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My 24/1/20 Jam: "Don't Marry Her" by The Beautiful South

At various times of my life, I’ve had a system for getting new music into my ears. When I was a teenager, I read Kerrang!, NME (in the library) and occasionally Metal Hammer. I’d know vaguely what was coming out, and sometimes (always and two of them with MH!) they gave away a free CD to demonstrate the new music. I stopped buying magazines at some point, like everybody did.

In undergrad, I developed more of a general interest in pop, and fairly religiously listened to Zane Lowe’s new music show on Radio 1. In postgrad, I consciously started to try and train Spotify to serve me up new and interesting stuff, or at least keep me up to date with artists I already knew I liked.

However, in between these times, there have been fallow periods. I am in one such period at the moment. Occasionally I find something on YouTube, but I stopped training Spotify and its recommendations have turned to sludge.

The main problem is I haven’t really had any “music friends” since I was a teenager – I’ve mostly since bonded with people though social situations, be they work, theatre and classes, rather than fallen into groups where we’re regularly sharing music.

If anyone reading this wants to drop any suggestions in the comments, or invite me to a music-chat WhatsApp group, I would be grateful. Personal recommendation is always the best way forward. Hence this very series.

In short, I haven’t really listened to much new music at all this week. At any rate, none of those songs are today’s jam.

Today’s Jam is:

“Don’t Marry Her” by The Beautiful South

Some tracks shift significantly in how you think about them. Blue Is the Colour has the dubious honour of being one of the very few CDs found in my Dad’s car over the years. I have no opinion on the album, and I certainly haven’t done the responsible thing and listened to it before writing this. Back then, this song was just one among many pop songs – it burrows into your head, but you never actually consider it. The main interest was that there was a “dirty” version that they didn’t play on the radio.

Then, like all good songs, you start listening to it more, which means you start listening more actively. I liked it more when I clicked with the forthrightness of the track. I liked it even more when my mind switched into a queer reading of the song – male songwriters, San Francisco, I don’t need to spell it out. While there is enough evidence to support this reading for a first-year lit essay, I think I may well have gotten overexcited after listening to a lot of The Magnetic Fields over the years, and now I’ve gotten to the point of airing the theory in public I’ve lost confidence in its accuracy. This is sometimes the way with such things.

Still, good track. For other services, click here.