Friday, May 31, 2013

OK, OK, a new post! Here are my top 20 songs of the past 20 years

Oh fuck it is the last fucking day of goddamn May and I haven't even posted in this godforsaken blog so far this whole fucking month.

Well, I am a busy man, beer doesn't just drink itself. But I am only too aware of just how fucking agonising it is for the world to be waiting impatiently for ANOTHER FUCKNG GODDAMN BLOG POST FROM CARLO SANDS! And so here we go. Buy me a beer sometime. (Like seriously, buy me a beer -- there is a pay pal donate button for that very purpose on the right.)

So... ah... the world eh? Big things have been happening. There are riots in Sweden, fascists marching in Britain and in Germany THE FUCKING GAS CORPORATIONS ARE THREATENING THE BEER!!!

Gawker explains the potential horror story: "If there are two things Germans have traditionally loved, it's purity and beer. Now, according to a German brewers association, both are at risk because of a potential law that would legalize fracking in the country.

"A 500-year-old beer purity law called the 'Reinheitsgebot' is apparently at stake. The 'Reinheitsgebot' states that German brewers can only produce beer using malt, hops, yeast and water. The chemicals produced by fracking could, according to the Brauer-Bund beer association, pollute water in the underground wells used by some breweries."

OK, now, as anyone who watches David Letterman could tell you, it has long been known that fracking is dangerous but HOLY SHIT THIS JUST GOT REALLY FUCKING SERIOUS!

Now, apparently, it's unlikely a fracking law will be passed before September due to pressure on the government. So. We have THREE MONTHS to ensure the German government is made fully aware of the consequences of fucking with German beer.

And to think the beer news got off to a very rare good start this month. Yes, amid all the inventing of shit like "fracking", scientists also managed to actually do something socially useful. They have invented beer with a longer shelf life.

Yes, ABC News reported: "Australian drinkers will soon have the option of buying a beer with a much longer shelf life. A new type of malt barley, developed by Adelaide researchers and a Japanese brewer, can prevent beer from tasting stale as quickly."

Apparently, South Australian farmers are to begin commercial production of the barley this year. And just in fucking time too. What with the growing threat of a climate changed-induced holocaust, now is pretty much the time to start stockpiling beer for the coming collapse of civilisation.

But the most important thing to happen this month, for all of humanity, is I have decided to join in Australian radio station Triple J's Vote for your top 20 songs of the past 20 years poll. Yes, with much agonising, I completed the extremely difficult and time consuming task of compiling the Official Carlo Sands Top 20 Songs From the Past 20 Years List!!!

Now I realise this is pretty much the moment you have all been waiting for -- quite possibly for all of your pathetic, pitiful lives. Before I give the list, I should give a few words about the extremely difficult process of selection -- something anyone who has ever tried to formulate such a list will fully appreciate.

Twenty years is a long, long time. It is actually pretty much the totality of the years I have been seriously listening to popular music. There is just so much to choose from, so many options from some many sources, and just when you think you've nailed it a song you totally forgot about jumps into your brain and demands inclusion! God it was hard.

And *yes*, of course, as anyone who knows me would fully expect, Tom Waits *does* make an appearance on the list. No surprises there!

I hope you will all find this a very interesting and wide-ranging list! And here it is in the the form of a YouTube playlist!

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1) TOM WAITS Big in Japan (1999's Mule Variations)

'I got the powder but not the gun. I got the dog but not the bun...' Man is singin' my life here.

2) TOM WAITS Hold On (Mule Variations)

'They hung a sign up in our town, "if you live it up, you won't live it down". So, she left Monte Rio, son, just like a bullet leaves a gun. With charcoal eyes and Monroe hips, she went and took that California trip...' This is a Tom Waits song -- no prizes for guessing how that bid for escape works out. Let's just say 'You gotta hold on'.

3)TOM WAITS What's He Building in There? (Mule Variations)

'What's he building in there? What the hell is he building in there? He has subscriptions to those magazines. He never waves when he goes by. He's hiding something from the rest of us ...' Tom Waits did neighbourhood paranoia and deep-distrust two years before 9/11. Waits always was ahead of his time. You'll note at the end of the (brilliant) video, the last line 'We have a right to know!' is delivered over a grainy shot of a bloke holding an American flag.

4) TOM WAITS Alice (2002's Alice)

'And so a secret kiss brings madness with the bliss..' Fuck, this song gets me every single time. One of a handful of absolute Tom Waits classics and *that* is truly saying something.

5) TOM WAITS All the World Is Green (2002's Blood Money)

'Pretend that you owe me nothing, and all the world is green. We can bring back the old days again, when all the world was green...' Oh god. And I thought 'Alice' was a heartbreaker.

