I’m writing this in a bit of a mood, to be honest. I was flattened by a migraine yesterday so missed the first of two shows at Jodrell Bank (last year’s show with the Flaming Lips was a stunner), and overnight we had a month’s worth of rain in one go, so tonight’s gig with Paul Weller is cancelled. Ah well, maybe next year…
On the plus side, my “I’ve got a record player again!” epiphany is paying dividends, to the point where the “From the Past” section (and the section why this whole malarkey exists) is going to suddenly and oddly expand with each “I don’t remember owning that”/thing that’s never been reissued or digitised. If I ever get round to it, a “stuff out of the attic” section may or not appear soon. I’ve got to get it all transferred over to the compy first, so this may not happen any time soon and it won’t be very highbrow, given some of the shockers up there…
Only 5 whatevs this week, I’ve got ironing to do before the football and a shopping list for the attic.
Alain Johannes – Time For Miracles
Originally co-written with his wife Natasha Shneider, Alain has finally released his own version after the song was covered by (it says here) American Idol person Adam Lambert for a film. As with Alain’s paean to the late Natasha in 2010′s Spark, it’s heartbreaking stuff but utterly beautiful and thankful with it. It’s difficult to get from one end of the song to another without that “hang on, there’s something in my eye” feeling, but it’s ultimately a joy to listen to. Glad he was talked into doing this, it couldn’t have been easy. Out now.
Velocity Girl – Crazy Town
One of Sub Pop’s largely unspoken-of early acts, Velocity Girl were of a generally more sunny and cheerful disposition than their labelmates, which is probably why a lot of the (heavily revised, it has to be said – especially during last year’s Nevermind-fest) history of that time and place tends to forget about this lot. Sounding more British than other acts on the roster, this is heavily influenced by the janglier end of UK indie at the time, and is all the better for it. And I love that voice!
Nick Drake – Cello Song
This is one of three “Cello Song”s in my collection here, and none of them sound anything like the other (except for the somewhat inevitable appearance of a Cello). Bit of a random thought I know, but it just struck me as a bit odd that such a title would be so popular. Anyway, this is probably my favourite track off his Five Leaves Left debut, even if I have absolutely no idea what he’s going on about. There’s a possibility he didn’t either, as this is a song that just contentedly meanders around words and sounds, and it’s perfect accompaniment to those precious moments of contemplating as little as possible.
Sleepy Sun – Siouxie Blaqq
The most Doors-ey track off their recent Spine Hits album, accomplishing that same feat that Morrison & co used to do so often in creating quite a large soundscape out of seemingly very sparing effort, before turning into the Byrds towards the end, spiralling up into the ether. It’s big and it’s calm and it brings to mind a trip out into the desert, even now while it’s tipping it down outside.
Mark Lanegan Band – Sideways in Reverse
The more I listen to Bubblegum (especially in the wake of its eventual Blues Funeral follow-up), the stranger I find it. It’s an album that feels a lot longer than it actually is – even though it maintains avid interest throughout – and it’s a largely reflective and mysterious affair. With this sub-three minute freakout in the middle. It has been known to divide opinion among the purists (ie, “how dare he try to sound like he’s having fun on a serious record” etc) with much scorn heaped upon the woo-ing, but sod it. It is fun, it’s brilliant live, and it’s got John Kastner from the Doughboys playing on it. Nothing not to love about it then.