October Music Challenge

Week 40 – Tuesday 1st October– Monday 7th October

My Chemical Romance – Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge

When I saw this my mind filled with a feeling of dread. Did I like listen to an album by these guys last year? Did I like it? Something was telling me ‘no’. In fact, it was shouting it loudly in my head.

But, I am obliged to do this, like it or not, so it went into my phone and-


This album was some antithetical to everything I like that by the time I got to the end of the month I was convinced I hadn’t listened to it at all, and so I gave it a last minute listen to.

Yea, no thanks.


Week 41 – Tuesday 8th October– Monday 14th October

Blur – Parklife

I knew the first song from this album before I started listening to it, but I had no idea just how old it was. I stumbled upon the music video for ‘Girls and Boys’ over the course of this week and i felt its age immediately. I started to hear it in the music as well.

You know, they say that singing flattens out your accent. For the most part, when people sing you can’t tell where they are from (if no one had told me I would have gone on thinking Adele was American. Idem for Amy Winehouse). The lead singer of Blur sounds so obviously British that it was almost kind of funny to listen to.

I am not into pop generally, and Blur, being BritPop more specifically, feels all that much more removed from me. Most enjoyable really were the music videos I watched, and seeing just how differently British youth is codified. I get the feeling Pub signs are to the UK what eagles are to Americans.


Week 42 – Tuesday 15th October– Monday 21th October

Rammstein – Mutter

Rammstein is like a celestial body – let’s say the crab nebula. I know it exists, and largely it is interesting, but that is really the end of it. It doesn’t effect me in any way shape or form, and it never will, though some times it does come up and I attempt to be interested. But it won’t hold my interest all that long. Despite how long ago Rammstein saw brief momentary success in the USA, I don’t think I ever once asked myself what the rest of their music was like. Just like I’ve never asked myself what the crab nebula is like.

I came across Rammstein when one singular hit became popular in the US at some point, around the time I was in high school. I didn’t make much of it (see above paragraph) until I visited family in Italy that subsequent summer. I was shocked to find that my two cousins both knew of Rammstein. This likely had something to do with their father who was a German teacher. I played the hit ‘Du hast’ for him, to which he commented “this is stupid”1.

One way in which I can absolutely say that music had effected me is that it made me want to learn languages. I don’t think I ever would have learned as much Greek as I did if I didn’t like some of the music I heard there. Listening to Georges Moustaki made me want to pick up French (thought I never did). But all listening to this did was made me worry about the children, in a Maud Flanders pearl clutching kind of way. German, I guess has that in common with Chinese – another language I don’t have any desire to ever learn. Unless of course I get a career which requires me to for some reason scare lots of people. The singer’s voice sounds somewhat like the male lead from the movie The VVitch

But there was some kind of epiphany while listening to this. I don’t think I actually like rock music. I may have used to, but I am not sure that applies anymore. If I was the kind of person who did, I could see myself liking this album a lot.


Week 43 – Tuesday 22nd October– Monday 28th October

Queen –  Night at the Opera

Ok, I misunderstood the person who recommended this to me. My notes just said “Queen – Night at the Opera / Greatest Hits”. I thought ‘night at the opera’ was a greatest hits album.

It wasn’t.

It also wasn’t terribly good. It has Bohemian Rhapsody on it, which was fun. I was also surprised to learn that ‘you’re my best friend’ is a queen song. But for all the famous songs this band has, and all the acclaim they get, I thought this was a pretty forgettable album.

It’s been a pretty forgettable month.



1Actually, no. What they actually said was ‘che tedescata’, which is significantly more difficult to translate. Tedescata is a noun meaning ‘German’ with a pejorative suffix (the base adjective being Tedesco). But that explanation isn’t a translation. Roughly, he said ‘what a silly, typically German thing.’ Translation is hard, and not any fun.

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