Friday, December 04, 2009

In Excelsis Deo

(source: Calum Macnab)

There Will Be Fireworks - In Excelsis Deo

Well i can't wait for Christmas
Been buckle-knee'd and listless. And you say
That you've been wishing weeks away

We hung the lights out in the street
Twisted round the bows of trees
The choir sung it's holiest refrains

Like gloria
Hosanna in the highest
Heaven knows
This years been black and blue
But we're alright
And this Christmas could be white for me and you

I still can't sleep on Christmas Eve

And we'll never miss a beat
Scarlet faced from whiskey neat. In the cold
Singing dancing in the dark

Oh i hope these words will do
I've had my doubts but not about you. I'm drunk
And hearing voices in car-parks

And this year
Oh, i've got love in me, i swear
I hope you know

Gloria in excelsis deo

If i should fall from grace
If i should leave this dear green place
And if Christmas fades without a trace

But still when you're around
There's magic in this old grey town
You know you should chat among the flames

Keep singing all the songs
Who cares if all the words are wrong
Who cares if it barely ever snows

But still the choir smiles
The carol of the bells goes...

A truly wonderful song. With non-ironic, honest, heart-warming lyrics.

(Self-transcribed lyrics; accurate except for "You know you should chat among the flames". It's definitely "you know you should [something]". If anyone knows, let me know and I'll alter.)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I don’t get Twitter. Some people post too much, some people post too little, and who should I really be following? Any good suggestions? If so, drop me a line at the contact email in the sidebar.

I recommend following Mike Skinner. He subtly dropped three new tracks, and very few people mentioned it (NME did, but...) Maybe it’s because one (He’s Behind You, He’s Got Swine Flu) is primarily a joke, like Lesbian Vampire Killers was. But another (Infamy) is a fairly good tune, with a propulsive beat that goes nowhere. However...

The Streets - Where My Heart Has Been

This song is absolutely quality. The sample reminds me of old school disco’s. I mean, like, Rugby Club disco’s, cheesy nights with people throwing up in bushes outside, and not drinking inside because of the no-alcohol policy. When I dyed my hair red, in a rush, and went ‘out’ out with strawberry red ears. Feeling smart and cool and right, and falling in and out of love four times a month. It reminds me of the end of the last decade, it reminds me of David Gray’s ‘This Year’s Love’ coming out, it reminds me of lying in bed worrying about silly things that meant the world to me. A beautiful kind of nostalgia, a hark back to simpler times, featuring some truly great lyrics.

We all happen to hang our hat’s here / I lost sight of that fact in fear / Don’t underestimate me friends / We don’t know who’s ahead ‘til the end / I might spend all day with it / And then pen the night away / And make nil and null and then / So Jill and John and Jen / Can kill and con with Ken / For their fill of fun with friends.

You should also check out Mike Skinner’s mixes... I’m a particular fan of number 11. The Eric Prydz tune (Melo) is brill-chill, as are many others.

Dizzee Rascal - Bonkers (Doorly Remix) [Buy]

Another tune I’m absolutely loving at the minute is this one (I really mean the original, though obviously I can't throw that up here) but then I’m sure everyone’s loving it. It is going to be mass-eeeeeeeeve. Fair play. Mr Rascal and Arman Van Helden have made a song that’s destined for hip-happening house parties, and club nights alike. A heavy bass line is my kind of silence.

Don Diablo & Example - Hooligans (Extended Mix)

And finally, I don’t know much about these people, but it’s got a similar sort of schtick as ‘Bonkers’ only not half as good. But it’s still good. Definitely.

Thom: get these bangers on in your banger and we'll go cross-country. Major buzz, Fosters love..x

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I don’t know really what to say... I’ve been gone a long, long time. Hopefully, I’m back. Because it’s summer. And although my last exam still hovers over my like a storm cloud, it feels like I should be productive in my misery, in my sadness, in my anticipation. So first... would you like £2000 to look after your moat?

But, enough.


Have you heard Ellie Goulding yet? Her music is magical. It’s soft, it’s soothing... it’s little bleeps, it’s gentle stop-starts on an empty country road. She’s taking breaths in all the right moments, she’s being paused and played, she’s flying high and low with vocal soars. And she’s collaborating with Frankmusik who’s fantastic. I don’t know if it’s right to share so many songs with you, but.... well, as far as I can tell it’s GOODWEATHERFORAIRSTRIKES (I mean, Neon Gold) who have a handle on her, and they’re the most sharing of people. So, hear it is: Two Covers, Two Originals.

