The posts I never made and probably should have done the most have been compiled in this Playlist of 13 shoulda beens.
I think Against Me! are an incredible band and the confessional album Transgender Dysphoria Blues is a majestic work in furious melody and hook riddled punk. I can’t relate to what Laura Jane Grace has been through since the tectonic plates of her life shifted around in the full glare of the public eye. I do understand catharsis through music though. True Trans Sole Rebel is a real underdog anthem.
Big Black’s album Songs About Fucking is a brutal blunt instrument from another era that insists you listen to it’s urgent pop with industrial precision tooling and cold unfeeling power. Bad Penny is the closest thing that album as to a hit single. It’s got a catchy riff, megaphone vocals and some danceable percussion that kept it on the Goth Club Dancefloors for a good ling while.
Rocket Queen from (the greatest heavy rock album ever) Appetite For Destruction is kind of that records center piece. I posted Think About You very early in the first few days of SteveForTheDeaf because you get no points for pretending to be anything other than a dirty mosher kid who never really grew up. Rocket Queen is the more important of the two songs. Think About You got my early vote because I always root for the runt of the litter.
The Wildhearts turn up on SteveForTheDeaf too often. I love them more than you do I’m sure. This second single from the latest album Renaissance Men (Ariba!) deserved a day in the sun as it’s become one of my hits of 2019. But I’d already written the last 50 posts by the time the album came out. So it gets to rub shoulders with Big Black and Iggy Pop here on the Shoulda Beens. Music is a shark. If it stops moving it dies. We don’t want a dead shark now do we?
If The Wildhearts turn up too much it’s only to water down the love of Iggy Pop that spams this corner of the internet like pigeons splattering a freshly washed convertible parked under a tree. Pumping For Jill is one of Iggy’s slinkier singles. Taken from the glorious Party album this low slung groove and spoken word tale of verbal abuse and employee benefits packages is diamond standard Pop.
I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free is here for my Wife. She sings this song on Sunday mornings when she thinks I’m not listening. She loves Nina. She sings Wild Is the Wind, My Baby Just Cares For Me, Lilac Wine, Strange Fruit and Be My Husband and I have to hide so she doesn’t stop. She’s got a decent voice. My Wife that is. Nina has a voice that sounds like the divine.
Can’t Get Out Of Bed by The Charlatans actually got a post written about it. I just ran out of space. The guts of the article boiled down to the myriad ways I really love this band. I love how varied they are and how they are still out there putting on festival stealing shows and boosting their arsenal of songs that range from Shoegaze and Jangle pop to blue eyed soul, trippy dance and alt country.
The Boys Are Back In Town is as monolithic a rock anthem as All Along The Watchtower, Paranoid, Breaking The Law or Smoke On The Water. I love Thin Lizzy so much but they never got a go on the blog. I could have chosen Black Rose to prove my depth of understanding or Showdown or Whiskey In The Jar or Jailbreak. We might have gone a little pop with Dancing In The moonlight but to deny The Boys at this stage would be churlish.
Roam by B-52’s is a perfect pop single. I don’t know how I never wrote about it. It’s a huge hit, but not their hugest most obvious song. It’s got bolt-ons a plenty with backing vocals and middle eights better than most pop hits. The band stood for an alternative way of doing things that was totally punk but filtered through another path to the 3 chords and the truth brigade. True freaks love the B-52’s for their unique collective view on the world.
The Be Good Tanyas featured on SteveForTheDeaf before with Only In The Past. Truth be told they could have been just as well represented with Human Thing from 2006’s Hello Love or with The Littlest Birds Sing The Prettiest Songs from Blue Train or for that matter by Ship Out on The Sea from China Town. This band should be one of the biggest in the world. Their way with melody, folk and with making traditional tunes sound entirely their own while making their originals sound like you’ve known them all your life.
Space Station #5 from the debut Montrose album is a delicious slice of 70’s heavy rock and a stand out piece of early work for Sammy (Van) Hagar. The dude’s always had a stellar set of pipes. This slice of Sci-Fi inflected silliness couldn’t be more 70’s if it had a fly away collar on it’s open shirt and stacked heels under it’s bell bottom jeans.
In stark contrast to the 70’s rock excess of Montrose, Idles are the sound of Brexit Britain. Everything that’s fucked about living in the UK right now is stared down by this band of right minded young men and their furious funny frightening take on Punk. Faith In The City is on their magnificent other album Brutalism. I’ve done a few tracks from it’s follow up record Joy As An Act Of Resistance. It would have seemed right to shine a light back at this monster if I’d kept going any longer.
Of course there are literally thousands of perfect five star songs that were good enough to feature on SteveForTheDeaf. I often ignored these for half arsed cover versions and tracks that didn’t make the cut because they only carried with them a cup full of the charm needed to make a classic a classic not the full measure. Many people tell me this cover of Lou Reed’s torch-song for Space Hardware* is a bit naff. When I saw them play it live on the Zoo TV tour and they featured a virtual guest spot from Lou himself on those distorted video screens I saw a glimpse of the future. A Bladerunner style future where screens and content meshed with real life and actual events seamlessly and authorship was fluid… In 1991.