THE BEST OF SWEDISH MUSIC IN 2022

A GUEST POSTING by MARTIN ELLIOT

(Our Swedish Correspondent)

Hi Jim,

It’s once more into the bleach – my summary of last year in Swedish music. For different reasons, pandemic mostly, some of my usual sources of finding new music were delayed so last year actually saw me discover music that rightly should have been included in my summary already last year. Therefore, this year (to save me from tears) I included a bonus 12″ with overlooked (on my part) Swedish music from 2021. I hope this “deluxe” version of the Swedish Annual is accepted.

2022, side A (a bit more guitars):

A Sunday morning I was offered a free ticket to a small venue the same night with 2 Swedish bands on the bill I had never heard of before. An offer I guess based on limited ticket pre-sale, and as I have been there several times before I’m on their mailing list. Better people come and buy something in the bar at least… First I felt too lazy and was about to skip it, but then I pulled myself together; better alone at a gig than alone at home, so I went there – very luckily since both bands were actually great! Gothenburg based indie kids Beverly Kills were second band out, they played their just released debut Kaleido from start to finish. A great ending to a great evening!
All female indie rockers Sahara Hotnights are back after an 11 years hiatus with an album slightly more pop than usual. The album, Love In Times Of Low Expectations, has received a bit mixed reviews being more low key than what they did 11 years ago. More mature, more self assured, less aggressive. Given a bit of time the album has grown on me, and live they still have great energy on stage.
The new album House is short, it clocks in at about 32 minutes (compare to their Our Ill Wills album that has about 57 minutes on the vinyl!), but it is concentrated and effective. The first single, Sky And I, surfaced by the end of 2021 while the album was released early May. When I first started listening to them, in 2007, they were recording their second album, the just mentioned Our Ill Wills, and I remember reading that they had Disintegration playing on repeat in the studio. I guess it never left the CD player, the influences are still here.
First band out on that Sunday evening, Many Voices Speak is the moniker for singer/songwriter Matilda Mård. In the studio she does almost everything herself but live she brings a small band on stage. Dreamy, guitar based, indie-pop in the veins of Victorialand Cocteaus or maybe Daughter. I really enjoyed her set, and left with both her and Beverly Kill’s albums under my arm.
2022, side B (a bit more electronic):
Last year Göteborgselektronikerna dropped new music pretty much out of nowhere and in September a new album was released. Less obvious in their Kraftwerk influences, more playful and accessible on this their second album.  Very electronic this one.
Third album from Badlands, I had her included also last year with the epic Fantasma I & II. This album, Call To Love, is more dreamy, less darkwave-ish than the last. Still very emotional, this time dealing more with (lost) love than loss of life.
B3 Little Jinder – Joy Division väder. (väder means weather)
Another artist that has “matured” over the last few years and released an album a lot more low key than her previous outings. If the earlier albums have been more of young adult snapchat type lyrics about (lost) love, feeling outkast and alone this new album sees an artist reflecting with some experience on pretty much the same topics. It’s in Swedish so most of you won’t make much of it, but with this track title you might get a knack anyway…
Annika has earlier released material in Swedish under the moniker Säkert! and in English as Hello Saferide, so when she now makes her debut under her real name she does it with one side in Swedish and one in English… Mostly rather quiet songs, especially the Swedish side, lyrically slightly less direct and to the point than earlier. Leaving a bit more to the listener to work out what she is singing about. This track taken from the English side then.
The lost 2021 bonus single-sided 12″:
Linn released her debut full length album in 2021, having released 2 EP’s a few years earlier. Guitar-laden indie I would love to experience live.
They opened up for The Wannadies at a small club gig I attended in April last year, I had never heard them but was impressed and picked up their 2021 debut album from the merch stall afterwards. Quirky indiepop, in Swedish.
Maja has been around the Swedish music scene for some years now, and I have seen her joining First Aid Kit on stage a couple of times. I completely missed the release of her debut album in 2021 until late last year, but have since played the album repeatedly. At times her voice reminds me a lot of Jolene version Dolly Parton. Fragile, angel-like, and just lovable.
With hopes for a better 2023, all the best.

Martin

JC adds..…As I say every single year, I always look forward to Martin’s end of year round-up as there’s inevitably something in there that is of huge appeal, and this year is no different. These tunes are well worth a listen.

KIDS, EH #4

A GUEST POSTING by SWC

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JC writes…..

Before I hand over to SWC, a little bit of explanation. One of his previous posts over at No Badger Required, in which he offered up the views and opinions of his daughter, made me laugh so hard that I asked if a future instalment could be offered up to TVV.   He’s been a as good as his word….in fact, he sent this over just prior to Christmas and I’ve had to sit on it waiting for the blog to get up and running again.  Given that yesterday saw a somewhat sad but brilliant post about the passing of Alan Rankine, I thought this made for the ideal way to try and put a smile on our collective faces.

Here’s SWC……

“For those of you who haven’t ventured over to my little corner of the Internet, which is more commonly known as No Badger Required, this is the fourth instalment in a series that I am calling ‘Kids, Eh’. It is a series in which I randomly pick three songs from my music library (or rather an algorithm picks them for me), give my daughter a pencil and some paper and tell her to write what she thinks about them.

“We started this series when she was nine, and I have learnt four things, firstly that she is a harsh critic, no song has yet to score more than eight out of ten.

How Did This Happen! – Bodega

“Secondly, she hates shouty, angry records that “Don’t say anything”. Thirdly, she has a knack of being able to bring some form of creature into every review she does, so far we’ve had hippopotamuses, toucans, crocodiles and cats and fourthly, now aged ten, and armed with her own Alexa, my daughter has developed a love of music by bands like Air, Four Tet, Boards of Canada and Massive Attack (but only the album ‘Mezzanine’, the rest are a bit “meh” apparently). She, dare I say it, has cool taste in music, so this might be quite interesting.

“All the songs today are randomly picked from an iPod Playlist that I called “Another Playlist” when I compiled it. There are over 4000 songs in this playlist and as we sit in the lounge five days before Christmas, armed with paper, pencils, custard creams, a half-eaten box of Roses, and some Wasabi Peanuts (they are mine) I’m ready to press the shuffle button.

“Will there be Christmas songs?” my daughter suddenly asks. I tell her there might be. I know that the Fucked Up version of “Do They Know Its Christmas?” is definitely on there, but I don’t tell her that, because she will definitely hate it. “I hope its not that stupid song that talks about the “the bells ringing out” J (name changed of irritating boy in her class) in my class keeps singing it to annoy the teacher”. That isn’t on there, I tell her. I finally press the play button and I have to say I grinned when the first song came on because it was this absolute banger.

Soon (Andrew Weatherall Mix) – My Bloody Valentine

Now in reality, this is one of the greatest remixes to have ever grace anyone’s stereo, full of loops, samples, twists, “Here We Go’s” and “Ahhh’s” it is extraordinary, outstanding, a proper floor filler. My daughter catches me nodding my head along to it and I tell her that the man who remixed this, was a genius and that in a perfect world he would have been Minister of Culture. She looks at me blankly and frantically scribbles on her pad.

