kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
2017-07-16 09:01 am
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30 day music meme, day 26

26. A song that makes you want to fall in love A political song

I don't like many of these last prompts, so I'm just going to change them as I see fit.

One great thing about Billy Bragg's early work is that he got his political message across by telling stories. Later, his political songs got more abstract and preachy, and I don't like the later ones as much. (The same thing happened to Paul Weller, sadly.) This isn't one of Bragg's best known songs, but it's always meant a lot to me. The myth that if you work hard at your education you'll get a good job has been proven wrong in my own life over and over again.

Billy Bragg, "To Have and to Have Not"





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2017-07-14 07:35 pm
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30 day music meme, day 25

25. A song by an artist no longer living

I intended not to repeat an artist on this meme, but the answer to this question has to be Bowie, doesn't it?

A song from Ziggy Stardust, because when I was about 14 I wanted to be Ziggy Stardust (this was the early 80s, the era of "Let's Dance," but it was the earlier album that really moved me). I wore weird makeup and weird jewelry and got ferociously bullied for it; the fact that it was primarily Ziggy Stardust* and not wanting to a "a pretty girl" that inspired me to try makeup should perhaps have been a clue. Anyway, this song and this album were a big part of my covertly queer youth.

*Full disclosure: and Duran Duran, who were also boys in makeup. I loved my poster of them more than I ever loved their music, I think.


David Bowie, "Lady Stardust"




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kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
2017-07-13 07:10 pm
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30 day music meme, day 24

24. A song by a band you wish were still together

I can't really imagine the Smiths still together in 2017--few bands can last that long without becoming a sad parody of themselves, and the Smiths' last album was already showing all the signs of a group past its best. Then again, it's nice to fantasize about them lasting just a little longer, releasing one or two more good albums, putting off the moment when Morrissey, away from Johnny Marr's counterbalancing force, disappeared up his own ego and re-emerged as an Islamophobic Brexiter.

I'm giving two links again on this post, the first because it's a song I really love, and the second not only because of the songs, but because of the video(s), directed by groundbreaking queer film-maker Derek Jarman.

The Smiths, "This Charming Man"




The Smiths, "The Queen Is Dead/There Is a Light That Never Goes Out/Panic," dir. Derek Jarman





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kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Default)
2017-07-12 07:30 pm
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30 day music meme, day 23

23. A song you think everybody should listen to A song by a band who probably should have broken up after their first album

I'm not confident enough in my musical taste to recommend something to everybody; I don't think my taste in music is bad, but it's very limited. So I've created a question I like better, inspired by question 24 ("a song by a band you wish were still together").

I loved the first Mumford and Sons album. I adored the banjos and the folk-rock fusion, and the lyrics struggled with religion and ethics and doubt and temptation in a way I found interesting. Then came the second album, and it was not good. The music was more conventional, and worse, the lyrics had become preachy and all the doubting humanity seemed to have vanished in favor of doctrinaire Christian assertions. So here's a song from the first album. I like it because it's very human, often emotionally ugly, and because it can be very easily be read as queer, though I'm not sure it was intended to.

Mumford and Sons, "White Blank Page"


kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
2017-07-07 07:53 pm
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30 day music meme, day 22

22. A song that moves you forward

I'm not entirely sure what this prompt means, so I'm interpreting it as "a song that gives you energy."

Frightened Rabbit, "Old Old Fashioned"





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2017-07-05 09:19 pm
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30 day music meme, day 21

21. A favourite song with a person's name in the title

Yeah, I know. This song has problems. It uses stereotypes and it includes imagery of deception that is not healthy for trans* people. But fundamentally, it's a love song. It's not about hatred or violence, and for 1970, that's pretty damn good.

Also, I love the Kinks and wanted to include a song by them.

The Kinks, "Lola"





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kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
2017-07-01 01:23 pm
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30 day music meme, day 20

20. A song that has many meanings for you

This is a song about ghosts, and about love, and about the Second World War, and about a place, and about some kind of liberation that is joyous or terrible or both. I love it so much that I requested it for Yuletide a while back and wonderful people wrote me wonderful fic for it.

