OPERATION TINY TUNES: TWO
Why can't people understand?

The reaction to "Big Songs For Little Attention Spans" was both heartwarming and staggering. All across the net, in the unlikeliest of places, people picked up on the collection after it was plugged on MetaFilter, leading to countless other links and a bandwidth-busting 1,000GB of transfers in just 24 hours of frenzied downloading, before the file's hosts understandably had a small panic fit and removed it. (It's now fairly widely available through various P2P networks - look for the filename "100songs.zip"). Suggestions for more tracks flooded in, and to cut a short story shorter, now there's another volume. Of it.

The task of collecting 100 more tracks was made slightly easier this time round by the existence of several other ready-made compilations to cherry-pick the choicest cuts from. Several were made in response to Vol.1 by the fine readers of the WoS Forum, but other viewers also alerted your correspondent to commercial collections that he'd been previously unaware of, such as the quirky Miniatures and the coincidentally-titled all-punk compilation Short Music For Short People, and all of these contributed tunes to Volume 2.

For the benefit of the few ungrateful pigs who complained (entirely wrongly, but hey, it takes all sorts) that Vol.1 was too heavy on "novelty" songs, the second volume is a bit less "funny", but still takes in a vast collection of styles, from the eerie angst of PJ Harvey and Lauren Laverne, to the knockabout punk of the Vandals, Offspring and Ataris, to the dark and gloomy likes of Mogwai and Nina Nastasia, to the electro-pummelling of Peaches and Moby, and a good slice of the just plain weird (Norman Lovett, Bratmobile).

DOWNLOADS AND INSTRUCTIONS

Things are a bit different this time round. For the time being there's a direct download here, but in case it doesn't last very long the zip-file has also been distributed selectively to friends, colleagues, contributors to the WoS tip jar, and a few others. They should all have it in their P2P share folders, so searching for "100songs2.zip" in Soulseek, eMule etc should turn it up. As a last resort, of course, you could just hunt the songs down yourself from the tracklisting (conveniently located below), but hopefully that won't be necessary. Possibilities for permanent hosting of the direct-download file are being investigated, and any offers will obviously be gratefully received.

The cover artwork is here.
 

BIG SONGS FOR LITTLE ATTENTION SPANS VOL. 2
TRACKLISTING

01. IN ACCORDANCE TO NATURAL LAW - BIKINI KILL
Fresh from their appearance on Vol.1, the loveable agit-femsters kick off the second selection by doing what they do best. (Shouting.)

02. KICK OUT THE JAMS - THE PRESIDENTS OF THE USA
Snappier, less-apocalyptic rendition of the MC5 classic.

03. LIKE A FISH IN WATER - THE BOUNCING SOULS
Is he really singing "Need a fisting" right at the end? Yikes.

04. BRITISH SOUNDS - THE YUMMY FUR
Angular clattering in the finest British post-punk tradition.

05. HIM DANCING - THROWING MUSES
...and here's the structurally similar, but altogether more polished sound of US "alternative". But just as good.

06. OFNAD CONTRIBUTION STUDY COMMITTEE REPORT
   - TRACHTENBURG FAMILY SLIDESHOW PLAYERS
You tell me, frankly. Majestic, though.

07. THE COUNT - WIZO
Maybe taking things a little bit too literally.

08. SAY WILL YOU BE READY? - TINY TOT CALVIN
A harrowing tale of Armageddon.

09. I HEAR THE WIND BLOW - THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS
One of the few tracks from the band's "Fingertips" collection of mini-tunes that stands up as a song in its own right.

10. FEELING THIS - RICHARD CHEESE
Beautiful Blink 182 cover from the Lounge Against The Machine crooner.

11. OLD MOTHER REAGAN - VIOLENT FEMMES
A timely tribute.

12. PUSH IT - STEREO TOTAL
Fine German grunge take on the Salt'n'Pepa number.

13. HAND GRENADES - THE OFFSPRING
Revolutionary anthem or irresponsible incitement to random vandalism? You decide.

14. NO CHILD OF MINE - PJ HARVEY
Heartbroken parent disowns perpetrators of previous track, possibly.

15. LET'S GO FREE - MOBY
Giveaway title spoils cliffhanging tension of track itself.

16. SCENE 2 - CITYBILLY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER
   - PLUS TECH SQUEEZE BOX
Keeping up Vol.1's fine tradition of banjo music.

17. SATURDAY NIGHT AND DANCING - CLINTON
Mellowed-out bleeps and bloops from the renowned Cornershop spin-off.

18. JUST PASSING - SMALL FACES
Charmingly parochial warm-beer-and-cricket 60s Britpop.

19. ASIAN PRIDE - HI-STANDARD
I like the ending.

20. SWEETEST LOVE - RALPH STEADMAN
An accordian or a harpsichord? I can't tell.

21. WHATEVER HAPPENED TO PONG? - FRANK BLACK
Two tunes in one track - bargain!

22. RENO, DAKOTA - MAGNETIC FIELDS
Another re-appearance from a Vol.1 artist, whose "69 Love Songs" triple album/box set is a Godsend for anyone making a CD like this.

23. BORN TO RAISE HELL - WHALE
Were they Swedish or something? I forget.

24. BALLAD OF MICHAEL H - STORMTROOPERS OF DEATH
One of several similarly-themed songs from the shamefully-disrespectful thrashers. The "H" is for "Hutchence", obviously.

25. I DON'T GIVE A FUCK - PEACHES
I can't quite figure out what the underlying message of this song is.

26. LOVE IS ALL AROUND - JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS
Not that "Love Is All Around", thankfully.

27. TO ALL THE KIDS - THE VANDALS
Lovely T-Rex pastiche from US punk kids.

28. FASTER AND SHORTER - SHITBIRDS
Is there really any need for all this naval language? Tsk.

29. JUMP BABY JUMP - CAT POWER
Like a drunk New Orleans bag lady improvising with a broken guitar.

30. CUMBERLAND GAP - THE WEDDING PRESENT
Much-loved UK indie outfit cover Lonnie Donegan's skiffle standard for the NME's great, now-deleted, 40th-birthday celebration "Ruby Trax".

31. LITTLE ROOM (A CAPELLA) - MC TRON
Superior vocal cover of the White Stripes track from Vol.1.

32. BOSS OF ME (TV VERSION) - THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS
Makes you wonder what the need for the other two-and-a-half minutes was.

33. DOIN' LAUNDRY - NERF HERDER
A touching romantic serenade.

34. VINYL PANTS MOVE TO NEW YORK TO WEAR US - GERTY FARISH
Theme tune for a very sinister imaginary kids-TV show.

35. TUFF TITTY RAP - CICCONE YOUTH
Prelude to the rebadged Sonic Youth's cover of Madonna's "Into The Groove".

36. BOOKENDS THEME - SIMON AND GARFUNKEL
A nice soothing break after the last few songs.

37. I DON'T NEED ANYONE - CLUB 8
A nice soothing introduction for the next song. Tweeting birds and everything.

38. PRETTY WOMAN - BBQ CHICKENS
Possibly my favourite track on this compilation. Could only have been improved if the singer went "WAAAAHHH-AARRRRGGGGHHHH!" before singing the title.

39. ANNIE - ELASTICA
Remembering the good old days. The second verse seems entirely superfluous.

40. PIMMEL - THE MUFFS
No idea what the heck this is about, but it's lovely. It's probably a tale of strangling puppies to death in a bucket of sewage or something.

41. EYEZ - NICOTINE
You never hear that ska drumbeat any more. Unless, I dunno, you regularly go to see Rancid. And that seems to be taking it a bit too far.

42. EVERYONE COMES TO THE FREAK SHOW - FRANK PAHL
Sad-sounding little circus tune.

43. WIRE GREYHOUNDS - GUIDED BY VOICES
Unusually hi-fi effort from the Vol.1 stalwarts.

44. CELL PHONE - ALL-GIRL SUMMER FUN BAND
Estimated total cost of band's instruments: 17.98.

45. BACK TO YOU - SWINGIN' UTTERS
"Hoedown Rushed Through Due To Fire."

46. THINGS GO BETTER WITH COKE - RAYLON
This is from a real curio - an album collecting together dozens of genuine Coke ads from the 1960s, featuring huge stars like Marvin Gaye, Tom Jones, Otis Redding, Roy Orbison and the Everly Brothers all shamelessly whoring themselves for the Coke dollar with cheesy original tunes or worse, bastardised versions of their big hits. Nothing quite as tragic would be seen until Madonna's Gap ads four decades later.

47. SUNTORY POP JINGLE #1 - THE CARPENTERS
Blimey, everyone was at it. Sadly, there wasn't room on the compilation for New Order's shameful "Sunkist" version of "Blue Monday". Be grateful.

48. WARREN'S SONG PART 8 - BRACKET
Nice bit of harmony-laden emo.

49. ALLISON - EVE 6
Another cover of a Vol.1 track, this time in mellow "unplugged" style, featuring what sounds like one of those keyboards you blow into.

50. TOLD YOU ONCE - THE MR. T EXPERIENCE
I pity the fool who has to write their lyrics.

51. HIGHLY EVOLVED (MIX) - THE VINES
A tighter, rawer version of the mentally-disturbed Antipodeans' hit single.

52. THE DEAD ONLY QUICKLY - THE SIXTHS
Much-collaborated-with band, this time featuring Neil "Divine Comedy" Hannon.

53. APPLE CORE - CATATONIA
Untypical electro-requiem from the Welsh alterno-popsters.

54. GOOD MORNING! HOW ARE YOU? SHUT UP! - IVOR CUTLER
Any number of even shorter tracks from the legendary Scottish poet could have featured here, but this one was chosen for its thematic connection.

55. A NEW MACHINE PT.2 - PINK FLOYD
Nero Express has a really irritating habit of messing around with the order of songs in compilations entirely on its own initiative. You can move No.82 to No.86, then scroll back up the list and find that - without you doing a thing - No.14 is now No.22, No. 46 is No.45 and Nos 23-26 are now Nos 4-6 and No.17. This track initially came at No.53 (for no particular reason), with the Ivor Cutler one following, but I've just noticed it's shifted down one. It doesn't matter especially, but for Heaven's sake sort your software out, Ahead. Tch.

56. WAKE UP - RADIO DAYS
The kind of thing that'd make a corpse leap out of bed in the morning.

57. THE VERY NEXT DAY - NINA NASTASIA
The kind of thing that'd make it crawl back in and mope melodramatically about what a total bummer it is being dead.

58. JOHN PEEL SINGS THE BLUES BADLY - NORMAN LOVETT
Terrific comedian best known as being the voice and face of ship's computer "Holly" in the early series of UK sitcom "Red Dwarf", with a frighteningly accurate spoof on the famous veteran DJ.

59. CHANDELIERS AND SOUVENIRS - DIESEL BOY
Was there a war between Spain and America?

60. DAVE ALLEN AT LARGE - ALAN HAWKSHAW
One of the most evocative TV-show themes of the 60s and 70s. Sadly, modern television progs rarely get the luxury of a full-length theme any more.

