Friday, 29 July 2011

Thursday, 28 July 2011

F.b-17 from Misrata, Libya

Joe writes: I finally got around to listening to F.b-17, the act from Libya that The Guardian wrote about. They have a really good song No More Lies which sounds like a possible European hit. Have a listen on MySpace.

Miriam Makeba

Joe writes: I wrote about Miriam Makeba here after she died. Now Milk & Sugar have done a version of Pata Pata which gives me an excuse to post these two wonderful tracks again.

Miriam Makeba - Nongqongqo (To Those We Love) from An Evening With Belafonte/Makeba

Miriam Makeba - Pata Pata

Classic Sinatra track

Phil writes: Sinatra introduces a live performance of this by describing 'It Was A Very Good Year' as a 'folk song'. It isn't of course but it follows the patterning of numerous folk songs and some of my favourite twentieth century songs also involve the same kind of sequence ('Please Come To Boston', 'A Bang On The Ear', 'Love's Been Good To Me'). Here the stunning arrangement, consummate performance and underlying pathos combine to great effect:

Shimbalaiê by Maria Gadú

Joe writes: lovely Brazilian track that is, rather surprisingly, a hit in Italy

Welcome Home by Radical Face - the song from the Nikon TV advert

Joe writes: Lovely and much-synched track that I just heard for the first time.

Laura Marling - Sophia

Joe writes: Even if she had emerged in the early seventies when great folk rock was abundant, I think Laura Marling would have been considered a major artist. In the current decade, she is in a class of her own.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Kanye West and Jay-Z have sampled Otis Redding

Joe writes: I find their track a frustrating listen because they've sampled the Otis vocal that comes just before the climax of Try A Little Tenderness, so all the way through you're waiting for him to go "try a little, try a little, try a little, TENDERNESS", but he never does.

So here is Try A Little Tenderness with that wonderful trumpet intro:

and I've Been Loving You Too Long:

Remember Where You Were When Michael Jackson Died?

Joe writes: I must admit I hadn't heard of Spycatcher until they were added to the Radio 1 playlist but this is the best British rock track I've heard for a long time

Friday, 15 July 2011

Yuck vs Teenage Fanclub

Joe writes: I really like the new Yuck single but it is uncannily like a composite of Teenage Fanclub singles off Grand Prix, so much so that I wondered why Greg James was playing Teenage Fanclub when I heard Shook Down on his Radio 1 show today.

Yuck - Shook Down:

Teenage Fanclub - Mellow Doubt:

Teenage Fanclub - Sparky's Dream:

Teenage Fanclub - Neil Jung:

While I'm on a Teenage Fanclub trip, here's my other favourite TFC track The Concept:

Monday, 11 July 2011

Blue by LeAnn Rimes

Joe writes: When she was 14 and looking about 34, LeAnn Rimes released this amazing song originally intended for Patsy Cline.

Later in her teens she began to look and act her age and achieved her wish to make pop music with the likes of How Do I Live and Can't Fight The Moonlight, but those are the kind of songs anyone can do. LeAnn is probably the only artist in the last 30 years who could have recorded Blue.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Friend Crush by Friends

Joe writes: Friend Crush could be this year's Young Folks. Such a good lyric and tune.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Jesus' blood never failed me yet

Phil writes: Joe's Lee Marvin post reminded me of this. You don't need a conventionally good voice to create great music. I guess we all knew that (Dylan being the most well-known example) but this is maybe an extreme case. The original recording just featuring the unnamed 'vagrant' is amazing enough but the arrangement here and the addition of Tom Waits takes it to a whole new level for me.

In Memoriam - Jean Charles de Menezes

Phil writes: Although he wasn't killed on 7 July, he wouldn't have been killed at all if 7/7/2005 had just been an ordinary day. I happened to stumble across this track yesterday, a quietly powerful and moving account of his death and a great song.

For anyone who wants to be reminded of the appalling facts see the Wikipedia article here.

Monday, 4 July 2011

The essence of swing

Phil writes: Johnnie Hodges is one of my favorite sax players. Nothing complicated about his playing, though he's clearly in total command of his instrument, but what a sound and what a great sense of swing on I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart:

How sad that only a couple of hundred people have viewed this.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

"I was born under a wandering star"

Joe writes: what an amazing piece of music. Despite or perhaps because Lee Marvin was not a singer, the vocal is extraordinary. Surely the best ever single by an actor and one of the best ever one hit wonders.

Wand'rin' Star was a UK no. 1 in 1970, keeping Let It Be by The Beatles at no. 2, but weirdly it was never a hit in the US.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Sebadoh - Soul and Fire

Joe writes: the best of type of song is the break-up song and my favourite Sebadoh track is also one of my favourite break-up songs