This song feels completely perfect this morning – such a wistful, humble, earnest little song. I don’t often find myself in an Oasis mood, but the news of a Liam Gallagher Beatles movie (no one saw that coming) led me to delve and talk a bit about their songs and the ones that stick with me.
This one is the flawless complement to this silvery-grey swirl of conflicting feelings I always have after a visceral few days back in my hometown. Solo Noel Gallagher renditions are often my favorites of the Oasis catalog, and the addition of the strings makes it even more right. When I listen to this song, it vibrates with youth and a sort of naive longing.
I like this concept immensely. Back in 2006, Noel Gallagher and Gem Archer did a series of ace live semi-acoustic shows, and at the show on November 26th at London’s Union Chapel they performed Ryan Adams’ arrangement of their song “Wonderwall.” So, so cool to hear them taking on his haunting interpretation, even down to that winding countermelody that Ryan weaves into it.
Say what you will about Oasis (and believe me, for years I did) but two facts that I find undeniably true about them are these: 1) They have made some stomping rock and roll 2) They are never, ever boring to listen to when they talk (when you can understand them)
The contest I launched last weekend was for folks to provide me with the best Gallagher brothers quote that they know of, with two lucky winners getting the new Oasis song “Lord Don’t Slow Me Down“ on a 12-inch vinyl. I don’t exactly understand why you need all those inches for one song –I thought it was 7″– but I ain’t complaining. Maybe the winners can let me know what the extra five inches are for (that’s what she said–sorry, Office joke).
So these winners I picked based on whose quotes made me laugh out loud. Pretty simple.
The two winners are Tony and Christopher:
The conversation between Carson Daly and Liam Gallagher on TRL: Carson – “How are you feeling?” Liam – “God-like”
“Some stuff got damaged, a fire extinguisher got let off in the house. As rock’n'roll as I am, you can’t be making record with foam all over the fucking place.”
- Noel Gallagher, in a Mojo article talking about a 1995 fight between he and Liam in their studio that ended with the ‘doors kicked off, the kitchen wrecked, fridges overturned’, the guitar player locking away air rifles and both of them ‘rolling in the grass, hitting each other with a cricket bat’.
Now that’s just good fun. I’d kinda want to be there for that.
A close runner-up was also this one, who might get something yet:
“What would you rather read? ‘The guy from Keane’s been to a rabbit sanctuary ‘cos one of the rabbits needed a kidney implant, so he swapped his with it’ â€” or ‘Liam Gallagher sets fire to a policeman in cocaine madness while his brother Noel runs down Oxford Street nude’?”
- Noel Gallagher on why he speaks the truth to the press
And finally, if I were entering my own contest, here is what I would quote: “I was walking along and this chair came flying past me, and another, and another, and I thought, man, is this gonna be a good night.” -Liam Gallagher
New contest for the weekend! I am in NYC still this morning, and thankfully the sun finally came out. I think we’re going to Central Park and a pass by the Dakota this morning, brunch at “Sarabeth’s” and then a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge? I’ve walked through about 8 or 11 or a million neighborhoods; feet are protesting but I am continuing to have my way with them, regardless of what they want. There’s just too much good stuff to see. We also may be on a frozen yogurt quest later since we enjoyed this all-the-rage sour kind yesterday in Greenwich Village and we pretty much just keep talking about it.
My friend’s Queens apartment is stocked with many shelves of fabulous books but no turntable, however, I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on this sweet ‘lil prize pack that I’ll put up for today.
CONTEST: I’ve got two 7″ vinyl singles of the new Oasis tune “Lord Don’t Slow Me Down” to bestow on someone’s collection. The song is from their new forthcoming DVD by the same name, which includes both the feature-length documentary that screened in select theatres last year tracing their 2005 tour (and shenanigans) but also a second disc of straight live concert footage from their epic homecoming show in Manchester.
Listen to the song and watch the little video dealie here:
To enter your name to win seven inches of goodness, please leave me a comment, and to amuse me also include a favorite Gallagher brother quote. There’s no shortage of obnoxious, ridiculous, hilarious things these boys have said over the years, so you’ve got lots of options.
As always, make sure I have a way to contact you, and maybe spell out that email addy to avoid spamalot. I’ll wrap up this contest sometime after I get back from NYC, so early next week. Lookee what you win:
Oh, and an update: In all this travel excitement, I didn’t forget about you guys and that Dylan “I’m Not There” soundtrack CD contest that wrapped Wednesday. There were a total of 97 comments, and I wanted to pick a random pair of winners, so I went up to strangers in the airport and asked them to pick a number between one and 97. Um, a few strange looks later, I got my two numbers, and will be contacting the lucky winners. I will probably do a Dylan covers post at some point in the future, since you guys came up with some amazingly random and interesting-sounding versions.
