not to get emotional but it’s always so clear that two ghosts means so much to harry not only he kept it for years, didn’t want anyone else to sing it (and nobody else would do it justice) but the performance and his body language tells you how deeply he feels it, how it really came right from his heart and now he chose to perform it for the second time on the same show in like two weeks.. singing it from the rooftop.. in a blue suit.. it means so much to him
Anonymous Asked: “Hey! Do you happen to have any prompts for two old friends who bicker a lot and are just discovering they have feelings for each other? You know, typical rivals to lovers trope… Plus an awkward confession, if it isn’t too much? Thank you in advance! I love your blog a lot!”
Anonymous Asked: “Hi, could you please write a hitman/spy guy trying to apologize to the girl he had to give to the hitman boss and also trying confess his love for her?”
I’ve gotten several other requests that partially included confessions as well, so I figured I’d tackle them all here.
Different confession prompts:
As an apology:
1. “Look, I know this doesn’t make up for anything, but… I did it for you. So you’d be safe. Because I… care about you. A lot.”
2. “I know this isn’t the best time, but I thought you deserved to know: I… I love you. I have for… Longer than I can remember.”
3. “I didn’t have a choice. They never give me a choice. I could either let the one I love die-that’s you, by the way-or they’d… They’d go after your family.”
4. “Even if you can never forgive me, you deserve to know the truth. You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”
5. “No, I won’t calm down! You almost died, and I can’t lose you! … Not you. Please, not you.”
6. “Don’t you get it? I-I’ve tried to tell you, so many times, but it’s like you aren’t listening!”
7. “Why? Because I love you, okay? Because I. Love. You.”
8. “Please, just think about this! If you do this, you could die! I can’t lose someone else that I-”
Awkwardly: (Popular request,)
9. “I-You know I’m not good at this stuff. Words, and junk. But… You’re important. To me.”
10. “We need to talk. About something important. I… I l… I love your face. And the stuff in it. and around it. Just you, in general.”
11. “So, the thing is-you know how we weren’t even friends? But then, you know, we were? Are? So…. What if I don’t want to be friends anymore? Not that I want to go back to hating you, more like… I want to start… Dating you.”
12. “We should date. For science. Because I like science. And you.”
13. “If I kissed you, would you punch me? Because I want to kiss you, but not if you’re going to punch me.”
14. “The thing is, it’s you, okay? It has always been you, for as long as I can remember. And even if you never feel the same, that won’t change.”
15. “I will always choose you. Every day. Every time. No matter what. Because I love you that much.”
16. “I’ll sing it, if I have to. Shout it from the rooftops. Whatever it takes to make you believe it.”
17. “When I look at you, I see something I haven’t seen in a long time: A future. But only if you want it.”
As A Goodbye:
18. “I know this is too little, too late, but you deserve to know.”
19. “We’ll see each other again, right? I still need to spend the rest of my life telling you how much I love you.”
20. “Shhh. Everything’s okay now, my love. I mean-No. No, that is what I mean.”
“This is not good. Oh, oh Lord, this is not good at all.”
Bitty peers through the windshield. The snow is falling in curtains now, thick sheets of white that drift down heavy and soft onto the deserted highway. He runs his wipers a few more times, clears the view, then watches as the snow repaints it dot by frigid dot.
He should have known better than to think he could drive up to Massachusetts with a storm approaching. He should have canceled the trip, postponed it, made other plans. But the promise of a real white Christmas had sounded so intriguing, and Larissa had begged him to make the trip.
“You’ll like Samwell,” she’d told him. “It’s pretty sweet.” Which, from Larissa, was the equivalent of singing its praises from the rooftops. And the pictures she sent were so nice – long flowing river, pond, green spaces on the local college campus coated with a dusting of snow.
What he wouldn’t give for a dusting now! But no, now, he’s stopped by the side of the highway, Samwell a mere two miles away per the last sign he passed, his own fog lamps the only glare in the sea of white outside.
jeff: so ur gonna sing something u havent performed at the late late show two weeks ago or the next single -
harry: OR i could sing two ghosts which i did sing there two weeks ago and everyone cried because of it, song most obviously about louis that everyone knows i kept for years and since its on the rooftop ill sing about our love from the rooftop and i could wear all blue suit and THAT will kill the larries
The image of Paul, singing from the rooftop in the final 10 minutes, had set him off. Jann Wenner shifted in his seat. In the darkness of a tiny movie house in San Francisco, the Beatle, Wenner’s hero, whose iconic spectacles and nose adorned the first issue of his rock ‘n’ roll newspaper, Rolling Stone, had tears running down his cheeks as light flickered off his glasses. And next to him was Yoko Ono, the bête noire of Beatledom, raven hair shrouding her porcelain face, also weeping.
