Song, by Toad

Archive for July, 2007

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Arnold – Windsor Park

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It’s not from a great album, but Windsor Park is a thoroughly decent bit of lost late-90s British indie which I really rather like.  Why do I like it so?  Well, because I put two or three of the best songs on a really good mix tape for my brother which I ended up listening to myself an awful lot, and I also happen to associate it incredibly strongly with a particularly nasty, damp and cold basement flat in Arlington Street.

The Hillside Album is not, as I said, a great record, but there are some good bits on it and it can be acquired from Amazon Marketplace for a rather ludicrously low 98 pence at the moment.  It is a also an example, not nearly as rare as it should be, of an album I bought almost exclusively because I loved the illustration on the cover.  So shallow.

Arnold – Windsor Park

[Disclaimer: I am actually on holiday at the moment, probably fucking up my brother’s wedding by swearing too much in the best man’s speech, so it’s all a bit minimal at the moment. Normal service will be resumed after we return on about the 25th July]

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Barry Adamson – Set the Controls For the Heart of the Pelvis

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Jarvis Cocker being breathlessly filthy and Barry Adamson’s genius hook make this a absolutely brilliant happy Summer song. Basically there’s not a bloke in the world so middle class, white and repressed that he can’t dance to this.

Adamson started life in The Bad Seeds before going solo. He’s done a lot of film music and about half a dozen albums of truly superior cinematic pelvis jazz. This is from an earlier album – 1996’s Oedipus Schmoedipus – which is no more than decent but contains a couple of absolute belters such as this.

Last year’s Strangers on the Sofa was absolutely superb, and an enormous relief after its disappointing predecessor. But has he topped Set the Controls For the Heart of the Pelvis yet? I doubt it.

Barry Adamson – Set the Controls For the Heart of the Pelvis

Disclaimer: I am actually on holiday at the moment, probably fucking up my brother’s wedding by swearing too much in the best man’s speech, so it’s all a bit minimal at the moment. Normal service will be resumed after we return on about the 25th July]

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Delakota – The Rock

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In about ’95, just as I was gently easing into some vaguely electronic music for the first time with Saint Etienne and Dubstar, this album popped up.  It wasn’t very good and they’ve not done too much since but this is one of those songs that has stuck in my head ever since.  Laid back, no noisy guitars and no radio-friendly chorus, but a nice pace and a laid back beat and, ooh is that the time?  Gin for me, I think!  That sort of song.

Delakota – The Rock

[Disclaimer: I am actually on holiday at the moment, probably fucking up my brother’s wedding by swearing too much in the best man’s speech, so it’s all a bit minimal at the moment. Normal service will be resumed after we return on about the 25th July]

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Desmond Dekker & the Aces – 007

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Reggae music has a bizarre fascination with the 007 theme tune.  Well I say bizarre, but it’s an excellent tune so it’s obvious enough, but Reggae does seem to the only genre that has so successfully worked it into quite so many popular songs.

I don’t especially like Reggae, if I’m honest, bar a bit of Bob Marley and a compilation that came free with Mojo about five years ago.  Davy at Ghost of Electricity is a real help, but the swine posted this very song a week ago, when it was already too late to change. Gah!  So here, for the second time on the internets this week, is Desmond Dekker & the Aces with 007.

Desmond Dekker & the Aces – 007

[Disclaimer: I am actually on holiday at the moment, probably fucking up my brother’s wedding by swearing too much in the best man’s speech, so it’s all a bit minimal at the moment. Normal service will be resumed after we return on about the 25th July]

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Kate Bush – Babooshka

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I do like Kate Bush.  She’s as mad as a sack of badgers, her music is a pompous, deranged, hippy festival of insanity, but somehow I nearly always enjoy her songs.  This despite the fact that I always find myself laughing at them and wanting to wave my arms in the air in faux-expressive dance.  But somehow, ridiculous as they are, they are always great fun.

A very good friend of mine, who I worked with down South before my Edinburgh days, brought this most splendidly silly song to the office music collection and whenever work got a little too tedious (every other day) on would come Babooshka.  Most of the office would burst into wails of protest and Matt & I would cackle with laughter and start bouncing up and down in our chairs and elaborately shrieking along to the words – or some vague approximation of what we guessed them to be.

How juvenile.

Kate Bush – Babooshka

[Disclaimer: I am actually on holiday at the moment, probably fucking up my brother’s wedding by swearing too much in the best man’s speech, so it’s all a bit minimal at the moment. Normal service will be resumed after we return on about the 25th July]

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Architecture in Helsinki – Places Like This

Architecture in Helsinki

I am getting heartily sick of trying to find creative variations on the sentiment: I was really looking forward to this, but unfortunately it’s shit.

Same again.  Architecture in Helsinki were compared to the Arcade Fire after their last album, and after this one they find themselves closer to Modest Mouse.  Lots of heavy beats, punchy guitar and shouting.

