August 2009


There’s nothing like stumbling on an old song you’ve loved but haven’t listened to for a while – it always makes you remember what you were doing in years previous, what you were feeling when you played it last. Well, recently I came across a great big hunk of slow-burning goodness called “Nietzche” by The Dandy Warhols. Whilst young and impetuous, I decided that, based solely on “Bohemian Like You” (which I still know all the words to), I should buy Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia. What I got wasn’t quite what I expected, but I listened and loved it anyway. “Nietzche” was one of the highlights, full of squalls of almost overpowering dark noise, two vocalists singing the same hypnotic words throughout and pounding drumbeats pushing the whole thing along before it all falls away again slowly at the end. This isn’t music to dance to, it’s music to obliterate anything else you might be doing, it’s all-encompassing and freaking wonderful, and it’s nothing like the pop-rock that made them famous.

The Dandy Warhols – Nietzche (YSI)

Tom Williams/The Maccabees

Well, I’m stuck in an airport in Turkey waiting for my flight that’s been delayed for 7 hours, so what else to do but show you all a couple of lovely little covers, taking songs I really don’t like and giving me a new found appreciation of them:

My ever-increasing love of Tom Williams & The Boat took another jump up the other day upon receipt of an email from the man himself. Turns out not only can this band craft beautiful works of art, but they can perform some kind of musical alchemy – they’ve taken the good-tune-awful-vocals turd that is Dizzee Rascal’s “Bonkers” and turned it into a golden folky hoedown capable of whipping a smile onto my face faster than you can say ‘Van Helden’. And it got them some more (and much deserved) airtime on Radio 1 courtesy of Huw Stephens playing it twice in a row. Excellent work!

Tom Williams & the Boat – Bonkers (Dizzee Rascal Cover) (YSI)

What happens when you take the quiet, menacing tone of The Maccabees “No Kind Words” to an autotuned, run-of-the-mill 2009 pop hit like “Boom Boom Pow”? Well, it seems like it turns into a chilled out, slow burning piece of loveliness, that, if it weren’t for the lyrics and Orlando Weeks’ struggle not to laugh throughout, it might not have seemed out of place on the last album.

The Maccabees – Boom Boom Pow (Black Eyed Peas Cover) (YSI)

PS. A great many thanks to real Horrorshow tunes for The Maccabees cover, you’re probably the best!

“Irrespective of the uniforms we wore, we were all victims” – Harry Patch

Sorry for yet another prolonged absence folks, I’m currently holed up in rural Turkey avec famille and with a download/upload limit firmly in place, little in the way of free mp3s can be dealt with. However, I’ve found a worthy subject to post about, free of any need for you to get your download from me. Just prepare yourself for some of my usual Radiohead fanboyishness.

Following the death of Britain’s last surviving World War I veteran, Harry Patch, Radiohead have released a song in his memory – “Harry Patch (In Memory Of). Penned by Thom Yorke after hearing a Radio 4 interview with the Passchendaele survivor, the band recorded it in the last few months and have released it today. Available to buy for £1, with proceeds going to the Royal British Legion, the song itself is a minimalist affair, all lush strings and Thom’s prominent, keening vocals. It’s well worth the download price (what Radiohead track isn’t?) and the money goes to a worthy cause, so get yourself over to the W.A.S.T.E. download site and get a hold of it.

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