Friday, 21 May 2010

Rambling Round-up Part 1

Sorry if you've missed me. I've been absent from blogging for a while (and due to sleepyness I failed to post this prior to going to work this morning, therefore making it even later than intended) thanks partially to being worn out from my physically exhausting job and being too overloaded with music that I've had little chance to put any opinions into words. Today and tomorrow however, thanks to a dose of the creative laxative that is inspiration (in layman's terms that would be the coming weekend) I should be bringing you a couple of updates/round-ups of what Pop Happenings have been occurring in the vicinity of KPL Towers these past two weeks.

Firstly, I mentioned recently that I've been picking up all kinds of wondrous promotional CDs on ebay for exceptionally cheep amounts and there's plenty of highlights that are worth reporting on. Firstly there's an album called Thunderer and Excelsior by Silvery, that's frankly bizarre. Sounding like early Blur stuck in the Victorian Era, there's songs about Martian invasions and miniature boats sailed by crews of mice. I give it an 8/10, but intend to spend much more time in it's company before committing to any more of a verdict. At the same time I picked up a copy of a non-album single by the band which was a cover of 'You Give A Little Love' from Bugsy Malone. This is every bit as brilliant as you might believe from what I've said about the band. In fact it may even be more so.

A personal favourite of the hoard so far, however, is the recent split single by Friendly Fires and Holy Ghost, where the bands have taken on each other's tracks, with the former doing 'Hold On' and the latter doing an epic take on 'On Board'. Clearly I picked the single up for the Friendly Fires track, with it being a song not present on any of their other releases, but I've been completely taken aback by the Holy Ghost version, which sounds as though in an alternate (and better) universe it was a massive number one hit. A depressing piece of trivia about Holy Ghosts' 'On Board': the stunning drum work was supplied by Jerry Fuschs from !!! who fell to his death down a lift shaft, earlier in the year. R.I.P. Jerry.

Does anyone else remember 1990s? Not the decade, the Scottish rock n roll group who released a couple of albums in the mid-part of the 2000s. Anyway, I picked up their second album for the collaboration with Kate 'The Long Blondes' Jackson; 'Kickstrasse' and as I write this have it playing through the stereo. Initial reactions aren't great, aside from the Jackson duet which is glammed up to the eyeballs and fantastic fun. Then again I'll take anything with Ms Jackson's vocals on, seeing as she's taking forever to come out with her debut solo album. At the risk of rambling on the subject, has anyone else noticed that she sounds a little bit like the singer from '80s indiepop legends Shop Assistants? Compare 'Once And Never Again' to 'I Don't Want To Be Friends With You' and see what you think.

Enough about ebayed items. I've also been keeping an eye on the charts, and am pleased to see Mr Fyfe Dangerfield hitting the Top Ten with his cover of 'She's Always A Woman'. I realise that as a blogger it's my duty to be snobbish about any track that either becomes a huge hit or is used on an advert, but I'm really not like that. I've been a fan of Fyfe since the early days of Guillemots and could happily listen to him singing along to anything. I'm therefore not going to begrudge a John Lewis commissioned cover for their advertising campaign. After all, it was a similar campaign last Christmas that got Victoria Bergsman's Taken By Trees cover of 'Sweet Child O Mine' into the Top 40.

Albums wise, The National have scored a massive hit with High Violet, which for my money is one of the best records of the year so far. A beautiful slow burner it may not be the group's best but is still head and shoulders over what most bands of any commercial viability put out. Band of Horses are set to have as big a hit this coming weekend with Infinite Arms, an album that I'm yet to hear, but am lead to believe am being sent a copy of. Expect a review in the next week or so (hopefully) of this, along with ones of the really good d├ębut from Villagers, the latest mini-album from the Swedish Pop Legend, Robyn and the noisy as f**k single from Atari Teenage Riot

Tomorrow I'll be chatting excitedly about some recent bargains from record collector and reiterating how much I like The Hold Steady.

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