The Saturday Shuffle – Week 11

Another Saturday means another shuffle extravaganza is upon us. Thanks to the magic of technology, I’m actually busy doing something else right now, but here are the five tracks my phone shuffle threw up this week (not literally, of course)…

  1. Grown Ocean – The Fleet Foxes. Another of my favourite bands, the Fleet Foxes are just brilliant. This is the last track from their second album, ‘Helplessness Blues’, and it’s a treat.
  2. The World Tonight – Paul McCartney. Remember when it was the cool thing to mock Mr McCartney for ‘selling out’? Well, the Beatles Anthology thing came along and the next year, we got his ‘Flaming Pie’ album full of groovy tracks like this.
  3. Simple – Nick Harper. More of the magnificent Mr Harper. This is a simple song about simple stuff. It’s a little over-produced (I’m a sucker for his live act), but still a great song.
  4. Across The Universe – The Beatles. Carrying on with yet another brilliant song, this is one of John Lennon’s spiritual tracks written during the Rishikesh stay when they were all seeking a meaning to everything. There is a sub-standard cover version currently doing the rounds on a Samsung advert.
  5. Return To Sender – Elvis Presley. Remember the days when you had to write a letter to people in order to tell them things? Well, this is a song about writing to that special someone, only for the damned letters to come back to you, unopened. Call it unrequited love, or maybe just a crap postman…

And that is the end of that. With the start of the football season now upon us, this is the last shuffle for the time being – my Saturday afternoons will be filled with avoiding football…

The Saturday Shuffle – Week 7

Here we go again, dear readers.

  1. Nobody Does It Better – Carly Simon. Bond themes. Some are memorable, some less so. This one from ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ possibly falls into the latter category. Maybe because the song isn’t named after the film, so you forget about it compared to, say, ‘Goldfinger’, or more recently, ‘Skyfall’. In spite of this, it’s not a bad song!
  2. Something – The Beatles. The greatest love song ever written? It would certainly be in the top three. But that’s just my opinion. Even Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, said it was the greatest Lennon and McCartney song. Something that George Harrison found funny, considering he actually wrote it!
  3. Let Them Talk – Hugh Laurie. Another bit of Laurie (minus the Fry – see what I did there?!) The only slight niggle is the American accent that now seems second nature to him as a result of his lengthy stint on US television. You’re English, Hugh, dammit!
  4. Dark Horse – George Harrison. Speaking of George Harrison, here’s one from his solo career post-Beatles. It’s a cool song, and quite clever, because if you think about it, he was the dark horse of the Beatles.
  5. Sound Of Drums – Kula Shaker. Some mock-Indian nineties indie rock to finish the week. Remember Kula Shaker? This is from the second album which may not be a well known a their debut which featured the likes of ‘Hey Dude’ and ‘Govinda’. I have the best of album, and let me tell you, they produced some bloody good songs. This is one of them.

And that’s the end of another shuffle. See you next week for more.

The Saturday Shuffle – Week 5

Good Afternoon, everybody! It’s another scorching day in the Shire, and I’m sure you’ve been waiting with baited breath for this next instalment! ‘Will there be more sodding Beatles tracks’, you’re possibly wondering…

  1. One of the 38 – Nick Harper. No, not the character from My Family played by Kris Marshall, this is the son of sixties/seventies folk rock stalwart Roy Harper (who happened to be mates with Led Zeppelin, so you can imagine the upbringing Nick had). He’s a genius with a guitar – if you get the chance, see him live. You’ll be falling over yourselves to thank me. This is a fairly recent song, and enjoyable at that.
  2. Sexy Sadie – The Beatles. It’s the greatest band ever. Again. Allegedly written by John about the Maharishi from their time in India (it was definitely written by John, the allegedly relates to the subject matter). Rumour has it that the spiritual leader tried it on with a lady when he’s supposed to be above all that sort of thing.
  3. Song 2 – Blur. Woo Hoo! Two minutes of dirty, heavy rock from the ‘Blur’ album that was such a massive departure from what went before. Let the head banging commence!
  4. If You Tolerate This, Your Children Will Be Next – Manic Street Preachers. A long song title. If my memory serves me correctly (which it sometimes does), this was about the Spanish Civil War. Which is nice.
  5. St Louis Slim – Seasick Steve. A bit of blues to finish off this week’s shuffle. Seasick Steve shot to UK fame off the back of an appearance on Jools Holland’s show and hasn’t looked back since. This is from the ‘Best Of’ album I purchased recently, because, sometimes, you need some Seasick Steve in your life.

And so ends this week’s shuffle. See you next week!!

The Saturday Shuffle – Week 4

It’s that time of week again!!

  1. Buddy – De La Soul. Ah, Buddy. Billed as De Le Soul, but featuring some ‘friends’ – Jungle Brothers and Q-Tip (if you haven’t got a clue, just Google it, or ask my brother). Not surprisingly, I have my brother to thank for this one!
  2. I Just Don’t Understand – The Beatles. Yes, I know. The Beatles again. But this is a cover from the first Live at the BBC album.
  3. It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding) – Bob Dylan. A recent winner of the Nobel Literature prize is Mr Zimmerman. Unlike him though, I probably won’t give a lecture using suspiciously familiar web content!! This is from the ‘Bringing It All Back Home’ album, which is the landmark album where he moved from the folk genre into the electric folk genre (he took plenty of stick for that). This is from the acoustic ‘Side 2’ (for those who still work in vinyl). It’s also seven and a half minutes long…
  4. Stop The Clocks – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. From the more talented Gallagher’s first solo record. If I’m honest, it’s probably one of the weaker songs he’s written. Definitely an album filler along the lines of ‘She’s Electric’ or ‘Magic Pie’.
  5. Tomorrow Never Knows – The Beatles. Not the finished version you hear on ‘Revolver’, but the work in progress first presented on the Anthology albums (the second one, to be precise). You can hear the basic track and rudimentary loops going on in the background, and the slight distortion of John’s vocal which he apparently wanted to sound like monks singing from the top of a mountain…