About four minutes in she tells me that she likes the little “Ah ha” bits and then she puts her pencil down. I type verbatim the bits in italics are my interjections.

“It keeps saying the same thing, ’Here We Go’ but doesn’t tell you where they are going, they might be going to the zoo to see the giraffes [ ooh, she’s gone early on the animals] or to the shops. It’s quite good I suppose but it just does the same thing over and over again. I like the ‘Ah Ha’ bits but it is not as good as ‘Kelly Watch The Stars’”. [I might confiscate her Alexa, if she keeps up that nonsense]

‘Soon’ gets a six out of ten. Which on the Kids, Eh scoreboard makes it the fourth-best song in the world. So Far at least.

Next Up

Dead – Pixies

It’s the version from the ‘At the BBC’ album so it’s slightly faster and slightly rawer than the album version but all the same it’s still a bloody marvellous ninety seconds or so if you quickly skirt over the biblical violence backstory. Although I think a certain ten year is about to disagree with me and tell me off for playing a song which has the word ‘crapper’ in it.

“He said a rude word, I don’t like it [now thankfully, my daughter hasn’t grasped the full concept of a swear word, but thanks to Howard from the Big Bang Theory she knows that “crap” is a bad word. She hasn’t noticed, yet that someone has written ‘FUCK’ in red pen on the bench at the park, but she knows that is a very rude word], the singing is all weird and he keeps repeating the rude word. He sounds like he is going to have a sore throat in the morning, he should try singing a bit quieter, or let someone else sing, I’m glad actual Pixies don’t sound like that”.[She used to have a pixie living in her playhouse when she was five, only she could understand it because it spoke ‘half German and half Italy’]

That my friends, is all she has to say about it. She could be right about Black Francis letting someone else sing though. ‘Dead’ scores one out of ten. Which still places it higher than ‘Husbands’ by Savages, which was erm, savaged when my daughter reviewed it.

Finally, we come to the last song of the day, well actually I skipped one because Pixies came on again

Here Comes Your Man – Pixies

The last song of the day is this, which might go down quite well

Don’t Look Back In Anger – Oasis

Which, if we are all absolutely honest with ourselves, is one of Britpop’s finest four a half minutes, from the piano at the start, through Noel’s singing about “Starting revolutions from his bed”, the brilliant drumming and the way the song all moulds together rather excellently. ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ is definitely in the top five Oasis tracks.

“Who’s Sally, and why is she waiting, what’s too late, is she being dumped?” my daughter asks me. I tell her I’m not entirely sure. “Well, he shouldn’t tell her to wait, that’s rude and its rude to be late, Uncle Bill is always late, my chips went cold the last time he was late”. I nod in agreement, so did mine as it happens. “It is a nice song though. I like the singing, much better than the last one. I like this one best today. Can I add Oasis to my playlist please.”

With that she scores ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ a relatively unheard of seven out of ten and goes off to play Minec.

SWC

ALL IS QUIET…..

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I wasn’t sure if I’d find time to do this.  Spent a few days in bed with the flu over Xmas.  Santa’s actual arrival in Villain Towers was delayed 48 hours, and I still wasn’t really myself until the end of the week.

But I was determined to deliver a bonus posting today, and to maintain the practice of one of these appearing early on in every new month.

mp3: Various – All Is Quiet

Dancing Is Not A Crime – Affleck’s Palace
Dare – The Wedding Present
Widow – Woking Men’s Club
N95 – Kendrick Lamar
Saints – The Breeders
Action Hero (Marc Riley Session) – Spare Snare
Pale Shelter – Tears For Fears
Midnight On The Murder Mile – Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine
Gangs – Do Nothing
Found Love In A Graveyard – Veronica Falls
Firewater – Django Django
Little Fix – Sprints
This Poison – Magazine
Sorry For Laughing – Propaganda
God Forbid – The Wild Swans
Might Be Stars – The Wannadies
Grand Final Day – Ducks Ltd.

Got my timings a bit messed up. Could have changed the last song for something else and kept it to around the hour mark.  As it is, you’ve an extra 90 seconds of music to endure this month.

JC

ICA WORLD CUP 2022 : THE WINNERS

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At last.

A series that began back on 10 July comes to its conclusion.

I want to offer my thanks to those of you who dropped in so regularly to cast your votes. Let’s face it, the ICA World Cup 2022 would have been a monumental flop without audience participation, but I’ve been genuinely and pleasantly surprised and delighted that it proved to be popular from the outset and stayed that way through to the final.  I’ve an idea to do a similar type of event in 2023, based on a much smaller scale than ICAs, that I’m going to work on over the festive period to see if it will work.

Here’s a couple of immense contributions in respect of the final.

Chaval : Takes me back to teenage years in 79-80 taping JD sessions off Peel by night, grinning along to Blondie chart smashes by day.

Blondie’s imperial phase from 78-80 coincided with JD’s entire span of existence.  In the end, I think Debbie Harry was a more benign influence on the youth of the day (although Ian Curtis was probably a better dancer). 

In short, Blondie.

Bagging Area (aka Adam) : Changing the rules while the tournament runs – a ruse even Gianni Infantino might have thought too much, but then the actual World Cup has been besmirched and despoiled, so I suppose it had to happen here too.

Joy Division clearly.

Isolation, Shadowplay, Decades and The Eternal are the back four of post- punk. Hannett, Gretton, Saville and Wilson the midfield, Curtis, Sumner, Hook and Morris the wide players.

‘Some of the crowd are on the pitch, they think it’s all over…’

The final was a fascinating affair.  Blondie swarmed all over the Mancunians at the start, picking up six successive votes to establish a 7-2 lead just three hours after voting began.  The Joy Division fans were obviously having a lie-in on Sunday as they then cast the next six votes and at 2pm, just as the coverage of the actual World Cup final began on the BBC, the score was 8-7 to JD.

By 7pm, it was still very tight, with JD enjoying a 13-11 lead, while there had been one person to admit they couldn’t split the duo and suggested the trophy be shared. 

Midnight on Sunday.  40 votes had now come in.  Two folk had now suggested a shared trophy.  But the JD fans had clearly been raised from the slumbers as their votes had given their favourites a lead of 23-15, which, based on what had happened in earlier rounds, was looking decisive.

Very few votes came in between Monday and Wednesday.  I’ve no doubt folk were distracted by the sad news of the deaths of Terry Hall and Martin Duffy.

The final score, by midnight on Wednesday, was:-

Joy Division 29 Blondie 16

So, the ICA World Cup trophy stays in England, and for the second time, a band whose name beings with the letter J takes the honours.

Wasn’t sure which song to offer up today.  Do I go back to the ICA and pull something from there, or do something different?  This kind of does both.  The best known version was on the ICA:-

mp3 : Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart (Peel Session)

Recorded on 26 November 1979 and broadcast on 10 December 1979.

Which led me to also want to include this:-

mp3: Joy Division – Sound Of Music

A version of this song was also part of that same Peel Session.  It was a brand-new song at the time.  Joy Division would record a version in the Pennine Sound Studios in Oldham in January 1980 during the same sessions as they worked on Love Will Tear Us Apart as a potential single.

