Monday, November 24, 2008

If you don't have a good partner you'd better have a good hand

(EDIT: FasterLouder have published my review of the new Killers album Day & Age as well as the epicly-awaited new Gunners album Chinese Democracy)

I know i've made noises about this before, but i really am working on an end of year list for best albums and other special awards for this year in music, problem is there's still a few new releases to get through (Kanye, Killers, Coldplay, hopefully Steven Wilson). So it is forthcoming, just taking a bit of time is all. Till then, hopefully this will satisfy - i'm taking a taboo topic firmly in hand...

Playing All Alone: Songs About Masturbating

Prince - Darling Nikki
Sample Lyric:
"I once knew a girl named Nikki/I guess you could say she was sex fiend
met her in a hotel lobby/masturbating with a magazine"

Famously caught the attention of Tipper Gore, who overheard her 11 yr old daughter listening to the song, it spurred her to go and form the PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center), basically those little Parental Advisory stickers are because of one woman's displeasure with another woman's pleasure.

The Who - Pictures of Lily
Sample Lyric:
" Pictures of Lily made my life so wonderful
Pictures of Lily helped me sleep at night
Pitcures of Lily solved my childhood problems
Pictures of Lily helped me feel alright"

ahhh those cheeky Mod-sters, apparently the Lily of the song is real-life British actress Lillie Langtry.

The Divinyls - I Touch Myself
Sample Lyric:
"I don't want anybody else
when i think about you i touch myself
oh i don't want anybody else
no no, no no"

I think i speak for a few people when is say that when i was young i used to sing my heart out when this came on the radio, having no idea what it meant.

Green Day - Longview
Sample Lyric:
" Bite my lip and close my eyes
Take me away to paradise
I'm so damn bored, I'm goin' blind
And loneliness has to suffice
Bite my lip and close my eyes
I'm trippin' away to paradise
Some say "Quit, or I'll go blind"
But it's just a myth"

Punks seem to have a thing for writing songs about masturbating as the next few cuts will attest.

The Buzzcocks - Orgasm Addict
Sample Lyric:
"Sneaking in the back door with dirty magazines.
now your mother wants to know what all those stains on your jeans.
and you're an orgasm addict."

Pretty clear about it's intentions, fast and aggravated.

The Undertones - Teenage Kicks
Sample Lyric:
"I wanna hold her wanna hold her tight
get teenage kicks all through the night"

This was legendary Radio 1 DJ John Peel's favourite song, meanwhile frontman Feargal Sharkey is adamant it's not about masturbation, in which case he chose his words poorly.

Billy Idol - Dancing With Myself
"A-with the record selection,
And the mirror's reflection,
I'm a dancing with myself
A-when there's no one else in sight,
A-in crowded lonely night
Well, I wait so long for my love vibration
And I'm dancing with myself"

Its quite amusing to think of Billy Idol beating the bishop, but hey i'm sure it gets real lonely on tour.

Radiohead - Thinking About You
Sample Lyric:
"Been thinking about you
And there's no rest
Should I still love you
Still see you in bed
But I'm playing with myself
What do you care?
When the other men are far far better"

What!? The Oxford-bred music luminaries writing a song with a juvenile topic? Oh yes, it happened way back circa 1992, it's safe to say they've evolved since.

Cyndi Lauper - She Bop
Sample Lyric:
"Do I wanna go out with a lion's roar
Huh, yea, I wanna go south n get me some more
Hey, they say that a stitch in time saves nine
They say I better stop--or I'll go blind
Oop--she bop--she bop"

It's always a minor coup when a pop star, especially a female pop star, can turn a taboo topic into a massive hit.

