Tuesday, July 18, 2006

When You're Young

Yes, yes, I know, you're all dying to hear about this past weekend's Vancouver Folk Music Festival. You'll get your sordid tales of mung beans and macramé, I assure you. Just not today.

The latest Contrast Podcast is now out and I urge you ALL to download it here or subscribe to the RSS feed here this week's theme of "When I Was 16 I Liked..." means it's chock full of raging hormones, delicious fashion disasters, teen angst, and snotty attitude. I also encourage all of you who've toyed with the idea of contributing to the podcast to STOP MUCKING AROUND AND JUST DO IT!!


That was rude.

You see, it's really easy. Just pick a song in keeping with the next podcast's theme, record a short spoken intro and send it along to the nice man wot curates Contrast. It doesn't need to be polished, it doesn't need to be witty, it just needs to be you.

Yes you.

We love you just the way you are.

And we want to hear you.

Next week's theme is simply "who," so get thinking. Tim (the nice man) is giving preference this week to those folk (Aaargh! Granola! Mung beans! Helicopter dancing!! Sorry, flashback.) who've not contributed before. Et je sais qu'il parle francais, alors c'est pas exclusivement pour les rosbifs et les amerloks, hein??

Anyway, my Contrast offering this week is 'Thick As Thieves' by The Jam. That bloody fantastic band provided the soundtrack to my teen years, and every song evokes a memory. The fab songs call forth burningly intense friendships and incandescant ideals. The few crap songs summon excruciating awkwardness and promise unfulfilled. From the angry, modpunk rants of the early albums to the darker, more introspective, almost post-punk middle albums to the Stax & soul influences on their final outings, it's all magical stuff to me.

Truth be told, for the past few years The Jam had been more or less packed away in an old suitcase somewhere in my subconscious. But of late serendipity has been prodding at the latch; an old cassette copy of 'Sound Affects' resurfaces and finds its way into the car stereo, Jam albums appear in the second-hand CD section at Zulu, the lovely Colleen Crumbcake posts an amazing pic of the young Paul Weller in full flow. And finally, Dear Friends, the case has sprung open and Messrs Weller, Foxton, & Buckler have popped out into my conscious, all sharp suits, white shoes, and scissor kicks.

So I give you tonight a selection of the finest Jam, taken from across their catalogue. The tunes on offer are those that I remember blasting out of my boom box on hot summer nights all those years ago.

The Jam - In The City
The Jam - All Around The World
The Jam - A-Bomb In Wardour Street
The Jam - When You're Young (This one's for Rachel. Happy Birthday, my dear!!)
The Jam - Saturday's Kids
The Jam - Boy About Town
The Jam - Precious
The Jam - Beat Surrender

If you're out shopping, the studio albums are In The City, This is The Modern World, All Mod Cons, Setting Sons, Sound Affects, and The Gift. The Direction Reaction Creation box set is a definitive, if pricey, "Best Of." But if you're looking for a quick intro with the key singles (many of which were standalone or on EPs, not the album), The Very Best Of The Jam is very good indeed.

Extra special treat: The Jam doing 'In The City' live at the Manchester Electric Circus, 1977


Tim Young said...

Thanks for the CP love FiL!

That video makes me wish I was ten years older so I could have seen the Jam live ... I was stuck with The Smiths!!!


Rachel said...

Thanks for the birthday wishes and although I was merely an infant when these guys started out I can still say that I feel mighty special having The Jam dedicated to muah! Seriously.

How can I not feel young at heart with the punk enthusiasm that the Jam did better than any other band? Well I simply can't.

Thanks so much for this, all smiles as usual but today I am blushing a bit from feeling all special :)


Bishakh said...

Ah, now you've gone and made me all misty-eyed and nostalgic. To this day I still have a (only one)Jam badge that I wear proudly on my shoulder bag. The parka, however, has been retired for 18 years now. FiL, do you have 'The Complete Jam' DVDs? They have most of the TV appearances and all the videos, plus funny interviews with 80's mods in a greasy cafe. Well worth having. "The best band in the f*&!ing world", as John Weller used to say? Quite possibly.

Put on the kettle and make some tea, it's all a part of feeling grooveee...

merz said...

very nice post sir and love The Jam!

Mentok the Mind-taker said...

Combining the sentiments above, you get the idea "I wish I was ten years older so that listening to the Jam could make me feel young again."

Whoa! That's some kinda wicked Moebius twist going on there.

...It does, however, confirm my long-standing view that the 90s was a decade of nothing but pastiche and imitation...and country music, heaven help us.

I regret not getting in on the French songs theme at Contrast Podcast. I had a Leonard Cohen song lined up that was a dilly. But I wasted too much time trying to write a clever intro bit and missed the boat. Word to the wise! ;-)

Bishakh said...

THIS I did not know:

"Prior to forming Tubeway Army Gary (Numan)auditioned for The Jam; Paul Weller has no recollection of the event."


Can you imagine it? "Thick as thieves us, we'd stick together for all time / and we meant it but it turns out you were a f*&!ing android" etc.

colleen said...

oh the jam! i know it was turrible to post that pic of them without any tracks but i was going for the FEELING you know?? ah well, you beat me to it, mon chere :)

Anonymous said...

Fil merci pour ce retour sur les Jam.
En particulier cette vidéo queje n'avais jamais vu.
J'adore cette arrogance toute british qu'a Weller sur ce morceau.
C'est drôle d'ailleurs, je trouve qu'il ressemble au jeune acteur du film Billy Elliot (as tu vu ce film ? je ne me souviens plus du nom de cet acteur), film dont la bande son, largement dominée par T. REX est aussi aggrémentée du Town Called Malice du dernier album des Jam.


A. B. Chairiet said...

Hi FiL,

Good morning!

As for all this:

It's only been seven years since I was sixteen...a lot of my favorite bands are still right here. Pearl Jam, Radiohead, etc.

Honestly can't remember what or who else I was listening to back then, yes, all the way back in 1999. ;)

(That is seven years, isn't it? I can't hardly do math...)

Anyway. The Podcast: I have a question about all that...

Do you send Tim just an intro, or the uploaded song as well??


Great post. :)

Wonderfully-written as always.

Happy Sunday, FiL!

~ Ash

A. B. Chairiet said...

P.S. Nevermind...I went, I read.

Send intro ALONG with track.

See? Now I'm out before I even got in. ;)

Guess I'll steal some of your beloved Jam now that I'm back...was stealing the Sufjan song from last week while ago. Just sitting here, staring at this unplayed Youtube video.

My computer's too slow to watch it.

I can't hear the podcasts either.

I'll quit complaining now. ;)

I hope you're well. :)

FiL said...

Dear Friends, apologies for the delayed responses to your comments...

Dear Tim, I just missed The Jam by a few years. I rue that fact to this day...

Dearest Rachel, you must blush often then, seeing as you're so special!!

Dearest, Dearest Beesh: Ah, apologies, I didn't mean to make you cry. I too was unaware of the Numan link - it could indeed have been all so different! But I do like the fantasy lyrics *chortle*.

Thanks, Brother Merz!

Dear Mentok: A logical conundrum! Fascinating, Captain... I think you're being a bit too harsh on the old 90s - perhaps a subject for discussion at a later date!

Dearest Colleen: Cruelty turned to kindness, ma belle, as you inspired me to post!

Cher CS: Arrogance Britannique, peut-etre, mais peut-etre aussi l'arrogance de jeunesse (dit le vieux FiL). Et Billy Elliot, je n'ai jamais remarque, mais je crois que t'as raison!

Dearest Ash: What's mine is yours to steal. So sorry to hear about the podcasts - is it the computer speed or download time? I find sometimes it takes ages to download, even though my PC is on broadband and is only a year old. Keep at it - we want to hear your voice...