Friday, September 05, 2008

the dodos? it must have been tuesday

tuesday: the dodos were playing; the evening happened. arty bar: pints. chairs in the carpark out back, fags, heavy dub on the jukey. the pizza shop above sends down anything you want for a fiver. chuck tells me about the mud at the festival. joey and dante show up. joey's bleached her hair again. she tells me about the men at the hospital who expose themselves despite being heavily medicated. they see things too she says and often attack her. car: drive up the road. joey drives like a maniac. dante says most folk don't like being in the car with her, i can't see why. gig: there's band on stage channelling ian curtis, but he has angelic blonde curls and a well pressed check shirt. wine: dante tells me about the oven he works with. it can get really hot, hot enough to melt metal. euros childs plays on the stage; the benevolent spirit of john peel circles the ceiling. i wonder if i can still spell gorky's zygotic mynci and try and recall the EP of theirs i own. john looks down on me and smiles. i'll never forget you, he says to me. chuck tells me that zurich has a lot of good bands. fags outside on the plastic chairs, one buckles as i sit down. i manage to stay upright; the smoking masses applaud. whiskey. the dodos take the stage and batter the shit out of it. one of them smashes a rubbish bin by way of percussion. when he's not doing this he sits down and has a beer. they play mad freakouts with beautiful melodies but it's almost acoustic. the crowd dig it. i dig it. i dig how heavy it is without any distortion, like dark matter adorned with twinkling constellations.

jodi by the dodos

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hip Hop? 21% booty!

The top graphic illustrates the lyrical preoccupations of Hip Hop, proportionally, when broken down by body part. The second graphic covers the representation of body parts in the alternative genre.

The artists behind the Fleshmap project have listened to 10000 songs and broken things down for us in their interactive map called "Listen", which is well worth a look, especially for us 'Spillers who like nothing more than to collate songs on a topic!

Personally speaking, and especially as it's eyes and hands that dominate the categories, I'd like to hear more songs about tummies.

And to prove the point above, here's an mp3 that mentions pussy, ass, coochie, dick, tits, and possibly more besides. Diplo cleverly steals the backing track from Peter, Bjorn and John's "Young Folks" and throws a load of filth over the top. Jobs a good 'un.
....guess what genre?

Young Folks Pussy by Diplo

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

the girl who works in the record shop says i'm not avant garde enough

Last night I went to see Ballboy play live.
Former Peel faves, chronically underrated, great lyrical songwriting in the vein of Belle and Sebastian, killer scots melancholia with added humour, great live band, fab back catalogue, funny and moving when they play live, also quite a regular mention on RR.

Two songs for you.

Firstly "Avant Garde Music", because as Gordon explained last night, a song inspired by the girl who works in the record shop in Edinburgh accusing him of not being avant garde enough. I certainly know the record store, and I'm pretty sure I know who the girl was. Did Gordon then hook up with this mystery record store girl? The lyrics would suggest so:

"well we shot fake plastic ducks in the park
and drank cheap plastic wine out of cheap plastic glasses until it got dark
and the only thing we had to decide
was whether and where we were going to sleep together that night"

Secondly "Something Is Going To Happen Soon", because it was the best thing they played last night, and had me running to the girl selling their CDs shouting "give me the cd with that song on it!!!!" seconds after they'd finished playing the song. It's lyrically very interesting as when he sings "and the cellos kick in", they do indeed kick in; before he goes on to admit how open and emotionally naked he is on stage, and then proceeds to be as open as nearly any singer can be. A good moment of self awareness; very clever and effective indeed.

"and the cellos kick in
and the lights start to flash
and everyone watching me
can see right to my heart

surrounded by drink
and surrounded by drunks
i never knew
what a mess you'd become

but you made yourself
look great today
but nobody noticed you except me
and you never notice me anyway

and no-one will ever love you
as much as i do
no-one will ever love you
like i do"

Avant Garde Music by Ballboy
Something's Going To Happen Soon by Ballboy

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Full Disclosure

There's some things I''ll happily admit, or maybe admit is the wrong word to use. I'll happily talk about how much bollocks the sodding Beatles add up to. Fuck 'em. Fuck the Beatles. Fuck the shitty Beatles. Yeah, they did some stuff first, so what - fuck 'em. Fuck 'em and fuck those people who think music starts and ends with the fucking Beatles.

