I buy music often. Merch at concerts, CDs from my local Salvos to play in my shitty 1997 Ford Laser, old vinyls (despite not having a record player. Gotta do it for the aesthetic, duh), the occasional iTunes song when there’s no YouTube link, and, music magazines. Working weekends at my local newsagency reminds me why print is dying – magazines are really fucking expensive. Yet, for some strange reason, this high-price doesn’t deter me and my already empty pockets. I give in. I buy i-D and Mojo and the odd Rolling Stone or Cosmo if I’m feeling uber basic (not that Cosmo’s “tips on how to give a better blowjob” contribute to my music/culture consumption… I’m just setting the scene). Often, when I buy these magazines I’m served by my manager – who, every single time, proceeds to say, “oh, you like music?” And every single time I respond with, “who doesn’t?”.
There is only one person I know who doesn’t listen to music/have any taste in music. It’s my Grandmother. Instead, she’ll listen to 3AW. But she’s the only exception – everyone listens to music. It’s a fact (not really. I don’t have sources). My best friend listens to bangers, my sister is obsessed with musical soundtracks, and my Dad’s favourite song is ‘I Ran’ by A Flock Of Seagulls.
“But what about you, Ruby? What’s your ~musical scene~?” You probably don’t ask.
Well, my musical tastes are a massive melting pot of EVERYTHING. Ugh. I hate that. I hate it when you ask someone what they listen to and they say, “um… everything, really.” But, for the most part, it’s hard to define your musical style down to a single band or a single genre. I usually just say “Indie rock” when asked that question because I can’t be bothered going down the long, windy path of The Smiths’ (and others) discography.
But, I feel, with great music comes great responsibility. There are so many sub-genres, so many eras that go unnoticed and un-cherished. Like most, my iTunes is awash with anything from ‘Fergalicious’ to Mozart’s ‘Requiem’. And as such, I’m always on the prowl for new tunes to satisfy my never-ending musical cravings.
So here’s my plan for the zero people that read this blog – I’m going to make playlists. But they aren’t going to be typical “Saturday night pres before Cloud Nine” or “moody Madchester”. No, they’re going to be a bit left-of-centre. If you read this, I hope you find some new jams. Otherwise, future me who will be looking back on this, thank past you for organising your music (hopefully your iTunes will look a bit nicer too).
~ NOUGHTIES BRITANNIA PART ONE ~
Late 20th century British music is overdone – from Spice Girls craziness and Britpop wars between Blur and Oasis. My soft spot, however, is 2000s jams. The ones you know, the ones you don’t, the ones you forgot. They’re all a bunch of different genres – but the meaning is the same. Listen to these with a “lie back and think of England” attitude. Queen Victoria knew what was up, yo.
P.S. There are way too many songs to fit into this broad category so here’s a select few. Part Two shall follow.
Shanks & Bigfoot – Sweet Like Chocolate (technically 1999 but close enough)
THIS IS A FORTIFIED BANGER I DON’T CARE WHAT ANYONE THINKS!!! Such a huge dance tune in 1999 – Shanks and Bigfoot sadly parted ways in 2001. However, they did leave us this gem. Also, can we talk about the graphics in the MV? I remember watching this on the telly when I was younger and I wanted to be that red-haired cartoon girl so bad.
Michael Grey – The Weekend (2004)
There was an art to watching this music video – it had to be subtle. Nothing like the perpetual fear of being ‘caught’ by your rents. I think it stemmed a generation of pervy music lovers. Nonetheless, Michael Grey’s 2004 club tune was/still is bound to get you at least slightly rowdy for a Saturday night.
Adele – Chasing Pavements (2008)
2008 Adele is my favourite Adele. Chavvy as. She’s so beautiful – she still is, but she’s sold out now in my opinion. This tune will forever be a reminder of youth hangups. It’s feeling lost, it’s feeling love. It’s youth. I forever adore this song.
