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Friday, 31 December 2010

~Winter Wassailing~#16: 'Happy New Year' by Shockabilly

A Selection Of Seasonal Songs In The ~Streetlamp~ Stylee!

And so we bid farewell to the year of 2010, and what a pivotal and important year it was for the three of us here at the ~Streetlamp~.

For not only was this the year I finally got married, but also Griff and Ray were my Best Men(probably the only time they'll ever be attired with THAT phrase!). And it was because of all this that the three of us went hillwalking on the Saturdays leading up to the wedding and thus came up with the concept of the ~Streetlamp~ Blog.
I can't speak for Griff and Ray but 2010 goes into my Top 3 Favourite years of my lifetime, along with 1983 and 1989.
1989 was an important year for me and Griff as it was the last year that we did all the really cool stuff you can get away with when you are young. It was also the year we consciously started doing things like taking cinema, art and culture more seriously. And of course the music was fantastic.
1983 was the year that Ray and I left school and is important because it's the year we put away childish things(yes, I know I used that phrase in the previous blog, but that was about 1983 as well) and started to experience all those things we had only dreamed about in the big, bad world of adulthood. And of course, once again, the music was fantastic.

It goes without saying that when we look back at 2010 we'll be able to say that the music was fantastic. We know it was because we devoted this Blog to it.

So I'll sign off my contributions to the Blog this year with the only wonderful song about New Year that I know of in my collection. The song is 'Happy New Year' by Shockabilly.
Now Shockabilly were a deranged trio of musical terrorists from the early to mid 1980s. They comprised of Eugene Chadbourne, Mark Kramer and David Licht and specialised in demented bluegrass-ish covers of famous rock songs, no cow too sacred. They also composed a lot of their own songs which, for me anyway, were always more satisfying than their covers. They toured with The Butthole Surfers(whom Kramer would later join when Shockabilly split) and The Fall, and were once sacked from Rough Trade Records because 'they weren't selling as many records as The Smiths'.
I bought all their albums when they were released and, just as with The Butthole Surfers, there was a time when I thought I was the only person in Central Scotland who knew or had heard of them! There was a time when, if asked, I would claim that their final album 'Heaven'(from which today's track is taken) was my favourite album of all time. I'm not sure if I was just being smart or obtuse, or if I really did love it as much as I claimed. Anyway, I still like the album a lot and, as I've said, I find the band's own songs actually quite moving in places.
And that's how it is with this track; it sounds like someone in a rather melancholy mood reflecting not just on the year passed, but on their life. It also throws in curveball lyrics like "To those who say have a Happy New Year// I have no fear// For in my dreams giant turtles roam the sky". Sounds like someone's spent Hogmanay binging on blue cheese and watching 'Gamera Vs Jiger'!!

As for Hogmany itself, I personally can't stand it myself, or the whole New Year thing in general. There's always that feeling that, in Scotland, you've GOT to celebrate it whether you want to or not. I'd happily just wake up on January the 2nd and get on with things.

And so we bid farewell to 2010, but we hope to see you all back here in 2011.
Thanks for all the support this year folks!


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