I’m Gary Burns and I PR videogames for a living – so, naturally, I play them a bit. Being something of a media whore I like my films and music too. With the latter in mind, here’s my random iPod 10.
Ok, here we go – this is entirely random and, no doubt, a disturbing insight into my psyche. I have a really big iPod too, I’m not bragging or anything, but it’s huge. What I’m trying to say without wanting to give anyone iPod envy is that there’s all kinds of shit on there, as I don’t ever really delete anything. Honest.
Song: Sofa King
Artist: Danger Doom
Album: The Mouse and the Mask
I actually ended up with this when I looked into the background of Gnarls Barkley when huge hit Crazy was doing the rounds. Much of the content on the album sets the tone for the animated adventures of a wild and wacky cast of characters in Adult Swim. 90s rap legend, Skee Lo, is allegedly one half of Danger Doom. Like, wow. ‘You. Say. Funny. Things’
Song: Tijuana Lady
Album: Bring It On
Used to love Gomez, still do a bit. This is a beautiful song and one of many beautiful Gomez songs. Dom Joly obviously thought so too as he used their music pretty much exclusively (I think) to highlight the surreal and somewhat trippy antics of his Trigger Happy team.
Imagine a human snail idling its way across a set of traffic lights to We Haven’t Turned Around and you’re almost catapulted back to to the mid-late nineties.
Song: Think Locally Fuck Globally
Artist: Gogol Bordello
Album: Gypsy Punks
Lead singer Eugene Hütz is a fucking genius. This song is not one of my particular favourites but make no mistake – Gogol Bordello are q-u-a-l-i-t-y. Hütz (no relation to Simpson’s lawyer, Lionel) had Wanderlust King and Start Wearing Purple to thank for notoriety which saw the band appear on Letterman in the US. They’re ideologically influenced by Nokolai Gogol, a figure revered throughout the Ukraine for smuggling Ukrainian culture into Russia. Despite Hütz’s obvious maverick brilliance, the entire ensemble are great musicians and display influences that range from folk to punk to reggae.
You will start to realise that there’s far more to this lot than Eastern European gimmickry when you give their stuff a proper listen. Different and a bit awesome.
Song: Velvet Cell
Album: Fires in Distant Buildings
Well – 2005 seems to be coming up a lot! Still, this is an absolute humdinger. A superb, adrenaline-filled piece dulled in parts with subtle and sombre artistry. Gravenhurst are oft-underrated, lord knows why; I love both Fires in Distant Buildings and Western Lands which sit proudly in my CD collection. Acclaimed British film director, Shane Meadows, clearly agrees as his films are littered with their haunting melodies – Dead Man’s Shoes, This is England, etc.
Song: Ooh Wee
Artist: Mark Ronson Featuring Nate Dogg, Ghostface Killah, Trife & Saigon
Album: Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay (Soundtrack)
O-K, I did wonder when the movie soundtracks would kick in. I loved the film, principally because it’s silly, contains numerous weed references and reminds me a lot of being a bit younger than I am now – which is no bad thing. The song’s actually pretty catchy and I’m just grateful that my random spin didn’t bring up others on the album: like, PUSSY (Real Good), Gospel Weed Song – or My Dick – ‘We got dicks like Jesus’. Indeed.
Song: I Have Been In You
Artist: Frank Zappa
Album: Sheik Yerbouti
I’ve always loved the humour and lascivious arrogance of Zappa; I don’t care that he was a bit weird, he was also awesome. I Have Been In You is typically brash and somewhat psychedelic – if a little less than is normal for Frank. This song dallies with monologues comparing and contrasting cars, garages, the female form – and their various functions and ensuing maintenance issues. It’s crazy. Just like Frank. And I love it.
Song: Green Fields
Artist: The Good The Bad And The Queen
Album: The Good The Bad And The Queen
This album – and indeed the ‘uber band’ that put it together – arrived in a blaze of glory, headed up by Albarn et al. The History Song got a serious amount of airplay and then; it all kind of disappeared. Disgusted, I pimped it to various friends of mine, utterly convinced it was a work of genius – there wasn’t a track on it I didn’t love and Greenfields was one of the very best. Two to three years later I have mates messaging me on facebook and Twitter telling me: ‘You were right, it is truly beautiful album, etc. I guess for some it was a slow burner – if you haven’t already, listen.
Song: A Boy Named Sue
Artist: Johnny Cash
Album: The Essential Johnny Cash
I was VERY late to the Johnny Cash party. I actually ‘got rhythm’ about two years before watching Walk The Line and then I read Cash:The Autobiography – totally hooked. Despite most white music from the American South actually making me shiver – and not in a good way. A Boy Named Sue trades superbly on Cash’s allegorical style and hints at a troubled relationship with his father; though not with any factual accuracy, of course. It’s laugh out loud funny in parts and captures wonderfully that gritty, southern machismo that offer back-stories to many a Cash classic.
Song: We Danced Together
Artist: The Rakes
Album: Ten New Messages
Saw The Rakes recently (at Codemasters DiRT 2 launch event at NME.) They were every bit as good as I expected them to be, again I have to say that this lot too are undervalued and underrated. Their music exudes a kind of laconic, lazy humour and subtlety that many bands before them (and no doubt after) fail to express. They are a top, top UK act and I really hope they go on to bigger and better things.
We Danced Together conjures images of the very best nights out, the ones that tend to drift back to you in a misty haze about a fortnight later.
Song: I’m Wrong About Everything
Artist: John Wesley Harding
Album: High Fidelity (Soundtrack)
Oh the irony. Another soundtrack pops up and it happens to be one from a film based on categorising things into top 5s and top 10s. A brilliant film too and arguably Cusack’s best work. Singer John Wesley Harding is actually Wesley Stace’s stage name – and a nod to Dylan’s ‘67 album by the same name. Perhaps a little surprisingly, Stace harks from Hastings, Sussex in the UK – and is a self confessed purveyor of ‘Gangsta Folk’ or even ‘Folk Noir’. I’m Wrong About Everything is an emotive, tastefully tailored tapestry of maleness. A perfect retrospective ode to a woman scorned by a man lurching into a mid-life crisis, accompanied only by his blissful ignorance of the fact.
The song centres on his epiphany, his realisation and his attempt to make it all up to her – and is a refreshingly honest appraisal of a man’s role in a modern relationship. So, apparently gangsters from Hastings are more in touch with their emotions than East Coast rivals from, err… Yarmouth?
Thanks for reading about what I’ve been listening to.