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Sunday, 20 January 2019

The S4L Radio Show January 2019 #1

I thought I should maybe get my act together and post a little something and so the first Radio Show that's not really a Radio Show of the year is finally here.

There's a lot of new music, newish music, a few old favourites and a couple of things new to my ears that I quite liked and so thought might be worth sharing. 

As is normal here on S4L the music is drawn from a wide variety of musical styles because it's a bit boring being so narrow that you miss out on some other great music.

Listen Here To
The S4L Radio Show January 2019 #1

On The Playlist
Hello Again (Neil Diamond Cover) - Fun Lovin' Criminals
Sunshine Rock - Bob Mould
All Over Now - The Cranberries
Let It Happen - Switchfoot
Bottoms Up (Here's To Goodbye) - Ryan Hamilton & The Harlequin Ghosts
Strange Land - Joe Jackson
Powerful Taboo - Pedro The Lion
You Haven't Called - UB40
Light On - Maggie Rogers
Surprised By Joy - Richard Ashcroft
Bowie - Paul Weller
Alone On The Rope - Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
Summer In The City - Johnny Marr and Matt Johnson (The The)
We Hold Each Other Up - Miles Hunt (The Wonder Stuff)
Perfect 10 - Paul Heaton + Jacqui Abbot
All Ready To Go - Taking Back Sunday
Coming Backwards - The Alarm
Backwards and Forwards (Live in Madrid 1984) - Aztec Camera
When Love Breaks Down - Prefab Sprout
C'est La Vie (Live in New Jersey) - Duncan Reid and The Big Heads
Do Anything You Wanna Do (Live 2018) - The Damned featuring Barrie Masters (Eddie and the Hot Rods)
The Last Goodbye - The Kills

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Punk, Post-Punk & New Wave 1979 Playlist #1

A fine mix of tunes issued between January - March 1979 that includes Debut Singles from Monochrome Set, The Ruts and The Scars from Edinburgh; major label Debuts from The Members and The Skids; as well as tunes from the usual suspects like The Clash, Ramones, X-Ray Spex, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Generation X, The Undertones, The Jam, Sham 69 and Buzzcocks. There's Peel Session performances from Gang of Four, Tubeway Army and Adam and the Ants. It all kicks off with the return of The Damned who would go on to sign with Chiswick Records and release some excellent singles and a magnificent third album in 1979.

On The Playlist
Love Song/Burglar (The Dodgy Demo 7") - The Damned
Outdoor Miner - Wire
I Found The Essensce Rare (Peel Session) - Gang of Four
She's The One - Ramones
Ain't You - Kleenex
Get Over You - The Undertones
He's Frank - Monochrome Set
King Rocker - Generation X
The Sound of the Suburbs - The Members
In A Rut - The Ruts
Rubber Cars - The Wasps
Into The Valley - The Skids
Pressure Drop (B-Side) - The Clash
Overcome by Fumes - Rudi
Strange Town - The Jam
Down In The Park (Peel Session) - Tubeway Army
Why Can't I Touch It? (B-Side) - Buzzcocks
I Need Nothing - Menace
Cold City - Spizzoil
Questions and Answers - Sham 69
Highly Inflammable - X-Ray Spex
Adult/ery - The Scars
The Staircase (Mystery) - Siouxsie and the Banshees
Never Trust a Man with Egg on his Face (Peel Session) - Adam and the Ants

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Happy New Year 2019: Give Me Love...Hope...Strength

As we come to the start of  the New Year I would like to thank you first for continually stopping by to visit this little Blog, Soundtrack4Life. Last year I didn't do an awful lot mainly due to health issues and whilst I can't promise you that this year will be very different there is one thing I can be certain about and that is when I do get to posting then it will some great New Music that will be released in the coming year as well as some excellent older music that continues to thrill me as the years go by. 

I hope that you will keep coming back from time to time to see what's new. In the meantime let me offer up a wish, a longing, a desire, a prayer even, for you in this coming year with this particular song below.

It's funny how a particular song comes along and at first you kind of like it but it doesn't totally resonate with you until maybe years later.  

Strength by The Alarm first appeared in 1985 as a single and was also the title track to their second album. Seeing that I was a fan of the band I faithfully purchased both single and album and of course went to see them live on the tour to promote it.

In the past few years though the song has begun to seep into my thoughts in a new way and reveals something about me that I probably wouldn't normally talk about, especially with those who don't know me. Us blokes don't like to come across as being vulnerable because we might have grown up with the concept that it is not cool to show such a side of yourself as it can easily be perceived as weakness. But the way we think and feel has been changing as we have been encouraged by others speaking about their own struggles with the complexities of life whether it be health issues physically or mentally.

One of the writers of this song is Mike Peters. You will know a bit about him from the many posts spotlighting The Alarm and his Solo work on this very blog. He's a man who is a survivor and a fighter. Having battled cancer a few times now (the last time alongside his wife Jules) and making a huge difference with the Love Hope Strength Foundation, a rock and roll cancer charity. He has just received an MBE in the New Year's Honours List for his charity work and it's much deserved. It's a great encouragement to many that have supported him and the work of the charity down through the years. That's just an aside.

Mike Peters and Me back in 2011
(with Craig Adams doing a sneaky photobomb!)
Picture by Andy Labrow

When it comes to the song itself there's a few things that have struck me about it in the past few years.

Firstly, there's almost a sense of desperation about the song. A man is in need, a man in pain, a man feeling isolated, a man who has a sense of uncertainty about what is happening to him at this very moment...he doesn't know whether he's "living or dying", and that seems like the most desperate place to be.

Struggling with health issues the past number of years, firstly with Arthritis and then the past couple of years with Epilepsy, I know a little of those feelings of pain, isolation and that sense of uncertainty. It's not pleasant to go through at all!

Secondly, he realises that the answer to the problems he's facing do not come from within but from outside of himself..."Give me someone to live for...Who will light the fire...I need someone I can depend on...Someone write me a letter...give me a telephone up a door and let me out of this place". Is there anyone out there who can help alleviate the pain, that feeling of being "caged up for oh so long"?

It's probably at this point that many stumble because we have been told that the "love, hope and strength" that we need are within us already and we just need to find them and draw from that well, but the man in this song sees that is actually untrue and looks elsewhere. 

The answer as to where we find that "someone I can depend on" are plentiful. Some find it in faith, others in people and in a way it's a combination I think of both but the root is in faith. Not faith in an inanimate object but faith in one who is bigger and higher than we can ever imagine. One who says to us that "I know your name", when our circumstances say "I'm alone on the outskirts of town where no one knows my name". I know it is very unfashionable and untrendy to talk about God, about Jesus Christ because the world around us teaches us to be self-relient rather than dependent upon another and that we need to reject religion of any sort because it is constantly divisive. But for me personally I have found that the source of this "Love...Hope...Strength" is found in the Divine One and as a result of that there are people in my life (my wife and some friends) who draw close by and help provide the things that the man in this song is crying out and yearning for.

As we go into 2019, which is an untraveled road for us, we are not sure of what lies ahead but having a focus and a faith in someone outside of ourselves will certainly quell the uncertainty when bumps, potholes, debris on the road, and strenuous climbs come our way. 

The "love" we require is an unconditional love that knows all about us and yet loves us still. The "hope" is in one who has a plan for our lives even when to the human eye our little world is falling apart. The "strength" that we need is a fuel from above that we can draw upon in the moment we require it that will help us through whatever challenges come our way.

I do not for a moment presume that everyone will be in perfect agreement with what I have said but I put it out there for your careful thought and attention.

Strength - Mike Peters
101.9 Kink

written by The Alarm

Who will light the fire
That I need to survive
Who will be the life blood
Coursing through my veins

Like a river flowing
That will never change
I need someone
I can depend on

'Cause I'm a man of emotions
Who can't hide the tears
I'm a man of feeling
Who can't hide the pain

I'm alone on the outskirts of town
Where no one knows my name
I'm at the point in my life
Where I need affection

GIVE ME LOVE (Give me love)
GIVE ME HOPE (Give me hope)

GIVE ME LOVE (Give me love)
GIVE ME HOPE (Give me hope)


Someone write me a letter
I need to know that I'm still alive
Someone give me a telephone call
I need to hear a human sound
Someone open up a door
And let me out of this place
I've been caged up for oh so long
I don't know if I'm living or dying

GIVE ME LOVE (Give me love)
GIVE ME HOPE (Give me hope)

GIVE ME LOVE (Give me love)
GIVE ME HOPE (Give me hope)

I walk alone across the outskirts of town
I can't control what I'm going through now
Will you light the fire that I need to survive
Will you donate the life blood
Coursing through my veins
Will you open up the door & let me out of this place

I've been caged up for oh so long
I don't know if I'm living or dying

GIVE ME LOVE (Give me love)
GIVE ME HOPE (Give me hope)

GIVE ME LOVE (Give me love)
GIVE ME HOPE (Give me hope)

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