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Oxford in May and the Maytenders

My favorite month in Oxford is September (nothing beats that sense of indrawn breath just before the students arrive) but May comes a very close second. The green of the trees, the birds, fresh yellow sunshine on golden stone. This year in Oxford the tow paths are being widened. Each week seemed to bring a different route through the works. Some mornings I listened to the birdsong. Others I took a more parochial route, listening to the songs of my own species.

Here's what kept my feet steady in May:



This is bookended with Metronomy songs; leading with one of their last big hits (I'm Aquarius" and closing with their first ("you could easily have me"). The video for Aquarius is a silly bit of superglam sci-fi fluff; you could easily have me is a manic memeish animal-headed chase scene at least partly set in Oxford, and dates from when they were a local band who performed with cupboard lights on their chests. I was a fan, of course.

Heaven 17 and Jessica 6 provide robotish glamour with that faintly disturbing quasi-fascist edge some high 80s style had. I found a nice performance of Mess Around with an old Ray Charles whooping is up grand style, though the version I favourited was just the one from the calpol ad. McDull (the weird Japanese interlude) was a cult children's animation of some note; I got a CD of it in a pile of library chuck-outs. The songs are weirdly hypnotic. Boys Noize and Negativland bring the politics this time - be sure to watch the videos of Yellow, Black and Rectangular for classic nucleur paranoia and Mayday for surveillance state panic.