Wednesday, 25 March 2009
THIS BLOG IS NOT DEAD
It's just sleeping, and consequently needs poking with a stick every now and again. Sorry for not updating since 2008 - I've been stuck in student hell. Not to say there's been nothing to write about, but I've been doing it for other places. This place will continue to get infrequently updated, but in the meantime, do check out some of the other places I speak my branes.
The Singles Jukebox
Returning from internet purgatory, the man, the legend William B. Swygart has resurrected his Singles Jukebox (synopsis: jaded rock hacks write about pop music Round Table-style, enjoy a lot of it) for the good of mankind. Amongst other esteemed journo types (many of whom used to write for the sorely-missed StylusMagazine), my amateurish opinion has already been called on regarding La Roux, Soulja Boy and Miley Cyrus; keep reading if you want to see what else I might enjoy/despise.
The Line of Best Fit
Expect a few reviews of mine to go up here sometime in the next week or so as well. Another
great new webzine,
And now, since I'm here, a few songs:
1990s "The Kids" [taken from Kicks - Rough Trade, 2009]
The new 1990s album Kicks has been one of my favourite records of the year so far; while their last album had pretty much one setting (PAR-TAY!), this one's much more diverse, aided in some part by all three of the band taking turns writing and singing songs. Compared with the album's more visceral moments, "The Kids" is, comparatively, a grower, but once you get it, it sinks in hard. A shoe-in for my end of year list.
Favours for Sailors "I Dreamt That I Dreamt That You Loved Me in Your Dreams" [taken from Furious Sons - Tough Love Records, 2009]
One of the most promising debuts I've heard in ages, Favours For Sailors' first mini-album Furious Sons is a six-song powerpop masterclass. If this isn't a hit by the end of 2010, my faith in music will be lost forever.
McCarthy "Get a Knife Between Your Teeth" [taken from Banking, Violence and the Inner Life Today - Midnight Music, 1990]
I Am a Wallet, McCarthy's debut, remains one of my favourite albums of the 80s - the perfect mix of jangle and polemic. Inexplicably, I never quite gave their last album, Banking, Violence and the Inner Life Today the same attention until recently; it's a lot less one-dimensional than the band's first two efforts, with the first seeds of the Stereolab sound being sown with the introduction of Laetetia Sadler to the band. This was the band's last single, and sees them flirt (not entirely ill-advisedly) with the then-popular baggy sound; something tells me the E was not flowing freely when this was written...
Casiotone for the Painfully Alone "Streets of Philadelphia (w/ Concern)" [taken from Advanced Base Battery Life - Tomlab, 2009]
I think I can understand why this has become one of the most-covered Springsteen songs within the indie community (see also: The Wave Pictures), since it shows off the Boss's sense of drama and tragedy, but also his restraint - rather than put it all out on the line, he hides his feelings behind a drum machine and some icy synths. Since that's pretty much what Casiotone's entire career has been based on, it seems only natural for Owen Ashworth to have tried his hand at this track, and it really does sound like the song he was born to cover.
More frequent updates to follow. Promise.