Tuesday, 5 May 2015

The Last 5 Years, #10 - 1

Texas Tea, Thelma Plum, Tkay Maidza + Kimbra!

Well, we're now five years and one month old as we arrive at the end of our special 5th birthday countdown, celebrating our favourite songs from when we started It's My Kind of Scene to now. Hopefully it's been as fun of a walk down recent memory lane for you as it's been for us! We'll be returning to our regularly scheduled programming after this, so expect to have some album, song and video reviews coming your way, as well as the always amazing K-Tizzle Sizzle, Jo's A-Z of the 80s and our weekly Top 25. Thanks for sticking around and, as always, enjoy!

by M.I.A

Live fast, die young
Bad girls do it well. 

Is there a more impressive moment in any music video than the shot of M.I.A casually filing her nails as she sits in the window of that speeding car on two wheels? The whole video is full of impressive shots, but that one takes the cake. But it's better than just your standard cake, you know? It takes the ice-cream cake. Enough about the video though, we're here for the song and what makes it one of our  favourites of the past five years. We got a tease of what to expect from 'Bad Girls' when M.I.A dropped her explosive Vicki Leekx mixtape in 2010, with the full brilliance of the track following in early 2012. It's undeniably cool, oh so very sexy and packs a hook as catchy as any of your fave radio jams. I'm not really sure what 'swagga' means, but I'm pretty sure 'Bad Girls' has it. M.I.A definitely has it, whatever it is. After a rough couple of years in the media and getting scolded for using the middle finger during Madonna's Super Bowl performance of 'Give Me All Your Love' (a gesture hardly as offensive as the song itself), 'Bad Girls' was what we'd call M.I.A's return to form if she had ever lost her incredible form as an artist in the first place. Still her best track released thus far and it's miles ahead of the lol drugs-ish-ness of 'Paper Planes'. (Matt Bond)

by Jack White

I want love to walk right up and bite me
Grab a hold of me and fight me
Leave me dying on the ground. 

Jack. White. I love him so much his name requires those dramatic pauses. For me, one of those artists that has found themselves a special little place in my musical heart and soundtrack to life; his ever greasy hair, his ever snarly glare, his love of things from the past and the wicked way he has with those guitars of his will probably always keep me captivated. While I find it difficult to know which material to love most, this track, from his 2013 debut solo release Blunderbuss, will probably always be my favourite. Whether it be because it was the first taste of Mr White as a solo artist, whether it is those subtle keys holding everything together, whether it be those heart wrenchingly fabulous vocals of Ruby Amanfo or Jack crooning with the best of them about wanting love to “walk right up and bite me”; whatever it is, there’s a something in this song that I can’t deny. Like all the songs I love best, it only takes a couple of notes and my heart skips a beat and it only takes the mention of his name for me to utter those words that have become synonymous with this blog and Jack White…oh Jack, oh sigh. (Jo Michelmore)

#8. HOME
by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Laugh until we think we'll die, barefoot on a summer night
Never could be sweeter than with you. 

"Alabama, Arkansas, I do love my ma and pa, not the way that I do love you." How can you not love the folky goodness that is 'Home'? Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros' Alex Ebert and Jade Castrinos (now a former member of the group) trade lines back and forth that probably would have been super cheesy if anyone else was delivering them. But Ebert and Castrinos have a genuine sweetness in their delivery that makes you think, maybe these crazy kids could really give that crazy little thing called love a real shot. They pull off whistling, an extended lovey-dovey-talky segment and a whole lot of vocal twang in such a stylish fashion that you don't even think twice about how so many bizarre elements can come together to create one of your most loved songs. It's simply music designed to make you happy and bring some joy into your life. And there's nothing wrong with that. (Matt Bond)

by Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra

And I lay there wondering, what is the matter?
Is this a matter of worse or of better? 