As it turned out, they decided against that particular version of LWTUA, and they reconvened in Strawberry Studios in Stockport in March 1980 where they came up with the take for what would prove to be their best-known song.

Sound Of Music was only given a posthumous release, as part of the compilation album Still, issued in October 1981.

Thanks again

JC

ICA WORLD CUP 2022 : THE FINAL

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Before turning to the actual final, let’s get last week’s results sorted out.

Sadly, it became clear within a few hours that one of the semi-finals was turning out to be a mismatch, with Blondie thoroughly dismantling Orange Juice.

Blondie scored the opening 9 goals before my young brother, all the way from Florida, put Orange Juice on the board.  Now, it might have been a different outcome if, say, the final track on Side A had been involved as Simply Thrilled Honey v Fade Away and Radiate would likely not have been so one-sided, and indeed might have seen Edwyn & Co actually make the final. The final scoreline reflects the fact that OJ picked up a few later votes…..

Orange Juice 12 Blondie 34

To begin with, Joy Division v The Jam was a much tighter affair but by the end of the first day of voting, the team from the north-west of England had a comfortable 17-9 lead over the team from the south-east. As the week went on, things began to swing the way of Weller & Co. By Wednesday evening, the gap had been halved with the score standing at 21-17, but with The Jam now picking up two out of every three votes that were coming in, the trend was suggesting Thursday and Friday would deliver the ultimate comeback.  Indeed, at one point the gap was down to just two…..but JD did recover enough on Friday to hold on.

Joy Division 24 The Jam 21

And with that, it’s a Manchester v New York final.

It wouldn’t be any sort of World Cup without controversy, and what is being proposed for the final may appal or anger many of you.  But please, hear me out.

I had always intended that the final would be decided by the closing track on the ICA, and with Blondie running away with things so early on, I looked at what Walter had chosen as B5 as part of ICA 198.

“Ring Of Fire (from Roadie Soundtrack)

Blondie made another cover version in Alan Rudolph‘s movie Roadie, with the first starring role by Meat Loaf. Never thought that even a song by Johnny Cash could fit to their sound.”

My spirits sank, somewhat.  While not denying that every ICA author can do whatever they like when pulling a piece together, and there’s no doubt Walter had really wanted to do something completely out of leftfield with this one….which was fine as these things go, but it now felt as if the ICA World Cup final would have a novelty song lining up on one half of the field.  A quick look at the Joy Division and The Jam entries showed it would be either Decades or Move On Up – neither entirely regarded as either band’s finest moments, but in all likelihood probably far too strong for the Blondie effort.

So…. to the controversy.

Instead of asking you to determine the final on the basis of one song versus one other song, I’m asking that you consider all the remaining songs from the ICAs that hadn’t yet featured in the competition, as a collective body of work.  That means four in all from both finalists, these being the final song on Side A and tracks 3-5 on Side B

Joy Division : Isolation; Shadowplay; The Eternal; Decades

Blondie : Fade Away and Radiate; The Tide Is High; Call Me; Ring Of Fire

You are, of course, free to call the outcome as a drawn match. There’s nothing in the rules to say the trophy cannot be shared!!!!

Worth mentioning that The Jam, the winners of the ICA World Cup 2018 did make a great run to the semi-finals in 2022 despite the fact the neither of their competing ICAs contained a song that had been released as an a-side of a single.  Talk about strength in depth……

The other bit of controversy is that I’m asking you to get your votes in a bit earlier than usual.  The closing time is Wednesday 21 December at midnight UK time.  I’ll announce the result the following morning.

Thanks again

JC

ICA WORLD CUP 2022 : THE SEMI-FINALS

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In football talk, I’m over the moon that so many of you are voting with each passing week.  The 2022 ICA World Cup has been a bigger success than I ever imagined, to the extent that an idea came to me on holiday for a spin-off tournament for 2023, the details of which I’ll outline in early January.  It’ll hopefully continue to make Sundays a bit of competitive fun.

The quarter-finals, on paper, looked intriguing, but ultimately, three of the four ties had been settled by Tuesday evening which, because of being on holiday and then either travelling or jet-lagged, was the first time I’d had a look at how things were progressing. 41 votes had come in by Tuesday, and by Friday night, nine more votes had come in.  No matches attracted a full house, and the final outcomes in those three matches turned out to be:-

Television 5 Joy Division 43

John McGeoch 15 The Jam 28

The Go-Betweens 19 Orange Juice 25

The final match was a thriller.  It had to go to three recounts. At the end of the first day of voting, Blondie had 17-10 advantage over Human League.  Monday was a good day for the Sheffield synthpop idols with the lead narrowing to four, with the score standing at 20-16.

Just eight votes arrived between Tuesday and Thursday, of which one wasn’t interested in this particular tie.  The New York new wavers were getting anxious as the score stood at 22-21 as we went into the final day.

The Human League then pulled level for the first time in the tie when JG cast a vote at 2.05am.  Aldo and DAM restored the 2 point lead for Blondie by 6.36pm.  Just under 30 minutes later, amd made it 24-23. 

The last word most weeks has gone to hamirthehermit as he usually comes out of his hiding place quite late on a Friday.  This week it was 10.17pm.  And yes, this was the final vote to be counted.

Human League 23 Blondie 25

Every bit as nail-biting as the Argentina v Netherlands match in the FIFA World Cup.

The interesting thing about the four semi-finalists is that two of them were huge commercially back in their time, while the other two were part of the indie scenes in their home cities who enjoyed only fleeting chart success but would later be accorded all sorts of critical acclaim. It’s also fair to say that all four semi-finalists have featured regularly over the years on TVV, and the posts have usually been well received.

It was prior to the start of the tournament that I decided which song from the ICAs would represent the singer/band at any particular stage.  For the semi-final, it was always going to be Track 4 on the A Side. Have fun choosing between these……

Joy Division (ICA 160) v The Jam (ICA 152)

mp3 : Joy Division – Dead Souls v mp3: The Jam – Private Hell

Orange Juice (ICA 219) v Blondie (ICA 198)

mp3: Orange Juice – L.O.V.E. Love v mp3: Blondie – (I’m Always Touched By Your) Presence Dear

Voting closes at midnight (UK time) next Friday, which is the 16th of December.

 

JC

ICA WORLD CUP 2022 : THE QUARTER FINALS

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The FIFA World Cup has delivered some drama, shocks and last-minute goals that have changed the fortunes of the participating teams.  You could argue it is merely mimicking the ICA World Cup, especially the knockout rounds.

A huge thanks to everyone who took the time to vote on the eight ties brought to you last Sunday. The comments revealed that a number of you had real difficulty choosing one song over another, and this led to a higher number of draws or non-committals than previous weeks.  A couple of the ties were more or less decided quite early on, but nobody was on the end of a thrashing a la Costa Rica at the hands of Spain.

I reckon that the other six ties saw changes of leads on at least one occasions, while two matches swung back and forth to the extent they were only decided with the last couple of kicks of the ball.  46 sets of votes came in…..only one game was voted on by everyone.