The Vapours - Turning Japanese
Sample Lyric:
"I've got your picture, I've got your picture
I'd like a million of you all round my cell
I want a doctor to take your picture
So i can look at you from inside as well
You've got me turning up and turning down
And turning in and turning 'round"

Still a song that shocks people a little when you tell them what it's 'really about,' that repetitive nagging chorus, the racist visual, hell maybe it's the ultimate song about masturbation.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

You took the words right out of my mouth

Just a quick post considering the recent deletion of some of my posts, I stumbled across yet another Blog who has suffered the same fate and well... i could not have put it better myself, kudos, The Good, The Bad & The Unknown

Read the article here

Monday, November 17, 2008

"You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and... blow."

And with that infamous quote, delivered by a scintillating young Lauren Bacall in 1944's To Have and Have Not - we dive straight into another themed playlist.
Just Put Your Lips Together:
AMR's Whistling Songs

Otis Redding - (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay
Probably the most infamous whistle in modern music, if Redding's wistful loneliness wasn't already poignantly felt by the time the song fades out, this hammers the point home albeit with all the subtlety and nuance a whistle offers. In a word: classic.

The Scorpions - Wind of Change
A song from my youth. Despite its origins: German metal also-rans deliver power ballad about Gorky Park - I'm not ashamed to say that this is a great song. That haunting whistle riff that opens it all sets the mood and is later echoed in the wankery of the guitar solo. Again it's used for its nostalgic, wistful properties and to excellent effect.

Goldfrapp - Lovely Head
Things take a turn for the strange, but what else would you expect from electro chanteuse Alison Goldfrapp. Taken from her debut album Felt Mountain, it's like an imaginary love ballad from a monster movie: "Why can't this be killing you?/Frankenstein would want your lovely mind/Your lovely head/Your lovely head." In combination with a synth that sounds like its malfunctioning, its an equally creepy and beautiful whistle.

Peter, Bjorn & John - Young Folks
A hit that makes much of its whistle, even the animated video focused heavily on the riff, the boy/girl verse exchanges are really nice too. But let's be honest, this became a hit because everybody was whistling along while dancing up an indie rock storm.

Air - Alpha Beta Gaga
An upbeat instrumental from French electronic duo, the whole song hinges around the infinite loop of the whistling line. It's playful tone gives the tune a kick in to the bouncy and buoyant end of the pop spectrum, and it'll stick in your head something chronic.

Bernard Herrmann- Twisted Nerve
Made famous in recent years by its appearance in Kill Bill Vol. 1, but is originally from the soundtrack to a 60's horror film of the same name. Composed by movie soundtrack maestro Bernard Hermann, it transforms from an innocuous and childlike melody into a monstrous sting in under two minutes flat.

XTC - Generals & Majors
With its disco drumbeat and ascending guitar line, the rich harmony of the song is perfectly suited for a whistling accompaniment, lo and behold come the second chorus, there it is. Again it's another one that will stick in your head, but XTC were always, excuse the pun, generally major at catchy pop.

Built To Spill - Broken Chairs
The epic closing track from arguably Built To Spill's best album, Keep It Like A Secret. It takes a while for the whistling to emerge during the course of the 8 and a half minute guitar squall, but when it arrives on a wave of guitar noodling and bass fuzz, you'll know it. A simple yet powerful melody, which is precisely what whistling should be.

Guns N Roses - Patience
A rare acoustic ballad from the merchants of rock perversion. While November Rain may get all the rock ballad plaudits (which it justifiably deserves), this lesser-known song deserves attention for its whistling, who would have though that Axl Rose could sound so melancholy?

John Lennon - Jealous Guy
Lennon's solo career was punctuated by honest, affecting songs that displayed a more intimate side to his psychedelic Beatles persona. None more so than this pleading paean to overlook his jealous impulses, complete with whistling solo, it just feels right.

De La Soul - Eye Know
In a round-a-bout way, we return to our opening, with the precise sampling of Otis Redding's whistle, along with Steely Dan's Peg, in this hip-hop staple from the trio's influential 1989 album Three Feet High and Rising. It's mellow delivery is complemented by the looped whistle, proving that simple things never go out of style.