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Kofi's hat

MP3s, music news and reviews, and a sprinkling of pop culture. Named by Aqualung's Matt Hales, after his son.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Ink in my blood, a song in my heart. Metaphor is my middle name.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

"30 More Songs You Have To Hear"

August's The Word includes a list of "30 More Songs You Have To Hear, a follow up on a feature from a couple years ago titled "110 Songs You Have To Hear".

The magazine asked 30 musicians, writers, and other music fans to recommend one song that's special to them and explain why they love it. Andy Partridge, Richard Hawley, Goldfrapp, Corinne Bailey Rae, Vashti Bunyan, Zero 7, Run DMC's DMC, Ziggy Marley, Seth Lakeman, and José González are among those waxing rhapsodic about one of the tracks below.

No, José González did not choose his own song. Someone did pick their own song, but it's not one of the people listed above. More songs to come in the next issue and the magazine welcomes everyone to "nominate" a Song You Really Have To Hear at their website.

Most of the participants named songs with a great deal of personal meaning to them. Bill Flanagan wrote a lovely, moving piece about Neil Young's "Moving Pictures"; Julie Burchill explains the transformative emotional powers of Todd Rundgren's "I Saw The Light", though she struggles with how to explain something she thinks is perfect, and includes some jabs at Girls Aloud along the way. Both picked songs they truly love, as did Mogwai's Stuart Braithwaite.

30 More Songs You Have To Hear:

1. John Coltrane - Africa/Brass
2. Public Enemy - Rebel Without A Pause
3. Santo & Johnny - Teardrop
4. Sting - Russians
5. Shirley and Dolly Collins - Gilderoy
6. Duke Ellington And The Buck Clayton Allstars - In A Mellotone

7. Neil Young - Motion Pictures (available on On The Beach)

Bill Flanagan, Senior VP, MTV: "'Motion Pictures' is a slow, moody track that sounds like that quiet space between night and dawn. Perhaps for Young it reflects a time when he was living down at Malibu, in L.A., away from his ranch up near San Francisco. When the album came out I was living on a farm in New England and spending a lot of late nights in New York City, about three hours away. I would often leave Manhattan around 3AM and drive home. At dawn I'd be driving in the mist up the dirt road to my house, past a duck pond and horse paddocks, with Young singing, 'The dew is falling, the ducks are calling, I've got mine.' Then, before everything got too buccolic. he'd make clear that he would betray the principles that got him there, he would give it all up and start all over again. For me, and I suspect for a lot of people, that song became a compass for navigating changes in our own lives, or at least marking the turning points. I have gone back to that album my whole adult life. I've been living in Manhattan for more than 20 years now, and I still find myself looking for that place Neil described. I still think about it in his words."

8. JJ Cale - Mama Don't
9. Bruce Springsteen - Thunder Road (Live)
10. José González - Hand On Your Heart

11. Iggy Pop - The Passenger (available on Nude & Rude: The Best Of Iggy Pop)

Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai: "It represents a point in my life where I was getting deeply into music - The Cure, Jesus & Mary Chain and Iggy. I saw a clip of him live on an old Tony Wilson show and all his band looked amazing, like cowboys. I was drunk on cider, but I remember realising this song was a sort of grand Socialist metaphor for want and waste. I'm aware that people probably think it's a bit cheesy to choose it, but listen to it again and you'll realise it's a blueprint for living! I did attempt my own version once. It was crap."

12. Odetta - Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child
13. Jack Kerouac - America Haikus
14. Kraftwerk - Europe Endless
15. Ray Charles - Georgia On My Mind
16. Elton John - We All Fall In Love Sometimes
17. Bach - Prelude In C Major
18. Television - Marquee Moon
19. Randy Newman - Short People
20. Tracy Chapman - Fast Car
21. The Beatles - Eleanor Rigby
22. Fela Kuti - Zombie
23. R Kelly - Trapped In The Closet Parts 1-12
24. Miles Davis - All Blues
25. Laura Veirs - Black Eyed Susan

26. Todd Rundgren - I Saw The Light (available on Something/Anything?)

Julie Burchill, "razor-tongued Queen of columnists": "I think that 'I Saw The Light' is probably the most perfect pop record ever made (apart from anything by Girls Aloud). But I can't choose between the Aloud's little gems, so it'll have to be Todd. I can't really think of anything to say - that's why it's perfect! This song makes you feel happy when you feel sad, young when you feel old and innocent when you feel cynical. It's like three-minute therapy! The first time I heard it I was 15 and the last time was yesterday so, basically, I've been listening to it for 32 years."

27. Marlena Shaw - California Soul
28. Prince - U Got The Look
29. Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five - The Message
30. John Martyn - Small Hours


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