(image source: crazy bobbles)

Ellie Goulding - Black + Gold (Sam Sparro cover)

I hate this Sam Sparro song, when Sam Sparro does it, but it suddenly becomes more listenable, and less headache-inducingly annoying once it gets the female touch. Quite excellent work, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Ellie Goulding - The Wolves (Bon Iver cover)

This Bon Iver cover is impressive. The original itself isn’t exactly interesting until the “what might have been lost”, and whilst this version isn’t as tear-inducingly sad once we reach that point, it’s still lovingly crafted. And it’s beautiful to hear that a few multi-tracked voices can make a song. Sure, there’s guitar-squeaks, there’s minor chords. But this song, is all about the vocals, the harmonies, the soaring, all the high’s and all the lows.

Ellie Goulding - Wish I Stayed
Ellie Goulding - Starry Eyed

Finally, two rather different songs, both lovingly techno-pop. Listen up, and hear the newest sensation. Absolutely brilliant.

I thought this would be a nice way to re-introduce myself. She’s by turns sad, danceable, reminiscent, quirky, soothing, stop-start electro-popping. Just like my little mental museum.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


Still Flyin’ - The Hottchord is Struck

Hand-claps. It starts with the jingle-jangle of Simon & Garfunkel, falsetto vocals, some sax (is it sax?). And then it segues suddenly into a cheerleader chant, alphabet spelling, playgrounds and ballparks, ice cream cones. At times it feels like the instruments are tumbling over the drums, just about staying on their feet. But it’s meant to be ramshackle, it’s meant to be bursting with life. It’s an all-inclusive Thompson Holiday package with the family - it’s a little bit cheap, it’s a little bit tacky, and it’s absolutely brilliant. [Buy]

Sunday, March 29, 2009


I’ll blog soon ‘cause Kleerup’s album is amazing, the new My Latest Novel single is very different, and sad and beautiful, The Lowly Knights are apparently like Arcade Fire meets The Polyphonic Spree (they’re not), but what they are is joyful, triumphant, and full of LOVE. Furthermore, old Manchester Orchestra sounds like Jimmy Eat World, Juno by Tokyo Police club is full of beautiful misery, Frankmusik + Ellie Goulding = FANTASTIC, Santogold is like Jamaican pop heaven, The Joy Formidable is cheesy shouty pop angst gold, Marina and the Diamonds = a weirdo, brilliant, Kate Bush for the modern age, and Fosters is my new favourite beer. Chat soon.


Saturday, February 21, 2009


Hi, I’m alive, and I shall blog soon. Just wanted to say, there’s an interesting, amazing, brilliant, exciting gig coming up. It’s all these people:

My Latest Novel (

Zoey Van Goey (

Ben Butler and Mousepad (

Dolby-Anol (

Holy Mountain (

And they’ll all be soundtracking a piece of film in a room in The Arches, and turning it into a 1920’s film theatre. So, I’ll be there, sitting on a nice comfortable seat, and watching My Latest Novel, and buzzing.

My Latest Novel - The Reputation of Ross Francis

Be there or be square, I reckon. I shall blog about songs soon... starting with Emmy the Great, Kyte, Frightened Rabbit, Fast Emperors, Bon Iver and M83. Good times.

UPDATE: I only saw two bands, (My Latest Novel, and Zooey Van Gooey, plus the recap of all five band's videos...), but, it was FAN-tastic. Anyone else there? No? Just me? Well, give us a shout if you were. Let me know what you thought of the soundtracking!

Friday, January 30, 2009


Chairlift - Bruises

A flickering neon sign in a dilapidated fairground town. Close to the waves, lapping against the beach. Bare feet touching soft sand. A gust of Atlantic air flittering through the dunes and rustling the grass. Beautiful sadness encapsulated in song. [Buy]

P.S. Yea, this is the song that was in the Apple ad. They have good taste: First Feist, then this!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Johnny Foreigner - Eyes Wide Terrified

How have I not talked about this band before? Amazing. If you check out my profile you’ll see I listen to them far too much. The perfect blend of humour and intelligence to the lyrics, a beautifully youthful blend of fast-slow, nice harmonies and chaotic guitar playing. You can’t really ask for much more. And this, this is just beautiful:

talk about confidence
I’d give it a month if i’m lucky
and i’m not that lucky
and these t-shirts don’t fold themselves
but he falls asleep on her shoulder every shift they spend together
which is most nights

I’d also recommend Champagne Girls I Have Known (fast, funny, smart), and DJ’s Get Doubts (slow, sad, smart) just to grasp the scope of this bands potential. I’m not saying they’re perfect, but what they do, they do well, and hopefully they’ll broaden their horizons for album number two (but not in a Bloc Party-make the third album more inaccessible than Kid A-kinda way [/tongue in cheek]). Incidentally, Bloc Party remixed Salt, Pepper and Spinderella. [Buy]

P.S. I am shattered and starving.

