Monday, 30 November 2009

Justice - One Minute to Midnight

For some reason It's taken me quite a while to get into Justice. Becasue I'm old and don't really go to Clubs any more. So fashionably late to the party but what a party it is, I'm especially fond this distorted little beast of a tune.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Neil Young - Birds

Neil Young and Dylan in the same week, oh dear, I've gone all mojo. Still I heard this on the radio yesterday and was struck by just how lovely it is. Neil Young has never been someone I've really been able to get into but I 'm thinking that may have to change.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

A Genuine Freakshow - I Can Feel His Heartbeats

Here's some nice shimmery indie that rolls into something larger and thunderous as it goes. The effect is a little Playskool Arcade Fire, but that's by no means a bad thing. It's still a lovely racket. I'm always very impressed by bands that manage to harnass large numbers of induivals and sounds into a coherent whole. Knowing as I do the utter unrelablity and fecklessness of most musicans I tend to believe any band with more than six members constitents something of a minor miracle.
This bunch of up and comers also has the dubious pleasure of being from Reading, a town which has many faults but does boast the finest pieshop in all England. Sweeney and Todd, is it's name and if your ever passing that way I heartly recomend a visit.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Sparks - This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us

It's amazing how much the style of the time shapes music. Though the Mael brothers have since proven themselves to be very versatile musicians and songwriters this was originally recorded in 1974, when Prog ruled the Land. Which means hello operatic vocals and solos for every member of the band! Luckily the song is more than strong enough to withstand such ornamentation and perhaps even benefits from it in a slight ludicrous over the top way. This video also showcases a drummer who looks like a middle aged lesbian, always a fine sight to behold.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Rancid - Roots Radical

For all the late nineties California punk boom left us with terrible debris of emo, it did also produce "...And Out come the Wolves" by Rancid which is a tremendous album. What set Rancid aprat was that they had a guenine anger about them, handily married to some rather nifty tunes, This song probably sums it up best, and has left we with a life long appreciation for the "moonstompers".

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Fever Ray - Keep the Streets Empty for Me

Another slab of Glacial Swedish electronica. Karin Dreijer Andersson who also works with the knife has a remarkable voice. Here's something primal about it. Listening to this song I can only picture a mad woman, standing at thh entrance to a cave, crooning into a vast blizzard. The comic material that has been paired with it here seems to fit nicely too though.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Bob Dylan - Shelter from the Storm

I remember being about fifteen and having a basic Bob Dylan best of CD that I listened the hell out of one Summer. I didn't understand a jot of it, but I fragile teenage mind twigged there was something important about it. This was the song that I put on again and again.
Perhaps because everyone can relate to the idea of "Shelter from the Strom". Perhaps because with typical adolescent self absorbence I fancied myself "hunted like a crocodile' though god knows why.
I still love this song and this version is a particularly fine one. I still don't have a clue what it's about, other than that we all need shelter sometimes, but it still sounds important and that's good enough for me.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Martha Wainwright - Bloody Motherfucking Asshole

I've always felt a little sorry for Martha Wainwirght, difficult to forge a niche for yourself when your brother is such a talented attention hog. Still she has a hell of a voice going for her and this is a fantastic bitter number.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

The Flying Pickets - Who's That Girl

There's something about this a capella version of the Aurthmyics classic that I find mesmerizing. It also highlights the rather odd and striking lyrics. Ms Lennox certainly has a way with words.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

The Go! Team - The Power Is On!

This is a sparkling little number of energetic magic. Fantastically exciting. And the polar negative of the hideous dreich wetaher currently infected my city.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Penguin Prison - Animal Animal

Something very eighties about this, but in a funky overindulgent way that I can get behind. The verse makes me think of Wham! But for the life of me I can’t think why. On more important matters, if I was an animal I think I’d likely be a bear. I saw some footage of a bear ripping open a beehive to get some honey the other night. It was quite tremendous.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Take That - Greatest Day

I bloody love this song. Gary barlow has a fantastic voice, he hits some absolutely massive notes in this. Madly catchy as well, once you heat it you're stuck with it.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

The Asteroids Galaxy Tour - Around the Bend


Danish neo-motown apparently, but one listen of that opening horn blast was enough to convince me there's not enough Scandinavian soul revivalists in my life. Asteroids Galaxy tour is bloody awful name for a music outfit mind. As a bonus this video also features some very cool light projections on buildings.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

The Knife - Heartbeats

Lot of the David Lynch, Angelo Badlementi in this, more glacial though, more Scandinavian. Generally though it's just ace.

