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Archive for the ‘2010s’ Category

Alice XY – Me and the Devil (2018)

This is how to do a cover version.

  1. Take a 1937 blues classic from the legendary Robert Johnson.

  2. Meditate on how Gil Scott Heron tackled it.

  3. Radically strip back the music to the essentials required to make your point – simple bass, gorgeous keyboard washes and pulsing drums.

  4. Add soaring, yet melancholic, vocals over the top and definitely don’t change the genders of the subjects.

  5. Mix down, add video and release.

A new talent has arisen, Alice XY hits the mark with her debut solo release.

Did I mention that she’s my daughter?

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Prince – Baltimore (2015)

April 6, 2018 Leave a comment

This is a worthy companion piece to the beautiful track “Alabama” by John Coltrane posted earlier tonight,

Taken from Prince’s last LP, Hit n Run Phase Two, “Baltimore” might be the best thing he ever wrote. Over a relentlessly catchy pop song, Prince queries the legality and proportionality of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014 and the death of Freddie Gary in police custody in Baltimore in 2015.

Just a great video and a wonderful record.

 

Peter Perrett – Man of Extremes (2017)

March 24, 2018 Leave a comment

The third coming of Peter Perrett. Back in the day, The Only Ones recorded one of the greatest records of all time, “Another Girl, Another Planet” – previously posted here. Then, in 1996, the now solo Peter Perrett released the superb Cultured Palate EP featuring the astounding “Baby Don’t Talk” (previously posted here).

15 years later, Peter P’s How The West Was Won is pretty much the album of 2017 and “Man of Extremes” is just one of many tracks that could have qualified for elevation to thebestmusicofalltime. Byrds-like descending chord progressions with that trademark laconic drawl over the top of it. Peter, perfect.

Looking forward to the next (re)incarnation in 2032!

Father John Misty – So I’m Growing Old On Magic Mountain (2017)

January 7, 2018 Leave a comment

My song of the year and one of the best things I’ve heard in ages.

Ex Fleet Foxes, Josh Tillman (aka Father John Misty) in cahoots with Gavin Bryars among others.

Monumentally beautiful. An ode to mortality.

That was the last New Year I’ll ever see ….

The wine has all been emptied

The smoke has cleared

As people file back to the valley

On the last night of life’s party

These days the years thin ’til I can’t remember

Just what it feels like to be young forever

 

The LP version and then a simply wonderful live studio version from Austin City Limits.

 

Juana Molina – Cálculos y Oráculos (2017)

December 10, 2017 Leave a comment

As the snow falls steadily outside, I’ve started my annual trawl through all the “best album of the year” lists.

I’ve started with that compiled by The Wire Magazine and, to be honest, it’s been a bit of a slog so far. The LPs by Actress and Irreversible Entanglements might warrant some further investigation but “Halo” by the wonderful Juana Molina from Argentina has been the first one to really stand out.

I haven’t actually finished Spotifying through the whole album but I had no option to pause to post this stunning track. Elevated to the pantheon of thebestmusicofalltime within 10 minutes of hearing it; a record?

“Cálculos y Oráculos” appears to translate as “Calculations and Oracles” … nope, me neither. The melody is gorgeous; I was wracking my brains as to what it reminded me of and it is “Last Call Fe Blackman” by Sang Hugh, my favouritue reggae song of all time previously posted on this very blog here!

Perfection.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – We Know Who U R (2012)

October 19, 2017 Leave a comment

You can never get too much of Nick Cave. I’ve previously posted a stone cold classic here.

The random number generator on the iPod turned this up the other night and it’s a showstopper.

The most minimal of drum patterns keeps the beat, an understated keyboard motif mutters away in the background and a stately, understated bassline knits the whole thing together. All this enables Mr Cave’s vocals to take centre stage:

And we know who you are
And we know where you live
And we know there’s no need to forgive

Perfect pop music.

The Afghan Whigs – Algiers (2014)

October 12, 2017 Leave a comment

From Morocco to Algeria …

The Afghan Whigs are one of my favourite bands of all time making great records for 25 years or so (they are still responsible for the definitive reading of Prince’s “When Doves Cry”!)

Taken from their 2014 LP Do To The Beast, “Algiers” is right up there with the best records they’ve ever made. A “Be My Baby” intro, a wall of guitar noise, a pummelling bass, pounding drums and Greg Dulli’s punk/soulman vocals soaring over the top. What’s not to like?

Dream your sins away

Sin your dreams away

The official video and then a stunning live version in the studio at KCRW.

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