Thomas Dolby, "Cloudburst At Shingle Street"





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kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
2017-06-26 02:44 pm
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30 day music meme, day 19

19. A song that makes you think about life

"Thinking about life" seems to me a fundamentally adolescent thing. I don't mean that as an insult; it's just that in my experience, as people get older, the questions become more specific. There's a loss of ambition, or arrogance, or energy; "life" is just too big a topic.

So here's a song about adolescence and (I think) about the looming spectre of adulthood.

The Mountain Goats, "Damn These Vampires"





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2017-06-25 04:44 pm
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30 day music meme, day 18

18. A song from the year you were born

This was an easy choice.

This version of the song, the best known one, is I think later than 1969 (my birth year), but I like it better so that's what you get. It's worth looking at the original 1969 video on YouTube, though, if only because both video and song version are so hilariously 1960s.

David Bowie, "Space Oddity"





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kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Default)
2017-06-24 11:03 am
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30 day music meme, day 17

17. A song that you would sing as a duet on karaoke

I don't sing in public. But if I did, I might pick this song, preferably with two accomplices rather than one. (What's the word for a three-person song? Anyway, in the case of this song, "threesome" is probably as good a term as any.)

Mitch Ryder got famous doing blue-eyed soul in the 60s, then nearly tanked his solo career in 1979 when he released How I Spent My Vacation, which is mostly about his sexual and romantic relationships with other men.* He continued to release music but as far as I know it sold very badly. In 1983, he made a "comeback" album, Never Kick A Sleeping Dog, produced by John Mellencamp, which includes this song.

*A lot of Ryder's music is not really my cup of tea. He first appealed to me because of the queer element, which I learned about around the time NKASD was released; astonishingly, within a couple of months I found a vinyl copy of HISMV in a secondhand store in the very small town where my family did its shopping** and listened to it over and over again on the sly. I only loved it for its queerness, but that was enough.*** I do genuinely like much of Never Kick A Sleeping Dog, though, and especially the following.

Mitch Ryder with Marianne Faithfull and John Mellencamp, "A Thrill's A Thrill"





**We didn't live in a town. We lived in the country about 40 miles away and only came to town for shopping and other necessary things.

***A queer element was how I discovered a lot of music as a teenager. The Smiths, for example, and David Bowie (like a lot of queer boys I wanted to be Ziggy Stardust; I just happened to want it a decade too late) and the Jam (via Paul Weller's later project the Style Council and the swirling rumors, all too vehemently denied by Weller, that he and bandmate Mick Talbot were a couple).

Speaking of the Style Council, this ended up getting long and not fun, so it's under a cut )
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
2017-06-22 01:34 pm
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30 day music meme, day 16

It has been hot here. Yesterday it hit 100F/37.7C; right now it's 96F/36C, although because it's cloudy it doesn't feel too awful.

I know it's even hotter in places like Arizona, and it's been nearly as hot in places that are much less prepared for heat (e.g. much of southern Britain), but I wanted to complain anyway, if only because the heat half-melted my brain and I forgot about this meme for a couple of days.


16. One of your favorite classical songs

I'm pretty ignorant of classical music, and to the extent that I have opinions they are odd ones: if it's much more recent than Bach, I probably don't like it. Plus, the question got me into a mental twist about what counts as a song. So I picked something that is definitely a song, if not technically classical since it dates from the 13th century. It's one of the most famous pieces of medieval music, quite catchy, and the first documented English use of the verb "to fart." There's more info here (including a transcription and modern English translation) and here (primarily about the manuscript).

The Hilliard Ensemble, "Sumer Is Icumen In"




Heh. I do like this song, but it feels odd to post it given how little joy I feel about summer right now, and how much I wish it was igonne away.


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kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
2017-06-19 09:15 pm
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30 day music meme, day 15

15. A song that is a cover by another artist

This is another one where I have to link two songs.

First, and predictably if you know my taste, is the Doug Anthony All Stars' cover of "Throw Your Arms Around Me," originally by Hunters and Collectors. I've listened to a lot of versions of this song (OMG stop judging me!) and this really is the best I've heard.





