This week I saw the new Beatles documentary Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years and the 2013 One Direction documentary This is Us. Dare I mention The Beatles (known as musical innovators, the inventors of pop music, cultural icons) and One Direction (known as mere money making marionettes for cultural Beelzebub Simon Cowell) in the same sentence? By now the flaming torches have been lit, the pitchforks sharpened, and a digital snob mob is headed my way, but hang on. Let me explain myself. There are more similarities between the two bands and their documentaries than you might think.
Rather than recommending things through the medium of words, this week I am offering up some audio. It’s something I absentmindedly started making for my own enjoyment, but then too much time was poured into it for me to justify it simply as something that would lurk un-played on my iPod for years to come.
It’s all well and good recommending things to people, but most of the time they won’t take any notice. I don’t take much notice of recommendations given to me, not because I’m an aloof culture snob, but because I just don’t remember them. Even if I am actually given something to watch / listen to / read, it can take a while for me to get round to it. This week I finally got around to watching the copy of Doctor Zhivago that Grandma leant to me a month or two ago. Even though I just had to put it in the DVD player, sit down, and watch, it felt like it took a concerted effort to do so. When it comes to recommendations, there’s nothing quite as effective as being able to tell someone how good a song is and then hit play and make them listen to it. What I’m trying to say is: I miss presenting a radio show.
I recommend Scroobius Pip to Heddwen. Well, I recommend Scroobius Pip’s oeuvre to Heddwen. I’ve only met him very briefly (having queued to do so) and there’s not much point recommending him as a person because I don’t think Heddwen and Pip will ever bump into each other at a party. I would be very jealous if proven wrong.
Frank Turner is a punk-man with an acoustic guitar. Olivia likes James Morrison, Edward Shearan, Damien Rice, and other acousticy guitary kind of people. I recommended Frank Turner’s music to her, because he’s like that but cooler because he never went out with Taylor Swift.
I heard the name a lot, and it stuck in my head when it was included in the lyrics to The King Blues’ ode to punk ‘What if Punk Never Happened?’.
I recommended the song ‘Soundsystem’ to Luke because he likes punky stuff. He’s a big fan of Green Day, and Operation Ivy’s last official live performance was on May 28, 1989, the very same gig where Green Day first performed under that name. Green Day were also on the same record label and recorded a cover of Operation Ivy’s song ‘Knowledge’.
Soundsystem’s a bouncy foot tapper, which isn’t what you expect from punk. It’s like a happy tornado: raw and out of control, but smiling. Have a listen here: