It’s time for some home-truths here on Uncle Moop’s Talk-the-Talk Show. Today I will tackle the touchy topic of “getting laid”. As a record-collecting geek on the internet, you’re probably wondering what I mean by “getting laid”. But have you ever considered why people less intelligent, less good-looking, and with worse BO than you have been schtupping cheerfully all over town, while you have to content yourself with a wank every hour?
It’s simple. It’s your records.
You probably thought that having good taste in music would win you all the honeys’ hearts. This is why, when your mates from school were playing football and working towards a career, you were sat at the PC trying to hunt down Led Zeppelin out-takes.
The result of all of this is, on the rare occasions when you have a real woman over for a drink, you’re too much of a conversational train-wreck to do anything more classy than play them your favourite bootlegs and concept albums, all the while making the kind of small-talk only your internet message-board “friends” really understand (“…and what’s really important about Ringo Starr’s hi-hat is…”).
Have a care: music has been known to soften the iciest lass, but no self-respecting girl was built to survive a record-collecting geek. So play her something nice if you must, but pay heed: here are ten tracks guaranteed to give her that dreaded exit-cue. The rest, as they say, is up to you.
1. Conquistador – Procol Harum (Live with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra): Fantastic rendition of the opening track of early prog-rock group Procol Harum’s first album, complete with dramatic drum fills and a howling guitar solo from Robin Trower that’s missing in the studio recording. A long-time audio companion to potheads the world over, and, with five minutes of orchestral minor-key histrionics without a single chorus in sight, designed to leave, as the song goes, “your stallion in need of company”.
2. Helicopter – XTC. The song in which XTC marry the gasping, hyperactive energy of late 1970s new-wave with the complex, interweaving arrangements of sunshine pop. A heartfelt song of teenage lust and jealousy: in the first line, Andy Partridge sings, “I’m crouching here with my telescope in hand”. Yes, Andy, I bet you are.
3. Dis Lui Non – Françoise Hardy. Charming as this little mid-sixties yé-yé gem is, drooling over the beautiful Ms. Hardy in the presence of someone you’re trying to entice to bed is bound to result in a diplomatic incident. However soft your spot for doe-eyed French fashion icons is, keep it well out of sight when you’re trying to play the man-about-town: it doesn’t do to curl up into a loved-up, sighing mess in company.
4. Requiem Pour Un Con – Serge Gainsbourg. Arising from the Françoise Hardy song, here’s a really dangerous one: a stark, echoey, magnificent, fucking hot beat from the dirtiest old man who ever lived. Sooner or later, she’ll ask you what the title means. It could go both ways once you translate, but, being the foot-in-mouth record-collecting loser you are, you’re as likely as not to come across as a total sleazeball. I’d play it safe and avoid it altogether.
5. Caffeine Bomb – the Wildhearts. There’s nothing more damaging to that mood of smooth romance than a song which sounds exactly like caffeine would, if caffeine could start a band.
6. Impression of J Temperence – the Fall. It’s off an album called Grotesque. More importantly, it’s by the Fall. There’s none better than the Fall for doing good to that part of your brain which urban life has hurt most, but you wouldn’t want them around just when you’re about to score, just like you wouldn’t want your alcoholic, sweaty, ball-scratching best mate around.
7. Insignificance – Pearl Jam. Apocalyptic, guitar-heavy stadium rock with a message.
8. It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding) – Bob Dylan (Live at the Budokan). He’s bad enough when he’s good, but this is one of his – or anybody’s – most boneheaded outings on record yet. In 1979, the Voice of a Generation decided that the best way to present his back-catalogue was to set it to a big band: the upshot? Seven minutes of non-sequiturs accompanied by a gospel choir, violin, and saxophones, with the relentless outpouring of tormented imagery occasionally punctuated by Ritchie Blackmore-like guitar solos. Let this man into your love-life, and he will talk your lass straight out of the door and into a taxi.
9. Look Inside America – Blur. Nerds have it that Graham Coxon’s guitar solo on this is the finest tribute to George Harrison ’67. That’s as may be, but art-school kids whining about a bad hangover won’t win you points for hospitality. Reach for the Oasis instead.
10. Oh Well – Fiona Apple (Jon Brion version). There’s a time and a place for tortured, self-aware poetry. There’s a time and a place yet for unreleased versions of tortured, self-aware poetry. These aren’t the times or the places for making a nice girl very, very happy.
Keep these ten off the stereo the next time it looks like life’s about to turn good. You’ll thank me.