Sunday, April 30, 2023

It Starts With a Birthstone - Albums For April


It Starts With a Birthstone - Songs For April


Boom! Italian Jazz Soundtracks at their Finest (1959 - 1969) # 11 Notti d'amore


Perfect Pitch - Tim Bouverie # 100 Richard Strauss - Four Last Songs


The Mojo Collection - The Ultimate Music Companion # 293 Dion - Born To Be With You


Best Ever Albums - Top 1,000 Albums # 298 Fishman's - Otokotachi No Wakare


Doug Tuttle - Keeping Alive

Doug Tuttle has a great set of playlists on Spotify that encapsulate a whole portion of my record collection  and taste than a chapter of explanation can. That jingle jangle morning thing that The Byrds first nailed with Rickenbacker guitars in 1965 and returned and surged forward anew, most tellingly for me with R.E.M.'s Murmur in 1983.

Tuttle loves and reveres that stuff just as much as I do. And he's trying to express that untrammelled joy once more on latest album Keeping Alive. He's been returning to this seam compellingly for ten years on solo albums, and he had previous prior to that with MMOSS.

It's business as usual on Keeping Alive. Not so much keeping alive so much as keeping the flame alive. Of Dylan, Beatles, Byrds, Hollies, Neil Young, Creedence, Groovies, Petty, R.E.M., Stone Roses, Fanclub and anyone else who's ever cared to chime, rock plangently and drift into a certain kind of dream.

It's another rather wonderful record for people with a certain kind of taste. Tuttle as you'd expect never puts a foot wrong. He's a master of this craft.

Song(s) of the Day # 3,375 Esther Rose


Esther Rose is not an artist that I've been aware of previously but she's someone I'm pleased to have got to know over the last couple of days listening to her fine new Pop / Country album Safe to Run.

There's an immediate warmth and easy humour and skill here that make you want to come back to the record and get to know it better, like a beautiful woman you get chatting to in a bar late one night. On second track and single Chet Baker she comes on like a C&W Courtney Barnett, and frankly there's nothing that's likely to endear me to an artist more.

Safe to Run runs smoothly down these rails for the course of its fifty minutes. Rose doesn't want to change the world. Who of us does, if we're honest. It sounds like a hard, thankless task. Really we just want to have a good time while we're here.

Esther's someone who clearly know how to do this. But she has her moments when she plumbs profound depths too. A beautiful way with words and melodies that near break your heart on occasion. A rather lovely, wonderfully crafted and utterly unpretentious record all round.

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Boom! Italian Jazz Soundtracks at their Finest (1959 - 1969) # 10 Coppi in Crisi


Perfect Pitch - Tim Bouverie # 99 Sergei Prokofiev - Romeo & Juliet


The Mojo Collection - The Ultimate Music Companion # 292 Glen Campbell - Rhinestone Cowboy


Best Ever Albums - Top 1,000 Albums # 299 The Notorious B.I.G. - Ready to Die


Tiny Ruins - Ceremony


Writing this blog on a daily basis I'm generally excessively grateful to records I really like at the beginning of the calendar year before the record industry gets back in full swing again after Christmas and times are thin music wise.

A few years back on January 2019, Auckland, New Zealand band Tiny Ruins put out one of those records with their third album Olympic Girls. It was a record that seemed oddly out of time as so many Antipodean records do. Like some charming British Folk early Seventies album featuring Sandy Denny or members of The Strawbs.

That record feels like a long time ago, (Lockdown did that), and now they're back with another album that sounds out of time yet demands your attention and repays your time with interest, just as Olympic Girls did.

Ceremony is the name of the new record and no sooner did I start listening than it started working its spell. What Tiny Ruins do is not particularly sophisticated though it is impressive in terms of its emotive power. Their great assets are their sincerity and their simplicity. Would that more artists trusted and employed such a basic winning formula.

This is immediate but its also intriguing. I'm one play in and already I'm looking forward to playing it again. It's nice to make a new acquaintance that already feels like an old friend.