It was a Saturday afternoon in the spring of 1970, and John and Yoko and Jann and his wife, Jane Wenner, were watching the final scenes of Let It Be, the documentary about the Beatles’ acrimonious recording session for their last album. John and Yoko were deep into primal-scream therapy, their emotions raw and close to the surface, and the image of a bearded Paul McCartney singing from the rooftop of Apple Records, against a cold London wind, was too much to bear.
For Wenner, the 24-year-old boy wonder of the new rock press, who worshipped the Beatles as passionately as any kid in America, this was a dream, sitting here in the dark, wiping away his own tears at the twilight of the greatest band of all time, elbow-to-elbow with “the most famous person in the world, for God’s sake. And it’s just the four of us in the center of an empty theater,” marveled Wenner, “all kind of huddled together, and John is crying his eyes out.”
Joe Hagan (biographer), Vanity Fair: Jann Wenner, John Lennon, and the Greatest Rolling Stone Cover Ever. (September 29th, 2017)
Fandom: Marvel Paring: Peter Parker/Spiderman x Reader Request: Could you do a spidermanxreader where him and the reader are best friends with a secret crush on each other;reader is insecure about her body(short&chubby)and one day peter tells her he’s spiderman and she admires him even more but feels more insecure bc he’s a superhero and she’s nothing and one night he comes to her room and she patches him up and starts crying&tells him why and he’s really nervous bc he doesnt know how to handle a crying girl who is also his crush and then all fluff?thx<333
Don’t do it, you told yourself as your thumb hovered over the Instagram icon. It’s only going to make it worse. You were sitting, legs criss-crossd on your bed and just a lamplight and your phone lighting up your room. It was late and you were thinking about him, again.
You clicked the app, opened the search page and began typing his name. Your fingers moved out of habit and quickly pulled up Peter’s profile. You knew you shouldn’t be looking at his photos, but you couldn’t help it. Something in his face, his kind smile, made your heart flip over in your chest. You clicked one of the photos of the two of you. The caption read, ‘The force is strong with this one.’ a silly Star Wars joke Peter thought was so fitting at the time. That’s when your heart dropped, deflated by what you saw in the image. Peter, handsome as ever, beamed at the camera and you…you could instantly pick out the ways your body curved where you wanted it to be smooth, and how your smile was wider on one side than the other. He was perfect and you-you were a fool to think he’d ever be interested. And yet, you couldn’t like him any less. Tears started to well up in your eyes as your feelings wrestled with the reality of how you looked.
Suddenly a knock on your window broke through your thoughts. You jumped and spun around seeing the white eyed mask of your friendly neighborhood Spiderman. He balanced on the windowsill, and even in the dark you could see he was breathing heavily. Normally this would have been exciting, but considering what you had just been doing…you opened the window and let him climb in. “Peter what’s-” you stopped short as he stepped into the light and you saw place where his red suit had darkened. He pulled off his mask and revealed a cut lip and swelling cheek. “Peter!” you took his arm and helped him onto your bed. “what happened?” “I was stopping a robbery, thinking it was just three guys. Turns out their gang was waiting in the alleyway.” He leaned back again your wall with a wince. “One sec,” you got up and tiptoed down your hallway to the toilet to retrieve the First Aid kit. When you returned Peter had already pulled the suit down to his hips, exposing his chest and several wounds on his side. You tried not to stare as you sat beside him and started to clean the cuts. “Ow!” “Sh!” “Sorry..” Peter said sheepishly. “How’s my face? Is Aunt Mae going to freak?” You slowly looked up and examined his face. You wished you could go full doctor mode, focusing only on what he needed your help with, but all you could see was your Peter. Peter who was your best friend, who was smart and gorgeous, and who- on top of all that- was spiderman. You remember when he told you, when he had finally worked up the courage to share his secret. In that moment you realized- I’ll never be good enough for him. “Woah, that bad?” Peter asked, his face starting to show alarm. You hadn’t realized but the tears had returned, and this time they were