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Thursday, December 18, 2003
  Beautiful songs I heard today

At work I have a pimp. Not the usual fur-coated prostitute consorting type, but a thirty-something powerpop pimp. This individual, who shall remain nameless as he doesn't know I'm writing about him tends to loan me about three CDs a day from his frankly brilliant collection. Today I listened to albums by Darin Murphy and Owsley, neither of whom I think I'd ever have come across had it not been for my cartographic compadre... so thanks for that.

The songs in question are 'Boxing Day' by Mr. Murphy, and 'Oh no the radio' by Mr. Owsley. The first is a lilting, gorgeous song. The brother of alt-country type Trish Murphy, unexpectedly-spelled Darin sings about travelling and meeting someone lovely. It's all quite beautiful really, aside from a visceral evocation of being lost in the middle of London, something that resonates well with me. A totally legitimate mp3 of said song can be downloaded from here.

Today's second musical offering is an altogether more troubling affair. It starts off in classic powerpop territory, a repeatedly slashed chord, beautifully buzzed and produced to within a shiny inch of its life. What follows initially is a pretty catchy verse and chorus about how annoying it is to hear songs you don't want to hear on the radio. Kind of like 'Radio Song' but without the underlying collapse of society motif. Anyhow, all fine and dandy until the other chorus breaks in, you know the one... it goes:

Just when I thought I would never
Get over the thought of you leaving
The sky opens up and the sunshine's
Giving me more to believe in
Then I hear it once again
No! No! No!

Its all about memory, see? The insidious way that music becomes totally linked to moments which depending on your perspective when you remember them, are either smilingly wonderful or wretchedly sad. For example, this brilliant lyric (far better delivered with an American accent) demonstrates that duality:

We sang the words into your hairbrush
And gave Donnie and Marie the bum's rush

Its funny, right? Well it is until you get to the rest of the song and think about it all. Probably nice to experience the first time round. Probably awful to have to recall when things have changed.

Anyway, enough of all that. Both songs brought a smile to my face while I was editing a map of Littlehampton, and for that alone I give both a big thumbs-up.

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