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TGTF Top 10: Songs with Science-y Titles

 
By on Friday, 12th October 2012 at 11:00 am
 

With the 2012 Nobel Prize winners in Medicine and Physiology, Physics and Chemistry announced this week, us here at TGTF thought it would be fitting for some discussion of the best songs that have managed to sneak science into their titles. This year’s Literature and Peace Prize winners have also been announced, but let’s face it. There are way too many tunes that would be appropriate and it’s a lot easier to get peace and love into a song, and music is just another art like literature, innit? So without further adieu…

10. Freelance Whales – ‘Enzymes’ (chemistry)
I’m not sure what this song means. “Turn into the tide / spill out your enzymes”: is that a sexual reference? Or maybe a cleansing of your soul? Not sure. Either way, they start the list with a obviously geeky song title.

9. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – ‘Twins’ (medicine / physiology)
While it would have been cool to have a song that was literally about the making of twins, this song instead is talking about how people can be perceived as twins as being peas in a pod. Which is the closest you’re going to get outside of genetics. And sheer luck.

8. Everything Everything – ‘Tin (the Manhole)’ (chemistry)
A song with a chemistry title but really about mortality (so could fit in the medicine / physiology group too).

7. Muse – ‘The Resistance’ (physics)
While it’s a stretch with “love is our resistance”, the next line “they keep us apart and they won’t stop breaking us down” actually, rather hilariously, sounds like how in biology, a receptor grabs onto its substrate: made for each other.

6. Maximo Park – ‘Our Velocity’ (physics)
“Never, never try to gauge temperature / when you tend to travel / at such speed / it’s our velocity” – it’s like a physics nerd’s love poem!

5. Tom Williams and the Boat – ‘My Bones’ (medicine / physiology)
Tom Williams effectively harnesses the feelings deep down in one’s bones, the only kind that love lost can engender.

4. The Wombats – ‘Anti-D’ (medicine / physiology)
This is the true story of lead singer Murph’s experience with anti-depressants that didn’t work. It even names citalopram, an actual anti-depressant that physically makes it impossible to cry (“the only tears come from our heads when we concentrate”).

3. Noah and the Whale – ‘Two Atoms in a Molecule’ (chemistry)
Love compared to what happens when two atoms come together to make a molecule? Yes, Charlie Fink *did* go there.

2. Mystery Jets – ‘Serotonin’ (medicine / physiology)
Named after the ‘happy’ neurotransmitter, it’s used effectively here as a way to call out a girl’s name (“Sarah…serotonin…”) and describe the way you feel like when you’re in love. Perfect, really.

1. OMD – ‘Electricity’ (physics)
The song is literally about power, or rather the wasting of it by mankind. Who knew the current flowing through Thomas Edison’s lightbulbs had it going on? And it was the ’80s, so here is a catchy as hell synth melody.

Honourable mention: Thomas Dolby – ‘She Blinded Me with Science’
It’s set in a wacky (no pun intended) mental institution. And come on, there’s an actual scientist – Magnus Pyke – in the video and adding strange interjections into the song. It doesn’t fall into any category but we’d be remiss not mentioning it on this list.

 

Video of the Moment #957: Muse

 
By on Friday, 7th September 2012 at 6:00 pm
 

Muse appear to have done a Craig David in their new single, ‘Madness’. With a hard driving backbeat and an inherent sultriness akin to ‘Undisclosed Desires’ of 2009’s ‘The Resistance’, I think Musers who enjoyed the hard-rocking version of their favourite band will be disappointed. A slippery slope, eh? Watch the promo below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ek0SgwWmF9w[/youtube]

 

Listen to the Official London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony Playlist

 
By on Friday, 6th July 2012 at 3:30 pm
 

As reported a couple weeks ago on the Guardian, these 86 tracks were chosen to be the best of British music through the years and will be the soundtrack to official opening ceremony on 27 July. As should be expected, confirmed opening ceremony performers Duran Duran (pictured at top) appear on the list with ‘The Reflex’, and Muse, suppliers of the official London 2012 song, appear twice with ‘Map of the Problematique’ and ‘Uprising’. There are also appearances from the themes of both Coronation Street and Eastenders: little North vs. South action, eh? The Blur (‘Song 2’) vs. Oasis (‘Wonderwall’) argument has a second coming.