Human League 29 Iggy Pop 16

Television 24 Terry Hall 17

Lloyd Cole 20 The Jam 24

Orange Juice 23 Soft Cell 16

John McGeoch 21 Cinerama 19

Joy Division 28 David Bowie 17

Siouxsie & The Banshees 20 Go-Betweens 22

Cocteau Twins 21 Blondie 25

It’s straight into the quarter-final stage. The songs will be Track 2 of Side A of the relevant ICA

Television (ICA 248) v Joy Division (ICA 160)

mp3: Television – Foxhole v mp3 : Joy Division – Transmission

John McGeoch (ICA 259) v The Jam (ICA 152)

mp3:PiL – Home (live)* v mp3: The Jam – The Place I Love

*ICA 259 is a compilation featuring John McGeoch on guitar – this track is taken from a performance on Whistle Test on BBC2 back in 1986

The Go-Betweens (ICA 200) v Orange Juice (ICA 219)

mp3: The Go-Betweens – To Reach Me v mp3: Orange Juice – Lovesick

Human League (ICA 228) v Blondie (ICA 198)

mp3: Human League – Being Boiled (Peel Session) v mp3: Blondie – Rip Her To Shreds

Voting closes at midnight (UK time) next Friday, which is the 9th of December, with the results and the semi-final draw appearing next Sunday.

NB: If Siouxsie and her motley crew had got through, it would have been Hong Kong Garden v Lovesick in the third tie above…..but if Soft Cell had beaten Orange Juice, (and Siouxsie had also won), then it would have been Hong Kong Garden v Bedsitter.  We should maybe collectively be grateful that it didn’t come to that……..

JC

NOT WHAT YOU WERE EXPECTING?

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Well, it is the first day of a new month.

mp3: Various – Going Stupid Once Again

Christmas, It’s Not A Biggie – Say Sue Me
Flaming Sword – Care
Jilted John – Jilted John
Alive! – Steve Mason
Inferno (Brisbane In Summer) – Robert Forster
Let Forever Be – Chemical Brothers
Cloudbursting – Kate Bush
Metal Guru – T.Rex
All On You (Perfume) – Paris Angels
Human Behaviour – Bjork
Black Tambourine – Beck
Truck – Hi Fi Sean feat. Fred Schneider
Steven Smith – The Organ
Here Comes Comus – Arab Strap
Sugar Kane – Sonic Youth
Piece of Shit – Wet Leg
Blackpool Rock – Chumawamba

It all lasts about an hour, give or take a handful of seconds.

JC

ICA WORLD CUP 2022 : THE LAST 16

icaworldcupBack on 3 July, when I announced details of the 2022 ICA World Cup, I did recognise in advance that Sunday 27 November would be the pinch point as it marked the busiest day with all 8 matches of the latest round being scheduled.

I hadn’t however, fully appreciated that I’d be thousands of miles away from Villain Towers (not that I’m complaining), or factored in that something could very well go wrong with the laptop or internet access, thus bringing the whole thing crashing down.  But if you happen to be reading this, then my fears have proven to be unfounded.

I also didn’t factor in that one of the match-ups in the final set from Round 2 would prove to be the biggest nail biter of them all.

The Cure’s ICA, on paper, was one of the strongest.  The group stage saw them pick up 40 votes out of a possible 46, and the 87% hit-rate was the best of anyone in that stage.  In Round 1 of the knockout stage, they trounced The Chameleons by 33-8.  By Monday night of Round 2, a point in time when most of the votes have usually been cast, they held a 17-13 lead over Terry Hall, who was being represented by a Colourfield song.  A further eleven votes came in on time between Tuesday and Friday night.  Eleven absolutely crucial votes……

Match M : The Sweet 11 Orange Juice 32

Match N :  Soft Cell 23 The Breeders 18

Match O : David Bowie 25 Elvis Costello 18

Match P : The Cure 20 Terry Hall 21

I’ll add that Bill turned up to vote 90 minutes after the deadline having, unsurprisingly, fallen asleep after the England v USA match in the actual World Cup.   His vote was for Terry H, and so wouldn’t have affected the final outcome, but if he’d been in on time, the draw for the last 16 would have been slightly different…….

No rest at all for last week’s winners, as they join the previous twelve who came through the rigours of Round 2 to take their place in the last 16.

I long ago decided that the draw for this round would see the act with the highest number of votes last time out take on the act which came through with the least votes and so on… (1v16, 2v15, 3v14……..7v10, 8v9).

The song in each instance will be the first song on Side B of the ICA.

(1) Human League (ICA 228) v (16) Iggy Pop (ICA 183)

mp3 : Human League – Black Hit Of Space v mp3 : Iggy Pop – Gardenia

(2) Television (ICA 248) v (15) Terry Hall (ICA 277)

mp3: Television – Call Mr Lee v Nearly God – Bubbles *

*ICA 277 was a compilation of songs on which Terry Hall had a vocal

(3) Lloyd Cole (ICA 300) v (14) The Jam (ICA 152)

mp3: Lloyd Cole – Half Of Everything v mp3: The Jam – In The Street Today

(4) Orange Juice (ICA 219) v (13) Soft Cell (ICA 156)

mp3: Orange Juice – The Artisans v mp3: Soft Cell – Frustration

(5) John McGeoch (ICA 259) v  (12) Cinerama (ICA 296)

Propaganda – P-Machinery (beta)* v mp3: Cinerama – Wow (extended version) 

*ICA 259 was a compilation of songs on which John McGeoch played

(6)  Joy Division (ICA 160) v (11) David Bowie (ICA 284)

mp3: Joy Division – Disorder v mp3: David Bowie – Looking For Water

(7) Siouxsie & The Banshees (ICA 258) v (10) The Go-Betweens (ICA 200)

mp3: Siouxsie and The Banshees – Painted Bird v mp3: Go-Betweens – Head Full Of Steam

(8) Cocteau Twins (ICA 195) v (9) Blondie (ICA 198)

mp3: Cocteau Twins – Bluebeard v mp3: Blondie 11:59

If Bill’s votes had counted, Orange Juice would have been the #3 seed and Soft Cell would have moved up a slot to #12.  Three ties would then have been different – Orange Juice v The Jam; Lloyd Cole v Cinerama; and John McGeoch v Soft Cell.  So it goes……

Voting closes at midnight (UK time) next Friday, which is the 2nd of December. I’ll be coming towards the end of my holiday, and I’m hopeful that I’ll be still be sharp enough to bring you the results next Sunday, along with the match-ups for the quarter-finals.

Please note, the quarter-finals will be an all-in draw, rather than anything based on this week’s results.

JC

ICA WORLD CUP 2022 : ROUND TWO OF THE KNOCKOUT STAGE (iv)

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I’m now in the habit of having a check on the scores at the end of Sunday night.  There were 23 votes in by midnight, as compared to 30 at the same time the previous week, which perhaps was an indication that the four ties hadn’t quite grabbed everyone’s attention as others.  Further evidence for this being the case was that none of the ties had been voted on by all who had dropped by, and indeed one tie had seen four of the initial visitors choosing to abstain.

