Going For A Song: ‘It Means I Love You’

Jessy Lanza – It Means I Love You

If I want to give myself an underhand compliment this week I’d say my knowledge of music can make me quite lazy when it comes to writing about it. Instantly I reached for easy comparisons when I started listening to ‘Never Enough’: New Order in that opening beat, and early Madonna in those vocals – this at the expense of pushing myself to say something decent. But what I found, and one of the elements I really like about this song is that, as if aware of my laziness, it keeps shifting, so as soon as my comparisons settle they are trod around and about by the dancing everyone is doing.

Going For A Song: ‘Lake Of Fire’

Meat Puppets – Lake Of Fire

Having lived with and listened to Nirvana’s live acoustic version of the Meat Puppets’ ‘Lake of Fire’ for so long, on finally hearing the original I’m struck by how much Kurt Cobain’s singing followed Curt Kirkwood’s phrasing and delivery. Listening to the Meat Puppets’ original I find my thoughts and ears slipping back and towards the voice and image of Kurt singing it (my experience of Nirvana’s version is as much visual as auditory, watching it on MTV as I did many times before the release of the record) some ten years later.

Going For A Song: ‘Help Me, Rhonda’

The Beach Boys – Help Me, Rhonda

I’m currently in Ronda, Andalucia, Spain. This is the Beach Boys song ‘Help Me, Rhonda’. This is also the premise of the pun (to be honest not even a pun) I’ve been making to my travelling companion since we got here. It “works” because Ronda / Rhonda is an example of a homophone. A point that I’m hoping distracts somewhat from the lack of thought that has been put into this week’s blog post.

Going For A Song: ‘Bully In The Alley’

Kimber’s Men – Bully In The Alley

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post from the folk festival in Broadstairs. I mentioned attending the sea shanties on the pier. This is one of the highlights of the festival for me. The set-up is this: a singer steps forward to take the lead on a song, everyone is invited to join in the chorus.

While sheltered from the wind and sun (no rain for the last couple of years at least), kids behind you defying the lifeguards by jumping off the pier into the swell, drinks being imbibed, there is something very affecting singing communally these sometimes centuries old songs. ‘Bully in the Alley’ was one of the songs we sang. It was led by Kimber’s Men who were this year’s guests.

Going For A Song: ‘John Taylor’s Month Away’

King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – John Taylor’s Month Away

I’m in Broadstairs this weekend for the town’s folk festival. Among other activities, I’ve been listening to the band Hot Rats stood outside an extremely busy The 39 Steps Alehouse, and listening to sea shanties on the pier. All of which has me think about (not all the time but at certain moments) playing music for the joy of it and the very act of singing.

Has any of the above anything to do with this song by King Creosote & Jon Hopkins? Well, it was the song (and album) I was listening to before setting out for here, so it feels like it does. But my friend is meeting me in 5 minutes in the above mentioned pub so I haven’t time to figure it out. So this week you’ll just have to take it on trust.