Here's proper confession time:

1. I really like Blink 182 and Less than Jake. And NOFX too.

2. I went off one of my favourite bands, Radiohead, when OK Computer got all hyped and jumped on by idiots. Things have never been the same since. It's my own myopic fault for missing out on what is, probly, some of the best music ever made.
I tried to rehabilitate myself with In Rainbows, but it didn't work. Radiohead playing The Forum just after The Bends was released was one of my bestest gigs ever.

3. Sometimes I look at my itunes library of six billion songs and can't find anything I want to listen to, can't find anything that ignites me like the 20 records I had when I was 15. Sometimes i think that's it's all a dead end from here on in. Which, for a music geek like me, is no good.

4. I don't believe in records being "collected" or calling the shitty pile of vinyl I own a collection. "A collection" means one of everything. I dont' want one of everything. All I want is 3 minutes of pure joyous noise where I can experience the moment, and nothing else. I don't want the weight of music history bearing down on me, I don't want context, I don't want to recognise influence, I just want Wow! Blam! Fuck! Like a fucking Lichtenstein painting for my ears!

5. I don't believe in the canonisation of musicians, even if they're ones I like. This goes for Kurt, Lennon, Buckleys, Elliot Smith, Richey Edwards, and the rest. They aren't any more special for being dead. Fuck people who say they are.

6. I got into Belle and Sebastian late, cos I was blinkered by the fact their singer is happily christian when they first came out. This put me off at the time, I now view Tigermilk as being one of the best records ever made. I'm less judgemental these days.

7. I'm an indie snob, and sometimes can't help myself. I'm sorry, BUT, I was into them first. Now us humans don't rely on hunting and gathering meat to survive, is this all we have?

8. I can't really be bothered listening to all the Beefheart records that I inherited. Can't be arsed with Television either.

9. I lost interest in dance music after I stopped taking the drugs. LCD soundsystem doesn't count.

10. I own over 100 Manics records.

And then? Only Martha has the answer:

Martha's Swaery Number

"We're all listening to downbeat shite"

Maybe it's the weather, maybe it's the ingrained national inferiority complex, who cares.
Here's some lyrics from a few of my current favourite tunes:

"And we're all listening to down-beat shite,
We over-did the good times and now we can't sleep at night"

"I'm armed with the past, and the will, and a brick
I might not want you back, but I want to kill him
Leave the rest at arm's length
Keep your naked flesh under your favourite dress"

Good Arms vs Bad Arms - Frightened Rabbit

"Girlfriend, it's you I'd scuttle ships for
Make my first mate walk the plank for
Admire the all or nothing
I'm admiral of nothing at all
Nothing at all"

Admiral - King Creosote

I'm seeing the first two on Saturday (along with Mogwai and Clinic) which will be fab, and then KC in a couple of weeks.

Hooray for Scots miserablism, it really is a thing of really makes me happy.

you can buy their wonderful records here, here, and here respectively.

"Are you going to liberate us from male, white, corporate oppression? I just want you to know we can still be friends.."

"Kool Thing" by Sonic Youth (feat Chuck D from Public Enemy) was pretty much one of the first alternative/indie songs I ever heard.

I think this has stood me in pretty good stead for things that followed. Before I heard this tune it was all Cock Rock and thrash metal. After hearing this, and then Ride (on the same mixtape), and then Nirvana released 'Nevermind', things just got better and better.

What was the one tune that you heard (maybe during your formative years?) that forced you to throw everything else out the window and reconsider the musical sphere?

The shape of my heart?

So, yesterday I went to the record shop and bought 7"s by Santogold and Noah and The Whale.
As ejaydee has already done a Santogold post, I've decided to concentrate on Noah and The Whale's "The Shape of My Heart".
Musically it's a bit folky, a bit faux mariachi, and quite a bit Neutral Milk Hotel, with a wee jot of Laura Marling on backing vocals.
(We'll ignore my Laura Marling obsession for the time being, and focus on what Noah's singing about.)