Britain in the mid-90s was a chaotic, creative, music-centric place to be. As Thatcher’s tenure as PM ended and a fresh start began under Tony Blair and the New Labour party, there was a simultaneous crackle and thrum of musical vibrancy that is explored in the 2003 documentary Live Forever (by filmmaker John Dower). On the surface it’s the story of the music, the “Britpop sound” and those who made it, but it also tries to get deeper underneath to look at the society at that moment and what fed this burgeoning supernova.
As a complete outsider to this specific moment in world history myself, but a fan of the music that ended up on my plate because of it, I thought it was fascinating to see one view of the context behind it. As Louise Wener from the band Sleeper says of those days, “There was a sense of a kind of excitement that something was changing — perhaps this music was foreshadowing something else.” The documentary undertakes the Herculean task of trying to examine the music through the social and political context of the mid-90s, teasing out its larger implications to the fabric of a generation. This is always tricky.
The story is mostly told through first person interviews from those who were there. You’ve got the big three represented in Oasis, Blur and Pulp, but also a number of other musicians and commentators. These conversations were illuminating and entertaining — not counting a few statements of general unfair snobbery related to my own culture, like “Americans have tremendous confidence, but not much talent,” and one remark that I obviously vehemently disagreed with regarding Seattle music of the time: “The only really decent group were Nirvana” (I said “Unh!” to myself and looked around at no one else sitting there with me, in indignation).
Along with snippets of music videos, concerts, newsclips and articles, the interviews carry the bulk of the story. Damon Albarn seems to have grown up quite a bit, his segments were pensive and thoughtful, accompanied by his strumming on a ukulele. Jarvis Cocker had some fantastic stories of those years and I enjoyed hearing his articulate reflection (but really, whatever he says, I just love his voice – deliciously smarmy and all rich velvet molasses). Liam was a complete wanker for most of his bits –so secure in his obvious awesomeness, relentlessly turning questions back around on the filmmakers, giving evasive answers, sitting there with that haircut and those mirrored shades sounding like he’s got a mouthful of marbles– but Noel was hilarious and awesome. Example: Towards the end, Noel’s talking about how they were in a studio one day next door to the prepubescent dance-pop of S Club 7, and how he seriously thought they were “special needs kids” there for a tour of the studios and for the free food. Touche.
The film goes through the peak years of the Britpop sound, which were right smack in the middle of my high school years — a time when pretty much every single act coming out of Britain making pop/rock music was tagged part of “The Britpop Movement.” As surely as so-called “grunge bands” of ’90s Seattle shrugged away from the label, many of these Britpop bands weren’t thrilled with the simplistic categorization, but it did create a crackling excitement and level of buzz for their music that took them places they otherwise wouldn’t have gone just a decade prior.
So which Britain was it?
Is it the carefree abandonment of youth epitomized by Supergrass frolicking on the beach, singing lines like:
We are young, we run green, keep our teeth, nice and clean see our friends, see the sights, feel alright
We wake up, we go out, smoke a fag, put it out see our friends, see the sights, feel alright
But we are young, we get by, can’t go mad, ain’t got time Sleep around, if we like, but we’re alright
The disaffected uncertainty (yet faith in music) of The Verve in “This Is Music”?
I stand accused, just like you for being born without a silver spoon Stood at the top of a hill Over my town I was found
I’ve been on the shelf too long Sitting at home on my bed too long Got my things and now I’m gone How’s the world gonna take me?
. . . Well music is my life and loved by me I’m gonna move on the floor with my sweet young thing Down down down, down we go till I reach the bottom of my soul This is music
Blur’s cocky questioning of having it all in “Parklife”? The paranoia and ‘the sound of loneliness turned up to ten’ of Pulp’s “Fear”? The indomitable conviction that you and I are gonna live forever?
Listening to the variety of sounds coming out of Britain at the time –all classified by someone or another as Britpop– shows you a bit of how meaningless the term really was. In the film, an interviewer asks Jarvis Cocker of Pulp as he sits on his bed by an open window, curtain fluttering in the breeze, about how his song Common People was called by one reviewer, “the perfect encapsulation of the Britpop aesthetic.” Jarvis just shakes his head, sighs a little, and says, “Oh no.”
Regardless of what it all means (and really, who knows what it all means), this is good music, and the film is 86 minutes well spent.
I had a lot of fun putting this mix together after watching the documentary, combining songs I remember liking the first time around with new discoveries and recommendations from friends on that side of the Pond. According to the film, the Britpop sound inhabited a relatively ephemeral period of time, starting ’round 1992, hitting boiling point in April ’94 with the release of Blur’s Parklife, followed in August by Oasis’ Definitely Maybe. In a similar scene that echoes the film Hype!, bands were getting signed at the height of the frenzy after having played together for mere weeks, with only a handful of songs written.
Some say that the death of the era came with a resounding thud in August ’97 with the release of the cocaine haze manifesto Be Here Now by Oasis. Other say it ended more around the time that footballer Gareth Southgate missed a penalty kick in the Euro ’96 semifinals against Germany. Come on. Is an era that exact? Go ahead and argue either way, influences started before then and the sound carried on after, but I’ve tried to mostly focus my own little mix in the thick of things, from ’94-’97.
And as with any label, you can debate it til the cows come home who fits into the category or not, so some of these may not gel in your mind as Britpop. I lack the immediate expert knowledge in this area, being more of a “grunge rock” girl myself when this was all going down (I shudder at that term, see?!). Snag the whole zip, enjoy the flow for some perfect weekend listening. In general, these make me feel a jaunty sense of optimism — and maybe slightly disaffected, but such were the Nineties, right?
No need to hide — there’s a new compilation CD coming out August 28 from Engine Room Recordings called Guilt By Association, which nobly is working to “bridge the gap between TRL and Pitchfork.” It’s a shrewd concept album which realizes that for each of us, maybe behind those thick black spectacles, chunky haircut, and Strokes t-shirt, is a soul screaming along the words to Mariah Carey on our car stereos.
A project of Engine Room Recording’s co-founder Peter Block, working with music supervisors Randall Poster and Jim Dunbar (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The School of Rock and my second-favorite TV show Lost), the album asks the indie stars of today to reinterpret their favorite guilty pleasure songs for our auditory enjoyment. There are hits and misses (and I boldly do not feel guilty about liking some of these originals), but check the tracklist –
GUILT BY ASSOCIATION 1. Petra Haden: “Don’t Stop Believin’” (Journey) 2. Devendra Banhart: “Don’t Look Back In Anger” (Oasis) 3. Mark Mulcahy: “From This Moment On” (Shania Twain) 4. Luna: “Straight Up” (Paula Abdul) 5. The Concretes: “Back For Good” (Take That) 6. Jim O’Rourke: “Viva Forever” (Spice Girls) 7. Goat: “Sugar We’re Going Down” (Fall Out Boy) 8. Will Oldham/Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy” “Can’t Take That Away” (Mariah Carey) 9. Woody Jackson Orchestra featuring Money Mark: Love’s Theme (Love Unlimited Orchestra) 10. Porter Block: “Breaking Free” (High School Musical) 11. Mooney Suzuki: “Just Like Jesse James” (Cher) 12. Geoff Farina: “Two Tickets To Paradise” (Eddie Money) 13. Casey Shea: “Chop Suey” (System of a Down) 14. Superchunk: “Say My Name” (Destiny’s Child) 15. Mike Watt: “Burning For You” (Blue Oyster Cult)
The arguably crazyDevendra Banhart has been called “one of our favorite freaky people” by The Black Crowes, and here he takes on Oasis with his trademark warbly folk meandering. If you prefer fragile delicacy over confident generational anthems, this is just for you:
Don’t Look Back In Anger (Oasis cover) – Devendra Banhart (link removed)
Will Oldham / Bonnie “Prince” Billy busts out the aforementioned Mariah Carey. Well, not exactly busts out. More like lets the slow jam ebb out. It’s playful and surprisingly enjoyable.
Can’t Take That Away (Mariah Carey cover) – Will Oldham/Bonnie “Prince” Billy (link removed)
Go to the MySpace page to hear Petra Haden tip her hat to my boys in Journey with a sunny acapella-harmony-deelite version of “Don’t Stop Believin’” with some Wilson Phillips tossed in at the end just to really drive that guilty pleasure idea home. I think that the last time I did karaoke I tried my hand at covering the same song; pretty sure it didn’t sound as bubblegum delectable. The crowd may have, in fact, stopped believing, despite my exhortations to the contrary.
I have to admit that I had waaaay more fun judging this Oasis contest than I ever thought I would.
I was psychoanalyzing the roots of my longstanding distaste of Oasis (to be totally honest here), and I think it springs from the fact that when they first hit the scene, they were such the antithesis of the musicians I was fondest of at the time, namely Eddie Vedder and Kurt Cobain. Whereas I was passionately in love with music from these bands fronted by the strong, silent (sullen) types who were full of rage, here came these cocky brothers who thought they were the best thing since Lennon himself, and my first impression was just “no thank you” and I went on from there, not really reconsidering.
Slowly I’ve been giving them a chance, and completely admitting that they’ve got some great songs that have a place in my musical library. There’s room in the world of music for all types, and I guess the Gallagher brothers fill a special little niche that is all their swaggering own. The reason I enjoyed judging this contest is because I actually sought out all the moments that you guys referenced, the specific live versions where possible, and tried to understand those feelings you all so fervently and eloquently referenced. And it really did the music-lover in me good. So thanks for each and every entry, they were truly fantastic.
Picking an actual winner was hard, as always. I tried to extract from your answers not only who cited the best “moment,” but also who seemed to me like they would enjoy the prize the most. Pretty abstract, huh? But throughout all the judging, I kept coming back to one of the earliest entries (Brian’s, on the ending of “Champagne Supernova” — which was nicely bookended by Tommy’s later comment on the start of that same song, and Kristina’s well-spoken dissertation). Brian wrote a weighty tome that not only read like finely crafted liner-notes, or some momentous Hall-of-Fame induction speech, but also showed a pretty obsessive level of knowledge of the band (down to the color & model of Noel’s guitar). The clincher was probably the use of vocabulary like epochal, nostalgic soundscape and sonic signpost. I’m a vocab nerd at heart. So congrats Brian! I think you’ll enjoy the print.
There were several very close runners up that I wanted to comment on, and post a few related songs for your enjoyment. Start with this one that was so random I just loved it:
Ûž dom said… –>feint cheering of crowd –>undecipherable liam utterance –>feedback kicking in
–>crashing guitars, more feedback
‘wassup…..dunt matter if it’s outta choon. doesn’t matter if it’s out of choon…..cos yoor kewl’
–>cymbals –>guitar intro to one of the best cover versions ever recorded – I Am The Walrus.
Imagine yourself on a sunny Friday afternoon driving a banged up Jeep with top down north up the 15 from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. As you drive past Barstow, and the In-N -Out begins to settle, the road clears for miles. Your mix has already thrown on Wiser Time, One Big Holiday and MFC, and as you take a moment to exhale and enjoy the beauty around you, the sound of a guitar being plugged in blares through your speakers.
Now you’re thinking, ok, this guy’s moment is the opening riff of “Cigarettes and Alcohol,” right? Nope. It ain’t about the riff baby.
It’s all about the drum fill!
My moment is that stops my clock every time is that “clacky clack” drum fill that follows the opening riff of one epic road song that Hunter S. Thompson himself would approve of.
I challenge you to listen to it in your car and not attempt to air drum that fill! Go on try it! I dare you. It’s physically impossible. Scientists should be doing a study on it.
(You have to air drum that fill, it follows that same musical law that states by just mentioning the song “Tainted Love,” it automatically get stuck in your head for the day.)
Report back to me if you used “air sticks” or just pounded your hands right on the damn steering wheel! Also, let me know if you sang out at the top of your lungs the opening line “Is it my imagination, or have I finally found something worth living for?” complete with British accent or not. If you didn’t do any sort of these acts, you are inhuman and have no soul.
Ûž Christopher said… Heather….this is an easy one..from their live, double-disc album, “Familiar to Millions”……there is a few seconds towards the end of “Don’t Look Back in Anger” when you can actually feel the crowd ready to chant…
Ûž Krista wrote a lovely and personally meaningful entry about how “Don’t Go Away” was especially important to her during a rough patch with her dad, and I wanted to share with her (and you all too) my favorite version of that song, a live acoustic version that roughly sounds reminiscent of the concert she wrote about:
Ûž Then Ian pointed out a nice little b-side, and provided the tune:
Ian said… Hands down, the whistle-solo at 3:12 on “Flashbax” — okay … it’s actually 41 seconds long, but hey, c’mon…
It’s not just the whistling though, it’s the way every single instrument interplays with each other during that spot of the song. It is absolutely positively amazing… and it’s a side of Oasis we don’t really get to see often.
If you haven’t heard the song (and just about every Oasis fan I’ve ever met never even knew it existed), you’ll either need to get your hands on the All Around the World single, or …. [here he links to the mp3]. In my opinion, it’s the best Oasis B-Side ever recorded… and it has a WHISTLING SOLO!!!
So you didn’t win the Damien Rice lithograph? Your walls are still naked and sad? Well now you have a chance to snag yourself something with a little cool history to it, and autographed to boot (no, not by me, although I suppose that could be arranged).
The cover art for the new Oasis greatest-hits collection Stop The Clockswas designed by Peter Blake, most famous for his work on the graphic design of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band cover. I’ve got one lithograph print of the cover artwork (only 100 made) which is autographed by both Noel Gallagher and Peter Blake for your visual enjoyment, superfan satisfaction, and party conversation-starting.
As someone commented on a recent post, Oasis makes some “straight up, plug your guitar in, turn it up to 10, smack you in your face rock n roll. Need more of it. Too much of this sad sap introspective indie going around.” That made me smile.
Bear with me on this idea for how to win. Ready? Okay. If you could “stop the clocks” (groan) on one Oasis song at one specific moment, what is it? I am not looking for your favorite Oasis song per se, but your favorite moment or segment of an Oasis song. I think some of you are feelin’ me on this, you love the little moments in a song — it could be a lyric and the way it perfectly combines with a melody, a scorching bridge, a hanging silence between drumbeats, or even an exhalation at the start of a song. What’s yours from the Gallagher gents and why?
For the purposes of this contest, I’d define a “moment” as less than 30 seconds of a song, max. And the contest will run the week (through Friday) and I’ll make the decision over the weekend. Unleash your musical thinker.
The song titled “Stop The Clocks” was rumored to be on the compilation, a much-anticipated release of a song that Noel says in a typically humble and understated fashion is probably one of the best songs he’s ever written, but has never seen the official light of day. The new album was even named after it, but it was pulled from the line-up, and now exists only in poor-quality rip-off hoaxes found online. Read the whole torrid story here.
Following his appearance in New York for the premiere of the new Oasis tour documentary Lord Don’t Slow Me Down (which involves girls flashing their boobies at the Gallagher lads, and midgets jumping out of cakes?), Noel Gallagher played a glittering acoustic set in Toronto last Tuesday with guitarist Gem Archer. Thanks to James in Ontario, I’ve got a splendid recording of the full show for you in mp3 (the same setlist he played Thursday in Los Angeles). It is laden with rarities and b-sides, and even a Beatles cover. I’ve always preferred Oasis songs that Noel takes lead on, and as Torr says with his characteristic frankness and humor, this is “a glimpse into how great Noel could be without his knobhead of a brother.”
Noel Gallagher November 7, 2006 Danforth Music Hall, Toronto
I posted something once before with a similar title [see: Like the Musee D'Orsay come to life] –because I love seeing intelligent and creative interpretations of art set to music.
I nearly minored in art history (which is a fancy way of saying that I love wandering around in old museums but was a bit too lazy to finish the upper-division coursework for the minor), and often “see” music in a visual way, so whenever a band can create something that reminds me of a painting, I am all over that action. Oasis has a new animated video for their b-side song “Masterplan.” It’s mostly a jaunt through hometown Manchester with the boys, but the cool thing about it is how it resurrects the best paintings of L.S. Lowry into an industrial landscape in motion.
L.S. Lowry was also from Manchester, England, and lived from 1887 to 1976. Most of his paintings were muted landscapes of the industrial areas where he lived, often populated by so-called “matchstick men” (fairly simplistic, slim, homogenic folk) with an almost primitive and flat representation of perspective. There’s a certain autumal beauty to the tones he uses, and a charming air about his works.
Here’s one of L.S. Lowry’s paintings — “Coming Out Of School” 1927, Tate Gallery:
Now watch what Oasis does with the same stylistic idea. If you are familiar at all with some of the more well-known works by Lowry, you’ll see that many of his paintings are represented in the content of this video (i.e. Man Lying On A Wall, Fairground At Daisy Nook). Oasis worked with Lowry’s estate and received their blessing on the endeavor, which they hope will bring “a fresh new image” to good ole’ L.S.
The song itself is lovely and I think it’s a nice touch how the original 5 band members walk (well, Liam struts) past actual Manchester landmarks. Good on Oasis for giving props to a fellow Mancunian through their video, possibly even sending a few kids scurrying to crack open an art history reference book. Watch:
Oasis is busy workin’ it in support of the release of a greatest hits collection (Stop The Clocks! It’s out November 13!) and Noel Gallagher is set to appear in NYC at the premiere of the new tour documentary Lord Don’t Slow Me Down (CMJ FilmFest, November 4th).
Name: Heather Browne Location: Colorado, originally by way of California Giving context to the torrent since 2005.
"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel." —Hunter S. Thompson
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