A-Z: The Hidden Cameras – International Airport

The Hidden Cameras – The Smell Of Our Own (album)
Ah, The Hidden Cameras! If you’re not familiar with them, they have really lovely melodic, twinkly, orchestral type tunes, which make you think they must be singing about fluffy bunnies and rainbows and cupcakes and stuff. Infact it’s often quite difficult to pick out what they are singing about – random words will stick out, but a lot of the lyrics blend into the music and aren’t very clear. Although the fact that the first track on this album is called ‘Golden Streams’ might give you some kind of indication!! Gay sex is a recurring theme. So yes, don’t let that twinkly music fool you 😉 Not that the lyrics are obscene or overly crude or anything – they’re sometimes quite graphic, but always in an impressively poetic way. For example, ‘Golden Streams’ contains the lyric “My golden bone meets the golden bun. Buns held high in our dreams of men”. If there’s a more romantically beautiful way of conveying that, I’m not sure what it is!
‘The Man That I Am With My Man’ – My favourite Hidden Cameras song. I find it the most catchy and compelling. You’ve got to be impressed by the ability to repeatedly sing ‘solid is the rock of my man’ without either laughing or just sounding crude. It’s an incredibly beautiful song.

The Hidden Cameras – I Believe In The Good Of Life (single)
I think I bought this before I got ‘The Smell Of Our Own’. I’d read good things about The Hidden Cameras so wanted to check them out. Quelle surprise, this single was released in 2004. When I saw there was a b-side called ‘Steal All You Can Motherfucker’, I assumed it would be quite an angry rocky kinda song – so yeah, I must have bought this before I really knew what their music was like. Of course it’s a really lovely and almost twee kinda song (with a glockenspiel!). The language used in the first couple of verses sounds almost religious – “And me myself thought never it’th beneath my head to follow my hands and favour mine o’er theirs”. And then the chorus starts with “Steal all you can motherfucker…”. Hee. They have a lot of lyrics relating to religion actually – the first b-side on this single’s called ‘High Upon The Church Grounds’ and uses a pipe organ. On casual listen it sounds quite religious, but it’s literally about getting high on the church grounds!! “The drugs get dealt and the cocks get felt on the church grounds”. And then ‘Steal All You Can Motherfucker’ includes a choir singing on it – recorded at a church in Toronto – all angelically singing “steal all you can motherfucker”. Gotta love the juxtaposition!!

The Holiday Plan – Stories (single)
Another 2004 single. During one of my seemingly-weekly visits to HMV that year I came across this single – as the band name was vaguely familiar I figured I must have heard something good about them, so I bought the CD. I listened to it once, realised it’s not my kinda thing and then just put it on the shelf. Listening to it again, it’s still not my kinda thing, so it’ll just be going back on the shelf. I’m generally not great at categorising and putting things into genres (plus I like things that defy such easy labelling), but I’d say this is somewhere in the emo or nu-metal type vein – not my kinda thing at all. People who seem to consistently sing in more of a shout – surely they have terrible problems with sore throats.

On an unrelated subject now, I seem to be getting a large amount of random messages on MySpace at the moment. What’s that about? The occasional message from someone random wanting to befriend me is not unusual, but I’ve had a whole rash of them within quite a short period of time. Have I posted somewhere or been added as a ‘top friend’ somewhere that generates a lot of traffic?? I don’t mind getting lots of friend requests from bands and stuff – I quite like that infact – it’s the random people who want to befriend me for no apparent reason that get annoying. Lets take a look at some of the messages I’ve gotten over the past week or so…

1. A guy who can’t even spell my name correctly (not that that’s highly unusual) who just wants to say hi as likes my profile and thinks I look nice. A trip to his profile reveals he doesn’t live far from me and he seems to have just befriended attractive girls – mostly blondes. Lots of people do this, but why? Do they seriously think these girls are going to sleep with them or something, just because they befriended them on MySpace? Or is it just so they can try and look cool in front of their friends – ‘yeah, look at all the hot blondes in my top friends’!! It’s so sad! Ok, part of me is flattered that I’m considered attractive enough, but I’m also partly offended that they think I could be one of those sorts of girls. I hope I’m not totally minging but I’m not conventionally stunning or anything. Yeah I try and put up the more flattering pictures of myself, though I can put up silly ones too. Maybe I’ll change my profile picture to one of me first thing in the morning – glasses on, no make-up and scary hair. Ha ha. That’ll keep everyone away!!

2. Some guy who apparently lives in Canada and wants to get to know me as is looking to make friends with people in other countries so that he can then go and live with them. Uh huh!

3. “I’ve just came across your profile. Very nice pictures! I entered a contest last week at www.uvpulled.co.uk they are looking for some models for there products launching in the summer. You should enter!” Again, what?!? Makes me feel like one of those girls whose profiles just consist of them saying ‘check out my pics’ and linking to lots of shots of them in their underwear or something (I get friends requests from them too). Does my profile in any remote way imply I’m looking to drape myself over sports cars or something?? Do most of my photos even give that vague impression?! I know that one of me and my sister pulling silly faces before Eurovision certainly doesn’t! Ha ha.

4. Aw, there’s a message that’s now gone as the person’s profile no longer exists. Can’t say I’m surprised – I wonder if it was the really crude one I got.

5. “hiya how r u? i was just wonderin if you wud be interested in kickin me in the balls sometime??” Tempting!

6. A message from a cross-dresser after some clothing advice. I really rather liked this message actually – I was strangely touched! Although again I wondered where people are finding me.

I think that’s all of that rash of messages. There was also one from another random guy, but he was just trying to bond over similar music tastes, which is much more acceptable. Even if he shared a little too much information!

