Thursday, June 23, 2016

Meilyr Jones - Strange Emotional

Loving this right now, yet another awesome Welsh musician that floats my cwch (that's the Welsh for boat by the least I hope it is). With a little Deep Purple, a little Roxy era Bryan Ferry and some Gorky's Zygotic Mynci thrown in for good measure it's a little odd pop gem. I daresay he's playing festivals and touring all over the place in support of critically acclaimed album 2013, yep, here we go but predictably there's no Exeter date...balls.

Monday, June 20, 2016

RIP-M Dawn

Sad news over the weekend with the passing of PM Dawn's Prince Be at just 46 years old. For an all too brief period PM Dawn were a refreshingly different hip hop outfit trading in general blissed out positivity and good time vibes (and we could sure as hell do with some of them right now) as opposed to pointless posturing with...ahem...'bitches' and 'bling'. Although he'd been ill for some time, suffering a stoke and losing a leg to diabetes, 46 is no age at all (I should know) and it's yet another sad loss to the musical world this year. Anyway here's another trio of classics but pretty much all of their back catalogue's worth a listen:

Friday, June 17, 2016

Nice and Cheesy does it...

You might not thank me for this but I’ve just been introduced to the world of Richard Cheese, an American lounge singer who covers a bewildering range of songs/genres and who’s so far clocked up 20 albums of the stuff. I find these kind of cover versions endlessly fascinating (see also PostmodernJukebox), especially the ones that somehow seem to reveal some other angle to the lyrics (or actually make the lyrics intelligible), although maybe that says more about the way that my mind works than anything else. Anyway, here's a trio...a platter if you will...of Cheese’s best bits. Enjoy. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Keep CALM and carry on...

Every time I see the statistics it still shocks me so they’re worth repeating no matter how often you’ve seen them...the biggest cause of death in men aged 20-45 is suicide and 78% of all suicides are committed by men. Shocking, right? You could probably write a dissertation on the reasons and this little blog isn’t the time or place for it but one thing’s pretty clear, talking about the shit that’s driving you towards ending it all is, at the very least, well worth a try. There are plenty of stories of men and women being talked down from tall buildings or rushed into hospital to have whatever they’ve swallowed pumped out of them who then, with lots of help and support, go on to live the kind of happy and fulfilling lives that they deserved in the first place. I’m not judging by the way. I get it. I understand that sometimes things just seem pretty hopeless and suicide seems oh so much more appealing than trying to claw yourself out of whatever mess you’re in...or think you’re in. The trouble is though (as many wiser souls than me have observed) suicide’s a very permanent solution to what's generally a temporary problem. There is help out there though. If you’ve got mates talk to them. What’s the worst that can happen? If you don’t feel like confiding in the people you know and love then try the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), a wonderful website and phone service dedicated to preventing male suicides. It’s a charity of course, the Government’s too busy spending millions on referendums, but one way you can help and get something cooler than a penguin in a deep freeze is by buying this ruddy awesome Till Deaf Do Us Party Records compilation. There ain’t a duff track on there but I can particularly recommend The St Pierre Snake Invasion, Classically Handsome Brutes and Happy Accidents. Suicide sucks, this comp doesn’t. It’s simple. Buy it. Thanks.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Balaban And The Bald Illeagals - Warp

Monday mornings eh? Eh? Eh??? Who needs ‘em? Thankfully this landed in my ears via that lovely Mr Facebook and it’s practically guaranteed to shake off even the mightiest hangover/impending feeling of dread/ soul crushing sense of despair (delete as applicable...if you’ve got all three seek immediate medical attention or just head for the nearest Spoonies). Fresh from the clearly fertile loins of new Black Country trio Balaban and the Bald Illeagles it’s a neat blend of rock and post punk with a gutsy vocal and lyrics dripping in righteous anger. Bonus points for slotting in the word ‘nuances’ too, when was the last time you heard that in a song eh? Exactly. Anyway, play it loud, play it often. This is a good ‘un. 

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Dream Wife - Heartbreaker

Apparently originally conceived as a "fake girl band" (I'm assuming it was the band that was fake not the girls) for an art project Dream Wife worked so well that the trio decided to try it for real and the resulting stuff has a neat pop/riot grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl feel to it. This little number's probably the pick of the bunch so far. Reminds me a little (just a little mind you) of pre-makeover Fuzzbox...

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Dodgy – You Give Drugs A Bad Name

Ahhhhhhhhhhh Dodgy, we go back a long, long way me and Dodgy. Way, way back in fact to the days they used to play The Hibernian in Stirchley in the early 90s before hitting the big time with a string of absolute pop classics. Music has that incredible power to drag you back to a particular time and place and (cue grainy sepia tinged footage) I only have to hear the opening bars to Staying Out For The Summer and I’m driving along in our old VW Polo in the bright sunshine in 1995 listening to a mixtape (remember them?) on the way to our first Glastonbury (back in the days when you could still buy tickets from HMV in Brum the weekend before...seriously). 

Since then I’ve seen ‘em in various incarnations (lead singer Nigel left for a while but they wisely reunited in 2007) and venues from the big (Glasto) to the not so big (the basement of The Flapper in Brum). I had the very great fortune to bump into the band’s drummer Math at The Great Escape a few years back too and he very kindly popped us on the band’s guestlist for The Cornbury Festival. What a bloody nice bloke. In fact they all seem like bloody nice blokes, supporting charities and good causes without making a big fuss about it all. Most important of all they’re still releasing some rather bostin’ music too like rock(s)tastic new single You Give Drugs A Bad Name. Enjoy!

Dodgy's new album What Are We Fighting For is out in September on Cherry Red Records and you can catch them live at festivals here, there and quite possibly everywhere over the summer. What's that? You want me to stick Staying Out For The Summer on here again? Oh go on then...