61. MY FRIEND - BMX BANDITS
Typical sad-eyed whimsy.

62. DON'T YOU FUCK - ARLING AND CAMERON
Doesn't actually sound all that threatening.

63. WEGODDIM - OSYMYSO
The scary thing is, both the words and the stilted, remedial speech are so plausible.

64. QUALITY CONTROL - JURASSIC 5
A song which spoke particularly loudly during the compilation of these CDs.

65. HEY NOW EVERYBODY - THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS
An all-purpose alarm call.

66. MIDDLE - ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT
Not enough songs go "Way-oh! Way-oh!" these days.

67. ON BEING PUSHED - CHUMBAWAMBA
Lift muzak of the Revolution.

68. DO TELL US - HECTOR ZAZOU
You never hear of people being called "Hector" anymore.

69. CAR WASH - ELASTICA
Not at all sure where car washes come in, to be honest.

70. PETER SELLERS SINGS GEORGE GERSHWIN - PETER SELLERS
Does exactly what it says on the tin.

71. THE RADIO STILL SUCKS - THE ATARIS
Another thematic Smiths clone - this time, "Panic".

72. I HATE YOUR FUCKING GUTS - THE QUEERS
Man! These American punk kids are really irritable! Cheer up!

73. CHICKA-CHICKA - Y.A.C.H.T.
Onomatopoeiac number from mystifyingly-named janglers.

74. ANDY THE DENTIST - ANDY THUNDERCLAP NEWMAN
Is that the same "Thunderclap Newman"? That'd be weird.

75. NOT A HAPPY MAN - AVAIL
Thematically linked to the previous track, clearly.

76. THE BIZ VS. THE NUGE - BEASTIE BOYS
Moving on from "Deliverance".

77. X-GIRLFRIEND - BUSH
See, everyone's got at least one good song in them.

78. THE SOUND OF SILENCE - THE DICKIES
It was a close thing between this and "Eve Of Destruction".

79. TRACY KATZ - THE YUMMY FUR
For everyone who remembers Ron Johnson Records. In its more pop moments.

80. O I SLEEP - MOGWAI
Mogwai track plentifully supplied with "quiet bit", but mysteriously bereft of "loud bit".

81. TWO KINDS OF PEOPLE - MAGNETIC FIELDS
I found two kinds of this track while searching for material, funnily enough - this one and a much longer version. I liked this one best.

82. THE BALLAD OF WILHELM FINK - GREENDAY
First of a pair of marine-themed tracks. Loosely speaking.

83. SEALAB 2021 THEME - CALAMINE
Jaunty and uncannily Belly-esque tune providing frankly inadequate directions for locating the Sealab of the title.

84. LULLABY FOR THE... - THE FAINT
The what? The who? The when? The where? We demand to be told!

85. COUNTING TO ZERO - ARM OF ROGER
Owners of the finest-looking band website ever.

86. FEED MY EGO - BETTE DAVIS AND THE BALCONETTES
"Balconette" is a kind of bra.

87. IF - DRUGSTORE
The second-longest track on Vol.2 at 1m 43s, (one second less than No.10) but worth making the room for - in your heart as well as on the CD. Bless.

88. TRIPLE TRACK - DANCE HALL
I love the last three seconds of this especially, for some reason.

89. I DON'T WANT TO GO HOME - LEMONHEADS
Lugubrious mopery from Suzanne Dando's long-lost twin brother.

90. HE'S SO UNUSUAL - CYNDI LAUPER
I love her.

91. ERIK SANDIN'S STAND-IN - DOGPISS
Erik Sandin is apparently the drummer of NOFX (who appeared on Vol.1 with the classic "Murder The Government"). Either he's a legend with the ladies, or the song's sarcastic. Your guess is as good as mine, but it had to go in, because nobody calls women "fillies" any more.

92. I SEE - ADVENTURES IN STEREO
Just time for a lovely little bit of swing.

93. PICNIC BOY - THE RESIDENTS
Just to shut up the millions of people who moaned about there being no Residents on the first compilation (the reason being, incidentally, that I listened to about 100 Residents songs, and they were all total rubbish). See also the Descendents.

94. QUIT YOUR JOB - CHIXDIGGIT
The "Career Opportunities" for the 21st Century.

95. POLAROID BABY - BRATMOBILE
Just about the last track found for the album, but one of the best. I don't know if they stole the line near the end from the Bloodhound Gang or the other way round.

96. TO HAVE A HOME - LAUREN LAVERNE
From the short-lived solo career of the former Kenickie singer, who abandoned making gorgeous, stellar pop music for extremely mediocre television presenting.

97. SHORT ATTENTION SPAN - FIZZY BANGERS
This volume's meta-track.

98. 99 - LIMP-X
Well, making it track 99 would just have been too obvious.

99. CHORALE FROM BEETHOVEN'S 9TH SYMPHONY - PETE SEEGER
One last burst of banjo.

100. GOODNIGHT - DIE TOTEN HOSEN
A tribute to the good old days when TV stopped for the night at 10pm with the playing of the national anthem.
 


Volume 3? Don't hold your breath, folks.
 

Comments? WoS Forum