It was also clear that two of the outcomes were going to be foregone conclusions, and to use some boxing parlance, the referee really should have stepped in early to prevent further punishment.  The votes did continue to roll in over the rest of the week (and, as ever, a huge thanks to all concerned), but compared to the previous week, it all felt like an anticlimax…..not that any of the victors are complaining!

Match I : Go-Betweens 26 Neil Young 15

Match J : Human League 37 Beastie Boys 5

Match K : Suede 15 Siouxsie & The Banshees 27

Match L : Lloyd Cole 32 The National 7

Today’s quartet features the four who got through from the seventh and eighth weeks in Round 1.  A reminder that the song up for consideration in Round 2 has always been the third track on Side A of the ICA in question.

The Sweet (ICA 313) v Orange Juice (ICA 219)

mp3: The Sweet – Alexander Graham Bell v mp3: Orange Juice – Bridge

Soft Cell (ICA 159) v The Breeders (ICA 173)

mp3: Soft Cell – The Art Of Falling Apart v mp3 : Breeders – Bang On

Elvis Costello (ICA 284) v David Bowie (ICA 284)

mp3: Elvis Costello – Hoover Factory v mp3: David Bowie – Cactus

The Cure (ICA 157) v Terry Hall (ICA 277)

mp3: The Cure – Doing The Unstuck v The Colourfield – Cruel Circus*

*ICA 277 was a compilation of various acts in which Terry had been or is involved

As ever, thanks for taking part.  Voting closes at midnight (UK time) next Friday, which is the 25th of November.  I’ll be away on holiday in Barbados, and will be counting the votes while sipping some sort of rum-based cocktail, while panicking that I can keep the whole shebang going just as it gets to the busiest stage!

JC

ICA WORLD CUP 2022 : ROUND TWO OF THE KNOCKOUT STAGE (iii)

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Last week’s pairings delivered a match-up for the ages, along with another tie that was close throughout for the most part.  The other two games, while not exactly being blow-outs, saw a couple of substantial early leads that were never in much danger.

At 10pm (UK time) on the Sunday evening, just 16 hours after polling had opened, I did a quick count for all four games. Television and John McGeoch both held identical leads of 20-10 over their opponents.  Only a further 18 set of votes came in through to Friday night, and the gaps never closed (not everyone cast four votes!)

Match E : Television 33 Buddy Holly 13

Match F : Beatles 16 John McGeoch 31

It was Northern Ireland v Scotland in Match G.  Ash v Cocteau Twins, and at the first count, it was a 15-14 lead for Scotland.  The next few days saw Northern Ireland slowly run out of steam, giving a final result of:-

Match G : Ash 20  Cocteau Twins 27

And so, to Liverpool v Leeds.   The Bunnymen had racked up the most points in Round 1, and with a singles-heavy ICA to fall back on, could very much be regarded as one of the favourites.  But in this round, a live cover version was the song for consideration, and as DAM observed in his comments (he was 26th to cast his votes)

“Looks like the Bunnymen have done the equivalent of playing the under 23s, assuming that they will need the big guns later. But on this showing, they could be heading for a fall.”

Cinerama‘s effort had a bit of the continental flair about it, and was picking up a fair few votes….but given they had initially qualified in 6th place from the same group the Bunnymen had won, and in Round 1 had got through by 26-7 when the Bunnymen had triumphed 33-4….it seemed an awful lot to overcome.

Sunday night.  The score was tied at 15-15.  24 hours later, it was 20-19 to Liverpool.

By the time I woke up on Tuesday morning, two more votes had come in.  It was now 21-20 to Leeds.  Tuesday itself saw it move out to a 23-21 lead for Cinerama. No votes arrived on Wednesday or Thursday, but I was waiting on the final flurry on Friday with a great amount of anticipation.

Both picked up one vote each while I was asleep, meaning it was soon 24-22.  The next vote came in at 12.42pm and made it 24-23.

Hamirthehermit dropped by  5.50pm.  As ever, he offered up a commentary on each of his selections. As far as the nail-biter went…..

‘Have a lot more favourite songs by Cinerama than the Bunnies. And I’m not a fan of the Stones.  But a good cover of a good song takes it this round.  Echo & The Bunnymen’.

That made it 24-24

Earlier in the day, thinking that there might eventually be a tie, I had come up with a possible way out of any such impasse.

I made good on a long-time commitment to meet up with Comrade Colin on Friday afternoon.  At one point over our second coffee/diet cola, I mentioned the Bunnymen v Cinerama match-up and asked him that in the event of it finishing in a tie, which of the two songs he would have voted for.

In effect, I was appointing him as the VAR, if required.

But would it come down to that? Midnight came and went……..

Match H : Echo and The Bunnymen 24 Cinerama 24

Cinerama won the penalty shoot-out…….courtesy of Comrade Colin’s preference.

For what it’s worth, if I had been voting, I’d have gone for the Bunnymen on the basis of me seeing them play a storming version of Paint It Black at the Glasgow Barrowlands back in 1985 that has long-lived in the memory. But having decided how the call should be made, my huge thanks to the Comrade for helping out.

After all that, it’s time to turn our attention to today’s quartet, featuring the four who got through from the fifth and sixth weeks in Round 1.  A reminder that the song up for consideration in Round 2 will always be the third track on Side A of the ICA in question.  Will there be any drama?

The Go-Betweens (ICA 200) v Neil Young (ICA 259)

mp3: The Go-Betweens – The Clock v mp3 : Neil Young – Sugar Mountain (live)

Human League (ICA 228) v Beastie Boys (ICA 285)

mp3: Human League – Sound Of The Crowd (complete) v mp3 : Beastie Boys – Make Some Noise

Suede (ICA 209) v Siouxsie & The Banshees (ICA 258)

mp3: Suede – The Big Time v mp3: Siouxsie & The Banshees – Playground Twist

Lloyd Cole (ICA 300) v The National (ICA 243)

mp3: Lloyd Cole – Weeping Wine v mp3 : The National – I Need My Girl

As ever, thanks for taking part.  Voting closes at midnight (UK time) next Friday, which is the 18th of November.

JC

ICA WORLD CUP 2022 : ROUND TWO OF THE KNOCKOUT STAGE (ii)

icaworldcupI thought away back when pulling this thing together that the really close contests might start to appear by the time we got to Round 2, with us being down to the last 32 standing.  Were my instincts right?

The first 20 sets of votes (50% of the final total) had arrived by 2pm on Sunday afternoon, just nine hours after polling had opened.  Three of the ties already looked done and dusted, while the other would have required a sizable comeback from the Edinburgh band to overcome the man born as James Osterberg Jr.

But here’s the thing…..the team from Edinburgh mounted that comeback, and by Wednesday night, the lead had been reduced to just one.  It was turning into the game of the tournament.

Match A : Iggy Pop 19 Ballboy 18

Match B : Blondie 26 Stevie Wonder 13

Match C : Edwyn Collins 15 The Jam 22

Match D : Joy Division 29 Roxy Music/Bryan Ferry 10

Yup…..nobody came in with late votes this week – the last was cast at 11.11pm on Wednesday – and so Iggy was able to hold on and take his place in the last 16, the details of which are still a few weeks away.

