Going For A Song: ‘Honolulu’

Any Trouble – Honolulu

Choosing The Only Ones last week reminded me of Any Trouble. Any Trouble were signed to Stiff Records in the early 80s; the label who Wreckless Eric, Ian Dury and the Blockheads, and De Feelgood, to name a few, called home. And if you know the record label or have heard those bands, you might know what to expect from Any Trouble. And listening to Any Trouble’s first album, Where Are All The Nice Girls?, there is that same aesthetic, and it’s a great example of guitar pop from that era, but it’s more soulful than what you might expect.

Going For A Song: ‘When I Call Your Name’

Vince Gill – When I Call Your Name

Since arguing the last two weeks for and against my proposition that the best country songs are the ones which teeter on the brink of parody of the genre, I’ve completely confused myself. Where I used to think ‘When I Call Your Name’ was definitely an example of a song to support my proposition, listening to it again, now I’m not too sure.

Eno before Eno…

Is what I thought when I read the song collector William Alexander Barret’s opinion, given in a lecture in 1877, on the song ‘Streams of Lovely Nancy’:

He is reported to have said that it ‘had neither style nor reason…as though someone had wantonly taken a pair of scissors, cut the lines out of a number of songs at random, and then put them together and made a song out of them’.

Folk Song In England, Steve Roud (p.91)

Then, when double checking I was right in thinking it was Eno the technique was connected with, I came across this by Austin Kleon: The (surprisingly long) history of the cut-up technique. Kleon discovers, via the writer Paul Collins, a form of cut-up (“cross-reading”) being used in the late eighteenth century.


Going For A Song: ‘The Promise’

Sturgill Simpson – The Promise

Some of the best country ballads are those that teeter on tipping over into parody. This balancing act is what produces in ‘The Promise’ a feeling of it being both contemporary and timeless. Sturgill’s sound on this song is unapologetically country ballad. As a listener you laugh, experience an emotional pull, and sing along when Simpson delivers the song’s ending chorus fortissimo.