25.11.06

Snappy Birthday To Me


You know, if you've ever looked through the Betty Archives over on the right-hand-side there, you'll notice that today is the one year anniversary of this blog. It's been a busy month for that, I've noticed a few birthday specials (The Daily Growl, for example, who celebrated his birthday with a great Jeremy Warmsley/Absentee review). I didn't know really what to do today though, to celebrate, so I thought I'd better just post some great music.

It's tipping with rain outside. I've just heard the biggest thunderclap I've ever heard, and the skies opened. I thought the sky was falling on my head, by Toutatis. Some rain music then?

Kristin Hersh - Cold Water Coming (from Strange Angels)
Tanya Donelly - The Storm (from Beautysleep)

Kristin Hersh pretty much defines what good music is for me. Emotional; beautiful; subtle; uplifting; deep. But the more I think about it, there's no reason why her half-sister shouldn't be just as revered. I'm seeing Kristin live in January (very exciting indeed), I've seen her solo twice before (three times if you count Fifty Foot Wave), but I'd put Tanya Donelly at Bush Hall a couple of summers ago as possibly my favourite gig that I've ever attended. The two are quite different now: Kristin is more confessional, more heart-on-sleeve, more... fractured maybe. Tanya is easy-listening by comparison, but for all the lightness of the songs, there's genuine beauty and meaning there. The Storm for example - I first heard this song in acoustic form at that concert, and wow. Biggest goosebumps ever.

Hood - Still Rain Fell (from Outside Closer)

I haven't posted any Hood for a while. This is classic Hood, with the forefront acoustic guitars, the drawled, unison vocals, the pastoral feel. It kind of does feel rainy, it fits in well with today's overcast atmosphere and, I guess, the band's native Leeds, Yorkshire having something of a damp reputation. "Round here, the walks... the walks are so long..."

Ryan Adams - Damn Sam (I Love A Woman That Rains) (from Heartbreaker)

Mr Adams in introspective, poetic mode here. So much of me wants to look at Ryan Adams' Heartbreaker album and see Bright Eyes' acoustic emo, overwraught alt.country, but this short song sums up everything that's good. Adams can get away with "I'm as calm as a fruit stand in New York, and maybe as strange," because he sings it like he really means that. "I ain't never been much for sunny days." This is a future classic album, I have no doubt of it. It's so, so good.

Pixies - Stormy Weather (from Bossanova)

I've managed to select a few of my favourite artists here, and although these days I can't often listen to the Pixies (burnout maybe), there was a time when this band was everything to me. In my final year of university I worshipped the ground the Pixies walked on, and at the time, seeing their show at Brixton Academy for the first reunion tour was the most exciting thing ever. Like, ever. So, a nice track from Bossanova here, one of the more atmospheric in the band's canon, along with others like Havalina from the same album.

I could post loads more, but I'll refrain for yousendit's sake. I hope you enjoy not only listening to today's music, but also reading You Can Call Me Betty (almost) every day as I much as I enjoy writing it every day. Thanks for all your comments and to all the cool kids out there that have made blogging such a fun process, I thank thee all, and to all a goodnight.

Buy 'em all: Amazon

4 comments:

kitten said...

Heartbreaker was on that CD you made me yonks ago. I'd always tried to avoid Ryan Adams for association reasons but that album is undeniably good. Remember I told you I liked it because he had a great turn of phrase? What I meant specifically was that fruit stand line. Is a lovely song indeed.

Good call.

ps. I've noticed of late that every now and then I'll get a yen to put some random Pixies and before I listen it feels like nostalgia calling me. But when I do I'm reminded of everything that made me love them in the first place.

Distinct lack of Nick Cave in this post but still, happy birthday Betty.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Simon...I am rubbish and sticking to a blog and reading it. except yours. read it everytime there is a new post, its addictive!

Long may it continue!

Melx

w.a.fading said...

Well done my friend - quite a landmark! Many Happy Returns and more power to your nimble fingers on what must be a worn-out keyboard. You post some wonderful songs here and the commentary is always insightful. I'll never forget the musical World Cup tour you did - that was just brilliant - not to mention inspiring :)

The Daily Growl said...

Happy birthday! It feels good, in an odd sort of way to reach one year, doesn't it? Here's to the next...

PS totally with you on the Pixies-Brixton-excitement-levels. Amazing, wasn't it?