Justin Hoeger (pictured right), one of our nondescript editorial staff (I think he works on Ticket or something, I don't know) is misguided. Not only that, he’s also misinformed and mistaken. And probably miserable and misanthropic.
In his recent blog post he mentions that he and I are engaged in a brutal mix-CD-off to the death and in the process manages to hurl insults referring to myself and my nationality. He must be assuming that because of my gentle, non-confrontational manner that I will have no retort to his crude and unwarranted vitriol.
Justin’s account of how the bitter feud came to be is slightly inaccurate; let me tell you a tale.
A little over a week ago, Justin came rumbling into my cubicle spouting “facts” about Amy Winehouse that were obviously based on false information. When I did not conform to his way of thinking, he laid out his terms for war and then proceeded to invade, decimate and occupy my cubicle for an extended period of time, apparently without an exit strategy of any kind. Perhaps it is his American-ness that makes him predisposed to jumping into confrontation with those different to him without thinking of the consequences, I’m not sure. He then started mumbling something about me being an illegal alien and threatened to deport me.
I also think his CD may be some sick form of torture.
His condescending attitude made it clear that he expected to win and with the might of the editorial department (and two mix-CD veterans) behind him, I was sure to be the underdog. What Justin failed to realize is that we Scots are always the underdogs.And so Justin issued his challenge, in between bites of cheeseburger, being generally uneducated, having no concept of the world outside his immediate surroundings nor any concept of irony in addition to acting out several other stereotypical American traits. The terms were laid out, we were each to create what we considered an “awesome” mix CD, limiting ourselves to what will physically fit onto a single disk – and we had one week to do it.
So I set to work thinking of a theme for my CD that would put Justin in his place. I decided that since his opinions on British music seem to be skewed towards, well let’s just say “not awesome”, I should make a CD consisting of awesome British music. So I did. And it’s awesome.
I’m quietly confident.
U2 – Where the Streets Have No Name
The opening track to what is often regarded as on of the greatest albums ever made. The intro to this song has been described as “musical foreplay”. This is a truly awesome song in an album made entirely of awesome songs.
What makes this song awesome? Well, House (played by British actor Hugh Laurie) seems to like it and he’s definitely awesome.
Genesis – Land of Confusion
Anything featuring Phil Collins is automatically going to be great, no question. The man oozes talent from every orifice. Have you seen the video to this song? Awesome.
The fact that hearing this song instantly conjures up images of one of the defining movies of the ‘80s is pretty impressive. The fact that the song is by a Scottish band makes it awesome.
Jamiroquai – Canned Heat
You know that song Napoleon Dynamite dances to at the end of the movie? Yeah, awesome.
Tears for Fears – Head Over Heals
Another movie reference, the scene in Donnie Darko that makes use of this song is an awesome example of how to use music in film.
Queen – Under Pressure
I resisted the urge to use Bohemian Rhapsody in favour of this song because it combines two legendary British artists, Queen and David Bowie in one song here – Awesome. Even if the bass riff was later stolen by Vanilla Ice.
Led Zeppelin – Immigrant Song
I couldn’t make a compilation of awesome British music without including Led Zeppelin, and after careful consideration, I decided this was my favourite – Awesome, because they’re all awesome.
Coldplay – Clocks
An awesome minimalist masterpiece by one of the biggest artists around. They layering of simple rhythmical piano and drums into something so complex is genius.
Ozzy Osbourne – Crazy Train
I went to the Ozzfest in the UK in 1998 where I saw not only Ozzy, but Black Sabbath. Ozzy will always rule, and I’ll always have stories to tell.
My wife and I are expecting our third child in a couple of weeks. We’ve been told to expect a girl and are planning to call her Layla. You want to try and tell me this song isn’t awesome? Didn’t think so.
Elton John – Daniel
We’re naming our daughter Layla, so it’s only fitting that I follow that song with the one I was named after. There are a lot of awesome Elton John songs, but come on, just the fact that I was named after this one surely bumps it up a notch or two.
Rolling Stone called this the 3rd greatest song of all time. I can’t argue with that.
Stereophonics – Handbags and Gladrags
The theme song to the undeniably awesome British version of The Office. I know this isn’t the original, nor is it the version used in the show, but the Stereophonics are a great band and deserving of inclusion into this CD.
Pink Floyd – Comfortably Numb
Honestly, there isn’t a Pink Floyd song that couldn’t have been used in this CD, and I had a hard time choosing one. I guess I just like this one the best.
Radiohead – You
How do you make a song with the time signature 23/8 (or 3 bars of 6/8 and one of 5/8 in 4 bar phrases) sound good? You need to be awesome.
If you have Sting singing backing vocals for you, you know you’re awesome. Also, have you seen the music video to this song? Impressive, considering it was released in 1984.