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The Spotify Playlist

Northwestern - Gig Tonight And Summer Spotify Playlist
Sam Herlihy , July 1st, 2010 09:00

Quietus food demon Mr Samuel Herlihy is cooking up a broth of noise with his band The Northwestern tonight, but for those of you who can't make it, here's a summertime Spotify list

Sam Herlihy’s band The Northwestern are playing at Hoxton’s Underbelly tonight, details here. Join the Quietus crew cheering them on. In the spirit of our capital’s recently clement weather, the Quietus food editor and all-round Gentleman of rock bestows us with his recommended summer listening...

Listen to (most of) Sam's Spotify list here.

Here lies a list of songs for summer and suggestions for their most useful listening purpose. Whether summer actually arrives and survives for longer than a couple of days on this godforsaken island is another matter. It's been hot for a few days now, but as I'm typing this, grumpy black clouds are closing in overhead. I'm still fully intending to wheel out the barbecue though, when this is done. True British idiot dads with a family to feed pay no mind to such trifles as storm clouds and angry deluges. There will be fire, there will be food, and perhaps, heard muffled through the wind-slammed back door, there will be these songs.

To Annoy One’s Quietus Editor - Bob Dylan ‘Maggie's Farm’

It's rollicking. Winter is no time for rollicking. But given sunshine, and crap speakers in an oven-esque car or an itchy-grassed park, this song rollicks like few others. Lord Bob is probably banging on about some ‘issue’ or other, but the song doesn't make like it cares. A tune to skip work to, lay about, drink in the day and have a late afternoon summer hangover.

To Soothe A Late Afternoon Summer Hangover - Boards Of Canada ‘Kid For Today’

The whole EP, In A Beautiful Place Out In The Country, is awesome summertime music, but this song will always remain special. I got caught speeding while listening to this on a roasting July Sunday. Driving away from the traffic police, fine and summons in hand, this song calmed my speedy sunburnt rage like a valium-juiced hot tub full of ice.

To Be In Love In Paris To - Tom Waits ‘You can never hold back spring’

Hands down the single greatest show I have ever seen was Tom Waits in Paris in 2008. In fact, it was actually your hands, her hands, his hands, their hands, Robocop's metal hands, webbed frog hands, spooky skeleton hands, Captain Hook's hook hands, every darn handed creation of any sort, even hooves (which I suppose are some form of hands) down, the greatest show of my life. The fact it was in a Paris so hot it was bleaching into hazy Super 8 footage, with my wife, before an amazing dinner of a massive pile of pig and mo-fuggin oysters just means that it's unlikely to ever be beaten. Romeo from The Magic Numbers was there too! That's life changing, no? Our seats were better than his as well. But still, who else can say they saw Romeo, from The Magic Numbers, at a Tom Waits show in Paris? I can, ye summertime losers!

To Shave Your head To - Cassius ‘Cassius 1999’

There was a weird summer where I think I had some sort of late-nineties breakdown. I wore stupidly expensive, and voluminous, combat trousers. I went to godawful accursed ‘party’ islands in the Mediterranean where I ended up crying on cliff-tops with shepherds. I went clubbing, and ended up crying in toilets (but alas not with shepherds). I capped this summer of bangin’, Cool Britannia, TFI Friday bollocks by shaving my head while listening to this song. I wanted to see if I would look like a big, fat psychopathic baby if I had a shaved head. I did, so I cried some more.

To Allow Shorts In Rock & Roll To - Troubles ‘Ayala’

It's all kinds of gauche to name one's own songs but... we spent a few days making a Troubles record, Wolf (think instrumental, miserable, long, may-have-possibly-listened-to-a-release-on-Constellation-Records-at-some-stage), in a converted oast house in the countryside. We played all day and night, burnt stuff on a barbecue, played touch Gridiron, and finally allowed ourselves to wear shorts in the studio. In the old days shorts were basically banned from any and all band business. I know every band now dresses like A Certain Ratio or camp boy scouts but in my day, shorts were a joke. There was simply no place for them on any discerning band member's legs. Those few days in the summer, fully be-shorted, remain the most fun I've ever had while recording. Maybe it was just because we were having a laugh, uninterested in what would happen when it was finished, doing it for ourselves (yawn yawn etc.). Or maybe it was because we finally revealed our legs to one another.