But there seem to be some glaring omissions (how are there no Beatles, Queen or Smiths songs?), and do we really need to remind the world of Frankie Goes to Hollywood‘s ‘Relax’? I guess the Sex Pistols‘ previous two fingers to the monarchy have been long since forgotten (they appear twice, with ‘God Save the Queen’ and ‘Pretty Vacant’), and I can’t be the only one who thinks OMD‘s ‘Enola Gay’ is a strange choice. My favourite addition? A tie between Soul II Soul‘s ‘Back to Life’ and Kaiser Chiefs‘ ‘I Predict a Riot’. Least favourites? Tinie Tempah‘s ‘Pass Out’ and Roll Deep‘s ‘Shake a Leg’. (Really?)

Have a look and listen below and then let us know what you think of the 86 song list in the comments. We’ll add the most entertaining ones to the body of this post. (Hints: you must have Spotify to play the tracks, and to activate the scrolling bar, run your mouse or finger on the right hand side of the player to reveal it.)

 

(Olympics 2012 flavoured!) Video of the Moment #872: Muse

 
By on Friday, 6th July 2012 at 9:00 am
 

Love it or hate it, as we reported here on TGTF last week, Muse‘s ‘Survival’ is the official song of the 2012 London Olympics. This video, setting epic athletic scenes to the tune, should make it feel more real at least. Watch it below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66molzUEkWI[/youtube]

 

Homegrown British Talent to Shine at London 2012 Summer Olympic Games

 
By on Friday, 29th June 2012 at 11:00 am
 

Seeing that everyone around the globe will have their eyes fixed on London next month with the start of the summer 2012 Olympics there, it’s only appropriate that we at TGTF Towers get involved with a post of our own. Regarding the musical selections for the Games, of course. Britain being Britain, the Olympic organisers were spoilt for choice on which artists to tap for this international showcasing event. Just in this week, we’re getting more names and details on what to expect ahead of the official start of the Games. (This post is mainly about the expected Olympic-related releases, but there is also word that there will be surprise gigs in London, which is another ball of wax entirely.)

The news of what we would hear to herald in the 2012 event started last winter, when in November 2011, it was revealed that Manchester’s Mercury Prize-winning and reigning (no longer) indie band Elbow (pictured above) would be providing the song ‘First Steps’ to soundtrack the BBC’s coverage of the momentous occasion. The song in its finished form made the rounds on telly in this promo advert in May to coincide with the Olympic torch relay that made its was all over the country.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSW8Ng-Skgk[/youtube]

For ‘First Steps’, Elbow decided to use a recorded choir vocal instead of Guy Garvey’s, presumably to make it more about the public and less about Elbow. In his typical self-deprecating style, Garvey has said of their contribution, “for our music to be sound-tracking it, there was a big feeling of responsibility but also we’re just dead proud to be doing it. And strange as well with none of us really being athletic.”

On Wednesday, the BBC reported Muse would be providing the Games’ official song. Called ‘Survival’, it’s already proving to be as polarising as the strange dubstep-infused trailer they released as a teaser for their next album, ‘The 2nd Law’. While there is no argument that there is an incredible amount of tradition, pomp and circumstance surrounding the XXX Olympiad, what strikes you first about this this new song ‘Survival’ is how un-Muse it is. To me, it sounds like they are trying far too hard to sound like a 21st century Queen, emphasising on making a more bombastic sound that embraces the theatrical instead of either going for something poppy, which might make it all the more enjoyable for the masses, or staying true to the Muse vision.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gO61AdifK9k[/youtube]

But beyond what we have heard in full from Elbow and Muse are all the other question marks: what are the contributions from other artists going to sound like? The BBC also let loose on Wednesday that special singles from Elton John vs. Pnau, Dizzee Rascal, the Chemical Brothers and Delphic will also be released during July and August.

