Where would I be without the Monkees? Quite possibly dead. Throughout my life, the Monkees have been a source of comfort and laughter even in the darkest of moments. I cringe at the racist and sexist plot points, but there is an anarchy in the humour I appreciate, and the music remains absolutely perfect fifty … More Soundtrack of My Life: Top Ten Songs from the Monkees
My Irish side is hidden by my very Danish name. It’s the side of melancholy, lamb stew, and whisky. It’s also the side of black humour, sarcasm, and avoidance. But the Irish side of me is what probably fuels my love of music, as the very first music I remember, aside form what I heard … More Soundtrack of my Life: “The Unicorn” by the Irish Rovers
I’ve spent the last several weeks knowing I had to end my “Friendship” with the man I have been deeply and most emphatically in love with for the past two years. So of course, I’m not in the best head space (to put it mildly). We were never actually friends. I not sure what we … More Soundtrack of My Life: “A Different Corner” by George Michael/ “Freedom ’90” by George Michael
I have an unabashed love for Blue Rodeo. They are one of the quintessential Canadian bands, part of my life as much as the Smiths and the Clash are. They write perfect little roots-influenced, country-twinged songs. Their best album, Five Days in July, can stand with any other Alt country album an American can produce. And … More Soundtrack of my Life: “5 Days in May” by Blue Rodeo
Wham! is one of my first music memories. “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” is such an iconic song, not just in my life, but in the world in general. A fluffy little dance pop number,but so catchy and ridiculously memorable. I was seven when it was a huge hit. And then Faith. People forget how … More “There’s no comfort in the truth, pain is all you’ll find.”
This is probably going to be my last post for a while. I feel so empty right now that I’m finding it difficult to write about anything at all. When I’m not here, I’m staring at the blank page on my laptop. Inspiration is gone. Hope has left. My faith in people and love no … More Best of 2016: The Song List
When you love someone set them free. Over two years ago I met the most amazing person. I rarely meet people I can tolerate for longer than thirty seconds, so the fact I liked this person was a miracle unto itself. Yeah. I fell in love with him, breaking every single rule I set up … More Soundtrack of my Life: “Goodbye To You” by Michelle Branch
I had also started this piece in the last couple of months, but I’ve had a hard time writing it. But I’ve started again, and will complete it so I don’t think about it anymore. All I’ve ever wanted in life was to matter to someone. To be considered worthy of someone’s love and attention. … More Soundtrack of my Life: “Hope There’s Someone” by Antony and the Johnsons
I started writing this before all the hell of November began, so I decided to finish it. I’ll write the 2016 year-end stuff next month and then that’s it until I find some sort of joy or purpose. When I discussed Skip Spence’s exquisite and underappreciated OAR, I mentioned a fondness for the broken and lost geniuses … More Soundtrack of my Life: “War In Peace” by Skip Spence
Give me a man with a piano, and I will show you devotion. Leon Russell. He wrote some beautiful songs. He mentored Elton John. He tagged along with Joe Cocker, played with Delaney and Bonnie. He was a studio musician throughout the sixties, as part of the legendary Wrecking Crew. He played on Pet Sounds. … More “I love you in a place where there’s no space and time.”
Leaving this here. Fight the good fight.
There is a delightful and underlooked gem of a film called Grace of My Heart, directed by Allison Anders and starring the incomparable Illeana Douglas. Anders is a highly acclaimed independent film maker responsible for the amazing Gas Food Lodging and Mi Vida Loca, but my favourite is the still Grace, a film of warmth and tenderness filled with incredible … More Soundtrack of my Life: “God Give Me Strength” by Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach
There is something sublime about Justin Vernon’s music. It’s the delicacy, I believe. And I need delicate right now. Vernon’s wistful falsetto, the gentleness of the brushed drums, the quietness of the guitar arpeggios. “Holocene” is a bar in Portland, Oregon where Vernon stated he had ” a dark night of the soul”, and as … More Soundtrack of my Life: “Holocene” by Bon Iver
Frank is the guy I go to when my heart has been ripped out of my chest and mocked mercilessly by men, God, and just about anything and anyone else you can think of. While the go to album is In The Wee Small Hours, Frank’s ode to his crumbling relationship with Ava Gardiner, for … More Soundtrack of my Life: “One For My Baby (And One For the Road)” by Frank Sinatra
In the wake of tragedy, in trauma, in revisiting trauma, it is easy to succumb to paranoia and fear and not see the bigger picture. I wrote a poem of sorts in the aftermath of Paris about not being afraid. And then I put on Billy Bragg and other protest singers and listened to anti-war … More Soundtrack of my Life: “Light & Day/ Reach for the Sun” by the Polyphonic Spree
I hate love songs. I generally hate love, mostly because I’m a bitter old hag who hasn’t dated in thirteen years. I’m damaged beyond words and to say I have trust issues might be a drastic understatement. I know this song list is overflowing with love songs. So, the first thing you need to know … More Soundtrack of my Life: “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” by the Smiths
Boy George never gets enough credit as a singer. He nails songs that cry- “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?” is a classic for a reason and it has nothing to do with the cheesy 80s production surrounding George’s tearful voice. That vocal style is amplified in his biggest solo hit, a cover of … More Soundtrack of my Life: “The Crying Game” by Boy George