Tour Diary for DiS:

March, April, May, June, July

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Throw Me The Statue - About To Walk (Daytrotter Session)
Throw Me The Statue - Groundswell

All the best melodies on this album feel stolen - like he got out his old vinyl collection of Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, maybe even Genesis and then a week later recorded the melodies as he remembered them. So in a way it's all his own - it's how he recalls it. But in a way it's not even nearly his own - he's singing someone else’s songs. And it's this familiarity that makes it instantly likable.

Lyrically he’s kind of like Jacob Borshard, but less romantically self-involved. Throw Me The Statue is more like the court-jester than the miserable kid with a passion for sarcasm. Music concerned less with being serious, and more to do with the joyful things in life - like lollipops & toffee-apples. But it's not sugar coated, it's just naturally sweet. It's a small (more-or-less one-man) band imitation of a big band - handclaps, finger-clicks, harmonies - everything multi-tracked.

It's the kind of music you make when you sit in your bedroom with a laptop, some memories, and old instruments that used to belong to the school band. During the breaks, you probably play your GameBoy. And it shows. It's fun, and it's sincere. Just because it's dressed up in smiles doesn't mean it's any less moving. [Buy]

Words: June 24th, 2007

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Seabear - I Sing, I Swim

I don't want to play this song on repeat endlessly in an attempt to discover a hidden melody, a message, a sentiment, a feeling, a truth. I don't want to ruin this song for the sake of precise prose. This song is more about feeling anyway, and although feelings within or about songs can be described in words; it’s hard to pinpoint their exact nature. They were meant to be heard, or felt; not read about.

There’s a sadness in the song. It’s not frivolous, or throwaway, despite the way the music plays out. It’s rooted in the past, but it defines the present. (“I miss you / Even when you’re around.”) It is a weight that can't be lifted, a feeling that's always there - even when it's not being felt. Like the sun, or the moon, or the stars. Just because they can’t be seen, doesn’t mean they aren’t there, constantly.

It’s like the feeling of being alone, able to watch as the leaves fall from the trees, as the ocean nestles into the rocks, as the young pretty girl carries the old ladies bags across the street. The beautiful scenes play out in front of you, and instead of joy, you’re filled with sadness that you’re not a part of them. Like a smile without enthusiasm. This song sounds like tears you’re keen to shrug off. It’s not nothing, but it’s easier to pretend, isn’t it?

I’m not particularly prone to written hyperbole, so take this sincerely: this song is full of life, and it’s almost perfect. It’s daydreamy, sad, beautiful, miserable, wistful, and truthful. It’s a passing notion – a way to make something right, that’s quickly forgotten. It’s a romantic idea that never blossoms into a romantic gesture. It’s a confession, a love-letter, a postcard where the words aren’t quite right, no matter how hard you try. (The words of this song though, are pretty much perfect - enviably so.) [Buy]

Words: July 29th, 2007

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Hi. Radiohead have an album out tomorrow. Tomorrow is, technically, only five minutes away now. As soon as the second goes past midnight everyone who's bought the album will be waiting for their activation codes. Exciting, huh? Join the club: order it. Quickly.

Be a part of the digital revolution or whatever this is.

Personally, I just want to hear "Nude" recorded, properly, for the first time. I'm excited. Why? Because, live it's enough to bring tears to your eyes.

Monday, July 09, 2007


These are more appropriate for drunken Friday night revelry, than rainy Monday evenings, but I'm sorry - it's all I've got for you.

Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit (Patrick Alavi Rerox Edit) [Info]

The typical student anthem remade so that it's still relevant at a time when it's become cool for indie-kids to branch out and listen to electro. A time when it's ok to go to an indie-disco where it's like, you know, an actual disco. Arty girls looking beautiful but going crazy on the dancefloor; the cardigan-wearing hipsters, notoriously known for shoe-gazing, joining in.