Song(s) of the Day # 3,374 Billy Reeves


During the Eighties, when she was at Sussex University, my sister briefly followed the fortunes of latest Creation Record signings Blow Up. They were pretty much the quintessential Indie also rans. Taking their name from the most Sixties film you could imagine, they yearned back to that decade, probably wore hooped Breton style tops and definitely put out a few unremarkable records on Creation Records that only the hardest of hard line fanatics remember.

Fortunately, for those like my sister and I with memories of them, they didn't vanish entirely without trace. Their drummer Billy Reeves who also formed Congregation and wrote songs for Sophie Ellis Bextor and The Audience, is having  a strange and interesting second act afterlife, and has a new and rather splendid solo album out called Nostalgia of the Future.

Reeves is clearly something of a London journeyman. a jack of all trades who does occasional travel and football reports for London local radio. 

Here he catalogues all the yesterdays of anyone who grew up in London and the South East. Afternoons spent in local parks. On the sidelines of football pitche,s or going for country walks or looking through the singles of second hand record shops trying to track down David McWilliams records and chatting to the shop owner behind the counter who knows what you're looking for and all you need to know.

This is an incredibly evocative record that those that follow the fortunes of Luke Haines and Pete Astor might enjoy. Rather reminiscent of some of the more interesting moments of Britpop actually. Reeves has that faux cockney talking, singing voice that reminds you of Terrence Stamp, Steve Marriot and Damon all at once. It seems appropriate for Autumn really, as the days grow shorter and we tend towards wistfulness. But I'm more than grateful for it now with Spring in full bloom. 

Friday, April 28, 2023

Songs About People # 1,363 Chet Baker


Ahead of a review of the latest album from Esther Rose, which is great, here's a song for Chet Baker, who was too. Despite the sad direction his life chose.

Nick Cave & PJ Harvey


Boom! Italian Jazz Soundtracks at their Finest (1959 - 1969) # 9 Frenesia dell'estate


Perfect Pitch - Tim Bouverie # 98 Erich Wolfgang Korngold - The Adventures of Robin Hood


The Mojo Collection - The Ultimate Music Companion # 291 Eno - Another Green World


Best Ever Albums - Top 1,000 Albums # 300 The Band - Music From The Big Pink


Song(s) of the Day # 3,373 Laele Neale


An outstanding new release from last week that I'm only just getting round to. Laele Neale's third album Star Eaters Delight on Sub Pop has more than enough vim and vigour to separate it instantly from the Singer / Songwriter pack.

In fact the very term 'Singer Songwriter'  is becoming an increasingly reductive, inadequate term for pigeon wholing music and artists these days. To my mind it summons up thoughts of Joni and James Taylor and we live in an entirely different universe from the one they chronicled in the early Seventies. Just listen to Star Eaters Delight for ample evidence of this.

It's a record that seems fueled by Mexican jumping beans, it doesn't hang around for a moment of it's eight track, 35 minute run. It's sheer delight in vinyl form, best sat through in a single sitting. I doubt you'll hear a record that is so simply thrilled to be alive all year.

Neale's voice is the obvious main drawing card of the album, but actually I'd say that this is deceptive. Still it's an instrument of natural clarity and beauty. But its the way its used, in harmony with the arrangement, orchestration and general production here that makes the record such a must hear.

Comparison points are often a sticking point in the way I try to describe records I'm excited by. Sometimes they're obvious and immediate and also necessary in order to describe where a band or artist are coming from or what they're trying to do.

In Neale's case I'd say comparisons are not really necessary. The record is best listened to. I'd just quote her Spotify bio to give you an idea of what the woman herself is like; 'she splits her time between rural Virginia and Los Angeles. She loves walking, Emerson, fantasy fiction espresso and not listening to music. She is an amateur gardener, painter and musician.' 

She sounds great doesn't she? So does her record. In fact it has something magical about it. Spectral if you will. Another really special album in a year that seems blessed with them. Another to add to your list of things you need to hear. 

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Things Found on My Local's Jukebox # 559 Parquet Courts


A second Parquet Courts has arrived on the jukebox at my request. I love the band but perhaps they were at their purest here with early statement Light Up Gold.

