Ex Die in Diem



In the late seventies and early eighties, CBS billed The Clash as “The Only Band That Matters”. If I had been young in that era, I can believe that I would have thought so too: they were an incredible band, full of energy and change and musical experimentation.

I wasn’t young in the eighties. I was born in the eighties: 1986, the year The Clash died. Before we get carried away with thoughts of me being home to the reincarnated spirit of some angry punk band, let me get to my point. Having grown up in the age that I did, with Blur and Oasis warring over the guitar legacy of The Stone Roses, with the strains of Nirvana still echoing through the music of my youth, there was another band deserving of the title.

I don’t think anyone’s bothered to call them by it, but there we are: Pixies, the only band that matters.

I was introduced to Pixies by my older brother: to this day he considers it among the crown achievements of his brothership. He should - the band have had as much of an effect on my perception of what music should be as they had on the bands I’d grown up listening to. Let’s make this clear: if you like music involving guitars and drums that was made in the last twenty years, you’ve heard the influence of the Pixies.

Each and every song that they produced before imploding as a group circa 1993 is worth hearing. Doolittle would be my Desert Island Disc. If it hadn’t been before their time, I’d have happily replaced Voyager’s Golden Record with that LP.

I think that’s quite enough admiration for this week. Just one thing before I go: this blog is a stark weekly reminder of the situation that my inattention and Apple Inc’s marketing has put me in, and I can’t hold back any more.

I’m deeply frustrated musically at the moment, and it’s all down to iTunes Match. For those of you who don’t know, iTunes Match is a service that Apple are now offering whereby I can pay a small annual fee to have my entire music collection constantly available for download on my iPhone. This was an offer too good to miss, and I signed up as soon as the service was made available in the UK. The factor I had failed to consider was that I had signed into Amy’s iTunes account about 45 days prior, in order to download Ceremonials.

The rules say that I can’t sign back into my own account for the purposes of redownloading purchases (which iTunes Match counts as) for ninety days. That’s a reasonable rule, designed to stop me from acquiring all of my friends’ back catalogues too quickly. My problem stems from the fact that my iPhone decided to purge its music library in preparation for Match before telling me I couldn’t use it, which has left me with none of my own music on my phone. Roll on, 31st of January.

This is from the