Wednesday, 31 August 2011

TMI Wednesday: Music!

Hooray, I'm almost two days late for doing this TMI Tuesday! I'm sorry, but it's about music. I couldn't resist for much longer!

The lesson learned, I think, is that you should never ask the following questions to a wannabe musician. They don't hold up well under the onslaught of walls of text.

1. What’s the most annoying song in the world?

Oh, there are loads. I think the Crazy Frog version of Popcorn is a good contender. I thought it wouldn't get any worse after he did that version of Axel F, but he managed to do it somehow. Because I Got High by Afroman is also somewhat shit.

But the absolute winner is the proposed theme tune for the revised series 9 of Knightmare, which never got made. For the uninitiated, Knightmare is a dark fantasy set in a gloomy dungeon world. The theme tune was some comedy MIDI organ music which sounded like someone had made love to a carousel with a vocoder screaming "Knightmare, it's a Knightmare" over it. I wonder if they put that in as a joke.

2. What’s the saddest song in the world?

Pure Shores by All Saints. It always makes me cry and it's not even all that sad. Nor is it at all memorable. But then again, I cry at most things.

3. What’s the sexiest song in the world?

It depends what you class as sexy. There are certainly a lot of songs about sex. Take My Neck, My Back by Khia. That's about sex, but it's nauseating, rather than sexy.

I'm tempted to name one of my songs here, but all the songs about sex I write are funny ones, and hardly really meant to be provocative. I think the thing about a sexy song is the way it's performed, rather than the way it's done. So I name here Hips Don't Lie... for obvious reasons.

5. Have you met any famous musicians?

All of James! And one ex-member of... er... James! I'm sure there must be others, but I can't remember them.

6. What song best describes your life?

Sing! from A Chorus Line, because I can't sing...
I Like by The Divine Comedy, because it describes the way I love...
Holiday In My Head by Smash Mouth, because I retreat into my head a lot...
Blue Pastures by James, because I get depressed sometimes...

...and any of the songs I've written about various aspects of my life, like the one about parking in St Ives, being bored on Sunday nights, playing hentai games or making love on the bathroom floor.

7. How important is your partner’s taste in music to you?

My "partner" (how quaint!) would have to have a good taste in music. It doesn't have to be the same as mine, but it has to be good. Fortunately, all three girlfriends have had good tastes in music, with the possible exception of Rebecca, who liked Sum41.

8. Do you sing in the shower?

What else is a shower for?!

9. What was the last live music show you attended? Did you buy a t-shirt?

Goldie Lookin' Chain in Camden in March. It was really funny but quite painful from all the moshing. They are a great band though, one of the most hilarious and clever with their lyrics. There weren't any T-shirts for sale, though.

10. What’s the sweetest song in the world?

Upside, by... James. Find it, give it a listen and then tell me you've heard anything sweeter. (My version of Friday doesn't count. It's me that's sweet, not the song!)

11. Can you play a musical instrument? Which one?

Vocal. Guitar. Violin. Drums. Bass. Xylophone. Ocarina.Timpani. I can also play all types of percussion untuned and I wrote a song on the glockenspiel the other day, even though I haven't touched a glockenspiel for years. I also once played a song on the ukulele, although I can't actually play the ukulele. But I managed to play Sit Down, by... er... James!

12. Are you in a band or are you a performing solo music artist? If yes, what kind of music do you play?


I used to be in a band that I started because I wanted to be in a band. We played basically offbeat indie rock, which was quite fun. This band never actually officially ended, but we went on hiatus earlier this year because basically we all had other things to work on. I missed being in a band for a while until 47 asked me to play guitar in his band. I've been in his band before, as backing vocalist/dancer/percussionist, but he's reanimated it and I'm now the guitarist. Odd how these things happen. This is more indie rock, but with more of a prog influence to it. It's also harder, in terms of the sound and the difficulty to play!

My solo stuff has changed radically. I used to be doing things that I didn't do in the band, like funk, experimental synthpop, electronica and classical composition! But over time, I basically realised that my strength lay in writing lyrics, and I eventually went back to writing more traditional songs. People started laughing during gigs and eventually 47 told me I should be a comedian. So I said something like, "yeah, okay." And now my songs are played for humour. Strange, but cool.

