At first I had a silly and somewhat vainglorious notion of posting a song relating to each and every element. That would get the posts up, I thought, failing to recall quite how many of the buggers there were. After a quick chat with my friend wiki I realised/remembered there were 118 of them, meaning a minimum of 14 posts a day, given I have already left this so late. And then, as I perused the list, I saw that few are exactly household names, sufficiently known as to be stimulating the pens of even the most scholarly lyricist. But these ideas are hard to shake off, and so, like a grass seed in the ear of a dog, here’s a germinated selection of some of the less likely. (None of your oxygens or lithiums, mind, that would be too easy.)
So, here’s to part 1, hoping I won’t be stepping on the shoes of too many colleagues, themselves eagerly pursuing these very titles for more complete discussion and discourse.
HELIUM: The Plain White Ts are what I would call inoffensive. Easily digestible, processed and slightly punky pop, with melodies and purpose to satisfy the easily pleased. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike them, I just don’t sort of need them. This track, written by their main songwriter, Tom Higgenson, comes from 2013’s ‘Should’ve Gone to Bed’, and is typically catchy, tho’ I fear I may have forgotten it by tomorrow.
NITROGEN PINK: Polly Scattergood sounds as if she ought to be good, if not better than this song, her debut single in 2007. Sadly, the vocals are too knowingly off-kilter. The construction behind it is OK, but, tellingly, 2009 was her last release. And WTF is Nitrogen Pink anyway? (Possibly something Bjork inhales?)
NEON MOON: At last, one for the old folks, it’s that nice Brooks and Dunn, mega-sellers from Linedancing Land. Can you take it away now? Please.
SODIUM LIGHT BABY: Matt Johnson, aka The The, produced a flurry of dance influenced records from the mid 80s until, after a gap, 2000, this song coming from his 6th, ‘Dusk’, in 1993. With the move towards a more guitar based sound, courtesy Johnny Marr, I hear a tinge, appropriately perhaps, of the ‘Mad’chester Happy Mondays sound, but with better vocals.
MAGNESIUM NIGHT LIGHT: Actually this is a pair of tracks, being a composite of Infrared Roses and the aforementioned. I’d tell you where the join is, but, to be fair, despite listening, I have no way of knowing. It’s an instrumental and I’m guessing it’s live. No doubt, because it is the Grateful Dead, you had to be there, but I never thought I would be missing Jerry’s vocal ‘strengths’. Can I be the first to go on record and say I prefer their studio stuff.
Don't buy Magnesium; you can't. (But it does have a touch of grey about it.)
ALUMINUM: Or Aluminium, as we charmingly call it over here. The White Stripes or, massively overated as, likewise, we call them over here. I like the Jack White/Brendan Benson ‘Raconteurs’ stuff, largely, I suspect, as Benson has the discipline to rein in White’s more, um, experimental side. Pleasantly short.
SILICON JESUS: I had never heard this or of Psykosonik, making my aimless wittering of worth, if only to me, ‘cos I rather like it’s somewhat generic and derivative take on techno. If Plain White Ts went electronic with a few sequencers I think they would sound like this. (How many different Jesus’s can you think of in popular music?)
SULFUR: The temptation to belittle and deride Slipknot with more ribtickling mirth around the spelling of Sulphur is actually dissipated by a gallingly shocking fact. This is quite good. OK, get rid of the vocals and it’s very good. Who knew? Having never knowingly allowed myself to listen to them, should I now be exploring their back catalogue? This is from 2008s ‘All Hope is Gone’ and it is almost fusion in its frantic pace. Mind you, I’m not that keen on fusion either.
CHLORINE: From 2014, a group called Title Fight about whom I know next to nothing. The youtube metacritics argue about how or not hardcore they are, and AMG says nothing. ‘Pitchfork’ told me more, without, true to form, actually telling me anything. It’s their second LP, if that helps.
POTASSIUM: Bones, another new-to-me, in a broadly electronica beats tonepoem, with a glorious harmonium like intro. Given LastFM tell me there are 5 different groups/individuals called by this name, it was intriguing as to whether this was/is the same Bones who has an earlier song called, intriguingly for this piece, ‘Calcium’? If so, Bones is a ridiculously prolific individual called Elmo Kennedy O’Connor, and is described as a rapper. (Well, if this is rap, like Slipknot above, or nearly like Slipknot above, count me in for more.)
Download Potassium (for free!)
11 down, including the 2 from Elmo Bones.
To be continued?