After their own splendid debut The Sleepy Jackson seemed to release a follow up that was more fraught and tense than necessary, much like these, their Aussie compatriots.  All the lightness of touch of their debut has gone and we are left with something that just feels wound tight and afraid to come out and play.

Second album syndrome is laying waste to the music scene in 2007, my dear readers.  It’s like bloody Darth Vader.  ‘If this is a consular ship then where is the ambassador?’

Architecture in Helsinki – Heart it Races
Architecture in Helsinki – Like It Ar Not

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Manic Street Preachers – From Despair to Where

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Hmm, there I was at age 17 in Austria, a black hole of popular music and a minor spiritual awakening was starting to take place. In my last year of high school I finally managed to get into genuinely popular music at the time it was popular for the first time. Admittedly with the Vienna filter it was all pretty MTV-tastic and nothing that you’d describe as indie, but at least it was current.

I my final year and the Summer before I went to Uni two things happened. A Virgin Megastore made an appearance and the Haas Haus in the very centre of town installed a record shop on the top floor. The key feature of these two shops? Listening posts. You queued up and could listen to anything you wanted in advance of making a purchase. They asked you to limit yourself to three records during busy times, but basically the world was your oyster.

Through this I got into the likes of Nick Cave, The Stone Roses, Blur and all sorts of the indie stuff that has since become my staple. One of the first album I tried was The Manics, and this is one of my favourite songs. Bear in mind, given my isolation I had no idea how big this track was in the UK – it was a whole new discovery for me. I may not like The Manics all that much, but this track was an excellent discovery.

The Manic Street Preachers – From Despair to Where

[Disclaimer: I am actually on holiday at the moment, probably fucking up my brother’s wedding by swearing too much in the best man’s speech, so it’s all a bit minimal at the moment. Normal service will be resumed after we return on about the 25th July]

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Mariposa – Sailors of the Seven Seas

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Know anything about these lads? No, me niether. I was sent this rather excellent mp3 by a fellow who used to write a blog called My Cold Basement, but packed it in to start a record label – eminently admirable choice. It’s a nice, easy-paced track that sounds a little like Bishop Allen and has just the right laid-back Summery air that seems perfect for this time of year.

To read more, their MySpace page is here.

Mariposa – Sailor of the Seven Seas

[Disclaimer: I am actually on holiday at the moment, probably fucking up my brother’s wedding by swearing too much in the best man’s speech, so it’s all a bit minimal at the moment. Normal service will be resumed after we return on about the 25th July]

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Toadcast the Fourth – Weddings, Holidays and Summery Niceness

Toad FM

I’m in America at the moment at my brother’s wedding, but I very kindly recorded this before I went away. I’ve thrown in some stuff about weddings and some summery happy tunes too.

Also, he’s getting married on Cape Cod, and I worked there as a waiter for two Summers when I was a student – with my everso English accent the tips were quite splendid – so I’ve thrown on a few songs that remind me of my Summers on Cape Cod, although not all are obviously related. All in all it’s a cheerful, happy mix with a nice atmosphere to it, so you should like this one.

By the time you hear it though I could very easily have sworn myself into exile and ruined my relationship with my new in-laws forever. Wish me luck, Toadlings, wish me luck.

Toadcast #4 – Summery Songs and Wedding Bells

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1. Billy Bragg – The Marriage (0.46)
2. Tom Waits – Better Off Without a Wife (5.10)
3. Clem Snide – Happy Birthday (9.38)
4. Gomez – Make No Sound (13.36)
5. Dave Matthews Band – Two Step (19.56)
6. Vampire Weekend – Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa (26.49)
7. Judy Garland – Get Happy (30.20)
8. Tom Waits – Never Let Go (34.59)
9. Bell X1 – Bound For Boston Hill (38.12)
10. Suburban Kids With Biblical Names – Funeral Face (43.37)
11. Luna – Sweet Child O’ Mine (48.41)
12. Len – Steal My Sunshine (54.07)
13. Billy Bragg & Wilco – Hesitating Beauty (59.28)

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Maximo Park – Our Velocity (Live, Acoustic)

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I do like Maximo Park – they’re hardly the second coming or anything, but they write sharp, eminently catchy indie pop songs with plenty of guitar-bashing. Our Earthly Pleasures, their latest, isn’t as consistent as A Certain Trigger but there are some great tracks on it, of which Our Velocity is one of my favourites.

They’re pretty superb live as well, although I have heard reports that Paul Smith can go from deranged looney to egotistical tosser on occasion. I loved them though, and this is an acoustic version of Our Velocity recorded, I think, for an XFM session a little while back.

Maximo Park – Our Velocity (Live, Acoustic)

[Disclaimer: I am actually on holiday at the moment, probably fucking up my brother’s wedding by swearing too much in the best man’s speech, so it’s all a bit minimal at the moment. Normal service will be resumed after we return on about the 25th July]