Amoeblog

The 50 Best Scottish Bands of All Time

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 16, 2014 03:12pm | Post a Comment
Scottish Flag


By now you and I have heard the arguments for and against Scottish independence from the UK but as someone who has naturally bristled like a thistle when diasporic people argue passionately and ill-informedly about another country's political situations (which they are thankfully powerless to effect) I'll keep my political opinions to myself. What I will do instead is far more frivolous purposes -- that is list the best Scottish bands of all time.


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Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's Map of Scotland

Given its small population, Scotland has produced a fairly shocking amount of great music. Sure, there have been occasional English bands of note -- almost always from the north -- but I've always taken Anglophiles' preference for all things (assumed to be) English over English language pop from anywhere else as proof of a terminal subcultural defect. It's not really fair to blame England for Anglophiles any more than it is to blame Nirvana for Puddle of Mudd but I suppose it's because so many of the helmet-haired horde mistakenly think that I am one of them that they so vex me. How could I not be an Anglophile when I drink more tea than the average North African, enjoy curry in all of its Asian forms, and my favorite writer is Irish

(Wherein Spring Fever takes over the jukebox.)

Posted by Job O Brother, March 28, 2011 04:25pm | Post a Comment
80's keyboard

Well my little dreamlets, we’re ten days into Spring, and it’s already clear to me what music is going to carry me through into Summer – it’s all about synthetics. Synthpop, that is, of the late 70’s and early 80’s variety.

This amuses me, because for much of my life I detested a lot of the music I’m going to celebrate here. A lot of the hatred stemmed from being so unhappy in the 1980’s; by association, the music “sounded” like unhappiness. Think of it this way: When was the last time you were taking a shower and felt like listening to the soundtrack to Psycho? Exactly.

Some say that synthpop began when Giorgio Moroder teamed up with Donna Summer and created the hit single "I Feel Love." Calling this the “start” of synthpop is convenient, but an over-simplification, because so much came before that informed it. What can be said is that the song was influential, both in terms of inspiring artists who would go on to develop the synthpop genre, and give mainstream audiences a taste for it.

What follows are some synthpop songs that bring me joy. Many can be claimed by other sub-genres of music, but they're all related. Some are guilty pleasures – the sonic equivalent to a Snickers bar, in that they are bad for me, but make me feel great for the duration I’m imbibing – and others I stand by as solid accomplishments. I’m also putting a spell on them: listening to these songs will make you feel a little ticklish in the deepest part of your brain, which will result in your not hating your fellow man as much (even though they totally deserve your hate). Enjoy!

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We've Got Tonight - Odd Pairings in Music

Posted by Miss Ess, October 30, 2008 07:33pm | Post a Comment
With the recent advent of the Jack White/Alicia Keys James Bond theme song, a fellow employee and I paul mccartney and michael jacksongot to thinking about odd pairings. What was up with the 80s anyway? It was the era of the power ballad, which means it was also one of the main eras of odd pairings (although I do seem to remember Bob Dylan popping up in Wyclef Jean's "Gone Till November" video in the 90s, but blessedly that was not an artistic pairing).

The first one that comes to mind, of course, is Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson. Paul was the "cute" Beatle and Michael was the "cute" Jackson, so this seemed like it could work...until you realize that Paul lived on a Scottish farm with his wife of many years, Linda, and their children, eating vegetarian food and lovingly raising animals. Michael, on the other hand, lived on Neverland Ranch, allegedly with groups of small children shuttling in and out of his Playland, complete with caged exotic animals. And these guys duetted twice, on "Say Say Say" and also "The Girl is Mine!" Without even considering the legal issues that came about soon after the duets due to Jackson buying the Beatles' songbook despite McCartney's wishes, it's no surprise they never talked again after creating these tracks. Here's "Say Say Say":



Another odd pairing that is a favorite of mine has always been Kenny Rogers and Sheena Easton's "We've Got Tonight." Kenny's a down home kind of guy, into primping but still at home in cowboy boots-- a classic Texan. Sheena's an intense, romantic gal hailing from grey Scotland and specializing in dance-pop. I think all these two had in common was that they were selling a heck of a lot of records on their own back in 1983. I've heard they really did not get along at all in the studio though. At least they could come together this once, just for this night, of course. From the intro chatter to the mic control, I absolutely love this performance:

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