Boom! Italian Jazz Soundtracks at their Finest (1959 - 1969) # 8 Il Vedovo Bianco


Perfect Pitch - Tim Bouverie # 97 Dmitri Shostakovich - Symphony Number 5 in D Minor


Song(s) of the Day # 3,372 Index for Working Musik


Coming on like an underground vagrant gang in the manner of Fat White Family, or Brian Jonestown Massacre, Or perhaps Baader Meinhof or Red Brigades on the run from the law. Index for Working Musik stumble into the daylight blinking for the first time since Lockdown was declared, all those months ago, on debut album Dragging The Needlework for the Kids at Uphole.

I'm a sucker for bands with shades, leather jackets, curled upper lips and manifestos of insurrection and mysticism. Even though we're hearing this for the hundredth time round by now and these boys aren't really veering from the trodden path swaggered down moodily by The Velvets, Syd's Floyd ,Fall, Felt and Auteurs decades back.

These were comparison points of suspects I immediately drew up while listening to the first tracks here. I can't say I was complaining. I like this conspiracy theory bend sinister approach, and admired the fact that Index for Working Musik seemed more than content to stick to given scripts rather than struggling to reinvent new wheels that didn't need reinvention. As I said, song titles come on as manifestos. Lyrics  are insurgent slogans that remind you of the thumbed Ballard, Greene and Conrad paperbacks on your bookshelves. That's if your book collection is any good..

This is dark, twisting insolent guitar music from members of Proper Ornaments and Toy who have excellent form in this respect in recent years. Plotting their route across deserted city streets in the early hours of the morning, this is a fabulous record for those who discovered the Doors, The Velvets. Pere Ubu or T.Rex at 15 or 16 and have never been quite the same since.

I love it when I chance upon brilliantly plotted narratives like these by chance. A few years ago it was New Yorkers Mystery Lights. Then, another time Finns Black Twig. Now it seems Index for Working Musik have come up with the minor cult occult classic for 2023. It's blistering stuff frankly. Fans of the early Bunnymen, Magazine, Monochrome Set, Gorky's and Super Furries should form an orderly queue. This will more than keep you going for the coming weeks..

The Mojo Collection - The Ultimate Music Companion # 290 Curtis Mayfield - There's No Place Like America Today


Best Ever Albums - Top 1,000 Albums # 301 PJ Harvey - Let England Shake


Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Record Offer


Covers # 204 Aretha Franklin


Also Bill Nighy. Aretha singing 96 Tears. Not a particularly special version. But it's Aretha and 96 Tears.

Songs Heard on the Radio # 432 Valentine Brothers


Bill Nighy, the fabulous Luvvie Actor, is on the radio. He has the best voice for radio. And good music  
                                                                                taste too.

Boom! Italian Jazz Soundtracks at their Finest (1959 - 1969) # 7 Notti d'amore a Tokyo


Perfect Pitch - Tim Bouverie # 96 William Walton - Viola Concerto in D Minor


The Mojo Collection - The Ultimate Music Companion # 289 Guy Clark - Old Number One


Best Ever Albums - Top 1,000 Albums # 302 The Verve - Urban Hymns


Song(s) of the Day # 3,371 Kara Jackson


Sometimes you listen to an album and it piques your interest on some level almost immediately without really grabbing your complete attention. You keep listening, and find yourself being drawn in gradually despite yourself. Then suddenly, and it might be as far in as halfway though the album, it has your undivided attention and you realise, this is really special, and that you want to know more about it.

This happened to me yesterday morning with Kara William's debut album, Why Does The World Give Us People To Love. It's a record that creeps up on you in an uncanny fashion, until you're forced to admit that you're in the company of a singular and special talent and most extraordinarily that the person the artist you're listening to reminds you of most is Nina Simone. At least that's how I felt.

Making a comparison with Simone is incredible praise of course. She was one of the most exceptional vocal talents of the Twentieth Century and almost everybody pales sat next to her. I wouldn't even dream of comparing most artists to Nina. But I'm not withdrawing the comparison I've just made. Do yourself a favour and listen to Why Does The World.. for yourself with Simone in mind and you might save yourself the half an hour I spent yesterday, groping around, trying to make sense of this very special album and artist.