Rage Against The Machine - Killing In The Name (Mr Oizo Remix) [Info]
Rage Against The Machine / Mr Oizo - Killing In The Name (DJ Clumsy Remix) [Info]

The original still goes down a storm at indie-discos (or, specifically, the indie-disco that used to take place in Sandinos and shall soon be reinstated - if the rumours are true). Boy and girl both going crazy to the same tune, some jumping up and down, some moshing, some head-banging. Every time the electro version (neither of these, but similar) comes on in ABC2 (in Glasgow) there's a similar effect, but it's slightly more civilised. Perhaps odd, that last statement. Not really, though, when you consider the fact that we all just want to dance and hug each other.


I'm currently in the process of finding something that excites me, that I like, that I can write about, that's not electro. These criteria are actually surprisingly hard to fulfil, lately.

Friday, July 06, 2007


Fuck me, Fopp's gone?! Where will I get my cheap books from now?! And DVD's?! I guess I still have Avalanche for CD's - but Fopp was well cheaper...


(Yes, this did happen like two weeks ago. But how would I have known? I've left Glasgow for summer!)

Thursday, June 28, 2007


I Was A Cub Scout - Pink Squares (Lull Mix Radio Edit) [Info*]

I expected something akin to their Bloc Party remix. When those dissonant and slightly nauseating keys came in (0:33), I thought my worst fears were confirmed. Happily, however, those notes fade out around the one-minute mark. After that, the song changes. A subtle build-up (1:19) followed by a short-lived drop-off in tension (1:53), that develops, relentlessly, into an exciting, continuous, intense, stress-inducing build-up. This reaches its peak at the four-minute mark with the entrance of the vocal line, "my shoes! are left! behind!" After that, all that's left is the gradual fall back to reality. Sometimes I'm amazed at the effect music can have not only emotionally, or psychologically, but also physiologically (I'm sure I started to half-sweat, and I know my heart-rate sped up).

Jack Penate - My Yvonne

I can't call myself a fan. In fact, every other song I've heard (by dear Jack) seems far too manufactured; ready-made happy-as-larry, sparky-got-lucky pop. But this song is delicious, and the formula works (just listen to those delectably Feist-y cooes beginning at 1:43) - this isn't just music, this is M & S music*.

*(Yes, this reference to the recent (successful) Marks & Spencers ad-campaign truly is the best way I can think of to describe this song.)


If you like Christopher O'Reilly's covers of Radiohead and Elliott Smith, then you will probably also like this. It's simple - but as easy, laid-back piano-pop for the dinner-table it works quite well.

I Was A Cub Scout - Pink Squares (Luke Trav1s Remix) [Info]


*If anyone knows the website for Lull I'll link to it - I just don't know it.

Monday, June 25, 2007


Jamie T - Fox News

Your favourite sea-side holiday get-away was purchased yesterday by a company where even the lowliest press-officer is never seen wearing anything less than an Armani suit, fresh from the dry-cleaner. City life wears you out and though you love it (and in truth, it's all you've ever been truly used to) you've always craved the odd weekend away. And now that escape is gone.

To think of it another way, just think about an adorable Cavalier King Charles named Oscar. His coat is golden brown and only last week he was groomed - he looks beautiful. He had a stroke a few days ago and now he's either damaged his sight or his balance. Maybe even both. Whereas before he would tug on the leash, he now walks unsteadily beside you, like a drunk-driver pulled over by the police and asked to walk in a straight line. And he strays left and then right and the whole time he looks confused. Where once everything seemed exciting and new, now even the simplest things (like a shell on the beach, for instance) are baffling. His eager puppy-dog enthusiasm for life has seemingly, for the past few days, at least, changed into bored confusion and vague anger (with a hint of miserable indifference). And he's so thirsty! When walking along the concrete-streets he laps up dirty puddle water, and his owner feels awful for having to drag him away (it's one of the few times recently he's looked slightly happy).


Maybe city-life isn't all it's cracked up to be. The endless entertainment, the lack of moral substance - a place "where boys fuck girls that they never will marry". So many acquaintances and so few real friends. And when you're out for the night "you must lust touch, 'cause you want so much". And despite the fact that you "smell love-struck", really you just "feel alone". It's not sexual physical contact that you want, just a reassuring hug from either sex. At least in a shitty village you recognise every face, and you probably go out of your way to acknowledge every other one.

The reason the line, "Do you ever feel like you want to go home?" resonates, is because of the implication that home has disappeared* - swallowed up by the capitalists and the corporate suits, catering to your every consumerist desire, and the media reducing night-life to a choice selection of stereotypes, each of which it now seems necessary to fulfil - all this resulting in your life being filled with vacuity where once there was substance (as opposed to substances).


I watched Oscar walk along the narrow corridor of the caravan just there now. He banged his head against wall. Maybe it was frustration, or maybe he really can't see straight anymore, but at least, like Jamie T, he's trying to move forward.


