Friday, 28 March 2008

"If I only knew your name, I'd go from door to door"

Joe writes: I heard Ciara Haidar cover this at the weekend. What a great song, and one that I vaguely knew - surely a classic '80s hit for someone like The Bangles or Cyndi Lauper, I thought.

But no, it turns out it's the current single by the Mystery Jets featuring Laura Marling.

I love it when I group I had written off come up with something really great (when I say "love" I obviously mean "grudgingly accept").

Someone has to cover this and make it a hit.

Mystery Jets feat. Laura Marling - Young Love (iTunes)

Monday, 24 March 2008

Herman Dune, Jonathan Richman and Paul Simon

Joe writes: Herman Dune played a lovely set at SXSW with Kimya Dawson joining him to sing vocals on a couple of songs including I Wish That I Could See You Soon. A very endearing song from a very endearing artist, although the lyric about spooning is a bit much.

I Wish That I Could See You Soon is clearly inspired by Jonathan Richman, and my favourite Jonathan Richman song is I Was Dancing In The Lesbian Bar.

I can also hear shades of Late In The Evening in I Wish That I Could See You Soon. Late In The Evening is the opening and best remembered track from Paul Simon's 1980 album One Trick Pony. The album has been slated by critics, perhaps more because of the film of the same name than the music (see also Parade by Prince). The critics are wrong about the music anyway. The album is great from beginning to end and is probably Paul Simon's best alongside Graceland.

Herman Dune - I Wish That I Could See You Soon (iTunes)

Jonathan Richman - I Was Dancing In The Lesbian Bar (iTunes)

Paul Simon - Late In The Evening (iTunes)

Friday, 21 March 2008

Black Kids video for I'm Not Going To Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You

I'm just posting this because I like the track and I love the lyric but I never got round to saying that here, and it would look hopelessly late if I posted the mp3 now, right?

some good tracks from bands who played SXSW

Foy Vance - Indiscriminate Act Of Kindness (iTunes)
I really like this song which reminds me of Romeo & Juliet by Dire Straits for some reason (obviously that's a good thing).

Fleet Foxes - White Winter Hymnal (not on iTunes UK yet but there is an EP up there including Sun Giant which is also lovely)
One of the buzz bands of SXSW. Their live show is very endearing.

Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers - 4th Of July (not on iTunes UK but lots of his stuff is)

Tigercity - Red Lips (not on iTunes UK yet but there is an EP up there)

Eagle Seagull - I'm Sorry But I'm Beginning To Hate Your Face (not on iTunes yet but lots of their stuff is)

Litttle Jackie - The World Should Revolve Around Me (not on iTunes UK yet)
Macy Gray revivalists with Imani Coppola on vocals

Lars Vaular - Eg E Fra Bergen (iTunes)
Norwegian rapper. No idea what he's saying but I like the backing track and the chorus.

from Adam Green to Jessica Simpson to John Cougar

The Moldy Peaches have broken thanks to Juno. As Kimya Dawson is getting most of the attention, I have an excuse to post my favourite Adam Green track, a savage but superb song about Jessica Simpson. The lyrics about waitressing, Cortisone and that line "where has your love gone? It's not in your music, oh no" make me wince every time.

There was a good single on the first Jessica Simpson album, I Think I'm In Love With You. It was released in the year 2000 but it's totally 1990s.

How can you fail with a sample from Jack & Diane by John Cougar (before he was Mellencamp)?

Adam Green - Jessica (iTunes)
Jessica Simpson - I Think I'm In Love With You (iTunes)
John Cougar - Jack & Diane (iTunes)

The Whitest Boy Alive - Golden Cage (Fred Falke Remix)

This was Pete Tong's Essential New Tune on Friday and was recommended to me by my friend Daz who was also first to tell me about Call On Me by Eric Prydz, Amarillo by Tony Christie, Cha Cha Slide by DJ Caspar and many other huge records. Thanks Daz.

It's a great remix of The Whitest Boy Alive, which is Erlend Øye from the Kings of Convenience.

I saw Kings of Convenience play at Benicassim a couple of years ago - tent packed with continental Europeans, total silence during the songs, then huge applause at the end of each one. But I'm whiter than he is.

The Whitest Boy Alive - Golden Cage (Fred Falke Remix) (only the original version is on iTunes so far)

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Phil Campbell

Phil Campbell has just been added to the Radio 2 playlist, more than a decade after he should have been.

Hope, Faith & You is his classic Tom Waits pastiche

Friday, 7 March 2008

rap with sampled, sped up chorus... paradise

Let It Be by Dyme Def is available on iTunes so it must be cleared, right? Thanks to Fun Bongo for telling me about this track.

Stay With Me by Ironik has not one but two sped up choruses. It's big on the Fizz TV channel.

All this sped up vocal business reminds me of Mark Oh's classic interpretation of Lionel Richie's Stuck On You. That vocal drop out crowd noise trick is so good!

Dyme Def - Let It Be (iTunes)
DJ Ironik - Stay With Me (iTunes link that will probably be removed soon)
Mark Oh - Stuck On You (there's only a terrible soundalike on iTunes)

White Lies

The UK music industry buzz band of the year so far and it's not undeserved.

Chris Barber

Joe writes: My dad tells me that Chris Barber is 80 this year [correction - he's not - see comment below] and just appeared on Later with Jools Holland.

The Chris Barber variety of trad or mainstream jazz is the kind of jazz that's closest to my heart. Generally, the band start by playing the melody, led by the trumpet. Then each player takes a solo in turn. Then they all come back in and play the melody again. The end. Magic.

There's a scene in a film that perfectly captures how exciting this music can be (or seemed to do so twelve years ago when I saw it). It's the 1959 film of John Osborne's iconic play Look Back In Anger. Richard Burton plays Jimmy, the archetypal angry young man. At the start of the film he walks down into a basement where a jazz band are playing (Chris Barber's). He picks up the trumpet and plays with them. It's dangerous, exciting, poetic - rock 'n' roll, you might say.

Climax Rag is the opening track from a legendary concert album, Barber In Berlin. Joe Meek was one of the recording engineers.

Duke Ellington's Creole Love Call is one of my favourite downtempo jazz standards. This version was recorded at the London Palladium. The best moment is at 6.49 when the band comes in with the melody again after a wonderful muted trumpet solo.

Both tracks available on an excellent double CD.

Neither are on iTunes but plenty of other Chris Barber tracks are.

Chris Barber's Jazz Band - Climax Rag (Live at Deutschland Halle, Berlin, 23rd May 1959)

Chris Barber's Jazz Band - Creole Love Call (Live at the London Palladium, 31st March 1961)