it was good to head back down south to rural oxfordshire last weekend for stumps' 40th bash - a select band of specially-invited family and friends gathered at the hyde house to toast his advancing years and admire his DIY and consume vast quantities of finger-food.
jim, minty and i were asked to make a cd each to celebrate the occasion - fortunately minty forgot to do his, so we were spared and evening of wang chung B-sides and obscure men without hats album tracks ;-)
jim's compilation was basically all mark ronson and mika, saved only by some killers and kaiser chiefs at the end. ian b, you would have loved it.
i sweated over my choice. you have to think pretty carefully about what to put on a compilation cd (or cassette tape - younger readers: ask your folks) do you put stuff on it that you think the person on the receiving end will like (stumps is the unashamed owner of a shania twain cd so the bar is set pretty low on that one) or do you try and widen their musical horizons a bit? do you go for party tunes or do you try to vary the mood? do you include some crowd-pleasing oldies, or do you go cutting edge? as you can tell, i took it way too seriously, but was still rather pleased with the outcome (see the tracklisting below...)
in the end i went for big uplifting tunes and sort of surprised myself - usually my compilations are a bit more maudlin and introspective. but i've been listening to this selection a lot on the itunes and it's become the soundtarck to my new year so far... it's music to lift up your head to.
Happy Birthday [Intro] - Altered Images
spit at stars - Jack Penate
Let's Get Out Of This Country - Camera Obscura
Your English Is Good - Tokyo Police Club
Either Way - The Twang
She's Got You High - Mumm-Ra
Ageless Beauty - Stars
Tonight The Streets Are Ours - Richard Hawley
Feet In The Sky - Duke Special
I Still Remember - Bloc Party
Decide - The Bodines
Go wild in the country - Bow Wow Wow
Please Stand Up - British Sea Power
Crooked Teeth - Death Cab For Cutie
Let's Make This Precious (BBC Version) - Dexy's Midnight Runners
Forget Myself - Elbow
We Will Become Silhouettes - The Postal Service
Cemetry Gates - The Smiths
The Competition - Spearmint
Town Called Malice - The Jam
November Starlings - Trembling Blue Stars
Bright Side Of The Road - Van Morrison
Happy Birthday [Outro] - Altered Images
meantime there was a great programme on bbc4 the other night - 'pop- what is it good for?', where paul morley explored the idea of pop music and what it means and whether/why it is important and how it works. it's just so great to see/hear an enthusiast talking entertainingly and intelligently and with passion about stuff like this (see also mark kermode ranting about movies every friday afternoon on radio fivelive) well worth seeking out if it's on bbci or youtube or somewhere...
here's a clip...
re: the discussion in the clip - i think that ed's going through something like this at the moment with his emo obsession - his enjoyment of the sweariness of his new green day album and the stagey miserablism of my chemical romance and all that... he's growing up and whilst i often can't stand his choice of music (he also has a penchant for Queen), it's still rather wonderful to see his love of it...