Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Spread our ashes round the yard

I feel a little irrate right now as already I have discovered the potential peril lurking beyond my dissmissive attitude towards the 'save as draft'option.I just wrote a post and then entered an imcompatible character in the tag,meaning the post is unpublished and lost.It wasn't particularly impressive but I'm annoyed that it didn't save as I can't write exactly the same things from memory and now the ideas seem contrived as opposed to spontaneous thoughts.

I'm currently listening to The Replacements,and as ever once I've discovered someone new I curse myself severly for not paying more attention previously.All I can say is thank you Jesse Malin for introducing me to them.Not only do you produce outstanding music of your own but you are also a huge music fan.I loved hearing his description of 'Broken Radio'at the gig I attended a few months ago,"It's about when music was a way of life",I found that profound and something I could relate to wholeheartedly.It's no joke to say I don't know where I would be without my music.

Thinking along those lines lead me to contemplate songs I feel moved by every time I hear them.As a rather sensitive type who always listens to emotionally wraught music it's not surprising there are an army of examples behind me,I thought I'd just share a few of them.The song I was listening to earlier on as I considered this theme was 'That I Would Be Good'by Alanis Morissette.She is someone I have been a fan of for a long time and retain a lot of appreciation for.I've never understood why she is dismissed as something of a joke.'That I Would Be Good' and 'The Couch'which follows it are both such fragile and stirring songs that I can never listen to either without feeling moved.I love the music I listened to to expose raw emotions and that's exactly what they achieve.I CARE about the sentiments being expressed because they are so genuine,unlike many overly earnest singer songwriters.

Another song which abandons me on the edge of tears after each listen is 'Naked As We Came' by Iron &Wine.I would reproduce the lyrics if I didn't think that might leave me in some kind of trouble,but needless to say those three or four minutes have moved me more than any poem I have ever read.Put simply it is one of the most poetic and affecting songs about death I have so far encountered.

This theme is one I plan to return to,but for now I want to make sure I can actually 'publish'this without losing it again!

Sunday, 18 March 2007

My musical current

Although it's true that downloading is killing music in terms of destroying it as something substantial you can hold in your hands,the odd bit of web based perusal can benefit types like myself with an insatiable appetite for new music.It is such random stumblings which lead to my discovery of a delightful band called Bishop Allen,a band who have released an EP for each month of the year.Their music is twee indie type stuff,pretty songs with lush harmonies and loveable lyrics.For your aural delight and because I believe bribery works in gaining popularity I have uploaded this gem:

Click Click Click Click http://www.yousendit.com/transfer.php?action=download&ufid=40B0372779CD9610

(That will be active for 7 days or 100 downloads so act fast!Obviously it's unlikely 100 downloads will be reached but still...after my endorsement who could resist taking a sneaky peek?)

Of course I gain most of my enjoyment from actual purchases,such as yesterdays aforementioned to Fopp.I bought the debut album from Uncle Topelo,a seminal factor in the development of the alt-country scene,and after disbanding one of the members formed the mighty Wilco,all of which(along with the bargain price of a fiver for 19 songs)informed my decision to purchase the album.On listening I was quickly pleased with my choice and the songs,in particular the title track are easy to like.Oh Fopp,you lighten my wallet but fuel my musical heart.

Expect more discussion of Fopp purchases shortly,I have yet to digest all of my new albums!

Saturday, 17 March 2007

It's only the future that didn't last

Last night I went to see Idlewild for the eighth(!)time,so you could say I'm a long time fan of theirs.They're a band I can return to again and again and I've always enjoyed seeing them live.Each time there are a collection of memories flooding my brain and I liked thinking about the different phases of my life they've provided the soundtrack to.So last night I left the cold air of the city to enter a familiar venue where I'd seen the band twice before.I found a good spot near the front,sadly situated in direct proximity to a rather ridiculous man who stumbled into me countless times and a rather large person with hygiene issues,but seeing the stage was the most important thing.

Idlewild played a mixed set,but after seeing them on so many occassions previously I was hoping to here the majority of the latest album 'Make Another World', yet they chose a greatest hits set instead and played only five from their latest outing,and neither of their favourites.Of course I love their older songs too but these were very safe choices and all singles besides two exceptions.So I spent the gig thinking that Idlewild and many of their fans might be trapped in nostalgia,particularly as the reaction to tracks from the latest album seemed decidedly lukewarm.

