Sunday, 17 August 2014

Top 10 singles of 2013

  here are my Top 10 singles of 2013.

  and yes I know it's took me 8 months to do it. but I lost 
  a lot of motivation to do blog stuff lately. having said that, 
  doing this has reminded me how much I enjoy the whole
  process. so thanks to Stu + Dandy for the motivation/kick 
  up the backside.

  some choices might surprise a few people. but if you know 
  me just a little bit, you will already know my music taste 
  is pretty varied ;)

  oh yeah, and don't expect my album choices to be anything 
  like this(!) pop may rule the single choices but indie always
  rules the albums. weird? probably ... but that is just the 
  kinda guy I am!!

  let me know if you like any of these songs ... 
  what were your favourite singles of last year?
  let me know in the comments section below

  ps/ and I know Stu is rolling his eyes already just at #10  
  ... let alone 9 !!! ;)

#10 - Applause - Lady Gaga

   this was a weird one. unlike previous lead-off singles Bad 
   Romance/Born This Way that hadn't impressed me much 
   on first listen, but then had a complete turn-around. this 
   never really reached those heights. though I did actually
   start to really like it: it's almost un-pop song like structure 
   with the clipped vocal delivery and sparse beats, and the
   whole idea of a non-anthem used as an anthem.
#9 - Work Bitch - Britney Spears

   in which Britney sounds like she's stumbled into an underground
   german club and barked some commands over the most repetitive 
   (and goddamn perfect beat) ever. it's gets interesting at 2.45 when 
   it goes all trance-y, and touches on the one thing that always made
   trance so special, the feeling of euphoria and emotion.

   and the part at 3.12 is the sound of Britney destroying everything 
   Beyonce has achieved in the past 10 years ... in 15 seconds flat.

#8 - Flatline - MKS

   ' I know what I face. The silence is deafening. I know crying through
    pain won't make it right '

   one reunion off my list. and one I never EVER expected to see.
   this warms my heart. for real. that the original Sugababes got
   back together, as friends, and a band, after everything that had
   happened ... made this song, looked happy and looked like they 
   were thoroughly enjoying every second of it, makes you realise 
   that perhaps there is a place for optimism in the world.

   the song should have been a #1. it sold about 5 copies. 
   I wonder if that crap woman from Harvest did the promotion?

  #7 - The Apple - VV Brown


   ' Hold my soul now, Inside your box, Make me loose, Psychological locks '

    now this was a surprise. I already liked VV Brown and had bought
    her first album (on the back of Shark in the water... but I was not
    expecting this hypnotic, beat-heavy Grace Jones-like track when
    I watched the above on Jools Holland last October ... it took me 
    approximtately 10 seconds to know I would be buying the album.
    and I did.

#6 - Glitterbombed - Charlotte Church

    'When I talk, And your words fall out, They’ve got silver on the edge, 
     Hang shining in the air'
   yes this is Charlotte Church. her of 12 year old Voice of an angel
   fame. yes, it is amazing and sounds like Bjork and every other 
   female artist I love.
   and yes I was blown *utterly* away when I watched the above.
   I wish every artist had this self belief to just do what they like and
   not care about convention. just follow their heart. no scrub that, 
   I wish that *everyone* just went and did that, myself included.

   all you need is total self-belief ... this 3 minutes shows you that.
#5 - Little Me - Little Mix

   ' You can be beautiful, wonderful, anything you want to be '

   if there is one thing I love in music. it is when a song has a real
   message. I love that 12 year olds are hearing stuff like this in 
   amongst all the s*** out there ... what music should be about. 

   sounding like classic En Vogue and following in the footsteps of 
   R&B empowerment ballads such as Sugababes’ "Ugly" Destiny’s 
   Child’s "Survivor" and Christina Aguilera’s "Beautiful" it doesn't
   really get any better than this.

   ' Wish I could somehow go back in time and maybe listen to 
     my own advice' 

#4 - When I was your girl - Alison Moyet


   ' I'd put on every coat. To wear the weather down. But even in the sun. 
     You said you tasted rain. I watched you unfurl. You held on to me '

   *this* is how to make a comeback. I knew Alison had a new record 
   coming out. but I kind of expected it to be more soulful bluesy stuff.
   then I saw the above performance. 