Arctic Monkeys – I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor (2005)
Oo-er. Pre-quiff Alex Turner gets me going. This track was a noughties revival of the don’t-give-a-fuck attitude of Oasis. It’s the perfect song to sing aloud with your mates on the way home from a big night out – kebab in one hand, dignity in the other. (Also – THAT ACCENT!!)
Craig David – Seven Days (2000)
What do I even need to say about baby Craig David? Smooth vocals, catchy lyrics, hip-swivel-worthy production? Ugh. This is a 2000’s RnB dream bound to get stuck in your head. Met this girl on Monday….
Emma Bunton – What Took You So Long? (2001)
BEST. SPICE. GIRL. SOLO. EVER.
I’m calling it. Emma Bunton WAS so underrated back in the day. Mel C was cool, but Baby Spice SMASHED it (Although special VIP mention to Victoria Beckham’s laughable solos. Love you VB xx). Everything about this song/music video is magic. Simplistic production, stunning vocals, and THAT bod a la Shania Twain music video. Brilliant stuff.
Sophie Ellis Baxter – Murder on the Dance Floor (2001)
Sophie Ellis Baxter has the most perfect jawline ever. And this song has the most perfect “sparkly” effect at the start (if you get my jist. I’m not a music student – I don’t know all the terminology ha!). Such a cool music video, too. This one’s definitely going to get stuck in your head AND remind you of either a night out (relive your youth, oldies), or making up dance routines in your bedroom (I feel you, Gen Y). Perfecto!
Paolo Nutini – Jenny Don’t Be Hasty (2006)
PAOLO BLOODY NUTINI WAS 18 WHEN HIS FIRST ALBUM WAS RELEASED. This blew my mind. The entirety of ‘These Streets’ is so poetically brilliant. Even the production has such a maturity that I didn’t think someone so young could manifest. Also, those small glimpses of Nutini’s Scottish accent are what make the song for me.
The Kooks – Naïve (2006)
I was fortunate enough to see The Kooks live in Melbourne last year. Such a good band to see live. They played Naive as the last song, and I must say, I don’t think a single person wasn’t singing along. This is their staple song, but it never gets old. So 2006. So moody. So British. AMAZING. This was their best album.
Amy Winehouse – Fuck Me Pumps (2003)
This song is a relatively unknown song on Winehouse’s 2003 ‘Frank’. Such a cute, catchy tune. I love this side of Amy. She’s so brilliant – lyrically, vocally, and just her presence in general. The music industry will never be the same.
Travis – Sing (2001)
It frustrates me daily that Coldplay got massive but Travis didn’t. Oh well. We’ll forever have this gem. Banjo? Check. Scottish? Check. Food Fight? Check. What more do you need? Travis are brilliant!
The Maccabees – Toothpaste Kisses (2007)
The first time I heard this song I was 11 years old and watching that scene in ‘Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging’ where Robbie and Georgia hold hands on the beach. At the time, I was too consumed by the idea of luuuuuuuurve to recognise how good the Maccabees were (they’ve split up, unfortunately). This song is such a good tune – scratchy record effect, whistled woo-woo, and all.
Utah Saints – Something Good ’08 (2008)
Something Good was a banger originally released in 1992 that sampled Kate Bush’s vocals (Heathcliffeeeeeeeeeee, it’s meeeeeeeee… not that they used Wuthering Heights… anyway…). The Leeds group then remixed and re-released in 2008. Brilliant song. I like to think the film clip sums up 2008 pretty accurately – doesn’t really make much sense. My favourite bit is towards the end, where some guy goes, “they were the freshest moves I’ve ever seen”. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Watch the bloody video.
Atomic Kitten – Whole Again (2000)
Such an annoying pop song. But you can’t go past it. It’s such a classic tune. Hate it or love it, you’ll sing it forever and forever. There’s nothing quite like belting out the chorus during your daily commute… or is that just me?
Also, this film clip is 110% why I love the noughties. LOOK AT THE OUTFITS!!!