Twice today I managed to force myself on my new(ish) health program – the magic of walking. I suppose it is power walking of a sort, as I get my running gear on, pick an album to pop on the MP3 player (just now my mobile phone) and set off, walking as fast as a can for as long as I feel like (around an hour).
Tonight was a walk around one of our areas of scenic beauty in Norrköping, Strömmen (translated directly it’s the stream but it’s a bit bigger than that) in the dark. I realised, once I’d left the lit area, that I was getting a little nervous. It reminded me the stark contrast to when I walked through the park home in Burnley in my early teens, totally oblivious to the real dangers in the area (preferring to worry about witches and the like). In years since I have read about abuse, murder, rape and the like in the stretch between Burnley’s town centre and my family home.
And I’m back on the life is short, life is fleeting, what’s it all mean pondering. I mean, when I started planning my ‘meaning of life’ party this year (as I turn 42), I wasn’t aware just how much of a mid-life crisis I’d put myself through. I suppose at least that means that I’ll live to 84 now instead of 70 (seeing as I had a mid-life crisis party 2005.)
But the walking feels more my thing at the moment, being as the music really inspires me and I also realised today I can walk pretty rapid when I feel like it (especially when it’s dark…).
The album of choice today was Archive and With Us Until You’re Dead and it’s already a classic – I leave you with the first single from the album: Violently
Enter at Your Own Risk – 2011
First up we have the lovely cover: the photo was taken by Karin Strand and the manipulation done by yours truly,
And now I present the tracks that feature on the CD this year. Please note that this year the original list of 18 songs was too long for the CD and so I kept that as a download version, removing two of the tracks for the CD. This is why there are two versions. Feel free to download the one that you prefer.
If you are a user of Spotify, I also have the playlist there. I try to make life as easy as possible but if you have other ideas for the best way to spread the word, let me know.
Enter at Your Own Risk – 2011
- Shattering Sea – Tori Amos
- Perth – Bon Iver
- Several Shades of Why – J Mascis
- High Low Middle – My Brightest Diamond
- Crystalline – Björk
- Lotus Flower – Radiohead
- Shuffle – Bombay Bicycle Club
- You Can Do It (Tee’s Inhouse Mix) – Todd Terry (Only available on the full version)
- Cthulhu Sleeps – Deadmau5 (Only available on the full version)
- Thru and Thru – Gang Gang Dance
- Companions – The Dodos
- Hell Broke Luce – Tom Waits
- Wait – M83
- Streetlight – John Maus
- Marked – EMA
- The Days – Patrick Wolf
- Dear Friends – Elbow
- End Come too Soon – Wild Beasts
Full version (all 18 tracks)
Edited version (16 tracks)
Spotify playlist (all 18 tracks)
Day 18: A song you wish you heard on the radio
I’m not seeming to play by any of the rules here, which I can live with as long as you all can.
A tough one this in that I don’t ever listen to the radio, being as there is so much good music out there that I don’t have time to listen to masses of weak music, hoping for a nugget of genius to shine through. I leave my friends and Last.fm, Metacritic and Pitchfork to find them for me.
However, if I did listen to the radio, I’m pretty sure they never play these guys as they are so undervalued and I’ve never loved a band so much and found that so many of my friends have not heard of them, as I hear with these (maybe with the exception of Sufjan Stevens and Eluvium).
Anyway, a radio station playing these guys might well have me tuning in. They’d need to play a hell of a lot of other great stuff too but this might well be a good start!
Day 19: A song from your favourite album
Oh so easy! Not only has it been my favourite album for over ten years now but it only has five tracks too!
If I have to explain this decision then we don’t really need to speak about music ever again, do we?
Incredible, absolutely incredible!
Day 20: A song that you listen to when you’re angry
I think I missed yesterday didn’t I? Did I? Oh well, never mind, I’m here now…
My first thought was Rage Against the Machine’s Wake Up, as that is one of the regulars on my angry list (yes, I need the angst to get me out of the angst) but then remembered that first on the playlist is ALWAYS this one:
It’s sheer raw power this one and has the lyrics to match. You hear this at volume in my gaff and you know there’s trouble!
Day 21: A song that you listen to when you’re happy
But I’m never happy…*cough*…
Pretty much millions to choose from here and so I’m going to go for a song that I heard for the first time, very recently, thanks to my friend Aleksander. One of those bands that make you wonder how you’ve missed them before!
It’s one of those pop songs by an artist that knows how to make pop songs!
Day 23: A song you want to play at your wedding
I is married, I is, making this a very easy one! This was the song that was chosen for our first dance at our wedding, mostly due to how eerily accurate the lyrics were in reference to our relationship up until Etina agreed to marry me.
Yep, I’m a sucker for the lyrics and for one of the best love songs ever written!
Oozing with perfection this one!
Day 24: A song that you want to play at your funeral
Well, technically speaking I won’t be playing this at my funeral will I, otherwise there will be some pretty freaked out guests there…
But hey enough of this triviality and nit-picking and onto the song – well not the song, as the song I want to be played at my funeral is actually my number one song of all time, and seeing as the main reason for me counting down (and I suspect Steve’s reason too) was that I wanted to release the best song ever as the last post.
But not to leave you empty handed, it would be pretty cool to have this little number at my funeral too, for reasons I’m sure I don’t have to explain:
Day 25: A song that makes you laugh
When I first thought of this, I was thinking that it was mainly due to the video (which is incidentally my favourite video of all time) but then I realised the song is pretty damn funny too – so a winner on both counts! I give you:
The song is fantastic but the video makes it ten times better. The ultimate homage/pastiche/parody of the ‘70s cop films/TV.
Complete with doughnuts!
Day 26: A song that you can play on an instrument
I was all for skipping over this one, seeing as I can’t play an instrument and then I remembered that I actually did learn one tune, whilst taking guitar lessons. It’s a Swedish lullaby and I just found it on YouTube with English subtitles, so even you lazy so and sos who haven’t taken the time to learn Swedish yet can enjoy:
Byssan Lull as promo for a console game…
It’s a very simple, yet very effective tune and even though I doubt I could play it now, I could, once upon a time!