And there’s your five for today. I think we’ve all learned something…

The Saturday Shuffle – Week 3

Another Saturday afternoon comes round again. Which means more musical randomness and waffling from yours truly! On with the show…

  1. I’ll Be Back – The Beatles. The Beatles. Again. A nice song from the Hard Day’s Night album that wasn’t in the film.
  2. I Feel Fine – The Beatles. Is this shuffle thing working?!! It seems it is. The first mainstream pop/rock track to feature feedback. Some say it was an accident, others suggest it was deliberate. I don’t care, because it’s the Beatles and it’s brilliant.
  3. My Ever Changing Moods – Paul Weller. Ok, so it’s actually a Style Council song, but it was on a Paul Weller compilation that featured his Jam and solo hits too. Quite appropriate for me these days as I can change in the blink of an eye.
  4. Watching The Wheels – John Lennon. A song obviously written about his five year break from the limelight, where he gave up music and being famous to bring up Sean. He was quite happy to do so, and I guess others were confused by it. I sometimes wish I could take a break from being me.
  5. Cry For Love – Iggy Pop. I downloaded the best of Iggy Pop after watching the second Trainspotting film (who doesn’t love ‘Lust For Life’?) and this is on the album. I obviously copied the whole album to my phone without listening to the songs first because I don’t remember hearing this song before! It’s not bad though, if you ask me.

And there it is for another week. Maybe there’ll be no Beatles songs next time, who really knows?!

The Saturday Shuffle – Week 2

It’s Saturday afternoon people. Which means only one thing – shuffle time! So, without any further ado, here we go…

  1. A Boy Like Me – Cast. Remember Cast? Unbelievably good band from Liverpool that were big in the 90’s? Well, they went away for a bit, and then came back a few years ago with a pretty damned good album called ‘Troubled Times’. This is from that record and it’s still got the classic Cast formula.
  2. Peacock Suit – Paul Weller. The Modfather. This was one of those songs I knew about but never really listened to it much. Then I bought one of his ‘Best Of’ collections and that was that. Does anyone know what a ‘Peacock Suit’ is? Do you have to kill the peacocks first?!
  3. Twist And Shout – The Beatles. With the large selection of Beatles songs on my phone, there was a pretty good chance a Beatles song would come on. Would everyone in the cheaper seats clap your hands? And the rest of you can just rattle your jewellery. A classic Lennon line from the Royal Variety Performance before blasting this gem out. This is the album version that apparently shredded John’s voice after a long day in the studio.
  4. Swanee River – Hugh Laurie. Hmm. An interesting track. I can’t remember where I heard that Hugh Laurie had recorded an album, it may have been on Jools Holland’s show. But to be fair, it’s not bad.
  5. Paradise City – Guns N Roses. I was first exposed to this as a fresh-faced 7 year old boy thanks to my brother. He had the ‘Appetite For Destruction’ album on cassette (remember those?) and as a result of having neighbouring bedrooms, I tended to absorb a lot of his musical taste. There wasn’t much option!!

That was painless. Same time next week?

Song Title Short Story #7

A Day In The Life – The Beatles

It was half-past seven in the morning, according to my alarm clock. I woke from a rather peculiar dream, and eased myself out of bed. I shuffled across the landing to the bathroom – I’m really not a morning person – and stood in front of the bathroom mirror. Lord knows what I do when I’m asleep, because every morning, my hair has that ‘dragged through a hedge backwards’ look about it. And every morning, like now, I had to fight it with a comb and water just to flatten the damned thing. But, after a successful battle, I looked fairly presentable, so I headed downstairs. I sauntered into the kitchen and made myself a cup of coffee. I sat at the kitchen counter and noticed the clock on the microwave was flashing. Puzzled, I looked at the clock on the wall. It was almost nine o’clock!! I abandoned my coffee and grabbed my coat and woolly hat – it was a frosty mid-January day, after all – and rushed out of the door, slamming it behind me. I looked down the street and could see the bus about to arrive at my stop. I legged it down the street and just about made it. I emptied change into the bus drivers little tray, and he handed me my ticket without a word. He knew me, and I knew he was a miserable bugger.

I climbed the stairs to the top deck and found a quiet seat on my own. I took out a cigarette, and was about to light it, when a city-type with pinstripe suit and overcoat tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to the ‘No Smoking’ sign stuck to the window by my shoulder. I shrugged and put my lighter back in my coat pocket.

I made it to work, and sat in my cubicle with the morning paper. I saw the headline about a car crash which killed a guy who was a member of the House of Lords. Below it was a particularly gruesome picture of the wreck, and in spite of myself, I couldn’t help but laugh at the bystanders who appeared to be craning for a better view of the carnage. I turned the page and read a few more stories that were of little interest to me. I stopped at the film review section and was grabbed by a review of a new film about the British Army in the Second World War. The critic was pretty scathing, but on reading the review, it had been based on a book I’d read and enjoyed, so I made a mental note to go and see it.

I was briefly interrupted by work tasks, but when I returned to the paper, I happened to find a bizarre story about the number of potholes in Blackburn, Lancashire. Four thousand, apparently, which if added together, would fill the Albert Hall. It was in a newspaper article, so it must be true, right?