On Christmas Day, I put up a post that predicted the events of the first three months of 2019. Therein, Theresa May faked her own disappearance on Ben Nevis to run out the clock on a No Deal Brexit.
For Easter 2019, I was going to have David Bowie rise from the dead, having observed that it was his death that had set the world on a single trip to hell in a hand basket. It was gonna be great stuff.
But after the first three weeks of 2019 – and May’s performance today – it seems that discretion might be the better part of valour. So let’s retreat to the comparative safety of 2018 and check out my favourite tracks of the year in no particular order. (You can check out the 2018 look back into 2017 here.)
Depending on when you’re reading this, the hard copy of my stroke survival memoir is released today (22nd January) and the Edinburgh launch event takes place tomorrow. I’ve pulled together a Spotify playlist to promote it, and it’s only right that it should include a glorious banger – so let’s cheer up with Janelle Monae’s Make Me Feel.
Brilliant. It reminds me of Prince in places, but it doesn’t have that sense of the end of the world that a lot of great early eighties tracks had and 2018 definitely needs. Enter Bristolian punks IDLES, channeling PiL.
Hey. Wasn’t that the tagline of the Better Together campaign in the Scottish independence referendum? Crikey, better get back on the dancefloor. There’s a bit in Stroke where I daydream about returning to the tiny, sweaty Scottish clubs of my youth.
…the sort of whitewashed cube, stuffed with revellers, to which I had threatened to escort [Beth] for these past few years. For now, that was another daydream.
Hopeful, but impossibly sad.
Hmmm. I’m beginning to sense a theme here.
Isn’t that fun?!
And what could be more fun for this Stroke Bloke than a New York City band that first emerged in his NYC heyday, just before everything turned to blood and snotters? And sounds a bit like Devo doing Gut Feeling?
And if it sounds like fun, then lyrics are the icing on the cake.
But that’s quite enough fun. The next track of my eight for 2018 hits all my favourite slightly uncomfortable buttons. Philip K. Dick. The uncanny valley. And what’s more, their aggressively “regional” sound reminds me of the brilliant Maximo Park and makes me think that, notwithstanding their elected representatives, there might be hope for England yet.
Now a nod to Long-Suffering Reader of the Blog Paul, who identified his favourite track of 2018 – and NPR’s All Songs Considered‘s number two track of 2018 in July. If I’m a writer, then Lucy Dacus’s Night Shift has to blow me away with its lyrics. She wins the Courtney Barnett Wurdz Award for 2018.
Oh yeah. Did I say no particular order? I lied.