Day 5 – From your favourite ever band

Imagine if one band was removed from existence. One catalogue of music and following influences wiped out. Which artists couldn’t you live without? For me, there is only one, straight away I knew that was how to determine my favourite ever band. The only band that I simply couldn’t imagine not existing, and not making the albums they need, and not creating the subsequent influence.

Radiohead – There There

Didn’t discover this band until about five years ago, after the urging of friends and Channel 4’s 100 Greatest Albums, but I quickly worked my way through their records, followed by EPs, B-sides, demos, live versions… probably the only band whom I can conceivably made a top 100 favourite tracks about, and still love number 100. They are constantly inventive and not afraid to change their sound and they have dictated the mainstream for over a decade. Claims that they are the only band to have dominated two decades are fair enough, they would be no complaints if they were named both band of the 90s and band of the 00s. The only reason I would not put them as favourite current band is that they have not put out a really good record in seven years (a contentious opinion, I understand), and because what I have heard of material for their eigth album is not particularly promising. But nevertheless, the sheer volume of interesting music that this band have created is more than enough to warrant their position as my favourite band of all time.

Day 4 – From your current favourite band

The selection of my current favourite band is maybe more difficult than I first thought. If I say what band do I most want to listen to right at this very second, well, it  could be any number of bands, depending on moods and what I’ve recently listened to. If we take the band I’ve listened to the most recently, that would be Arcade Fire, but that’s only because they’ve just put out a new album. And if I take the band I think is the best, Pink Floyd, can I say that I enjoy them a lot right now? I can’t, because my interest in them has slowly waned in the two years since I first heard them. So the question is, which band have I consistently enjoyed the most over the past few months, and I am guaranteed to continue enjoying in the months to come?

The National – Secret Meeting

So in the end, not that difficult, and in fact the obvious choice. But what can I say? I love this band.

I used this song of theirs mostly because it feels like the perfect starter song from this band. It’s a Litmus test, if you find the vocals and lyrics catchy and interesting you will love the whole discography, if you find it grating and willingly oblique you would be better off not bothering with the rest of their material. The Smiths-esque arpeggiated guitar sounds as light as air above such gems as “I’m sorry I missed you, I had a secret meeting in the basement of my brain”.

Best news of all, I have tickets to see them play Brixton Academy at the end of November.

All together now, it went the dull and wicked ordinary way…