Musical Micropause: S

Letter S

The Smiths: Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want  (1984)
I first became aware of the Smiths in 1985 when a friend who was far cooler than me took to wearing a “Meat Is Murder” t-shirt at every opportunity. I was a little intimidated by anything cool, and was still quietly playing The Cars. A Smiths singles collection later pointed out my glaring mistake, and I quickly found all their albums. These days when I listen to the Smiths, I sometimes wonder why I bother listening to any other music at all.


Sugar: Helpless (1992)
Another band where my ravings to friends appears to have caused their immediate demise (as with Pixies, Luna, Grant Lee Buffalo and others). Bob Mould’s Sugar signaled his return to a band format after a pair of solo albums. Loud with great melodies – what else do you need?


Sigur Rós
: Ágætis byrjun (1999)
Icelandic for “A Good Beginning”, Ágætis byrjun was well named, as it brought Sigur Rós global attention and inclusion in high profile TV and movie soundtracks – Vanilla Sky, CSI  and 24 to name a few. Variously labelled as cosmic rock, ambient rock, or whale rock, they have a reputation for stunning live performance. They’ve been on my top 5 to see live for years, and it looks like the wait is far from over.


Straitjacket Fits: Down In Splendour (1990)
One of Flying Nun’s greatest successes, Straitjacket Fits thrived on the contrast and diversity that their two songwriters brought to their music. Shayne Carter’s songs were generally known for their rough edges, while Andrew Brough preferred more sparkle. Eventually the differences led to conflict, and Brough left the band after a lengthy tour in 1991. “Down In Splendour” is from their 1990 album, “Melt”, and in 2001 was voted as number 32 in New Zealand’s top 100 songs of all time.

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9 Responses to Musical Micropause: S

  1. vanbrabantnathalie says:

    Like The Smiths too 🙂 especially that song you wrote about!

    • westiedad says:

      It’s a good one! I think they must have liked it too. I saw Morrissey play it live, and I also saw Johnny Marr play it with Neil Finn. I don’t think they wrote too many bad ones 🙂

  2. TBM says:

    Ah, I love The Smiths!

    • westiedad says:

      Have you seen Morrissey live? He must have been in a generous mood when I saw him, because he gave us seven Smiths songs! That’s as close as I’ll get to hearing the originals, and it was a fantastic show.

  3. Daile says:

    I think this is possibly my favourite letter so far. Obviously for The Smiths but also Sigur Ros. Although I would have loved to see Sufjan Stevens in here too 😉

    It baffles me when I meet people who haven’t listened to or worse, dislike The Smiths!! Egads!

    • westiedad says:

      Yes, apologies for the Sufjan omission. I was spoiled for choice! I was going to relisten to Illinois, but ran out of time. I guess he was the non-travelling reserve. I need to start my relistening of TV On The Radio, Tinariwen, The The, Talking Heads, Tame Impala, Teddy Thompson etc etc very soon.

  4. drnatalieoak says:

    How good is that song? Funny, I was just wondering the other day how many times you are allowed to sing it to make good things happen, even when you know you’re lying when you say that Lord know it will be the first time, because you’ve done it before and it worked?

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