Today’s quartet features the four who came through from the third and fourth weeks in Round 1.  A reminder that the song up for consideration in Round 2 will always be the third track on Side A of the ICA in question.

Television (ICA 248) v Buddy Holly (ICA 285)

mp3: Television – Marquee Moon v mp3 : Buddy Holly – Peggy Sue Got Married

The Beatles (ICA 244) v John McGeoch (ICA 259)

mp3: Beatles – I Should Have Known Better v mp3 : Siouxsie & The Banshees – Spellbound*

*ICA 259 was a compilation of tracks on which McGeoch played guitar

Ash (ICA 190) v Cocteau Twins (ICA 195)

mp3: Ash – A Life Less Ordinary v mp3: Cocteau Twins – Carolyn’s Fingers

Echo & The Bunnymen (ICA 225) v Cinerama (ICA 296)

mp3: Echo and The Bunnymen – Paint It Black (live)  v mp3: Cinerama – Lollobrigida

As ever, thanks for taking part.  Voting closes at midnight (UK time) next Friday, which is the 11th of November.

JC

ETCETERA, ETCETERA

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New month…..regular readers will know what inevitably follows.

This time round, there is a sort of theme, namely that the songs are in the same running sequence as they originally appeared on their parent LPs/CDs.

mp3: Various – Etcetera, Etcetera

00.  The Vinyl Villain Theme – AC Eales (Home Recording, 2018)
01.  Trip Out The Rider – Paul Haig (Relieve, 2009)
02.  Bodega Birth – Bodega (Endless Scroll, 2019)
03.  A-Punk – Vampire Weekend (Vampire Weekend, 2008)
04.  Ashes to Ashes – David Bowie (Scary Monsters, 1980)
05.  Philadelphia – Magazine (The Correct Use Of Soap, 1980)
06.  Fix Up, Look Sharp – Dizzee Rascal (Boy In Da Corner, 2003)
07.  Ya Ho – James (Strip-Mine, 1988)
08.  Start A War – The National (Boxer, 2007)
09.  Fait Accompli – Curve (Doppelganger, 1992)
10.  22: The Death Of All Romance – The Dears (No Cities Left, 2003)
11.  Paper Planes – M.I.A. (Kala, 2007)
12.  New Face In Hell (Peel Session) – The Fall (The Complete Peel Sessions 1978 – 2004)
13.  Council Meetin’ – The Style Council (Cafe Bleu, 1984)
14.  Electrolite – R.E.M. (New Adventures In Hi Fi, 1996)
15.  The Perfect Girl – The Cure (Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me, 1987)
16.  Sweet and Tender Hooligan – Nouvelle Vague (Band A Parte, 2006)
17.  Draw In The Reins – Cats On Fire (Dealing In Antiques, 2010)

It all lasts about twelve seconds beyond an hour.

JC

ICA WORLD CUP 2022 : ROUND TWO OF THE KNOCKOUT STAGE (i)

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The final set of matches from the first knockout round proved to be something of an anticlimax in that one side in each of the four ties  established a dominant lead early from the outset that they never looked like relinquishing

Match 29 : Elvis Costello 36 The Who 3

Match 30 : David Bowie 27 Carter USM 14

Match 31: Davy Henderson 7 v Terry Hall 33

Match 32: The Cure 33 v The Chameleons 8

The last Sunday in October and we’ve finally reached Round 2, with 32 teams left standing.  It’ll take four weeks to work our way through this stage.

Today’s quartet features those who got through from the first and second weeks in Round 1, with the songs up for consideration in this round now being the third tracks on Side A of the ICA in question.

Iggy Pop (ICA 183) v Ballboy (ICA 175)

mp3: Iggy Pop – I Need More v mp3 : Ballboy -Songs For Kylie

Blondie (ICA 198) v Stevie Wonder (ICA 233)

mp3: Blondie – In The Flesh v mp3 : Stevie Wonder – You Haven’t Done Nothin’

Edwyn Collins (ICA 298) v The Jam (ICA 152)

mp3: Edwyn Collins – Losing Sleep v mp3: The Jam – Away From The Numbers

Joy Division (ICA 160) v Roxy Music/Bryan Ferry (ICA 250)

mp3: Joy Division – Atmosphere v mp3: Brian Ferry – A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall

As ever, thanks for taking part.  Voting closes at midnight (UK time) next Friday, which is the 4th of November.

PS : If anyone wants something other than World Cup stuff to deal with just now, then you could maybe take a trip over to No Badger Required where I’ve penned a piece on Songs to Remember, the debut album from Scritti Politti, released back in 1982. Just click here.

JC

AN IMAGINARY COMPILATION ALBUM : #320: THE BOOMTOWN RATS

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It’s been a long while since I wrote a completely new or original ICA – 31 May to be precise – so I thought I’d best get my finger out for what is post #3000 since the blog was resurrected, thanks to WordPress.

The late and great Tony Wilson really detested The Boomtown Rats, always happy to boast that he had never once come close to having them feature on any of the punk or post-punk TV shows he fronted on Granada TV in the late 70s.  He thought they were imposters, nothing more than a glorified pub band from Dublin.

It could be argued that Bob Geldof, thanks to his work with Band Aid/Live Aid in the mid 80s, became the best-known of all the musicians to emerge from that post-punk scene, although his band by then had become something of a footnote, having had no hits to speak of since 1981.  It also could be argued that, with two #1 hit singles in the late 70s, Boomtown Rats were, for a brief spell, as commercially successful as just about any band from the era. Nevertheless, most folk seem to have a similar opinion as Tony Wilson as they are rarely recalled with much fondness, although I think that’s to do with the fact that those two #1s – Rat Trap (1978) and I Don’t Like Mondays (1979) – were so far removed from the typical post-punk sound that it became very easy, and fashionable, to disown them.

I’m not going to spend time arguing that Boomtown Rats were an exceptional band, but I’m prepared to say that there’s enough tunes on their first three studio albums from which to compile a more than decent ICA. As I will now attempt to prove, and with the absence of those #1 hits.

SIDE A

1. Looking After No.1 (from The Boomtown Rats, 1977)

The rabble-rousing debut single, which reached #11 in the UK charts (and #2 in their native Ireland) and also the first track on the debut album. The opening few lines reflected the impatience of the new young bands that were trying to push the rock dinosaurs to one side:-

The world owes me a livingI’ve waited in this dole queue too longI’ve been standin’ in the rain for fifteen minutesThat’s a quarter of an hour too long.

2. Don’t Believe What You Read (Tonic For The Troops, 1978)

A neat reminder that ‘Fake News’ and the disillusionment with what is written and printed in the press every day is not purely a by-product of the mass media of the 21st Century.

3. Someone’s Looking At You (The Fine Art Of Surfacing, 1979)

One that I’ve often thought, substance wise, had a touch of the Howard Devoto about it, even down to the way Geldof delivers the vocal, expressing his fears and worries that those in charge are spying on all our comings and goings.  A #4 hit when released as a single in February 1980.

