The June Playlist: 2005 Edition
Ten years ago today I posted my first ever blog. As you might expect from the 17 year old curator of an Alex Parks fansite, it was a doozy.
"As nothing is happening in my life right now other than working at Tesco, here's a list of the songs currently getting me through the boring days. (Nope, not a Fame Academy contestant in sight, WINKY FACE).”
Oooft. Such prose. Such POISE. You could tell I was a mere 5 years away from a lucrative career in third sector PR and communications.
To mark this most glorious of anniversaries, I have reassembled the 20 songs so ominously alluded to above: reunited in a single playlist for the first time since the Great PC Crash of September 2005 deleted them from my hard drive.
Before you read on, I should reiterate: I was 17 years old. I was, at the time of typing, almost certainly wearing two watches and a shoelace round my left wrist. I had no fucking idea what I was talking about.
1. Arcade Fire – In the Backseat An unusually bleak 6 minute opening for your school’s-out-for-summer-and-forever-yay playlist, but then it is, importantly, both Serious and Credible.
In my defence I had been genuinely blown away by Funeral just a few short months previously, so its inclusion was coming from a place of relative sincerity. I should probably also mention that ‘In the Backseat’ was of particular life relevance in June 2005 given I’d just failed my driving test for the third time.
2. Be Your Own Pet – Damn Damn Leash How punk! How rock! God knows how I found out about these guys – a badge on the back of a schoolmate’s bag, perhaps? Still, I'm guessing there are worse ways to spend 1 minute and 53 seconds.
3. Beck – Girl Yasssssssss, 17 year old me. This was a good choice. 100% summer, 100% still something I would listen to now, 100% unashamedly lifted from the OC soundtrack. I have fond memories listening to the full Guero album by an Italian poolside, moping about something or other, suncream smeared all over my minidisc player.
Fun fact – I have only just this moment worked out the lyrics of the chorus (previous guesses: ‘my summer girl’, ‘masana (?) girl’). Sun-eyed. Got you, Beck.
4. Blink 182 – What’s My Age Again “Didn’t this come out in 1999,” you would do well to ask. Okay. Sure. But remember - I was mostly replaying B*Witched back then. This was new to me. And also very punk, such rock.
5. Brendan Benson – Spit it Out A second, entirely full-throated YASSSSSSS. Ross girl, you on FIRE.
Most of you will remember Brendan Benson from when he was co-opted by Jack White into that whole Raconteurs business. I remember him for poptacular 2005 LP Alternative to Love. Cold Hands, Warm Heart would have been a safer choice, 17 year old me, but I shan’t quibble.
6. The Distillers – Drain the Blood I should explain – 17 year old me believed there was a direct correlation between levels of eyeliner and musical credibility (see also: The Bravery, whose absence from this playlist is deeply confusing). Given I own not one Distillers album, nor entirely remember this track, I’m guessing I spotted a picture of Brody Dalle in Q one day and decided I should probably mention her on my Myspace profile.
Am I embarrassed by Drain the Blood’s inclusion here? Not entirely. Will I actually add it to my iTunes library? No.
7. Evanescence – My Immortal A fixation with eye-liner can only explain so much. 17 year old me, what insane psychological drama went down at the leavers' ball I'm not remembering?
8. Garbage – Shut Your Mouth Holy shit, it's something I'm still actually known to occasionally listen to. Finally my frantic 'kohl-eyed lady musician' search was paying off.
Shut Your Mouth's okay. I vaguely remember working my way through the Garbage backcatalogue in reverse order which means I was only a few months away from discovering Version 2.0, and the majesty that is Temptation Waits. If only it had come in time to save me from the aural horror of Amy Lee.
9. The Magic Numbers – Forever Lost Awwwww. Who remembers this troupe of bearded hippies? It's interesting I chose to include them in this playlist considering the desperate parallel efforts to pass myself off as someone who would actually listen to the Distillers. My first brush with the Magic Numbers was at a fucking TRAVIS gig. Off script, 17 year old me. Off script.
10. New Order – Blue Monday By this I clearly meant 'their new one featuring Ana Matronic out of Scissor Sisters I haven't found on SoulSeek yet'.
Blue Monday's a tune and all but I prefer the version spliced with Kylie's Can't Get You Out of My Head.
11. Nine Black Alps – Not Everyone A third YAAAAAAASSSSSSS, and second brazen lift from the OC soundtrack.
Fun fact: two years later I would find myself in the front row of a Nine Black Alps gig, being lightly spat on by the lead singer. I did actually like these guys.
12. Nine Inch Nails – The Hand That Feeds If this strikes you as a wholly incongruous inclusion from what you've previously seen on my monthly playlists, well, you'd be 100% correct. I fully admit to having not listened to this more than twice in my life, both occasions presumably around the time I wanted to declare myself a fan of industrial rock, paint my fingernails black, and write about it on the internet.
13. Puddle of Mudd - She Hates Me No. Next.
14. Róisín Murphy – If We're in Love A fourth, very relieved, YAAAAAASSSSSSSSS.
The rest of Róisín's debut solo album was mostly beyond me, but I have fond memories of jogging up and down a nearby canal to this; dream uni body and a future of full-hearted pop acceptance both a while off yet.
15. Rufus Wainwright – Crumb by Crumb Beautiful track off a very beautiful album I did not fully appreciate at the time.
The rest of Want Two dawned on me eventually - I remember blubbing at the steering wheel to This Love Affair so it was presumably post-fourth driving test.
16. Tenacious 'D' – Tribute Fucking hell, Ross.
17. Tom Vek – C-C (You Set the Fire in Me) A reassuring glimmer of the actual taste in music I would go on to fully develop by mid-2007.
My first listen to Tom Vek came courtesy of my friend Gavin's left headphone, halfway through a late-afternoon fire drill - one of the highlights of my last year at school, all things considered.
18. Stereophonics – Superman I never liked the Stereophonics, don't remember this song, and they weren't even particularly trendy, so I have no idea what I was thinking here. Sorry. Shall we all listen to Natalie Imbruglia's Shiver instead? Now that was a 2005 TUNE.
19. Oasis – Champagne Supernova By this I clearly meant 'the vastly superior Matt Pond PA cover of Champagne Supernova as featured on teen soap the OC I've already ripped off several times over the course of this blog so had better reference the original instead'.
Fun fact: with one of my early Tesco paycheques I bought (What's the Story) Morning Glory from said supermarket for £2. I was sorely disappointed.
20. Green Day – Longview Oh fuck off, 17 year old me. I know you want to prove you're one of the kidz and fully down with songs about masturbation, but you and I both know you're a total square who's heading off to study law and politics come September. What you really want to be listening to is the second Alex Parks album, which I'm pleased to report will be out in four months time. Hey, why don't we listen to the lead single now?