Top 50 songs of 2012: 50-41

cherry thing

Another one of those obligatory lists. We’ll have to call this “in no particular order” (though the number one spot is thoroughly deserved) …

50. Neneh Cherry & The Thing – Accordion

This jazz covers album wasn’t some vague grab for “credibility” by a worn-out has-been: Don Cherry’s daughter’s credentials run blood deep. Neneh has a warm, rich voice that lends itself well to the fuzzy double bass and scratchy violins.  Continue reading

5 Biggest WTF Music Moments in 2012

nirvana-paul-mccartney (source unknown)

Have you ever listened to an album for the first time and just stared in disbelief for several minutes afterwards? It’s not like you hated it, but it just baffled you so much that you were completely unable to assemble any kind of opinion on it whatsoever: precisely what the f*** just assaulted my ears?

1. Thinking Plague – Decline and Fall

Amusingly mistitled ‘Decline and Fail’ at Amazon, Decline and Fall was the eagerly-awaited (at least by me) follow up to A History of Madness after nearly a decade of absence. Although they’ve always been on the quirky side, Thinking Plague used to be generally quite accessible. While I wouldn’t rule out suddenly deciding that Decline and Fall is my favourite album of 2013, right now it sounds an awful lot like the band-members turned up at the studio and just all started playing the first thing that came into their heads without reference to any kind of musical sense. The made-up-on-the-spot feel to the lyrics doesn’t help, either.

Youtube comment: “a fan for the last 10 years, i can say this : it requires a few listenings, but it gets better each time ! after a difficult start with it, i wonder if this may not be their best recording yet...” Continue reading

Why artists shouldn’t stick to art

Salvador-Dali-NYWTS-1965-Roger-Higgins-public-domain-via-wikipedia

Written for Collapse Board

Everett True reckons that Artists Should Stick To Art instead of making mixtapes of obvious dad rock. If mixtapes made by artists are so disappointing in real life, I think we should invent some fantasy selections.

For example:  Continue reading

Reinspired Year 2 mixtape

It’s been exactly two years since I started this blog and the difference it has made to my life has been remarkable. Not the writing part; I’ve always done that. Even when I wasn’t writing for publication, I was wittering away on internet forums or clogging up Facebook with my rantings. No, it’s the inspiration. It’s like being in love. You know, the butterflies-in-the-tummy feeling you get that makes you feel like you’ll just burst if you don’t shout it from the rooftops – that’s how I feel when I hear a great song. It goes far beyond just transforming my mood or giving me an idea. The word “inspiration” is related to breathing, and that’s how essential and natural this process is. I might have a conscious discipline to blog every day, but that just facilitates my discovery of these wonderful tunes – the words that appear on the screen are just a manifestation, a by-product of the process. If I couldn’t write, I’d just have to speak about it, and if I couldn’t speak I’d grunt and gibber. I’d point. I’d take you by the hand and drag you over to the record player. This. Hear it. Now.

These are just a few of the songs that have inspired me in the past 12 months. You can hear them as a Youtube Playlist (click to stream). Enjoy! Continue reading

It’s just like being ambushed in broad daylight

I don’t know why I should feel uncomfortable. I’m not talking about the part where, earlier today, I was walking through town and the underwear I bought a size too big started falling down (thank God I was wearing trousers!). I’m talking about the part where I was sitting in Costa Coffee and they started playing Anna Calvi.  Continue reading