making your chin shake. You twisted your mouth to hold it all back. “No, No. I’m sorry.” You got up and reached for the ice pack you had brought in. You wrapped it in a nearby shirt and handed it to him, turning away to try and compose yourself. “What’s wrong?” Peter asked, taking the pack. “Y/N?” That was it. All he had to say was your name. The tears fell, running down your face heavy and fast. “W-What did I say? I’m so sorry!” The tears sent Peter into a panic.He sat up straight, his hand waving around you, wanting to touch you but not sure if that was the right thing to do. He could fight crime, and sing from rooftops but felt utterly unprepared to help a crying girl. “Is it the blood? Did I scare you with the blood? I’m sorry. I’m not hurt that bad, promise. See I can move and talk. I’ll recite a poem. In a galaxy far, far away-” “Peter,” the word came out painfully. You were trying to keep it all in. The sobs. The truth. But it was too much. “I like you,” you turned to face him, “I like you so much that it hurts. But I know, I know we are just friends. And I know you would never want to be with someone like me. So I try to stop liking you, I’m really trying. But It hurts like hell.” The tears had not stopped but a silence started. It felt like an eternity before Peter spoke up. “Stop.” “What?” you felt like he had slapped you in the face. Stop liking him? Of course he would say that, you thought to yourself, look at him and look at you. “Stop trying.” You looked up in surprise. Peter took your face in his hands and with this thumbs wiped away your tears. “Because I can’t stop liking you either.” Peter said, leaning in and kissing you. It was soft and simple. Sweet. When you drew apart Peter winced. “That-” he said before you could comment “was from the fight, not the kiss.” He smiled and leaned back against your wall. “Good,” you said returning his smile and scooting next to him. “because I definitely want to do more of that.”
Hi! :) I just saw that you answered an ask about drarry where you said your interests have moved to other ships such as Andreil. I'm assuming that's Andrew and Neil from The foxes court trilogy, sorry if I'm wrong. I was just wondering, if you have the time, if you would suggest one or two of your favourite Andreil fics or maybe authors because I'm not really sure where to start with that ship. Thank you! And it's totally fine if you'd rather not or don't have the time to do this! Thanks again x
also sorry if you’ve put a rec list or something similar on your blog somewhere already and I’ve been oblivious and missed it ><
Yes, it’s Andrew and Neil from TFC, my precious, precious children who I will defend with my life and whose happiness means the world to me! There are so many fantastic Andreil fics, so I’m happy to share :)
The best one to read right after you finish the series is Lessons in Cartography(122K)and its sequel The Cartographer and the World (50k so far, WIP) by crazy_like_a because they seriously read like a fourth book. They’re so incredible and emotional and capture the Foxes so perfectly. I’m reading Lessons in Cartography right now and my girlfriend keeps raving about how amazing it is and sharing little upcoming scenes with me that make me squeal and dramatically clutch my chest because I can’t contain all my feels. If you want a long AU that sucks you right in and will ruin your heart, there’s Way Down We Go by nekojita (621k), which has Andrew and Neil meet in juvie while they’re both in California. It’s so fucking fantastic and portrays their relationship beautifully. Andrew and Neil are such a team in it. It gets really rough, but the author is good about warning for potential triggers, and Andrew and Neil battle through everything together and come out so strong and I just! God, I love them so much. There’s also Armies by nekojita (342k so far, WIP), which is a gangster!Andreil AU that has Neil call his uncle Stuart after his mother died and go to England to join the Hatfords. I get so excited about it because it’s got darker Andreil, Neil having a really sweet, albeit bloodthirsty, family who’s fiercely devoted to him, and such a lovely Andreil relationship in the midst of all this chaos.
I’m so grateful for TFC fandom. Not only are there so many amazing artists and graphic makers, we’ve got unbelievable writers who gift us with long, gut wrenching fics full of character development that make me want to sing my love for Andrew and Neil from the rooftops
I know that your karkat is immune to the dreaded lollipop but what would he be like if he wasn't?
