Aren’t we all yearning for something? Love? Boys? Girls? Freedom? Or at least something fullfilling? Yearning feels like a universal aspect of all our lifes. And we all long for different things. Rosie Blair is lead singer of the currently buzzing wave band BALLET SCHOOL and she’s yearning too. Her band is definitely up for more. Their brand new single Heartbeat Overdrive is a catchy piece of retro indie-pop and their debut EP Boys Again comes in early October. And did you know that NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION is presenting BALLET SCHOOL‘s upcoming show at the Prince Charles in Berlin on August the 29th? Yes, we clearly do and you should check out all facts of the event right here and get your ticket for the gig where. And in preperation for this happening and to get you to know this band better, Mrs. Blair takes over the writing duties right now to present us seven songs about the topic ‘yearning.’
1. TIGER TRAP – “Prettiest Boy“
Patrick Sandberg, who is the editor of V magazine and very fabulous tweeted a few months ago ‘Twee is officially dead’ I was so offended. Twee is not on trend anymore but it’s not fucking dead. I got into Twee and cutie pie mostly because of NIRVANA. It’s so funny when you see how mainstream rock was influenced by Nirvana and we got all these dreadful man-bands like …. creed or whatever. But all that stuff never registered with me. What really shook me to the core about NIRVANA, and why they are one of my all time favourite bands, is the fact that Kurt Cobain’s songwriting had this feminine, compassionate quality and that Kurt was a feminist. This was of course because he lived in Olympia and he did the Go Team and Bathtub is Real with Tobi Vail and got really into K records.
He was weirdly ousted from the Eden of Olympia because of his fame. Calvin Johnston’s crew were indie for life – untouchable pedigree. When NIRVANA were not invited to play the International Pop Underground, I do think Kurt was probably gutted to the core. They didn’t like his taste in women at that stage. And by marrying Courtney he wanted to say fuck you to them all. But no matter. The point is, Kurt brought twee to the mainstream so kids like me could eventually find the greatest K band of them all – TIGER TRAP. This song Prettiest Boy is the greatest song ever written about girl crushing and yearning. it’s just totally true. ‘Watching him drink from a bottle. I’ll keep that bottle forever…’ I mean, we’ve all been there, right?
2. MALCOM McLAREN – Madame Butterfly
The beat in this song is one of my favourite Nostalgia triggers. I used this beat as the key inspiration in a song I wrote called Jade that will probably make it onto our new album. Madame Butterfly is yearning for Pinkerton. Do you know that scene in Fatal Attraction when Glenn Close really wants to take Michael Douglas to the opera? But she ends up lying on the floor of her perfect apartment switching her lights on and off like a total freak-vag whilst listening to the Madame Butterfly ceedee at full blast. For some reason I just think this is fabulous.
3. DOLLY PARTON – Down From Dover
If you want to cry so hard you puke, listen to this song when you are at your lowest ebb. DOLLY is of course, one of the greatest song-writers of the 20th century. She’s really important to me because she performs the very clever trick of being female, glamorous, decorative AND also a respected serious writer. This song is a masterpiece of expectation vs reality crashing together in total tragedy and despair. Top that Lana.
4. THE SMITHS – “Oscillate Wildly”
This is a personal one. I wanted to put the Smiths on here, but I couldn’t choose which SMITHS song was most about yearning because they’re practically ALL about yearning. So I chose this one. There is no vocal on this song but for me it utterly defines my childhood in a small working class northern irish town. This is because this melancholic little number was used as the theme music for a daily current affairs discussion show called ‘Raffery’ on Radio Ulster throughout the 1980s and 90’s and thus was blaring out of the kitchen radio daily in my house. It wasn’t until years later that I found out it was a SMITHS song. Suddenly my whole existence seemed to blithely add up. Cold blue linoleum kitchen floor, yellow label man size tissues, three bar fire. And the yearning to escape.
5. SCOTT WALKER – “Two weeks since you’ve Gone”
‘The rivers inside me still flow to the sea of your hands’. The switch from string to piano. the genius of Wally Stott.
6. THE CURE – “All Cats Are Grey”
Did you know that website ‘songmeanings.com? This is one of my favourite websites. You go on there and people are ruminating on the meanings of all lyrics from COLOR ME BADD – ‘I wanna sex you up’ to ‘Gallons of Rubbing Alcohol flow through the Strip’ by NIRVANA. The results are endless lolz. Song meanings are open to interpretation. I don’t know if All Cats are Grey is about yearning, but for me it’s going on this playlist because it’s a dark and beautiful mediation that moves me in ways undefined every time i hear it.
7. DON HENLEY – “Boys of Summer”
This song is beyond genius. I love everything about it. This song inspired me to write Ghost. This is Ubi Sont. Yearning, Nostalgia. Where is the lover of the past? What happened to our youth? It is gone. The title of the song is taken from a Dylan Thomas poem. ‘ I see the Boys of Summer in their ruin’ which means, I look at carefree young men and I can see them as fucked up jaded old bastards. Don henley was really the perfect candidate to define the baby boomer generation’s descent into old age and the sense of disappointment and anti climax they all felt. ‘Out on the road today i saw a dead head sticker on a cadillac’ is such a hilarious cliche but it’s also just excellent writing because it fits the metre so perfect that you can really spit the line out with disgust when you sing it. Like he’s saying ‘yeah, we sold out our ideals’. Did you ever read about Stevie Nicks relationship with Don Henley? He would send a private jet to get her when they had a date. He lived in a pink house in Malibu and Stevie says he taught her how to spend money. Decadent, filthy bitch that he is. I love it.