Musically the record is not particularly reminiscent of the generic forms that Simone was most generally associated with. It's not really a Jazz or Blues album in an particular respect. It's probably a Folk one or a Pop one. But it is a very deep one. And one of the particular discussions which it seems to be having is about gender and sexuality. Which makes it 2023 too.

This may be Jackson's first album but she certainly has form, having previously served as U.S. National Youth Poet Laureate from 2019 to 2020. I get the impression you're going to hear quite a lot about her. Get yourself ahead of the pack and listen to this record. Of course it may not remind you of Nina at all. But I suspect it may make some impression. It certainly did on me.

*Many thanks once again to Darren Jones for heading me here.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Boom! Italian Jazz Soundtracks at their Finest (1959 - 1969) # 6 Il Sorpasso


Perfect Pitch - Tim Bouverie # 95 George Gershwin - Concerto in F


The Mojo Collection - The Ultimate Music Companion # 288 Neil Young - Tonight's The Night


Best Ever Albums - Top 1,000 Albums # 303 The National - Trouble Will Find Me


Song(s) of the Day # 3,370 Ther


Ther from Philadelphia make a Folkish sound that probably could be called Bedroom Pop and harks back to Moldy Peaches most of all. Staunchly asserting that the meek will inherit the earth, they're the Republic declared By Juno and Paulie Bleeker after they finally find their way to each other's arms.

Latest album, (wait for it) a horrid whisper echoes in a palace of endless joy, is nine, cutesie songs of childish ennui. All rather lovely.

This follows well established rules of this sub genre of Twee. Music yearning back to the dawn of life. Bedtime stories and fairy tales. Ther have mastered this particular artform. Thanks again to Darren Jones for directing me to here.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Boom! Italian Jazz Soundtracks at their Finest (1959 - 1969) - # 4 Ora Di Punta


Perfect Pitch - Tim Bouverie # 93 Richard Strauss - An Alpine Symphony


The Mojo Collection - The Ultimate Music Companion # 286 Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti


Best Ever Albums - Top 1,000 Albums # 305 Dinosaur Jr. - You're Living All Over Me


Song(s) of the Day # 3,368 Pearl & the Oysters

 Juliette Pearl Davis and Joachin Polack are romantic and musical partners, specialising musically in the kind of Exotica that Stereolab, more than anyone else, brought back into public notice in addition to the light pop kitsch that daytime Radio Two used to gorge itself in during the mid Seventies. Think Captain and Tenille.

Their latest album Coast 2 Coast is squeaky and poppy, and full of the synthetic sounds you would expect from the description I've given. I'm personally not sufficiently enamored of this lightweight approach to make it through the whole album, but it's there for those that are. 

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Boom! Italian Jazz Soundtracks at their Finest (1959 - 1969) - # 3 Oggi in Africa


Perfect Pitch - Tim Bouverie # 92 Richard Strauss - Der Rosenkavalier


The Mojo Collection - The Ultimate Music Companion # 285 Gene Clark - No Other


Best Ever Albums - Top 1,000 Albums # 306 Simon & Garfunkel - Bookends


Song(s) of the Day # 3,367 Community College


Calling yourself Community College is not one of the top tips advocated by your local careers advisory panel. Try that on your search engine and you'll be directed to any number of community colleges you'll be surprised to hear, rather than to a picture of a slightly dodgy looking bearded and moustachioed trio from Boston, MA. The band concerned here.

In this case it's worth persevering though. Because SCHMOMCO, their latest record, is a wonderful exercise in Nowheresville, America depressed loser-dom. You've heard it all before, dating all the way back to the Modern Lovers Cale demos, but that doesn't mean you don't want to hear it all again. It's fun, in an entirely 'No Fun' kind of way. Ask Iggy. Then on from Jonathan and Osterberg, through Jad Fair, Replacements, Violent Femmes, Sebadoh, Beck's Mellow Gold, East River Pipe. Name your own example(s) of great American loser(s). You know what I'm getting at.