Side-notes: Notice that amidst the lyrical disillusionment with city-life, there is also evidence of Jamie T's anti-war beliefs - coupled with his frustration regarding the falseness of the "it's bullshit" media, ("well pigs fucking fly and it ain't about oil and fox news has always been fair and balanced"), and also, seemingly, a wandering diatribe against the fact that communication with others (via the telephone) is expensive.

(image source: The Guardian)

Lo-Fi-Fnk - The City (The Teenagers Remix) [Info]

In parallel with the aforementioned then, is this song. It starts out with proclamations of love for the city and its homeliness ("Boy it's great to be back home - the city - that's where we belong") but then the excitement matures into a mild frustration ("beginning feels like oh-so-great but soon it turns to just-ok"), which is tempered by an obvious affection for the city. It's worth noting that the song still ends with the recurring motif, "still it's great to back home / the city, that's where we belong". If you took the remixers name as being a deliberate part of the title, then perhaps the endless optimism can be explained. This is the perspective of teenagers, so despite all its faults, the city caters to their every need, and thus, is still home.

Interpol - NYC (Live - Black Sessions)

One of Interpol's main draws is their subtlety; their vague ambiguity that while not completely understandable, rarely fails to create a gloomy (though not over-bearing [like Editors]) grey-scale atmosphere. To try to explain or over-analyse the wandering lyrics (this time, appropriately, about city-life), would be to dismantle the charm. Download Interpol's 2004 Black Sessions here.

Hot Club de Paris - Everyeveryeverything

And if you need some light-hearted (but appropriate) relief after the moody misery, then who else to turn to but Hot Club de Paris? With a song that details the fast-paced Friday night frenzy, the frivolous tale of excess not only in lyrical form ("in the shadows of a Friday night, I walked into a brand new streetlight"), but also through the relentless, hectic musicality. The title, seemingly, sums up the constant desire that comes from city-dwelling, the insatiableness of our spirits (never enough alcohol, or friends, or dancing, or drugs - we want Every-Every-Everything!) Every night is a new beginning; a chance to shine just as bright as the nearest streetlight, the furthest star. A chance to drink up and meet new people ("I commanded those neon lights to... / To spell the new names that I learn").


(image source: Britannica)

Jamie T - Here's Ya Getaway

Writing out the lyrics of one of the verses of this song seems like it would be more useful that redundant analysis, so that's what we'll do. Needless to say, the lyrics display more disillusionment with the city, anger at (presumably) Iraq, and perhaps even a vague nod in the direction of the homeless and poverty-stricken ("while you're asleep they're on the street"):

"In these cities, hard to see the stars overhead;
Can see the moon though - the streetlight turns it blood red .
The star symbolises the cuts we bled,
The mouth got fed, the winding alleys that we tread.
The moon, much bigger, representing the dead,
Who lie in the sewers under soldiers feet.
They stir as you march, while you're asleep they're on the street
Put your ears to the drain, you can hear them weep"

Los Campesinos! - We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives

Los Campesinos! reinforce the idea that frustration with city-life (and all that that entails) and anti-war sentiment go hand-in-hand. Although the detrimental effect of sexual promiscuity, ("when you play pass the parcel with human body parts / someone might get head, but someone will get hurt"), and the detrimental effect of smoking on the taste buds - and perhaps implicit criticism of showmanship - ("yeah, it's great that you can blow smoke-rings but you won't taste her lips if you do get to kiss her") are just a few of the other topics discussed in this whimsical anti-war song. Typically student-y, the song (so perhaps ironically - since irony is the buzzword of all student-types) thinks about war but is frivolous in its convictions - seemingly saying, "yeah, let's just party and forget about it". The title itself suggests a defense of this attitude, however, ultimately saying "ok, so maybe we like to be silly, but at least when we're silly we're harmless".


Why are city songs so appealing? Maybe it's the constant conflict between the idealist and the realist - the power-struggle that always seems to take place in an urban-vs-suburban environment. A city-wide struggle which holds sway over so much. The desire for choice without the malignant-capitalist karma; A pro-drug view that wants no casualties (be it the downfall of morality, or the actual deaths of users).

Cities are notoriously diverse and contain people from all walks of life; people of different beliefs and ethnic backgrounds. So maybe it's the fact that despite wishing that we lived in a world where everyone was entitled to their own beliefs, (you read the Qur'an, and I read the Bible, but we're both human and it's important that we both have our faiths), we have to realise that, as right-wing as it seems, our different faiths put us at war with each other. And maybe if Blair didn't side with his fellow Christian, George Bush, then Britain would lose a friend, and in twenty years, China - likely, or definitely, the dominant power - would become America's ally, and Britain's empire would be further diminished**.

