Rock

REM – It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

No real surprise with this song. Today, the world ends. Which is why I’ve not actually lined up any songs for next week! That, and I’m on holiday so I decided to take a little break from this.

This song is probably the most famous REM song partly due to so many loons predicting the end of the world. It ends up being played year after year whenever there is some catastrophe predicted. Or natural disaster. I think many people played it when Justin Bieber announced his tour to South Africa. Oddly enough, Justin Bieber’s cover of the song is going to be played today on the show ‘The High School Life.” Yes, the world truly is ending when he gets hold of such a classic song.

They sadly did not play this song at the Durban concert in 2005 although they did play “Find the River” at that concert which was pretty damn awesome. That does prove huge ass signs with the song name on it sometimes works.

Chart wise, this song did not do well at all even though it is such an epic piece of music. It reached its peak of #39 in the UK and it didn’t fare much better in on the Billboard Charts. I find that odd. I wonder if Michael Stipe was influenced by the whole rap phenomenon with his rather fast singing style. He did sound better than most rappers of the time…

I do suspect a surge in downloads of this song this week so it might cause a surprise and chart higher in the UK. That would be quite cool.

Standard
CSNY, Folk, Rock, Uncategorized

Neil Young – Sugar Mountain

Sugar Mountain” is the one song that pops into my head when the name Neil Young is thrown about. Oddly enough, its a song that’s not on the phenomenal “Harvest” album. It actually was first included on his greatest hits album entitled “Decade.”

Is the song about drugs? Well apparently not. He wrote it when he was 19 and its a lament  to his youth which was fading away. It’s so easy to get into it and make it your own as you remember your sugar mountain.

The song is so gentle and soothing. It just feels great. Even at 19, he showcased this utter brilliance which would last 35 studio albums (yes, he released 35 albums including two in 2012) and beyond…

Standard
Indie, Rock

Coldplay – Amsterdam

I was never a huge fan of Coldplay.

Then I saw them live and life changed.

The show at Soccer City was beautiful. It touched you and made you believe in music again. Whereas before, one complained about Chris Martin’s suicidal whining, when sung live, it resembled the voices of angels. Not a single person in that crowd will ever forget how magical that experience was. Oddly enough, the live album of the tour has been released this week. I highly recommend that you purchase it. Better still, get the Blu-ray and experience it in HD.

One song they did not sing at the concert is my favourite by them. The song is so titled as they were in Amsterdam when the song was written. Its a haunting song with piano work that makes you shiver. The song is ultimately about hope. At the end of it, you feel this hope. You feel this specialness.

A Rush of Blood to the Head, the album containing the song as it was not released as a single, is actually my least favourite album by them. I find the songs way too raw and difficult to listen to. In my opinion, this song is MILES ahead of the rest of the album. If you have seen this song live, I am currently cursing you.

Standard
Rock

David Bowie – Thursday’s Child

Do I need to introduce David Bowie?

He is one of the most talented musicians to ever grace this planet. However, I have found it very difficult to get into his music. It has the harshness to it that keeps me from listening to him for hours on end. However, the music itself is like a gift from the gods. He is more brilliant than you think he is.

This song came out in 1999 and I was surprised that it only made #16 in the UK. It’s a beautiful song with a video that actually has to be seen if you want to interpret the song properly. Its also quite raw just like the other Bowie songs I enjoy. The song is a look back at the years as he reminisces about what could have been. This song introduced me to the human side of Bowie. The video shows him in a room staring at a mirror just like you and me. In the end, we’re all human and we all wonder and look back at our life. Anyway, the lady in the video is quite cute.

Standard
Rock, South Africa

Squeal – Runners

The mid 1990s was the golden era of South African music. There was something that happened after 1994 that gave so many rock bands this great hope and inspiration. The scene was tough and the only outlet you had on radio (remember, there was no real campus or online radio back then) was during Barney Simons Night Zoo weekdays on 5fm at 22:00. I was pre-pubescent but I listened to this show religiously. Well, at least the first hour. Even as a kid, staying up past 23:00 was very difficult. Barney once played my selection on “You say it, I play it.” This was done via post and at the time, I was the youngest person to get onto the show. It was quite a proud moment in my life. The cassette recording of this exists somewhere.

He had a passion for great rock music and great local music. Being too young to go to gigs, this was my personal outlet. Well this and Top 40 magazine. I still have my copies stashed away somewhere in Durban. One of the bands I DID see play live was Squeal. I went along with my folks to the Bat Centre in Durban and well, Squeal played. It was my first gig. I loved it. I loved it to bits.

The band itself was fronted by the legendary Dave Birch. His lyrics sometimes (well, most of the time) made no sense but he had the true passion of a rock star. Their “Long Pig” debut album is seen by many a person as one of the best albums of the 1990s. What happened to them? Well, you could say they were before their time. Or just in the wrong country. But if they did not exist, the quality of music coming out of the country currently would be far worse. Here’s their title track to the album.

Standard
Rock

Linkin Park – My December

I must admit that I am not the biggest fan of Linkin Park. Their music is good but I just have not been able to truly fall in love with it. Their music does seem to be slightly contrived but with enough, well, work put in to set them apart from bands that are just plain average. That being said, they have released two incredibly conceived experimental albums which were quite phenomenal.

Their live show, however, is apparently quite legendary and this is something I want to find out. They will be playing a HUGE show at Soccer City tomorrow so I had to celebrate them today. This is my favourite song by them and I am pretty sure that it will not be sung at the concert (even though I have not seen any recent set lists by them.) That’s okay as I doubt they can pull off this version live. I think “My December” is the only song that kinda “spoke to me” like many of the other songs speak to other people. It is about being away from someone or the people you care about. Guess this is a feeling that you will feel at sometime in your life…

I’m sure the concert is going to be blow my mind away. If you don’t have tickets, get some and come along.

Standard