TV On The Radio: Wolf Like Me (2006)
Rated as Spin’s album of the year, no 2 for Pitchfork, and no 4 for both Stylus and Rolling Stone, it was hard not to hear the positive reviews received in 2006 for TV On The Radio’s second studio album, “Return to Cookie Mountain”. Along with Neil Young and Arctic Monkeys, they were one of the three main reasons I thought I should get to the Big Day Out 2009, and they didn’t disappoint. I think they deserved better than a mid-afternoon slot, but they soon had the crowd’s attention. I’d love to see them do their own show – but maybe not in the same year that Springsteen and the Stones visit these shores. The year hasn’t started and I’m running out of budget.
The Temptations: Ain’t Too Proud To Beg (1966)
I’m not sure if the Temptations had a minimum height requirement, but these guys all look about seven feet tall. A classic that I never get tired of hearing. The Stones seemed to like it too – this is a live version from them with Amy Winehouse on the Isle of Wight from 2007. I’d be happy to hear them play this in April.
The The: Slow Emotion Replay (1993)
If I had to make my list of underrated albums, “Dusk” by The The would be my immediate first choice. It has everything – production that doesn’t sound too dated, poignant lyrics (although maybe not the best choice if you’ve had a bad day), and a hefty dose of Johnny Marr. That’s his harmonica at the start of this track. As an aside, I had to check the difference between “dose” and “dosage”. Apparently, dosage is the rate of application of a dose. Anyway, this track is/was great for singing to yourself on a cricket field when you’re stuck on the boundary far from the action.
Teddy Thompson: Tonight Will Be Fine (2005)
I don’t know a lot of Teddy Thompson’s own music, but I love what he does with this song by Leonard Cohen. Possibly surprisingly, Cohen’s original is the raucous version. Thompson participated in a series of Leonard Cohen tribute concerts called “Came So Far for Beauty” alongside with Nick Cave, Rufus Wainwright, Jarvis Cocker, Beth Orton and others. The concerts were performed in New York, Brighton, Dublin and Sydney, with the Sydney show filmed for the concert film “Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man”. This video is from that performance.
Talking Heads: Life During Wartime (1984)
I find it impossible to listen to watch a video of Talking Heads without smiling, whether from the early pre-Jerry Harrison days as a three-piece, or the ten-person live line-up for the Remain In Light tour. These guys were took the visual aspect of performance into areas no-one knew existed. Freddy Mercury or David Byrne as the ultimate frontman? Hard choice…