Soundtracked, by Olivia Rafferty
I have been away from the internet for the last couple of days, largely due to spending all afternoon in a restaurant with Mrs. Toad on Sunday and then yesterday lying curled up in a ball of tears fending off the ravages of an almighty hangover. To the untrained eye it might even look like I have been entirely slacking off, but that isn’t entirely true
On Saturday I managed to find time to record three songs with Rob St. John and his band, nip into Fresh Air Radio to do a quick ‘This is Your Life’ style interview except in a musical sense. I was invited to pick eight songs, and the player above will allow you to listen back to the show, if you’re interested. Thanks to Olivia for inviting me down, and I hope you enjoy it.
The tracklisting, for those too lazy to even click links, is as follows:
1. Duran Duran – The Reflex
The first song I ever remember being excited about as a child. My mum and I went out and bought Seven and the Ragged Tiger on the day of release, around my eighth birthday. Most of my early music taste was pop stuff I got from my mum – Erasure, Pet Shop Boys, Bowie, Kate Bush and stuff like that.
2. The Piranhas – Getting Beaten Up
My cousin Steve used to send me amazing mixtapes, and introduced me to The Dead Kennedys, The Specials, The Clash, REM, The Smiths, Billy Bragg, John Cooper Clark, Adam and the Ants and loads of others. I loved this song as a kid.
3. Pearl Jam – Black
The first time I liked popular music at the time it was actually popular, and probably the first time I got music from my peers rather than my parents, because we moved around such a lot as kids that I tended to get most of my music from my parents’ record collection. They didn’t like Pearl Jam.
4. Gene – Sick, Sober & Sorry
When I went to university I made friends with a guy called James Strath, and this was the first time I really got into bands before they’d even released their first album. Bands like Pulp and Blur I already liked, but Strath and I eagerly anticipated (and ended up being disappointed by) both the Gene and Bluetones’ debut albums.
5. Yo La Tengo – By the Time it Gets Dark
After uni I ended up as a bit of a nomad, living in the States, Canada, Manchester and Cambridge before settling in London for about three or four years. My music collection was all over the place at this point, and I lost loads of CDs because carrying them around was such a pain, but I really remember picking this EP up in Newberry Comics in Hyannis on Cape Cod and playing it lots when I was feeling down.
6. Billy Bragg & Wilco – Hesitating Beauty
I could pick a lot of songs to represent my marriage to Mrs. Toad, including ‘Better Off Without a Wife’ by Tom Waits which happened to be playing, by sheer coincidence, when we got back from the Mairie, having signed all our papers. This one however is the one which Mrs. Toad likes the most, so it’s the one that sticks most in my mind. The hesitating part is particularly fitting too, as I asked her to marry me pretty much once a day for two years before she capitulated.
7. Meursault – The Furnace
The first song I ever heard by Meursault, and the first thing we released on Song, by Toad Records. When I heard Meursault for the first time I genuinely did that ‘sit up and take notice double-take’ thing you see in cartoons. And now, almost four years later, here I am.
8. Waiters – Brisk
Since doing the Toad Sessions I have started doing a lot of recording as well, and this is the first thing I’ve engineered myself which we’ll actually be releasing, on a split 12″ out in May.