There is one thing for sure that I can tell you and that is that Matt and my mutual love of Amanda Palmer has been well documented over the past five years, both of us have not been afraid to wear our love of AFP on our sleeves, both here on this blog and in real life. There’s a reason we wear that love on both those sleeves and for me, ‘The Bed Song’ is probably the best example of why. Because there are artists that write great songs, there are artists that make me smile, there are artists that make me dance, there are artists that make me cry, there are artists that make me laugh, there are artists that make me think, there are artists that challenge me and there are artists that move me. When I wrote about ‘The Bed Song’ in our Top 112 songs of 2012, I said I could count the amount of times I had listened to it, because it was a song that affected me so much, I couldn’t listen to it too many times. I can say the same thing now, because it’s a song that is more than notes and words, it’s more than Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra, it’s more than just a part of the soundtrack to my life. It is the same now as it was then; a song that changed my life and like I said in 2012, three years later, the sentiment is exactly the same…” What I can’t tell you is how much I love this song, or what it means to me, because sometimes, words are just not enough. What I can tell you is that on days when all is too much, when there is nothing else; songs like this are the reason that music means the world to me.” (Jo Michelmore)

by Gotye and Kimbra

But I don't wanna live that way
Reading into every word you say. 

Ok, so I really love this song. I have to say that first before you think I don't, because now I'm going to tell you that I really don't want to write anything about 'Somebody That I Used To Know'. I'm still feeling a bit 'Somebody That I Used To Know'-ed out and it's been four years since it was released. It was EVERYWHERE for two years. Every single radio station. Every shopping centre. Every music channel. Topping charts around the world. Coming in as our #1 song of 2011. Topping the Hottest 100. Winning Grammys. And there was a very good reason for all of its success, which is 'Somebody That I Used To Know' is one of the best songs ever written and performed. I, like most of the world, was obsessed with it, listening to it over and over again. I still really love this song. But that doesn't mean that if it comes on the radio today I don't have to change the station. We just need some time apart so that when I come back to it a couple of years down the line I can greet it with open arms as that song that I used to know and love. We couldn't leave it off this list though. (Matt Bond)

#5. 1000 SUNDOWNS
by Emma Louise

And on these summer nights when the weather's right
I miss him by my side
Oh, by my side. 

We all have days to live, we all have moments of our own and moments of each others and we all have our own tales to tell. We all have our own heartbreaks, our own futures and our own pasts. What we don’t all have is the ability to turn those tales into song, turn those moments into words and turn those days into notes. We don’t all have the ability to make strangers cry in darkened rooms, in cars, in headphones with just our voice and our words and we don’t all have the ability to take a persons breath away with our thoughts. We all have our own journeys and we all have our own scars but we don’t all have a way of sharing those with everyone. We may not all be lucky enough to have 1000 sundowns, but we are all lucky enough to dream of them. We may not all be lucky enough to know just how talented Emma Louise is, but when we hear songs like '1000 Sundowns', those of us who do know of her talent are really, really thankful. (Jo Michelmore)

#4. U-HUH
by Tkay Maidza

So don't be near if you be low on the paper
You can save it for later
'Cause we don't tolerate broke behaviour. 

Easily the most fun one can have in three and a half minutes, Tkay Maidza's 'U-Huh' marked a turning point for Australian rap music. As the Adelaide dynamo lays down rapid-fire lines and chitty-bang-bangs her way to the chorus, you realise we've got a world class talent on our hands creating accessible rap music that can compete with the best of them. Released last year, 'U-Huh' would dominate our weekly Top 25 on its way to securing #1 on our 2014 songs of the year countdown. It's been almost twelve months since we first heard one of our absolute favourite tracks and seeing Tkay Maidza's rise in the industry since then has been most excellent. She's released a slew of boss jams, built a stellar reputation as a live performer, courted overseas attention and so much more. And she's done it all in her own Tkay style that we all love. While we were more than happy to stomp our feet like brontosauruses upon her debut, it was the epic chitty-bang-bang-ness of 'U-Huh' that secured Tkay Maidza a permanent position in our music lovin' hearts. (Matt Bond)

by Kimbra

When everyday's like talking in your sleep!
Love is like a silhouette in dreams! 

