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2001 – Me Gustas Tu

March 17th, 2019 · Posted by Skuds in Life/Music · No Comments · Life, Music

After the false start of 2000 the decade started to perk up a bit in 2001, which is when the pedants would insist that the decade started anyway. It perked up musically and it perked up personally as well.

I had been spending about 9 months temping and applying for local jobs when I got a phone call. It was from the central recruitment office of a local firm. They had a job I might be suitable for and was I interested. I was interested in the fact that when I had a letter from them 6 months previously they said they had nothing at the moment but were keeping my details on file, and it turned out that they actually did! I always assumed that it was a gentle way of telling you they are not interested.

The bad news was that it was not in any of the Crawley sites but back up in London. I had avoided even looking at jobs in London because of the travel and cost of travel, but the redundancy payment was starting to run out and they mentioned the salary which was about 40% higher than what I was on before… so I went up for an interview and started working there in the summer.

Shortly after I started the new job I got married for the last time. This year we have our 18th anniversary and everything is still going well so I feel quite confident that its forever. I am also still working for the same company, albeit in a diferent part, different location and doing a different job, so that worked out well too. Basically the year 2001 changed my life.

The one upside to working in London was the easy access to all those bookshops and record shops. My workplace was at Waterloo station and there was a great remainder-type bookshop next to the station – I love those shops. In Lower Marsh there was a brilliant independent bookshop, the sort where you can chat to the staff and get decent recommendations, and a 5-day market with a stall selling CDs and DVDs at suspiciously low prices, and Tower Records and the big HMV and Virgin stores were only a short tube journey away.

I took full advantage of all that and got some decent LPs in this year. Elton John started a late return to his 70’s quality with Songs From The West Coast, Neil Finn had his 7 Worlds Collide collaboration, and Radiohead released Amnesiac.

I was still dabbling in rap music. Busta Rhymes released Genesis, which made it a good year. There was also Devil’s Night by D12. D12 felt like Eminem’s equivalent of Bowie’s Tin Machine: he insisted that he was just a member of the band and not its focal point, but most people only bought into it because of his involvement. There was also another white rapper on the scene; Bubba Sparxx. His album Dark Days, Bright Nights was interesting even if it was as much a Timbaland album. The similarities with Missy Elliot’s Get Ur Freak On were not limited to using a snatch of it in Ugly.

Some other albums I enjoyed from 2001 were #1 by Fischerspooner, In Search Of by N*E*R*D, Origin of Symmetry by Muse and Discovery by Daft Punk. I always think of myself as more of a rocker, but on reflection I bought a lot of dance music. Talking of which, Les Negresses Vertes released their last studio album (presumably) called Acoustic Clubbing and had completely made the transition from a chaotic gypsy band to a trance-y club act. Although it was so different from where they started with Mlah, I had followed them all the way through and liked their music at both ends of the journey.

Another of my favourite compilations came out in 2001 – Dread Meets Punk Rockers Uptown. This was a compilation curated by Don Letts of reggae songs from the 70’s. If you went to any punk concert they would always be playing reggae songs beforehand, and all the best ones were on this.

Pink Floyd released their Echoes box set. I went out and bought it on vinyl at great expense because I had recently acquired a Linn Sondek LP12 turntable and so would get full advantage from it.

Although I didn’t know about it at the time, and only bought the CDs some years later when I did know about it, this year saw the release of the Live Frogs concert by Colonel Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade. The concert was released on two CDs and on the second one the band just played Pink Floyd’s Animals album all the way through. On the first one they also covered Shine On You Crazy Diamond. I’m a sucker for a good cover version.

The year had some good singles too. Apart from ones that were taken from the albums above, there was Buck Rogers by Feeder, Kylie’s phenomenal and iconic Can’t Get You Out of my Head, Clint Eastwood by Gorrilaz, Last Nite by the Strokes, Weapon of Choice by Fatboy Slim, and Whenever, Wherever by Shakira. She had been plugging away for year, releasing albums in Colombia and doing well there, but this was the first we had heard of her and we liked what we heard.

My song for 2001 is Me Gustas Tu, which was a single taken from the album Próxima Estación: Esperanza, by Manu Chao. It was really a continuation of Clandestino, having the same feel to it and some of the same backing tracks, all with little samples and with tracks running into each other. I’m putting it on because it would be a shame to not have Manu Chao on the list somewhere and Clandestino got eclipsed by Busta Rhymes for the 1998 slot on the list. During the year I went to see Manu Chao/Radio Bemba for the second time. I think this was at the Brixton Academy, with an ex-colleague from London Underground who shared my taste for such things. Again, the music played live was nothing like the record, as it was a lot more high-energy, although still the songs all merged into one. The new tracks fitted into the set perfectly.

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