4. Diamond Smiles (The Fine Art of Surfacing, 1979)

I saw Boomtown Rats in October 1979 at the Glasgow Apollo when they toured in support of The Fine Art of Surfacing.  It was only a few months after my own debut gig at the same venue (The Police – May 79) and a time when I revelled in every live show I went to.  I primarily went along to this one as a favour to a mate, but came away impressed.

This one was introduced as a song about a rich person’s suicide, which got a loud cheer….a week or so later, there was an article in a local paper in which staff from a Glasgow psychiatric hospital were quoted as saying Diamond Smiles was an obscenity that should be banned as it sought to make commercial gain from a real-life tragedy; indeed the staff had petitioned the BBC to ban the song.  I can only assume someone working at the hospital had mentioned the reaction to its introduction at the recent live show.

5. Kicks (The Boomtown Rats, 1977)

Musically, a lot of the teen-angst songs from the post-punk era haven’t aged spectacularly well, and Kicks, the closing track on the debut album, is no exception.  Lyrically, this one seems to have stood up well, in that it’s still the case that sixteen-year-old boys really do believe that having a girlfriend at that point in their life is the be-all-and-end-all.

SIDE B

1. She’s So Modern (Tonic For The Troops, 1978)

As my favourite three minutes ever from the band, this should have opened the ICA, but it somehow made sense to go instead with the debut single, so this’ll need to do for Side B.  Opening with a manic but nonsensical chant of ‘ga-ga-ga-ga’, it goes straight into the 200mph call and response chorus that is guaranteed to get the arms, legs and all accompanying parts of the body flailing helplessly across the dance floor. It’s impossible not to join in.  Reached #10 in the singles chart.

2. How Do You Do? (b-side, 1978)

I reckoned it would be a good idea to keep the frantic pace up, so I’m reaching deep for the b-side to Like Clockwork.  Quite reminiscent of many of their earlier tracks, the band were already trying to move to a different style and pace, which probably explains why the decision was taken to exclude it from Tonic For The Troops

3. Having My Picture Taken (The Fine Art of Surfacing, 1979)

One of the things I most liked about Boomtown Rats was their ability to not take things too seriously.  They never cared much about miming in time when they were on Top of The Pops, and indeed Geldof famously used all sorts of props for the saxophone break in the middle of Rat Trap.  This was a song that went down well at the Apollo show mentioned earlier, probably because in the live setting, it was quite fast, guitar-orientated and sneering as if the band really hated being famous. The album version is a tad more polished but still good fun, and gave the first hints of the sound the band would start embracing with fourth album, Mondo Bongo.

4. Mary Of The Fourth Form (The Boomtown Rats, 1977)

Musically, it’s not a million miles away from Status Quo riffs, so maybe Tony Wilson had a point.  But the idea of releasing a ‘punk’ single about a modern-day Lolita somehow seemed quite funny at the time, as there were a couple of girls in our school who talked openly about what they would love to do with certain teachers (and in particular, one who taught French).  And besides, it’s a million times better than Don’t Stand So Close To Me.

5. Like Clockwork (Tonic For The Troops, 1978)

A #6 hit in the summer of 1978.  There’s an awful lot going on in this one – the pulsing bass line that drives it along at a frantic place; the piano pieces that wouldn’t have sounded out of place if Steve Nieve was playing them on the new Elvis Costello number; the guitar breaks in the chorus that you might only pick up after repeated listens which have a touch of the Robert Fripp about them.  Not forgetting a Devo-style lyric/chorus that worms its way into your brain.  If ever a song was to be fitted into the category ‘new wave’, then this is it.

So there you have it.  I’ve resisted using anything from 1980’s Mondo Bongo, which I know will disappoint Post Punk Monk as he’s a fan of that record, but in doing so, I’ve condensed the ICA into records from a particular decade. It’s not one that stands any chance of winning any future World Cup, but if the draw lands lucky, then they could reach the later rounds.

JC

ICA WORLD CUP 2022 : ROUND ONE OF THE KNOCKOUT STAGE (viii)

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Last week’s preview suggested that the bookies would have had a few teams installed as odds-on favourites; in other words, it looked like there were some mismatches, which turned out to be the case with three games done and dusted before sunrise on Monday morning.  The other game, however, did swing back and forth a bit for most of the week, and indeed for most of the time, there was never more than one ‘goal’ separating the teams.

In the end, it came down to Aldo, who was second-last to get involved this week, some six hours prior to the deadline.  I know that he doesn’t look at the previous submissions, and so he wouldn’t have known that him typing the words ‘Orange Juice (disputed penalty sends them through)’ would prove to be so prophetic.

Match 25 : The Sweet 31 Chumbawamba 8

Match 26 : The Triffids 10 Soft Cell 31

Match 27: Orange Juice 20 Bauhaus 19

Match 28: Comsat Angels 12 The Breeders 27

And now, it’s the final four match-ups in Round 1.

Elvis Costello (2nd in Group H) v The Who (7th in Group E)

mp3: Elvis Costello – Veronica v mp3 : The Who – I’m One

David Bowie (3rd in Group F) v Carter USM (6th in Group G)

mp3: David Bowie – The Stars (Are Out Tonight) v mp3 : Carter USM – My Second To Last Will and Testament

Davy Henderson (4th in Group E) v Terry Hall (5th in Group F)

mp3: The Sexual Objects – Here Come The Rubber Cops v mp3: Dub Pistols – Rapture (radio edit)

(a match-up between two ICAs in which the featured artist was part of more than one act)

The Cure (1st in Group G) v The Chameleons (8th in Group H)

mp3: The Cure – Pictures Of You v mp3: The Chameleons – Second Skin

As ever, thanks for taking part.  Voting closes at midnight (UK time) next Friday, which is the 28th of October.

JC

ICA WORLD CUP 2022 : ROUND ONE OF THE KNOCKOUT STAGE (vii)

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Last week’s games were closer than most of the other ties thus far in Round 2, and indeed the match up between Caerphilly and Cincinatti swung one way and the another before the eventual winners picked up six successive late votes to prevent any penalty shoot-out.

Match 21 : Suede 25 Scritti Politti 14

Match 22 : Manic Street Preachers 18 The National 23

Match 23 : Siouxsie & The Banshees 23 Amelia Fletcher 14

Match 24: Lloyd Cole 25 v The Delgados 16

If I had been involved in voting last week, I’d have suffered three disappointments.  But hey, it’s a democracy…..for the time being!

I reckon if the bookmakers were to take a look at this week’s match-ups that some teams would be installed as odds-on favourites…….but who knows?

The Sweet (1st in Group F) v Chumbawamba (8th in Group E)

mp3: The Sweet – Ballroom Blitz v mp3 : Chumbawamba – Love Can Knock You Over

The Triffids (4th in Group H) v Soft Cell (5th in Group G)

mp3: The Triffids – Beautiful Waste v mp3 : Soft Cell – Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go?