In the song Noah speculates that his heart has been ripped to so many pieces that it's incapable of working any more, but he thinks maybe this is a good thing because he can't be hurt again.
A number of years ago, a flatmate of mine and I would have the same conversation over and over; he would say that what's the point in starting a relationship if you're only ever going to get destroyed by it. I said that the ups make the downs worthwhile. I drew a graph to illustrate my point.
The flatlining middle ground is no place to live, and my friend has unfortunately lurched from one unhappy nearly-relationship to another - as if he's looking for the heartbreak rather than the happiness.
Noah, you're wrong, quite frankly - but i like your song anyway - even if it's not as good as "Five Years Time" which is by far and away one of the best songs I've heard in years.
Here's the video for "The Shape Of My Heart", and then after that "Five Years Time".

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Truly There Is None Other...Than Holly Golightly!

The record shop was good to me last week - I got Sonic Youth's "Goo" (where my old copy has gone is a mystery) and "Truly There Is No Other" by Holly Golightly for £4 each.

Holly Golightly (real name, folks) has been known to knock about with the legends Billy Childish and Jack White and has released about 15 solo albums.

What I like about Holly is her love of fags and cups of tea, her curiously English voice, her sometimes twisted but always heartfelt lyrics, her love of old blues and 50s rockabilly - that when she recreates the style - sounds really fresh and lovely.

The record is very varied, and it's hard to pick a couple of tracks to represent it. It's very Kinksian, a point that's made even clearer by the two Ray Davies' penned songs she covers, but avoids being de-riv.

(Double Bass on the LP was provided by Sir Bald Diddley, according to the sleeve notes. Nice one Sir Bald!)

"You Have Yet To Win" is like a stone cold lost classic from the 60s, and "Without You Here" makes me wonder why it's Duffy at number one.

Anyways, here's the tunes, from her 2003 record (I must check and see what she's up to just now) and if you like them, please buy them.

You Have Yet To Win by Holly Golightly
Without You Here by Holly Golightly

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

You On The Run

One of my very favourite bands, The Black Angels, have finally got a new song to hear.

Some of the good things about The Black Angels:

1. Their motto is "Turn On, Tune In, Drone Out"
2. They manage to compress The Velvets, The Doors, The 13th Floor Elevators into a super dense ball of heaviosity
3. Their bassist was born in a cult compound
4. Their first record was a stand against the current war, with songs like "Young Men Dead"
5. They're just fucking fantastic
6. They have an actual instrument called a "Drone Machine" that one of them built from shrapnel
7. They are lovely people
8. They rock like no one else

Monday, March 10, 2008

Where have all the children gone?

So ran the headline of a local newspaper as I ate my lunch at the theatre - I was terrified at first, expecting to learn of some terrible massacre or epidemic.
It turns out however, that due to falling birth rates and overpriced housing, the streets of St. Andrews may have a few less children running around in the future.
Phew, close one!
The odd thing about this video is the fact that the band don't notice all the children, not once, not at all.

Frightened Rabbit are ace, and although this new song of theirs is much more restrained than the phenomenal "The Modern Leper" that I linked to previously on The Spill, it's still rather good and has an interesting false start to it.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Bong in this Reggae Song

So then, it's 1992 (slight return) as The Breeders are back with a new song and a new(ish) ethos in recording practice.

They have a new track, from their new LP, for free streaming or free download if you click here.

Further down the page is an explanation of the "All Wave" recording process, which the legendary Mr Steve Albini (recordist of In Utero, Mogwai, Mclusky, PJ Harvey et al) is pioneering as the music version of Dogme 95.

It is interesting, don't get me wrong, and admirable - but it's not like he ever stopped recording this way. Here's the Deal (arf!):


Steve AlbiniThe “All Wave” philosophy, which loosely stated, is that everything should be an analog sound recording of someone playing or singing, rather than using a computer to generate or digitally manipulate sounds separated from the dimension of time in which they were performed.

In short, to record All Wave one must use no computers, no digital recording, no auto-tuning, or any other mainstays of contemporary production.

The All Wave philosophy carries through the entire production and mastering process, including mixing, editing, sequencing, post-production and the exceptional step of an all-analog direct-metal master for the vinyl LP.This process has been employed on Title TK, the Off You EP, and upcomingMountain Battles."

It's interesting in a "fight the power" kinda way - but on the other hand, discounts any form of music that 'computers' have had a hand in as somehow substandard, or less "worthy".

