Going For A Song: ‘Rocket Man’

Elton John – Rocket Man

Been listening to a lot of Elton John recently. I would love to go see him on his last tour, but until that lottery win comes through I’ll just have to make do with live videos on YouTube.

I’m putting forward ‘Rocket Man’ as another alternative accompaniment to space exploration.

In the Tower of Song

That’s the power of the song. The individual song: just a few minutes in which people can stake their claim to immortality. Only music – and, I think, really only pop music in its many and varied forms – can do that. Only music can make such an instant and immediate impression […] In three minutes, a song can twist you and shout at your emotions. It can elevate you. It can fulfil a need you didn’t know you had. And then you can go back to the beginning and play it again and again and again.

Immortal Moments: Guided By Voices And The Vacant Lots Live

 

But all speculation aside, the value of a song does not rest with the song itself, but rather the feeling it can provoke in the listener. What moves me may not move you. And so it goes. I see the effect the songs have on my audience when we perform them live so know that these value judgements have little intrinsic meaning […] The actual value of the songs is weighed entirely in the hearts of those who choose to receive them.

The Red Hand Files, Issue #47

 

 

Going For A Song: ‘Big’

Fontaines D.C. – Big

I nearly overthought this. I heard ‘Big’ and my initial reaction was with gut, heart and limbs. Then my mistake – searching for information, seeing photos; the initial reaction became, as I listened to the album Dogrel, an inability to appreciate it for what it is. And what is it? A debut album by a group of young men: a mish-mash of styles, of bravado and openness, intelligent lyrics to songs that belong on a debut.

But I’d been here before. Bands have come and gone, unable to fulfil what I hope for them – it is wisdom, and it’s not wisdom, it’s something negative, whatever that might be. But, with persistence, listening, not fretting about what I think I know, I came to a halfway state: gut, heart and limbs in play, tempered slightly, but not too much as I claim Dogrel as the perfect debut album.

Going For A Song: ‘Passing Afternoon’ (Demo)

 

Iron & Wine – Passing Afternoon (Demo)

In the Quietus, Luke Turner wrote that seeing Suede recently wasn’t an exercise in nostalgia but ‘everything they did for me a quarter of a century ago’. I mention this because I recently bought the 15 anniversary vinyl edition of Iron & Wine’s Our Endless Numbered Days and, to paraphrase Turner, listening to it hasn’t been an exercise in nostalgia; the record is everything it was to me when I first heard it fourteen, maybe fifteen years ago.

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