As I have been working my way through the 34 CDs of Herbie Hancock’s Columbia LP collection, I’ve also been keeping myself honest by listening to every Cabaret Voltaire LP since 1978 (no one can ever accuse me of not earning my blogging stripes).
During the Cabs marathon, I thought I’d move (alphabetically) ahead and work my way through the Calexico back catalogue (with the idea that I’d find some crap I could sell!)
Sadly, the Calexico back catalogue has many things going for it and none more so than this …
Taken from the band’s “Garden Ruin” LP of 2006, this is the stand out track and is a (yet another) classic slice of US indie rock.
If you can find a way of going beyond Youtube’s volume limits, do it!
Insomnia is something I’ve suffered from for a number of years. The frustration of not being able to sleep simply exacerbating the problem!
However, occasionally, the experience of insomnia is not all negative. A couple of months ago, unable to sleep, I switched the radio on hoping to catch the 5am news. Inevitably, at that time on the Radio 4 frequency, the BBC World Service is broadcasting. I have no idea what the programme was but this song was playing over the ending credits – in seconds I was transfixed; a perfect record.
The following day, helped by the BBC iPlayer app, I tracked this down and was surprised, delighted and appalled to find out it was by Yo La Tengo.
Surprised and delighted because Yo La Tengo have always been one of my favourite bands of the 1990s. Appalled, because I’ve missed 16 years of listening to this perfect slice of alt-rock, pop, perfection!
The LP version then a live take from Dallas in 2013 …
A worthy follow up on the blog to the (pre/post) punk squall of Pere Ubu at their finest.
My other and half and I were out at a party on Saturday (oh, yes) and the DJ was, to be completely fair to him, absolutely clueless.
However, when he inadvertently stumbled upon this piece of pop genius, I had no option but to make haste to the dance floor. This provoked some bewilderment and ridicule from my good lady as, in her (erroneous) recollection, I would normally refuse to dance to anything more commercial than a Crispy Ambulance b-side … ideally, a scratchy live version recorded on a Walkman.
However, close followers of this blog (good evening sir!) will know that I love Kylie Minogue at her best and have previously posted her “synth pop classic” (imagine Being Boiled era Human League) Slow, here.
“Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” is Kylie in her New Order phase; relentless electro-pop with killer hooks aplenty.
To demonstrate this point, see below for the original single and then a classic “mash-up” of “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” with New Order’s “Blue Monday”. Seamless.
With Christmas nearly upon us, time to dust off the Yuletide hits.
As such, no better place to start than this slightly tenuous track by the always wonderful Handsome Family (previously posted here). Taken from their 5th studio LP “In The Air” released in 2000.
It begins thus ….
I had nothing to say on Christmas Day
When you threw all your clothes in the snow …..
And peaks with the chorus ….
Listen to me, Butterfly,
There’s only so much wine, you can drink, in one life
But it will never be enough, to save you from, the bottom of your glass.
The original LP version then a live version from 2010.
Stumbled on the Wankelmut remix of this while surfing Beatport this evening.
The remix of the track only really begins to hit the heights from about 3 minutes in for me. However, the original is just over 2 and a half minutes of genius and was originally released in 2008.
The plot thickens because Asaf Avidan is an Israeli singer songwriter; a son of diplomats in the Israeli Foreign Office. An Israeli Joe Strummer perhaps?!
Discard any prejudices you may have because this sounds like a cross between Bon Iver and Billie Holiday … a match made in heaven.
Altogether now …
One day baby, we’ll be old
Oh baby, we’ll be old
And think of all the stories that we could have told
The original and then the remix …
Wonderful track taken from Steve Earle’s Transcendental Blues LP released in 2000. Featuring Sharon Shannon on the accordion.
Steve Earle is, of course, from Texas and not from Ireland. I first became aware of him in 1987 when his breakthrough single Guitar Town appeared as the first track on the legendary NME cassette “The Tape With No Name” (check here for details and tracks from the cassette featured on my other blog ….).
Just love this track for its life affirming spirit and a fantastic melody that simply never relents ….
The LP track then a superb live version from a few years ago.
The best record of the century so far and it will take some beating even with 88 years to go …..
I’d been a fan of Cee-Lo Green since he started with Goodie Mob in the early/mid 1990s but this was a bolt from the blue. A wonderful collaboration with the multi-talented Danger Mouse who, up to that point, was famous/notorious for a killer bootleg mash-up of Jay-Z’s The Black Album and The Beatles’ White Album called, unsurprisingly, The Grey Album.
A simple, killer, bassline and a fantastic melody; but it is the soaring vocal that elevates the song into the pop stratosphere – life affirming stuff that helps you have some idea what it might have felt like when a classic Four Tops or Supremes track was released in the late 1960s.
The original track then one of the greatest live performances you will ever see from Roskilde (who doesn’t wish they were there?). Even that might be topped by an unbelievable studio version featuring Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse.