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20 August 2015

Life Is Like A Box Of Records: Chris Beltran

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Life Is Like A Box Of Records comes courtesy of Chris Beltran. Musician, producer, booker, A & R – he does it all. A staunch supporter of new Scottish music, he is just generally a great human being.

 

Travis – Turn

My beginnings in music were fairly ropey. I thought A1 were the best. Not even a cool boyband like the Backstreet Boys or N-Sync. Bloody A1…. I think one of the first albums I got that had any guitars or milligrams of credibility was The Man Who by Travis. Turn is probably the best song off it. My dad and brother were too cool for Travis but me and Mum loved them. I’d always sing it really loudly in the car on long journeys probably much to the annoyance of the rest of my family.

Blondie – Heart of Glass

This song reminds me of family parties or Hogmanay where family and friends would all peer pressure each other into doing karaoke. This song and “Take On Me”by A-ha where my karaoke songs of choice when I had no choice but to do karaoke.

Metallica – For Whom The Bell Tolls

When I started secondary school me and my mate Jack who I’d been friends with at primary school were hoping to meet like minded people to play music with. He played drums and I played guitar. We made friends with these guys Michael and Paul who played bass and guitar respectively. We got on so well that we decided to start a band and learn some covers. Only thing was that we liked Green Day and they liked Metallica. We ended compromising and learning songs of both bands. Basket Case and For Whom The Bell Tolls were our biggest successes. Michael could play all the bass solos note for note perfect. Paul did Kirk Hammett proud and I reckon Jack definitely held the beat better than Lars did in this video.

Bloc Party – So Here We Are

This song always reminds me of walks to and from secondary school. Tricky to pick between this one and “This Modern Love” They are pretty much two of the most perfect songs from what I consider to be a perfect album. Very much made me want to write my own music instead of just learning other peoples songs.

Guillemots – Little Bear

Super emotional song. I could have picked any of the songs off of this album (Through the Windowpane) it’s one of my all time favourites. Loads of soul and still had an ear for melodies while being experimental. Guillemots are a band that our whole family bonded over. Seeing them at Connect Festival and the Barrowlands were particularly nice family outings. This particular song’s a greeter. Fyfe (the singer) seems like a generally nice fella too.

Beyonce – Crazy in love

I think this song was a turning point in terms of coming back around to pop music and how it doesn’t have to be totally cheesy after the dark days of A1. I’m not a very good dancer but this song always gets me going no matter how terrible my moves are. Probably the closest thing to a perfect pop song in my mind.

Julian Casablancas – 11th Dimension

This is a song from Julian from The Strokes’ first solo album “Phrases for the Young”. On the CD and in the lyrics of the songs there are all these little pockets of advice and phrases that I’ve come to try and live by. These include: “Being nice is important when others are not”, “Try not to give advice you can’t follow”and also the line in this song “Forgive them even if they are not sorry”. I’m not big on reading into lyrics massively but that has rung true to me lately. A memory I had of this album was going on a holiday to New York with my family. They all wanted to go see the touristy stuff like the Empire State Building and Times Square and I just wanted to go to Ludlow Street cause there was a song named after it on “Phrases for the Young”. It was a bit of an indie pilgrimage for sure!

Kanye West – All Of The Lights

Always controversial but I love Kanye West. I think he’s super talented and in my opinion has always come out with consistently interesting music throughout his career (EVEN 808s and heartbreaks). He seems to have always chosen the best samples/collaborators for his tracks and the album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is him doing this most effectively with collaborations with likes of Rihanna, Justin Vernon and Nicki Minaj to name a few. It reminds me of when my family moved house back in 2010. We’d just moved into our new home and had no CD’s as they were all in storage cause of the move so I walked down to a nearby FOPP and bought Dark Fantasy and had it on repeat for days. It was probably the last time I bought a CD in a shop. That’s a pretty grim admission there!

The Beatles – The Long and Winding Road

I bloody love this song. It’s definitely one of my favourite songs ever. Unless someone writes a better song in the meantime that gets me as super emotional I’d like this song (and Little Bear) to be played at my funeral. It’s so perfect. I remember my mum would always play the Let It Be album in the house when I was a wee guy. This is definitely the best song off it and brings back lots of nice memories of my childhood.

Friendly Fires – Paris

There’s not really a life reason for picking this song. I just really love it and have done since I first heard it. It’s got a massive, soaring chorus and amazing drum beats throughout. I love the sense of space the track has while still being super poppy and direct. The song’s about escaping from your everyday life and imagining being somewhere else that’s better. It’s super cheesy but I really strongly agree when people talk about music being an escape for people. This song makes me imagine being away on holiday somewhere warm with your best mates on days when I’m walking around Glasgow in the rain feeling a bit crap. If music’s not good for moments like that then I don’t know what it’s good for. I’m not sure if club showcase is an actual club (too lazy to google it) but I’d very much like to be taken out there and live it up like it says in the song. There’s still time I hope!

2 thoughts on “Life Is Like A Box Of Records: Chris Beltran

  1. Someone involved in A&R and booking who cherishes “one of the first albums I got that had any guitars or milligrams of credibility”? Such wonderful times we fucking live in.

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