So much beauty out there

June 5, 2010

Who By Fire

Filed under: All,Evangelism,Recommended Links — Josh @ 6:52 pm
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Absolutely amazing live version of Who By Fire, with Sonny Rollins sax and some great backing vocals giving a new dimension to Cohen’s already damn good song. I think this is what Death of a Ladies Man should have sounded like. If there are any other songs from that performance online, please let me know!


January 21, 2010

The Face of the Future

Filed under: All,Evangelism — Josh @ 7:32 pm
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Make your own

January 2, 2010

Music Review of the Decade

Filed under: All,Evangelism — Josh @ 12:48 pm

Well, not really as systematic as that, partly because most of the music I’ve been listening is from the last millennium. So instead, a few random awards, and albums/songs that I’ve loved.

Worst Album Title – Cyndi Lauper – Twelve Deadly Cyns … and then some.
The pun for Cyndi’s greatest hits compilation would be painful enough if there were 12 songs on the album. The desperate persistence with it even with 16 songs is, literally, horrible.

Worst Lyrics (Verse) – Herman Dune – 1-2-3 Appletree
OK, I know that English is not their first language, but there is no excuse for this:

…And you know how people shorten other people’s names
to show their affection
like if you called me Ray, if my name was Raymond
well your name ain’t Susan but I would call you Sue
to show you how bad I like to be with you

Worst Lyrics (Song) – Sugababes – Easy
A song almost entirely constituted of single entendres:

Hey Mr Postman,
where’s the mail for my mailbox?
I wanted sex on the beach
and I don’t mean on the rocks
It’s your serve baby
but the ball’s in my court,
I’ve got a landing strip
clear for you at the airport

Show some dignity!

Best Albums:

Magnetic Fields I
Impossible to follow the utter magnificence of 69 Love Songs, I is not a major work. Yet it still has 2 off kilter pop classics – I Thought You Were My Boyfriend and I Don’t Believe You – a couple of heartbreakers and a perfect statement of enduring love – It’s Only Time, which I’m going to play at my wedding (so, if it’s going to be a deal breaker, you’d better listen to it now)

Louise Attaque Comme On A Dit
The blueprint for what a French rock record should sound like. Incorporating chanson traditions with a proper rock sensibility.

Mary Gauthier Filth and Fire
Most of her albums have a few good songs but can’t sustain the quality to album length. Not so here. The opening track, Walk Through The Fire, is magnificent; Sugar Cane rocks and Camelot Motel is gloriously seedy. The rest of the album is misery made gorgeous.

Herman Dune Not On Top
Herman Dune churned out a collossal number of songs between 2000 and 2006 and although they had lots of gold, their miss rate was pretty substantial too. Even on this, the best of their albums, the skip button gets some usage but any album that contains Slow Century and You Could Be A Model, Goodbye deserves repeat listening.

Scissor Sisters Scissor Sisters
I think the up-tempo pop song is possibly the hardest to get consistently right (and the Sisters lost the knack before their follow-up) but here every song on the album makes you want to sing or dance along.

Ben Folds Rockin’ The Suburbs
Grown-up subject matter (mostly!), grown-up, pretty, tunes. Possibly sticks too much to the same template to maintain quality throughout, but it’s a very good template.

Bill Callaghan’s most consistent album since Knock Knock. Not going to win over any Smog sceptics, but if you’re a fan then you’ll be very happy with it.

Kaizers Orchestra Ompa til du dor
Norwegian rock probably puts you in mind of church-burning death metal bands, but Kaizers Orchestra are a much more fun proposition, the hooks are big and obvious, and you can basically guess what they’re about without speaking a word of the language.

Emmylou Harris – Red Dirt Girl
Hot Chip – Colours
Augusto Cego – Mar
Les Rita Mitsouko – Alors C’est Quoi
The White Stripes – Apple Blossom
Thomas Dybdahl – From Grace
Tindersticks – Sometimes It Hurts
Bonnie “Prince” Billy – No Bad News
Kevin Blechdom – Lazy
Jan Plewka – In Nachten Wie Diesen
Girls Aloud – Love Machine
Britney Spears – Piece Of Me
Cat Power – Werewolf

December 15, 2009

Debut Album – Ian Cockburn and the Whole World

Filed under: All,Evangelism — Josh @ 11:38 am
Tags: , ,

It’s been craftily released just in time for the Christmas rush, but perhaps shortsightedly after the polls for album of the year, hell, albums of the decade, have concluded.

Yes, it is Wayward Buskers by Ian Cockburn and the Whole World. 15 slice of lo-fi pop awesomeness from the talented brother, at a very modest price of £4. To get your copy, either contact Ian directly or put in an order with me.

I dislike encouraging independent thought on this blog, but if you are unwilling to take my word for it (perhaps you may think I’m biased or something) then some of the tracks can be heard at myspace

Estimated release date for the first Seven Inches album: 2017.

November 17, 2009

White Lines (Don’t Do It)

Filed under: All,Evangelism — Josh @ 12:35 pm

In honour of Alan Johnson’s decision to fire the government’s chief advisor on drugs policy for suggesting that the policy should be based on scientific evidence rather than tabloid headlines, here’s the world of pop discussing drugs. But will they make Alan happy with outright condemnation, or will they suggest that there are nuances and complexities and make Alan angry? (more…)

October 30, 2009

Book meme

Filed under: All,Evangelism — Josh @ 6:03 pm

“List fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you, for whatever reason. Make sure it’s the first fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.”

Tagged by Nerves Strengthened with Tea. I’m interested that my list contains much more non-fiction than either her list or adventures in bibliotherapy. Luckily, none of us is at all interested in speculating on the importance of gender in determining cultural significance.

The fact that I’m going to order my list (alphabetically) doubtless tells us nothing either.

(frankly I think that the directions given are incompatible, so I’m just going with part 1)

  • Animal Farm – George Orwell
  • A Season With Verona – Tim Parks
  • Bad Science – Ben Goldacre
  • Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat – Bill Watterson
  • How to be an Alien – George Mikes
  • Middlemarch – George Eliot
  • Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  • The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy
  • The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • The First Casualty – Phillip Knightley
  • The Plot Against America – Philip Roth
  • The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers – Paul Kennedy
  • The Silence of the Sea – Vercors
  • The Summer Book – Tove Jansson
  • Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne


October 28, 2009


Filed under: All,Evangelism — Josh @ 11:19 am
Tags: ,

I know that this blog has been relatively serious since I restarted posting, so as a reward for sticking with it, here’s some music. The theme is body parts (though I restrained myself to only one “heart” reference to stop it being too easy)

Music posted on this thread is intended to create interest in the featured artist. Should copyright holders object to the use of material on this blog, please contact me and the links will be removed ASAP. (more…)

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