Track of the Day 489 : The Vaselines -You Think You’re A Man

 

Like many, I knew The Vaselines only through Nirvana’s cover versions of three of their songs. So when I received a 3LP Vaselines set this Christmas, I did wonder whether the three Nirvana-covered songs would be the only good ones. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case, a whole world of wonders were to be found in those lo-fi indie-pop records.

Ironically, one of my absolute favourite tracks on the records was a cover by The Vaselines, of an Eighties disco track by Divine ‘You Think You’re A Man’. It’s a wonderful, gleeful take, retaining the pop nous of the original whilst adding The Vaselines own shonky charm, whilst providing an unexpected two degrees of separation between Nirvana and Divine.

The first 483 tracks of the day can only be found on my Tumblr. Everything since can be found here. There’s also a Spotify playlist of every single track of the day (or those available on Spotify at least) below:

Track of the Day 488 : Funkadelic – Maggot Brain

I used to claim a hatred of guitar solos. Dislike was probably more accurate, but who doesn’t like to overstate their opinions when they’re teenage. Anyway, I certainly wasn’t a fan, finding them an opportunity for guitarists to show off their technical abilities rather than a way to create beautiful or interesting music. Two particular individuals changed my mind. One was Neil Young, the other Eddie Hazel of Funkadelic. I’m sure there are other guitarists who are technically more impressive, but these two impart such emotion, such meaning into their solos, that they changed my views.

In particular, Funkadelic’s Maggot Brain is now one of my favourite records, despite being little more than a ten minute solo. No other guitarist has inspired such empathy in me as Hazel does on this track, made me feel what they feel in this way. It’s such a cliche to describe a record as a journey, but that is really how Maggot Brain feels. One of those rare records where you feel a different person after hearing it.

The first 483 tracks of the day can only be found on my Tumblr. Everything since can be found here. There’s also a Spotify playlist of every single track of the day (or those available on Spotify at least) below:

Track of the Day 487 : The Black Madonna – He is The Voice I Hear

 

What could be better on a Friday afternoon than a 10 minute instrumental disco epic? This track by the Black Madonna is a thing of string-led beauty, like some kind of wonderful amalgam of all the electronic dance records I’ve loved, from I Feel Love through to Knights of the Jaguar. It would be putting me right in the mood for a weekend’s clubbing if I still did that kind of thing. Hat tip to the ever excellent Goldflake Paint blog for bringing this one to my attention.

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Track of the Day 486 : Tim’s Rice – Cold

I’ve been a fan of Oh Peas for a couple of years now, so was delighted to learn of Tim’s Rice, her collaboration with Euros Childs (Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci), whose music I’ve been enjoying for, it’s fair to say, a wee bit longer.

The full 4 track EP ‘Mixed Ability Pilates’ (and good naming work on both band name and EP title by the way), is well worth a listen, but ‘Cold’ is my personal favourite. A thing of simple lo-fi beauty, like many Oh Peas songs, with skeletal keyboard and drum backing, and barely a handful of lyrics in the whole song. The highpoint of the song is the two singers combining on the repeated line “and when the clouds clear away from view, leaving only blue”, for which they have discovered a near perfect melody.

Download the ‘Mixed Ability Pilates’ EP from Euros Child’s website, and please do leave a donation while you’re there.

The first 483 tracks of the day can only be found on my Tumblr. Everything since can be found here. There’s also a Spotify playlist of every single track of the day (or those available on Spotify at least) below:

Track of the Day 485 : Crumbs – On Tiptoes

It’s always good to support a band based in Leeds, where I grew up and find myself back again. Crumbs are the finest band I’ve heard from the city for a long time. They have just a handful of tracks available on their Bandcamp at the moment (and a Marc Riley session), all of which are well worth your time.

It’s ‘On Tiptoes’ though that really stands out, combining a wonderfully funky post-punk rhythm section with a real emotional heft provided by the gently chiming guitars of the chorus, and the gorgeous yearning vocal. Let’s hope there’s more from this band to come.


The first 483 tracks of the day can only be found on my Tumblr. Everything since can be found here. There’s also a Spotify playlist of every single track of the day (or those available on Spotify at least) below:

Track of the Day 484 : Syd Barrett – Terrapin

Every day I post a track of the day on the blog, as a kind of musical diary, but also a way of sharing the music I love. Some will be new, some will be old. Some days I’ll write a little about them, some days a lot. Today, number 484 : Syd Barrett – Terrapin

For the last 483 days I’ve been posting a track of the day on Tumblr. As of today, I’ve decided to post them to the main blog instead. And, as it’s Valentine’s day, I thought why not start with a love song?

My wife has introduced to me to a lot of music, and none have I loved more than the music of Syd Barrett. I had previously known little of the man, other than as a drug casualty and early member of Pink Floyd. I had never, to my knowledge, heard a note of his solo material, but as soon as I did I was smitten. It had that lo-fi, home made feel that I love, with lyrics both poetic and hilarious, and a way with melody that is all too rare. Like the early Pink Floyd records, but stripped to their essence, their core.

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Bringing up a child in the time of Trump

This is not primarily a political blog, but in times like these ignoring the political situation should not be an option. The first week or so of Donald Trump’s presidency has been worse than I possibly imagined, and my expectations were extremely low. More concerning even than any of the individual policies he has put in place, is the disregard for the rule of law and the constitution. It is also very apparent that our own government here in the UK is not going to do anything to stand up to him, regardless of what he does.

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So I joined a few thousand of my fellow citizens at a march in Leeds last night, protesting against Trump’s travel ban, the man himself and our governments craven subservience. I’ve been cynical in the past of marches, protests and petitions, believing there is little chance of them having any impact. I’ve come to realise though that, although protesting has only a tiny chance of making a difference, sitting on my arse doing nothing has absolutely zero chance of making a difference, so I know which I’d rather be doing right now.

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Tracks of the Year 2016

Last week I gave you my albums of the year, today the ten songs that gave me most pleasure in 2016.

10: Frankie Cosmos – Sappho

Any number of tracks from Frankie Cosmos’s excellent album ‘Next Thing’ could have made the cut, but Sappho encapsulated her melodic, lo-fi indie perfectly.

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Albums of the Year 2016

2016 may not have been a great year (well let’s be honest, it was absolutely terrible), but there were plenty of great albums released. My ten favourites are listed below, but I’d also like to give shout outs to David Bowie, Cate Le Bon, Colin Stetson, Cross Record, PJ Harvey, Radiohead, Anna Meredith, The Julie Ruin, Frankie Cosmos, Factory Floor, Mitski, Xam Duo, Diiv & Danny Brown who all released wonderful records this year but didn’t quite make the list

10. Lisa Hannigan – At Swim

Lisa Hannigan’s first two albums were also excellent, but At Swim represents a new artistic peak for the Irish singer-songwriter. Her voice is as gorgeous as ever, but there is a new subtlety and depth to her songwriting, with songs managing to deliver immediate melodic hits yet still reveal new pleasures on each listen. The production from The National’s Aaron Dessner is also excellent, never do the arrangements overshadow the songs themselves, but the album is not afraid to step away from a standard folky palette to incorporate sounds from other genres (as in the electronica-influenced Undertow). An excellent album from an underappreciated artist.

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