I know I'm going to get splinters in my arse, but surely there's a happy medium?

Wouldn't it be better to rail against the close-mindedness of major labels and the record buying public, rather than focussing on one point alone?

Anyways, here's a video clip from a more innocent time, a time when we didn't have to worry about the evils of pro-tools as a force for destroying the innocent ears of "the kids":

Incidentally, the fact that I liked to boogie to the above song made me a very happy teenager in a variety of ways...thanks The Breeders!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

That age old story...

It's that old, old tale;
Boy sees girl waiting for the bus.
Boy hopes the bus doesn't show so he can continue to admire girl.
Boy is so in love he loses his place in the book.
Boy sits behind girl on the bus.
Girl gets off the same stop as boy.
Boy asks girl out.
Girl says 'No' to Boy.
Boy never forgets girl.
Boy writes song in the vain hope that the girl may hear it one day, and remember him.

This is that song:

File under: "lost classic"...

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Tell me that you wanna scold me

So many songs, this week, things so intertwined together, music&lust&lust&music, expression/perversion/pervasion/progression

14 years ago, like a bull in the heather, this:

confusion is sex

Friday, February 01, 2008

Call me, I make you happy

"Don't worry, Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin really does work! I fell so positive after watching the video! Try it!

There was a rumour a while ago that Bobby McFerrin committed suicide, which would have been the ultimate irony, had this been true.

However, according to the internettles, there is a real life counterpart to this rumour, as in 1942, the chap who wrote "Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag and Smile, Smile, Smile" took his own life by shooting himself in the heart, whilst wearing his old army uniform.

"Don't worry, Be Happy" was the first acapella track to top the US charts, and was inspired by this:

It's a "inspiraton"card from a chap called Meher Baba, a spiritual master, who plyed his trade from the 30s to the 60s, and inspired this song:

"Baba O'Riley" by The Who, was voted 340th on the Rolling Stone Top 500 songs of all time, incidentally, one place higher than "Don't Worry, Be Happy" at 341!

And play the songs we made

"Nantes" by Beirut has been getting a lot of headphonetime from me of late, this has made me seek out the track that got me into him initally;

"Postcards From Italy"

The super-8 in the video has many interesting images, the armful of parrots, the old chap emerging from the sea smoking a fag, and other peculiairnia that folks film at home.

This was one of my favourite tracks from a couple of years back, the combination of the irresistible guitar riff and the lovely horns is unstoppable, mixed up with the plaintive, romantic voice singing of "the times we had" is just amazing.

Friday, January 25, 2008

I heart SleeveFace!




I really can't get enough of this, there'll be more to come!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Random Nature...

...of surfing the net of an evening has led me to this video clip, which - because it has an Inuit boy being chased by a flying fish - I had to share with you all.

It's also an Iggy song that I've not heard before, and quite a departure from the usual Iggy stuff.

If anyone knows anymore about this, or whether the film it represents is any good, please leave comments!

Feel Good Song No.1

Feeling down? Miserable? Listen to this:

Lemonheads - "Different Drum"

Feel better? 
Also included is the original version, so you can see how much the Lemonheads have added. 

Monday, January 21, 2008

What I'm listening to right this second right now

This song came on my randomized itunes, and I just had to post it up.
"Fallin" by De La Soul and Teenage Fanclub
It's been a firm RR fave, being nominated many many times, and has maybe made a list ( I can't check, as I have to finish writing this before the song is over!)

Watch! As the Fannies fail miserably to do a hip-hop walk towards the camera
Listen! To the lovely restrained, yet hooky, backing track
Look! At all their lovely smiles!
Wonder! Why the video is all christmassy
Consider! What may have happened if the two parties had done a whole album together
Love It! Just fabby-doo - the bronx/ govan axis !
Want it?, even though the CD is long deleted? Click here!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sunday Morning Warships Part Two

Last Sunday I posted up Sanctus from the Missa Luba here
This week, I thought I'd post the b-side "Kyrie".

And, if you like, click here to watch "Sunday Morning" by the Velvet Underground

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sage advice from one so young

This week it was scientifically proven that:
"Make a cup of tea, put a record on"
is the bestest indie rock lyric ever written.
Below is the video for the song from whence said lyric came

The previous holder of bestest indie rock lyric:
"Don't go fucking in the barn because the barn's on fire"
is said to be disappointed this evening.
To celebrate, here's Elastica doing Trio's "Da Da Da", possibly one of the best songs ever...

