keep this one too.

    So … Magazine or Joan? I think it has to be Joan, to my surprise. Really good selection here, thanks Severin. I’m impressed.

  14. The surprise of the week for me was Speech Debelle, she’s put a dent in my long held dislike for rap or hip hop or whatever it’s called these days. I was taken with the content more than the delivery at first, so she sent me off to Google where I read the Guardian story on her success last year and that pointed me to Spotty where there’s lots more. I played several and as a Tracy Chapman fan I could see/hear the connection, so thanks for that one.
    Ms Sinatra, I’m indifferent, no strong feelings either way.
    Nitin Sawhney, a new name for me, I liked the Indian influences mostly, a keeper.
    Heat: not bothered.
    Max, a definite keeper, I have the album and have long liked this slant on what was happening in the Ja elections that year, serious business. Bob did the One Love peace concert to try and defuse it.
    Magazine, I wish they’d tone down the drums, otherwise a keeper,
    Adverts, Definitely not, to the firepile!
    Joan, I bought her first album and based on it I just kept buying ’em, if she’d come out with this one I’d have quit sooner. Lose her.
    Katzen; Couldn’t put my finger on it. fairly nondescript.
    Sandy; I listened on headphones scribbling notes, when this one came on I had only one comment, ‘Thank God!’ – here was one I could relate to, but sadly she grew old very quickly, might have been that backing, and I couldn’t wait for her to finish. Usually like her a lot, got a fair bit on the ipod.
    Eno; Pleasant, could induce sleep.
    Speech- hit of the week.
    An interesting playlist that I enjoyed listening to/being exposed to, thanks.

  15. thanks for this Severin .. background to cooking ( of sorts ) all new to me except JA .. particularly enjoyed debelle .. if i have to play and chuck one it would be the adverts .. BBC4 Undertones doc where they came across as the new bay city rollers put me a little off .. and adverts are in with that desperate for totp crowd

  16. Late to this (again, get with the programme – Ed ). but here goes………….
    1) Nancy. Don’t know much of her stuff but I like this. Did she suffer from having such a famous father ???
    2) Nitin. Again, don’t know much about his music, but love this.
    3) This Heat. Yes, could listen to more of this. Need to check them out.
    4) Max. Hmmmm………got to think about this one.
    5) Magazine. O.K. But not much more.
    6) Adverts. No. Could not get into this.
    7) Joan. Can do no wrong for me. great voice, great feeling.
    8) Katzenjammer. Meh!
    9) Sandy. Another artist that I could listen to any time.
    10) Eno. Not the best voice in the world, but he is a musical genius.
    11) Speech Debelle. The one that has to go for me…………..

    • Sorry, meant to say that I’m with tin with this, on saying what a surprise it was to that these were the choices of severin. Nice though.

  17. There’s an abundance of riches here :

    Nitin Sawney is the surprise find, as you can’t go wrong with a collabo with Fink

    Either Katzenjammer or This Heat have to go for me

  18. Even later to the party… A very interesting set of tunes. Thanks, severin.

    1) Nancy Sinatra. Not my usual thing but very nicely done. Her voice is richly confident. Sweet piano solo.
    2) Nitin Sawhney. Like others, an artist I’ve heard of rather than heard. A very nice groove indeed.
    3) This Heat. Yep, I like this too. Didn’t expect the guitar to do that but I’m glad it did.
    4) Max Romeo. Vanilla reggae; not very interesting at all.
    5) Magazine. OK, I suppose. Just about. I liked the sudden ending.
    6) The Adverts. Interesting discords at the start which I much preferred to the formulaic ‘punk’ song that followed.
    7) Joan Armatrading. I’ve nearly liked Joan on many an occasion. I nearly like this too. Great guitar tone; awful drumming. And I’m not wearing a dress!
    8) Katzenjammer. Love the harmonies and the dynamic shifts. An example of how thoughtful percussion can enhance a song immeasurably.
    9) Sandy Denny. I’m another fan of Sandy’s voice but the song is rather pedestrian, having to resort to a key change to maintain interest. An example of how thoughtless percussion can undermine a song immeasurably.
    10) Brian Eno. Nice but….?
    11) Speech Debelle. Lyrically interesting and at the slightly more tuneful end of rap (but still feels like someone reciting poetry with a beat combo doing their own thing in the background). Is she an awfentic Landaner or yet another mockney?

    Nothing made me turn it off but Sandy’s song can go. Nitin Sawhney and This Heat must stay.

