24 December 2007

I Must Have Been In A Daze Not To Notice!

It's my second post of today! I must be very motivated...

This post regards The Long Blondes' debut Someone to Drive You Home. I've had it for a year now but it was only today when hearing Once and Never Again that I realised that the first half of the album is rather clever. I suspected that something about it was unusual because it is sectioned off from the rest of the tracklisting on the back of the album cover. Well, I've cracked it at last! It's like two mini-concept-albums!

The concept, in my opinion, is a story about a boy and a girl in a relationship. It all seems pretty basic until you really listen and start to pick up the links. It starts with Lust in the Movies, where the girl seems to be pretty crazy about the boy (there are no names given, we can only discern the genders from the lyrics). At this point, they're spending a lot of time together. Once and Never Again documents when they start to drift apart. In my opinion, Only Lovers Left Alive is about how the boy's eye is starting to wander and Giddy Stratospheres documents this further. In the Company of Women is clearly about how the girl realises what is happening. It all ends badly and Heaven Help the New Girl tells us about their break-up. I think what is very clever about all of this though, is that it is all written from the perspectives of different people in the story. It all sounds very simple, but it's brilliant; I love it. I can't wait for their new album to come out in the new year.

Merry Christmas....

..... and I hope everything goes smoothly and no accidents happen over this Christmas period. At the minute, I am being subjected to smatterings of Christmas songs both new and old between all sorts of other (decent) songs on the radio. Everyone probably thinks I'm a Scrooge, but I love Christmas, I just really dislike Christmas songs (especially that Mariah Carey one but luckily my favourite radio station has enough dignity NOT to play it)!

Enough of my rambling. Merry Christmas.

20 December 2007

In A World Gone Mad

Whoever thought up the idea that the lyrics to Fairytale in New York were offensive has just got to be crazy! Radio 1 deleted out some of the song to make it less offensive to people (no surprises with who were the culprits). Is it just me or does editing out "offensive" parts of a classic song that has been played in full for twenty years just show how insane this world has become? If you're going to do that, you may as well ban all rap because the language in nearly all of that is a million times more offensive than Fairytale in New York could ever be. I was pleased to hear that they'd reversed their decision and returned the song to its former glory. It just makes me wonder what will happen next.

19 December 2007

Hoping the Hype Will Soon Freeze Over

What is it with the Arctic Monkeys?! They just won't go away! Apparently they're the UK's favourite band at the minute but I, for one, am sick to the back teeth with them. Okay, Alex Turner writes pretty good lyrics but he should've gone into poetry or been a writer because the tunes that he puts behind them are the same for every song. I heard that they had a bad reception in the USA because they weren't very good musically and I agree. At Glastonbury, all you could hear was this headache-inducing noise (although the sound was terrible generally, it sounded even worse with their tinny, rather annoying guitars). I hope that some time in 2008, the hype will die down and some good bands will be able to break through properly.

And as I'm finishing writing this, Teddy Picker has just started playing on the radio....

18 December 2007

Quick Commendation

As a protest against an X Factor winner (that means the cringeworthy Leon this time around) getting the Number 1 Christmas Single this year, Malcolm Middleton has released his own energetic and tongue-in-cheek Christmas single as a protest. I'm actually a bit of a fan of We're All Going to Die. The tune sounds simple and almost like it's been taken off an old retro video game (especially the part just after the chorus) but it's certainly a different take on what a Christmas single should be. I think the words are supposed to be a bit of a joke or metaphorical. Either way, I would prefer this far more than an 18 year old reality show winner covering Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston (or something like that, I try to turn off everytime the song comes on)! Congratulations also go to the Manic Street Preachers who have, after many arguments and mixed messages, also released a Christmas song. It's about time Ghosts of Christmas came out - they've been arguing about it for months now!

16 December 2007

Uneventful, Despite it Being Christmas

Well, it hasn't been the most eventful week music-wise but I expect that things will start to heat up at Christmas, it always does. I'm sort of expecting to receive a rather large pile of CDs this year simply because I haven't requested anything else.

A good point about this week was seeing the Ting Tings on Later with Jools Holland. I saw them live supporting New Young Pony Club in September and, despite my previous thoughts of the Salford pair, they really put on a good show. They were miles better than Black Affair, the other supporting act (who I expected to be a lot better, seeing as how one of the members of the Beta Band is in it) and their songs just seem to make me smile. That's Not My Name and Fruit Machine make me feel happy and strangely powerful for reasons that I can't define. They're one of those bands that I like but can't put a finger on why... Beirut and Band of Horses were good too, but they're not really my cup of tea. I do, however, think that the frontman of Beirut sings very well for a person so young.

Nothing else has really caught my attention this week. I've spent most of it listening to The Red Shoes by Kate Bush in-between working. Lily just has to be the best song from that album - I can't stop listening to it! I adore the way that the song doesn't launch straight in, which would sound odd against the ending of The Song of Solomon. I think there's something strangely religious going on in Lily but in an almost satanic way. It seems to be written from the viewpoint of a child in conversation with their grandmother (or mother, I haven't decided which is the most likely) but the words don't sound naive or innocent at all. I would like to think that Lily has something to do with being at a turning point in life where decisions have to be made and how things are interpreted define which road a person will take. On the whole The Red Shoes is wonderful. The weakest song on the album has to be Eat the Music which keeps reminding me of Eat the Menu from the Sugarcubes' second album Here Today, Tomorrow, Next Week. To me, this song doesn't fit in with the rest of the album. That aside, Bush's arrangements are brilliant and I think this is probably my favourite album by her (although my mind keeps on changing).

I am hoping, perhaps in vain, seeing as how the holiday season is coming up, that the coming week will bring me to writing something a little more productive. I'm sure the sound of Slade, Wizzard, Mariah Carey and the rest will bring me to complain about how perhaps the only decent Christmas song is Fairytale of New York but I will try to not let it bother me too much. Hopefully I will be working long enough not to notice!

12 December 2007


I must start by saying a big "hi" to everyone and anyone who may read this (if any!) and also a big thanks. It's nice to know there are people out there who are interested in what I have to say.

I will probably update this blog regularly, hopefully once a week if I get the chance. There is a possibility that the postings on here will be about very random musical subjects. I might write about books that I've read or films that I've watched but I'll try to make this blog as centralised on music as possible.

Well, that's about it for now. I may return on Sunday to reflect on the week's events. Until then, keep well.