The living room makeover is almost complete, looking much brighter now. The best thing about an empty house is you can pop the iPod on shuffle and sing along to your heart’s content – mind you I did find myself dancing along at one point forgetting that the whole street could see my moves. In the shuffle I rediscovered some blasts from the past and decided which artist this great weather matches with best.
Sophie B Hawkins was one of the artists that appeared twice during the ten hour painting session. “Right Beside You” and “As I lay me down” both came on and I had forgotten what great tunes they were. The joy of the internet is you can find out what your old faves are up to and Miss Hawkins is still performing and is possibly going to be at the Fringe this year with a show about Janis Joplin. Then there was Semisonic with “Secret Smile” and “All about the Chemistry” both fantastic songs but the band seem to have vanished – the lead signer is a writer now and has won Grammys for his work.
Then there were songs that reminded me of people, some of which I haven’t seen in ages. It’s funny how music can make you think of a person or place even though that song has been played dozens of times in your life it seems to take you to one time and location. There was “Little Miss Can’t be wrong” by the Spin Doctors which took me back to Media Studies in S4 with Andy Stewart as we tried to make a radio show for our production. Andy is someone I connect with a few songs over the years as he was one of those guys who had such an eclectic taste compared to the rest of our age group so if I hear the Levellers, Waterboys or the Wonderstuff he comes to mind. Donna Christie (Nee Watson) who celebrates her birthday today pop to mind when Alanis Morrissette came on; we were both obsessed with “Jagged Little Pill” when it came out and I think we both played it to death. I really like Alanis’s later material too and I think the second album “Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie” is underrated, but then compared to the success of her debut it’s hard to compete with herself.
The underrated artists had an airing too with several Jason Mraz songs appearing on the shuffle. I first saw Jason when he supported James Blunt in Aberdeen back in 2005 and bought his albums because I was so impressed with him. “I’m yours” was his big breakthrough hit in the UK but if you get a chance to listen to either of his first two albums “Waiting for my Rocket to come” and “Mr A-Z” you’re in for a treat. Great lyrics, an amazing vocal range and some beautiful melodies. “Remedy”, “You and I”, “Wordplay” are all great but there’s hardly a duff song on either album. Then “Gordon” by the hugely neglected Barenaked Ladies threw out a couple of tracks – and it combines with the last point about songs that remind you of people. I have to thank Michael “Shilly Shally” Barrie for introducing me to the Canadian quintet during my first Student Show when he gave me this album to listen to – I was hooked instantly and over the years they have produced a strange and varied catalogue. I still think that seeing the Barenaked Ladies at the Aberdeen Music Hall is the best gig I’ve been to – combo of great songs, comedy, improve songs and atmosphere it was a great night.
I said I found the album/artist that this weather pairs up with perfectly and it is the one and only Stevie Wonder. The word genius is often misused about people but in Stevie’s case it doesn’t even begin to cover the talent the man has as a musician, singer and writer. I stopped the shuffle to listen to a dozen or so of his songs and each one went perfectly with the sunshine. The grooves, riffs, melodies and feel of his music is life affirming and soulful. I genuinely can’t think of one of his songs I don’t enjoy listening to and he’s still producing albums and touring constantly. Summer + Stevie = Happiness.
Not only was it great day of great music but lots of memories and sing alongs too. Need to do more painting I think!