Anyway, if anyone’s aware of some virtual pimp I have lurking in cyberspace, please let me know!! As much as I prefer getting nice comments on my appearance to insults on it – I’d much rather people were impressed by my taste in music or sense of humour or general personality. I can look rough as hell sometimes, but I can nearly always find something to smile or laugh about.

Claire Holley – Claire Holley (album)
I won this album! I was listening to the Captain America show on Virgin Radio as they had on an interview/session with Cerys. It was round about the release of Cockahoop – I’ve probably got it recorded somewhere. Anyway, as part of the show they ran a competition with a Cerys-related question. I think the question was “which Catatonia single was their last Top 10 hit?” I could be wrong, but I think it was something along those lines – plus I vaguely remember the answer being ‘Dead From The Waist Down’. Knowing the answer, I couldn’t resist phoning up and entering. As you’ve probably figured out already, I won! I got to talk on air briefly, which was slightly embarrassing as I was asked if I was a regular listener to the show, to which I had to confess that I’d never listened before! I was tempted to add “I just tuned in to hear Cerys”, but thought that might be rubbing salt into the wound!! I thought I might win a copy of Cockahoop or something, even though I already had it of course, but instead I got sent this album. Some of the songs are a bit too country in places for my general liking, but overall I rather like the album. ‘Oh My’, ‘Sea Boy’ and ‘The Lamppost’ are particular favourites.

The Honeymoon – Dialogue (album)
Remember back when I talked about Catch? Well this band consists of Wayne Murray (from Catch and Thirteen:13) plus Thorunn Magnusdottir. Great album! It took me a little while to get used to hearing Thorunn singing with Wayne, especially on ‘Truth Hurts’ which I was so used to Wayne singing on his own as a Thirteen:13 song, but I really love both versions now and really like all the songs on this album. I’ve probably pimped it before, but I also recommend Wayne’s current stuff as ‘Boy Cried Wolf‘ – especially ‘Town Of Mice’ which I just love! Shame you can’t download it. Anyway, he’s also been touring with the Manic Street Preachers. Infact if anyone caught the Manics on that save the planet thing on the BBC last week and wondered who that was in Nicky Wire’s place (not looking entirely dissimilar to Nicky from a distance), that was the lovely Mr Murray 🙂 He hasn’t replaced Nicky though, don’t worry, he’s generally an extra guitarist rather than on bass.

The Honeymoon – Passive Aggressive EP
4 tracks from the album.

James Horner – Titanic: Music From The Motion Picture
Yes I admit to owning this. I was somewhat obsessed with Titanic when it was at the cinema – I saw it 4 times. And despite Celine Dion, the music is rather beautiful. Not something I’d generally choose to listen to, but it’s quite nice in the background when trying to concentrate on other things. Pleasant but not too distracting.

James Horner – Back To Titanic
A lot of these tracks are interspersed with dialogue from the film. I think they were really just praying on people crazy and obsessive enough to buy anything to do with the film by this point. So yeah, that would have been me then! Although I think this was possibly bought for me, if that makes it any less tragic.
‘Epilogue: The Deep And Timeless Sea’ – This track’s making me all contemplative, though not in a bad way. I feel like change is coming (looming?) – but again not in a bad way. I have yet another job interview in a week and a half, so that’s something positive at least. Before that am looking forward to next week – just 3 days of work and then down to Hemel for Brett gig glee in London and also meeting up with some friends for a drink at the weekend – as well as getting to see my Mum and Nick of course. So yeah, feeling good. Feeling positive. I am who I am and I’m happy with that. If this attracts people towards me then great, but if it scares people away then so be it! 😛 I’m very honest and talkative online, despite being more shy and guarded face-to-face. Sometimes I think maybe I should be more mysterious and illusive online, so as to better reflect how you’d find me in person, but pff, too late for that! If it seems to deter certain people then it’s their loss right? I should spend less time thinking ‘what if…’. Things are as they are and the future’s unpredictable. Gotta trust fate and just be yourself.

Hot Chip – Coming On Strong (album)
Enjoyable indie-electro type album.
‘Bad Luck’ – Great song. The song that introduced me to Hot Chip infact. I think I got it on a compilation CD or something. Slightly reminiscent of The Hidden Cameras in that it has a nice jingly tune, but the lyrics include ‘fuck you you fucking fucker’. Nice. Remember hearing it before a Bluetones gig at Birmingham Academy 2 and being pleased.

Ikara Colt – Modern Feeling (single)
Released when? 2004 of course.

Natalie Imbruglia – Left Of The Middle (album)
I haven’t listened to this album in a looong time. When was it released? Ah, 1997. There were a few artists I got into between about 1996 and 1998 that became sort of transitional artists between listening to pretty-much-just-Queen and listening to the kind of bands I love now (though still including Queen!) – Natalie Imbruglia being one of those transitional artists, obviously.
‘Torn’ – Loved this song at the time it was released, but probably listened to it too much as went off it a bit. It sounds great again now though. There are lots of great songs on this album actually.
‘Pigeons And Crumbs’ – This was always one of my favourites on the album. I’m remembering why now!
‘Don’t You Think’ – This is quite a varied album really. This song sounds quite Alanis Morissette influenced! I mean that as a good thing – I’ll get to Alanis in…hmm, a couple of shelves’ time!

Natalie Imbruglia – Torn (single)

I Monster – Daydream In Blue (single)
I know it’s mostly a sample of another song and that they’re not the only band to have used it, but I just really like it.

International Airport – Association! (single)
I count this is an International Airport single, but it’s really a split single with Teenage Fanclub I guess, as 2 of the tracks are the same song but played by Teenage Fanclub – one instrumental and one er not.

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