Track of the Day 517 : Los Campesinos – Renato Dall’Ara (2008)

Ah, it’s good to have Los Campesinos back. Since I first saw them at Glastonbury in, I think, 2008 they’ve been a favourite of mine, and new album Sick Scenes doesn’t disappoint. Opening track Renato Dall’Ara (2008) is a particular favourite, with all the hallmarks of a great Los Campesinos track. Slightly unwieldy title? Check. Fantastic lyrics including wordplay and obscure references? Check. (The Interpol pun in verse 2, below, will take some beating in the lyric of the year competition).

Daddy came out of retirement, he took a hobby as a PCSO
Let me level this as an indictment: only a part-time grass, but a full-time asshole
They would play my requests at the guestlist’s behest, any disco all across town
But things change, now Stella’s a lager and boy she is always downed

Excellent shouty backing vocals? Check. Joyous, poppy, punky wondefulness? Check. I especially love the opening fade up straight into a catchy as hell woh-oh-oh melody.

Buy Sick Scenes from Bandcamp now.

The first 483 tracks of the day can only be found on my Tumblr. Everything since can be found here. There’s also a Spotify playlist of every single track of the day (or those available on Spotify at least) below:

 

Track of the Week: The Wave Pictures – Avocado Baby

This week’s track of the week is named after a children’s book, appropriately enough. Avocado Baby was much loved book of my wife when she was a child, so she’s been keen to get it for our daughter. A couple of weeks back we finally got round to buying it, and it seems to have been a hit, with many readings demanded.

I’d never heard of the book, so when I heard The Wave Pictures song of the same name, with its’ chorus of “my eyes still as strong as the avocado baby” it meant nothing to me. The Wave Pictures are perhaps the most lyrically ingenious band I know, so I just thought it was another example of their strange phrasings. I was clearly not the only one with a lack of knowledge of the book, as when Los Campesinos released a song of the same name, many thought it was a Wave Pictures cover, or that they’d stolen the title. The band had to indignantly point out that they had merely used the same source material.

In any case, The Wave Pictures are a band that demand to be heard, and regardless of its’ connection to much loved children’s books ‘Avocado Baby’ is as good a place to start as any.

Playlist of the month – Songs about dancing

I wrote about my daughter’s (and my) love of dancing earlier in the week, and that’s inspired my favourite playlist of the month yet, songs about dancing. As usual, the full playlist can be found below, and I’ve written a little about ten of my favourite songs from the list:

Los Campesinos – You! Me! Dancing!

I love this song for many reasons. It was one of the highlights of the last Glastonbury I went to (which I just had to google to figure out was in 2007. My memory isn’t what it once was), but I was also listening to it a lot back in 2009 when I first met my wife, so I always associate it with the rush of new love. It’s that kind of song in any case, giddy, delirious and deserving of every one of those exclamation marks in the title

Black Kids – I’m Not Going To Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You

One of the joys of putting together this playlist is finding songs you either haven’t listened to for ages, or had forgotten about entirely. The lengthily titled “I’m Not Going To Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You” was all over the radio in 2008, to the point where it got a little annoying. Black Kids released debut album ‘Partie Traumatic’ the same year, and have pretty much disappeared from view since, not splitting up, but not releasing anything new either. Hearing this song for the first time in 7 years reminds me of just how joyous it is.

The Pipettes – Pull Shapes

Speaking of forgotten bands, I had forgotten completely about The Pipettes until a friend mentioned them on Facebook whilst I was looking for suggestions for this playlist. They were a strange kind of manufactured indie girl group with choreographed outfits and dance routines. People grew tired of the image pretty quickly, but some of the songs stand up well, particularly ‘Pull Shapes’. I especially like the bit where the music cuts out as they sing “What do you do when the music stops?” Cheesy, I know, but I’m a sucker for that kind of thing.

The Sleepy Jackson – Good Dancers

The first Sleepy Jackson album Lovers is one of my favourites of all time. I fell in love with it from the first bars of this, the first song on the album. So I’ll crowbar in a mention of them whenever I can, even if I’m not entirely sure this song is really about dancing.

Justice – D.A.N.C.E.

I’ll always be fond of Justice after a fantastic night watching them DJ at Manchester’s Warehouse Project. D.A.N.C.E. is of their most fun songs, and also inspired a lovely acoustic cover by Get Cape Wear Cape Fly

Daft Punk – Lose Yourself To Dance

Whilst Get Lucky was the world dominating hit (the sound of the summer as Limmy might say), this is my favourite Pharrell featuring Daft Punk, a wonderful slinky slow burner that makes me want to, well, lose myself to dance.

Dee-Lite – Groove Is In The Heart

There are many, many, many pop songs about dancing, a few of which make this playlist, many more of which don’t. But the one which more than any other makes me actual want to dance is this one. It may be partly because I was ten years old and just starting to get into music when it came out, but mainly it’s because both song and video are pure distilled fun.

Men Without Hats – The Safety Dance

I don’t normally pay much mind to novelty songs in these lists, but this is a fine exception for two reasons. One, the video never fails to make me smile. Two, it was referenced in Futurama. Good enough for me.

The Magnetic Fields – Nothing Matters When We’re Dancing

Most of the songs on this playlist are, appropriately enough, songs you can dance to. This is not one of those songs, but like so many of the others on The Magnetic Fields epic ’69 Love Songs’ album it is beautiful, romantic and has fantastic lyrics “Be we in Paris or in Lancing” being my particular favourite.

Joy Division – Transmission

Saving the best for last this month. Some of the songs on this list are fun, some are romantic, but only Joy Division could fill a song about dancing with such a sense of foreboding and dread. It’s appropriate that a man famous for his own manic dance should appear on this list. Oh, to have seen them live and danced to their music myself.

Any great songs about dancing I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments.