366 Songs 247: She Cries Your Name

For all that I will complain about William Orbit’s production on Blur’s 13 – and I will, just be glad I haven’t really started here – his involvement in “She Cries Your Name” almost absolves him of any aural sin in my book; the swooping strings, double bass and shuffling drums in this song gave Beth Orton’s solo career the best launchpad it could get, and a far more interesting surrounding than almost everything that appeared on the following album, Trailer Park. There’s a jazz influence at play in this song that matches and sounds wonderful next to Orton’s at-times-overwhelming folk meandering, giving the song a snap and drive that, judging by her other songs from the same period, it may have missed otherwise. If only Red Snapper had been her backing band for that first album…

366 Songs 088: Paraffin

Ruby were the Garbage that no-one ever remembers, a band that deserved better than the lack of success they enjoyed and one that feels particularly evocative to me for a few reasons/memories. After enjoying their debut single – That’d be this one, “Paraffin” – I was given their first album by a friend and promptly never got around to listening to it until a girlfriend/not girlfriend came to visit and decided that she had to hear what all the fuss was about. It was an October weekend, and we were sitting in my bedroom in the apartment I was staying in at the time, half-listening to this album and talking about our future when it became very obvious that we didn’t have one; I remember, still, the feeling of sadness and both of us trying not to say the obvious thing we were both thinking about, while simultaneously thinking “This album is much better than I would’ve thought.”

For weeks after, I wanted to listen to the album again, but couldn’t quite do it, convinced that there was some bad juju involved, that it was filled with bad magic because the first time I’d heard it was during a break-up of sorts.

(One of the reasons why I’d loved the “Paraffin” single so much was this remix of the song by Red Snapper, which was much jazzier, and just plain lovely. This is the reason that I wish Ruby had been given the success Garbage enjoyed, so things like this would’ve found a much wider audience:)

366 Songs 042: Get Some Sleep, Tiger (Plaid Remix)

Because it’s Sunday, and because I mentioned Red Snapper yesterday, and because it’s been a rough few days, and so on and so on… It’s time to “Get Some Sleep, Tiger.” In particular, this Plaid remix of said track, which makes the awesome jazziness of the original and makes it just a little weirder, taking it from the “theme song for the best spy movie you’ve never seen” to something almost postrock…

Normal service will be resumed sooner rather than later.