Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Blur In the News: Band Reunion Performance Tonight, New Song & Upcoming Olympic Performance

British band Blur is all over the news today.  Tonight the foursome will reunite for a performance at the 2012 Brit Awards, this after singer/songwriter Damon Albarn appeared over the weekend with guitarist Graham Coxon at the War Child charity concert.  There they debuted a new song, "Under the Westway," a solid, if stripped down, composition.  (See fan footage below.) 

There was also an announcement that Blur will play the Closing Ceremony Celebration Concert for the London Olympics this summer.   They will appear August 12 in Hyde Park with two other U.K. acts, ska band The Specials and some semblance of the iconic post-punk group New Order.  My daughter was there the last time Blur played together at Hyde Park during her junior year in London in 2009.  While I could not be more jealous of this highlight in her life, I'm also filled with motherly concern over how she had to be led to safety by security when things got too tight near the front of the crowd.

Blur was just not on my radar during their dominance in the British pop scene in the 90s -- Oasis had won the popularity contest on this side of the pond.  I came late to the party when Paul brought home the Best of Blur, a two disc compilation of recorded tracks on one plus emotional and energy-filled live performances on the other.  I played those CDs so much I broke the case, but still have it around as a testament to my fandom.  When a disjointed Blur line up spliced together Think Tank in 2003, I went to a now-deceased record store on the day it came out, eager to have anything remotely similar to the band I loved so much.  I did try to embrace Albarn's side project a few years later, The Good, The Bad, The Queen and went to their show at Webster Hall where he hid under a hat.  The 2007 single, "Herculean," is the only song I can even vaguely remember.

Finding my top five Blur songs was easy as they exist in various permanent playlists I've amassed over the years.  For a quick perusal, here they are below along with where they are found in my collection.  I'm already beginning to wonder how #1 or #2 did not make it on my Valentine's Playlist here -- next year!?!?!  And yes, I have a Tearjerkers playlist... 

NMMATTERS TOP FIVE BLUR SONGS (in no particular order):
1. "No Distance Left to Run," Romantic Songs
2. "To the End," Romantic Songs
3. "Girls & Boys," Singalongs
4. "Song 2," Rock Stew
5. "The Universal," Tearjerkers