I think it is safe to say that we all had that one band at one point in our lives that really got us into music. The one band that made us go, “Wow, so that’s how listening to music is supposed to feel.” For me, it was Arctic Monkeys. When I was in high school, I used to go to my local library to rent CDs and burn them onto my computer (sorry, iTunes). One of the first albums I obtained was Arctic Monkeys’ first full length debut, “Whatever People Say I am, That’s What I’m Not” (among other gems, including “Is This It?” by The Strokes and “The Queen is Dead” by The Smiths). That album, and the subsequent ones that I devoured later, became the soundtrack to my high school experience; my go-to answer to the feared “what’s your favorite band?” question.
Before Damon Albarn’s solo career, even before Gorillaz, there was Blur, the popular English band that helped to revolutionize the “Britpop” movement. They gained notoriety in the 90’s through a feud with fellow Britpop band Oasis (but Liam and Noel Gallagher are jerks, #teamblur is the way to go). As a lover of all things British, it was only natural that I got really really into Blur during high school. (I have been known to say that my one regret in life was that I wasn’t born earlier to be able to experience Blur in their 90’s prime). While Blur never really gained the popularity in America that they had in the UK (and that they so rightfully deserved!), they were still large contributors to the indie rock movement both within Britain and around the world. Thus, here is my personal (biased) opinion of the 10 best Blur songs…
27 year old Hudson Mohawke (HudMo), real name Ross Birchard, has become quite the DJ and producer over the last several years. Most people probably know his name because he makes up one half of the duo TNGHT, or because he helped produced Kanye West’s most recent album, Yeezus (him and Lunice, the other half of TNGHT, had the most influence over Kanye’s track Blood on the Leaves which is my favorite track!). Over winter break I was most fortunate and spent nearly a month in Glasgow, Scotland, where HudMo is from, and (almost!!) ran into him several times in the small but vibrant city. Call me ignorant but I hadn’t heard his name before winter break although I knew and listened to TNGHT’s music, and as he’s a “local celebrity” in Glasgow, I had to catch up on all the gossip and news going around town concerning HudMo.
Before the official release of Bugg’s sophomore album Shangri La, he released two singles from the album What Doesn’t Kill You and Slumville Sunrise, which featured a significant development in Bugg’s music from his first debut album Jake Bugg. The two singles were much heavier, rockier, and fast moving; that’s definitely not a bad thing by any means, but I fell in love with Jake Bugg’s music because it felt real, genuine, and I liked the folky acoustic sound in all of his songs. So while I was excited to listen to Shangri La, I was worried it would disappoint my expectations for Bugg. But, it’s amazing and everyone should listen to it.