Hahah, he was immune in the trickster dave fic, but that was mostly because I could NOT figure out the logistics of both of them trickstering simultaneously and wanted to do something with the grey consent issue in the narrative AND really just wanted to have Karkat fully in control of his own faculties while Dave smothered him with unfiltered affection. So for convenience, mostly, not because I’m totally married to the headcanon that trolls don’t trickster. :D
I think trickster karkat would be really affectionate, sort of like Dave but with sharper edges. Dave is just a ball of pure fuzzy affection, he needs everyone he loves to know how much he loves them right now, with zero expectation of return on investment if that makes sense. Trickster Dave likes the affirmations when other people roll their eyes and are like yeah dave I love you too but what he really loves is being able to just express his own usually pent up affection freely without guilt or reservation or anything. He doesn’t care what he gets back (to a point, he’s not here for outright rejection), he’s just delighted to be able to sing his affection from the rooftops.
Karkat on the other hand DOES care about that return on investment. He wants people to know he cares but his purestrain happiness comes out of them telling him they love him back. He’d be all up in peope’s business fishing for compliments and fishing for affection and fishing for affirmation because he craves that stuff so much and is normally so locked down on allowing himself to express that need. I also think he’d just be really chatty about his observations on everyone else’s relationships and love lives, because he follows that stuff so closely but normally has enough of a filter to shut the fuck up. Trickster Karkat doesn’t care, he wants to gossip.
The two of them together create a god damn eternal feedback loop where dave is an endless fountain of affection and karkat is an eternal sponge for it, they’re disgusting, I love them. Thanks
Request: “Can you you do a doug c evie imagine or one-shot I don’t really know the difference Doug is studying with evie but evie gets bored and can’t concentrate one anything but doug so she askes if they can take a break and play 21 question and they end up confessing their love to each other”
Requested by: Anonymous
Paring: Evie x Doug
Notes: My first imagine for this blog, Doug and Evie are such a cute couple. I’m excited for everyone to read it! Gif credit goes to (x)
Bill Fay - The Sun is Bored - 1970. I’m astounded so much drama can be packed into a sub-three minute song. It sounds like a full orchestra as backing band, punctuated by timpani and crash-cymbal exploding crescendos. And then it’s over.
Budgie - In the Grip of a Tyrefitter’s Hand - 1973. The GROOVE of this song! Budgie were ostensibly a metal band but the rhythmic sensibility on display here—nothing complicated, just an instinctual hook—eludes most heavy bands. And Burke Shelley’s yelped goofball lyrics (the song’s title is a clue) somehow make the thing complete.
Camille Yarbrough - All Hid - 1975. Atop a motorik bassline of perpetual sixteenth notes, Yarbrough takes America to the woodshed. Her scathing word strings are perfectly augmented by Cornell Dupree’s probing guitar thrusts in one channel, that duel a disembodied clavinet in the other. As convincing as societal indictment in song ever got.
Can - Vitamin C - 1972. For me Can’s greatness is achieved through the interplay of Damo Suzuki’s voice and the incomparable Czukay/Liebezeit rhythm section—perfectly demonstrated here. One of the tightest/loosest grooves ever put to tape.
Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band - Bellerin’ Plain - 1970. The drums are doing their own thing but they keep the bass in line. A howling loonatic shaman raises spirits with alliteration scrawled on a cocktail napkin. Polyrhythm by way of staggered stuttering guitars, on over to winged marimba breaks. Sloppy jalopy steered by Captain art maker.
Chico Magnetic Band - Phantasm - 1972. Metallic crunch abruptly yields to pastoral lull and just as abruptly back to crunch. Chico sings like some displaced hippie gone off his rocker. This is one of the great heavy-psych numbers I’ve heard.
Contortions - Contort Yourself - 1979. What really makes this spastic JB send-up go—besides the obvious, like James Chance’s affected holler and sax blurts—is how a snaking slide guitar is set against locked-in rhythm guitar.
Eddie Hazel - So Goes the Story - 1977. I love the funk that doesn’t play by the funk rules. Here we have a blistering guitar solo from start to finish (Eddie Van who?)—weaving its way through a lurching beat, piercing vocal chorus, and Bootsy’s rubber bass.
Edgar Broughton Band - The Birth - 1971. Jethro Tull but with conviction and imagination? The Birth is a sinister acousti-blues romp, probably recorded in the woods where covens gather. Edgar’s best Cap'n Beefheart howl, too, for good measure.
Elf - Hoochie Coochie Lady - 1972. By ‘72, boogie rock had been done to death. This boogie rocker is a triumph, though. It absolutely rips—beefy guitar riffs with saloon piano tinkling, and RJ Dio’s majestic wail over top.
Faust - It’s a Rainy Day, Sunshine Girl - 1972. So wonderfully deliberate and minimal it could easily pass for early Velvet Underground. Tribal drum banging and monotone singing hypnotize, and then towards the end when the sax enters, you find yourself grinning and you play it again.
Fela Kuti - Alu Jon Jonki Jon - 1973. Prolific and consistent as he was, you could go with almost any of the 70s Fela groove jams. But for me this one seems to pulsate with a tad more energy and bite. Pushing it over the top: maestro Kuti’s ridiculous organ solo comprising the final four or so minutes.
Flamin’ Groovies - High Flying Baby - 1971. Exceptional loose-and-loud rock that reportedly made even the Stones (fresh off recording Sticky Fingers) blush. With its dual guitar bombast and countrified swagger it’s easy to hear why.
Flower Travellin’ Band - Satori I - 1971. There’s a spirituality here—like a connection to the natural world and its place in the universe—not found in typical heavy music. Satori is fearless. It goes out there further than, say, Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin were willing/able to go. It’s scarier, more compelling, and altogether superior.
Franco Battiato - Areknames - 1973. This is an exquisite, downright spooky, synth-driven number from one of the true Italian masters. I’d liken it to a holy mass from Mars, with Martian ghosts (ghost Martians?) as priests.
Gang of Four - Natural’s Not In It - 1979. One of the best products of the aggressive-taut-angular aesthetic that took hold towards the end of the decade. It’s at once precise and askew, and I think it’s that opposition within the song—almost like the drum beat is battling the guitar line—which makes it feel so arresting.
Germs - We Must Bleed - 1979. So much of what was called punk, especially from England, seemed formulated for mass consumption. Enter the Germs from L.A. I love this song because it is dirty and menacing, a gloriously unhinged mess. Darby Crash sings as if the city is burning around him. And the extended (by Germs standards) outro, with the instruments barely staying on the tracks, is somehow a thing of beauty.
Hampton Grease Band - Hey Old Lady - 1971. Reckless abandon. Col. Bruce Hampton supplies the nutso sing-shouting (I PICK UP GARBAGE AND WHAT’S IT TO YOU), while Harold Kelling and Glenn Phillips go toe to toe in some kind of tortured-guitar cage match. A dizzying blast of southern-fried garage chaos.
Hawkwind - Silver Machine - 1972. The way the instruments come forth out of the whooshing synth opening—like some vessel emerging from a mist—is fabulous. And then we’re off, hurtling through space. It’s a dense, claustrophobic rocker, intensified with Lemmy’s growl-yowl.
John Cale - My Maria - 1975. A hosanna of a song, bursting with brass, electronics—the whole works. Cale’s knack both as arranger and manipulator of sound is on dazzling display, as are Chris Spedding’s lightning-bolt guitar stabs.
Karen Dalton - Are You Leaving for the Country - 1971. Karen sings this so beautifully. Hers was by no means a from-the-rooftops “classic” sort of voice, but it had more emotional heft than perhaps any I’ve heard. I feel real pain and longing every time I hear this.
Kevin Coyne - Mummy (live) - 1976 - What a scorcher. I really like Coyne’s studio recordings, but he never quite achieved in the studio what he did on his live record In Living Black and White, from which this song is taken. His voice here crackles beast-like, his lyrics are spitfire. His ace backing band is in tune with every minute vocal inflection, every improvised segue. All of this might very well be the result of superb recording/mixing/mastering of the performance—but the performance itself really is one of the most convincingly ferocious you’ll hear.
Kim Jung mi - Haenim - 1973. A gorgeous, haunting number beginning as delicately sparse and culminating in an exultant rapture. Throughout, Shin Jung-hyeon’s triplet-laden guitar sorcery serves as the integral lifeline. The song’s climax occurs through a resounding multi-tracked vocal chorus.
Lula Cortes & Ze Ramalho - Trilha de Sume - 1975. This is an ominous freak-samba cauldron. As I listen I feel enveloped by a layered percussion chorus and looping bass groove in the heart of some sweltering rain forest. Cortes and Ramalho’s voices, repeatedly trading spots between the left and right stereo channels, function as apparition-like tour guides.
Magma - The Last Seven Minutes - 1978. Magma devotees might raise their eyebrows at this choice, and I’m OK with that. For me this is the finest single slice of Magma (if we were talking about album sides, I’d go with one of the sides from MDK or Kohntarkosz). It bursts its seams with energy and chops and maniacal genius.
