July 2008

Well, I thought to create some semblance of professionalism in this, my own little corner of the big bad web, that I’d start a regular (and by regular I mean, ‘I will do this again at some point’) feature. And so this is it. Are you enjoying it yet? Basically, I’m going to put shuffle on my iTunes, and write about the first few songs that come up, maybe you’ll get a small sense of my music taste, maybe you’ll get some absolute arse. Who knows? It’s Shufflin’ Time! (*Copyrights*)

Beck – Hell Yes
Beck; everyone’s favourite genre-hopping, hip-hopping, language-hopping musical maestro. This song, from his album Guero (also my first venture into his music, due to the success of E-Pro, I’m afraid to say) was one of my favourite tracks when I first bought it. I don’t know what it is about it, it could be the odd robotic voice used throughout, or the sparseness of it all, using the bass as the driving force, but there’s something so enchanting about the whole thing.

Led Zeppelin – Dazed and Confused
Ah the Led, sometimes they irritate me so much, their flamboyance, their wankery, but I don’t think it’s possible to get over their general genius at creating what they did, when they did. This song shows off so much of what makes them great and so much of what gets on my nerves all at the same time. On the plus side, it really shows off their blues roots, and Robert Plant’s wails never sounded better than on a track like this. His opening lines are perfect. But the shifting styles do tend annoy, even if the guitar work is amazing towards the end, it does go on just a bit too long. But it’s still an awesome piece of work.

Fatboy Slim – Weapon of Choice
This is easily my favourite Fatboy Slim track of all time. Slim was always a master of buildup, and this song makes it look so effortless. Each layer of sound works so perfectly, the faux-brass fanfares are executed so well, and with Bootsy Collin’s deep vocals over it all, it’s just a lovely listen. Plus, have you seen the video? It’s got Christopher Walken flying in it! Bloody hell!

So there you are, a few songs from my library for you have a little gander at, nothing too obscure this time, but enjoyable nonetheless. Have fun!

What could possibly be better than a song that makes you happy, embodies happiness just through its tune and is made by a band who used to have about 30 translations of their band name into different languages on their Myspace? Pull Tiger Tail have always been about rousing you, making you jump, making you smile, and when I first heard this song, it made me do just that. I couldn’t stop playing it, and I was glad of it. Who needs shuffle, when you’ve got just one thing you’d rather listen to than anything else at that time? Music for me is all about personal reaction to what you’re listening to. That might be an obvious statement, but too often it gets overlooked in the pursuit of somthing new, something to force yourself to connect to. Too often it’s me that does it.

The thing is, when you truly find that connection on the first few listens to a song, it can just bowl you over. When I first heard this, it came in waves. First the guitar riff, then the bass, then the drums and just as that’s grabbed you, the vocals emerge and throw you into a sunny paradise. Then the chorus bursts the song open, and as the singer Marcus’ breathless one-word delivery washes over you, well it’s something that I can’t help but sing along to. It’s just brilliance, nothing more, nothing less.
Pull Tiger Tail – Animator

PS. They also did a version of this song that’s exactly the same except all the lyrics were sung in French after using an online translator. Awesome.
PPS. They’ve recently been dropped by their label, have no rights to THEIR OWN ALBUM and may not be able to ever make music professionally again. How much does the music industry suck?

I don’t know about you guys, but music for the Apocalypse is something that’s constantly foremost in my thoughts. What with constant news warnings about climate change, nuclear proliferation and the rise in popularity of Philadelphia cream cheese (which is disgusting in case you don’t know), I’m constantly thinking of songs that could be used to play out the final moments of my life.

For instance, if I was at some kind of crazy end of the world party, I’d choose The Presets’ “My People” (Coincedentally, from their album “Apocalypso”). It could be the fact that it sounds like a flourescent marching song, it could be that the vocals are repeated in a deep, menacing tone, or it could just be the dark sense of foreboding that hangs over the whole thing, but this strikes me as a perfect way to end the world in style.
The Presets – My People [YSI]

My dog (that’s her in the banner) got hit by a car today, which sucks. Fortunately, she’s fine, but it’s left me not inconsiderably saddened and, so searching my library for a track to cheer me up, I came up with this recent little gem from indie-pop band du jour This Is Ivy League. They seem to craft the most joyous little tunes out of jangly guitars, intertwining vocals and lyrics like “Don’t let the tiniest of complications bring you down my friend/Don’t let the slightest complications drive you mad“. And if they’re telling me not to worry, why should I?
This Is Ivy League – The Richest Kids [YSI]

I’m in bed, and I must admit I’m feeling a little chilly. But, on the recommendation of a couple of good friends of mine I recently had a listen to the wonderfully-monikered Bombay Bicycle Club and as their song “Ghost” makes it way through my speakers to my frosty ears I can feel the tremulous tones of Jack Steadman warming me from top to bottom. There’s something so wonderfully calming about this song, as the long bridge leads, with winding guitars and echoey ‘oohs’ not to a deafening crescendo but rather to a surreptitious outro and a tired smile on my face.

Why don’t you try it too?
Bombay Bicycle Club – Ghost [YSI]

Well here I am, my own little corner of the web, somewhere to force my opinions on anyone who cares to swing by. Just to outline, I know that there are countless reams of music blogs around the place, but I just want to throw my hat in and get all my kind of music in one place. So, how to begin? Well this is the first post, and in the most tenuous way, this is a marriage of the web with my taste in music, so lets spin that analogy out for as long as we can shall we?

Something Old

Just so you know, Radiohead are my favourite band, end of. They scale the dizzying heights of international stardom whilst never compromising on what they want to do, they challenge the listener without pissing them off, they create full albums rather than singles. No matter how much I might be told they’re depressing, I usually feel happy when I listen to them. And so in the spirit of my unbridled love for them, here’s the first song I’ll put up:
Radiohead – Just [YSI]

Something New

Now, from my cursory viewing of the blogosphere, it would seem I’m a little late to jump on this particular bandwagon, but as new bands go, Mumford & Sons are one of the best I’ve ever heard. My girlfriend, being the kind and wonderful person she is, took me to see Laura Marling (who’s also incredible) at St. James’ Church, Piccadilly not so long ago. Some of Mumford & Sons are in her backing band, and they were invited to play their own stuff that night a few hours before the gig. I was absolutely blown away, Marcus Mumford’s keening vocals are a joy to hear, especially as the whole band’s glorious crescendos explode into life. They only released their debut EP a few days ago, and I suggest you go and listen to it all.
Mumford & Sons – White Blank Page [YSI]

Something Borrowed

Cover songs have got a lot more common recently, what with Live Lounge and Myspace Music. But it’s rare that you find one that really equals or eclipses the original song. I think that this song falls nicely into that category though. I found it by randomly buying Q Magazine on a train journey that had a collection of “Mellow Summer Songs” this being among them. It’s a cover of Thin Lizzy’s “Dancing in the Moonlight” (no connection to Toploader) by Irish singer-songwriter David Kitt.
David Kitt – Dancing In The Moonlight [YSI]

Something Blue

Everyone seems to, and everyone should, know Seasick Steve by now. As far as modern bluesmen go, he makes the coolest, most lo-fi, brilliantly juddering tunes around. Plus the fact that he makes percussion by stomping on a box he calls the Mississippi Drum Machine will never tire.
Seasick Steve – Dog House Boogie [YSI]

So there you are, my first contribution to this swirling mass of mp3s and opinions. Don’t forget that if you have a band that you think I might enjoy, or anything you’d like me to have a listen to, send it here and I’ll take a listen for you. Bye!