    I swear in May 2013. I listened to this about 500,000 times in 2 days.
    no lie. I do this with every song I like. does anyone else? ... just me?

    I was (and still am) slightly obsessed with the whole torch song/kd lang 
    feel it has to it ... the verses, with that urging driving beat REALLY GET
    TO ME ... my favourite parts of the whole song. and the words ... the 
    ones above alone ... geez

   ' Into corners sweep our rage ... I would never leave you crying '

 #3 - Hearts Like Ours - The Naked and Famous 

   ' There's a fear that won't subside ... Of all the things I'll never do '

   July 2013.
   it's funny ... just when you need a band the most. they come back.
   this appeared exactly at the time I needed to hear a song like this.
   it soundtracked my days. I listened to it on a loop.
   the best thing was when I first heard it, I didn't really know who
   it was until the end. the image change completely threw me ... 
   but the sound was so familiar ... just couldn't quite place it. so 
   glad I couldn't, because that moment when the name popped 
   up at the very end as I watched MTV was an amazing, amazing 

   regarding the video.

   I am in love with every other frame, and just want to pause it and
   look for 30 seconds, and just take in the beauty.

  ' could we try to reinvent. feed the head with common sense ' 
  ' leave this place behind, in silence. and the weight we find inside us '

#2 - Snow - Frida Sundermo

   ' I've never been this far away from you my friend, I need you here '

   this always used to be on at the gym, at first I thought it was Robyn.
   and for ages I had no idea who it was, as no name/song title ever 
   came up. then I found out who it was, watched it properly on yotube 
   and properly fell in love with it.

   this is exactly my kind of song .... desolate, with delicate beats
   quietly euphoric ... and utterly beautiful.

  'I'm alone ... surrounded by the snow'

#1 - Another Love - Tom Odell

   ' I wanna sing a song, That'd be just ours, And I wanna cry,
    I wanna fall in love '

   I know it's probably not cool/cred. and is not even remotely 
   indie. I don't care.

   this is my favourite song of last year. I have only listened to 
   it once since buying it. why? because I have to have one song 
   that I don't know inside out ... every nuance and inflection, 
   every chord change. I want to try and hold onto that feeling 
   that you get when you hear a song for the first time ... that 
   rush you get, of thinking this song will change your life and 
   wondering how you could have ever got by without knowing 
   it ... having it in your life.

   I knew this was going to be important to me when I heard 
   snippets of it around the time it was released. but I resisted 
   listening to it in full because I wanted to save it for when I 
   really needed it the most. I bought it in December time last 
   year and listened to it on the way to the Gym. what struck 
   me was the anger and overwrought emotion that came in at 
   the end. just blew me away. this song I already liked, was 
   now affecting me on a whole other level.

   I just listened to it for the 2nd time.  I lasted 8 seconds before 
   tearing up ... and at 1.20 a tear fell down.

   I can't explain. when I hear this, it's like I need it more than 
   any other song ever released. I guess it's why music means so 
   much to me and why I place so much importance in the power 
   of music.

   ** oh yeah, I have now listened to it a lot more than 2 times.

Monday, 2 June 2014

why the pairing of Morrissey and Pamela Anderson is just perfect.

   this morning the latest in a line of spoken-word videos was 
   released by Morrissey to promote his latest single EARTH IS

   and what a moment it was when I realised it was PAMELA 
   ANDERSON in the video with him!!!!

   I have long admired Pamela and have often wondered if they
   knew each other. I remember reading that Morrissey had gone
   to a thanksgiving dinner Pamela had had, where the guest of 
   honour was the turkey!! ... but had no idea if it was actually 

   hence my joy when I realised it was her in the video with him.
   and this pairing of Morrissey and Pamela is just perfect ... but
   not just for the reason you might think.

   you see Pamela is a strange mix in this modern day and age. 
   sure there have been hyper-sexual stars before and after her 
   ... but none quite like her.

   you see, she exudes qualities of the golden age of Hollywood, 
   when women were sexual, and strong (but not arrogant, mean 
   and big-headed because they knew they HAD IT) ... polite and 

   if she had been born in the UK, in the north, probably 30 years 
   earlier, I have no doubt she would have graced the cover of a
   'Smiths record.

   that's why it is so perfect that Morrissey likes her ... 

   and of course the other reason why it's perfect, is because she 
   has the same beautiful spirit as Morrissey in using her voice 
   for the voice-less animals. it makes my heart swell knowing 
   that these 2 people are in the world MAKING A DIFFERENCE 
   ... and now knowing that they are friends.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Morrissey releases another brand new song ISTANBUL and it's epic-ness is almost too much to take in for this poor moz-fan blogger.