  19. OK, I might have to eat humble pie… The widespread love for Nitin has made me re-evaluate. I’m still much more keen on the non-English sections of the song, but they are so very good that it would seem churlish to jettison him (and I do quite like the coughing). So I’ll shift my vote to This Heat, which is still too difficult a listen for me. (And yes, I do realise that is a failing of mine, not the music’s!) Still really enjoying the list as a whole, Severin!

    • There’s such a varied response to every track every week it’s difficult to find a pattern.

      I chose Joan doing rock, Sandy doing country and Katzenjammer doing gospel pretty much because they were a bit out of character and not everyone was keen to say the least.

      I think This Heat divided folks the most. They’re not to everyone’s taste although the lyric of this track always makes me laugh. I think they and Joan were the most rejected.

      If you didn’t much care for that particular Nitin Sawhney track though, there will almost certainly be others you’d love. This one just happened to be my most listened to on the IPod.

      By the way, did anyone notice that I bookended the list with two songs about daughters and their dads? No? Oh well……..

      • I’ve got a couple of songs by him on my iPod – and particularly like Homelands. I do tend to get him mixed up with Talvin Singh, which clearly means I haven’t listened to enough of either of them!

  20. Greetings from buffering hell. Sat in Bromsgrove Travelodge waving my laptop at the window, trying to keep it downwind and in-range of the nearby Hilton’s BT-WiFi-Zone.

    The songs?

    Nancy: well, I’m not going to kick her out of bed … yet.
    Nitin S: Ace. Shoey distilled my thoughts for me (I was just seeing glimpses of A3 in the stew ’til I read his comment).
    This Heat: Well inside the quilt edge position; I liked that.
    Max Romeo: In no danger of ending up on the floor either.
    Magazine: excellent again, even (or possibly because) it is the riff from Gary Glitter’s Rock & Roll PtII recycled for the punk generation.

    Better post this typing before I lose me signal …

    • BTW, Shoey, Little Axe’s Seek The Truth is on my CD for the weekend’s Social. Amber has been on a previous one. I really should investigate more.

  21. The Adverts: Occupying the quilt edge on the opposite side of the bed from Nancy at the moment. Not yet sure which way I’m going to yank it when the time comes.

    Damn. Buffering hell again . . . .

  22. Joan Armourplating: Oh dear. A KISS reject indeed. She should’ve sold this to Joan Jett instead of recording it herself. At least JJ would have given it some, er, balls! As a song, it’s no worse than The Adverts effort, but for the sheer cringeworthiness, as well as the godawful solo, I think we can now tell Nancy Sinatra she’s safe from having to sleep on the floor tonight.

    Katzenjammer: Now holding a pair of aces in this bedtime poker game. I can imagine this is absolutely awesome blasted loud through good speakers in a big room.

  23. Sandy: one of the great voices, but this song is TOO clicheed country for me.
    Eno: interesting. My trouble with Brian is that I usually end up appreciating what I hear of his rather than actually liking it.
    Speech: D’yunno-wha’? I managed to hold my skip-finger back when her vocal kicked in (my default position with Ms.Debelle), and I found this surprisingly tender – must be the subject matter.

  24. Yep, this is a hand of two pairs for me:

    Nitin & Katzenjammer are the keepers; Joan & The Adverts BOTH fall off their respective bed edges.

  25. I can safely say I never thought i’d ever find myself sharing a bed with Speech Debelle AND Nancy Sinatra!!
    Off to listen to Mr Sawhney & the gospelling Katzenjammers again.
    G’night all.

    • Claire,I’m in a rather ehtarquake battered city of Christchurch in New Zealand. Having left Blightey and Jazz FM in 2009, one of the things I truly and deeply missed the most was Jazz FM. But know with the web I’m back! You don’t know what an absolute pleasure it is to listen to you and the music again, just like finding a long lost friend, particularly because we’ve been through the mill down here with over 10500 Earthquakes and aftershocks over the past 18 months! We are now into the rebuild of the city, but it’s great to add to that feeling of renewal and more optimism the backdrop of the JazzFM sound.Thank you Claire Simply Blissfully Brilliant!! Tony SellinEnergy ManagerUniversity of CanterburyNew Zealand(p.s. I will be getting a copy of The Cafe Sessions’ to supplement all my other JazzFM albums as quickly as I can get a suitable supplier who will send it down here).

  26. I doubt that this will change the minds of any naysayers but – Joan’s song did wow some middle class/aged American chaps and persons.
    Not a very hip and groovy audience but they were having lotsa fun and so they should.

    see here

    And yes Joan Jett should cover the thing. Preferably on Glee.

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