The two essential subjects for all students at the college where I work are English and Maths. As an English teacher, I'm supposed to embed a little mathematics into all my lessons, so I thought I'd try embedding some into this blog. I'll work my way through the various branches of arithmetic (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) over the next few weeks (though perhaps not all at once), but I thought I'd start with basic maths... or math, depending on which side of the Atlantic you do your sums on.
Special mentions to Maths & Physics Club, Mutemath, and all those weird Math Rock bands I find so very hard to get into.
10. Jimmy Buffet - Math Suks
Now, that's not a very good attitude to start off with, is it, Jimmy? Go to the bottom of the class!
(By the way, your spelling's not all that great, either.)
9. Half Man Half Biscuit - Mathematically Safe
Just about the closest Nigel Blackwell ever got to writing a straight-up love song.
8. The White Stripes - Black Math
Uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh ah...7. Brad Paisley - You Do the Math
Ah, I just love that happy guitar sound and those cheery (swap they r for an s if you're so minded) lyrics. Long may Brad strut his country stuff.
6. Los Campesinos! - Don't Tell Me To Do The Math(s)
Starts out sounding like Belle & Sebastian, then goes cheerfully mental, like all the best Los Campesinos! records. When Americans miss the s off the end of Maths, Aleksandra, Oliver, Tom, Harriet, Gareth, Neil and Ellen Campesinos! start overusing exclamation marks.
5. Jim's Big Ego - Math Prof. Rock Star
Carmine Infantino was a legendary comic book artist, most famous for an extended run on DC's The Flash back in the 70s and 80s. His nephew, Jim Infantino is the man behind the hugely entertaining alt-rock band Jim's Big Ego, perhaps most famous for their song The Ballad of Barry Allen, about Uncle Carmine's most famous superhero. This is another great song from them, reminiscent of the Fountains of Wayne with added REM guitar.
Find out more about "the Greatest Band In The History of Recorded Music" here.
4. dEUS - Little Arithmetics
Quick geography test: how many bands can you name from Belgium?
Tougher than you think, and I could only think of one better than dEUS. Any guesses?*
3. Margaret Glaspy - Emotions & Math
Title track from the excellent 2016 debut record by this refreshing Californian singer-songwriter which I took a punt on via eMusic after hearing Cerys play it on 6Music. So far, the gamble is paying off... though the rest of the album isn't as radio-friendly as this one...
Phew. I reckon I need an ice cold bath after that one...
2. Idlewild - Close The Door
Always good to hear some classic Idlewild again, and here they are at their best...it's time for the maths test!
1. Cherry Ghost - Mathematics
I saw Cherry Ghost play live around the time this track was big. This was by far their best track, reminding me of the New York romanticism of Dion... which was odd, because Simon Aldred's a gruff Manc. He's made some great music since, but Mathematics is still his finest moment.
*My answer was Soulwax.
But which one wins your maths test?