It’s sad to think that one of my greatest glories happened way back in 1987, when I was merely… oh, no… you’re not gonna get me to tell you that. Let’s just say I’m 30 and counting. And let’s just say I need to find some more current glories to boast of.
I was performing with an improv comedy group from Northwestern and we were treated like rock stars… you can imply whatever you want to from that. Hawking the show all day, performing every night and hitting the Fringe Club and bars whenever we were not doing something else. Ahhh…
Edinburgh was and still is a magical city… Okay, I have not been back since ’87 and really want to go, but from friends who have been there more recently, it is still the tops. During the Fringe Festival it is filled with glorious people from around the world. Not that you’d need anyone else, the Scots are a glorious people, but it was such an international love fest, that it is hard to imagine the city any other way. Oh man, I need to go back. I wonder if the beautiful Louise still resides there. Three dates and a lifetime of memories… and not in the way you think. Long story… another time…
I fell in love with Scotland. It is stunning and majestic, so I suppose it makes sense that my heart holds a special place for Scottish music… and yes, this includes Scottish bagpipe music. I am sure you know by now… that is if you actually read this blog… that the last year seems to be the year of my immersion into Scottish pop. My good friend Rob hooked me into a band called The Pearlfishers (phenomenal) and it all went to Scotland from there. Here are a few of my favorite Scottish bands and artists, all well worth a listen.
And by the way, why is there no family plaid for The Goldsmiths… Come on, now!
The Pearlfishers - Melodic, stunning pop music influenced by Brian Wilson and Burt Bacharach.
Teenage Fanclub - If you like the Pearlfishers, you’ll want to know who inspired them and Teenage Fanclub will blow you away.
Aztec Camera - Another Scottish pop influence who stands strongly on their own.
Del Amitri - “Roll to Me” may just be one of the brightest, best pop songs of all time.
The Proclaimers - I think a lot of us discovered them from the wonderful film Benny and Joon… and don’t forget the great John Hiatt’s “Have a Little Faith in Me” which was also used so beautifully in that movie. They have some great songs, and although they have gone very far into the realm of religious and message music, which can turn off those who are non-believers, they are still great tunesmiths.
The Silencers - Another Rob M. rec. Blues for Buddha is the place to start.
Average White Band - C0me on… can you really tell me you do not like the funk?
Travis - Either you love them or think they are kind of vanilla. I love them and the more I listen, the more they grow on me. ”Follow the Light,” “Safe” and ”Sing” are gems from The Invisible Band album.
Lloyd Cole - All right, I will admit it took me a while to get into Lloyd… sorry, Rob… but once I got it and got there… I was in deep! Lloyd Cole and Love Story are good places to start.
Franz Ferdinand - You want current, you got it!
Belle and Sebastian - I love the fact that J and I went into Amoeba Records one day just to shop around, and they happened to be playing live. They have made their way onto a lot of Indie soundtracks in the last few years, including two songs in Juno, and their music is like a great dream.
Glasvegas - This band came courtesy of Rob’s friend Alan and they are new and exciting! Check them out. It’s like a cocktail with a bit of The Jesus and Mary Chain, some vodka, hot sauce and Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound (before he went totally off his rockin’ rocker).
The Waterboys - Ahhh, how could you forget The Waterboys… now many of you are saying, wait a second, their sound is very Celtic, aren’t they Irish? Well, the band is a mix of Scottish, Irish and English… and Mike Scott, as far as I know, is Scottish and they started playing in Scotland… They did move to Ireland for a while, which is where the Celtic influence probably came most into focus, but their sound has so many influences, and so many phases, it is hard to peg down. “The Whole of the Moon” is one of my favorite songs EVER and I had the amazing pleasure of seeing them open up for U2 in the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. Wow, what a show that was… right before U2 went supernova!
Tomorrow… Ireland… I’ve never been, but she’s grabbing me by the musical balls!