Theme For The Greatest City?

I’ve lived nearby two of the greatest cities in the world during my time on Earth – Sydney and London (I lived roughly as far out of the centre of London being based in Luton as I had done living in the urban sprawl of south-western Sydney from its central (CBD – the Australian term for a city’s business heart – the Central Business District).

I have never lived so close to the heart of a city as I do now, living just two miles away from the centre of Glasgow. If you lived “two miles out of London” ie: the City of Westminster – you’d still be enveloped right within what most people would still consider “London”. Greater London sprawls out pretty much to the circumference of the M25 motorway that circles it.

Similarly for Sydney – it’s sprawling horseshoe that extends out from the harbour and coastline fattens out in a huge crescent and reaches the outer western suburbs of Penrith due west, Richmond to the northwest, Palm Beach on the north coast, Campbelltown to the southwest, and down to Bundeena on the south coast.

I have been a resident of Glasgow all of 6 months and I already have so much pride in this place being my home. Will I ever feel a true “local”? That I doubt. My accent draws me apart as soon as I open my mouth. Do the locals seem to care? No. Most I would talk to (unless actual neighbours in the street) would think me one of the many visitors that this city draws in. And it DOES draw in visitors.

I mean…just look at it! It is beautiful! It really is.

I didn’t know this video had been put on YouTube. If I had known, I’d have shared it earlier. Thanks to Mr Kerr sharing it on the Simple Minds FB page and revealing the YT link, I am now sharing it here. I like the cover – they’ve thought outside the box with it for sure. But the thing that makes it is the stunning footage of this beautiful city. My love affair with her is in the early phase…and oh, how I miss her during lockdown! But…I am seeing parts of her already – exploring my local parts of the city – that I may not have bothered discovering quite so eagerly had lockdown not required some rethinking in keeping up resolve and keeping mind and body healthy.

Glasgow…you are a shining beacon and I adore you!

Minds Music Monday – The Ones I Miss

I use Spotify for the majority of my music listening. I still order and buy hard copy formats of artists! I buy vinyl, CDs, digital downloads too. I also buy merch and go to gigs. I support the artists I love!

But yes, because I listen to music mostly through the night and I can’t be arsed to deal with the torture that is iTunes to rip and store copies of my music catalogue on my devices, I use Spotify.

And it’s a bane, because things come and go. And when they disappear, I miss them because they end up not being heard by me.

High on the  list of things I am missing from Spotify at the moment are these. They are all on the 5×5 box set which was taken off Spotify some time back. I miss hearing them! I really miss hearing them.

To be honest – even on YouTube, Garden Of Hate is not available as a good sounding track. The best is this, a live radio session version, which is damn good too.

 

Special View I find really sensual. Don’t know why. Just always have.

 

This is just synthpop perfection for me. Mick doesn’t get enough kudos for this song, and not many Simple Minds fans even talk about it or reference it but I love it! I had a bit of a smug moment one time when Jim was talking about Lostboy! and talked about Nail Thru My Heart and how it referenced an old SM track and like a shot I was like “YES! New Warm Skin!” and was commended for my knowledge from his Sirness of Kerrness. Teacher’s pet that I am. Lol

 

I miss these three tracks on Spotify. I wish that 5×5 was still on there. Never mind.

Antipodean Greats Playlist

I literally have nothing better to do. Lol. What’s worse is – I recorded a video of my choices. Yes…I waffle! And I look horrendous! This is why any other time the camera is pointed AWAY from me. Anyway…enjoy (if you can).

 

Crowded House – When You Come
Mental As Anything – Spirit Got Lost
Dragon – Rain
Mi-Sex – Computer Games
The Angels – After The Rain (Live)
Sherbet – Magazine Madonna
V Spy V Spy – Take Me Away
You Am I – Who Takes Who Home
Headless Chicken – Cruise Control
Leonardo’s Bride – Even When I’m Sleeping
INXS – Don’t Change
Hunters And Collectors – Betty’s Worry or The Slab
Skyhooks – Smut
Regurgitator – The Song Formally Known As
Split Enz – I Hope I Never
Icehouse – I Can’t Help Myself
AC/DC – Whole Lotta Rosie
Midnight Oil – Read About It
Cold Chisel – Star Hotel
The Cruel Sea – Black Stick
Divinvyls – Siren (Never Let You Go)

Bonus Track: The Triffids – Wide Open Road


P.S. Dunno why the Spotify links are going crap on here now.
Also…I was right about Smut being about “pleasuring” oneself rather than being…pleasured.

Spotify list:

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6AaLiZqsxcnikMOtMFp3m2?si=p9Ttu0cRQQ-EuQgdzth0HQ

 

Minds Music Monday – 35 Years At Number One

Lol. Well, a slight exaggeration there. But it was on this day 35 years ago, that Simple Minds scored their (as til now) only U.S. Number 1 when Don’t You (Forget About Me) topped the charts there.

To celebrate at the time, Jim got drunk in France, ordering champangne for everyone in the hotel bar. And why not?