   It's pretty funny. and very british-like. like waiting for a bus. 
   you're waiting, waiting ... and then 2 come along all at once!!
   that's how it is, as we are greeted by another new Morrissey 
   song, only a few weeks after the last one!! ... of course I'm not 
   complaining - but it's just funny how one minute you have
   nothing and then just as you are getting used to the fact of 
   having a new Morrissey song - another one is out and taking 
   over your world!!

   I'm still sticking to my rule of not listening to any of the new 
   songs via youtube footage. If I'm at a gig it's one thing, but I 
   hate hearing things on tinny youtube videos for the first time.

   and it's paying off. because the full impact after I've bought 
   these singles and heard them in their full glory is worth all 
   the previous sacrificing.

   so I've finally heard my 2nd track off the new album.
   there is so much I love about it, it's hard to know where
   to begin. listening to this song, I just feel consumed by it,
   but in a VERY GOOD WAY - i.e. it's so long since a song
   has made me feel this way, you almost forget how music
   can (and should) affect you.

   so here in 10 points (yes I am still liking this 10 point thing)
   is why this new moz song is a wondrous affair.

   1. the start, it is some kind of a war-speech or some spoken
       word jazziness??? no time to ponder, the song is off ... 

   2. very different to WORLD PEACE. this takes it up to
       the next level. I love the brutish swagger it has and how 
       that seemlessly melds with an eastern blissed out vibe.

   3. it is both sinister and uplifting AT THE SAME TIME.  
       all cinematic and wide-screen ... thrilling and desperate.
       desolate and euphoric. all these things HIT YOU ALL
       AT ONCE ... oh mozzer.

   4. this means that the affect it has on you, is the following:
       a/ wanting to just get lost in the ethereal-ness of it all.
       b/ wanting to punch the air out of sheer jubilation and 
       shout those words out. it's going to be quite a quandry 
       I am in when I hear it live. what to do ...

   5.  Mozzer's words, his voice, his tone ... when they suddenly
        come into the song, amidst all that music (and how it has
        left you feeling) means it just gets you RIGHT THERE!!!
        oh mozzer indeed.

    6. the bit at 1.39-1.45 makes my heart melt. every time.

    7.  in this rather lovely new moz tradition, we get another 
         spoken word video ... is it just me who thinks Morrissey
         would make a rather fine actor!!?? ... actually scrub that,
         we don't want to lose him to the acting world and all those 
         luvvies!!! (oh Steven, oh Steven!!)

     8. the ending makes me think of Suede + DOG MAN STAR 
         (all Asphalt World/We Are The Pigs ending) which floors 
         me *nearly* as much as everything I've previously heard. 

     9. two songs in, I have no idea how I'm going to feel by the 
          time I have actually heard all of the album.

     10. In a Parallel world, I would have loved somebody like 
           Oasis or The Stone Roses to have released this and to 
           have witnessed all the praise and adulation heaped upon 
           it ... and then switch back to the ACTUAL WORLD where 
           it was basically ignored ... whilst just thinking to myself 
           EXACTLY EXACTLY. 

     Istanbul and previous single World Peace Is None Of Your 
     Business are available to buy now on itunes.

     the album World Peace Is None Of Your Business is released
     on 14 July

Monday, 26 May 2014

Nine Inch Nails/Cold Cave - Nottingham FM Arena - 24 May 2014


  if truth be told, I was just as excited to see Cold Cave as I was
  Nine Inch Nails (who I *have* seen before) ... so I made sure 
  I got there early enough to see them.

  perfect before a note had even been played.

