Yeah, we're branching out. Rather than do our own background work to a downloadable theme, every so often we're going to pin down someone we openly like and browbeat them until they give us a list of songs they'd put on a mixtape to explain their influences, background etc. First cab off the rank, please welcome the selections of Alexei Berrow, artful shouter and guitar mangler at the front of Johnny Foreigner. They have a new single out next week, which sounds a little like this:
All opinions are those of Alexei Berrow and do not necessarily reflect those of Sweeping The Nation or Blogger.
STN vs Johnny Foreigner
Urusei Yatsura - Thank You
I got into Urusei approx. a day after they split. Then I heard this, and the sheer emotional POW! of hearing someone telling you they're giving up over such a perfect song made me first wonder if I should be dancing or weeping, and then buy everything i could find. And there was a lot, most of it glittery and superltd, and it was all amazing.
From Everybody Loves Urusei Yatsura
Pavement - Grounded
Pavement, Pixies, Sonic Youth are year zero to us. and, as such, even their greatest songs tend to atrophy with a million repeated plays. Not this song tho. To the extent of, we used to play it ourselves for ages and it's still not been ruined.
From Wowee Zowee
Bright Eyes - The City Has Sex
Before he was THE ONE for all my female friends circa 2003, Bright Eyes was these little angsty country songs I used to annoy my friend Jim by playing constantly when he was round my flat. Perfect lyrics, amazing arrangments, crying over girls had never been so catchy or cathartic. Of course, it was too perfect to stay ours. Now I hear he has people to pick girls from the crowd each night for him to fuck. He's not my hero no more, sir.
From Letting Off The Happiness
Idlewild - Everyone Says You're So Fragile
Idlewild were like our gods. Watching them go from playing our shitty locals to filling out the Wulfrun, with an ever increasing list of AMAZING melody bomb singles, was the first time I ever felt righteous about the music I love. American English ruined everything forever, obviously, but I went Pavlov-mental last time I saw them and they played this. WAH!
From Hope Is Important
Broken Social Scene - Ibi Dreams Of Pavement (A Better Day)
Was so so nervous the first time heard this. I feel like I lived inside You Forgot It In People for about a year. Please dont have gone rubbish, Broken Social Scene, yr teetering so precariously over so many pretentious/prog/production mines. And then this song comes on and I was like FUCCCCCCCCCCK YEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSS!!!!!
From Broken Social Scene
Smashing Pumpkins - Today
Cos when I was a 6th form, me and Craig Middleton would get in extra early to secure the common room ghetto blaster. And this is what we'd play, allthefuckingtime. and it was like, a small chunk of awesomeness in two years of shit.
From Siamese Dream
Los Campesinos! - Sweet Dreams, Sweet Cheeks
Dananananaykroyd - Some Dresses
Probably the only time these two songs should be listed together, hearing them a couple of years ago when we were broke and almost broken and altogether all less acclaimed, thinking WOW there are others like us out there! was super reassuring.
These are the original demo and original single versions: check against the re-records on Hold On Now, Youngster... and Hey Everyone! respectively
Distophia - Thug Passion
Local band that should have been less local. Beat Dyslexia, the last, unreleased album, is the sound of my friends taking ideas from every bit of music we love and shoving them into these fucking incredible tight pop songs. I've met London Industry types and ended up speaking to them about how great this band was. And they go, oh yeh, Distophia, they had no image, that was their problem. And I go, no, you dumb fuck THAT WAS THE POINT. Then I end them. And I'd like to think the amount of posthumous love this band gets on DiS proves me right. Love live Calories.
The Starries - Feature 85
Another local band, slighter older than me and mine, constantly drunk and out of tune and under-rehearsed and long split up, but with the most perfect discordant indie rock songs ever. The greatest Birmingham band ever, IMO. I still don't think they had any idea how amazingly great they where.
Cap'n Jazz - Little League
Modest Mouse - Dukes Up
Rapider Than Horsepower - Autumn Season
Not the greatest songs on their parent albums, but the first I heard through mix CDs and Epitonic (aaaaaaaaah, Epitonic) I judge people I meet on their reactions to these albums. Those that go: but, its so out of tune, they can't even play properly, I arrange to be shot, and those that are left with big happy faces from the sheer JOY they have just heard, and have goosebumps because they didn't know one could receive such JOY from a bunch of noises in the ear, I love and hold and cherish forever.
From, respectively, Analphabetapolothology, Sad Sappy Sucker and What's Our Visibility?, which we can't find a sale link for.
Sleeper - What Do I Do Now?
Is the greatest British guitar song of the 20th century. I'm not in the slightest upset that people will snort over this, they are idiots and I pity them.
From The It Girl
Rainer Maria - The Contents Of Lincoln's Pockets
I always feel faintly embarrassed when people complement our vocal arrangments. Thanks, I should say, make sure you never listen to early Rainer Maria! I dont care about the contents of Lincoln's pockets, but this song is actually PERFECT.
From A Better Version Of Me
Owls - Holy Fucking Ghost
I could put any Owls song on really, the album should be listened to whole, but this is like a thematic summary of all the other songs so serves purpose well. I once spent a whole summer doing nothing but taking pills and lazing around my house with these True Metal Girls. Mutual Kinsella loving was our only musical common ground, and this record is the ultimate comedown saver (and still my default answer when anyone asks me, whats the best album ever made)
AC Acoustics - B2
I know it's not their best song, I know it's a dEUS steal, I listened to it just now and I don't even know if it's a good song anymore. but nothing else will ever remind me of going to Helen Elwood's house for Christmas 2001, which is a beautiful memory.
From Understanding Music
Radiohead - Vegetable
I am a fat depressive teenage mess alone on a bus crowded full of idiots from my school who DON'T UNDERSTAND ME, and I have a tape with Pablo Honey on and as soon as I put my headphones on everything is alright forever. And it was.
From Pablo Honey
Stapleton - Chez Chef
THE ORIGINAL VERSION YEH? thx. Not their best song by quite a way (tho, the worst Stapleton is better than 99.9% of other songs) but it totally reminds me of going to see them, shakily passing tickets over barriers for them to awkwardly sign. If I'm allowed a hidden track I'd like it to be the whole of On The Enjoyment Of Unpleasant Places, the mini album that preceded these EPs. Best car journey album ever.
From Chez Chef EP