In what I think is a first – or at least the first time in a long time – I was messaged about a suggestion for a /Tuesday Ten recently (by someone who isn’t my partner), and this is out this week’s post came about. So thanks to Kai for suggesting an appropriate /Tuesday Ten for post 404 – around the idea of lost and found.
A 404 error – Page Not Found – is one of the most frustrating errors on the internet. Usually, a failure notice because the page is no longer there, or because it has been moved without the link being updated, I’ve been doing my damnedest recently to ensure that there are no more on this very site.
That said, I didn’t get any songs suggested covering internet errors for this week, but I got an awful lot of suggestions of songs around losing and finding love. Anyway, there were 96 song suggestions in total, 12 of which had been used before, and there were 86 unique songs suggested, by 32 people. Thanks, as ever, to everyone who offered suggestions. Over the next couple of weeks, I continue the Lockdown theme on /Tuesday Ten with posts on “Advice” and “Wanting and Needing”.
A quick explanation for new readers (hi there!): my Tuesday Ten series has been running since March 2007, and each month features at least ten new songs you should hear – and in between those monthly posts, I feature songs on a variety of subjects, with some of the songs featured coming from suggestion threads on Facebook.
Feel free to get involved with these – the more the merrier, and the breadth of suggestions that I get continues to astound. Otherwise, as usual, if you’ve got something you want me to hear, something I should be writing about, or even a gig I should be attending, e-mail me, or drop me a line on Facebook (details below).
Stabbing Westward opened their debut album with this dark, gloomy track that rather prepared us for what was to come. Most of Christopher Hall’s songs were about loss (in the context of love) anyway, so I wasn’t short for options here, but as that down-and-dirty bassline rolls over the horizon, I knew full well that this was the song to pick this week. Hall doesn’t have much to say here, other than making clear just how obsessive he is over his loss, and how that it will never be the same. If ever you wanted a scene-setter for a career, never mind an album…
/Theft, and Wandering Around Lost
One of the more remarkable tales of recent times happened to a friend of mine, and it involved a lost cat. Their cat Moon Unit vanished back in 2008, and was remarkably discovered having been rescued in Paris eight years later, thanks to the cat being microchipped.
The Cocteau Twins are one of those bands that I’ve long admired rather than loved. Liz Fraser’s extraordinary, ghostly vocals are naturally their trademark, and their work at their peak in the eighties was certainly a massive influence on an awful lot of dream-pop and shoegaze bands that followed in their wake, but for some reason they never fully clicked with me. Certainly not this album, either, where some of the mystique was lost, as they stripped back their sound, and this song is a perfect example of what that took away from their sound.
/Where’s Me Jumper?
/Casual Sex in the Cineplex
For some reason, I thought this album was from the late eighties, not 1993 – even if Where’s Me Jumper?, the song this band will eternally be remembered for, dates from the year before. A chaotic, screeching track that sounds like it might fall apart at any moment, it is actually a kinda endearing song that for some reasons examines left-wing theory and discussion thereof for the first verse, before suddenly switching to “dancing at the disco” and he’s lost his beloved, new jumper. And that’s about the whole of it – he’s lost a jumper, and his family are going to be really pissed off. Great song, though.
/Hunting High and Low
/Hunting High and Low
The sublime title track to a-ha’s still striking debut album – that contains far more delights than just the two singles everyone knows (that admittedly are among two of the greatest songs of the eighties) – is what might be termed a power-ballad. It has the requisite soaring chorus, the everything-and-the-kitchen-sink production, even a key change, and even all of those sticking to formula elements can’t disguise just how heartbroken a song it is. Morten Harket is searching for the love of his life – presumably she’s left him, or only ever appeared in a dream, it’s not 100% clear – and he won’t stop until he finds her…
/Lost and Found
An obscure entry perhaps, but one that came to mind immediately when this subject was suggested. A quite great release that I was sent on promo at the time, this came from a long-running industrial/electronic project by Jeff Danos, and I really loved this album. This track, though, had guest vocals (and lyrics) from Jonathan Chalker, and was a song about not wanting to be found in the digital age. About hiding yourself away, dropping into the background, and choosing not to get involved. Something I can very much relate to – I’m happy not to always have to be involved in everything, much as I’m seen as something of an extrovert. Sometimes it is better not to do so.
/The Land of Rape and Honey
We were only talking about this album the other day when recording /Transmission/020 (which as I write, will be online tomorrow), as I featured a different song from the same album there. This blasting song – less than three minutes long, and doesn’t take the foot off the throttle for a second – is an incessant rhythm, savage guitars, and Al Jourgensen referring to someone “taken away” and presumably martyred, but certainly missing. Seeing as it was often played live back-to-back with Deity, I’d presume the two tracks are connected and there are religious subtexts or critique I’m, er, missing…
One of this band’s best-known tracks in a lengthy discography – and one endlessly covered, too – it was perhaps one of the songs that really cemented their sound and feel, too. Dark, oppressive synths sweep like fog from the off, as that iconic bassline begins to pick up and drives the stark drum-beat forward. Robert Smith doesn’t even appear in the album version of the song until nearly two minutes in, as he details a presumably metaphorical hunt through the titular forest for someone who may not have been there all the long. In other words, an allegory for striving for things that you’ll never obtain, perhaps? Either way, it wasn’t ever lost if you never had it, and indeed, you don’t find it that way, either.
/An Ode To Lost Jigsaw Pieces
A first appearance for Enter Shikari in this series – not a band I’ve ever been particularly interested in, I must say – and this song has rather surprised me. A song that freely admits in the lyrics that it is loaded with metaphors for broken relationships (lost love, if you like), it does so pretty smartly, and rather unexpectedly is a steadily building power-ballad, rather than the bratty, synth-led punk I had associated them with. Also: the title is an interesting one, as how many jigsaws have you completed over the years, without losing at least one piece?
/Let’s Get Lost
/Worst Case Scenario
One of the less well-remembered songs from the dEUS debut that enraptured many of us all those years ago (1994!) is another song that could have worked on /367/It’s Oh So Quiet. Yep, it has quiet, barely-there verses, and huge eruptions of guitar-violin-drums noise that punctuate them (and indeed provides the extended coda that is the whole second half of the song). But this song is all about those quiet moments, as Tom Barman considers a love affair, and a desire to get away from everyone and everything else, to get lost with his love to the exclusion of everyone else. That it is never taken further beyond these desires in the lyrics, suggests that all is not well in the end, and the desires remain unfulfilled.
/In the Lost and Found (Honky Bach) / The Roost
I always have to mentally prepare myself for listening to Elliott Smith, even nearly two decades since his death. His intimate, sparse songs were never exactly joyous things, and often felt to me like we the listener were intruding on his personal space, as if we were hearing things we probably should not have known about. That’s the lot of the confessional singer-songwriter, though, and part of Smith’s charm was that his ramshackle songs usually felt like he was singing to you, and you only – as if he was the other part of the conversation. This song is one of those, once you get past the looping piano refrain, as you get drawn into another tale of a love lost. There is love found, there is hope, and brutally, hope is dashed as the protagonist hopes against hope that there might be another chance. As ever, with Smith, there wasn’t.