Musically, this could probably be described as Slowcore. It certainly seems to unfold its secrets at utterly funereal pace in the way that Codeine and Slint records used to back in the Stone Age. It's ever so slightly more upbeat than that. Well only slightly. There seems to be some rather dark gallows humour at play throughout. Lyrically Community College seem mostly concerned about their inability to get a girlfriend than anything else. But growing facial hair like that, what do you expect guys.

Anyway I enjoyed it thoroughly, if you're supposed to enjoy records as relentlessly bleak as this. One to listen to just before you decide to finally end it all. Or realising that this is just dark humour in slightly dubious taste, decide to watch Harold & Maud or The Big Lebowski one more time. I wouldn't say that Community College sound like penpals you want or fun guys to know but they certainly know just what they're doing here. It's a great little record.

* If you want to hear this, Spotify is  your bet. There's nothing on You Tube and precious little on the Internet at all about the band, though this might interest you. The record's also on Bandcamp. Thanks to Darren once again, for directing me to this terrific record.

Friday, April 21, 2023

Boom! Italian Jazz Soundtracks at their Finest (1959 - 1969) - # 2 Agosto Jazz


Morricone. From the soundtrack of La Voglia Matta.

Perfect Pitch - Tim Bouverie # 91 Igor Stravinsky - The Firebird


The Mojo Collection - The Ultimate Music Companion # 284 Dr. Feelgood - Down by the Jetty


Best Ever Albums - Top 1,000 Albums # 307 Elvis Costello - This Year's Model


Holiday Ghosts - Absolute Reality


'Money's too tight to mention.' You're telling me. Simply Red arrived to great fanfare in Autumn 1985 when I was in my first term at university, and were almost immediately annoying. And when you said Simply Red you meant Mick Hucknall. There were other people in the group. They were a band. A band of highly talented musicians. But rarely has anybody represented everything a band had to say as much as Mick encapsulated Simply Red. He might as well have been a solo artist. And he was exceptionally annoying. I was far more interested in The Velvet Underground. And R.E.M. and The Smiths, and Marvin Gaye, and Creation Records to be honest

I'm sorry to lay such basic prejudices related to my dislike of the man so nakedly on the line. But there was the hat. The hair. The coat. The stick. The boots. The manner. The cover he chose , as their first single. A fantastic, relatively obscure, (except to those who knew), soul classic, the Valentine Brothers Money's too Tight To Mention, and turned it into something ersatz, cheap, and erm annoying. They seemed to embody everything that was going wrong with the Eighties. Yet they went straight on the cover of The NME.

So why mention all this now in a review of Absolute Reality, the, (I need to say immediately, quite wonderful) fourth album from Holiday Ghosts out Brighton, (and Falmouth) Because there are parallels. Money is once more, most certainly too tight too mention, more so than in 1985 probably. Just go out and try to do your weekly shop, pay your mortgage, pay your rent, go to the cinema, go see a band, go on holiday. Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch. Someone, somewhere is having a laugh.

Which makes bands like Holiday Ghosts even more of a blessing. I've written about them already on here. At length early this week after a superb gig at Newcastle's The Cumberland Arms which made my Friday evening. I almost bought  Absolute Reality that night from their stall, but sadly, money was... I guess you get the picture.

But I'm thoroughly enjoying listening to it now and it's instantly evident that it's by far the best thing they've ever done. They were great before but now I really think people need to sit up and pay attention because they're really something special. They've added a couple of new members over the last couple of years in bassist Morgan and guitarist B.Spanks who both bring something tangible and essential to the table and they're a real band now, like the bands we used to have, notably ones they clearly venerate, like Modern Lovers, The Velvet Underground and Television.

Absolute Reality is a palpable classic right from the off. Like The Velvet Underground's Loaded, it seems to frontload with pre-release singles, Rocket, Favourite Freak and Again and Again standing in for Who Loves The Sun, Sweet Jane and Rock & Roll. But I was so pleased to see this entre was no false dawn. The album maintains its cocksure intensity to the close. I'll be amazed to hear a better record of its type all year.