   'can we lower the lights a bit' 
  (lower the lights!! ... someone  next to me says)
  'we're from California, but don't judge us'
  'where are we?' (it's a joke!)

  so after only ever listening to them, I was finally seeing them.
  and whereas it's one thing to listen to them on cd, seeing it live 
  in front of you was another thing altogether. their juddering 
  beats washing over an almost frozen (statue-like) audience was 
  just a vision of pure perfection, that I was fortunate enough to 
  be caught up in, in a trance-like state.

  you need this band in your life.

   seriously - how.damn.perfect. is this band ... 

   above - audience shot from just before the start of NIN

   Nine Inch Nails started (first video below) as they meant to go  
   on ... a  juggernaut of brutal power and sound. I got all of the songs
   I wanted. the only one they didn't do was We're In This Together 
   I didn't film any of my favourite songs (if I did, just a few seconds) 
   because I wanted to enjoy the song ... hence just 50 seconds of 
   THE HAND THAT FEEDS and only 15 seconds(!) of HEAD LIKE A 
   HOLE ... nothing of Terrible lie (though here's someone else's vid)
   I was really pleased to hear The Day The World Went Away as
   it's the perfect song to hear live ... and get lost in. crowd-wise 
   people were really into it, though there wasn't any real mass
   movement, when I last saw them at Brixton Academy in London
   it was brutal, I nearly died in the crush near the front! but you
   never get the same thing at arena shows. I have no doubt if the
   gig would have been at a smaller venue, it would have been exactly
   the same. Hurt ended the gig and fittingly was the total opposite
   to how the gig had started. as ever with gigs, once it's over I wish 
   I had it all to look forward to and do again. but that's the beauty
   of gigs, how they always leave you with that feeling.

  Cold Cave

  Underworld USA 
  Youth and Lust 
  A Little Death to Laugh 
  Love Comes Close 
  Heaven Was Full 
  People are Poison 
  Icons of Summer 

  Nine Inch Nails

  Somewhat Damaged 
  The Beginning of the End 
  Terrible Lie 
  March of the Pigs 
  Gave Up 
  All Time Low 
  The Warning 
  The Great Destroyer 
  The Hand That Feeds 
  Head Like a Hole 

  The Day the World Went Away 

Friday, 16 May 2014

where I was last night.

in Nottingham for a gig ... (unbelievably) the first time
seeing one of their gigs ... but I now have.

I have so much to say ... so much ... but I will 
save it for the review ... check back in a few days. 
but for the time being, here's a little bit from the 
start of the gig. 

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

10 reasons why Moz's comeback single is rather magnificent.


     Morrissey is back today with a new single ... and yes it is 
     very exciting to be able to say that. and M did not disappoint. 
     here are the 10 reasons why Moz's comeback single is rather 
   1. it starts off all menacing and tribal-like, who does that? 
       no-one. except Moz.
   2. then on a flick of his heel/flick of his wrist (you choose) 
       goes into the sweetest refrain you've EVER heard. clever 
       one Moz.
   3. it sounds like a distant blissed out cousin of Ouija Board 
       (this is a very.good.thing.)
   4. talking of that ... is it only me who gets a (albeit very faint)
        surf/hawaiian feel from the music?? I love it.
   5. I really like how that music feels like it's doing it's own 
        thing in the background ... it feels like you never know 
        which direction it's going to go in.
   6. the lyrics. is it too much to ask for intelligent meaningful 
        lyrics these days? seemingly. Moz returns and in 1 song 
        alone, shows the banality of everyone else's lyrics.
   7. at 3.51 because of *that* (err wow) music break that's just 
        occurred ... it comes back sounding more victorious and 
        euphoric than ever.
   8. we can all feel a bit smug. as in THIS IS WHY WE LOVE HIM.
   9. the video (yes a point dedicated just to it)
   10. with M just reciting the lyrics, Nancy SINATRA wandering
          in all Debbie-Harry like(!!) and the whole thing having the
          air of a Twin Peaks (it's true!!) Fire Walk-With Me never
          before seen moment - it's pretty damn perfect.


