Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Music to Cut Grass by (Vol 2)

More grass-cutting, more music...

* The Byrds - Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There is a Season) (1965)

'A time to reap', it's practically about cutting grass! Plus it has some of the loveliest jangling Rickenbacker guitar known to man.

* The Beach Boys - Disney Girls (1957) (from Surf's Up (1971)

Bruce Johnston's achingly nostalgic song is bathed in a warm summery glow that isn't as 'outdoorsy' as more typical Beach Boys fare but has a contemplative quality perfect for the solitary pursuit of garden maintenance.

* Trini Lopez - Lalainia (from The Whole Enchilada, 1968)

A lovely, latin-tinged cover of Donovan's already quite lovely song, with typically excellent guitar playing by the sometimes cheesy crooner.

* The Doors - Love Street (from Waiting for the Sun (1968)

For every grandiose, brooding song in The Doors' discography there's a light, playful one like this.

These languid, summery tunes are all very well; but mowing is an energetic activity, so how about something to reflect the fact that, in a tiny way, one is imposing one's will on the landscape, like for instance

* Immortal - Tyrants (from Sons of Northern Darkness (2002)

Epic riff, great lyrics about being tyrants on gilded thrones: empowering :)

in a similar vein:

* Kiss - Saint and Sinner (from Creatures of the Night, 1982)

There are few things more dispiriting than the tuneless, passionless bark of Gene Simmons going through the motions. Conversely, when he is fully engaged in the material, and when (as here) it is good, he has one of the great rock voices.

* Slayer - Spill The Blood (from South of Heaven, 1988)

From the clean picking of the intro to the precision of the riffing, everything in this song is so clean and 80s that it cuts perfectly through background noise while remaining powerful and, in its morbid way, sort of uplifting.

Lightening the tone a little:

*Triumph - Follow Your Heart (from Thunder Seven, 1984)

Big, silly, feelgood motivational rock anthem by hairy Canadians.

Cutting grass isn't all mindless power though, it's the gentle winds  of spring with golden sunlight flickering through the trees;

* Tenniscoats - Baibaba Bimba (from Tan-Tan Therapy, 2007)

The wistful clarity of this simple, sad/happy tune cuts through the ambient mower-noise nicely

* Neil Young - Harvest (from Harvest, 1972)

The country twang can't kill the enigmatic sorrow of this lovely song.

* Beck - Cold Brains (from Mutations, 1998)

Inventive, slightly scruffy sounding 90s indie type stuff.

*Noctooa - Slate (from Adaptation, 2013)

A bit like Ancient VVisdom, this dark neofolk group are distinguished by some great songs and a singer whose voice reaches almost Crash Test Dummies depths of lowness. Great brooding music with an excellent blend of violin (or similar), electric and acoustic guitars.

Perhaps a bit oppressive though but the excellent drum sound on the intro to

*Throwing Muses - Counting Backwards (from The Real Ramona, 1992) should help.

A great, catchy, upbeat but enigmatic alt-rock classic.

In a similar(ish) vein

* Juliana Hatfield - Everyone Loves Me But You (from Hey Babe, 1992)

Yep, semi-cheese 90s indie but sort of sunny.

To end on a more soothing note:

* Michael Nyman - Gattaca (1997)

Shimmering atmospheric strings and piano; traditionally orchestral yet somehow futuristic. Not in any way related to grass cutting but very nice.

And the grass is done for another week or two (weather permitting)