Today’s Life Is Like A Box Of Records is scribed by David Bell who runs A Quiet Night In. A promoter that has a strong passion for new music and has put on some incredible live nights in Glasgow.
You can find more about them here: www.facebook.com/aquietnightin
“There are plenty of other tracks I’d like to add to this, but I reckon the most important ones are here. I think the tracks with the most substance are the ones that are responsible for certain turning points in my life, and the ones that are responsible for introducing me to different ways of thinking and all that. If hearing a new sound for the first time has the power to actually change you in some way, that’s a pretty amazing thing. So aye, ‘behold the power of music’, etc.”
1. The Blue Nile – Tinseltown in the Rain
Like most people, I imagine, my taste in music very much stems from the music my parents have imparted on me. The likes of The Doors, Pink Floyd, Belle and Sebastian, Paul Weller, Prefab Sprout, Neil Young and a ton of others would always come on in the car on one of my Dad’s mixtapes. ‘Tinseltown in the Rain’ by The Blue Nile has always stuck with me though, and I still get goosebumps at the breakdown where Paul Buchanan sings, ‘Do I love you… Yes, I love you!’ Paul Buchanan has one of the best male singing voices I’ve ever heard, and The Blue Nile are without a doubt one of my favourite bands of all time, and he’s is always so modest about his talent. I actually had my first fan-boy moment when I was a wee guy and I was with my Dad in a cafe in the West End of Glasgow, and he nudged me and pointed over to a guy who was getting served and said, ‘That’s the singer from The Blue Nile.’ I got pretty excited and told him to say something, but he totally shat it. This takes me back to my first taste of ‘real’ music and acts as a nod to my parents for not having such a terrible taste in music.
2. Queen – We Are The Champions
I played street hockey, roller hockey and eventually ice hockey when I was younger. We were big in to The Mighty Ducks movies, and so any time we’d win a game, we’d always sing this song because it ran during the credits of the movie. I genuinely love Queen as well and I think Freddy Mercury has to be one of the greatest frontmen in history. Easily. I miss playing ice hockey like mad and I still actually have dreams of being back on the ice. Whenever I wake up I’ll be ragin’ because it was just a dream. If anyone’s reading this and looking to get in to it, let me know!
3. Slipknot – Sic
One of my pals from school lent me this comic catalogue called ‘Forbidden Planet’. I remember buying a bunch of Metal Gear Solid figures from it, but I also came across the music section and seen these orange boiler suits for sale which belonged to these fucking insane looking guys wearing masks who were pictured beside it. Curiosity got the better of me, and I ended up borrowing the first Slipknot album from the only Goth I knew at the time. I never knew what was going on the first time I heard the first track, ‘Sic’, but it was completely different to anything I’d ever heard before and I was a changed person from that moment on.
The guy who lent me the CD suggested trying out some Pantera, Slayer, Metallica etc since I was in to it. After a short while, I started going around HMV and buying albums purely based on how gory their covers were. Slipknot remain one of my favourite bands to this day, and a lot of the time when I meet someone new who’s in to them, we’ll have shared the same experience what with hearing this ‘new sound’ for the first time.
4. Goldfinger – Superman
I can’t remember if I was in to skateboarding prior to Tony Hawks Pro Skater, or if that’s what got me in to it. Regardless, I must have fell in love with skateboarding and the Tony Hawks Pro Skater OST round about the same time.
‘Superman’ by Goldfinger was a stand-out track for me, and they soon became my new favourite band. I got in to a lot of other skate-punk bands like NOFX, Lagwagon, Bad Religion, BigWig, Rufio, 88 Fingers Louie who became the soundtrack to my life throughout those skateboarding years. Again, a lot of the time when I meet people round about my age who are in to skateboarding, we’d share (near enough) the exact same experience.