Aside from this, there's the fact that though most of us are pro-choice, support equal rights, same-sex marriages and adoption rights of gay couples, we're still, when it comes down to it, seemingly right-wing in our beliefs. People criticise Mike Skinner, and Jamie T for trying to speak to (and about) 'the youth of today' when really they're just a couple of well-brought up middle-class kids, but I say, and what? But then, I'm middle class too, so I would say that. This constant conflict (left/right, Daily Mail/Guardian, socialist/capitalist, anti-/war, etc) - and the realisation of the blindingly obvious fact that not every-fucking-thing in life is black-and-white, - is summed up aptly by Jamie T with the lyric, "peeps call us right-wing but we're pretty fucking liberal / I shit you not, 'cause we're all about the equal".


Klaxons - Atlantis to Interzone (Hadouken! Remix) [Info]

Oh, and if you didn't know already, cities are full of drugs.


Hot Club de Paris - Shipwreck (Jamie T & Ben Bones' Stormy Weather Mix) [Info]
Hot Club de Paris - Your Face Looks All Wrong (Lo-Fi-Fnk's Scouse House Mix) [Info]
Interpol - Untitled (Datassette Remix) [Info]


*Similar to these titular lines by Bloc Party and Bright Eyes, respectively: "Where Is Home?", "We Are Nowhere And It's Now".
**This is Tony Blair's view anyway, and one of his justifications for the war. I learn a lot from newspaper supplements.
#Uncredited photos in this post are my own.
##A person with a pro-drug stance is not necessarily a drug-user.
###Oscar seems ok now. Not perfect, but getting there (I hope).
####My favourite sea-side holiday get-away has not really been taken over by a corporation. Thank goodness.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Necessary Note Before We Begin:

If you download only one song: make it Jon Solo's cover of Blue Light.

Alternate Versions:

I have remixes and covers of songs I've never even heard. That is to say: the original is a foreign island. I (most of the time) have heard of it, so I know it exists, but I've never been there. Never tasted the air there, or the food, never felt the warmth or the humidity, never looked up at the skyline and felt content, never taken a dip in the water and thought, "God, it's even colder than it is at home!" But through these remixes and covers (or even alternate versions by the band themselves), I've heard of the elements that are in place - so I kind of think I know that the Mexican food there is great, Italian's not really their kind of thing, the valley's act as sun-traps and on Sundays they go there and relax, but during the week the heat is unbearable, it hardly ever rains but when it does the villages flood, they aren't skyscraper people and because of this I like them - they like to be able to see real mountains as opposed to build buildings that block out the sun, their horizon's are broader than ours, they like to skinny dip past midnight but only in the Great Georgian Lake - never in the East of Eleanor one. Are you following?

It's so hard these days to keep track of who wrote what and who fucked what up and who improved upon what. Case in point: That Kissy Sell Out song I featured - I now know that Ali Love did the talking/rapping bit, thus it was a sample, but did I know that before? No. And I found out accidentally! (by listening to some Modular Dance CD). With the ongoing increase in digitalisation, there are less liner notes accompanying the music - mp3 blogs are mp3 blogs; not sources to find out the producer, writer, remixer, trumpet, tube, flute, piccolo players, and 'miscellaneous tasks' credits.

But alas, I've strayed from the point. The point being, that there are far more (or definitely seem to be far more) remixes and covers of songs nowadays than there ever were before, and so here in these posts I will offer up two versions of each song (and the first won't always be the original) and you can decide which you like more. Or maybe they both have merit! Or maybe you might find that (remarkably) they are two different (aurally) songs despite being cut from the exact-same cloth. Say wha? Whatever. Enjoy.

Elliott Smith - Needle In The Hay
Elliott Smith - Needle In The Hay (Live Full Band Rendition)

Apparently this full-band rendition is remarkable. Unfortunately I can't enjoy it properly, because I'm a stickler for sound-quality, and as far as that goes, live recordings don't really do it for me, unless they're done professionally (e.g. download resource). But perhaps you can see the diamond in the dirt and love it more than the original (which, oddly, I've never really loved as much as everyone else seems to, despite often loving Elliott Smith more than they do. Go figure.)