I get asked time and time again about what my actual all-time favourite song is. This is an impossible question- the answer changes every hour, depending on mood, what I’m listening to, what I’m tired of, what I can remember from day-to-day, who I’m talking to. “In The Midnight Hour”. “Find The River”. “Dancing Queen”. … More Soundtrack of my Life: “The Ballad of El Goodo” by Big Star/ “Mona With the Children” by Doug Cameron; or The Search for the Absolute Favourite
I love love songs about music. Whether it’s John Miles singing about how music was his first love to Stevie singing about Duke, musicians have written about the music that inspires and delights them as long as music has existed. I can list a dozen songs about loving genres, instruments, music in general. But a … More Soundtrack of my Life: “Where Have All The Rude Boys Gone” by Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
Some songs are just your favourite. They come to you while you’re young, and they never leave you. These are the songs that you love, without irony or cynicism. “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” is one of those songs for me. It’s the type of love that makes you chase down an original Swiss … More Soundtrack of my Life: “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” by Tears for Fears
The power of imagery, coupled with a powerful voice, on top of a ferocious song. That is how I became a Sinead O’Connor fan. I remember her on the Grammys. I was eleven. She was very young, her head shaved, looking unlike anyone I had ever seen before. There was a comment in the room … More Soundtrack of my Life: “Mandinka” by Sinead O’Connor
I have talked before about the joy a great brass section can bring to a dreary existence. It works time and time again- hence the popularity of songs like “Crazy in Love”, “Move On Up”, and the entire career of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass (never underestimate or write off Herb Alpert). But among … More Soundtrack of my Life: “Reward” by Teardrop Explodes
Scottish twee. Yes, it is. Pure pop, with Tracyanne Campbell’s thin, girlish voice and the band’s chipper tempo hiding the darker, almost scornful lyrics that touch on myopic love and loss of identity. Can you stay a girl while holding a boy’s hand? Do girls want to be protected like the Crown Jewels? Are you … More Soundtrack of my Life: “Lloyd, I’m Ready to be Heartbroken” by Camera Obscura/ “Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken?” by Lloyd Cole and the Commotions
There are things that those who love me know about me: 1. The Kinks are my favourite band. 2. This is my favourite album of all time, and I often proclaim it the greatest album ever created. 3. My kids prefer Katy Perry to Ray Davies and I feel like a failure as a parent because … More Soundtrack of my Life: “The Village Green Preservation Society” by the Kinks
I have tried to write about this song for a while now. I absolutely love it, but it spring from a darkness and it feeds my brain in its more painful and damaging days. The problem I have is that when my depression amps up, I favour songs that may make people question where I … More Soundtrack of my Life: “Weightless Again” by the Handsome Family
Here we are, on a Sunday morn, watching football instead of being in church. I don’t often go to church- being single parent, I usually spend my Sunday doing various pieces of housework that need more than ten seconds of concentration and sleeping. Saturdays often belong to various appointments and groceries. I grew up with … More Soundtrack of my Life: “Blake’s Jerusalem” by Billy Bragg
The guy is essentially known now as Jeff Buckley’s junkie dad. That’s just so wrong. Anyone who has heard the incredible Starsailor album knows that. This song is also now better known as a This Mortal Coil song. This Mortal Coil were music execs playing dreamy electropop, but “Song to the Siren” was essentially a one-off from … More Soundtrack of my Life: “Song To the Siren” by Tim Buckley
Sheer exhaustion, work, life, and a totally broken down computer have taken me from my goal, but I am back several weeks later with more songs and records to discuss. It’s good to be back. I decided to come back and discuss one of my all-time favourite songs, the glorious and bold swaths of synths … More Soundtrack of my Life: “The Whole Of The Moon” by the Waterboys
My dad gave me a love for the classics. The deep boom of Tchaikovsky resonates with my little lost girl heart to this day. My mum gave me pop music.
First. I like Oasis. I consider them a lesser band than Blur or Pulp, but they were not so offensive as to put me off. Second. I think Noel Gallagher is a far, far better singer than Liam. Noel’s post Oasis project proves it. This album almost made my 2011 list. Third. I hate it when … More The Song List Supplemental: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds “If I Had A Gun”
Truth be told, I prefer late Beatles to early Beatles. But it is the fiftieth (!) anniversary of this simple little tunes release, the Beatles very first single, and that deserves a mention.
I don’t know if there is a subgenre of coming home songs that are about prison release. If there is. “Care of Cell 44” is the apex, a bright, cheerful, organ driven slice of sixties harmonies, surrounding a strange melody and the most bizarre lyrics from a band known for twisted lyrics. Seriously, when I … More The Song List Supplemental: The Zombies “Care of Cell 44”
You will never, ever get me to say a bad thing against Take That. Part of it how much I love Robbie and Gary. Yes, both of them. Part of it the love I have for “Back For Good”, their best known song on this side of the pond. I’m the girl who ran out … More The Song List Supplemental: “Patience” and “The Flood” by Take That
I have stated time and time again that when push comes to shove, “In the Midnight Hour” is my favourite song of all time. It’s a celebratory jam with classic Atlantic Record horns and slightly pervy lyrics, but Wilson Pickett sells it.
This project is going to take the rest of my life, anyway. Might as well be spontaneous on occasion. The only qualification is that I love the song. In some way, I must love the song. Pretty simple, I guess.