5. Planes Mistaken For Stars – End Me In Richmond
From meeting new people at Secondary School, a few of us became friends through sharing similar music tastes. I ended up getting in to bands like Thrice, Thursday, Desaparecidos, Cursive, Small Brown Bike, At The Drive In, The Mars Volta, The Get Up Kids and a bunch of others. One of us discovered PMFS and it turned out they were supporting The Ataris at The Barras not long after. I think they put a shout out on MySpace stating that they were looking for a place to crash after each show. I asked my Mum if we could have the house on the Saturday because this band are coming over, and so she did. So on the night of the show, we mentioned to the merch guy, Anthony, that we can put them up. He was this huge guy with long, greasy black hair and a tattoo on his face similar to Mike Tyson’s. Seemed pretty intimidating at first, but he was the nicest guy and was extremely grateful for us offering. He said to come back after the set and talk to the rest of the guys, so we did. This girl ended up talking to them before we got a chance to, saying she stays locally and they can crash at theirs. Bin. I gave Anthony my number anyway, just in case it fell through. So we ended up back at mine with all these people from school expecting this band to arrive but we had to break the news to them that it wasn’t happening. However, I ended up getting a call around 12ish from Anthony saying that the Bin had let them down so they ended up making their way down to The Scheme. Some of them went straight to bed, but most of the guys and crew stayed up smoking weed through and apple and drinking a ton of Stella, whisky and vodka. We played a couple of them at Pro Evo and absolutely pumped them. Big Anthony was helping me make my through the Stella and stayed in the kitchen most of the night singing KISS songs with one of the girls. I flooded my back door with my whitey, and someone else got theirs all over the bathroom and most of my room. I was 16 at the time and it’s easily one of the coolest nights we had during school. So this is in remembrance of that night, secondary school parties and those friends who I don’t see too much of any more. Iain Bethel (Great Cop) loves this story.
6. Boris Dlugosch – Bangkok
My first festival experience was T in the Park 2007 and it’s probably still one of the best weekends I’ve had in my life. I went daft for three days straight and don’t remember 90% of it, but I know it was amazing. I think it was also my first live experience of proper, pounding techno. In the years that followed, I’d be absolutely loving the Slam Tent and the Duracell Tent, and a lot of us started getting in to The Arches and Sub Club from that. I went through a phase of just getting out my absolute bin and not really caring about much else. I still love getting out my absolute bin, but more in moderation. I heard this track on one of the Snowbombing podcasts and it’s always my go-to track at parties. I could have shared a Slam track for a bit more cultural weight, but this track always puts a smile on my face and takes me back to my carefree days before I became a cynical old prick.
7. Dougie McLean – Caledonia
This was the song my Mum chose to play at my Papa’s funeral, and she couldn’t have chosen a more fitting track if she tried. This is probably the only track on this list where the lyrics actually carry some sort significance. The song itself is about Dougie Maclean feeling homesick, but I’ve interpreted them differently to fit within the context of my Papa’s life, our relationship, and him eventually passing away from cancer.
The first few lines, ‘I don’t know if you can see the changes that have come over me, In these last few days I’ve been afraid that I might drift away’ make me think of his last days with us and how his face and body changed drastically during that time; ‘I have travelled hard sometimes with conscience flying somewhere in the wind’ reminds me of the stories he would tell me of his time spent in the Navy, where he would get to travel all over the world and end up in trouble with foreign women, and how he’d fall asleep when he was supposed to be on duty. There are plenty of other lines in there that I could dissect, but you get the picture and it’s genuinely hard enough writing this as it is.
8. N.W.A – Fuck Tha Police
A few mates from school listened to lots of hip hop and we’d smoke weed and watch all the Friday films as well as Menace 2 Society and Boys n the Hood etc, so I was aware of the ghetto lifestyle and I developed a fascination with that way of life. When I started getting more in to hip-hop, I got more in to black history and hip-hop culture in general. It opened my eyes to the Rodney King case and the LA Riots, as well as the Black Civil Rights movement, and from there I’d trace the mistreatment of blacks in America all the way back to the slave trade of the 18th/19th Century. So I think with all of that going on, it’s made a lot of hip-hop much more real and meaningful and powerful to me. Plus hip-hop culture in general is one of the coolest things around. The fact that I’ve wanted to be black ever since the first time I played San Andreas might have something to do with this too.
9. Trapped in Kansas – I Was Born
What with myself being a local, independent promoter based in Glasgow, and what with Podcart being the absolute champions that they are in supporting Scottish artists, it’s only fitting that I include this track here. The first show I put on in Glasgow was with Trapped in Kansas, Midnight Lion, The Darien Venture and Scores at Sleazys. Killer line-up, and it very nearly sold out. For a first show, that was pretty cool. From being involved in music to some degree over the years, I’ve met some really cool people, worked with some fantastic bands, and made some damn good friends. Also, I make my debut music video appearance here…
10. The Acid – Basic Instinct
In the spirit of discovering new music n that, I got in to these guys recently and the album’s amazing!