> "Out Come The Wolves" - Jacob Golden
I discovered this song almost accidentally when I was in the kitchen with the radio on one evening and Zane Lowe played this as his last song. Initially, I wasn't really listening, but before too long I had stopped what I was doing and was mesmerised by this. They didn't even say what it was before we were off full throttle into Tim Westwood's show (and clearly, I immediately turned the radio off)... but luckily, the good people at Radio One keep their track listings online, so after only a very short wait, I could see what the song was and was straight off to iTunes to download it. Never heard of him, but this is fantastic.
> "Just" - Mark Ronson
Frankly I'm bored of Mark Ronson. Not liking his version of "Stop Me" is one thing, but I actually find a lot of his songs gimmicky. Superficially you could argue that I might just as well say the same thing about Nouvelle Vague, but I think that the french band actually show an awful lot of respect for the songs they are covering. I'm not sure that this is true of Ronson, and I think this is part of the reason why I am getting so tired of his songs. It probably doesn't help that I've heard this song about ten times on the radio this week. They must have put it back on the playlist. Apparently Ronson is a huge Radiohead fan and when he saw he was at the same party as Ed O'Brien, he very keenly introduced himself. "Ah," replied the big guitarist disdainfully, "You're that DJ bloke who turned our song into a party song". Oh the horror! All Thom's hard work ruined...!
Sadly, it's very catchy though.
> "I Am A Rock" - Simon & Garfunkel
I think this was the first S&G song that I ever really loved. I was familiar with "Hazy Shade of Winter", of course, thanks to the Bangles... but this opened my eyes to the majesty of Paul Simon's lyrics and Art Garfunkel's ridiculous haircut. For some reason, they're never going to be considered "cool", but song writing doesn't really get very much better than this.
> "Waving Flags" - British Sea Power
BSP have always been an interesting band who have tried to do things a bit differently, so perhaps it's not so surprising that in this age of creeping fear about immigration, they come up with a song singing its praises.
"Oh welcome in, we are Barbarians
Oh welcome in, cross the Carpathians
Oh we can fail, … against the sea
No we won’t fail … against the sea
So walk away"
with the refrain:
"We’re all waving flags now
But don’t be scared"
It's either a monumentally brave or a monumentally stupid move to attempt a cover version of one of Frank Sinatra's most famous songs. In Cat Power's hands though, it becomes a thing of almost fragile beauty, and the "city that never sleeps" is transformed from the best place in the world to a place of threat and danger to the person wearing those famous "vagabond shoes". She's got a fantastic voice, and her album of cover versions is well worth a look.... a more start contrast to the Mark Ronson school of cover versions you would be hard-pressed to find.
> "Old Shit / New Shit" - Eels (not the original video there, but some quality juggling!)
I'm into the Eels in a big way at the moment, and the album I keep coming back to is "Blinking Lights and Other Revelations", in which we find Mark Oliver Everett (or simply E) coming to terms with, and ultimately embracing, his own continued survival in a world where everyone close to him seems to die. It doesn't sound jolly, I know, but it's a wonderfully life-affirming and warm album all the same and a joy to listen to. I look forward to reading his recently released autobiography, "Things the Grandchildren Should Know".
> "No One Knows" - Queens of the Stoneage
On the list after hearing Colin Murray's outrage when he discovered that the QoSA aren't playing this song on their current tour. "What? How can they not play it? I know they're not really a singles band, but this is their European Cup Winning Song. They've a few Carling Cup winning songs, but nothing as good as that. It's a disgrace. Josh Homme - what are you playing at? Sort it out". He then played the record, and he's right, it's a cracker.
> "Calm Like a Bomb" - Rage Against the Machine
Together with "Pinkerton" by Weezer, this was my soundtrack of choice as I worked my way through an especially boring document at work this afternoon. "Calm Like a Bomb" is a phrase that sums up the subtlety of RATM quite nicely, I think. Brilliant, brilliant band.
> "Wow" - Kylie Minogue
Ah, Our Brave Kylie. It's a bit embarrassing to be caught singing this in the office, for sure, but it's disco Kylie! Hurray!
> "Too Drunk To Fuck" - Dead Kennedys / Nouvelle Vague
The standout track from last night's gig, and a reminder of just how great the original is.
> "I Found Out" - Pigeon Detectives
One of those much-talked about bands that I always find vaguely disappointing. This record could be by any number of these bands... hoosiers, wombats, etc... but, but.... it's insanely bloody catchy.
Looking on the brightside, although their name isn't a brilliant one, at least it isn't as bloody awful as "Does It Offend You, Yeah?"... who I will be seeing next week, together with The Ting-Tings, Joe Lean & The Jing Jang Jong and the Cribs. Should be a great night for spotting ridiculous haircuts, if nothing else.
Have a good weekend y'all.
Coming up: Wombat & Jamie S (15/2), Pynchon (22/2), Briskate (29/2), me (7/3 - my birthday!), Craig Cliff (14/3).... J - to be arranged. Then you? Drop me an email and it could be you!