They aren't just a band with stars in their eyes for New York, CBGBs and Boston in the Sixties and Seventies. It's fascinating to listen to the record and try to glean where they're getting their inspiration from throughout. Spanks definitely adds a lairy cockney edge which reminded me both of Small Faces, and Steve Marriot in particular and the almost criminal sharpness of Stiff Records early singles. Wreckless Eric, Nick Lowe, EC and the Dury's Ian and Baxter.

They know their stuff. There's also a taste of the sea air about them. This is a really bracing album. Fitting as they've traded Falmouth for Brighton. They remind me of early British Rock, The Beatles, Johnny Kids & the Pirates, Joe Meek, Tommy Steele, Joe Brown and Marty Wilde. Talking with Sam last week I was surprised when he picked up on the Marquee Moon I was wearing and said that the guitars of Verlaine and Lloyd were one of the things they were keenest to emulate. You can hear that especially in the records two closing B.Track and Big Cold Truck and they really capture something special here. Television are elsewhere too which I'm always really pleased to hear as a huge fan of that band.

Back to the Money's too Tight thing. These are tough times. You don't need me to tell you that. For bands like Holiday Ghosts, who much like the rest of us, aren't getting the acclaim or financial payback they deserve. That's not stopping them making the most of their lives. I saw them last week and they're clearly having a damned good time and helping those fortunate to catch them live have one too in return for turning out to see them. I haven't gone into the lyrics and themes on here but it was already clear from previous records that they're taking the temperature of the times we're all struggling through. All power to their elbows. Make a point of hearing the record. I love it.

Song(s) of the Day # 3,366 GEL


'AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH! MOM I'M MAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!' Said child proceeds to have screaming fit in the middle of the High Streets poshest department store in order to humiliate her poor mother. There are worse concepts to build a whole album on, though that you can never be sure that many people will want to listen through to the whole thing except hardcore fanatics.

Here come New Jersey's GEL, intent on testing out this mode of behaviour to the full. They have a review for their latest , Only Constant in Pitchfork, so they must be doing something right. They sounded like a hundred other noise bands after three or four tracks so I stopped listening and felt incredibly relieved that I had done so.

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Boom! Italian Jazz Soundtracks at their Finest (1959 - 1969) - # 1 Notte In Algeria


Another series. Why not. I'm in a great mood as Spring truly blossoms and life feels good. Here's one of a compilation album I'm tempted to buy every time I go into HMV Records. Which is a lot these days. Instead I'll anthologise it here, though I'm not ruling out a purchase altogether. 

This documents an incredibly stylish decade in Italian life. Similar to the Jazz scenes in Anthony Minghella's The Talented My Ripley, it embodies cool. We can only attempt to emulate it.

Perfect Pitch - Tim Bouverie # 90 Edward Elgar - Violin Concerto in B Minor


The Mojo Collection - The Ultimate Music Companion # 283 Genesis - The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway


Best Ever Albums - Top 1,000 Albums # 308 David Bowie - Alladin Sane


Temples - Exotico


Temples are an odd band  I find a lot of British Post Millennial guitar bands a bit odd. Horrors, Arctic Monkeys, Temples. They seem to have got lost with the possibilities that Post Internet music provides and decided that the last thing they want to do is play their guitars and seem as if they care. Instead they want to put them down and compose Original Movie Soundtracks instead.

Take their latest record Exotico. It  makes little or no effort to be exciting as previous records of theirs have. It much prefers studied cool. The band seem most intent on giving you a guided tour of their record, book and DVD collections than providing any kind of actual visceral listening thrill.

This kind of ultimate possessions chic seems a very 21st Century thing. A copy of everything without the appreciation for what makes anything so great. I found Exotico dull.

Song(s) of the Day # 3,365 Isolated Gate


Pale Saints and Lush played at Norwich Arts Centre in Spring 1990, as I was heading towards graduation in Spring 1990. I'd been through serious illness which had forced me to take a couple of years out of university, while I recovered and other traumatic life events had also impacted on me, changing me forever.

