Next is the most recent of this selection, its Wild Beasts XTC like All The King’s Men:
I know some people find them a bit arch, bit I love the Vampire Weekend. This is A-Punk:
Some of the best stuff from the decade came from Iceland. This is Mum with The Island’s of Children’s Children:
I’m always one for a disturbing video. These are The Doves with There Goes the Fear:
Probably the best gig I went to in the last ten years was Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings at the Barras. The crowd was spellbound for the whole set. Pure magic. Probably my favourite singer around today, and this is the promo for Elvis Presley Blues:
Were Gorillaz the best thing Damon did this decade? It’s a close thing, but for the use of the legendary Sean Ryder I had to choose Dare:
I’m doing this over a few days, and today this is my favourite song ever. I need uplifted and this always does the trick. Lambchop and Up with People:
While I’m feeling all elegiac I think it’s time for Kate Bush. I love Kate Bush and this is King of the Mountains:
I imagine that The White Stripes will feature heavily in such lists elsewhere, but I listen to The Raconteurs albums more often. This was their debut release Steady As She Goes:
Next are two videos from albums I played almost constantly in the early part of the decade and I include them to represent the whole rather than loving these individual songs in particular. The first is Back of My Hand by Gemma Hayes from Night on My Side:
The next is from Zero 7’s Simple Things and features the fantastic voice of Sia who made some great music under her own name. This is Destiny:
Another of my favourite artists of all time is Polly Jean Harvey. Always brilliant even at her most challenging. One of the best albums of the decade was Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea, and one of the best singles was this, This is Love:
One new voice that I fell for was Josh Rouse who released a string of albums that were effortlessly engaging, any of which I could have chosen from. This is Directions from the album Home:
I can take or leave Beck normally, but 2002’s Sea Change is not only his best work, but one of the best of the decade. I listened to this more than anything else in the past ten years, which is perhaps slightly worrying, but this is Guess I’m Doing Fine:
I’m going to finish with three legends, at least they are in my house. The first is the title track from Dig, Lazarus, Dig by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds who, for me, get better and better:
This is a track from my artist of the decade, Will Oldham. Nobody produced so much consistently brilliant work in the last 10 years. This is from the Superwolf album that he did with Matt Sweeney, but to be honest I could have filled every slot on this list with his stuff and been satisfied. This is the beautiful I Gave You:
This list was originally going to be 20 songs long, but then I remembered the video that had me weeping uncontrollably when I saw it. A fitting tribute to a man and his music, made all the more poignant as it is sung by the man himself. Usually videos are used to promote the song, but when they are at their best the combine with the song to create something greater. This is a classic example. It’s Johnny Cash’s cover of Hurt:
So, for what it’s worth, that’s my list. I’m sure if I was to start again tomorrow there would be some changes, but it’s a good representation of what I was listening to. What do you think? Already I’m thinking where are The Guillemots, The Decemberists, Common, Rachael Yamagata, The Sleepy Jackson, Lucinda Williams, Phoenix, Brendon Benson, Costello etc, etc, etc..??
Look out for the Top 10 Scottish songs/vids of the decade which will be coming soon, along with some other best of lists.
I think it’s a pretty comprehensive selection, with something for all tastes. Today’s favourite is the magical promo for Sigur Ros’s Glosoli from 2005’s taak… album:
The journal can be found at spinningscotland and makes for interesting reading.
The reasons for this situation will know doubt be financial, but after watching Peter McDougall’s Down Among the Big Boys (1993) and the Michael Caton Jones directed Brond (1987), I realised that this was not an excuse during previous recessions. Both of these films were filmed and are set during times of poverty in Glasgow that were far greater than that in which the city, or country, currently finds itself. That also applies to the early 80’s set Looking after Jo Jo (1998) and the sadly forgotten Jute City (1991), which, unusually, was set outside of the central belt in Dundee, something that occurs all too rarely. It boasts a great cast, although the standout for me is John Sessions which makes me wonder why did he not do more straight acting? They’re helped by a fantastic script by David Kane who went on to write and direct the films This Year’s Love (1999) and Born Romantic (2000) as well as perhaps the most recent Scottish ‘drama’ Sea of Souls (2004-07).
The following is from Brond. As well as ‘introducing’ John Hannah to the world Brond had a fantastic cast including James Cosmo, Russell Hunter and the statuesque Stratford Johns. Brond is a really interesting drama, and would be well worth repeating (although Channel 4 tend not to do repeats from their early glory days). There are overtones of James Hogg’s novel The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824), and it unusually, and successfully, sets a supernatural thriller in a modern urban landscape. The following is not the most dramatic clip, but it is the only one I can find. If you are lucky enough to have a copy of the series then I hope you share it around:
I also wonder if the perceived worth of the art, and therfore the artist, has a bearing on how we view the ‘crimes’ of the artist? Apparent objective moral probity often seems fairly random. Jerry Lee Lewis is still the butt of jokes concerning his relationship with his 13 (or 15 depending on who you believe) year old cousin Myra Gale Brown, while Elvis Aaron Presley, who at the very least was dating the 14 year old Priscilla, escapes most people’s opprobrium. Perhaps the ultimate example of this is to ask ‘How would the world have treated Gary Glitter if he had been in The Beatles rather than fronting The Glitter Band?’ I would hope such things don’t matter, but the example of Roman Polanski, and those who have vocally supported him, suggests they do.
The Pixies were more than ably supported by Sons and Daughters, and I want to ask why it is that Glasvegas are lauded yet Sons and Daughters are rarely seen or heard? Both deal in west coast influenced rock, both California and East Kilbride, but there is a sense of humour and style in the latter that is clearly absent from the former. Maybe it’s a case of familiarity breeding contempt but my heart has begun to sink whenever I hear James Allen’s honking vocals (in both senses of the word), and I would go for Sons and Daughters every time.