Anyway, happy chart-busting anniversary “La La La Song”. Here it is, planting the seed for the “Bongos On The Beach” tour that happened a few years after this performance on radio.

Minds Music Monday – Utrecht, 1982

Another gig shared by Art & Talk on YouTube.

I started listening to it last night but started to drift off to sleep. But I came around again long enough to hear Jim’s deliver of the second verse in Celebrate “she rag doll / she she she keeps him so warm”. OMG – that line will NEVER stop being as sexy as fuck!

Anyway, I’ll give it a proper listen later, while I am fully awake. Lol

From the bits I was conscious of, Jim seemed a little…not quite with us/under the weather…? I dunno. I mean, it isn’t a sleight on his performance. He’s always frigging stellar. Even when physically ill, he very rarely gives a bum performance. It just seemed from what I heard last night that he may have been a tad…maybe had too many “helping hands”, if you get my drift?

He was fine and on amazing form in Cologne three weeks later, so who knows? I’ll give a more comprehensive assessment later. For now…enjoy!

UPDATE: WRITTEN LAST NIGHT (May 12th)
 

Always a def. difference between Kenny and Mike as drummers.

Jim does a lot of screaming and shouting in this version of Changeling – I like it!

He doesn’t finish introing 30 Frames. It’s quite manic and he mixes up parts of the verses. Quite a bit of screaming again. Swearing too! “He said ‘fuck you, Jack’!” Naughty Jim! Sexy Jim!

Premonition – Worried Jim wasn’t feeling himself with this performance. Dunno why. Derek initially intros the song, but then Jim adds a bit of commentary “sometimes people have no choice”. Hard to get a definite feel without seeing visuals. Can only go by audio. Jim alters between sounding super emotive and ….lethargic and not right. Maybe he was just tripping or had too much to drink to try and settle the nerves? Dunno.

Sweat In Bullet – Does he say “kinda like now”? Maybe he was just bloody hot. Lol. Hot and frigging sexy! OMG! It really doesn’t help that I’ve been looking at photos of him today – trying to make decisions on photos from Virginia. Photos of him with tambourines and boots and sunglasses and just being goddamn sexy.

Celebrate – that “she rag doll” line…I’m not saying any more!

Room – is kind of chaotically sexy. And he turns it into Rock n Roll – but I was only thinking listening to it tonight that, really, it’s the Simple Minds version of Sister Midnight.

Tears Playlist

Today’s post by Jim seems unnervingly timely. I’ve really never understood how he seems to have this propensity of doing this thing where, I go to write something for the blog …. have a theme of something in my mind and then before I’ve even aired it or posted about it – HE posts something that ties in with my line of thinking.

All coincidence of course, but it happens with some degree of regularity and…it can feel a bit…strange and wonderful.

So…I had started thinking about this last night, and was formulating something to do with it. I had actually done a recording of my thoughts and had thought about uploading and posting, but then changed my mind. My voice annoys the fuck out of me, esp. with that stupid nervous laugh that I have that I can’t seem to escape from! Thank god I can’t actually talk to Jim, because if I could, he’d hear what a complete fuckwit I sound like – with my still sometimes broad Aussie accent hybrid thing with some glottal stopping estuary English in between. (Example – no one comes from LuTon – they all come from “Loo – on”)

So, I was reclining on my bed, little Zoom recorder on (not to be confused with the video conference app thing) and wanting to reply to Jim in some way about the Easter playlist he did. It was a bit late to reply with an Easter theme – even though he had asked us for a fave Easter track. I don’t think he much cares for our choices these days. There used to be some replies in the past. He’d respond to people. Tell them they’d made a good choice, or likewise, etc. None of that really happens much now – more’s the pity.

I miss that MUCH more than the gigs…hand on heart honesty. I miss my interactions with him far more than the gigs. Yep! That’s how silly I am!

ANYWAY…so, it couldn’t be Easter. And then I was thinking, wondering what his next theme for choosing tracks might be. I have no idea. And my idea about this, and thought on it are probably pissing in the wind…but here goes.

It lead me to think about the songs that made me cry the first time I heard them. Ah, yes! That’s how I got there! Because he had chosen an Arvo Part piece. He always seemed to rib me for choosing Spiegel Im Spiegel. I was surprised to see an Arvo Part piece in his Easter choices as a consequence.

And then that was it – the “Tears” theme was there in front of me.

My choices, video links and reasons behind each choice follow:

Arvo Part – Spiegel Im Spiegel

I think the first time I heard it, it was being used on a soundtrack for something. A TV show of some sort. Back when I watched TV. So, it has just become synonymous with those emotions. A beautiful, simplistic piece that just tugs at the heart strings.

Samuel Barber – Adagio For Strings

The closing scene of The Elephant Man – that is all I can say.

David Bowie – A New Career In A New Town

I first got into Bowie heavily in 1985. My eldest brother, Roy, was just about to move house and he had nowhere to put his record collection. He had been keeping them in his car but in was heading into summer, and you know what Oz summers are like. His records were getting warped and so he had asked mum if he could keep his records at our house until he’d moved into his new place. So suddenly there were all these Bowie records I could listen to and I lapped it up!

The first time I listened to Low, I remember being floored by it. At that age and time, it was not something I would usually find myself liking. I didn’t really like classical music then. Even now, I don’t really go and seek it out. Words and lyrics in songs always meant much more to me. I’d be intrigued by words and would be more often taken with how the words and lyrics sounded. That was what usually got me hooked to a song most of all. A tune is all fine – the beat and rhythm of course play their part. But it was the words that really did it. I’d want to learn the lyrics and sing along. Until this album.

I had never heard anything like it and was absolutely blown away. The track that blew me away most of all? A New Career In A New Town. That opening synth melody and soft drum. It’s just so simple and it sets the rhythm of the piece. And then that harmonica playing too. I don’t know why it captured me as it did, really, but at the end of listening to it the first time, there were tears in my eyes and goosebumps on my skin.

It has been from that point on my favourite David Bowie track.

 

The Beatles – Blackbird

Of course, Jim talked about it in a pervious post. It’s one of those ones that’s uplifting ultimately. Most of the songs that make me cry end up being uplifting at the end. I think that’s what makes them so emotional.

Kraftwerk – Kometenmelodie 2

Silly, sad, sycophancy Nancy moment, here…because this is how my love for this track and it’s emotional pull came about. During one of those endless “persona non grata” ‘rejection’ things I go through with His Sirness of Kerrness – the very first one, in fact…still back in Oz in early 2016, I started listening to more Kraftwerk. I liked the things I heard of theirs but had never really gone out of my way to listen to their stuff. I started listening to Autobahn – like, REALLY LISTENING to the album from start to finish. Just, settle into bed at night and have it play. Every time it got to Kometen.2 it just had OMG the most beautiful melody and I’d just start crying buckets.

La Dusseldorf – Rheinita

I was listening to Iggy Pop on Radio 6 Music doing his Sunday afternoon presenting slot and he played it. I had honestly never heard it before and I was just crying and crying as it played. Beautiful. Just beautiful.

Talking Heads – This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)

And so, yes, things with a melody make me cry! But it’s the lyrics too.

John Grant – I’m not sure I can choose just one of his! The whole experience of seeing him live leaves me in a sobbing mess. He tends to end a show with Glacier and then I am in sheds of tears because of these words:

This pain
It is a glacier moving through you
And carving out deep valleys
And creating spectacular landscapes
And nourishing the ground
With precious minerals and other stuff
So don’t you become paralysed with fear
When things seem particularly rough

Honourable mentions of other JG songs include Vietnam, Where Dreams Go To Die, You Don’t Have To and Queen Of Denmark.

Apart from the first first two I’ve chosen, all are modern pieces. So I was thinking about songs before the 60s, pre “hit parade” modern music. Old crooners and the like. I have always enjoyed listening to Bing Crosby. And there are others I like too, Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole and Danny Kaye. Billie Holiday can sing the phone book and make me burst into tears. There is just such pain and emotion in her voice. From Bing it has always been Swinging On A Star. Silly the songs that can be the most optimist and shining with hope can be the ones that make me cry the most – we’ll come back to that! With Nat, it’s his version of Mona Lisa. Those lines “many dreams have been brought to your doorstep / they just lie there and the die there / are you warm, are you real, Mona Lisa? / or just a cold and lonely, lovely work of art”


Back to modern times and I couldn’t leave out my most favourite song of them all:

Jimmy Ruffin – What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted

And there’s eternal hope and optimism ultimately in that too. There are lines at the end that just seem to say “I WILL find love! I WILL find someone for me! I won’t always be alone. There IS someone out there for me!” It’s just beautiful.

And so, here we are. Final choice. A Simple Minds song. Oh, there are some contenders here! Spirited Away, first time I heard it. Likewise, Silent Kiss. For the longest time…I don’t know why…maybe because it has a kind of musical kinship to A New Career In A New Town for me, Kant Kino. You can’t NOT mention those opening lines to Someone Somewhere In Summertime. Charlie’s guitar solo on This Earth That You Walk Upon – and Jim’s lines after that solo “gleaming edge of light, shines so, shines so hard”. Seeing Out The Angel….

But the one that always did it, at least to begin with – just…overwhelmed me was Wonderful In Young Life. I’d go over old ground trying to explain it again so I will leave a link to my “Why I love…” post about Wonderful In Young Life just HERE

Thanks for reading. Let’s see what Jim does for his Spotify playlist for next month.

Below is a Spotify playlist of the tracks – with added Danny Kaye.

I Wish I Was There…

Leeds, 2018. Don’t mean to be maudlin, but…

To hear the “burning slow” lines return to the song during the Grandslam part of the tour – I was sssooo, so happy. They are the most beautiful, romantic lines.

There was “soft rain” falling that night in Leeds too. And after all that had gone on in the month or so prior to that night…I felt back “home”.

It was a gorgeous night. How I wish it was happening again tonight.