Looking back, it remains one of my really special gig experiences. I went with my good university  mate Andy, who remains the gig going friend of my lifetime. We've experienced so many great concerts together over the years; in Norwich, in New York, in Newcastle, at All Tomorrow's Parties festivals and elsewhere. This was one of the most important ones for me, though Andy strangely doesn't remember it.

Both bands were just great that night and Comfort of Madness, the album Pale Saints were touring at the time remains a very special record for me, and one I'd say is undervalued generally. The band are long gone, though not in the memories of those who loved them at the time. It's great to see their singer, Ian Masters especially, still putting together musical projects of an interesting and experimental nature.

The latest, is under the name Isolated Gate working with Tim Koch from Central Processing Unit and together they've just put out an incredible album called Universe in Reverse, which I'd urge you to listen to immediately.

Masters strange, almost disembodied vocals are immediately recognisable as is the otherwordly atmosphere conjured up here, though this doesn't really sound like a Pale Saints record. It 's an experimental one as I've said, and an electronic one in essence, but also extremely melodic and  approachable. I was listening to it on repeat all yesterday and it's one of my favourite albums of the year.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

The Kinks


Perfect Pitch - Tim Bouverie # 89 Gustav Mahler - Symphony No 9 in D Major


The Mojo Collection - The Ultimate Music Companion # 282 Queen - Sheer Heart Attack


Mudhoney - Plastic Eternity


Once more into the moshpit dear friends once more. I never latched onto Mudhoney, even though I was aware of them fairly early on. You couldn't help but be so when they arrived on U.K. shores in the early Nineties as John The Baptist to the imminent  Christ of  Nirvana. I should probably have bought the 12 inch to Touch Me I'm Sick I suppose, or Superfuzz Bigmuff, when John Peel started playing them on his show, to be able to say 'I was there', after the event.

Why didn't I. Well really because I was never that much into the music. The same goes more than thirty years later. I'm glad Mudhoney were there and I'm glad they're still here. Their's is really a story of survival against the odds, given what's happened to so many of the bands and people that they rose with and inspired.

But listening to Plastic Eternity I have to say what I would say about so many of those bands that were lumped together as Grunge. While the attitude was great and the kick in the ass that it gave music, and especially American music, (though not just), entirely required, a lot of the music really didn't float my boat, or at least it didn't chime much with everything that I loved.

Perhaps I'm being a peasant or an ingrate. Or both. But a lot of the records that these bands had in their collections and seemed to revere, brought me out in hives. Sure, the primary influence on Mudhoney was and still is The Stooges, and particularly Funhouse. But much as I love that record and you have to of course, I only play it once in a while, when I really need to clear the cobwebs out.

It's difficult to fully appreciate the records that legendary bands like this make thirty years into their careers if you weren't entirely sold on the stuff they built their reputations on in the first place. Such is the case here with me. I thought some of it was OK and some of it rather meh. You'd probably need to go to a proper fan or someone who appreciates their legacy more than I do to get a fuller perspective. Here's Everett True, (a man who was very much there at the time), take on the record for those who'd like that. 

Best Ever Albums - Top 1,000 Albums # 309 Coldplay - Viva La Vida or Death & All His Friends


Song(s) of the Day # 3,364 Fenne Lily


Records that remind me so immediately and so much of a particular musical style or trait are bombing up the pike with such intent and rapidity these days, like so many hot to trot salmon in season. It's almost impossible to separate fish from fowl anymore.

Apologies for the ludicrous, over rich and overloaded metaphors, but given the amount of records coming out that seem to slot into ready made generic niches it becomes harder to decide whether you like a record really or you just like what it reminds you of.

Such is the case for me with Fenne Lily, much trumpeted Folk hope and her latest record Big Picture.. Perhaps because I've already gorged myself on classic Seventies singer songwriter dessert recently with Billy Martin's excellent Drop Cherries, which I adored, 

Big Picture. has much to recommend it, ( Lights Light Up is particularly lovely), but didn't resonate sufficiently for me to want to go back and listen until I owned it. Others might disagree of course. That's the nature of things. We all have slightly different tastes in dessert .Drop Cherries, is definitely my Spring '23 pudding of choice.