13. Have you ever dated a musician?

Nope. Rebecca wanted to be a singer, but to be honest she wasn't all that good. TD could sing beautifully, but she lacked confidence. She also allegedly had grade 8 piano and violin, but I never saw her play anything. Again I think she lacked confidence. You can hear her singing in one of my songs, though. cutieloveheartgirl, however, has won prizes for her singing, so I think she's the closest to a successful musician! Brava!

14. Are you a groupie?

Depends what you class as a groupie. I don't travel with a specific band, so no, I'm not a groupie. I know snowdrop is a James groupie, kind of. They know who she is, at least, although they know me only by sight. And she goes to their after-show parties and stuff. I don't, bah!

Closest I've ever been is official photographer/videographer for a touring Glaswegian band, because I know their drummer. I turned up to their one and only London gig so far and he asked me to film them, so I did. And I got in for free because of that! Amazing!

Bonus: Describe your worst, best, strangest, funniest or saddest concert moment.

James, Hoxton, May 2007.

ILB: "When's the album out?"
Tim: "What?"
ILB: "When's the album out?"
Tim: "Oh, we're going to go into the studio in September, and the album'll be out sometime next year."
47: "That's too long!"
Saul: "Yeah, of course it's too long. It'll be about sixty-five minutes! And you'll all be, like, why didn't they make nine tracks? There are nine great tracks there, why'd they have to do fourteen?"
Tim: "Brian Eno used to have this saying, like, MAKE LESS MUSIC. He used to go around with a badge on saying MAKE LESS MUSIC."
Saul: "And you're all thinking the same thing tonight... make less music."
[He starts playing "Getting Away With It (All Messed Up)". Dave joins in, followed by Andy. The audience clap along.]
Larry: "Oh, don't clap, you'll only make him worse!"
Tim: "You've confused him how, he's fuckin' completely lost his time!"

The amazing thing is the fact that this wasn't a false start - they built up and went straight into the song. If you want the MP3, ask me. 47 bootlegged it.

Bonus, Bonus: If you listen to the radio, what station and type of music are you tuned to the most?

BBC 6 Music. It's good background music to anything.


Anonymous said...

You think Pure Shores is the saddest song? I consider it a very sexy song... It makes me think of sex on a deserted beach or in the sea.

And totally yes on the Crazy Frog thing. That was so big here, by the end I wanted to tear my ears off.

My Neck, My Back is fucking disgusting.

You play the glockenspiel? That is some kind of awesome. I used to play a mean bit of djembé, which I think I mentioned to you?

Catharine said...

You're the only person who has ever accused me of having good taste in music...

Innocent Loverboy said...


(i) I can't believe Crazy Frog actually released two albums (yes, there were two - not singles, albums, considering that the concept was nicking songs and sampling that annoying motorbike noise.

(ii) It's just a really dirty song. It was big during my university days, so I used to dance to it in the clubs, feeling slightly sullied by the fact that this stuff was in the song. The oral sex reference was okay, if a bit too overt - but I'm still not too comfortable with a black person saying the word "nigga" and making it cool.

(iii) Djembé! That's an awesome instrument. I play that too. I don't own one, but 47 has one and there's some on our albums (my band, not his). After I started playing percussion, I got much better at it!

(iv) Oh, check out Barenaked Ladies as well. They're a fantastic band and named after you!


You do have a fantastic taste in music! You like Journey! And stadium rock is fantastic! (I tried to write a stadium rock song once. It didn't work, mostly because I played it to an audience of 4 in a tiny room.)

Catharine said...


Anonymous said...

The shit that Frog thing caused to my ears... I'll never get over it, I swear.

I can't place the song on the timeline of my life, but it was pretty huge with the yoof. I prefer Oops (Oh My) by Tweet.

Do you have any Barenaked Ladies songs you can recommend? I've listened to some stuff and I quite like them. Also discovered that their song, One Little Slip, was covered by a guy who came second in Idols over here...

(word verfication was an actual word: prone)

Innocent Loverboy said...

For Barenaked Ladies goodness, One Week is their hit, but also try songs like Pinch Me, Another Postcard, Show Box and If I Had $1,000,000.

Any of their stuff is good though, they're a brilliant band. Maybe not quite in my top 5, but near enough. Maybe 6th.