Monday, 16 November 2009

The Chemical Brothers - Out of Control

I Bloody love this song. Sumner apathetic vocals fit perfectly and when his shimmering guitar solo kicks in it's a thing of absolute wonder.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Blur - Badhead

A Great song from a great album. The whole back end of parklife is winner after winner, but I've always had a particular soft spot for this one. Hard not to love that introductory brass.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Queen - This Thing Called Love

I sang this song with my school choir when I was 13. That's how fucking cool I was. YEAH. Leaving aside that massacre. This is just a classic. Mercury's elvis-esque phrasing fits perfect, and the whole thing swings like nobodies business.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Todd Terry - Weekend

This song sounds like a relic from another age. A darn funky relic mind you. The lyric has a slightly mournful quality to it though, which I think always adds a nice depth to a party track.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Ida Maria - Queen of the World

Ida Maria apparently suffers from hassynesthesia, a neurological phenomenon that causes her to see colors when she hears music. Which sounds like it would be quite cool but would probably end up being an endless source of grief. Imagine if you brain decided to represent the inescapable pop hit of the day as a particularity virulent poo brown. Not pleasant. Unlike this song, which is a perky little joy. "Whiskey please, I need some whiskey please," is most endearing opening line. Too many of today's drunks forget about manners I find....

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

The Arlenes - Lonely Won't Leave Me Alone

For the longest time this was my favourite song. I'm a little happier now and appreciate joy a little more but it's still in the top three. The lyrics are so sad and full of regret without being mawkish. The main vocal is clear as spring water, and beautifully balanced by the gruff male counterpoint in the chorus. There's a lovely wee guitar solo towards the end the exact opposite of any egowank of a note fest, just a couple of notes put together in a simple way that fits the song perfectly.
Wonderfully, so a song that weeps and bleeds country it was written by a lad from south London.
It is something of a mystery to me why this isn't a standard, as it's so absolutely perfect but I wonder if it would have the resonance to me that it does, if a new version trickled out the radio every few years. As it is I come back to it every six months or so, listen to it on repeat for an hour or two and feel melancholy in the best, most enjoyable way.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Gillian Welch - Elvis Presley Blues

A great song about Elvis. Elvis is great not just for his music but because he inspired so much amazing stuff. This song being a prime example. Just the other day I was thinking about Elvis and the Fool's Gold Loaf. That kind of behaviour is commitment to becoming someone people write songs about.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Chuck Prophet - You Did

Chuck Prophet, formerly of alt country pioneers Green on Red has spent most of the last 20 years trying to merge country and hip hop. A Lonely furrow to plow, but he succeeds here. It doesn't sound like anything like country or hip hop mind, but it's good. Got Atmosphere.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Black Eyed Peas - I Gotta Feeling

This is a straight up party jam. Sure, BEP have the critical kudos of David Hasselhoff at this point. Doesn't matter. This is a belter. End of.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

The Passions - I'm in Love with a German Film Star

The Musical ancestors of current flavour of the month the XX, perhaps? In any case this is a wonderful, etheral piece of early eighties wierdness. Apparently it was written about a roadie for the Clash who had several bit parts in German films but that seems all too proasic for this splendid little oddity.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Nellie McKay - The Dog Song

I love Dogs. Nothing like a bit of unconditional love to get you out of a slump.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Harry Belafonte - Angelina

Harry Belafonte has the most incredible warnth to his voice. He can make a song sound welcoming like no one else. "Hey, come on in, help yourself to drink, this is just getting started" says Harry. "No Problem" says I.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Chris Isaac - Wicked Game

The eeriest goddamn song you ever will hear.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Clearlake - Wonder if the snow will settle

It's would be nice to have a proper winter again. Snow seems to be receeding into my unconscious, a myth, a dream. Real snow a foot deep doesn't seem to come by anymore.

Monday, 2 November 2009

St Vincent - Marrow

I wasn't too sure about this, little bit too ethereal I thought. too many strings not enough guts. Then, Boom, a squelching great mess of a chorus and I'm happy as a big in shit. There is something I find rather off putting about St Vincent, I feel as if she is the sort of woman who I might be chatting to quite happily in a kitchen at a party, only for to suddenly stab me with a butter knife because I harbored unacceptable views on the linguistic roots of the the germanic languages. Still this song is the just the right kind of bonkers so as I stay away from the butter knifes I think it'll be fine.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Marques Toliver - White Sails (Andante)

This chap is very good indeed. Both his vioce or his violin playing would mark him out as a major talent, to have both, at the same time, is little short of extraordinary. He also used to make 80 dollars in a morning busking in Central park, playing his own material, no one makes money busking their own material, it's aganist the buskers code! Anyone who can do that, well I wouldn't be surprised to see him do just about anything.