     World Peace Is None Of Your Business is available to buy 
     now on itunes.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Handmade Festival Day 3.

today I woke up singing Capybara!
... I love you Shonen Knife!!

well today I got there earlier than any other 
because I really wanted to see Speaking in Italics. 
today at the Firebug all of the gigs are happening 
downstairs in front of the bar area, which I'm not
really that keen on. first off it's way too bright with
light coming in through all the windows, and with 
people being able to sit down and watch, it does 
make it feel like you are watching cabaret act. 
but can understand why they did it ... I think a 
lot of people will want to see Dry the River, and 
at night time it probably won't be half as bad.

I decide to stay for a while and then I'll go and
see who's on at The Cookie. CHIMES are on as I
arrive, it's a kind of improv (and at times jazzy) 
thing ... not normally my kind of thing, but does 
suit the mood of that time of day and the setting
real well.

and I was right to have gotten there early because 

Speaking in Italics are exactly my kind of thing. 
they have a real late 90's US alt. feel ... dark tones,
shimmering guitars and huge soaring vocals. 

I would have hung around and got a t shirt but 
didn't have time because I wanted to get to The 
Cookie ... and when I got there I was glad I had
decided to go, because the atmosphere is just as 
laid back as it had been at the Firebug the day 

the first band I see there are Murmur ... young, 
full of confidence, and ok yes reminiscent of early 
Arctic monkeys, but with snatches of early weller 
too. one to keep an eye on. very promising. 

another reason I'm glad I'm there is because I
really wanted to see something happening in all 
of the venues. I'm so glad that I hadn't stuck to 
my original day 1 plan of just staying at 1 place.

Whales in Cubicles were a nice surprise ... they
perfectly carried on the feeling that I got from 
Speaking in Italics earlier. guitar heavy, really
loud vocals ... somewhere between a melodious 
Soundgarden and Afghan Whigs.

what I really like about the festival, is that the
bands are all very different, and you never really
know what is coming next. Lovepark are dreamy 
and huge sounding ... wide sonic landscapes, with 
gentle waves of melody weaving in and out.

I go over to The Guildhall to catch Ola Szmidt 
it is an amazing feeling walking in and having 
this beautiful voice (complimented by sparse 
backing) ... confront you in such a setting.

I get back in time to see Pixel Fix and straight-a-way 
I am impressed ... multi-faceted and intricate, they 
would have fitted in well on day 1's stage at Hansom 

after they have finished I go back to the Firebug 
because I want to be there in plenty of time for 
Dry The River. when I get there Cut Ribbons are 
on ... 80's breathy pop (dollar) meets early 90s 
twee indie/The Primitives and crossed with The 
Sundays dream-iness. so right up my street.
I mean seriously how perfect are they ....

Dry the River are more than worthy headliners 
of the final night. the place is packed before they
even come on and there is excitement before they 
even take to the stage ... 2 songs in people are 
singing along and the reactions that song intros 
alone get, tells you of their importance to people.

and then it's all over. and you're walking home 
and there's not another day to look forward to. 
people you've seen over the past 3 days, you'll 
probably never see again. the funny thing is, it's 
not like you'd spoke to them, but the nice thing 
was, you'd all shared this one thing, all witnessed 
this great thing together. I'd like to think that if 
I ever saw someone in the street we'd both do a 
little smile ...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

** someone tapped me on the shoulder before
Dry The River. I turned around and saw that
it was Ola who I had seen at the Guildhall. she
said she had seen me filming her and asked if
I could send it to her. I said I would. I told her 
that I thought she was amazing ... and then at
the very end she said that she had previously 
served me coffee at Cafe Nero!! - which at that
moment I couldn't remember, but as soon as 
she had gone, I remembered her!! it was only 
a handful of times and it was a few years ago. 
... I had no idea when I was watching her!!!

songs played over the PA between bands:
Motorcycle Emptiness - MANIC STREET PREACHERS 
(I was like you gotta be kidding me!!!!! I rather 
like this song)
Bombers - TUBEWAY ARMY  
Debaser - PIXIES 

plaid shirt count (not including me, it was in 
my bag though for later, too hot to wear it, 
I just had a Bikini kill shirt on) : about 10-20
town centre/loud/annoying/drunk people 
factor: 0/10