Category Archives: hot water bottle music

Whiteout

You may or may not be aware of the absolutely torturous and downright hazardous amounts of snow that swept through Scotland at the end of November right though until early-mid December. We weren’t alone though. Snow engulfed practically the whole of the UK in early December.


But with me living in Scotland we’ll concentrate on that.

Now, i like the snow. I love it in fact. But the snow became too much. It brought Scotland to a well publicised halt. I got sent home from work early on the 29th of November because it got ridiculously heavy and lay on the ground at almost knee height in East Kilbride (where i work) and a day (unpaid day may i add) off from work the next day. The roads were so bad that people were abandoning their cars on the motorways and walking/slipping all the way home. There were cars parked all over the place. Pavements, grass verges, roundabouts, bus stops, random pathways. Everywhere and anywhere. So not only was the snow causing grief to the motorists who decide to soldier on but now they also had random vehicles planted all over the place to deal with. The snow had got to the point that it wasn’t fun anymore. Apocalypse Snow indeed. Then suddenly…..it disappeared. Granted, it left behind streets full of ankle threatening ice and gritted yet still not fully safe roads. It stopped in time for me to make a reasonably safe journey up to Dundee last weekend and the last remnants of snow and black ice seemed to be melting away like a Ben n Jerries left in a sunshine filled park in California.  The chaos had ended…..or had it.


The picture above was taken of Glasgow early yesterday morning. The Big Chill is back and this time he’s brought his friend Mr Mist with him.

Yep, we’ve got more heavy snow fall, gale force winds, mist and below zero temperatures coming our way over the next few days if the weather “experts” are to be believed. Going by this picture, which reminds me of the film The Day After Tomorrow, they could be right again and we’re in for another very cold patch and snow oblivion this winter. Let’s just hope we deal with it better now than we did earlier this month. It always baffles me how countries all around the world can deal with snow, probably a lot more than we get, on a yearly basis but we, the UK in general, always play the “we don’t know what to do” card.

Anyway, onto music and sticking with the winter theme…

MP3: The Decemberists – Down By The Water

MP3: Muddy Waters – Cold Weather Blues

MP3: Twin Shadow – Castles In The Snow

This is also the perfect post to stick up this classic song. A band i had forgot all about until this weather kicked in.

Here’s what the weather geeks at Scotlands “top rag” The Scottish Sun (how ironic?) predict for the weekend ahead.

Now, where’s my gloves and my piano scarf?

Oh there they are…


S.I.T Wolf X

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Hot Water Music: Day 5 (This Is Not Happening)

First off i’d like to apologise for the delay in getting this song up. Its been a week since the last one. I had planned to get the song up as normal last Friday but my computer’s being playing up big time over the last week or so and basically wouldn’t allow me to. And i’ve also been busy recently, really busy. There’s been christmas shopping, wrapping, gigs to go to, hangovers, days in bed, shopping, family get togethers, more gigs, shopping. And did i mention shopping? Well it’s all done now anyway. Every last drop of shopping….apart from a few odds and ends that i’ll get on Sunday.

Song 5/Fridays Song: Mew – She Came Home For Christmas

This song is one that came into my head one day this week on the way home from work. I was on the bus with my headphones, it was absolutely freezing, i had my iPod on random and when this particular song came on i automatically warmed up. The key’s in the title. It just sounds happy, which is quite ironic given the lyrics. But it’s not only that, it’s everything else about it. The chord progression is very simple and popular. There are a thousand other songs that use the exact same chords in the exact same progression, style and delivery but Mew somehow make a B, F# and E sound like their own chords, like they made them. The intricate sounding piano and the operatic background take over eventually and somehow become the heartbeat of the entire song. Lets not forget Jonas Bjerre and his other worldly tones as well, on record he is unreal, live he is phenomenal. He can hold majestic notes. I’ve been lucky enough to see Mew twice. The first time was in November 2005, the second was November this year, about 7 weeks ago to be precise. Both times they’ve played this song. It was easily my highlight of both gigs when this song got an airing.

There are more than a few versions of “She Came Home For Christmas” around. It first appeared on the 1997 album “Triumph For Man” , there’s also been a few other re-workings of it, acoustics and so on. And then a newer, fuller version of the song was recorded for the breakthrough album “Frengers”. My favourite however will always be the first version they put to tape. I do, however, love all the versions, the original has an amazing guitar solo, the newest one has Jonas singing where the solo is on the original and the acoustic versions have a great bit of guitar picking at the breakdown but the original still sticks in my head and that’s the one i’ve decided to use here.

MP3: Mew – She Came Home For Christmas

Don’t touch her there, she’s blindfolded
She remembers on the bus
Into my heart, don’t remember
Like you left us without notice
Now you’ve come back, like you left us
Like you owe us
Into my heart

It’s not me, it can’t be
It’s not you, i can’t do what i do
If it’s you
This is not happening

Don’t touch her there
She told him
She remembers how it was
Into my heart, don’t remember
Like you left us without notice
Now you’ve come back
Like you owe us
Into my heart

It’s not me, it can’t be
It’s not you, I can’t do what i do
If it’s you
This is not happening

Don’t touch her there
He watched her
She knew his look from behind

S.I.T Wolf  X

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Hot Water Bottle Music: Day 4 (I Know There’s Such A Place)

Day 4 brings me to a song that someone kinda requested as such. Well not really a request but more of an “oh, that song reminds me of Christmas and being warm” hint we’ll say. And if it’s good enough for Emma…..

Day 4/Thursdays song: Interpol – Say Hello To The Angels

“Say Hello To The Angels” is an example of a song that makes someone feel warm because of the memories it brings flooding back. Whilst in New York in the Winter of 2008 Emma had the Interpol album “Turn On The Bright Lights” pretty much on repeat the whole duration of her stay. From the moment Emma touched down in NY and pressed the play button she had “Turn On The Bright Lights” as her soundtrack. Even at night with the aid of her magical musical pillow the native New Yorkers were soundtracking her journey to dreamland and beyond. One song in particular got stuck in her head to remind her of that cozy warm New York apartment she was staying in. Step forward “Say Hello To The Angels”. With its warm, choppy (maybe even happy, Interpol being happy?!) chords, warm atmospherics and Paul Banks famous baritone-y delivery the song certainly has a feeling of warmth that would sit well on a cold night in NY. And as Emma put it, Interpol are the definition of night music. And night music usually equals music that’ll keep you warm. So as Emmas memories of NY and this song keep her warm this winter give it a listen yourself and maybe next year it’ll do the same for you.

MP3: Interpol – Say Hello To The Angels

I want your silent parts
The parts that the birds love
I know there’s such a place
I had my back turned,
You didn’t realize I’m lonely
You lack the things
To which I relate
But I see no harm.
Come way, come way, come way
It’s over.
And 1, 2, 3

When I’m feeling lazy, it’s probably because
I’m saving all my energy to pick you up when you
Move into my airspace
Move into my airspace
Something’s coming over me
I see you in the doorway
I cannot control the part of me that swells up when you
Move into my airspace
Move into my airspace

But each night,
I bury my love around you
Oh each night,
I bury my love around you
You’re linked to my innocence

This is a concept
This is a bracelet
This isn’t no intervention
This is a concept
This is a bracelet
This isn’t no intervention
This isn’t you yet
What you thought was such a conquest
Your hair is so pretty and red
Baby, baby, you’re really the best

Can I get to this way, I think so
Can I get to this way, I think so
Can I get to this way? Can I get to this way?
Can I get to this way? Can I get to this way?

We should take a trip now to see new places
I’m sick of this town and I’ve seen my faces change
We should take a trip to see new places
I’m sick of this town, I’ve seen my faces change
(Each night i bury my love around you)

Say hello, say hello to the angels
Say hello, say hello to the angels

WARM RATING: COZY NEW YORK APARTMENT ON A COLD WINTERS NIGHT

S.I.T Wolf X

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Hot Water Bottle Music: Day 3 (Alcohol Only Makes You….)

It’s an age old arguement but does alcohol keep you warm or does it just make you think you’re warm?

Song 3/Wednesdays Song: My Morning Jacket – Death Is The Easy Way

Ok, so it’s not the most optimistic of titles but look beyond that and embrace the warmth of this song. I first heard this song back in 2002 on a compilation CD that i got with Uncut Magazine one month (Jan/Feb i believe). At first i was a bit sceptical of it but over the months it grew on me and within a year or so it had became one of my favourite night time songs. Yet again it’s another song that evokes a warmth through not just the music but the lyrics also.  The voice and lyrics are enough but then there’s the harmonica at the intro that slowly gives way to the Southern picked guitars and the unique voice of Jim James, the washy sound of cymbals, the harmonica breakdown and the various spoken words that appear in the background at one point (listen closely). To me “Death Is The Easy Way” is the perfect song to play at a campfire or something along those lines anyway. Picture the scene. The air’s that cold that you can see your every breath, you’re wrapped up in 3 layers of clothing, scarf pulled round your face, woolly hat pulled down so all thats left visible are your eyes,  your rubbing your hands round a fire as the embers flicker up towards the midnight moon. Now imagine this song playing as the soundtrack. Perfect.

MP3: My Morning Jacket – Death Is The Easy Way

So who cares if alcohol keeps you warm or not, this song keeps me warm and makes me want to have a straight whisky to put an extra bit of fire in my belly. Unfortunately for me, straight whisky doesn’t sit well in my belly (tried it once in my younger days which led to me having a face to face meeting with my toilet) so i’ll have to give it a miss. The song will do though. The video is amazing as well.

