Friday, February 12, 2010


So I need your help, oh interweb denizens. I need new music - specifically upbeat and happy music.

Trawling through my iTunes this morning I realised (not for the first time) that my musical tastes are overrepresented by indie- and down-beat rock, indie folk, rock- and country-blues, trip-hop, downtempo electronica, shoegaze, etc. There's also a fair amount of punk, post-punk, alt hip hop, hardcore techno, d&b, etc, which is generally more uptempo but not necessarily upbeat, if you get what I mean. Although, as the immortal Johnny Lydon said, 'anger is an energy' I just don't have that much to be angry about at the moment (should start watching the news again I guess.. that'd do it).

Not to say I don't love all that music any more, I really do. So many of those tracks make me incredibly happy and give me chills - even after years of hearing them. But so often the feelings are coupled with melancholy. I need to listen to something that uplifts me right now, I'm too easily affected by the mood of the music I hear - and I need to keep my mood positive. By any means necessary.

I usually reach for the reggae, ska and dub if I want to be happy (I'm a Kiwi - Saint Bob has his birthday on our national day) but lately, it pains me to say, I've not been feeling the one love. Although the holy trinity of the Upsetter, Stepping Razor, and his Bobness do grace my playlist with more than one track.

I'm an eclectic consumer of music: pretty much the only genres I'm not up for are opera, commercial r&b, twangy country, and death metal. Of all those I think r&b is the most difficult to listen to (although Autotune the News is genius). And I tend to need fairly regular infusions of new sounds - usually I get these from the radio (the j's and the feds have been good to me in Sydney) but I'm keen to hear what I might be missing from elsewhere.

So if anyone has any suggestions - please, have your say.

Sorry about the link fiesta.


y said...


Jen said...

my friends - and although I don't listen to this 'kind' of stuff as a general rule - their music just makes me smile.

if you like it I can email you a few more tracks. Working man blues is a particular favorite.

Nine said...

Um. This is never a popular suggestion, but you did ask: have you considered the Eurovision Song Contest? Since much of it is crap, I am happy to provide a shortlist of the bits worth listening to.

But besides that (or should I say in spite of my poor street cred on that front), I recommend Withered Hand, dEUS, Thao with the Get Down Stay Down.

fishboy said...

y: Thanks! I like - and would never have found her myself.

Jen: Very cool, similar in style to a bunch of NZ bands I know. Awesome.

Nine: Welcome and hank you. Heh, I should have given the caveat "upbeat but not cheesy" :) I watch the Eurovision Song contest but mostly for Terry Wogan's commentary and for the sheer comedy of the thing.. But those musicians that you mention are great! Thank you so much.

Nine said...

Did you know Terry Wogan's packed it in? Graham Norton took over last year and despite my reservations (and envy of his job) he was a great commentator. Anyway, glad you like the recommendations - Withered Hand is a local band, I've seen him/them a bunch of times.

fishboy said...

I only caught a bit of it last year - and was annoyed that SBS in Aus had replaced the BBC presenter with their own (rather too po-faced) commentary. Shame that Wogan's gone but hopefully we'll get Norton's feed this year.

Thanks again for the music tips.

Jen said...

oh, just so you know, I start charging as soon as we meet up....

(wtf? you say? I'm making myself giggle - you'll have to go hit the boat to see why)

Hope you're immersed in good tunes.

Sunshine said...

You might already have this song, but I just downloaded "The Galway Girl" by Steve Earl and it makes me happy.

helena said...

I'd love to suggest some upbeat and happy music but the only sort of music I tend to listen to is either really miserable or very dated almost prog (most of which comes under the really miserable heading) or really really cheesy stuff...

In the interests of any remaining street cred I may have I am not naming any names!

fishboy said...

Jen: I've started saving already. Do you charge in Canadian or Australian dollars?

Sunshine: I'll check that one out, thanks!

helena: Heh, no need to worry about street cred - I ruined mine years ago and feel much better for it. In fact last night I added a few choice Toto and ELO tracks to my playlist - as well as downloading Your Woman by White Town. So when I said no cheesy music obviously there are exceptions..