Sam Neill

Sam Neill - Actor, Vigneron

Songs You Can't Get Out of Your Head. In a Good Way.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Denizens of the Dayglo! Welcome back. And apologies that the dance floor is still under repair -- the combination of dry rot and termites proved overwhelming, and some nasty accidents were the result. Happily nothing fatal, so we move on. All claims are with our solicitors, the venerable old firm of Sue, Grabbit & Runne, late of Grey's Inn, now c/o a postbox somewhere in the Cayman Islands.

Instead, this week we invite you into the Dayglo Lounge. Pull up a La-Z-Boy, pour a glass of something you like, and treat yourself to some songs you will never forget. Songs you keep coming back to. And we don't mean something like My Way, heard as you wander into a Mall, where some prawn is playing the Richard Clayderman version on a white grand, and there you are with it running crazily around your brain for the rest of the day. Oh no, this is CLASS. Songs the Prop has been obsessing about, for very good reasons, and in no particular order. Promise, you won't regret it. As annoying waiters will insist -- ENJOY!

Top 20 Tunes

  1. You Never Know - Wilco

    I love this band. This song as good an introduction as any to their great body of work. And a reminder that we don't hear enough piano these days. See them live if you can.
  2. This Mess We're In - P.J. Harvey with Thom York

    Nothing I can say could convey how utterly cool this is.
  3. East Harlem - Beirut

    I am hypnotized by Beirut, their strange atmospherics, their strange sense of both the familiar and the other-worldly. Sort of amazing.
  4. Don't Talk (Put Your Head on my Shoulder) - Ann Sofie Van Otter

    It is almost a rule of thumb -- NEVER allow an opera singer near pop or rock. This is the GLORIOUS exception. A lovely singer treating a great Brian Wilson song with infinite tender respect, and with Elvis Costello's beautifully restrained production (witness the slivers of steel guitar, like ripples in a still pond), this is an ecstatically exquisite love song.
  5. Towers - Bon Iver

    What to make of Bon Iver? An Indie oddity for sure, but once bitten... I think they are great.
  6. More Than You Know - Eddie Vedder

    Eddie's strange vibrato meshing seamlessly with his humble ukulele, a lovely song full of tension and longing. Timeless.
  7. Down in the Valley - The Head and the Heart

    I know nothing about these people, except they are from Portland. Or is it Seattle? No matter, I'm glad I found them.
  8. The Daily Mail - Radiohead

    Are they the World's Greatest Band? Probably. This recent single sounds like it could be from The Bends or OK Computer. Which is no bad thing. A very good thing in fact.
  9. Family Tree - Jellyfish

    A rather neglected but top drawer band from the 90's, but channeling the 70's here [The Cars et al), cascading harmonies, testosterone guitar and so on. Fantastic. And just a demo! Impeccable pop. That last minute -- wow. (webmaster's note: sorry, the link for this song is blocked in the US for copyright protection.)
  10. New Shoes - Paolo Nutini

    Paolo is, in spite of the name, is in fact a lad from Scotland. Uber talent. I defy you not to feel good with this one. Go on, have a bop around the Lounge.
  11. Jericho - Rufus Wainwright

    I am Rufus' greatest fan bar none. He is quite astonishing. His last album is not his strongest (that'd still be Poses) but still has some great stuff, and this is my pick.
  12. Long and Wasted Years - Bob Dylan

    How heartening to see someone so iconic for so long have a late career resurgence of such power. Dylan's last 3 or 4 albums are heroically grand. And here is another epic song from the last ; full of spleen, regrets and a life fully lived.
  13. Some Sweet Day - Sparklehorse

    Sweet indeed, but utterly doomed. Unforgettable, but sadly no more.
  14. Looking for a Girl - Teddy Thompson

    Like Rufus, of impeccable musical pedigree. And funny too. Hilarious song ; subversive if seen from a Nashville perspective.
  15. Down Don't Bother Me - Derek Trucks

    Someone else with an interesting rock background. In addition, married to the excellent Susan Tedeschi. Currently easily my favourite guitarist, an extraordinary almost molten technique. Gritty soulful singer too. Love this track, and the whole album.
  16. My Body is a Cage - Arcade Fire

    If you are one of those Arcade fire doubters, and I was one, this will turn you around. Simply magnificent. Massive.
  17. Milk and Honey - Audra Mae

    Oh my God, how downright...sexy can a song get! Listen preferably, on I Tunes: not really sure about the solo live version on You Tube really. This is gorgeous.
  18. Put the Message in the Bottle - World Party

    A very charming band I overlooked for too long.
  19. Don't Let the Sun Go Down - Living Sisters

    Aaahh. Now close your eyes. And drift away to somewhere...better.
  20. Christmas Song - Joy Zipper

    I have been obsessed by this song for, what, ten years now? I have no idea if it's completely vacuous or brilliant. Doesn't matter -- it's Love. See what I mean about those songs that won't leave your head?

OK, put the footrest up, headphones on and start again. And aren't you glad you did? What would we do without music?