Midlake - Roscoe
Midlake - Roscoe (Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve remix) [Info]

Talk about blog-hype. This band did the rounds for so long I was ready to abandon hope on the whole discovery-of-great-bands-via-blogs thing. Y'see, I didn't get them at all at first (or even at second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth). I don't know when I finally let this song change my mind about them (or if it ever did - this is the only Midlake song I listen to with anything even approaching regularity). Imagine some sort of durr A-Team theme-tune done by a lazy psuedo-country&western band who constantly smoke and you've got this song. I know, I agree, it sounds like it's gonna be so shit, but somehow it isn't. BTWS provide extra room and softness, so if that's your thing you'll like the remix, and if that's not your thing, you won't, and if you're like me, you'll find that the changes are so inoffensive they're barely noticeable. But then, 'dance' music is all about subtlety, isn't it? [When I say 'dance' I don't mean 'dance', literally. Obviously. If you know what I do mean, you get a pat on the back from me.]

Kate Nash - Foundations
Kate Nash - Foundations (Metronomy remix) [Info]

Kate Nash got very hyped up. I didn't understand why. At all. Now I do. Kind of. You should too. I've liked Metronomy ever since that Infadel's remix ("L-O-V-E-L-I-K-E-S-E-M-T-E-X!"), but I can't tell if this remix is truly enjoyable, or just interesting. Maybe you can.

Metric - Monster Hospital (Acoustic)
Metric - Monster Hospital (MSTRKRFT Remix) [Info]

I didn't even realise that Metric actually mentioned Bobby Fuller in this song! When MSTRKRFT make the song so danceable, I'm not sure I even care.

Athlete - God Only Knows (Live on BBC Radio 2) (Beach Boys Cover)
Petra Hayden - God Only Knows (Beach Boys Cover)

I really like the singer from Athlete's voice - but you can't really tell why in this close-cover of a classic. Petra Hayden's cover sticks even closer to the original Beach Boys version - forever embedded in my mind now as a seasonal song (blame Love Actually); a song for log-fire Christmases and present-wrapper-covered floors.

(image credit: matthew snowden)

Bloc Party - Blue Light
Jon Solo - Blue Light (Bloc Party Cover)

I liked the fact that on the relentless first Bloc Party album this song was a chance to breathe, to sit down, to think, to relax. It's just such a good song. And the cover - it feels completely different; not less of a sigh, just a different kind. The original was hot air on a cold neck; the cover is wet lips on a warm cheek. And it feels happier too. Bloc Party are resigned, but Jon Solo sounds content. The cover has a bounce but it's so laid-back-Sunday-morning that it's almost unnoticeable - you don't so much hear the cheeriness as feel it. If I walked out of the house right now listening to this song there would be a spring in my step, accompanied by a calm sort of happiness - more three-pints-in-two-hours excited than the usual one-after-the-other-after-the-other vodka-and-lemonade buzz.

As if you couldn't tell, this wasn't mulled over for hours, therefore complaints are probably deserved. I hope I haven't offended anyone - if you could see the way I smile as I write you'd know that all jesting was really a form of love. Also, if any of the descriptions seem way off, maybe they are, but they made sense at the time. Perception is a funny funny thing.

Monday, June 11, 2007


Bloc Party - I Still Remember (SebastiAn Remix) [Info]
Bloc Party - I Still Remember (Lull's Music Box & Tears Mix)
Bloc Party - I Still Remember (OrtzRoka Dub Remix) [Info]

Unlike SebastiAn's remix - which in the beginning has hues of Queen and Mika (and thus is on the brink of being almost too silly to be enjoyable*), - or Lull's 'Music Box & Tears' mix - which is so simplistically happy that its cheesiness is slightly off-putting, - OrtzRoka's dub remix is so mildly euphoric that it seems designer-made for late-night chill-out sessions. Preferably with a few close friends, resting upon hilltops, looking across the ocean at a golden sunset. The scenery itself would complement the floating, casual contentment of the tune. This song is perfect for those nights (you know, the one's where you're tired but happy - the one's that come after a few days of relentless partying) when you're so exhausted that the original version's unashamed happiness would be too much - but where the sentiment of gleeful remembrance (with a tinge of regret) is perfectly apt.

None of the remixes however, (with the possible exception of the OrtzRoka Dub - which, taken on its own terms, is fantastic), manage to conjure up the original glory of the original - if you want to hear that, go buy the album (it is well worth your hard-earned / student-loan-loaned cash). If you want to hear Bloc Party remixed SUPERBLY look no further than this tune:

Bloc Party - Helicopter (Allan Breakneck Mix)

*Don't get me wrong, I like Queen and used to be a massive fan when I was younger, but mixing Bloc Party with Queen over-/under- (?) tones just doesn't really work for me, personally. I will concede however, that whenever the beat kicks in the remix begins to get a lot better.