Orange Juice (2nd in Group G) v Bauhaus (7th in Group F)

mp3: Orange Juice – Holiday Hymn v mp3: Bauhaus – Kick In The Eye

Comsat Angels (3rd in Group E) v The Breeders (6th in Group H)

mp3: Comsat Angels – You Move Me v mp3: The Breeders – Safari

As ever, thanks for taking part.  Voting closes at midnight (UK time) next Friday, which is the 21st of October.

PS :

For anyone wanting a break from all things World Cup-related, please feel free to take a trip to No Badger Required, where I’ve penned a guest posting for SWC offering up a nostalgic assessment of Easy Pieces, the 1985 album from Lloyd Cole & The Commotions.  Just click here.

JC

FUN, FUN, FUN

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The above pictured man with the flag is, arguably, the most (in)famous Assistant Referee in world football.

His name is Douglas Ross.  He’s been doing the job in Scotland for around ten years.  Most folk who run the lines barely get a second glance, but it’s there is the fact that he is also a Member of Parliament at Westminster, having been elected in 2017 after previously being a local councillor and then member of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

Oh, and since August 2020, he has been leader of the Scottish Conservative Party, a position in which he gets a media platform to pontificate on all sorts of issues.

The Tories are not popular in Scotland.  Indeed, in recent months, as the antics of ex-Prime Minister Boris Johnston and the policies of the new incumbent, Liz Truss have demonstrated, they are increasingly unpopular across the UK.

Now you might be wondering to yourself what all this has to do with a music blog.  I’m getting there….I just felt I had to set the scene for overseas readers.

Some of you may know that I have a Saturday job, which sometimes extends to Tuesday or Wednesday nights.  I am a volunteer at Raith Rovers FC and my role is to be in the Matchday Announcer’s Box, doing things like reading out the teams, mentioning match sponsors, shouting out goalscorers as the game progresses and so on.  It also involves me selecting and playing the music pre-match and at half-time.

My method involves choosing a set of tunes and preloading them as a playlist to an iPod which is then plugged into the system at the stadium.  There’s always about 50 minutes worth of music involved. For last Saturday’s match, I decided in advance to include a few tunes that contained subtle  digs at the way the Tories are running the country – You Don’t Care About Us by Placebo and Five Get Over Excited by The Housemartins, while also adding Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag by Pigbag as some football crowds elsewhere have taken to chanting ‘Fuck The Tories’ as part of its refrain (not that I was expecting our small band of supporters to do likewise, but I was hoping perhaps that a few might mumble along).

I got handed the team sheets at around 2.15pm, which is when I see that Douglas Ross is running the line.  We rarely get him at Stark’s Park as he tends to get higher profile games, but everyone, I suppose, has to do their turn.  The playlist has already got underway.  Prefab Sprout, Stereolab and Julian Cope have already been aired, and the players of both sides are going through their warm-ups oblivious to the fact that some of their moves make them look as if they are gyrating in sync to LCD Soundsystem.

Around ten minutes later, the referee and his assistants come out to do their warm-up.  The timing couldn’t have been better.  Douglas Ross is soon running around the pitch as Paul Heaton sings:-

Feigning concern, a Conservative pastime
Makes you feel doubtful right from the start
The expression she pulls is exactly like last time
You’ve got to conclude she just hasn’t a heart

Now, I know that Douglas Ross wasn’t paying the slightest bit of attention to the music and had no idea about what was going on.  I also doubt he even knows who The Housemartins are, never mind the sentiments in the song.  But it made me laugh out loud….thankfully I had my microphone switched off. Oh, and for the record, the Placebo song was next up, and he was still running around the pitch.

mp3: The Housemartins – Five Get Over Excited
mp3: Placebo – You Don’t Care About Us
mp3: Pigbag – Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag

At half-time, just behind the players who were heading up the tunnel just below where the matchday announcer’s box is, the referee and his assistants get together ready to do likewise.  I haven’t yet cued up any music for the half-time break, so there is a bit of silence as the applause for the first half performance dies down.  The voice of what sounds like a middle-aged man bellows out.

“Ross.  Just fuck off you fat Tory Bastard.  And take the rest of your greedy and useless Tory pals with you.”

There is a loud cheer from maybe 30 or so fans nearby.  Douglas Ross looks down at his feet and walks slowly up the tunnel.  I decide it’s time, again, for The Housemartins.

Oh, and for the record.  Raith Rovers won 3-0.  It was a good way to spend an autumnal Saturday afternoon.

JC

ICA WORLD CUP 2022 : ROUND ONE OF THE KNOCKOUT STAGE (vi)

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As usual, we will begin with the results from last week:-

Match 17 : Go-Betweens 25 It’s Immaterial 9

Match 18 : Human League 30 The Twilight Sad 9

Match 19 : Stereolab 14 Neil Young 21

Match 20: Bananarama 14 Beastie Boys 20

For a short time, the final match was competitive, but the NYC crew eventually proved too strong.   Neil Young held off something of a comeback from Stereolab, but as you can see from the final result, he scored a few late on.  Personally, I’m disappointed, having championed The Twilight Sad so many times on the blog over the years, that they picked up so few votes.  If VAR was part of the process, I might have found a way to remove most of the goals scored by the Human League.

This week’s intriguing(?) set of games…..

Suede (3rd in Group G) v Scritti Politti (6th in Group F)

mp3: Suede – Stay Together (long version) v mp3 : Scritti Politti – Tinseltown To The Boogiedown (Album Version ft. Mos Def & Lee Majors) 

Manic Street Preachers (2nd in Group E) v The National (7th in Group H)

mp3: Manic Street Preachers – Patrick Bateman v mp3 : The National – Blank Slate

Siouxsie & The Banshees (4th in Group F) v Amelia Fletcher (5th in Group E)

mp3: Siouxsie & The Banshees – Helter Skelter v mp3: The Catenary Wires – Mirrorball

(Amelia Fletcher’s ICA was a compilation of songs by various bands she has been part of)

Lloyd Cole (1st in Group H) v The Delgados (8th in Group G)

mp3: Lloyd Cole – Like Lovers Do (Stephen Street Mix) v mp3: The Delgados – Pull The Wires From The Wall

As ever, thanks for taking part.  Voting closes at midnight (UK time) next Friday, which is the 14th of October.

JC

OKTOBERFEST ’22

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I believe that today is actually the last day of the festival over there in Munich.  First one in three years post-COVID breakout.

Saves me coming up with some sort of smart or smarmy name for the TVV  monthly mix which has a few lesser known and new(ish) tracks to make your way through.

mp3: Various – Oktoberfest ’22

Happy Ending – Hi Fi Sean and David McAlmont
The Truck Driver and His Mate – Pet Shop Boys
Youth Knows No Pain – Lykke Li
Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey) – De La Soul
Why Do You Only Call Me When You’re High? – Arctic Monkeys
Vanishing Point – New Order
Pure Shores  – All Saints
Loose Fit – Happy Mondays
I Am God – Spare Snare
Atomic – Blondie
18 Cigarettes – Ducks Ltd.
Waiting For The Winter – The Popguns
First Hand Arrogance – Brontes
Go Go Go – The Wedding Present
Theme From Sparta F.C. #2 – The Fall

It all lasts about eight seconds under an hour.

JC