Mama Bea Tekielski - Le Secret - 1976. If you’ve seen the John Cassavettes movie A Woman Under the Influence, you’re aware of the tour-de-force performance by Gena Rowlands. I kind of feel like this is Tekielski’s own A Woman Under the Influence. She doesn’t so much sing as wail, hiss, plead, and moan. For those vocal pyrotechnics to work, a sensitive band is required—and the roomy, elastic funk they back her up with here does the job nicely.
Mick Faren - Outrageous/Contagious - 1977. A haggard holdover from the London psychedelic scene shows the young-and-snotty bunch how it’s done. This is crusty, guttural (and essential) punk from an actual punk.
Neu! - After Eight - 1975. The duo take their groundbreaking but simple groove aesthetic and give it snarl, with phenomenal results. Where previously it had been atmospheric and even pleasant, it now has an abrasive menace. Ground re-broken.
Os Mutantes - Haleluia - 1970. The power of human voice(s) as instrument. The choral harmonizing here is splendid—beginning quietly and building steadily to a din. It’s some kind of psychedelic opera-samba.
Pere Ubu - Final Solution - 1976. I sometimes wonder if this towering anthem was a sort of happy accident. Pere Ubu in the '70s made odd music that, though I love it all dearly, can come off as alienating. But holy shit, THIS SONG. It’s almost as if they decided, for one song, they would do heartfelt, for-the-people emotion. Of course, all that said, it’s still only as epic as a group of scornful weirdos from Cleveland can manage to be. In any case, it’s likely the song of the decade for me.
Roky Erickson - Starry Eyes - 1975. It might be hyperbolic to use “transcendent” for a jangly, 60s-styled pop song. But Roky’s vocal delivery makes it so. His lyrics are mostly inane but he sings them out with this ragged yearning that sears them into your consciousness.
Roxy Music - In Every Dream Home a Heartache - 1973. Somber dark noodling, as if from a lounge inhabited by David Lynch, cuts out… Elvis-Lugosi singer in an almost-whisper: “but you blew my mind"… BASH! the instruments return, now like thunder. One of the indelible moments of rock and roll.
Roy Harper - Hallucinating Light - 1975. A bittersweet murmur of a song. Harper sings as evocatively as he ever has, but it’s guitarist Chris Spedding (once again) that takes it over, with his dancing, wavering notes around a sparse, echo-drenched solo for the ages.
San Ul Lim - Laying Silks and Satins on My Heart - 1978. It’s this song’s beginning I’d like to talk about. The entire piece is great, but the phenomenal intro segment is what makes it. A military-precise drum beat on top of a provocative but simple bass line starts it off—seemingly utilitarian, but just so locked-in, tight, and spacious that it exudes this confident power. And then, when a fuzzed and dissonant guitar joins in, intermingling, the military precision becomes wigged-out, glorious clamor.
Sensational Alex Harvey Band - Faith Healer - 1973. Epic, glam-drenched hard rock without any inhibition whatsoever. The suspenseful opening segment perfectly gives way to the meat of the song. What Bon-era AC/DC might have sounded like had they borrowed from Roxy Music’s repertoire.
Shuggie Otis - Aht Uh Mi Head - 1974. Cloudy funk strangeness that probably alienated genre consumers upon release. The use of the beat-box as percussion was never more effective (even in Sly’s hands). It’s a striking song that transports me.
Slapp Happy - The Drum - 1974. Yes, Dagmar Krause’s sublime voice carries this song, and the lilting melody really hooks you. But there is more—it’s got this beguiling avant-hippie feel, like if the Incredible String Band had collaborated with Red Krayola, and it works so very well.
Soft Boys - Leppo and the Jooves - 1979. A buoyant, galloping post-punk workout. I love Robyn Hitchcock’s word play and cadence here, the way his vocals rise and fall with the rhythm.
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Sparks - Amateur Hour - 1974. They were perhaps the first (and only?) American act to achieve the flamboyant, unabashed yesternow rock aesthetic that the Europeans (Roxy, Bolan, Bowie) had crafted. This song in particular blends pounding heaviness with theatrical whimsy so well that something singular is produced. Setting it apart even more is vocalist Russell Mael’s operatic falsetto.