Monday, June 04, 2007


(image credit)

Kissy Sell Out - Get Ready For The K Hole!

You'll recognise the music instantly. Maybe you don't know how or why but you won't (read: shouldn't) care. And you might (but shouldn't) be put off - because it seems a bit, well, louty, doesn't it? But what's social class and every-day facades got to do with the enjoyment of music*? Nothing, really. Or they shouldn't, in any case. Music should transcend all social boundaries (real or self-imposed). So I offer you this, and I hope you smile and you enjoy it. It's euphoric, and it's ridiculous. It's dance music for the Mike Skinner generation - self-conscious, tongue-in-cheek, intelligent, fun-loving, socially-aware, silly. And maybe you're thinking that this description seems a bit flattering - (perhaps it is) - but if you have experienced, or seen others experience, even some of the events detailed in the lyrics, then this song will mean so much more to you. Quite simply put, it's hilarious.

Beyonce - Irreplaceable (Sta Remix) [Info]

Similarly, if you think you're too cool for pop music... trust me, you're not.

*Note: If it seems contradictory that I say social class should have nothing to do with the enjoyment of music, but then continue on to insist that 'Get Ready For The K Hole!' is more enjoyable if you understand the spot-on-ness of the lyrics - well, I'm sorry, but I'm sure you understand what I mean.

Friday, June 01, 2007


We'll keep this brief since I still have more stuff to pack.

Reed KD - Seventeen

This is the song I think of when I think about the fact that everything I own has to be moved: "I was packed away in boxes". But I don't want to get lost - oh no, I'm coming home. But the line, "we'll never be seventeen", is so simple and so heartbreaking. Time doesn't stand still for anyone - everyone has to grow up at some stage. Thankfully, my time is not now. So while this song is small, short, simple, and sad, my heart is bursting with life.

Reed KD - Please Forgive Me

Mistakes are made, relationships fall apart and the world keeps on spinning.

A. A. Wallace - I Can Break Your Heart
A. A. Wallace - Godspeed You Black...

If I was looking for a replacement for the late Elliott Smith, I would probably pester this guy to continue making such sad anthems. The truthfulness of each song is gutting. You might say it's uncalled for, and maybe it is, but sometimes people beg for your opinion so much that eventually you forget your social grace, and you tell them, straight out, "It's not that I was reckless, I just didn't care".

These artists present two sides of the same coin - one is apologetic, romantic, and (tries to be) hopeful, whilst the other is honest, romantic, and miserable. I'm sure you can work out which is which. They are both honest in their own ways. And both have songs that deal with moving, packing, dreaming.

Don't think that these songs are any less amazing just because nothing much happens. It's the subtle details in life that change people, that change hearts. Like buying that Mickey Mouse notepad for your best (female) friend. She might not even say thanks, but in her heart she is smiling. If you ask her six months later when she knew she might be falling in love with you, it's that simple gesture that she'll recall. And when you're separated, and in a different country, it will be the train journeys you take alone, past valleys, greenery and beaches, that leave you sobbing uncontrollably. Our hearts are touched by the smallest things.


How is your heart? I think mine is falling apart.

Thursday, May 31, 2007


They were given note-pads and Bic biros. They were given spray-paint and public transport. They were given voices. They were given laptops and imagination. They were given face-paint and glow sticks. They were given voices. They were given a beat and feet to dance with. They were given sofas in night-clubs upon which they could sit, sleep or kiss. They were given hearts bursting with joy and life and love and wonder. They were given everything.


If you want to dance, then dance. Just because it's still daylight and the streetlights haven't come on yet -- it doesn't matter. Soon, the sun will go down and the kids will come up. It doesn't matter if your face is sparkling with sweat, glitter or a smile. Maybe you're covered in Day-Glo colours, or maybe you're still half-asleep from the night before. The point is... it's time to kick-start your little heart. And remember: there's plenty of time for hugging afterwards.

Electro-Graffiti At Bus Shelters

Chromeo - Fancy Footwork
Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles Vs Klaxons
Kavinsky - Testarossa (SebastiAn Remix) [Info]
Solomun & Stimming - Feuervogel
Parts & Labor - Fractured Skies
Pantha Du Prince - Steiner im Flug
Justice - Waters of Nazareth


Click to download all tracks as a ZIP file.


[Info] = website of the remixer.
Listen in the order shown. Or don't.