To Sellotape Moths To Walls To - Blur ‘Tracy Jacks’

I don't dislike moths. On summer evenings though, when you need the windows open and your house fills up with dumb, whirling bugs, it can get a bit irritating. I like watching them blindly bombing into lights as much as the next man, but there's a limit. The Kid loves all bugs and is probably heading towards some sort of weirdo insect science job when she grows up. Unfortunately, this is not a career likely to support her aging, bitter, washed up and skint father. However, if she knew that as a very drunk kid, while listening to Blur at a party, during some sort of heady Britpop summer, I spent an evening capturing moths and taping them to walls, with annotations such as ‘Grey One - Head Squashed’, and ‘Grey/Brown One - Wing Fell Off But Reattached With Pin’, she is unlikely to ever answer my pleading calls to her bug lab, asking her to come visit and bring money, wine and/or meths.

I'm actually pretty ashamed of myself; moths are all good. Apologies, I was a drunk twat. In fact, this reminiscence has made me want to donate to a moth charity or something. I will ask The Kid, she'll know the number for sure.

To Batter Your Older Brother To - Tom Petty ‘Free Fallin'’

Family summer holidays were spent in the back of a crappy estate car, fighting with my brother. All Tom Petty songs sound awesome while driving; this one in particular. Though my memory is rarely to be entirely trusted, I'm sure my folks used to just turn the stereo up to drown out their screaming, rucking kids. My memory also tells me I was the regular victor in these backseat battles. My brother may disagree.

To Drive/Walk The Kid To School To - Why? ‘Fatalist Palmistry’

If the sun is shining, The Kid and I will be walking to school this summer. What started as some ‘Walk To School Week’ or other has now morphed into us walking everyday it's not raining. Before, we would roll in the car, windows down, singing along to this tune. Now, I listen on headphones ,walking home after dropping her at the school gate. To anyone familiar with Why?'s oeuvre and thinking of calling Social Services; The Kid gets selected extracts. I can explain ‘coffin rehearsal’ - kind of - but that stuff about what happened on a Berlin basketball court is a conversation way in her future.

To Be A Young Teenager To - Gravediggaz ‘Constant Elevation’

These days, I don't have a lot of friends. It's all good; I'm just too old to have a big gang of mates like I did when I was a kid. We used to spend summers as all gangs of kids did: parties, stolen booze, hormonal conundrums, moth killing etc. For some reason, this Gravediggaz record was a constant party tune for us. It still baffles me how or why this record (awesome as it is) was so popular with a bunch of white, middle-class, spotty, uptight boys and girls. The girls loved this record as much as the idiot boys. There was no posturing or pretending to be ‘ghetto’; we lived in tiny villages in the south of England for Christ's sake! Staten Island was - and is - a long mofuckin' way from Barnham, from East Ashling and Church Norton. We all just genuinely adored this record. I swear my wife would put Niggamortis in her top ten favourite records of all time, alongside a load of wet early nineties Boston-based college rock. My rites of passage were oftentimes soundtracked by a loony horrorcore hip-hop supergroup, and of that, I'm a pretty proud, middle-class white boy.

To Admit You’re Old And Boring To - Sting ‘Fields Of Gold’

What can I say? I dig this tune. I don't like him. I don't like his medieval re-workings of his stuff. I don't like lutes. But if I'm in a car on a hot day and this little ditty comes on, I'm set. It makes me think of posh British summers. I've never had a posh British summer myself but I love the idea of them. Horsey women in flowery dresses, marquees, cocaine and Pimms, doomed Old Money families unknowingly toasting their imminent demise, lawns instead of grass, more marquees, idiots on idiots on idiots.....while this song plays on a loop. It's either the fall of the Holy British Empire under a summer sun, or just AOR/MOR dross; I don't know or care. I dig ‘Fields Of Gold’ by the yogic logbanger himself.