Some say, death is the easy way
And i think they’re right
Cause nights tick by like a long week
Except when you stop by
And i know that trying gets nothing done
And i see you’re about dry

Cause nothing gets you high
You’re poor the day you die
And alcohol it only makes you tired
But seeing you feels good
And its always understood
That anything much sweeter would make me die

Take some time rolling back the line
And time goes all night
Some say, death is the easy way
And iknow they’re right

Cause nothing gets you high
You’re poor the day you die
And alcohol it only makes you tired
But seeing you feels good
And its always understood
That anything much sweeter would make me die

WARM RATING: SIMMERING UP NICELY

S.I.T Wolf  X

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Hot Water Bottle Music: Day 2 (You Were Rubbing Both My Hands)

Day 2 of Hoter Water Bottle week and i’ve splashed out on a nice new jacket for winter…..and yet another hat. I have waaaay to many hats. One thing i forgot to buy? Gloves.

Song 2/Tuesdays Song: Bon Iver – Blood Bank

Despite the song being stripped back to the bare minimum of acoustic guitar and the inimitable voice(s) of Justin Vernon it seems unbelievably full and thick and it glows with a certain feeling of Christmas style warmth. From the “ooooh”s over the intro to the lyrics about being stuck in the snow with a girl and the comforting chords. It was originally to be part of the album For Emma, Forever Ago but for what ever reason Vernon decided to leave it off and released the song officially in January this year, although if i’m honest i managed to find a leak (like most people on the blogosohere probably did) of the track in late Novemeber/early December last year and it became my un-official Christmas song of 2008. It’s the perfect song for an early winter night in with a bottle of Jack D and memories/hopes. 

Pretty much everything about Bon Iver and Blood Bank points to the makings of a song to keep you warm. He seems to have an obsession with the cold right enough. For a start he recorded the debut album (and this track) in the winter in a cabin in Wisoconsin and even the name Bon Iver pretty much translates as good winter in French. But that voice is enough to warm up the coldest of winters.

MP3: Bon Iver – Blood Bank

Well I met you at the blood bank
We were looking at the bags
Wondering if any of the colours
Matched any of the names we knew on the tags

You said “See look at that, yours,
Stacked on top with your brothers”
“See how they resemble one anothers?
Even in their plastic little covers”

And I said “I know it well”

That secret that you know
That you don’t know how to tell
It fucks with your honor
And it teases your head
But you know that its good girl
Cause its running you with red.

Then the snow started falling
We were stuck out in your car
You were rubbing both my hands
Chewing on a candy bar
You said “Ain’t this just like the present
To be showing up like this?”
There’s a moon waning crescent
We started to kiss

And I said “I know it well”

That secret that we know
That we don’t know how to tell
I’m in love with your honor
I’m in love with your cheeks
What’s that noise up the stairs babe?
Is that Christmas morning?

And I know it well

WARM RATING: TOASTY

S.I.T Wolf  X

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Hot Water Bottle Music: Day 1 (Frozen Roads and Wires)

Some people find comfort from the cold in different ways.

Seeing as the temperatures seem to be dropping with every passing day i thought it’d be a nice idea to share a few songs that’ll make you fuzzy on the inside no matter how cold you feel. So every day this week (well, Mon-Fri) i’ll post one song that will keep you warm. It might be the music itself, it might be the lyrics, it might be both, it might be the atmosphere it creates or it might just be the thoughts and images it makes you conjur up in your head. Whichever it is i can pretty much promise the 5 songs will heat you up.

Let these songs be your equivalent of that really thick furry blanket you only bring out for winter or that extra pair of socks you stick on at bedtime, that hot chocolate before bed or the old wooden fire place you wish you had.

There’s only one stipulation. The songs must be listened to at night and through headphones for full effect.

Song 1/Mondays Song: Grand Archives – Sleepdriving

The song starts with picked chords and the very comforting voice of Mat Brooke. From there on in it slowly builds and swells to immerse the listener in strings and vocal harmonies. It’s melodies are almost hypnotic and from just after the 2 minute mark onwards it gives off an almost Christmas-sy vibe. Perfect for the very cold nights that lie ahead.

MP3: Grand Archives – Sleepdriving

Snow fell thick and small
It buried us all in a fog
You remembered it all
I’m sleepdriving away

Metal and mold, bourbon and clove
Mirrors and smoke, yesterdays clothes
I’m sleepdriving away

Eyes through your window, I stare out
And some, someday we’ll be too old

Cold air, will put an ache in your jaw
We’re only as old as you say that we are
I’m sleepdriving away

The trunk of the car filled with all that we own
This old Pontiac’s starting to feel like a boat
I’m sleepdriving away

Eyes through your window, I stare out
And some, someday we’ll be too old

It’s nearly dawn in a motel home
The shades were drawn to hide the storm
Without a sound the TV glows
The blankets tight around our throats
Swirling round, the light above
Outside the crows were waking up
It’s nearly dawn in a motel home
It was nearly gone
No sleep at all

Outside those crows in lines on those
Frozen roads and wires

WARM RATING: ROASTING

S.I.T Wolf  X

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