There is some bloody good music on this week’s show. Some of it I’ve written about, some of it I most likely will, and some of it’s just nice to hear again. A PUZZLE: Listen to it all and find out what’s what.
January 18, 2012
Leave a Comment
This week’s Fok Bloke show took a shizophrenic turn, veering wildly from songs about terrible things to songs about other things, and I think I harped on about it a bit too much. It was quite exciting.
December 14, 2011
Leave a Comment
More Christmas stuff this week in the form of Withered Hand, Forest Mountain Hymnal and the wonderful For Folks’ Sake Christmas charity compilation, which you should buy. Also, I found out about a new band who I’m really rather taken with, in the form of Saintsenica. Here’s a track:
Saintseneca – Acid Rain
By the way, I’ll get around to, you know, actually writing something specifically for the blog at some point.
December 4, 2011
Leave a Comment
Oh god, Christmas has begun.
October 11, 2011
Today I deal in facts. This is the ninth episode of my radio show, The Folk Bloke. It is one hour, one minute and forty-six seconds long, making it the second-longest episode I have broadcast (trailing behind the grotesqueries of the one hour, three minute and eighteen second long travesty that was Episode Five). In it I discuss the dullness of The Vaccines and the stupid manifesto written by new band Sons of Joy. I like it. I like you. I miss you.
August 22, 2011
Leave a Comment
When I started posting up these episodes, I was enthused. ‘So!’, thought I, ‘I will have an extra post every week. Good!’
Turns out, my subconscious is very convincing in telling me that I’ve actually posted more than I have. I promise I will attempt to rectify that this week.
January 31, 2010
I’ve never been to an instore before, so being told that the wonderful Withered Hand would be playing at the amazing RPM Records in Newcastle was just the thing to help me break my duck. There were only around ten people there unfortunately, but Dan Willson still smiled, chatted with the crowd and played his wonderfully funny, lovelorn tunes to us with all the aplomb of a performer playing to a packed room. It was just a nice little serenade for us all (if you can consider lyrics about masturbating on someone’s futon a serenade) and a perfect chance to see an artist I haven’t seen live before in a situation I wouldn’t usually be able to. Lovely.
December 28, 2009
Leave a Comment
Here’s the second chunk of tuneful wonderment, and if you want the whole list in one easy-to-download package of delight, here’s the whole damn heap.
I’ve heard the whole album in different sittings, and it really should be on my list, but I never actually bought it in the end, so here’s my favourite song so far – the perfect connection of Richey Edwards’ incredible lyrics and James Dean Bradfield’s rockstar guitar tendencies. The Manics recaptured their greatest form here, I just hope they’ve got more of the much-missed Mr. Edwards’ notebooks hidden away somewhere.
Meursault have firmly rooted themselves on my ‘favourite new bands’ list, with their debut album and latest EP releases each blowing me away for different reasons. This song has an oh-so-catchy handclap chorus and lyrics about a hermaphrodite politician who had strange burial requests. What more could you want?
I just couldn’t decide ok? The second half of this story sees a far slower, wail-filled affair, bringing the whole mood done somewhat, but for an entirely good reason. By the way, the band have just released new, more electronic, versions of both of these songs as new singles – get ahold of them from Song By Toad, it’s bloody worth it.
What list this year would be complete without Phoenix? This and ’1901′ are just incredible singles, sure to become classic pop hits, and whilst I like both, there’s something about ‘Lisztomania’ that oozes cool, seeming to explode with noise at points, and yet never losing its feeling of easy-going charm.
Ah, Radiohead. How they can make me like what’s essentially a five and a half minute sinister freak out (not my favourite style I have to say) is a marvel. There’s something so beautiful about the directions and left turns they take, letting it wash over you before switching up again, never quite allowing one idea to go on for too long. It felt perfectly at home in their live set too, bridging the gap between their more abstract songs and the hits.
Making beautifully constructed songs must be difficult if you have a shifting set of over 20 musicians, but this song proves it can be done. Adapting a Beirut sound into a far more expansive and ever-growing proposition, the mass chants sound like a rallying call for fey indie kids everywhere, and it doesn’t succumb to the crescendoed heights it seems to suggest it will at points, a nice exercise in restraint that shows how such a large band can make understated music.
Shift-Static describe their genre as shoe-step, embracing the disparate influences of shoegaze’s wall of sound techniques and dubstep’s shuffling, occasionally mournful beats. It doesn’t get much clearer that this is a perfect description when you listen to this. All Kate Bush swirling vocals to begin with before suddenly mutating into some quietly throbbing, beat-laden beast, it’s bloody weird, and bloody brilliant.
This cover of a Mark Mulcahy song takes the best of Thom Yorke’s solo work and marries it to louder sound, allowing guitars and real drums to seep in somewhere along the way, perfectly complementing the sad yet ultimately redemptive tone of the lyrics.
Tom Williams may be adept at creating folk-pop tunes that I love, but this hoedown version of Dizzee Rascal’s horrible, horrible song made me love the band for a whole new reason – their sense of humour. This just sounds like friends making music because they love it, with no ulterior motive.
This song can cheer me up in mere moments. There’s something so bloody wonderful about listening to a band just say, ‘yeah, things can be good’ and back it up with the most upbeat music you’ve ever hear. At the time that I heard it, they were unsigned and still playing little gigs; now they’re signed to cooler-than-thou Kitsuné and I saw them play Glastonbury. They’re going to be big, they’re going to make a lot more amazing songs, but this will always be the one I cherish most, because it feels like a band just believing in themselves, even when they haven’t achieved anything just yet.
I simply cannot wait for the second album from these guys, and by the sound of this track they might have some new tricks up their sleeve. This takes all the African influences they love so much, cranks them up higher than they’ve ever gone before and puts it all on an avant-garde dance track. Freakin’ awesome.
Just after I talk about Ezra Koenig making an African-themed dance track, we have this, an… African dance track, featuring Ezra Koenig. It somehow sounds completely different though, using actual African samples as a base and building up from there. It’s an unadulterated slice of sunny pop, and a sure-fire dancefloor hit.
Technically, it’s a song from 2008, but I’ve only heard this year’s Good News album version so I feel no shame in including it here. The lyrics are what makes this so brilliant, at times a twisted love song, at others a meditation on happiness and all the time wonderful. Lines like ‘How does he really expect to be happy/when he listens to death metal bands’ and ‘I knew you so long I ran out of cool things to say’ make me smile instinctively, and turn this into an instantly relatable song, totally human and never pretentious.
Having written this, I realise I’ve definitely missed some out, so if you want to tell me what you think I’ve omitted, comment me up!