Let us first consider the first of these. Pnau is an Australian dance duo whose song ‘Sad’ “includes elements from a number of Elton John original sound recordings including ‘Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word’, ‘Crazy Water’ and ‘Curtains’ to name but a few”. Before hearing it, I thought well, this could go either way: it could be a horrible, ill-advised sampling experiment gone wrong, or it could be something refreshingly new and different. Then I found the official video. What is this? It reminds me of Empire of the Sun in a way, and not in a good way. In any event, remember them, because you can expect Pnau to become a household name; how they (or their management) was able to score Olympic promotion just in time for the release of their debut album is quite a marketing coup.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=froqs4giHBg[/youtube]

Dizzee Rascal needs no introduction. He’s been making the rounds at many summer festivals, including both Evolution and Beach Break Live that we’ve managed to cover. As you might have already expected, Dizzee surely knew he was going to have this honour long ago, as the below ‘Your Britain’ video shows him talking about his childhood and having a look round at the stadium where presumably he will be performing on opening night. I think it’s safe to say we can expect a high-octane, bounce-a-minute stonker from him that will get people bopping all over the world.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eN2S505jwFA[/youtube]

Then we are left with the Chemical Brothers and Delphic. This is where we only guess what will happen, which is rather interesting because the two bands, while both dance-oriented and from Manchester, are at opposite sides of the career spectrum. Neither band has released anything since their last albums in 2010: ‘Further’, the Chems’ seventh, and ‘Acolyte’, the debut for Delphic. While there has been a long time of incubation, shall we say, since we last heard anything new from either of them, they have probably only had the last 6 to 8 months, at most, to think about how they want to be remembered with the memory of the 2012 Olympic Games.

The Chemical Brothers have not talked publicly about their involvement, but Delphic excitedly Tweeted “We cant [sic] tell you how much it means to be involved with a world spectacle so great it only comes around every 4 years. this time on our patch”, which says to me not only have they given this a great deal of thought, but they also considered the gravity of the situation and what it means when the eyes of the world (or, perhaps the ears are better suited in this case) are put squarely on you.

We here at TGTF will be looking forward to the coming weeks for word on all these official releases. This is definitely one Olympics where the excitement regarding the music specially made for the event equals or exceeds the excitement for the actual sport. Reuters has reported the remaining releases are scheduled to drop as follows: Elton John vs. Pnau on 16 July, Delphic on 23 July, Chemical Brothers on 30 July and Dizzee Rascal on 6 August. The Muse single ‘Survival’ is available for purchase now.

 

Muse / October and November 2012 UK Tour

 
By on Thursday, 7th June 2012 at 2:30 pm
 

Muse have announced an admittedly short (for now?) UK tour for October and November; they will be stopping in Glasgow, London, Birmingham and Manchester. This follows yesterday’s release of the teaser trailer for ‘The 2nd Law’, their forthcoming album that John discusses in this post.

They have a new ticket scheme designed to thwart touts (hopefully): you must be a member of their muse.mu Web site and apply through a special online ticket application to request standing tickets to the gig of your choice from their limited stock set aside for members. The application window closes on Sunday 10 June at 18.00 British time. All the details are here on Muse’s official Web site. The general ticket sale will begin on Thursday the 14th of June.

Wednesday 24th October 2012 – Glasgow SECC
Friday 26th October 2012 – London O2 Arena
Saturday 27th October 2012 – London O2 Arena
Tuesday 30th October 2012 – Birmingham LG Arena
Thursday 1st November 2012 – Manchester Arena

 
 
 

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