Friday, January 18, 2008

I Am A...


Yeah, Idlewild, from way back when they first started.
Now, I just realised something about this song.
Idlewild are a Scots band.
In Scots "message" means shopping or errands, as in
"I'm just off to Tesco to pick up my messages"
"Did you get your messages?"
(it's still commonly used, by the way)
So, when Idlewild sing "I am a message" along with the other lyric from the song about "selling your soul", they're singing about the commodification of music and giving out to "The Man", no?
(shame they did sell out eventually - their souls died along with it possibly)

Antidote For A Soggy Thursday

Viva Voce are a band who I've been trying to support on the ol' RR in the past. They came on my mp3 player on the way home, so I thought I'd post about them
The video for "From The Devil Himself" is a rare thing - smart, funny, and totally rocking all at the same time!

Who needs originality?

The first time I heard "Dead Sound" by The Raveonettes my initial thought was "Blimey, that's Suicide. How can they so blatently rip off my favourite Suicide song?!"
After a fashion, and a few more listens (to both tunes) I decided that lifting one bit from a song and incorporating it into something new IS FAB.
Talent borrows, genius steals, in this case.

Maybe we are living in post-modern times, where all we can do is endlessly recycle the past, and is this such a bad thing?

Sunday Morning Warships

I was lucky enough to find this on 7" recently.

It's "Sanctus" from the Missa Luba, a version of Latin Mass, sung in African style by Congolese children.

It features prominently in one of my favourite films "If..." , and I think was a hit in the 50s or 60s in the UK.

Anyway, it's very strange and haunting, and succinct, and religious, and has a mental last 20 seconds - the perfect thing for Sunday Morning.

Larry became increasingly neurotic and obscene

Nick Cave's lot are at it again, this time speculating what Lazarus may have got up to after he was brought back from the dead. Lazarus, or Larry as he's been renamed, ends up in New York ; "a soup queue, a dope fiend, a slave, in prison.."
Cave is on particularly fine form, belligerent and spitting, bring on the new album and tour!

Shame this came to late for the Biblical RR topic, it would have been a shoo-in!
There's also a very funny teaser on youtube - click here

More RR favourites Greg Dulli and Mark Lanegan are back too, this time as The Gutter Twins, they've released the first fruits of their labours as a free download on myspace - which can be heard by clicking here
It's called "Idle Hands", and I've not quite made my mind up about it yet, some more listens maybe...

Through Fog And Rain I Run My Train

"Ask Me About Pittsburgh" - The Asteroid No. 4

The first thirty seconds may sound like an ice-cream van drowning, but then the acoustic and electric guitars start , and shortly after that the rolling, lolloping drums drive things off.

An evocative almost shoegazey voice comes in, singing a tale of a chance meeting with a beautiful stranger on a train, and then having to part ways. Love and loss on a small, realistic, everyday scale - "It's a real drag that you're leaving", he sings. I guess for twenty seconds here and there, we all fall in love with someone on the bus or train, the mind considers briefly what a relationship may be like with this person, and then the thought is gone, floating away to wherever thoughts go once they're over.

The breakdown at about the two minute mark is fab, echoing the refrain from the intro of the song, before coming back in, with the drums, to to an spacey arpeggio

The song begins to fade at the 3 minute mark, and a most peculiar psychedelic outtro begins, as if a completely different song has been picked up by a badly tuned radio receiving signals from a far flung planet.

Asteroid No. 4 have chosen to hide a wee pop gem inside this song, Only two and a half minutes long really, and I'm glad it has exposed itself to me.

The lyrics, "I can remember, we sat together on the train / You asked about Pittsburgh, but I'd only been there in the rain" conjure up that sort of intangible abstract far-away place, a romantic ideal - an almost dreamilke feeling.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

the only indie kid in the village

.......the countryside.........

this is my blog.

i'm alone, musically, we all are here.

there's one pub here, and it took me 3 hours to get to the recent lightning bolt gig.

once i sort out some hosting for mp3s, i'll get to posting.