Posts Tagged ‘Alternative’

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – French Press (2017)

April 28, 2017 Leave a comment

One of the records of the year so far! Classic Australian jangle pop released on the legendary Sub Pop records label. Heard it on a CD sampler from Uncut magazine 45 minutes ago and it qualified immediately to be elevated to the pantheon of thebestmusicofalltime!

The, ahem, official video and then a live version from the USA!


The Grubby Mitts – To A Friend’s House (2011)

June 2, 2016 Leave a comment

One of my great pleasures in life is receiving my monthly copy of The Wire Magazine. It’s a bit esoteric and, to be frank, a lot of the “experimental” music they cover is unmitigated tosh.

Nonetheless, three or four times a year, the magazine comes with a free CD and the “Wire Tapper” series now stretches past 40 volumes …. I do try and listen to these all the way through but they can be a bit of an endurance test. Occasionally, however, you hear something that makes you pause and really sit up. This track is one such example.

To A Friend’s House” by The Grubby Mitts appeared on Wire Tapper 37 early in 2015. While this was the first official CD release of the track, it actually dates back on vinyl to 2011. Whatever its provenance, this is an intriguing and beguiling track – for me, a blend of classic English folk with the lo-fi, indie-pop nous of the bands on New Zealand’s peerless Flying Nun Records label. It turns out that The Grubby Mitts are from Bedford in the UK; only 20 miles from where I type this missive … guys, can I have a beer for plugging you?

A bit of accordion, a spot of bass and some multi-layered spoken vocals adds up to considerably more than the sum of its parts.

Give it a go!


Mogwai – Helps Both Ways (Madden Version) (1999)

May 31, 2016 Leave a comment

Tonight, I am mostly feeling like a bit of a tart. For the first time (in a crude attempt to go viral), I have posted in response to a “request”. Now to be fair, the request is from an old chum but, still, I feel a bit dirty.

Specifically, said chum was observing that there was no Mogwai on this blog.

This I now put right …

However, inevitably, I have to be awkward …

So, here is Mogwai with their classic “Helps Both Ways” …. but this time with the original sample featuring John Madden’s NFL commentary that was removed from the Come On Die Young LP for copyright reasons. This is the definitive version!

Yo La Tengo – Our Way To Fall (2000)

May 23, 2016 Leave a comment

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 …




Yo La Tengo – Tom Courtenay (1995)

August 11, 2015 Leave a comment

With the summer holidays well underway, I inevitably find myself catching up on a few classics of the British cinema from the first three decades after the second world war. This evening, I watched Darling starring the wonderful Julie Christie who plays a gorgeous but shallow airhead whose inability to settle down and find happiness results in a series of boyfriends, husbands, etc. Taking in a BBC journalist and culminating with an Italian prince (where she becomes Princess Diana …), there are great scenes of London, Paris and Capri as Christie fails to find any meaning in life. A great performance for which she won an Oscar.

Now, admittedly, Tom Courtenay isn’t actually in this film but the song “Tom Courtenay” by Yo La Tengo is an all time favourite of mine and does open with the line “Julie Christie, the rumours are true” and continues thus …

Julie Christie, the rumours are true
As the pages turn, my eyes are glued
To the movie star and his sordid life
Mr. X and his old-suffering wife
I spent so much time dreaming about Eleanor Bron
In my room with the curtains drawn
See her in the arms of Paul
Say it, I can say no more
As the music swells somehow stronger from adversity
Our hero finds his inner peace
So now I’m looking for a lucky charm
With a needle hanging out of its arm

As time goes by I know it’s gonna happen
I know it’s going away
Gonna take its toll, gonna take its toll
Gonna take my time
And I’m thinking about the way things are
And I’m thinking about the way things were
Thinking about Eleanor Bron
And I’m thinking about a lucky charm
And I’m thinking about the needle
Oh, I’m thinking about the needle
And I’m thinking about…

A well deserved entry into the bestmusicofalltime! First the track, then the video from the single and finally a gorgeous acoustic version.

John Otway and Wild Willy Barratt – Beware Of The Flowers (Cos I’m Sure They’re Going To Get You Yeh!) (1977)

September 6, 2014 Leave a comment

In 1979, the compilation LP “20 of Another Kind” was a staple on our school bus. I have already posted Patrik Fitzgerald’s stone cold classic “Irrelevant Battles” from the LP here.

Otway and Barratt’s “Beware of the Flowers …”, etc, was always a favourite – not least for the killer fuzz guitar and a “so dumb, it’s clever” chorus. In recent years, the tenacious Otway has continued to perform this live to, no doubt, increasing bafflement among fans of all generations.

This was actually the B-Side of the classic “Really Free” single released in 1977. Folk punk comes no better.

The Fall – Rose (1991)

December 13, 2013 Leave a comment

Friday night, what could be better than a 22 year old album track by The Fall?

Around this time, Mark E. Smith was in reflective mood on a fairly regular basis. “Just Waiting”, “Time Enough At Last” and “Married, 2 Kids” from Code:Selfish; “Bill Is Dead” from Extricate, and; “Edinburgh Man” from Shift Work.

“Rose” is also from Shift Work and I do struggle to pin down why I love this track so much.

It is partly the “Theme From Shaft” funk guitar chops; it is partly the droll, laconic delivery; it is partly the bassline that never stops, and; partly, it is the flute/woodwind melody riding over the whole thing.

In the end, the sum is considerably greater than the parts. Perfect pop music.

There is a letter marked urgent.

I have not yet read it

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