They only want you when you’re seventeen

(My ID photo from 2003, the following year)

I made this playlist a while back, and the post has been languishing in the drafts for a while, so I thought I’d finish it off for the end of the year. It’s all songs I liked when I was 17, which was in 2002. It’s a fairly roughly put together playlist, because it’s an attempt to make a jumble of songs fit together rather than to create a flow of songs (my usual way of creating playlists). I can’t remember why I made the playlist in the first place, but I think it was sparked by reading some article or the other. It was a while back, as I said.


The dominant music at the time was Nu Metal. The Strokes et al had just started to come in. I wasn’t particularly enthused by either. I used to go to a really shit alternative night in Chatham because it was something to do and they didn’t care about legal drinking ages (and was the only place open after 11 where my friends wouldn’t get beaten up). One room played indie, the other metal. Whatever song you asked for was too heavy for the indie room, and not metal enough for the metal room. So I rarely heard anything I liked there. Some of my (male) friends were in post-rock or post-hardcore bands, and that was more fun. (Some of them later set up a piss-taking night they dubbed post-core and claimed it was a legitimate genre).

There’s a big mix of stuff on here I guess, but nothing too embarrassing. Most of it is probably typical of people of roughly the same age. When I lived in Brighton however I seemed to be surrounded by crust-punk types, and in London more straight up HxC types. These weren’t the people I seek out, but they just seem to be there, surrounding you. They are also people with incredibly narrow and restrictive tastes in well, everything. They are certainly people who would judge this choice of songs embarrassing. I’ve leave the verdict up to you.

Brief comments about each song under the cut.

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Forgotten late 90s Indie Pop


A little while ago, there was a thing on Twitter where people used the #indieamnesty tag to tell funny or embarrassing stories about their involvement with the whole Landfill Indie and Nu Rave thing in the mid 2000s (there’s also a surprisingly intelligent and self-perceptive interview with Johnny Borrell (!!) here). As the Guardian article I’ve linked to said, “Indie amnesty brings together thousands of relatively banal anecdotes about unglamorous people doing slightly idiotic things into something quite majestic” and most of the people were writing about being foolish and easily impressed in their teenage years.

It was funny, but the whole thing made me feel weirdly old, because that wasn’t my era for being an impressionable teen. It’s strange when you realise that people you mentally categorised as peers actually grew up in a different era to you, or that people you think of as dramatically younger are also adults. My oldest nephew was born in 1996, and is now a university student with a driving licence, which is just wrong really. It shouldn’t be allowed. Time shouldn’t have moved that fast. Adults are not born in the 90s. The correct time to be born is clearly the early 80s, or the late 70s at a push. I will persist in this delusion for as long as allowed.

I think the prime age for wholeheartedly signing yourself over to whatever musical movement that easily presents itself is 13-14. You start to be aware of different genres of music, want to associate yourself with a tribe of people, have some pocket money to spend, and might even be allowed to go gigs if you have lax parents. The people writing those anecdotes had been that age in the 2000s. I was a teenager in the mid to late 90s. When the Rakes did 22 Grand Job, I actually did have a 22k dull office job (although not in the City, in an office park just outside Reading for full glamour!). Sadly my income hasn’t gone anywhere since then.

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Rocks are slow life

I’ve been enjoying hermitting recently. I’ve gone out and done the odd thing and for work, but I’ve been happy to stay in the last few weeks and work on various projects, and apply for more work, and declutter junk. Sometimes these phases are nice.

1) Tears on Fresh Fruit- Sparklehorse
Poor old Mark Linkous.

2) Tired of Sex- Weezer
I loved the first two Weezer albums so much as a teenager. I was pretty disappointed when the third album came out, and I never bothered with the others after that. I live in a delusional bubble where Weezer only have two albums. Don’t spoil it for me. Listening to them now, I also realise what a total and utter creep Rivers Cuomo is. I mean “I want a girl who laughs for no-one else”?. Seriously? My friend Tukru sent me this message recently about hearing Across the Sea on the radio at work. “I was all YUSSS and EWWWW” at the same time. Pretty much sums it up.

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What is not but could be if

Here’s another mix, no theme this time, just songs I’ve been listening to a lot lately. When I moved the blog over to wordpress, I had to put the playlist on Spotify, so a couple of the songs aren’t available.

1) Zoom!- Super Furry Animals
See my entry about Gruff Rhys’ Separado film)

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Separado! Gruff Rhys ac y gaucho cymraeg

I finally saw this film today. I’d wanted to see it since I’d heard of its existence, but not got round to it, but it was definitely worth the wait. Gruff Rhys from the Super Furry Animals saw a singer on Welsh tv in the 70s who used to go onstage wearing a poncho and riding a horse, and then sing flamenco and samba songs in Welsh with an Argentinian accent, and he was spellbound. His grandmother told him it was René Griffiths, a distant uncle of his from South America. An ancestor of his in the 1800s joined the Welsh colony in Patagonia after accidentally killing his cousin in a rigged horse race.

A couple of years ago he was given the chance to make a film while promoting his solo album, and he decided to go over to Argentina to track down his relative and see some of the parts of the country that still speak Welsh, and play his music along the way. The resulting film is really charming, a sort of gentle psychedelic road trip, like a cosy version of El Topo with added music and social commentary. Gruff Rhys has always seemed like a very affable man. He plays his own music in the film (sometimes to audiences of bemused old Welsh-Argentinian old ladies), and also befriends other musicians along the way, and includes their performances. The film’s in Welsh, English and Spanish (and a tiny bit of Portuguese), with English subtitles on the non-English parts. You also get to hear a lot of South American Welsh, not something you see on screen much.