So I left with a slightly heavy heart as I acknowledged that this gig wouldn't go into my Idlewild hall of fame,and would instead join their other dissapointing gig from 2002.I think I differ from the majority of gig-goers in that I usually hope to hear the latest songs as opposed to clamoring for the oldies,I guess that's because if I wanted to hear lots of old songs I'd go and see a band who only had hits a million years ago so subsequently only play their 'hits' at gigs.

This is not my most eloquent post so far,probably due to being a bit cranky at the moment after reviewing a rather appalling CD by a rather awful band called X is Loaded.I urge you to investigate them under no circumstances,well,unless you desire to punish your ears for some heinous crime they've committed.

Next up will be a post of recently acquired music,most of which was the product of a lucrative trip to a rather wonderful shop called Fopp this afternoon.

Thursday, 15 March 2007

A swirl of excitement

Perhaps it's good karma coming my way that has meant after setting up my blog lots of exciting music-themed events will take place,or maybe it's just coincidence.Either way I am incredibly excited to announce that I just booked tickets to see my much beloved White Stripes at the Wireless festival.For those of you who don't know me personally The White Stripes are my favourite band and I love them dearly,I've seen them live twice before and they were so magnetic and mesmerising.I went to Wireless for the day last year and it was wonderful,and as I am rather infatuated by London it's great to have an excuse to go there for a couple of days.This is also the only White Stripes date in the UK this year according to the NME(not always the most reliable source I know,but something that will fuel the festival selling out quickly nonetheless)and I am desperate to see them live again after being unable to see them at all when they toured 'Get Behind Me Satan',an album I was listening to just this morning as it happens!
June may just be the greatest month on record with releases from Ryan Adams and The White Stripes,I sense July will be crushing as a result though.


I may be alone in this(but thanks to the internet that is rarely the case,there's always someone to share the most obscure of viewpoints isn't there?)but I think the greatest albums are the ones that break your heart over and over and each time you thank them for the privilige.This thought occurred to me yesterday as I was listening to the rather aptly titled 'Heartbreaker'.Albums such as that are timeless for me as I return to them repeatedly and regardless of the situation or my state of mind at the time I feel moved by the experience.

Getting so connected to music may be unhealthy and illogical when you consider it is mass-produced and not just intended for your ears at all,and yet that's the beauty of music,each listener reacts and connects to what they're hearing differently.I'm the kind of listener who reacts emotionally and for me lyrics are the deal breaker each time I hear a song.If it has something to say and is expressing that sentiment well,be it poetically,bluntly or angrily,then chances are I will enjoy it.What I loathe are trite,bland attempts at expression and such attempts make me furious.During the time I've spent writing music reviews I've been sent a lot of this kind of stuff,far more than one person should be expected to tolerate quite frankly.Each time the artist was treated to a verbal critque from me and comparisons to the likes of James Morrison and James Blunt.It's hugely unfortunate that despite there being hundreds,probably thousands of heartbreaking and breathtakingly talented solo artists out there it is usually just the horribly mediocre ones that are championed and taken to the hearts of the masses.It's enough to keep me awake at night really.Still,that's the naive aim of my blog,to write about music that means something to me and moves me.

Perhaps I will do a series of posts about albums I hold dear which fall into the "left my heart feeling bruised"category,and I might upload some particularly touching songs to go with it.Another facet to this blog will be posting themed mix CDs I've made,and whilst they're on the agenda,there's a great site here:
for any fellow mix CD fans.
That's all from me this time as my head is filled with aspirations for this modest blog and I need to organise them all!

Hello and welcome!

Obviously this is the first post on my blog so I should introduce myself.The reason I'm setting this up is that I wanted another creative outlet,a public one where I could expose the full extent of my geekiness.The idea I had is to create a music blog where I basically discuss well,music related things,like my current loves,great albums from the vault of my collection,new discoveries,live music and anything else that comes to mind.I will also add links and mp3s to make visits worth your while.
I also write music reviews regularly so I will also discover what comes my way via that,mainly the extremely bad and the shockingly good,as I tend to be a rather opinionated type.