Suicide - Girl - 1977. Surreal urban-decay lament on love and lust. Drum machine and keyboards so simplistic that it doesn’t seem right. But then it occurs to you it’s actually got a mesmerizing emotional depth.
Terry Allen - Lubbock Woman - 1978. Allen likely intended this as a satirical, if heartfelt, depiction of a pathetic South-Texas caricature. And it does work on that level, just like Randy Newman songs and Robert Altman movies do. But it’s also a visceral listening experience. Putting it over the top is a startling coda—a three-part vocal harmony that gathers speed and intensity all the way through the fade.
Throbbing Gristle - Five Knuckle Shuffle - 1978. One of the most frightening songs I’ve heard. It’s unholy mayhem achieved through a web of sonic devices. Deliberate synthetic rhythm, a la the German bands, is the foundation for calibrated steel-wool dissonance. Add Genesis P-Orridge’s contempt-for-everything moans and, all told, it’s hell on earth captured in song.
Tim Buckley - Down By the Borderline - 1970. A select few would dare attempt this kind of vocal performance, let alone pull it off. Luckily for us, Buckley had the courage and ability he did. It’s a bucking bronco of a song, the rhythm component sounding almost like the more wild electric material Miles Davis was doing at about the same time. It’s not a stretch, then, to say Buckley’s voice emotes on the level of Miles’ trumpet.
Townes Van Zandt - No Lonesome Tune - 1972. Townes sings this in a knowing, world-weary voice that hits me hard. And the way the pedal steel, mandolin, and piano come together to play out the closing minute is lovely.
Wire - Reuters - 1977. The opener on Wire’s debut LP is a searing manifesto. Bruce Gilbert’s guitar is alternately dissonant and crunching and Colin Newman’s voice a controlled rage. All of the song elements are layered with such care that the resultant cumulative whole is sonic nirvana—while still being punk as hell.
Yvonne Fair - Love Ain’t No Toy - 1975. An unbridled funk stomper that is one of the absolute high points of the genre. Perhaps it’s Norman Whitfield’s magical touch as a producer/arranger/writer, or the world class backing band that’s assembled (featuring guitar stalwarts Dennis Coffey and Wah-Wah Watson), or Yvonne’s blazing vocal delivery, or the unique incorporation of a beat box for percussive oomph. Probably all of these things—but man, this one leaves a mark.
was roused by the sun and the screeching of Terrible Terrors singing
from the rooftop.
female Viking extended her arms behind her head, stretching
leisurely, exactly like she would do on any other day. She rubbed her
sleepy eyes; although there was nothing she wanted less than to leave
the comfortable bed, which itself seemed to be persuading her to stay
in for a little bit longer, she knew she couldn’t succumb to those
matter how much she desired to avoid the meeting she’d promised to
conduct, she wasn’t going to let her laziness win over her natural
sense of duty. Astrid Hofferson would not be late.
Haddock wouldn’t either.
turned her head, expecting to see her sleeping husband, peacefully
breathing through his parted lips. To her surprise, it appeared the
man wasn’t there at all. She frowned, dissatisfied. Hiccup never
got up first.
then did she noticed the soft pressure put on her own belly. She
raised her eyebrows and smiled piteously as her mind had been
lightened by a few potential explanations of that state. As gently as
she could, she lifted the edge of the blanket that was covering her
and she peeked under it.
course, her intuition was right; arrayed in the most unnatural
position, the young Chief of Berk was lying by her side, with his
head rested exactly at the level of her stomach. Initially, she was
sure he was asleep – it wouldn’t be the first time when, after
the night spent on tossing in his sheets under the influence of the
old nightmares, Hiccup would find solace in her presence, embracing
her petite silhouette, and snuggling onto it. Besides, the way in
which he was lying made it impossible to see his face, only showing
the thick locks on the back of his head; and those weren’t easy to
spot either, as their covering was still separating him from the
understood her mistake almost immediately. As soon as she raised the
blanket, her husband’s steady breathing stopped, expectantly. It
returned to its normal pace right away, sounding exactly the same as
before – but the blonde woman knew, that it was nothing more than a
window dressing. Her smile widened, and her eyebrows went even
You’ll find a rooftop to sing from
Or find a hallway to dance
You don’t need no edge to cling from
Your heart is there, it’s in your hands
I know it seems like forever
I know it seems like an age
But one day this will be over
I swear it’s not so far away
Various Storms and Saints - Florence and the Machine