6) TOM WAITS God's Away On Business (Blood Money)

'Who are the ones that we kept in charge? Killers, thieves, and lawyers.' Waits takes a look at the state of the modern world and this song -- with his best Cookie Monster vocal -- is the result.

7) TOM WAITS Hoist That Rag (2004's Real Gone)

'The smell of blood, the drone of flies. You know what to do if the baby cries. Hoist that rag.' Waits' savage take on patriotism and war.

8) TOM WAITS Dead and Lovely (Real Gone)

'Everything has its price, everything has its place. What's more romantic than dying in the moonlight?' Like a film noir storyline, this Waits song is hardboiled -- deadly and tragic in equal measures.

9) TOM WAITS Green Grass (Real Gone)

'Lay you head where my heart used to be. Hold the earth above me. Lay down in the green grass. Remember when you loved me.' AARRGGH for god's sake Tom! Stop it. Stop just creating brilliant achingly heatbreaking songs one after the other. STOP PUTTING EVER OTHER SONGWRITER ON PLANET EARTH TO SUCH SHAME! It is not nice.

10) TOM WAITS Make It Rain (Real Gone)

'She took all my money, and my best friend. You know the story, here it comes again...' A true Waits blues classic.

11) TOM WAITS Low Down (2006's Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards)

'She's a gone lost dirt road. There ain't no way back I been told. Well she's a story they all tell. She's a rebel, she's a yell.' Great Waits rocker...

12) TOM WAITS Lord I've Been changed (Orphans)

'Well, I know I got religion, Lord knows I'm not ashamed...' Now come on, you tell me with a straight face you've come across a better clip than this one right here over the past 20 years...

13) TOM WAITS Walk Away (Orphans)

'There are things I've done I can't erase. I want to look in the mirror see another face. I said, "never", but I'm doing it again. I wanna walk away, start over again.' Sing it, Tom.

14) TOM WAITS Down There By The Train (Orphans)

'There's no eye for an eye, there's no tooth for a tooth. I saw Judas Iscariot carrying John Wilkes Booth.' This Waits song is so good, it was first released by Johnny Cash.

15) TOM WAITS Long Way Home (Orphans)

'Well I stumbled in the darkness, I'm lost and alone...' Christ, another killer heartbreakingly bittersweet love song by Tom Waits. Goddamn the man, goddamn him.

16) TOM WAITS Take Care of All My Children (Orphans)

'You can put all of my possessions here in Jesus' name. Nail a sign on the door...' Yeah you fucken tell 'em.

17) TOM WAITS Raised Right Men (2011's Bad As Me)

'I said there aint enough raised right men... there's your trouble...' Just so very true.

18) TOM WAITS Talking At the Same Time (Bad As Me)

'Well it’s hard times for some; for others it’s sweet. Someone makes money when there’s blood in the street...' Yep.

19) TOM WAITS New Year's Eve (Bad As Me)

'It felt like four in the morning, what sounded like fire works turned out to be just what it was. The stars looked like diamonds, then came the sirens.vAnd everyone started to cuss...' New Years Eve Tom Waits' style.

20) HAYES CARLL She left me For Jesus (Trouble in Mind)

'I'm a gonna get even, I can't handle the shame. Why last time we made love, she even called out his name...' Ah Texas country singer Hayes Carll... there is no "greatest songs" list worthy of the name with him -- except my Top 25 Songs by Female Artists one, of course. Man did make my "best songs about war" list though.

Well there it is people! I have been as fair as possible and tried to source my songs from the widest possible sources (sure there are just three tracks off Mule Variations and six from Orphans but Orphans *is* a triple album) so I am pretty sure there is no possible basis for complaints.

But I have learned, in such matters, it is pretty much impossible to please everybody. So *no doubt* there will be those of you eternal malcontents who will want to insist "why only ONE song from Alice? What the fuck about, say 'Another Man's Vine'?" Or, with some justice, you might want to know how it was possible to leave Hayes Carl's "Knocking Over Whiskeys" off the list (to that, all I can say is, well it was all the fucing Tom Waits songs that did it).

So if, depsite all the hard work and agony that went into this list, you really think you can come up a better top 20 songs from the past 20 years, or just just wanna throw in one or two suggestions, well by all mean s use the comment section. I mean I have NOTHING BETTER TO DO THAN FUCKING READ YOUR PATHETIC ATTEMPTS AT MUSIC CRITICISM SO JUST GO RIGHT AHEAD MOTHERFUCKERS! GO ON! FUCK YOU!

Also, if you want to buy me a beer (and who doesn't?) you can via the pay pal button on the righthand sid of this blog.