Within my vast music library there resides a variety of musical genres and sub-genres. For instance, as many of you know, I have quite a collection of rock n' roll Christmas songs. Irish pop bands occupy a fair amount of shelf space, and yes, I'll even admit I have a soft spot in my heart—along with the 45's, albums and CD's to prove it—for glam, prog, punk, garage, twee, and just about any band from my home town of Cleveland. I also have a sizable selection of songs and soundtracks populated by secret agents and spies. Interestingly, this was a sound and musical subject matter I gravitated towards long before I began working at my current place of employment. There's not much to that guitar noir riff but I love it no matter how often I hear it played. So as 2007 is the year of the secret agent I feel compelled to a) recommend you save your money on The Good Shepherd (frustrating for anybody who knows anything about history and confusing for anybody who doesn't) and b) kick the year off with a week's worth (or what's left of it anyway) of my favorite bongo-beat laden, guitar noir, catchy pop songs about secret agents and spies.
The first song in this little mini-series is by a band whose name I thought for years was actually the title of their ep! No wonder it wasn't until the internet came along that I was finally able to get to the bottom of who they really were, where they were from and what else they had released. To my knowledge, Light a Big Fire only released one 5-song ep called The Gunpowders (see how I might have gotten things mixed up? The Gunpowders is probably a better name for a rock n' roll band — except maybe not if you're just getting started during the height of “The Troubles” in Ireland). All of the songs on the ep are catchy, but even when I bought the record almost 15 years ago, it was this song that caught my attention. Yeah, it's definitely “a product of the '80's” — but I'd argue the '80's weren't all bad. Plus, any song with a stuttering refrain—whether it's “my g-g-g-generation” or “k-k-k-kill anyone who got in my way”—hooky guitars, and rapid-fire snare drum beats is brilliant in my book. Today's Happy Medium Song of the Day is “CIA” by Ireland's Light a Big Fire. Happy New Year!