I’m not sure anyone knew what they were listening to when they first heard the sweet, sweet sounds of Kimbra’s voice and those completely danceable beats of ‘Cameo Lover’. I’m not sure anyone knew where those beats were going to lead and I’m not sure even Kimbra herself knew where she would be only a few years later. I’m not sure I can listen to it without being transported straight back to each Kimbra gig I’ve seen, each time I’ve danced and each time I’ve sung along to a song that is as so damn sweet and catchy today as it was four years ago. I’m not sure anyone really understood the talent Kimbra possessed when they heard what I think will always be one of the cutest pop songs written, not just in the last five years but possibly, dare I say it, ever? I’m not sure I will ever hear it without smiling, because the cutest pop songs ever will always be the cutest pop songs ever, that’s the beauty of pop. I’m not sure Kimbra will always be a pop singer, because with a basis of songs like those from her debut album Vows and her sophomore The Golden Echo, she’s proven herself as a songwriter not afraid to go places. I’m not sure I’ll ever love any of her songs as much as ‘Cameo Lover’, but I’m willing to keep listening and follow wherever she goes. (Jo Michelmore)

by Texas Tea

That head says don't you be a fool
That heart, breaking every rule... 

Tea Bags for life! Yep. Lady Gaga has her Little Monsters, Katy Perry has the abomination of grammar fan group that is the Katy Kats and Brisbane's own Texas Tea have their Tea Bags. And we're big Tea Bags. As is often the case with songs we fall head over heels in love with, 'Heart Says Yes (Head Says No) found its way to our G-mail E-mail with an announcement that Texas Tea would be playing a show the following week at the Brisbane's Black Bear Lodge. One listen of the track and plans for the following Friday were scrapped in favour of spending some time listening to Kate Jacobson and Ben Dougherty. Doing so was one of my wiser decisions. Jacobson's soaring vocals and Dougherty's bluesy nature completely won us over. I may have even busted out some jig like dance to the closing number, 'Heart Says Yes (Head Says No)'. Yes, it was amazing. The song was pretty good too. We named it our song of the year in 2012 and Texas Tea still display that title proudly on their Facebook page. Nothing that has come out of this little blog makes me happier. Discovering the sounds of Texas Tea made us want to hear more from Brisbane's independent music scene, encouraged us to head out to gigs featuring local artists we hadn't heard before and introduced us to not only one of our most loved songs of the past five years, but also one of our favourite acts in music. Like I said at the start, Tea Bags for life! (Matt Bond)

by Thelma Plum

I hope you know this time's for good
Wouldn't come back now even if I could. 

There’s a theme that has run throughout this countdown and there is a theme that runs throughout this blog. It may not be completely obvious, and it’s not completely on purpose, but it’s there. When Matt first started It’s My Kind Of Scene all those years ago, I’m not sure he imagined he’d still be writing all these years later. When he first asked me to write something for IMKOS, I never dreamt I would be still sitting at my computer years later typing away, day and night. I never knew I would scribble blog post ideas on scraps of paper and transfer the thoughts to blogger in the middle of the night. I didn’t know I would type entire posts on my phone while on trains and buses travelling across Europe, I didn’t imagine I would write gig reviews on planes after three hours sleep and I didn’t know I would spend coffee breaks at my day job pressing publish on posts and sharing things on social media while I should have been emailing colleagues. I didn’t know I would make new friends and include old ones on this blogging journey and I didn’t know that some posts would take hours, some posts would be read by two or three and others would be read by thousands. I didn’t know that sometimes the very artists I wrote about would read my words and share them with their worlds and I didn’t know how much that would mean to me. I didn’t know that my words could mean anything to anyone but Matt and I. I didn’t know that some days I would need this blog more than it needed me, to keep my mind from things that my mind needed keeping from and most of all; I didn’t know how much it would change my life.

But essentially, it’s not the blog that has changed anything, but the very thing we write about. It’s the music we have discovered, the experiences shared and the songs we have felt something about that have made our lives that much richer for having, for knowing and for sharing with others. It’s not how many readers we have (although we love every one of you), it’s not how many words we’ve typed; it’s the music that matters.

That little unintentional theme is our love of music, our adoration of something that makes us laugh and dance and sing and smile and cry, something that makes us who we are and something that means the world to both of us. So when placing songs in our countdown, although almost all of them could have been number one, it wasn’t a hard decision who to put there, because Thelma Plum has been an artist that has done all of those things, her music meaning the world and some songs sometimes knowing us better than we know ourselves. Music is like that sometimes and we are so lucky to be able to share that music on this little blog of ours, five years after the very first post. Here’s to another five years sharing music we love with readers we like a lot too. (Jo Michelmore)

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