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The Specials – The Singles Collection

25 04 2011

Listened: Thursday March 10

The Specials singles remind me of my friend Audrey and I trying to use the nascent Internet in high school. She had gotten into neu-punk and ska in a big way so we were trying to use the Yahoo directory on a dial-up connection to learn about Green Day, Offspring, Propagandhi, Operation Ivy, Screeching Weasel, and the like. But one of the probably-badly-designed web sites kept crashing her Mac and we rebooted numerous times before we gave up.

This Singles album was in the CD drive, and every time we rebooted, we would hear the beginning strains of Gangsters on autoplay once the computer was totally booted up.

I also remember hearing Ghost Town on the radio for the first time, late at night in bed in my childhood bedroom, and thinking it was the creepiest song ever. The video, which I only first saw recently, is also really great in its early-video simplicity and Englishness. I really enjoyed their set at Coachella 2010, more than I expected I would.

2tone foreva…

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Suede – Singles

25 04 2011

Listened: Thursday March 10

First of all, this album cover is insanely bizarre and kind of hot at the same time. Two teenage girls maybe about to kiss, combined with the very modern scratch tag? Who does that?

I’m surprised I didn’t fall in love with Suede back in the day. They were some of the progenitors of Britpop, and after hearing the Singles compilation, I realized I did know a bunch of their older songs from back in the day without being conscious of it.

I bought this album during my “studying” period for Coachella 2011. I think I need to buy the proper albums now. Suede’s performance at Coach blew me away – Brett Anderson was much livelier and more intense than I had imagined he would be. I understand why Suede are beloved even now in their native UK. They can still bring it!