Second, here's Jonathan Coulton's cover of Alanis Morrissette's "You Oughta Know." I've picked this not so much for the musicianship or the singing (it's just a little whim that Coulton released online, and he's audibly embarrassed by some of the more explicit lines) as for the way it totally changes the meaning of the song--making it more interesting, in my view--without changing a word.





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2017-06-18 10:00 am
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30 day music meme, day 14

14. A song that you would love played at your wedding

Love songs aren't usually my thing. This is an exception--spare, slightly wry, and yet achingly emotional.

The Magnetic Fields, "The Book of Love"





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kindkit: Haddock and Tintin kissing; Haddock is in leather gear (Tintin: gay icon)
2017-06-17 12:35 pm
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30 day music meme, day 13

13. One of your favourite 70s songs

This song was released in 1973, and surprisingly became a hit. You probably are familiar with the fandom phrase "no heterosexual explanation": well, there's no heterosexual explanation for this song.

If I knew how to vid, I would make a Professionals vid to it.

Starbuck, "Do You Like Boys?"





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kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
2017-06-15 06:43 pm
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30 day music meme, day 12

12. A song from your pre-teen years

I'm taking this to mean a song I heard during my pre-teen years, rather than a song that was released then. This one was released when my mom was five years old. I probably first heard it at about the same age--I associate it with a period when my grandmother was running a fishing resort and my mom and stepfather and I lived there. I was intrigued by all the unfamiliar words, and I think I may have been an adult before I learned that jambalaya is a food and not a kind of party.

Hank Williams, "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)"





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kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
2017-06-14 10:14 pm
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30 day music meme, day 11

11. A song you never get tired of

The Jam, "Town Called Malice." This video has adorable baby!Paul Weller. If you can't understand all the words (and the words are really good), there's a lyrics vid here.





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kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
2017-06-12 07:02 pm
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30 day music meme, day 10

10. A song that makes you sad

There are songs that make me sad for random personal reasons, and there's a song that makes me so very sad that I don't want to even post it here (it's the Neko Case song about the tiger, and you listen to it at your own risk). I've picked something that is manageably sad. It's essentially a John Le Carré novel in song form.

The Decemberists, "The Bagman's Gambit"




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kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Default)
2017-06-11 10:51 am
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30 day music meme, day 9

9. A song that makes you happy

This is a live version, because I can't find the album version on YouTube.

(A further source of happiness, or at least amusement, may come from the way the singer's accent changes from American when he's speaking to sort-of-English when he sings. I say this with great love for Scotland Yard Gospel Choir, and with the ruefulness of one Anglophile recognizing another.)


Scotland Yard Gospel Choir, "I Never Thought I Could Feel This Way For a Boy"





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kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
2017-06-09 05:48 pm
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30 day music meme, day 8

8. A song about drugs or alcohol

Today you get two, because the first song I thought of presents alcohol in a negative (though funny) light, and I wanted a happier one as well. The fact that these are both Irish songs is, well, insert your own joke here, but it's also because for several years of my life I listened almost exclusively to Irish folk and traditional music.


Altan, "Donal Agus Morag"

This song is the happy one. It's about the wedding of Donal and Morag; the first verse is about all the people who were there, the next two detail the food, and the last verse mentions all the alcohol. There's an Irish transcription and English translation here.





Christy Moore, "Delirium Tremens"

This one's about alcohol's potential bad effects. It's also hilarious, though much of the humor comes from highly specific references to Irish politics and history. Wikipedia may be your friend here. I can tell you that Harpic is not an alcohol, but a brand of toilet bowl cleaner.

ETA: The Guinness ad Moore refers to may be this one here. It is magnificently awful.




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kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Default)
2017-06-08 05:53 pm
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30 day music meme, day 7

7. A song to drive to

What better than a song about a journey? Or about several journeys, I think, only one of them physical.

This is a live version, because, annoyingly, the album version is blocked on YouTube for copyright reasons.

Paul Simon with Vincent Guinea* and John Selowawane*, "Graceland"

(*Name spellings are my best guess based on how Simon pronounced them)





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